Stay connected and improve productivity with these tools

Some of us find it incredibly productive when we work remotely / from home. But when the everyday hustle-bustle of the workplace is removed,  some people may not be able to perform at their best.

If you are working remotely / from home, there are a host of free productivity apps that can help you stay on track and keep you from getting distracted, motivate you and help you connect with your remote colleagues. Try them out to see if they work for you.

Productivity: It’s so easy to get sidetracked when working through a work-task in your comfort zone. These are some apps that help with that:

  • Rescue time: This tool offers a time tracking feature and helps you identify where you’re spending your time. Everything you do is automatically categorized so you can quickly see the time you spend on specific apps, websites, and projects and gauge your daily productivity. 
  • Freedom: If you find yourself opening tabs with your multiple social media accounts and other entertainment sites that do not add value to your every day, this is for you. Freedom is a plugin that blocks sites that interfere with your productivity and allow you to focus on the task at hand. 
  • One Tab: This plugin helps save all opened tabs in a list so that you can go back and reference them at a later time. This is particularly helpful if you open a lot of tabs when researching a topic; One Tab helps restore all your information without eating into your memory or slowing down your computer. 
  • Tomato Timer: An offshoot of the Pomodoro method,  the tomato timer helps you divide your day into time blocks and effectively accomplish tasks. Helping you focus on one task without getting distracted. If your kids are home too, this is something 
  • (not available in all countries) Desknearme and Workfrom: For those who wish to work remotely (but not at home), these apps show you available (and secure) workspaces near you that you can choose from. 

Mental health: It can get very lonely when you’re working from home for extended periods of time. Take regular breaks, walk around your block and get some fresh air when you can. Here are some mindful apps that can help you along the way. 

  • Headspace, Talkspace: Offers guided meditation, mindfulness and practices for better mental health. Find a few minutes in the day to find your calm, meditate and reflect on things you’d like to achieve. (Here’s another one for you to try!)
  • CosmicKids: This is one for the kids! The app (and YouTube channel) have engaging guided yoga sessions for children. It’s a great way to start or end the day (especially if they’re home with you!).
  • Activity tracker / My Fitness Pal: It is very easy to slip into unhealthy habits when working from home. Download fitness tracker apps to help count your steps, give you healthy meal alternatives and keep you accountable. 

Collaboration: One way to beat the loneliness of extended remote working is to find tools that help you stay in touch with your team/ workmates. 

  • Asana and Evernote: Both apps (free) allow you to track to-do lists across your teams, leave comments, upload documents and keep each other informed about your project status. 
  • Slack: This is an all-encompassing instant messaging app that is great to create project groups, upload documents and make instant decisions. Slack comes with great plugins and integrations that make project work more efficient.
  • Zoom/ Facetime or WhatsApp Video: Any app that allows you to see the person you are having your meeting with is a big plus. Connecting with your workmates through a visual medium is a great way of countering the isolation that comes with remote working. It also helps discuss work more effectively and get your points across through visual cues vs a phone call where you run the risk of misinterpreting the other or talking over each other. 

What apps do you use to make your remote working easier?

Written by the Circle In team.

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