Remote Tools Rising Stars | Best Tools For Remote Workers To Watch In 2020
Managing and working in remote teams means that you will have to make use of a number of different tools and services. These range from collaboration software, through to messaging applications and time management tracking tools. The amount of programs available is huge, so it can be a bit difficult to figure out what’s right for you and your team.
We’ve collected some of the best available in the industry and are giving you the lowdown on what they do and why you should use them. Read our thoughts, try them out and help your team work at their absolute best!
The list was created by the Remote-how team, creators of the first online program for Managers of distributed and fully remote teams.
Codepen is a social development environment and community that allows developers to share their work, browse other developers’ code and collaborate together. A self-described “playground for the front-end side of the web”, it’s great for debugging and testing out code in a live setting. This is a useful tool for remote teams, and colocated teams as well, to successfully work on coding projects together even when at a distance.
Its key feature is being able to save your code as pens, which can then be tagged, shared and searched for in the Codepen platform. Whilst editing these pens, you can see your changes instantly with a live preview. For people new to coding who need some visual clues, it’s a super tool to use.
Marvel is a tool that allows you to quickly build wireframes and prototypes with other team members. Once you have finished your design, it allows you to easily handoff to the design team so that they can begin to create the working product. Marvel is more aimed at visual-based products, rather than joint document editing or brainstorming. It has a free version for one person to use on one project, but then offers also a monthly subscription for larger teams and projects.
Moqups is an all-in-one online design platform that’s smart, simple and fast. It’s a full ecosystem of tools within a single design environment. With this tool, you can visualize your concept, test it, and validate whether it works. Through quick wireframes and detailed mockups, you can explore different methods and designs by collaborating with your team. The best yet? It has lots of ready elements to chose from like diagrams, wireframes, and prototypes.
Contractbook is a contract management solution that provides multiple free templates that you can customize and tailor to your needs. The contracts can then be digitally signed using 2FA or a national ID, without having to print it off and scan. The documents are then stored in the cloud, meaning that there is only one version of the contract rather than multiple that are sent back and forth by email. If you’re interested in trying out, you can schedule a meeting with one of their advisors who will guide you through what they can offer. If you deal with external contracts a lot, and are finding that there is confusion in version control and signing, then contractbook can get rid of a lot of the hassle.
Bitbucket is a web-based collaboration tool for developers, with both a free and paid version available. It currently has over ten million registered accounts after growing from being an independent start-up. It implements a Git version control system, unlimited private repositories for users and built-in continuous delivery. It’s especially worth mentioning as they currently offer a free paid for a subscription for students and teachers who sign up with an academic email address.
Draft is a collaboration tool made specifically for writers which has a unique solution to version control. When two people work on the same document, any changes they make are in their own separate version that you can then accept or reject within your master copy. You can also easily ask a professional for help and to review your work at the click of a button. It has a smart analytics tool as well so you can better analyse your writing style over time. This one is recommended highly for content writers or people who spend a lot of time writing copy. It provides a lot of different functionalities that you might not have thought about before, but are actually really useful for busy writers.
Ngrok is a reverse proxy software that is aimed towards developers who wish to easily expose a local dev server to the internet. By using the tool, no domain name or public IP is needed on the local machine. It’s got great functionality in testing webhooks due to its easy and intuitive interface. Ngok is free for everyone to use, but there is a paid version that offers extra features such as IP whitelisting, reserved domains and TLS Client Termination.
Mikogo is a screen sharing online application that is free to use and offers a number of different features not present in other competitors. Up to 25 people can join a session with the capability for remote control, a multi-user whiteboard and a multi-monitor display. Screen sharing tools are a great fit for remote companies who want to host a training session or all team meetings. The fact that Mikogo is free for both personal and corporate use makes it a great tool to keep in mind when you’re looking to screencast.
Glue is a modern collaboration platform that takes advantage of recent advances in immersive 3D graphics, virtual reality, and cloud computing. It is intended for business professionals who need global remote access to a shared team space for efficient collaboration.
Your team may be spread around the world, but in Glue’s immersive virtual environments you can come together as if meeting in person. 3D avatars reflect the movement and gestures of their users, providing non-verbal communication in addition to voice, while spatial audio gives you a natural understanding of where they are around you.
Mural is a tool for collaboration that replicates a quick and easy whiteboard environment for teams who want to brainstorm, organize ideas and collectively design and map content. This particular tool is great for service design, or remote teams that want to use agile processes in their workflow. Remote teams obviously don’t have access to the same physical space and whiteboard when doing retrospectives, canvases or sprints, so this Mural helps make these processes easier when working remotely. It has a free trial but is subscription-based with multiple plans for different size organizations. Mural also commissioned a study into the cost savings you can expect with their tool, and the results look great!
Conceptboard is a tool that is directly targeted at remote teams who need to work on the same project but from different locations. It has document management features along with version control, task management and synchronous editing of files. Like other collaboration tools, it has a virtual whiteboard as well for team brainstorming sessions. This software is particularly useful for companies that one to use one tool for all teams, as it tries to cater to all departments. This includes features for product dev, marketing and coaching.
Conceptboard’s infinite canvas harnesses the power of visual collaboration to bring teams together across locations and time zones. From large teams to small organizations, our customers use Conceptboard as a central hub to brainstorm ideas, iterate on design and organize workflows both asynchronously and in real time. – Daniel Bohn, Co-Founder of Conceptboard
ZipBoard is a collaboration tool that allows for multiple people to work together on a number of different web-based projects. Multiple different stakeholders, including designers, advisors and developers, can all provide input and feedback. It also has a great bug tracking feature that isn’t seen very often in other collaborative tools. Some more great news is that it’s also free to use as well for one project! We recommend this one for more visual-based work such as in a creative agency, that needs feedback from stakeholders across the organisation and not just within one team.
