7 Remote Work Tools We Love
Working on a remote team means keeping up with each other’s projects and progress through shared online docs and ongoing chats. It also means keeping yourself organized and staying on top of changes that can affect other teammates. Our favorite remote work tools make life easier at an individual level but also help us move towards those grander goals and keep us in sync.
There are several project management tools out there to use, but we’re really enjoying Notion. It brings together aspects of Trello, Airtable, and Dropbox and combines it into one app and site. You can create collaborative documents like an editorial calendar or a CRM, keep a to-do list, and capture unique workflows in different types of databases. Teammates can see who made recent changes on collaborative files and alert one another by tagging them on the document too. It’s very team friendly.
Google Docs is a tried and true favorite for remote teams, including our own. It’s our quick way to share and collaborate on documents. You can share folders amongst your team, open a chat with the other collaborators on the document itself, and tag teammates on comments and edits. We use Google docs for long reference guides, so using the table of contents feature and the comments thread for any edits, helps us evolve the document as different projects evolve. It’s definitely our prefered way to edit each other’s work.
Unable to look up and ask a quick question from a teammate, we keep up with one another via Slack. It’s a good way to avoid sending out emails for every little thing and to get to know your team members. You can set reminders for yourself or your teammates, take direct video calls, and easily drop in files to share and collaborate. Slack has a directory of 1,000+ apps you can integrate into your team’s channel, from Github to Salesforce. It will definitely bring your tab count down. You can also join public Slack groups to meet other people in different industries or different countries.
With team members spread out around the world, from New Mexico to Madrid, I like to keep each team member’s time zone in mind, especially if we need to set up a call or if we’re collaborating on a project that day. With Figure It Out’s user-friendly interface, you can scroll up or down on the touchpad to change the hour and glance what time it would be for your teammates in Lisbon and Chicago if you want to set up a group call. I set the Figure It Out extension on my browser as my home screen, and it’s a bright way to get an idea of who’s starting their day and who’s signing off soon.
With time zone differences, it can be frustrating to set up calls with potential partners and internally, but Calendly helped us get rid of that back and forth. You can create different calendars to share with different teams, in a group, or on one-on-one so you can organize your own time. It’s easy to set up the availability to reoccur daily, weekly, or monthly up till a certain date. You can integrate it easily with Google Calendar, Outlook, or iCloud. And, more importantly, you can add buffer times, daily limits, and add notifications so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
While Google hangouts and Zoom might be growing favorites, Skype is still our go-to. From our weekly stand-up to our team’s monthly book club meetings, we host group calls via Skype. Or if we’re training a new teammate, we’ll hop on a video chat, use the screen share, and send links with the instant messaging. It’s straightforward for contacting and reaching out to people.
We have the opportunity to use coworking spaces around our cities and around the world using our own app, so why not? Croissant started as a way to work together and get out of the house after all. We can work somewhere uptown in the morning, then head downtown to meet a partner or cowork. Picking the right environment by our mood or workload is one of our favorite productivity tricks too. The spaces are all unique and inspiring and have different amenities ranging from fresh coffee to kombucha on tap. Plus, Croissant makes it easier to dive into projects, explore the city, and work alongside each other.