WFH Series — Finding Your Productivity Toolset
In the past months, working from home has become a new reality for millions of people around the globe. Whether Covid 19 accelerated an inevitable trend or not, working from home is here to stay even after the immediate effects of the pandemic cool down over time.
Despite conventional wisdom telling us that remote working is an antidote for unproductive or bureaucratic days at the office, it can also make those problems worse. Ultimately working from home does not mean bringing your work practices into your home.
In this post, we will explore the different types of tools available to the modern remote worker. There is no need to use every single tool you can, but rather to find the toolset that helps you get the most out of your days!
According to Sara Sutton, CEO and founder of Flexjobs, “out of sight, out of mind can be a real problem for remote workers”. Communication is one of the most fundamental and often overlooked parts to a well-functioning remote team.
The tools here need no introduction to most. Zoom is a video-conferencing tool with HD quality and the ability to have a whole team chatting on a call. The widespread popularity of Zoom recently has led to the verb ‘Zooming’ entering our daily vernacular.
Slack is another communication tool benefiting from the current surge in working from home. With channels, direct messaging and a wide range of integrations, Slack is the perfect hub for team communication and messaging.
Ideation & Knowledge
Ideas can get lost easily. Capturing knowledge for new hires, future roadmaps and your own planning is a vital part of moving forward as a team. Thankfully there are a range of tools you can use to ensure nothing gets lost as you work remotely.
Notion and Slite are both all-in-one workspaces that allow you to do everything from logging onboarding flows, best practices, tasks, and documents. Think of them like a wiki for your company or your daily life…all complete with a bunch of great integrations.
For those that prefer to write out their ideas or thoughts old school, replace pen & paper with Evernote. This well-known note-taking tool syncs to the cloud and allows you to categorize effectively.
Lastly, sometimes ideas flow better visually. Miro is a great mind-mapping and whiteboarding tool that lets you build customer journeys or other flows. It is also fully collaborative meaning you can get creative with your co-workers in real-time.
There are only so many hours in the day!! For freelancers out there, time management is an essential part of remote working, especially if you are working by the hour for multiple clients. Finding a tool that helps you track your time meaningfully without costing you more time can be difficult.
Two tools fit the bill for this task. Timely automatically logs your activity across websites and tools throughout your day, using its AI engine to help generate reports. Toggl similarly helps you track your time more intelligently, advising you where to apply yourself for the greatest return.
Time management also means making sure you are getting the most out of the hours you spend. While Timely and Toggl both help with this, a quick google search will reveal a lot of techniques like Pomodoro you can experiment with to find your rhythm.
If you’re someone that likes to get things done, having a good task manager is crucial. They can help you to structure your day and to measure the results of your team.
Trello is a well-known task manager, allowing teams to create, edit and drag cards between lists. This approach is known as ‘kanban’ and is a visual way to track progress.
For a more heavyweight task manager, look no further than Monday or Asana. Both of these industry-leading tools offer a wide range of integrations and functionality to ensure teams can be productive. Whether you’re a project manager or an intern, you’ll get an easy overview of what’s to do, who is involved and when it’s due.
Last but not least is looking after yourself. Productivity rests on being in a good frame of mind, not spending hours and hours working non-stop. Below are a few great platforms you can use to relax throughout your day:
Freeletics — Online workout tool with plenty of quick circuits or tailored workout plans from home
Calm — Ease anxiety, practice meditation or sleep better thanks to Calm’s beautifully created programs
Spotify — Listen to your favourite tunes in bursts while you work
Headspace — Learn to meditate every day
Coursera — Want to unlock another part of your brain? Acquire a new skill? Use Coursera’s
So there you have it, a range of tools to try out and find your productivity toolset! Once you’re happy with what works for you, tools like Zapier can also be plugged in to automate between your workflow. Let’s say you finish a task, why not update your colleagues with a notification on Slack? Or maybe even an email?
Stay safe, stay productive and stay healthy!