Redpen is one of the fastest feedback tools for teams who like to work visually. All comments and feedback can be seen live by an unlimited amount of collaborators. It’s as easy as emailing or sending the link to anyone you want to get involved in your project. It also has version control and project management features to make the process even easier. The tool works well with more visually based teams and projects, such as marketing assets or design work. Redpen isn’t free, but offers a 2 week trial to see if it works well with your current processes.
Onehub is a cloud-based collaboration tool and virtual data room that helps users securely store and share their business files. It can be customized to meet users’ specific requirements and custom branding needs. Onehub offers a range of features to help with file storage including drag-and-drop document uploading, full-text search, folder organization, version controls and archiving. This solution helps users share files securely using links and role-based permissions. It also provides workspaces that feature user management and access controls.
1password is a digital vault where you can store all your login credentials for a number of different sites. It will help you create more secure passwords and also synchronizes your logins across all the devices you have with their cloud service. It’s all possible too to store them locally if you prefer. It’s a great way to keep all your passwords safe, without using similar ones for every site or writing them down. We recommend using it for its low subscription fee and the amount of protection it can offer. Data security is more important than ever nowadays, so it’s worth thinking about investing in a password manager like 1password.
With Glip, you can message your team instantly and also project manage at the same time with its inbuilt tools. It integrates as well with Google Drive, Jira, and box too, making it easy to use with whatever current setup you’re using. It aims to take away the productivity drain that managing everything through email can be, and tries to make it as easy as possible with extra features like a group calendar and task setting. It’s overall a great alternative to some of the other popular instant messaging apps out there due to its ability to help set deadlines and plan out work. There is a free version that can be used effectively by your team, but also a paid subscription with a few more small features.
COMMUNICATION AND MESSAGING
This messaging service has an easy to use interface and helps with basic project management, content sharing and code snipping sharing. You can set tasks and manage their progress through a Kanban view, similar to other tools like Trello. What makes it really useful is its integration with other platforms and software like Mailchimp, Google Drive, Trello, and even GitLab. This makes it good for multiple teams to use across your remote organization.
Twist, a communication tool from Doist just had to make it to this list. At Remote-how, we use Twist on a daily basis and we simply LOVE it. This tool is all about asynchronous communication and about not creating a sense of urgency, known from apps like Slack. On top of that, Twist is extremely user-friendly and well-designed. If you look for a communication tool for your remote team to use in 2020, you should shortlist Twist for sure!
This messaging tool lets you create tasks as threads, which people on your team can then be invited to and discuss within the program. People can leave their feedback, brainstorm and suggest action points or solutions to the rest of the group. Once a decision has been made it can be highlighted so that everyone has easy access to the final outcome. Considering using Threads if you’ve had miscommunication issues regarding outcomes of a discussion or meeting.
Yac is a voice messaging tool that allows you to send high quality, short 30 second audio clips. It aims to cut down the amount of time going back and forth with normal text-based messaging. You can leave feedback on work with audio annotations and send asynchronous messages too. There is also the option for asynchronous screen sharing, where you can annotate your screen for people who will look at the video later. This tool is aimed at teams who are wasting time with their messaging applications or taking too long in meetings to get everyone’s point across. If you think you could do with condensing and streamlining your comms, then give Yac a try.
PukkaTeam offers a remote communication tool that is aimed specifically at remote teams and companies. It allows for a virtual desk experience by taking automated photos of you through your webcam while you work. That way you check to see if someone is at their desk, taking a call or not available. Getting in contact is as simple as clicking their picture and waiting for a reply! PukkaTeam is good for remoters who still want to have some real team presence and feel more connected to each other. It works from your browser too, making it easier to access anywhere you have a webcam. It probably won’t replace your messaging system complete, but you can integrate it into other tools like Slack and Skype.
Zoho Cliq is a communication software for your whole company, regardless of the team they work in. It offers features that suit multiple departments such as marketing, software, and operations, along with being integrated with some of the most popular tools out like Trello, Mailchimp and Dropbox. It has a desktop and phone app, along with a completely free version for small teams and basic project management. With it offering a free service, it makes it a great tool to use with your team if they like it without having to eat into your budget.
This communication tool is different from most others as it offers more of a social network experience. You can create pages, have a public org chart and create detailed user profiles. This makes it great for remote workers in a large team where not everyone might know each other. You can then look up the right person for the job you need performing. You can then check out their availability in their calendar and integrate any Google Drive files you may need. Much like Facebook, there is a timeline view you can see and personalize so you get only the relevant information that you need. If you’re feeling a bit uninspired with more traditional comms tools, then give Happeo a try for a more modern and social solution.
Fleep allows you to create tasks, share files and communicate instantaneously and easily with your team. You can also join other external teams or Fleep users’ channels within the same browser. It offers a pinboard feature in each chat, so important messages such as instructions or feedback can be found easily in every conversation. The basic version is free but doesn’t really have enough features available to make it work in a business setting. This one is worth a try if you’re wanting to use something other than the standard tools at a slightly cheaper price.
Fuze mainly concentrates on offering high-quality voice and video calling for enterprises. It also integrates into older more traditional video conferencing tools easily. It works well in replacing all the multiple tools you would previously need to run in order to effectively communicate with your team and clients. No more having to have skype, an instant messenger, your phone and teleconferencing software open all at the same time! It’s a lot cheaper than some of the more established alternatives as well, making it good for remote teams on more of a budget.
