21 Tools to boost your productivity while working remotely

Over-communicating is the key to working remotely in order to be productive but over-working is not. Sadly, the lines between office space and personal space get blurred and remote workers find it difficult to strike a balance between the two.

This, in turn, has a negative impact on both their professional and personal life, which ranges from being unable to focus on struggling to sleep. Further, the lack of physical presence of managers clubbed with the comforts of working remotely requires remote workers to make conscious efforts to ensure the same levels of productivity as their on-site counterparts.

For people who are employed by global companies, working from different time zones can be challenging. It is possible that your peers are free and hanging out while you are busy working till 11/12 in the night or beyond.

Since remote work with its immense benefits is here to stay and World 2.0 belongs to Remote, we need to get acquainted with tools and tips that can help us develop healthy remote working habits and make the most of our day.

A number of issues related to productivity can be handled to a great extent by tools that help us manage our time better and in keeping things organized.

Here, I’ll focus on some of the handiest productivity tools that my team and I’ve been using over the past few years.

1. Roam Research

Roam Research is my favorite productivity tool that is designed as a note-taking application for networked thought, pretty much how thoughts are linked in our brains. The feature to connect various notes by defining a relation between them makes managing things a lot easier and the experience is seamless.

2. Clickup

You can add Gantt charts, Kanban boards, spreadsheets, and keep all your conversations and reminders together. Even though most project management tools are better suited for teams, ClickUp is a great tool for individuals too as it is much easier to use and comes loaded with all sorts of features.

3. Taskade

If you’re getting started as an organization, this might be a quick starting point. It’s kind of a super app for productivity which sometimes can be too much if you’re not organized.

4. Monday

Even on an individual level, it helps you in tracking your tasks and workflow using the multiple views feature including the Kanban dashboard.

5. Mindmeister

We’ve found it helpful in structuring thoughts and share them clearly with the team. You can also use Mindmeister to brainstorm over ideas and create Kanban boards to track your team’s productivity.

6. Zapier

Ask yourself: What are the tasks around moving data that you do everyday and are often repetitive?

Browse through the thousands of existing automations already available on Zapier to handle these repetitive tasks between different apps. It also gives you the option to create your automation, helping you focus on better things and get work done much faster. Lear more about it here.

For example at Pesto, everyone who registers on our website as a student, we send the data to Airtable (CRM) and create a slack notification on a #new-candidate channel for our team to track.

7. fyi

It allows you to access the documents you need in a new tab and offers integration with G Suite, Slack, Dropbox, Box, Microsoft OneDrive, and others.

I actually feel restless when fyi is not my default new tab on chrome.

8. Rescue Time

It’s a great tool to monitor where you invest your time and plan your week ahead. It runs in the background to track where you spend your time, it rates your productivity based on how much time you’re spending on productive tasks versus unproductive ones in a day and organizes them into simple charts.

I read Deep Work which talks about working in sprints of high productivity zones with no distraction, Rescue time helps you achieve that. When you’re getting started, you’ll face this problem in a big way. I would recommend you to get a paid subscription for this tool especially in the initial days. Apart from deep work, it has calendar integrations that’ll help you plan your week efficiently.

9. Toggl

Available on web and desktop, Toggl also lets you set reminders for specific times or days to start tracking and has a timeline feature that records each website or program that you have viewed for more than 10 seconds, and shows the data in a vertical side-by-side overview with your current time entries.

10. Figure it Out

Figure it out is a simple dashboard and chrome extension that allows you to set up all time zones you and your colleagues work from and translate it in the current time zone which you’re in.

It allows me to set up any cross-time zone meetings in a way that it suits everyone. You can also create an event and export it in any format suitable.

11. Superhuman

Superhuman is the only reason because of which even today I try to answer many support emails of Pesto to be closer to our customers. This helps me in getting a much better perspective about the market and our offering.

It’s highly recommended for entrepreneurs or senior managers who’re looking to optimize their time without getting an EA.

12. Hey

The experience itself is quite revolutionary and is by far the most interesting thing to happen to my inbox or let’s say ‘Imbox’ (important box?).

13. Mixmax

It’s best suited for small businesses and entrepreneurs since it allows them to convert prospects into customers with personalized emails and one to one communication. I use it to schedule quick meetings and send sequences.

14. Krisp

Well, you can always play the mute game but thanks to Krisp, all you need is a toggle and it will remove the background noise from your or your friend’s microphone. Krisp works with a lot of communications apps including Zoom, Slack, and Skype, and makes remote meetings quite productive.

15. Noisli

It offers a lot of options to mix and match high-quality sounds, for example, you can mix rain + forest and work to that serene sound as you sip a cup of coffee.

It works on a simple theory that background noises mask the negative impact of sudden spikes in external noise and thus enable you to focus for longer periods of time.

Moreover, these sounds are often calming which helps in relaxation and creating a personal virtual environment for you to work.

16. Pocket

Pocket does that exactly. While it is a simple bookmarking tool, it will have a positive impact on your workflow. Whenever you find something interesting while working, save it for later (you can also categorize) and then define a time slot in your day to go through whatever you’ve saved.

Makes you productive at work, gives you a slot to take your mind off work — it’s a win-win!

17. Loom

Loom adds the right amount of human aspect to any process. We use loom for anything and everything. It’s quite fast and once the recording is done, it gets uploaded on the cloud and its link copied to your clipboard. Again, this is collaboration at lightning speed.

Loom also maintains the history of all your repo which you can edit. I would highly recommend getting the chrome extension which I believe is the fastest way to loom.

18. Gather

It replicates the real-world experience of people hanging out with each other, you can create a virtual office or your university campus and go about your regular business. It’s a great tool to counter the loneliness and isolation that remote workers feel.

19. Monosnap

I would recommend you go ahead and get a paid subscription which will allow you to upload the image to the cloud and share it with others instantly.

20. Bubbles

You can comment directly on any digital asset, web page, or app and put an end to the feedback loop over mails and unnecessary meetings, making the reviewing process super fast.

21. 1Password

1Password allows you to share these passwords seamlessly via different vaults for each team. It’s quick, easy, and highly secure. Its chrome extension is pretty decent and I would highly recommend this, it was a life savior for me and my team.

I hope these productivity tools will help you manage your time better and maintain the work-life balance when working remotely. Let me know some of your favorite tools in the comments.

I’m at @aayushjaiswal07 on Twitter, do let me know if you found value in this.

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Ayush Jaiswal

I love solving hard problems. Democratizing opportunities for developers at pesto.tech