15 Amazing Tools For Remote Working

We are huge advocates for distributed teams here at Founders Grid (everyone of the team works remotely!). But having spent time navigating through time zone and communication challenges, we wanted to highlight some amazing tools that have helped us, and can help you, whizz through projects just as effective as any other team – remote or not.

Communications

Slack & HipChat

Team communication is the foundation of every great startup, but if every team member is working from a different location a couple hundred miles away, things can get tricky.

In the past, email and Skype got ‘the job done’ but Slack and Hipchat are two different beasts.

These team communication apps allow you to chat with coworkers in real time, create channels, share files or even handle private messaging. Personally, we all over Slack, but HipChat is pretty amazing too.

Sqwiggle

Working remotely, especially if you work from home, can get pretty lonely as there is no face-to-face interaction with your teammates. Yes, you can go ahead and buy a cute dog, but we believe Sqwiggle is even better.

The service labels acts as an ‘online collaboration’ tool and takes a quick photo via each team member’s webcam at a set interval.

It’s extremely powerful to keep the team together, because you’re able to simply click on someone’s face and get on a video chat instantly.

Mailbox for iPhone and Mac

Even though email is a mess for internal communications, your team still needs to communicate with external clients etc.

There are plenty of great email clients, but our personal choice is Mailbox. It’s light, fast and syncs perfectly between OSx and your mobile device. Besides, you can quickly swipe to archive, trash or put off messages until later.

Storage & File Collaboration

Dropbox

Dropbox is perfect for remote teams because you can share basically anything. It’s as easy as creating an account and setting up a shared folder.

It acts as a remote, shared desktop so everyone can rapidly access to every file. For $10/month you get 1TB of space.

Google Docs & Google Drive

If you thought Dropbox was amazing, then grab a chair.

Google Drive has the same basic functionalities, but it comes with a great set of tools that allows you to create documents, presentations and spreadsheets in the cloud – and what’s best if that anyone on your team can collaborate, edit or offer suggestions on your work in real time.

Hackpad

Hackpad allows you to collaborate, take notes and share files with your team instantly on your phone or desktop computer.

Everything is fully searchable and in the cloud, so information can be accessed from anywhere.

It’s a great option as a companion for Dropbox if you aren’t into Google services. In fact, they’ve recently been acquired by Dropbox.

Task Management

Asana & Trello

Task management, to-do lists, feature releases and ideas. Keeping track of everything and having it ready to access while working remotely can easily become a nightmare to handle.

That’s why apps like Asana & Trello are great – although they are slightly different, both are excellent choices for flexible and visual ways of organizing project roadmap with everyone on your team.

iDoneThis

Individual performance usually gets lost in an active chat room. Sometimes accountability is the best way to assess progress towards a goal, and iDoneThis is the perfect tool for this.

Every evening they send you an email, which you reply to detailing your daily achievements. The next morning, you’ll get an email with what everyone on the team has got done.

Work and Travel

Airbnb

Finding a great, short-term apartment apartment is extremely important if you want to feel comfortable and productive in a new city.

hether you are looking for a couple days stay or a few months, Airbnb is a great site to check out for apartment rentals.

While there are thousands of regular apartments for rent, if you are feeling adventurous, they even have lighthouses, boats or private islands available.

Workfrom

Workfrom is a community that curates the best spots (bars, cafes, coffee shops, coworking spaces) to work, based on variables like closing hours, wifi reliability or whether they offer food or not.

Right now it’s only available in selected places like NYC, Austin or Amsterdam, but the team is working hard to recruit new scouts to discover and curate new great working spots.

Trippy

Trippy is a travel community where you can post questions and destination experts will provide detailed answers. It’s a fantastic way to discover the best spots in town, hotels, clubs, restaurants, coffee shops and more.

The majority of the time locals or seasoned travellers (think Tim Ferriss or Anthony Bourdain) are the ones offering recommendations.

Others

flu.x

One of the great things about remote working is the flexibility – you are able to work whenever you feel more productive. Often, high productivity comes late at night, when everyone else is sleeping and not distracting you.

f.lux is a an amazing piece of software that makes the color of your screen adapt to the time of day.

During the day, you won’t notice it but at night, the screen starts warming down to a less brighter color, improving your productivity and sleep.

FIO

Figure it Out is a great little Chrome extension that allows you to see up to 10 time zones of your choosing every time you open a new tab. It’s a really useful tool that will help you figure out what the time is it for the rest of your team.

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