Even having been at it for a while, you may not know all the tools and hacks that can make virtual work a little simpler. Here are a few ideas to bolster your remote toolkit.
Just over a year ago, you might have found yourself working remotely for the first time in your professional life.
At the time, everyone was looking for ways to stay productive, and largely scrambling.
With the benefit of time, a series of new, useful tools have emerged, many of them lesser-known software offerings that can make life easier when working out of the comfort of your living room.
These tools can boost your productivity, make conference calls more bearable, and even improve communication with your team. Check them out below:
Krisp (free for 120 minutes per week, $5 per month for unlimited use; MacOS, Windows, iOS) Phone calls while teleworking can be a challenge if there’s a bunch of household noise in the background. One way to minimize it is to use Krisp, a tool that removes background noise that both comes into your speakers and out of your mic.
Otter.ai (free for individuals up to 600 minutes per month; $9.99 per month for 6,000 minutes; $30 per month, per user, for teams; web-based) Taking more video calls than ever before? Want a way to more easily take notes? This service offers AI-driven transcription, including the ability to automatically transcribe Zoom calls on the fly. For those who need a record of what was said or an alternative to taking notes, this could help make life a little bit easier.
Notion (free for personal use, $4 per month for pro version, $8 per user per month for teams; web-based) Remote work often gets lumped in the category of video, but the fact of the matter is, you often need tools built for organizing information. Notion, which can be used as a writing tool or a team wiki, offers flexibility in what it can be, giving users an opportunity to both organize and collaborate in whatever way they’re comfortable.
Toggl (free basic plan, $10 per user per month; MacOS, Windows, Android, iPhone, Chrome, Firefox) Remote work allows for all kinds of distractions that can interfere with productivity and make it harder to manage time. Toggl, a time-tracking tool, is designed to help users build efficiency. Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian told CNBC last year that Toggl helped him become more efficient after he became a father. “You find ways to cut time and to preserve time,” he said.
I Done This ($12.50 per user per month; web-based) This daily productivity tracker tool is dead simple: Every day, the software emails team members working together on a project, asking them to check in and report what they’ve done so that progress can be marked off. It’s project management that’s a bit less hands-on and keeps out of the way for the most part.
Focusmate (three free sessions per week; web-based) Described by The New Yorker as “part social network and part coworking space,” Focusmate is based on the idea that you’re less likely to procrastinate if you’ve committed to show up to work with someone else. The offbeat method here is that the tool sets up what’s essentially a video “work date” between two strangers who want to get something done in the same time slot. It could be just the thing to help remote workers feel some companionship and provide an extra nudge of accountability for how they spend their time.