Expert advice on the best tools for meetings, video conferencing, virtual whiteboarding, "living documents" and more.
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While company culture and leadership have a significant role to play in success here, the impact of the apps and tools that a team adopts to facilitate the transition from in person to remote work cannot be understated.
So, in the WFH world, what are the best apps for remote communication and productivity?
In this list, we break down the best tech stack for remote work. We are particularly looking at industry-leading tools that have a proven track record and robust user base.
So that software adoption can take place in a smooth, rapid fashion, all of the tools in this list also meet these criteria:
All of the tools shared here are ones we use ourselves — the best-in-class tech stack that we’ve built up to support our predominantly remote team.
So, are you wondering what remote technologies you should use when working from home in this crisis? Read on.
Here are our in-depth reviews of the best remote work tools in 2023:
Everyone working from home understands the need for reliable video conferencing to enable remote meetings. But the conferencing solution only solves for the transmission of information during the meeting. What about meeting preparation, note-taking, and follow-up on tasks and action items?
That’s where Fellow comes in. This connected meeting notes solution gives users a secure and collaborative place to set meeting agendas and take notes. With 20+ integrations, the system also passes meeting information to your other tools, like your CRM, project management software, and chat.
Fellow is free for teams up to 10 and offers competitive pricing for their paid plans.
Video is critical for remote work, but it doesn’t always need to be real-time video communication. Loom’s simple desktop app or browser plugin allows you to privately record your screen and/or camera and send video messages to your team members. Instead of spending 20 minutes typing out a careful email, a 5-minute video often does the trick. Instead of having a 30-minute meeting, a 5-minute video might do the trick too.
Loom’s free plan is robust enough for any team to get started, but if you want to keep videos around permanently, you may want to upgrade to avoid the limit.
is a virtual whiteboard that does a whole lot more than an ordinary whiteboard. Sure, you can draw and write collaboratively. You can also add images, text, links, stock graphics. You can create flowcharts, Kanban boards — the options are nearly limitless.
The key reason to try out Miro is that the tool is visual. So much of remote work occurs in text-based environments. Chat, documents, emails, CRM entries, project tools — they’re all primarily driven by text, which isn’t always a greatway to inspire creativity or communicate.
With the ability to have three boards on free plans, you can designate one as your “meeting room” and make it work, although if you fall in love with Miro’s slick interface and decide to use it for other things, you may want to upgrade.
If you’ve never used project management software before, it’s like having a to-do list on steroids. You might be tempted to go for a very robust solution, and products like Asana, Jira, and Monday.com certainly have a lot to offer. However, for newcomers, Trello combines simplicity, flexibility, and critical features in a way that makes it easy to start using on Day 1.
Trello also has a fantastic library of Trello Boards, so you can quickly grasp right away how to use and implement it. And, as a member of the Atlassian family of products, if, down the line, you want to bring Jira or Confluence into your tech stack, you’ll be in good company.
Used by thousands of remote agencies, consultants, entrepreneurs and even educators to streamline their workflow, Xtensio offers easy-to-use drag and drop functionality. It even helps branding to be on point all the time as users can work under their custom dashboard.
Despite Microsoft’s recent updates to Teams, Slack remains the reigning champion for workplace chat, with several enhancements that keep it ahead of the curve. Robust, reliable, heavily integrated, and well-understood, Slack is incredibly important to a remote team because it helps fill in the gaps between your other apps.
With its best-in-class video and audio reliability, Zoom has stood out in front of the competition for years as the leader in video conferencing. There’s nothing more disruptive than having glitches with your virtual meeting, having trouble hearing people, having video cut out. Zoom’s high-quality experience makes other platforms feel like they’re back in the 90s by comparison.
You might think that everyone ought to have their calendar, documents, and email squared away already, but for many physical shops, having this underlying layer of technology was never needed with everyone in the same room. Those who have transitioned to WFH may need to launch everyone on a common platform, and G Suite is likely the best option.
Once you've got your remote work technologies in place, you've got a good starting point for excellent work. There are still many WFH challenges to tackle. Here are some of the bigger ones:
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How are your remote team members doing? Productive and satisfied? To find out, ask these questions in a remote work or WFH survey.