Like the rest of the world, the Teamup team has been focused on remote work more than ever. Many of us work remotely all the time, and have for years. Others divide their time between working in-office and working remotely. Here are some of our favorite work and collaboration tools for working as a remote team.
Our favorite collaboration tools for remote teams
You already know the major players (probably more than you want to). We use Slack for daily communication. And, like everybody else in the world, apparently, Zoom is our go-to for video calls and meetings.
For file sharing and collaboration on documents, we turn to Dropbox and Google Drive most of the time. We love Trello for our hard-working dev team and Doodle to schedule meetings without a hassle.
Of course, our favorite tool is Teamup, which brings all the tools together.
We use Teamup as an overview calendar, catch-all for internal notes, daily task manager, reference information organizer, meeting agenda and summary holder, vacation/PTO and office time planner, project manager, upgraded spreadsheet replacement, collector of content ideas and inspiration, reading log, workout tracker, editorial calendar, and much, much more.
“Teamup is the container for all my other tools, the box of my toolboxes.”
(Don’t have a Teamup calendar yet? What are you waiting for? Create a free Teamup calendar and watch your life change in amazing ways.)
The tools you might have missed
We have several recommendations, but the bottom line is this: you need to use a reliable and secure password manager. A password manager will save all your unique passwords securely and generate new passwords as needed.
A searchable, zoomable, infinitely expanding outliner, note taker, draft maker, and brain organizer. Use Workflowy for outlining anything from a business strategy to a blog post. The ability to share any portion of your Workflowy as a single, stand-alone document is a bonus.
Everybody’s favorite editor, Grammarly is there to make sure you sound somewhat intelligent when finishing that final draft at 10:31pm. It’s detailed but not overwhelming, since errors and suggestions are categorized. You can choose to focus on the grammar or fine-tune the flow.
For online, collaborative brainstorming, Miro is a whiteboard tool that helps you get past the first layer of ideas and to the good stuff. Use Miro to sketch out strategy, pick apart a challenge, visualize a process, map out assignments, and play with design concepts. Or just draw happy faces.
For capturing screenshots with way more options than your browser provides, Snagit is our go-to. We use it for quick gifs and screenshots, mockups and more. There are plenty of editing tools, including blur, arrows and other signifiers, sizing, changing file format, and combining screenshots.
For making video tutorials, Camtasia is a great tool. It’s an all-in-one screen recorder and video editor for both Windows and Mac. You can add effects, titles, and captions to your video and get the audio clips and voice overs just right.
A picture–or, in this case, a great visual–is worth a thousand words. Infographics and visual tips make it easy for people to absorb and remember useful information. Canva is a great tool for creating these visuals. Choose from preset layouts and designs or create your own. There are plenty of fonts, backgrounds, icons, and images to use.
For simple image capture and manipulation, PicPick is a great choice for your Windows machine. It’s an intuitive image editor, and could be your full-fledged graphic design tool with a color picker, color palette, pixel-ruler, protractor, crosshair, whiteboard and more.
A good VPN is hard to find… Or is it? Both ProtonVPN and ExpressVPN help you stay secure and private on the web. This is especially important if you use public or shared wifi connections.
Hardware and physical tools for remote teams
Nexstand portable laptop stand
Getting the ergonomics right in your workspace can be challenging for remote workers. Nexstand is a portable, lightweight, and adjustable stand for laptops. Set it up and adjust it to whatever your current work surface is for better posture and energy.
Skyroam WiFi hot spot
Whether your wifi isn’t reliable, you’re traveling, or you won’t have Internet access for a time, Skyroam is a good, global option for Internet connection. The device is small and easy to transport with a good battery life. Pay ahead to use by the day or set up a monthly plan.
Logitech MX ergonomic mouse
Working on a computer all day can lead to stress and pain in your fingers, hands, and forearms. An ergonomic mouse, such as this one by Logitech, helps you maintain better positioning. Boost the benefits with a gel or memory foam mousepad.
John Lewis slippers
Comfort matters if you want to stay productive and focused. And one thing we know: cold feet are not comfortable. John Lewis slippers are reasonably priced and comfortable (though not available everywhere). Other good options for warm and cozy feet are slippers by Ugg or LLBean.
Blue light glasses
Blue-light blocking glasses may help you reduce fatigue from looking at a screen for hours on end. There’s no medical consensus on their effectiveness, but there are plenty of anecdotes and personal stories of fewer headaches, less eye strain, and easier sleep. Plus you’ll feel smarter when you wear them.
Honorable mentions: tools for remote teams and workers
If you’re a remote worker who stays put, it’s worth investing in a hydraulic or electronic stand-up desk and a great office chair (try Ikea’s Flintan or Langfjall series). If you’re a remote worker who travels or changes location frequently, try using an iPad and adjustable tablet stand for your second screen and carry a lacrosse ball as a makeshift foam roller to keep those muscles relaxed no matter where you are.