What tools do you use to stay productive?

Question: What tools do you use to stay productive? Read answers from remote workers to learn.

Interview with Jake, a customer success manager for Atlassian

Trello for daily tasks and long-term goals. Slack, of course... all day, every day. Confluence for documentation and note-taking/information sharing. BearApp for personal notes. CloudApp for sharing screenshots. I also use Gmail and Google Calendar.

Jake was burned out on the San Francisco lifestyle—see how he transitioned from working in-office to working remotely for a remote-friendly company.

Read full interview from Interview with Jake, a customer success manager for Atlassian.


Interview with Cameron, a designer who works remotely at a WordPress agency

This is actually a topic I love to nerd-out about! I've probably tried every to-do list app and strategy you can think of. My current approach (and the one that works best for me) includes a mix of software and good old fashioned pen and paper.

Being a remote worker, it can sometimes feel lonely and cause us to spend too much time on social media.

I find the need to block these social media sites during most of the work day which is why I use an app called FocusMe which lets me set a time period to block distracting websites.

I also use a Pomodoro timer called Be Focused Pro which lets you break your workday into 25-minute blocks with a 5-minute break after each block. I use these 5-minute blocks for things like getting coffee, stretching or walking my dog.

This prevents me from sitting in front of the computer for 8 hours straight which can cause some long-term physical and mental problems.

In terms of to-do lists, I've found the best method for me is pen and paper because I'm such an “out of sight, out of mind” type of person.

Learn how Cameron started full-time remote work after trying freelancing and starting a digital agency.

Read full interview from Interview with Cameron, a designer who works remotely at a WordPress agency.


Interview with Dani and Luca, digital nomads who have mastered work and travel

We schedule our work using Trello and ClickUp (which is a sort of a Trello with superpowers), but we also use GitLab.

The Pomodoro technique helps too to improve the time, making it easier for us to avoid distractions. And Spotify, of course, which has our favorite playlists that bring us into "the focus".

Dani and Luca have mastered the art of traveling while working—see their hacks & tips for thriving as digital nomads.

Read full interview from Interview with Dani and Luca, digital nomads who have mastered work and travel.


Interview with Laurel about helping companies transition to remote work

Zoom for video calls (the bulk of my day), Asana for task management, Slack for team/community collaboration, and Google Calendar for Scheduling.

Offline, my "portable office" includes my Fitbit for activity tracking and top-of-the-hour reminders (nudge to wrap up meetings), glasses, water bottle, earbuds, wireless mouse, chargers, and my faithful Chromebook.

I keep all of these packed in a bag that I can take anywhere I feel like working from that day (which has included hotels, trains, the library, mountain tops, the gym, or even my kids' school).

Laurel is an advocate for remote work and helps companies learn how to work remotely through her consulting and writing.

Read full interview from Interview with Laurel about helping companies transition to remote work.


Interview with Betsy, a head of content and remote work routine expert

I like to keep things pretty simple so I only use a few tools.

In terms of organizing tasks and ideas, I think that my paper planner is still my #1 way of staying productive but I also really like Evernote and Trello. Since I work with so many different teams, I find that Evernote is great for keeping each of my separate projects organized.

For my blog, I love using Trello to organize my editorial calendar and brainstorm new ideas.

For communication, I use Zoom for meetings and conference calls and Slack for updates and quick messaging.

Betsy Ramser is a content manager, blogger, and teacher who helps other remote workers thrive while creating a daily routine that works.

Read full interview from Interview with Betsy, a head of content and remote work routine expert.


Interview with Digital Nomad Sage, an entrepreneur and UX consultant

I use a ton of tools to stay productive. Here are a few:

  • Microsoft Office for when I do benchmarks on companies or write UX reports.

  • Hootsuite for social media marketing.

  • Canva for creating social media posts quickly!

  • Survey Monkey for when I reach out to users when I conduct UX Research via surveys.

  • Adobe Creative Cloud for when I need to make graphics and edit videos. This software suite is amazing!

  • Publisher Rocket for when I need to do keyword research for my ebooks.

  • Divi for when I need to create new websites quickly. No need to code!

  • Udemy to learn new skill sets. Super cost-effective way to invest in yourself! You can often find discount coupons on the internet to where you can get courses for only $9.99

  • Balsamiq Wireframes for when I need to make Wireframes of apps or websites.

  • Amazon Advertising for running Sponsored Ads for my ebooks.

From e-books to blogging, Digital Nomad Sage has become an expert on making money online—see his advice for developing an online business.

Read full interview from Interview with Digital Nomad Sage, an entrepreneur and UX consultant.


Interview with Katerina, a team collaboration consultant who sees the value of discipline

I use Asana and pen and paper to stay productive. I use Asana to jot down tasks I need to do, or ideas I want to develop, and pen and paper are for my daily to-do list. However, I only use the latter when I have a lot on my plate.

I plan my work one week ahead, using Google Calendar. Github is great for sharing work. Especially with myself as I work on different computers.

I participate in different Slack communities. They might not be productive, but the feeling of belonging somewhere can help to stay motivated. It's a great source of inspiration.

Katerina fell into remote work by accident - she reveals how easy and straightforward it can be to make discipline a daily part of remote work.

Read full interview from Interview with Katerina, a team collaboration consultant who sees the value of discipline.


Interview with Liz, a UI/UX designer and cowork advocate

I have several Trello boards going at one time, and I use Asana to keep track of my freelance work projects. I’m also an avid user of team chat software Slack and Flowdock. They are both integral to being able to communicate effectively with a fully remote team.

Liz is a traveling UI/UX designer—see her strategy for thriving as a digital nomad and her efforts to promote coworking.

Read full interview from Interview with Liz, a UI/UX designer and cowork advocate.


Interview with Harry, an IT Architect who works from home

My 13" Macbook Pro is my workhorse. I like the size as it's small enough to remain portable and still have enough juice to run my multitasking universe.

My iPhone keeps me connected while I'm on the go—I'm constantly tethering my laptop to it while mobile. My 100 Mbs connection keeps me wired at home.

Email and Cisco Jabber for keeping in touch with coworkers and Citrix for connecting to the office in NYC.

Harry has worked remotely for almost 10 years as a senior mobile, web and desktop developer—learn how he balances work with family.

Read full interview from Interview with Harry, an IT Architect who works from home.


Interview with Chloe, a customer support freelancer and multi-project expert

I have a MacBook, a Mac Desktop, a printer/scanner and my trusty pen, paper, highlighters, and binders for each project.

Chloe uses the flexibility of freelancing to her advantage—see how she successfully manages multiple projects at one time.

Read full interview from Interview with Chloe, a customer support freelancer and multi-project expert.

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