Free Tools for Better Remote Work Productivity
As the world becomes ever more connected, the lines between virtual and physical working environments continue to blur. Whether you’re lounging at your home office or waiting at an airport, it’s increasingly easy to work wherever and whenever you want.
But with the convenience of remote work comes a new set of challenges. In order to remain productive and connected, you need to find ways to be more efficient and creative when working remotely. Luckily, there are a growing number of tools and resources available to help you improve your remote work productivity. Whether you need a signature maker or a time tracker, there are plenty of free tools out there designed to make your work life easier, more organized, and more productive.
Unfortunately, ever since the pandemic pushed millions of workers into remote jobs, the number and variety of remote working tools and platforms have exploded. With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to know where to begin. To help you get started, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite tools and resources for remote work productivity. They’ll help you keep your workspace organized, save time, and feel more in control of your workflow. They’re also completely free — so you have nothing to lose by trying them out.
1. Video Conferencing: Zoom
One of the biggest drawbacks of remote work is the inability to meet in person. Whether it’s team brainstorming sessions or customer demonstrations, face-to-face interactions are critical for building a cohesive team and generating fresh ideas. Thankfully, video conferencing technology has improved to the point where it’s now easier than ever to share ideas and collaborate with people in real-time.
With Zoom, you can host video conferences and webinars with your team — all from a free web browser and mobile app. Not only do you get the convenience of seamless video chatting, but you can also collaborate in real-time and view screen share presentations on your internet-connected devices.
2. Electronic Signature Software: WiseStamp
As the world becomes increasingly digital, paper documents are gradually being replaced by digital versions, whether that means emailing documents or signing contracts electronically. But despite the widespread prevalence of digital signatures, many of us still rely on physical “signature makers” — pens, stamps, and ink pads — for added proof that we signed a contract or provided some other legally binding approval.
WiseStamp is bringing signatures back to the digital age with its free-to-use, web-based signature maker. WiseStamp allows you to write, sign, and store your handprints using different fonts, colors, and styles. When you’re happy with the end result, you can download the signature and use it offline anywhere, anytime.
3. File Storage and Sharing: Dropbox
Secure file storage and sharing are equally as important for remote work as they are for in-person work. Without these tools, clients, freelancers, and developer teams will find it difficult to collaborate and work efficiently.
Dropbox is a cloud-based file storage and sharing solution that allows you to safely store all your data, photos, videos, and other files (either publicly or privately) in the cloud. It works on any device (phone, laptop, or PC) and offers 2GB of storage space for free accounts.
4. Design and Development: Figma
Because design and development jobs rely heavily on visual communication, it’s crucial to have a reliable and effective design and development interface for remote workers.
Figma is a free, web-based design tool that allows designers and developers to seamlessly collaborate on design drafts and interactive UI prototypes. With an extensive array of design templates and real-time collaboration features, you can turn your whiteboard or sketch into a fully-functional, interactive app in minutes.
5. Project Management: Trello
When you’re working remotely, it’s easy to lose track of critical deadlines and miss important team updates. A robust project management system will keep you and your team on top of your workload and minimize the risk of costly mistakes.
Trello is another free, web-based project management tool that allows you to organize your work in boards, lists, and cards. You can add notes, photos, and files to your cards, and you can set up automated alerts so that you’re notified when a specific card is created, updated, or archived. Authorized team members can also comment on public cards, which helps foster a more collaborative and productive work environment.
The Bottom Line
The pandemic has changed the working lives of millions of people. No matter where you are on the remote work spectrum, the pandemic has provided an opportunity to reevaluate the way we work.
As our working styles continue to evolve, so too do our tools and productivity strategies. For now, the key is to experiment and find what works best for you and your team. With so many free tools and services on offer, there’s never been a better time to be a remote employer, worker, or freelancer.