Let’s Chat is a totally free messaging service that runs off MongoDB and Node.JS, which works best within small teams. It’s all hosted locally and is a 100% open source. It offers some standard features but is fairly simple, such as password-protected chat rooms, file uploads and multi-user chat. As it’s free, it’s good to use on a budget. It requires some technical know-how to install and set up, so it is probably more suited to a small dev team that doesn’t need to use more extensive software like Slack.
Ryver’s goal is to replace all the multiple communications apps you use, allowing you to just open one and still work as efficiently. Task management, teleconferencing and instant messaging are all offered in the software, along with integration for an impressive amount of other tools like Salesforce, Asana and Box. It’s much cheaper than other popular comms alternatives like Slack, and also offers much of the functionality that Asana has in task management. If you want to save money on buying multiple programs, then Ryver is one to explore as it’s so versatile.
Simpplr offers an intranet service that is looking to replace older, outdated intranet systems that most people are used to. While a lot of companies have switched completely to cloud-based systems, Simpplr has updated the intranet experience with social media features and a slick UI. Newsletters and events calendars, keep everyone up to date with company goings ons and integration with other tools turns Simpplr into a company hub for your employees to use. This probably isn’t so useful for a smaller, more close-knit team, in larger remote companies it can help build up a unified hub environment so employees feel more connected.
KNOWLEDGE SHARING AND EDUCATION
Remote-how offers different online trainings for remote employees with the most popular for remote managers. If you’re tired of stuffy guidebooks and academic training for managers, this program is for you! Certified in Distributed Management will arm you with actionable content created by experts who manage distributed teams daily. Their stories, tactics, and strategies will help you succeed at team building, goals setting, communication, performance, and many other aspects.
Notion is a collaboration tool that allows for an extensive note taking experience. Along with this, it combines aspects of project management, task management, and spreadsheets. If used correctly, it can eliminate the need for other programs and tools such as google sheets, docs, GitHubWiki and Trello. By combining all these features, you’ll no longer need to open multiple programs at once to get on with your working day. Look most of the tools mentioned here there is a free version with basic features and numerous other subscriptions for different size companies. Use this if you’re looking to cut down on the number of different tools and subscriptions your remote team is currently using and paying for.
ClickHelp provides cloud-based document editing and collaboration. You can create PDFs, online and printed documentation all in real-time with multiple people. If you’re mainly doing technical writing, then this is a tool that is suited for you. It boasts impressive analytics as well for all your written work, including the content topic, readability and word count. If you’re thinking about making the move from Microsoft Office, or need more document functionality than is on offer with google drive, give ClickHelp a try.
Trainual makes the onboarding process as simple as possible by collecting all the resources, training materials and processes needed for your teams to work effectively. Rather than having links to multiple different documents, Trainual collects everything together and also lets you know when materials are updated or removed. It also has an inbuilt test feature to see if people have taken everything on board. If you work with a team that has a lot of different processes and standards which must be followed, then Trainual can take a lot of the hard work out of onboarding new team members.
Almanac is a resource that contains hundreds of tips, templates, tools and guide for people creating and working in a start-up. You can also add in your own guidelines and tools that are customized to your own company. The knowledge they share has come from top experts in numerous start-ups and enterprises. It covers a lot of topics, so if you’re stuck on how to prioritize growth requirements you’ll be able to find something to help.
LEGAL, COMPLIANCE, PAYROLL AND HR
This cash flow forecasting tool shows you a real-time overview of all your cash outgoings and incoming, along with offering in-depth analytics that help create smart budgets. By streamlining the process of determining your cash position today or in the future, Float helps you to make more informed decisions about your spending and saving. It can also help you make sure to budget for unplanned circumstances and hiring new employees for example. This tool obviously isn’t needed for everyone in your organisation and is probably best suited for remote workers who are running their own business.
“We are providing a Cloud-based solution to managing cash within a remote business, teams can benefit from an always up-to-date view of cash wherever they are in the world. Our users can collaborate, update their projections and scenario plan all without worrying about version control thanks to our daily sync with accounting software.”
ShieldGEO is a service that makes hiring employees overseas as simple as possible. It can be a nightmare trying to keep up with all the laws, local regulations, and tax arrangements that need to be made, but Shield GEO provides experts who will take care of the whole process. You only need to worry about managing and they will do the rest! Payroll, expenses, taxes and all other administrative tasks are all taken care of by Shield GEO. They also take on all legal responsibility, giving you peace of mind. The service has a management fee at a flat-rate per employee, along with extra costs on top for work permits. This is an amazing tool for remote HR managers who have to navigate the tricky process of overseas hiring. Use Shield GEO and spend more time on the important things.
HelloSign lets you electronically sign documents and contracts, and create your own using their collection of templates. It can be used through an online interface, app, and in Salesforce as an addon. One particularly useful feature is its flexible workflows, where multiple people signing the same document simultaneously can all do so in one version, which is then sent to everyone when finished. If you need a quick to implement a digital signing solution, then HelloSign is worth a try.
Remote.com is a marketplace for finding and posting remote jobs. It uses an AI system to match candidates with suitable jobs, making finding a virtual assistant as easy and hassle-free as possible. Communicating with the hiree can all be done through the platform, as well as payments for any work done. This is a good tool to use if the hiring process is taking too much time out of your day, freeing you up to perform your other tasks. There is the possibility to post basic ads for free, but to get more exposure you need to pay a fee that will feature your listing.
Providing benefits and perks to your remote team is a great idea for retaining great employees and rewarding good work. Mistro.io helps you create tailored and individual benefits plans for different roles in your company. You can also get rid of the reimbursement process by giving your team prepaid benefits cards. The tool is currently beta testing, so if you want to give it a go drop them your email and try it out with your team soon.
