Whether you’re a startup founder working out of Ubud, a freelancer crafting articles from your kitchen counter, or managing a team that’s scattered across the globe, remote work can be an intimidating proposition for first-timers. It doesn’t help that there’s a metric ton of potential workflow apps on the market for you to choose from.
As a team running a bootstrap content website, we can completely empathise with that feeling of being overwhelmed, and not knowing where to begin.
Relax. Breathe. You’re going to die poor, miserable and alone.
Just kidding, my friend. You’re going to be fine. Brew yourself a cup of coffee, enjoy the autonomy of working from wherever you please, and kickstart the next stage of your career with our shortlist of productivity apps.
1. FOR INDIVIDUAL USE: EVERNOTE
Use This: To eliminate paper clutter.
If you’re like me, you’ll have the tendency to accrue paper mess in the same way that cat owners collect hairballs. Evernote takes a while to get used to, but it’s one of the best ways for you to keep track of your work-life balance: You can
You can even share notebooks with fellow team mates to brainstorm, although I don’t recommend granting access to more than one other teammate. If you’re going to try adding several people to the same notebook, make sure they adhere to different coloured fonts so that you can keep track of each members’ thought process.
Pro-tip: You’re going to be networking a lot as a remote worker. Download Scannable to make sure you never lose the details of a valuable contact.
2. FOR SMALL TEAMS: TRELLO
Use this: To keep track of everyone’s feedback.
Getting everyone on the same page can be tough without face time. Whatsapp is great for chatting, but ideas are going to get lost if you don’t have a workflow app that doubles up as a good archival system.
If you have a smallish team (around 3-5 people) working with you, get them onboard Trello. Think of it as the digital version of sticky notes. The app has a user-friendly interface, is accessible from computers, tablets and smartphones, allows you to attach a variety of files, and lets you partition work flows on separate cards so that everyone knows the objective they’re working towards.
Pro-tip: Learn how to use the shortcuts for your most used actions.
3. FOR WORKING ACROSS TIME ZONES: Every Time Zone
Use this: To evade time zone-related math.
If you’re working for an international client, or have a team mate working from a different time zone, Every Time Zone has a fuss-free graphical interface that will allow you to schedule your deadlines and Skype conferences without the hassle of calculating time differences.
Pro-tip: Be specific and peg all deliverables to one standardised timezone, preferably the one where the bulk of your team is situated.
4. OVERCOME LANGUAGE BARRIERS: iTRANSLATE
Use this: For short stints in foreign countries.
There’s nothing like learning a new language to immerse one’s self in a foreign culture, but if you’re pressed for time during a business trip, iTranslate will prove to be more time-efficient than having to learn a whole new linguistic system via Duolingo.
Just speak in your native language or type it in, and it’ll translate what you said into the language of your choice.
Pro-tip: It never hurts to learn the bare basics of the lingua franca. Even a simple ‘hello’ or ‘thank you’ during the interaction will help build a more concrete human connection.