Working remotely might be something you’ve done for years, or it might be something new for you and your team. Here are some ideas for maximizing your time:

Harness the power of online collaboration

Microsoft Office 365 and G Suite are two of the most popular options for document collaboration. If you’d like to see a side-by-side comparison, check out this article. BONUS: Google has just announced that they are offering their Hangouts Meet videoconferencing capabilities to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers for free until July 1st, 2020.

Speaking of video conferencing, in addition to Google Hangouts, Zoom and Uberconference are two great options that offer screen share capabilities and will do a group meeting for up to 40-45 minutes for free. Did you know that Skype also has group video? Yep… it’s true!

Do you need to get a message out quickly and in real time? Slack is a great option for quick messaging or discussions. Think group texts for your team. You can create different “channels” to talk with the different teams you manage. It also offers 1:1 video calling. Slack is free, but also has paid plans with more features. Another alternative to consider is Flock, which has a similar model.

For file sharing, there are a number of tools out there (including Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive). Most people are familar with Dropbox; another option is Box. If you’re just sharing a large file once in a while and don’t want to register for an account, try WeTransfer.

Organize yourself and your team

One of the biggest struggles of working remotely is staying organized! There are a ton of project management tools out there for you and your team. Two that come to mind as having the right combination of price (free) plus flexibility (lots) are Trello and Asana. I’ve also tried Basecamp and Todoist, but personally, I found Trello to be my favorite. No matter what tool you choose, make sure it’s something you’ll actually use.

Better time management

Arguably, one of the toughest things about working from home is managing your time effectively. Time tracking software can help you get a handle on how much time you’re spending on any given task. I’m on a Mac, so I track all of my time using Timing. This app is one of the  most powerful tools I use, mostly because I don’t have to remember to turn it on and off. It just quietly keeps track of everything in the background. (Including time wasted on social media… Yikes!)

Other time tracking apps you may consider include RescueTime and Toggl. Toggl has a teams option, as does Harvest — perfect for if you want to create accountability among your team members.

Focus on what’s important

Under normal circumstances, working remotely can be challenging (that reminds me… I need to change around the laundry and take something out of the freezer for dinner!) In these extraordinary times, it’s even more challenging to stay on task. Here’s some of my favorite tools, plus a few more you can try:

Do Not Disturb: Do you need to block notifications and emails? Here’s how to do it on your Mac and PC.
Browser helps: StayFocusd is a browser extension for Chrome that limits the amount of time you spend on particular websites. It also has a Nuclear Option! 🙂 LeechBlock NG is something similar for Firefox.

What other apps have you found helpful? Contact us and let us know!