I’ve been a freelance remote worker full-time for the last three-plus years. I began the journey with little more than a strong work ethic, the desire to create a flexible lifestyle, and the ability to adapt and evolve to help my efforts succeed.
Working remotely, whether for yourself or under the wing of an organization, requires a focus and commitment that is self-generated. You don’t have a boss or co-workers around to push or encourage you.
I’m a Mac fan, besides some good Mac cleaner software recommended by SoftwareHow, I’ve also learned to utilize a few great tools and apps out there that help with my productivity and allow me to thrive in a remote work environment.
1. Google Suite
If I were to narrow it down to a single app or program that meets nearly every need that I have as a remote worker, Google Suite would take the crown. The cloud-based nature of all of the tools within G-Suite allows you to easily work, save, edit, schedule, and communicate on the fly.
Having access to all of my documents, spreadsheets, and other important work files in a single location is priceless. Whether I have a long project on my plate that requires daily attention or need to go back through an old document for edits and updates, Google Drive is a highly effective organizational tool.
Google has created a very familiar user interface with all of the apps in G-Suite, and they translate well to mobile platforms when you are not sitting at your computer or home desk. You also get the benefit of easy integration with other apps within G-Suite that boost value and effectiveness across the board.
Effective communication and project management are a must for any remote worker, especially teams working together. Slack is one of my favorite apps with these two critical factors in mind, and I use the app daily to keep track of works in progress and remain in touch with my clients across the world.
On the project management front, Slack gives you a simple but highly effective system of creating and tracking the progress of a project. You can set up different roles and assignments for each person involved and check off essential tasks as they are completed.
The chat and communication features within Slack are also top-notch. If you want an excellent platform to stay in touch or manage other people you are working with, this app will allow you to reach out and make sure nothing slips through the cracks. Slack is easy to use and is a good option for any business owner who is thinking about going remote or a freelancer who wants to display excellent communication at all times.
Skype is my preferred app for chats, video conferences, and 1-on-1 communication with clients and co-workers. It is a very useful tool that gives you the ability to get some video face time when chats and written forms of communication aren’t quite enough.
It’s straightforward to set up and use, and I’ve found the app is beneficial in both my business and personal life. I tend to take advantage of the remote lifestyle and travel often (pre-pandemic, anyway), and Skype offers a reliable means to stay in touch with people, whether for work or social reasons.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve scheduled a video chat to work through an issue with a client that was resolved in minutes after we have been going back and forth through chats or emails for weeks.
Remote working is always flexible, and that’s what I love about it, but sometimes you need to speak directly to an actual human. Skype is the best app for that, in my opinion.
If you are a self-employed remote worker or freelancer, you need to learn how to be your own accountant. Taxes and proper documentation of your invoicing and expenses are crucial to running any business, and FreshBooks is my favorite app that I’ve used to stay organized and on top of my books.
This is the most intuitive accounting software that I’ve ever used, and it almost makes it fun to stay on top of your game. The app has excellent integration for mobile apps, and you can snap pictures of receipts for expenses or send invoices directly from your phone.
If you are like me, accounting can be one of the worst aspects of remote freelance work, but FreshBooks has made the process more tolerable, and for that, I’m very grateful!
The apps above have worked well for me, but they are only a handful of the many options now available for remote workers of all kinds. It’s crucial to find the tools that work best for your situation and help you thrive in a remote work situation.