A comfortable and ergonomic desk and chair setup is key. I have a stand for 3 monitors that keeps them at a good height, and a good comfortable chair that fits me well.
A good headset and camera are always a huge plus as well.
Communication is extremely important when working remotely, so having a good quality microphone - so you can be heard - and speakers or headphones - so you can hear well - is very helpful.
I use a "gaming" headset, because I like it to be wireless (and I can't find any half decent "business" wireless headsets with a boom mic for under $700), but I'm able to turn off all the flashing colors in it with a companion app on the computer, so I'm pretty happy with it.
A whiteboard is a huge help for me when I'm brainstorming or designing a new system, and getting up to walk over to it is always a good idea to stop from sitting in your chair for several hours straight.
I actually have a smaller whiteboard that I replaced a while ago that sits under my desk, and sometimes I'll pull it out to draw or sketch something up while sitting at the PC.
I also use site blocker extensions for my browser to limit my time on sites like Twitter, Hacker News, or other timewasters. Even if it's super easy for me to turn off, the big red warning screen it shows when I go to one of those sites is normally enough for me to realize that it's probably not a good idea.
Finally, a good timer/alarm/calendar system. I live and die by my calendar, so I've set up an old tablet in a stand under my right monitor, and have it displaying my calendar so I always know what is coming up.
I also use a Google Home to set reminders and alarms for different times as I need to. Being able to just tell the oval on my desk to remind me to take out the trash at like 6pm tonight is really nice, and keeps me focused without just ignoring things that I might need to do or remember.
Gregory is a senior software developer working from home - learn how he finds the balance between lack of focus and hyperfocus.
Read full interview from Interview with Gregory, a Senior Software Developer.
I rely heavily on customized reminders from Slack known as Slackbots to remind me to do things. I like to play music while I work, too. Sometimes I play new age ambient type of stuff to keep me calm, centered and focused.
Other times I'll play upbeat music for motivation. Coffee is also a must-have for productivity. Oh! And strawberries. Strawberries keep me happy.
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Read full interview from Interview with Laura, a communications specialist and travel writer by night.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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Read full interview from Interview with Cameron, a designer who works remotely at a WordPress agency.
I get this question a lot. The truth is all I use is a calendar, a task management system, chat, and email. I do not believe that any combination of tools has the ability to make me more productive.
My own habits and the way I manage my time and space are what really make an impact on my productivity. Hiring a virtual assistant has been instrumental for staying on top of all the tasks I need to accomplish. And self-discipline has been another.
I can list the tools that have made it easier for me to stay productive and, in particular, those that have made my online meetings more professional no matter where in the world I conduct them from:
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Read full interview from Interview with Molood, a CEO who shares how minimalism has improved her remote work experience.
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.
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.
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