10 Productivity Tools for Remote Workers

If you are a remote worker or freelancer, you know that sometimes staying productive and focused is the biggest challenge of your workday.

There are cat videos to be watched, Facebook friends to be stalked, there is online shopping to be done and of course news to be caught up on. In the absence of a boss looking over your shoulder, it’s easy to fall into the vortex of distractions. By the time you come up to breathe, it’s already 5pm and you’ve got no work done. Oops!

Thankfully, there are some tools out there to give you a helping hand with your productivity.

1. Toggl.

Not sure how many hours you spent working on that new logo design? Toggl is a really simple tool that tracks your time and how you’re spending your workday. You can organize tasks by projects and clients, and even track time you spend on personal tasks.

2. Trello.

If you need to get more organized, make friends with a project management tool like Trello. It’s useful for keeping track of your to-dos and is also really handy for collaborating with others on projects.

Oh, and a bonus bit of awesomeness? Trello integrates nicely with Toggl so when you work on a to-do on your Trello list, you can easily track how much time you’re spending on it too.

3. World Time Buddy.

If you’re working with people from different time zones, you’ve experienced the back and forth of trying to organize a meeting time. World Time Buddy makes this easy. Just enter a few different time zones to find the best overlap times for your next collaborative meeting – or even to know when your next project is due.

4. Google Drive.

Google Drive is the best tool for working collaboratively with a remote team. You can create, share and manage all your documents in one place. It’s easy to invite comments and feedback from others in your team and it’s instantly updated, so everyone always has the latest version of the document.

Plus, having it in the cloud means you’re not wasting time constantly emailing documents that may or may not arrive in the recipient’s inbox.

5. RescueTime.

Working a 12-hour day but still not getting enough done? RescueTime shows you where your time is really going. It runs in the background on your computer (or mobile) and tracks the amount of time spent on various sites and applications. So if email is your time suck, this tool will show you exactly how much time you’re spending on it.

The paid version of the tool also allows you to block certain websites for a fixed period of time, so you can work distraction-free.

6. Feedly.

It’s easy to get distracted with news, industry-related information and other content that interests you. Instead of reading everything while you’re trying to get work done, mark out a time in your calendar to catch up on your reading.

In the meantime, add your favorite content sources to Feedly, which will collect all the latest articles for you to read during your scheduled reading time. This way you never miss a thing, but you’re not wasting precious work time either.

7. Jing.

Visuals often work better than long emails or chats when you’re trying to explain something. Instead of creating a how-to document, use Jing, a lightweight app that lets you take quick screenshots or even short screencasts. You can then upload and share them with your coworkers via a shareable Jing link.

8. Focus@Will.

Even listening to music can sometimes be distracting. Ever caught yourself singing out loud? Focus@Will is a multi-channel music app, designed to bring you music that helps with focus and productivity.

The app promotes itself as a neuroscience-backed app, so all the tracks you listen to are edited and remastered to soothe your brain’s fight or flight mechanism and encourage your brain to concentrate.

9. AdBlock.

Have you ever tried to watch a YouTube tutorial, only to find yourself waiting for the ad to finish running before you can get started? Don’t let online ads distract or annoy you while you’re trying to work. Install the AdBlock extension on Chrome and eliminate ads from the content you consume online, so it downloads faster minus the annoyances.

10. LastPass.

How many times have you hit “reset password” because you just couldn’t handle remembering another password? This can be an annoying waste of time. But you definitely don’t want to save your passwords on a spreadsheet or something that can easily be viewed by someone else.

LastPass is your online login vault. Create, store, access and even share login details via LastPass. Try installing the Chrome extension, which prompts you to save new passwords, and auto-fills login details for you the next time you try to log in to a service.

There are so many little (and big) things that can distract you and take away valuable time from your workday. Using a few of these tools will help you avoid losing precious time on inconsequential tasks and put your time towards important goals.

Do you have a favorite productivity tool that helps you work better? Let me know in the comments.