Deel is a tool that helps you generate, monitor and create payment conditions for contracts that you have with external workers. This works well in remote companies that are using people for on-off projects across the world. They apply a 1% fee of all payments to clients, provide tax filing information and help you make sure that all your compliance processes are in check. When you’re finding it difficult to efficiently manage all your external contacts, use Deel to streamline the process.
TransferMate is a global payment service for businesses that makes international payments act in the same way as domestic ones. You simply transfer the funds to the TransferMate account in your country, which then releases funds to your recipient in whichever country they’re located. It supports 162 countries and has ERP system integration. This program can be used for paying overseas contractors, freelancers, and partners whilst keeping costs to a minimum. If you’re having to make a lot of international B2B payments (like a lot of remote companies) then this service should be of particular interest.
Quickbooks is accounting software that offers payroll functions, accepts payments and can provide invoicing and bills features. It tries to make the process as simple as possible and is mainly aimed at small to medium-sized enterprises. It claims to save an average of 42 hours per month of time compared to using traditional methods for checking profitability and keeping the books. If you’re setting up your own remote company, or happen to be in charge of the finances of a small firm, then this tool could be useful. It saves time opening and creating messy excels, and offers pretty moderate prices for their subscription plans.
ZenGRC offers a governance, risk and compliance solution that helps in internal auditing, contract management, compliance management and processes. It offers a single source of truth, removing the issues people have with multiple versions of documents being sent back and forth over email. It tries to replace older legacy systems and offers a much cheaper subscription than the large competitors. If you really need to take control of access rights, governance and monitor the use of your ERP system, then consider taking a look at ZenGRC to automate the process.
This GRC solution offers a high level of automation, meaning that you spend less time manually monitoring possible business risks and ERM processes. The amount of features and areas the software covers is broad, including GDPR compliance, incident management, IT security risk and third-party risk management. LogicGate tool offers a lot more than most others and has a high degree of customizability meaning you can pay a small subscription for just the features your remote company needs.
Boundless is a service that makes it easy to employ people around the globe, without having to go through the hassle of complying with local laws and regulations all by yourself. It currently hasn’t launched yet and is in development. It works like so: You tell Boundless who you would like to employ and what their compensation is. They then co-employ this person, deal with payroll and HR compliance and leave you to simply manage. This is a super tool for making the hiring process easier, which more often than not can be international when working in a remote team or company.
Boundless makes it easy to employ anyone, anywhere. Your people are your strength. But your remote people are your advantage. If they are not treated as full-time employees, you may have a problem on your hands. But we can help! Boundless is an end-to-end employment solution that makes it easy for companies to handle payroll & HR compliance for their international remote workers.
PRODUCTIVITY AND TIME MANAGEMENT
Shift combines together multiple apps into one easy to use and intuitive UI. By doing this, you save time on flicking through multiple windows and apps, as well as logging in to all your different accounts. You can integrate your mail, shared calendar and hundreds of other apps and extensions within the software. It’s great for remote workers who have to use multiple Gmail accounts for different jobs or just to keep track of tasks. Gone are the days of having 3 Gmail tabs open and having to log in and out of each one separately! Basic access is free which is enough to manage your email accounts, but you can get a full license for around $20 per year. Definitely worth the money to save all those email headaches.
Timely is a tool that will keep track of the time you spend on particular projects or tasks. It’s fully automatic, meaning that you can’t forget to turn it on. If you’re freelancing or need to account for your time, then timely makes it as easy as possible to do. You can also plan your day in the app as well, making optimizing your working hours a sinch. If your remote company needs to keep track of hours for clients, or you have specified hours that employees have to work, then Timely can be a useful tool to implement.
Toggl prides itself as being a simple time tracking device that can improve the productivity of your team. It’s so hassle-free that it’s difficult not to use! It works across multiple devices, so you can begin tracking on your laptop but end the timer on your phone. Everything is synced together to make your working life simpler. There are three plans for different sized enterprises, but there’s a free trial to see if it works well for you and your team.
Noko is a time tracking tool that allows you to set goals, reminders and implement auditing and invoicing features. A really cool feature it has is being able to hashtag your tasks and projects to make it much easier to search for them. You don’t need to install anything, there are hourly backups and it syncs well without thousands of other apps. Noko is good for people who need a time tracking tool that is simple, quick to set up and integrates with all your current apps.
actiTIME helps you and your company accurately manage your time and projects. You can then analyze your overall performance and boost staff productivity. It’s great for creating a more transparent process for remote workers. It’s data analysis capabilities is one of its strongest features, so if a standard time tracking device isn’t giving you the results you want, you should give actiTIME a try.
actiTIME is a powerful time-tracking and work management tool. It helps keep track of time expenses, monitor work progress, and manage teams across countries and time zones. Make your work transparent for your team and clients. See what others are working on and what’s left to be done, collaborate with your remote team and deliver your project on time and within a budget with actiTIME – actiTIME Team
Harvest is a time tracking tool that also incorporates expenses tracking as well. After using Harvest to track your time spent on projects, you can then easily export this as an invoice to send to clients and customers. Within the app, you can see your to-do list, stop and start timers and see what else your team is getting up to. The tool is great for spotting who’s working well in your team and who also may be burning out from working too hard. These can be difficult to track in the remote environment, making Harvest useful to implement for managers.
Regular Breaks is a free tool that sets reminders for when you should take a break from work. For remoters, the boundaries between work and home life can get blurred, meaning that often times you end up working much longer than you should be. Simply enable the website to give you notifications, add a reminder and you’re on your way. Your reminders can be at intervals or daily as needed. It’s a lot quicker to use than setting multiple reminders with your phone, so give it a go next time you need to remember to take a break!
