The modern work environment truly is a blessing. Nowadays, you can work remotely from any part of the world, collaborate with your peers using advanced tools and high-tech and enjoy perks like flexible hours and working in an international team of experts.
At the same time, we are surrounded by more distractions than ever before. Notifications, emails, meetings, deadlines, social media – there’s a lot at work to prevent us from actually working. Luckily, there is a range of tools to help us cope and become more productive and efficient in the workplace, despite modern distractions. Here are some of those tools and how you can benefit from them.
PomoDone for tracking your time
As someone working remotely, I always stayed away from time tracking. I thought it was purely a tool for employers to control what their employees are doing at all times. Then I tried tracking my own time and found out just how useful it can really be.
My tool of choice is PomoDone, a simple time tracker with tons of useful features. I was able to see which activities drain most of my time and what takes up most of my work day. For agencies, it’s a great way to see which client is using up the majority of their resources. For freelancers, it’s one of the most effective methods for managing time and staying away from procrastination. I’m especially fond of the Pomodoro method, which combines 25-minute bursts of work and 5-minute breaks for maximum productivity.
Pricing: You can get PomoDone for as little as $2.29 per month for the basic plan with all features except unlimited logs.
RescueTime for automatic productivity tracking
If you don’t really feel like manually tracking your own time, there are other solutions, such as RescueTime. You just fire up this tool and let it run in the background while you go about your daily tasks. It records how much time you spend on different apps and processes and gives you a detailed breakdown at the end of each day (or another time period).
You can use it to learn more about your working patterns and find out where you waste most of your time at work.
Pricing: $9 per month for the paid plan, or $72 per year.
Infinity for project management
I’ve always loved to cheer for the underdog. When it comes to project management tools, nowadays they’re a necessary part of each successful team. Most people flock towards Trello, Asana, Jira or some other popular, enterprise solution. My PM tool of choice is Infinity, a promising startup that recently launched their beta.
Think of Infinity like Trello, but much more powerful and (in my opinion) better looking. Besides the standard Kanban board features, Infinity comes with a set of handy templates. You can pick a template such as product roadmap, content calendar, project tracker and much more. All you have to do is invite your team and you’re good to go.
Pricing: starts at $6 per user per month for the basic plan with 10GB of storage.
Chanty for team communication
Staying on the same page with your team nowadays requires a bit of effort. There are meetings, emails, project management tools, social media chats and more. Instead of spreading all your communications too thin, you can use one team chat app to rule them all – Chanty.
Chanty is an innovative team chat app made for busy teams who need to stay up to date, without worrying about constraints such as the size of their message history. This AI-powered team chat app has a range of features to improve your team communication, from unlimited chat to audio and video calls, screen sharing and much more.
Pricing: $3 per user per month.
Nimbus Capture for sharing screenshots and notes
One of the biggest problems for copywriters and designers is when you need to make a change on an existing page or website. You can describe what needs to be done in video or a voice recording, over a meeting – or you can simply annotate it with a tool such as Nimbus Capture, a free Chrome extension.
There are dozens of other tools that do this job, such as Evernote or Loom, but I’ve extensively used Nimbus for two reasons: because it’s free and easy to use. Simply go to a page you want to annotate, take a screenshot and you can annotate to your heart’s desire. Once you’re done, you can save the results in a variety of formats. This is an excellent tool for design, marketing and development teams to stay on the same page and save time on communication and project management.
Pricing: like all good things in life, completely free.
Lastpass for sharing passwords and confidential data
If you have a team that constantly needs access to shared accounts and profiles, you may run into some trouble. Inevitably, you have to share passwords with everyone, which is not only impractical but also fairly dangerous for your privacy and security.
Instead, you can use a tool such as Lastpass. You can give a user central access to a Lastpass account, from which point they can access all websites in their vault. That way, you can give your team login details for a dozen different sites with a single click. Most importantly, no one will be able to tell any of the passwords. Alternatively, you can try 1Password.
Pricing: $3 per month, has to be paid annually.
Prezi for stunning presentations
When sharing ideas with your team (either in person or online), you’ve probably had to use presentations a few times. Most people stick to either Powerpoint or Google Slides. However, Prezi is my preferred choice because anyone who takes a look at a presentation in this app is simply blown away. In other words, the presentations are drop-dead gorgeous.
Instead of boring backgrounds and bullet points, Prezi lets you go crazy with design details and make your presentations fully 3D.
Pricing: $50 per user per month.
CircleUp for meeting follow-ups
Staying on top of all your meetings can be quite complicated. CircleUp is a tool that helps you keep up with all of your meetings by syncing with your calendar. It then gives you the option to send personalized thank-you notes to all of the participants through email.
CircleUp saves some time by automating follow-ups and making it easier to write notes, but the real value is in building connections with people.
Pricing: $5 per month in the early bird stage.
It may seem like technology is out to distract us and make us less productive by the day. In reality, there are numerous new tools being made every day to make our lives easier and make us more productive and efficient.