Use these work from home apps to get a leg-up as a remote worker.

12 Work from Home Apps Every Remote Worker Needs

More people working from home means a slew of new software applications designed to meet evolving workforce needs. Whether it is an app designed to improve productivity, communicate with colleagues, or improve mental health, you can find an app for that. Pushing the boundaries of technology and creativity, these work from home apps every remote worker needs offer a wide variety of benefits for planning, organization, and staying on task.

To help you find apps that will work best for your situation, below are 12 of the top products divided into functional areas. Almost all have a free version and most offer premium subscriptions with added features as well as business versions to get the right level of usability and functionality.

Planner Apps

One of the biggest differences between working in an office and working at home is the lack of an employer-enforced structure. Luckily, a flexible schedule was identified by 32% of respondents in Buffer’s State of Remote Work 2021 as the biggest benefit to working remotely. However, it can still take some getting used to. Finding work from home apps that keep you on track throughout the day can be a lifesaver. Here are a few top-rated options to check out.

1. Calendly

Scheduling a meeting can sometimes feel like a game of tennis with all the back and forth trying to find a time that works. Calendly helps by allowing your colleagues and clients to click a link, find when you’re available, and schedule a time to meet. When your invitees go your schedule, they only see when you’re available and can only select the length and type of meeting that you authorize. This allows you to prevent anyone from scheduling all your time for meetings you don’t want. The app also automatically sends email follow-ups and reminders. A basic subscription is free, but the app can be scaled all the way up to enterprise for large businesses.

2. Friday

Working at home blurs the lines between your professional and personal life. Creating an integrated schedule can be a big help in preventing missed deadlines or family commitments. Friday is an app that integrates your calendar items and tasks across applications so you can see everything in one place. The integration ability is impressive and includes a variety of popular calendar, email, and productivity apps. It also helps you to create daily roadmaps and routines based on your deadlines. The app is free if you don’t care about information being retained after 21 days.

3. Todoist

Sometimes the tasks swirling in your head can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Writing it down can go a long way toward reducing your stress. Todoist is one of the most popular and established work from home apps for task management. The app allows you to establish multiple to-do lists, prioritize tasks, and display your progress on an easy-to-read dashboard. You can also use one of their handy templates to create specialized to-do lists. These can be useful for everything from annual review meetings to routine work tasks to packing for a business trip.

Organization apps

Staying organized can be a challenge when you have multiple workspaces due to a hybrid schedule, using a coworking facility, or travelling while working remotely. In fact, Buffer’s survey found that the flexibility to work from anywhere was cited as the biggest benefit to working remotely by 25% of respondents. Below are a few work from home apps to help you stay organized.

4. Evernote

One of the biggest hassles when you have more than one workspace, have frequent meetings out of the office, or site visits, is keeping track of your notes. This app solves that problem and more! You can write and organize notes, files, photos, and voice memos. Your content is then safely stored in the cloud and able to be accessed from any device, wherever you are. Evernote also makes it easy to search your content, clip web pages, and add formatting to your notes. Premium versions add to the file upload and storage size and add collaboration capabilities.

5. Camcard

If networking is your jam, then Camcard is for you. Instead of trying to organize and store the business cards you collect at your next meeting or trade conference, scan and recycle them instead. This app allows you to scan, store, organize, and synch your business cards and contact information across all your devices. In addition, you can create an electronic business card and exchange cards with others with the same app nearby. Other benefits include batch uploads of cards and the ability to add notes and reminders to your contacts.

6. Clean Email

Working remotely can add to an overload of email correspondence and leave you drowning in your inbox. One way to clean up your email account quickly and easily is with Clean Email. Simply sign in with your email account and the app goes to work. By grouping your emails into categories, you can quickly review and delete or apply rules to many emails at once. You can also unsubscribe from annoying email subscriptions and create new rules to keep your inbox squeaky clean forever. The biggest downfall with this app is the price at $49.99 per year. You can try it for free if you have 1,000 emails or less, but if that’s the case, probably don’t need it anyway.

Project Management and Collaboration Apps

One area that 16% of Buffer’s survey respondents identified as a significant problem when working remotely was difficulties with collaboration and communication. Below is a selection of work from home apps with a variety of features designed to make it easier to communicate and complete projects with a virtual team.

7.  Monday

Monday is a comprehensive project management app that uses Gantt charts to view, track, and manage your progress toward a goal. There are also dashboards that provide insights into data tracked in real-time. Another visual allows you to see the current workload of team members to improve task allocation. Other features include the ability to integrate with other popular applications and create custom automations that save time on routine tasks.

8. Wrike

Specializing in remote project management, Wrike offers a high level of customization to adapt the tool to fit the needs of your team. In addition to Gantt charts and Kanban boards, Wrike offers an automated approval process guaranteed to save time. Team members can collaborate in real-time in the app without needing to send or wait on emails. Another valuable feature, especially for remote teams, is the ability to make everyone’s work visible so the contributions of every team member are counted.

9. Citrix Podio

A less structured approach to project collaboration can be found with the Podio app. This app brings together all documents, correspondence, and conversations about a project into one space. The focus is on transparency, both to promote efficiency as well as to foster engaged teams. One unique aspect of Podio is the ability to bring in clients and freelancers to a project. This makes it easy to include external project participants and stakeholders and keep them informed as well as to present deliverables.

Distraction Fighting Apps

Another area of concern for remote workers that Buffer respondents identified was the problem of distractions at home. Whether it’s kids underfoot, household chores, or Facebook, there are many distractions that can derail your productivity. Happily, there’s an app for that too. Below are a few work from home apps that tackle the age-old problem of staying on task.

10. Forest

This is a unique app that can actually result in the planting of real trees! Whenever you want to focus on a task, you plant a virtual tree. As you focus, you can watch your virtual tree grow into a tree. If you leave the app before it is grown, the tree will die. Over time, you can grow an entire forest of cute cartoon trees. Users are rewarded with virtual coins, and they can use these coins to buy real trees. In partnership with Trees for the Future, Forest has planted over 1 million trees.

11. RescueTime

RescueTime is a powerful time tracking app designed to help you identify where your time disappearing to and help you get it back. The app offers automatic tracking of your time while on your computer and you can add offline activities as well. Results are presented in time and productivity reports. You can set productivity goals and can implement custom work hour filters to help you keep your work life balance in check. If you spring for the premium version, you access a distraction blocker that prevents you from accessing distracting websites.

12. Focusmate

If you have trouble focusing because you miss the company of colleagues and the implicit pressure to get things done, this is the app for you. Focusmate is a virtual coworking service designed to keep you on time and accountable for getting your work done. You do this by scheduling the time you want to work, launching a video session at the scheduled time, and working quietly with a human workmate for the duration of the work session. You can schedule three free work sessions for free, but you can get unlimited sessions for only $5 a month.

Throw Another Tool in Your Virtual Toolbox

The appropriate use of technology can be a huge help to keep us connected, organized, and productive when working remotely. And the list of apps available continues to grow as creative new approaches are harnessed. Used in conjunction with other productivity tactics, apps can be an important element of your overall work from home strategy. Check out other methods for optimizing your work time at home in the articles below.

What are your favorite work from home apps? Connect with Virtual Vocations on FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagram, and YouTube to share your thoughts and tips. We’d love to hear from you!

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