When I Work
WhenIWork allows you to schedule your whole team instantly, meaning that no one needs to ask when to work and what they should be working on. It’s free for up to 75 employees, allows for workers to clock in using their phones and makes filling shifts as easy as possible. When I Work is great for remote customer service companies, where employees need to work in shifts or at particular hours. Due to its blending the lines between an HR application and scheduling, it can save money on paying for multiple programs.
Do you manage distributed teams? Or maybe you just collaborate virtually on a daily basis? If you want to take your remote management skills to the next level and learn from experts from companies like Buffer, Doist or InVision, join our Certified in Distributed Management program!
Learn more here 👉 http://bit.ly/certified-remote-manager
10,000ft positions itself in between big and complex ERP systems and simply using spreadsheets to keep track of projects, time and resources. Its inbuilt availability checker allows you to make the most of all your human resources, such as project staffing, utilization reporting, and integrated timesheets. 10,000ft also offers project planning features with Gantt charts, budget tracking, and phase planning. By using the program, you should be able to at a glance see the status of a project as well as the status of all individuals within the project. Use this tool to get a high-level overview of what all your team is doing and to get reports on projects.
IDoneThis is a way for all your team to provide daily check-ins and updates in one easily accessible place. Check-ins can be done with email or the browser and are meant to mirror the process of daily stand-ups, but provide some reference afterward as to what has been said and if there are any issues arising. All this information is then turned into a report for you to read when you wish, allowing a CEO or project manager to easily get an overview. If you’re finding that people are often forgetting what has happened or been said in a stand-up, then consider giving IDontThis a try to help keep track of issues, progress and tasks completed.
Apollo is a project and contract management software where you can set milestones, create Gantt charts, keep tabs on contacts and track time among other things. Projects can be organized, turned into templates or archived when needed through the dashboard that gives you access to all the tools you need. One of its most useful features is its ability to warn you about upcoming deadlines, projects and meetings, along with being able to divide all your tasks on a per contract basis. This makes it both useful for managing internal and external meetings and tasks related to a particular contract. If you’re struggling to juggle both your internal calendar and external client needs, then Apollo is a great tool to implement in your remote business or team.
Coschedule is a marketing suite for businesses and enterprises, that lets you manage all your campaigns and activities in one place. Through its marketing calendar, you can plan out your whole editorial schedule and organise and share your assets with the right people. You can then delegate tasks through the work organizer and plan any social media posts for campaigns. It really does combine all the key areas of marketing into one application, making it the perfect tool for remote marketing teams who might be struggling just using google drive and other tools to plan their activities.
Duet covers three main areas for your business: Project management, invoicing, and creating client portals. It can be basically installed in 10 minutes and is available for a one time fee of $199. Its project management tools feature Gantt charts, Kanban boards and automatic status checks for everyone involved in a project. This all ties into its automated invoicing capabilities, which remind any late payers. If you need to pay a one time fee rather than a subscription for a project management solution, look at Duet. It’s a great option for a smaller business where people need to be involved from the project start through to sending out a bill.
This task management for teams gives you a customized online environment where you can effectively plan projects tailored to your team’s needs. It offers a standard Kanban view, is totally mobile if needed and allows for collaboration. If you’re thinking about trying out a new project management solution after using Trello, Asana or Wonderlist, Meistertask allows you to import all your information from them to make the switch as easy as possible. You can also automate, track time spent on projects and integrate it with your preferred email and cloud system. Like most project management software, it has a free version with limited features and a premium subscription if you want to gain more functionality.
Workamajig is a project management tool that is targeted at the creative industries, with some CRM functionalities as well. Within the software, you can send quote requests, manage complex schedules and utilize a number of different project templates to help you schedule like a professional. Workamjig works well in an agency environment, but they also offer features that suit in house teams as well. It is web browser-based so can be accessed anywhere in the world from any device. Give this one a go if you’re working in a remote marketing or design agency. It has the ability to provide great insights into your projects’ statuses that you may have previously missed before.
“Workamajig is built from the ground-up for agencies. As such, it works perfectly when working remotely with freelancers and full-time employees alike. For instance, you can set up a list of contractors/freelancers and assign them work directly from within the Workamajig dashboard.
In fact, we use Workamajig internally to manage work with our own team of freelance content creators. The built-in communication tool is particularly useful for working across time zones. Every deliverable can have its own internal chat, which really helps clarify issues and limit the “death by a thousand emails” that is so characteristic of remote work.”
FunctionFox focuses on project management and maintaining accurate timesheets for your employees. This reduces your overall admin and planning time, whilst giving you updates in a real-time environment. There are three different versions to use: Classic, Premier and In-House. The Classic version allows you to create accurate budgets, track employers’ time spent on projects precisely and create informed reports. Premier allows for the creation of in-depth project schedules, task assignment and comms boards. In-House gives you some additional features like Request Forms, making it suitable for a whole in-house creative team to use without needing to implement other tools. If you need to keep an accurate account of how much time people are spending on projects for internal use or clients, then think about trying FunctionFox. It’s super easy and intuitive to use.
In 2020, FunctionFox will be introducing new project management capabilities with the launch of some new features for creative professionals easy-to-interpret visual information about projects, clients, and personnel – with the ability to quickly drill down to details when needed.
“This is our 20th anniversary year. We are proud to be able to offer our subscribers powerful project management capability.”