Written by Radhika Basuthakur

If you are a remote worker or freelancer, you know that sometimes staying productive and focused is the biggest challenge of your workday.

There are cat videos to be watched, Facebook friends to be stalked, there is online shopping to be done and of course news to be caught up on. In the absence of a boss looking over your shoulder, it’s easy to fall into the vortex of distractions. By the time you come up to breathe, it’s already 5pm and you’ve got no work done. Oops!

Thankfully, there are some tools out there to give you a helping hand with your productivity.

1. Toggl.

Not sure how many hours you spent working on that new logo design? Toggl is a really simple tool that tracks your time and how you’re spending your workday. You can organize tasks by projects and clients, and even track time you spend on personal tasks.

2. Trello.

If you need to get more organized, make friends with a project management tool like Trello. It’s useful for keeping track of your to-dos and is also really handy for collaborating with others on projects.

Oh, and a bonus bit of awesomeness? Trello integrates nicely with Toggl so when you work on a to-do on your Trello list, you can easily track how much time you’re spending on it too.

3. World Time Buddy.

If you’re working with people from different time zones, you’ve experienced the back and forth of trying to organize a meeting time. World Time Buddy makes this easy. Just enter a few different time zones to find the best overlap times for your next collaborative meeting – or even to know when your next project is due.

4. Google Drive.

Google Drive is the best tool for working collaboratively with a remote team. You can create, share and manage all your documents in one place. It’s easy to invite comments and feedback from others in your team and it’s instantly updated, so everyone always has the latest version of the document.

Plus, having it in the cloud means you’re not wasting time constantly emailing documents that may or may not arrive in the recipient’s inbox.

5. RescueTime.

Working a 12-hour day but still not getting enough done? RescueTime shows you where your time is really going. It runs in the background on your computer (or mobile) and tracks the amount of time spent on various sites and applications. So if email is your time suck, this tool will show you exactly how much time you’re spending on it.

The paid version of the tool also allows you to block certain websites for a fixed period of time, so you can work distraction-free.

6. Feedly.

It’s easy to get distracted with news, industry-related information and other content that interests you. Instead of reading everything while you’re trying to get work done, mark out a time in your calendar to catch up on your reading.

In the meantime, add your favorite content sources to Feedly, which will collect all the latest articles for you to read during your scheduled reading time. This way you never miss a thing, but you’re not wasting precious work time either.

7. Jing.

Visuals often work better than long emails or chats when you’re trying to explain something. Instead of creating a how-to document, use Jing, a lightweight app that lets you take quick screenshots or even short screencasts. You can then upload and share them with your coworkers via a shareable Jing link.

8. Focus@Will.

Even listening to music can sometimes be distracting. Ever caught yourself singing out loud? Focus@Will is a multi-channel music app, designed to bring you music that helps with focus and productivity.

The app promotes itself as a neuroscience-backed app, so all the tracks you listen to are edited and remastered to soothe your brain’s fight or flight mechanism and encourage your brain to concentrate.

9. AdBlock.

Have you ever tried to watch a YouTube tutorial, only to find yourself waiting for the ad to finish running before you can get started? Don’t let online ads distract or annoy you while you’re trying to work. Install the AdBlock extension on Chrome and eliminate ads from the content you consume online, so it downloads faster minus the annoyances.

10. LastPass.

How many times have you hit “reset password” because you just couldn’t handle remembering another password? This can be an annoying waste of time. But you definitely don’t want to save your passwords on a spreadsheet or something that can easily be viewed by someone else.

LastPass is your online login vault. Create, store, access and even share login details via LastPass. Try installing the Chrome extension, which prompts you to save new passwords, and auto-fills login details for you the next time you try to log in to a service.

There are so many little (and big) things that can distract you and take away valuable time from your workday. Using a few of these tools will help you avoid losing precious time on inconsequential tasks and put your time towards important goals.

Do you have a favorite productivity tool that helps you work better? Let me know in the comments.

Written by Radhika Basuthakur

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