Paymo integrates task and project management tools with invoicing capabilities as well. It’s aimed at freelancers and small to medium-sized enterprises. You’re also able to track time easily and automatically within Paymo, a real lifesaver as it can be easy to forget to turn it on. Team members can track time manually or via one of the desktop and mobile tools, while managers are able to see whose timers are running in real-time without having to request screenshots as proof of work.
If you’re looking for a tool that can manage the whole life cycle of a project, from its inception all the way to invoicing, then Paymo can provide just the slick experience that you need. You can use different task views to track task progress (Table), visualize the entire workflow (Board), or plan tasks and dependencies (Gantt Chart) – all from the same platform! Give it a try – it’s free for 15 days, time in which you can add an unlimited number of users and test the full functionalities.
TRAVEL & COWORKING
Remote Year offers a great service that can help you make the most of your flexible working arrangements by traveling. They offer 4, 6 and 12-month packages in a number of different countries around the world, where the logistics and details are all taken care of by their expert team. Your flights, accommodation, and itinerary are planned out beforehand, and you also get to meet other like-minded individuals who are working remotely as well. You can use the service yourself, or perhaps even offer it to your remote team as a perk of the job. You’re not just limited to one country, as most trips offer a number of different locations to visit throughout your chosen continent.
Workfrom allows you to find trusted places that you can use to work from remotely, in multiple cities around the world. They crowdsource recommendations that you can then search through, with insights provided as well. These include whether there is internet access, seating and power outlets, as well as other features. The basic service is free allowing you to create a profile and start searching. To connect with others, you need to pay for a premium account. Use this service if you find yourself in an unfamiliar city, or you’re just looking for some great new recommendations in your area.
Upflex allows you to provide your employees with time in multiple coworking spaces around the globe. You simply add each employee into the system, allocate them hours and let them pick the place that is most suitable for them to work. They have over 4000 workspaces in 65 countries, meaning that your remoters around the globe should be able to find a place that fits in with their needs. Not everyone wants to work outside an office environment all the time, so Upflex helps you accommodate for people who need a more traditional working experience. If you want to give your remote team a great job perk, then consider using Upflex’s services.
Coworker is an online resource that helps you find a coworking space with the right amenities that you may need. You can research and compare all the options near you with their large database of premises around the world. You can even reserve spots through the website. For remoters who travel regularly but struggle to find somewhere to work, taking a look at Coworkers can make choosing a coworking space a stress-free experience.
Recently, Coworker announced the launch of their new app and their Global Pass program, which is a monthly subscription that allows users to visit five coworking spaces per month in thousands of locations. No matter where a person is in the world, they can quickly use Coworker’s app to find an available coworking space nearby, making it easy to be productive while traveling for business.
Outsite offers a number of co-living spaces in multiple countries. It aims to help location independent workers find somewhere to live and work from with other like-minded individuals. You can use the website to book a particular spot, or become a member and gain access to exclusive deals and perks. You can even book the whole team retreats with the service. Use Outsite for yourself if you’re living the digital nomad life and want a more integrated work and living experience, or book a property with your whole team to have a great bonding experience on a working retreat.
Codi connects workers with local spaces that are mainly being unused in the day, allowing you to work in unique and quiet locations. This is perfect for people who don’t want to work strictly from home, but also don’t want to be in a busy coworking space. Local professionals can find somewhere that suits them through the online Codi marketplace for as little as a few hours to much longer time periods. For traveling remoters who want to find interesting places to work in, then Codi should be at the top of the list to check out.
SOURCING, VETTING AND EMPLOYMENT
YouTeam is here to help you put together and hire better teams around the globe. It takes out the hard work of selecting and screening candidates, by providing you with handpicked agencies and individuals to work with. They conduct all the necessary due diligence processes and also provide test interviews to candidates. It works sort of like a freelancer marketplace, where all developers have been pre-vetted. They have a money-back guarantee if you find your new remote worker to be unreliable or provide unsatisfactory work. This service is useful for finding developers around the world without the risk of wasting time on bad candidates.
Sometimes your team can amass a large backlog of tasks that just becomes too much. When a new, important project takes priority, a lot of smaller things can be forgotten about. GitStart solves this issue by outsourcing the backlog to developers across the world, who they have ranked and trained themselves. Code is also peer-reviewed by senior developers multiple times, to ensure what you receive is high quality. It works on a pay as you go system, so can be used for small individual jobs at a low cost or much longer periods of employment.
200 devs are applying every week to join GitStart to level up their remote career. At GitStart, devs earn $$ by completing small coding tasks from their customers, learn from each other’s code reviews and get job offers from remote teams across the world based on their performance.
GenM provides digital marketing training courses for prospective students and access to this apprentice talent pool for businesses that are looking to hire. When hiring, a business gets the student for a 3 month period with the option to hire them at the end or take on another apprentice. You receive only the highest quality apprentices and quickly! Give them a go if you’re looking to hire interns, but don’t have enough time to research and hire yourself.
Harver transforms your candidate selection process by using AI to assess large volumes of applications. This makes your data-driven hiring process quicker and more effective. It provides different assessment modules for your applicants to take, including culture fit, language and cognitive ability. You can then rank all your candidates and easily remove those who don’t make a good fit for your company. If you want to process a large volume of applications at the same time, without having to spend hours on tedious pre-hiring processes, then Harver can help. Automate part of the process and save money and time as well.
Workable is an HR tool that can help you track all your hiring processes and applications. It is able to integrate into most standard job listing sites such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor and allows you to control the whole process from their website. You can create stock assignments, template emails and find best-fit applicants with its inbuilt AI. It’s easy to use, making the hiring process much simpler and available to people with little HR experience. If you need to hire, but can’t take on a full-time HR professional, then Workable can provide an easy gateway with little time investment to finding the right candidates.
Recruitee allows you to automate, highly customize and streamline your recruiting process. It also helps you to make better data-driven decisions about the talent you take into your organization. Its inbuilt careers site editor means you can strongly brand all your listings in the places where you are most likely to find the best talent. Talent pools can be created, meaning you get high-quality candidates from the beginning. Automation is easy to do as well, allowing for a quicker experience when hiring. Recruitee is pretty similar to workable, so you may need to do some testing to see which one would work best for your organization.
AssessFirst aims to help companies hire the right people not just based on what’s on their CV. Candidates fill out a profile so you can get better insights into what motivates them, their personality and how they behave. You define the kind of profile that you need, then AssessFirst shows you how good of a match a candidate is. You can much easier avoid candidates who are technically good but won’t fit into your company culture. It’s best to get it right at the start, rather than have to hire and let go a few months down the line. This tool can be recommended to almost all businesses, as not getting the correct culture fit is unfortunately too common in the current job market.
Turing helps you fire top remote engineers for your company by pre-vetting all the candidates first. Their ex-Google and Facebook engineering managers only take on 1% of their applicants, meaning that you only interact with the best developers in the industry. They also run week-long sprints with all their candidates, meaning that they’re ready to work easily in a fast-paced, remote environment. If you’re looking for devs who can work within US time zones and want to hire quickly, Turing is a great service that will guarantee to give you only the best engineers. And they are all about remote work as well – just check these great articles from Turing’s CEO, Jonathan Siddharth!
SoapBox is an app for managers that makes creating and sharing agendas for one on ones and meeting simple and fun. You can create shared agendas, create the next steps and take notes all within the platform which syncs in with your normal calendar and planning apps. Everyone is able to contribute and review, removing the usual need for just one person to set up and take protocols in a meeting. It contains some useful templates as well for running scrums, longer meetings or meetings in specific teams. I recommend this tool especially for one on ones, as these meetings can be much more personal and difficult to keep on track with. Both parties can help create the agenda and make sure that no topics or questions are forgotten.
Hubstaff is a time tracking software that has a very large number of different features available. You can track time by GPS location (if people are in their chosen office environment), through reporting and even create automatic invoices from the logged times. It also integrates well with all the big tools you’re used to using. There’s a free version to try out and the premium versions range from $7-20 per user per month depending on the package. If time tracking is a big part of your business, this can help streamline your processes and make working with timesheets and invoices much simpler.
WooBoard is a platform that allows you to show appreciation for your colleagues or employees. Through a mixture of gamification and social media like interface, you can give people the recognition they deserve for a job well done. By sending points, rewards and badges, it helps reinforce good behavior in the workplace and lets people know that their good work doesn’t go unnoticed. WooBoard is a great tool for building up a positive company culture in a remote environment, where you can’t physically give people the praise they deserve.
AwesomeBoss makes your life as a manager quicker, easier and more engaging. You create employee profiles, get access to coaching cue cards to help in managing situations, as well as get alerts to remember important employee events like birthdays. Employee to-do lists also help you to create individualized plans to get the most out of every person. If you’re new to managing a team, then AwesomeBoss can give you the hints and tips you need to get started at being a great leader.
“Today’s managers are expected to not only achieve business results but also keep their team engaged and happy. For many managers, that can feel like a second job. AwesomeBoss moves beyond TEACHING and helps DOING. It was designed to save the manager’s time by taking the guesswork out of recognition and feedback. ” Christine Didonato, CEO of AwesomeBoss.com
Having trouble with team planning? Then take a look at Teambook. By using the app, you can see how all of your company’s resources are being used, who’s available and keep track of budgets. KPIs and metrics such as availability, utilization and productivity are all easily accessible to make sure that you’re making the most of what’s at hand. Teambook is a great app for people struggling to get the most out of their remote team, and you only need to use one interface to manage all your resources.
Teambook helps project managers organizing their remote team. Users get an instant overview of their team’s availability and can easily find the right member for the right project. The visual planner also lets managers and team members keep an eye on what their colleagues are up to, despite the distance. Plus, nobody has to worry about scheduling changes thanks to calendar integrations and recap emails. – Teambook Team
Workpuls is a time management tool that monitors your employees when you don’t have the time to. This makes it perfect for the remote environment, as you’re not physically in the same office as your whole team. Throughout the working day, it takes screenshots of your employees’ work and also tracks their work time through their computer activity. It also integrates project budgeting and can let you know about the website usage of each worker. Maybe you’re having trouble with slacking employees? Then give Workpuls a try to help improve productivity and overall time management.
Krisp is a superuseful tool that removes background noise from your calls. This is especially useful for traveling remote workers who don’t always have access to a quiet place to join video or audio calls. It works on reducing the noise from both your side and from other participants and is compatible with any microphone, headset or speaker. The free version only reduces noise from other people in the call, but if you find yourself traveling often and taking calls in strange locations then the paid version is much more useful.
We want remote professionals to be able to work and take calls from wherever they want and stay productive. Muting background noise is one of the first steps we solve with Krisp – Davit Baghdasaryan, CEO of Krisp
This real-time video collaboration call allows for micro-video conferencing, meaning that you can see up to 10 of your colleagues overlayed on your windows session. Once you’ve set up your meeting rooms they are always on, saving you time having to set them up again in the future. You can simply join them with one click, as well as share your screen and collaborate together. It kind of works a bit like a video chat channel that is open all the time. Emucast is one to check out if scheduling group calls is becoming a nightmare, or if your team prefers to mainly use voice chat to talk.
MeetFox lets you manage meetings with clients and quickly and effectively schedule your calendar. You can generate a branded booking page so you don’t need to manage your bookings yourself. This is then automatically put into your calendar. You can also make secure payments using MeetFox after your meeting, which is also possible through the client. No download is needed, making it as easy to connect with your customers. If you have to deal with multiple parties and are finding yourself swamped with menial schedule tasks, MeetFox can save you hours of time every week.
MeetFox makes meetings seamless with easy scheduling, online video calls and client payments with invoicing. We reduce administration tasks by 60%, allowing proffesionals to save over 6 hours a week. Meetings should be easy, let us manage it for you!
NeedToMeet is a scheduling tool that helps everyone find a suitable time to arrange meetings. It reduces the need for going back and forth via email, negotiating different time zones and deciding where the meeting will take place. You can even create unique links for your call and check people’s availability through the calendar feature. It’s free to use, so give it a go if you’re spending too much of your precious time trying to successfully schedule calls!
WhenAvailable helps you know when your friends, clients or colleagues are free and available. You begin by proposing dates and times which are then sent out to the person you want to arrange a meeting with. They then select the most appropriate time without even having to log in, allowing you to schedule your event knowing that everyone will be able to attend. They offer a free version with a limited number of guests but also paid versions too. This tool isn’t just targeted to businesses and can also be used for your social life too. If you’re traveling a lot through different time zones, it can be a good way for your friends back home to arrange calls and keep in touch.
This resource tracking and time management tool has advanced reporting features and is easily integrable into popular apps like Trello, Jira and Asana. You can also set budget alerts to make sure you don’t overspend on projects and create invoices at the click of a button. One particularly interesting feature is seeing how much your meetings are actually costing you. This helps keep meetings short, concise and to the point. If you’re having trouble overspending and want a tool that will integrate into your current setup, Everhour could be just what you’re looking for.
UberConference is a video conferencing tool that allows you great control over the call, without having to dial in using a pin or download any software. It also uses AI to make a transcript of your call and has screen sharing functionality. Send out a link and people can easily join your conference tool. The tool is free, but has a paid business version too. It’s another great alternative to the more well-known video conferencing platforms like Zoom or Google Hangouts.
Highfive offers both hardware and software solutions to video conferencing. While most remote companies won’t have much interest in the hardware on offer (no meeting room!), their software offers high-quality audio and video for conference calls. You can send out links quickly for others to join the call and the whole package integrates well with Slack and Google Calendar. It also has background noise canceling to make your calls as trouble-free as possible. Highfive is great for remote companies that need to have ultra-high-quality video conferencing capabilities.
OwlLabs has created a smart video conferencing camera that creates an immersive meeting experience. The camera automatically shifts its focus to whoever is talking, providing an unmatched engaging meeting for you and your colleagues. This one is great to use in partly remote companies, as it can help remote workers feel more involved in meetings rather than simply dialing in and listening.
RemoteHQ is a collaboration workspace that has been designed specifically for distributed and remote teams. You can all work together in a shared browser and control any web app, record your sessions and broadcast your webcam. It even automatically transcribes your speech into notes. If you find yourself consistently having to work and collaborate for a lot of time in the day, RemoteHQ can help replicate the office experience a bit more closely.
AnyDesk lets you connect to a computer remotely from anywhere around the world, giving you control over the device. It’s a great tool for remote customer service companies who may need to access a customer’s computer to help solve an issue. It works even with internet bandwidth as slow as 100kb/sec, which is good news for the traveling worker. The client is small and the price is cheap (around 9 euro for an individual account per month). The amount of time and frustration you can save by controlling another computer in the remote environment is huge!
Sococo is an online office for remote workers, with an overhead view and office plan you can move your avatar around in. At a quick glance, this gives you more of a visual idea of what everyone in your team is up to. It’s a really fun, unique and interesting take on a remote office, so if you’re looking to get your employees engaged you should consider signing up for their free demo.
Trust, respect, and transparency empower distributed teams. Loop Team is on a mission to give every team and individual a new sense of presence to stay connected to their teammates no matter where they are. They are building a tool (which we’ve seen!) that aims to keep everyone in the loop. Loop Team fills in the gaps between asynchronous chat and scheduled meetings — working with your existing collaboration apps. If you want to join alpha hurry up and sign up on their website!
Tandem provides a virtual office experience for teams that don’t have access to a physical one. You can see who is available, what they’re working and what app they happen to be using. It integrates easily with all your favorite apps and has a great share cursors feature with collaborating so you can see exactly what everyone is up to and doing. If you need a more office-like space to virtually hang out in your remote team, then we recommend giving Tandem a try.
If you need to have a work number but don’t want to have a second phone, Grasshopper lets you run both a personal and business number from the same device. You can also set your number to a vanity option, or local area of your choice. The software offers a whole suite of features which let you customise your virtual number to a huge degree. If you want to look more professional with a seperate work number, but don’t want the hassle of two phones, Grasshopper is a good option to consider.
With Remo, you can host interacting events online which people can attend from all around the globe at the click of a button. They also have a virtual office module with top-down views and avatars for each employee. An event-specific link can be made, presentations can be broadcast and networking is also made much easier in the online environment. Want to run a remote meetup or webinar with your remote company? Then Remo has got you covered with their interesting and engaging solution.
By experimenting and picking the best tools that work for your team, you’ll be able to get the absolute best out of remote work. It’s not just about the tools you use, but also your managing techniques, style, and methods.
If you want to brush up on your remote management skills, we are running the next class Certified in Distributed Management program and we’re taking applications now!
Check out the program’s site to get more information: http://bit.ly/certified-remote-manager