“You shouldn’t bring your work home with you” is such a wise phrase for motivation until you realize that you’ve been working at home all this time.
In an office environment, your coworkers often pose as the greatest threat to motivate you to get some backbreaking, heads-down work done. But working at home? It’s extremely easy to get distracted. Let’s say you just woke up and are determined to be productive today, but later, you just found yourself mindlessly scrolling through Instagram– for hours, and still in bed.
It has always been like that.
Remote work presents its own unique set of challenges and joys. Wearing sweatpants and managing a flexible schedule is one of the perks of working from home.
However, even for a work-from-home entrepreneur like yourself, a comfy couch and peer pressure-free environment often make it easy for you to get distracted and lose your focus– leading to lower productivity.
In this article, we’ve gathered a great list of productivity tools to help you to stay in the loop and be productive.
Productivity Tools: How Necessary Is It?
Before we jump into the list, you must know that productivity tools are not only improving your productivity, since there’s much more to it than that. Many professionals often overlook the long-term value of the tools they have at their disposal.
Once they don’t get the result they’ve expected, they tend to deem the investment a waste of time, energy, and money. Then, they move on to other plans before they’ve fully realized the robust power of these tools they were too quick to do away with. You don’t have to be one of them.
Here are some benefits of using productivity tools beyond “improving your productivity and get your work done”:
Develop Good Habits And Make Them Stick
The more often you use productivity tools, the more you get used to it. And the more you get used to it, the easier it is for you to develop positive and effective habits (of being productive) and make it stick.
You may want to try a 30-day challenge. Give it a try for 30 days, and it’ll be a part of your daily routine in no time.
The Quality of Work Improves
As you develop the right habits of being productive, it is easier for you to learn your rhythm to improve your quality of work. In this case, using productivity tools allow you to make adjustments that will enhance the overall process and the result.
Boost Customer Satisfaction
The idea that productivity tools elevate your overall quality of work leads to meeting your customers’ expectations. That way, customer satisfaction can be enriched to a very great extent. Remember, happier customers translate to more income. And the higher the customer satisfaction, the higher you earn their trust.
Grow Your Work-From-Home Business For the Long-Haul
Using productivity tools allows you to learn from previous projects; that’s how you know what works for you and what doesn’t. It makes it easier for you to make little progress in all aspects of your job continually. Those small changes allow you and your team members to continually boost productivity and keep the business running for an extended period.
Productivity Tools You Should Consider Using for Working at Home
There are tons of productivity tools that can help you boost your efficiency and save you time. However, we’ve shortlisted some of the most effective tools for you:
1. Time Management Tool: Evernote
Image via Medium
Taking notes is well-known as a time-saving habit, whether you jot it down on paper or typing it in notepad on your laptop. But there are more productive tools than your handy notebook. Evernote is one of the best apps you should consider using. It allows you to easily take notes, automatically save it, and sync it across platforms as well.
No Evernote review is complete without talking about its web clipper browser extension. With this extension, you can take a full-page screenshot of a website that you found helpful and save it to this tool.
Evernote can be used on any device, phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop so you can access your files from anywhere at any time. While there is a premium version that is paid, the basic Evernote is free.
2. Instant Messaging Tool: Slack
Image via Marker.io
Slack helps you to communicate with your virtual team members in real-time and over the web. This tool provides you with secure individual and group chat, built-in phone calls, video chat, and screen sharing features.
It also integrates your data with other file storage and project management tools like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, Trello, and Jira– making your team project much more manageable.
Slack has multiple pricing tiers, just like most other apps. You can get more features if you choose the paid version instead of the free one.
3. File Sharing Tool: Dropbox
Image via PCMag Asia
Dropbox is an excellent file-syncing and cloud storage service that helps you to store data with any format and seamlessly syncs with the cloud.
It means that it provides you with a backup of your files (which you can access from anywhere or from multiple devices) and an effortless way to share with your virtual team across the internet.
Dropbox app is free to download, but storage and features are limited if you don’t pay for the premium version.
4. To-Do List Tool: Todoist
Image via EnGadget
Todoist is one of the best task list applications. You can create tasks and tick them off as you get them done. It also lets you set a daily goal and receive a reward whenever you complete the tasks.
However, if you leave overdue tasks undone, your score can drop. This karma system can be your motivation to stay productive and hit your goals consistently.
Some excellent features can be used to help get you started with your productivity and remote work task management, such as task priorities, recurring due dates, sub-tasks, and sub-projects.
The free version of this tool offers a sufficient experience, but holds back a few features you may want, such as reminders, calendar sync, integration to Dropbox, and Google Drive.
5. Time Tracking Tool: Toggl
Image via GetApp
Toggl is a tool you can rely on to track exactly where you’re spending your time. You can use it as a Chrome extension or a downloaded app on your mobile phone and desktop.
It’s relatively easy to use. All you have to do is click the “start” button, and you can start working on any task, and “stop” when you’re done. This tool makes it easier for work-from-home professionals to boost their productivity since it tracks the exact amount of time you spent on each project.
You can use this tool for free but with limited features, of course. In the premium version, you can get additional features such as email reminders, project & team management, reporting features, and many more.
6. Project Management Tool: Asana
Image via Asana
Even if you work from home, there must be a time allocated communicating with your virtual, remote team. That’s why you need a productivity tool that will let you track tasks and meet your goals on time. In this matter, Asana is one of the best tools you can use.
One of the key features of Asana is that it provides a clear beginning and end dates. It also keeps track of who is responsible for what task, the information related to each task, and its progress.
Just like any other tool, the free version comes with a few restrictions. For example, you can’t access timelines, custom fields, advanced search, and custom templates.
7. Personal Assistant: 24me
Image via 24me
24me is part task-master and part personal assistant. It brings everything (reminders, notes, schedules, even social media events) all into one calendar app and informs you what you need to do and when– either it’s for the near future or as a daily activity.
It makes your work-from-home process more organized, resulting in increased productivity even when you’re on-the-go and have no access to a desktop or laptop. This tool is convenient for keeping your goals on track. You can use 24me for free, but it also offers in-app purchases.
8. Expense Management Tool: Expensify
Image via Xero
While working from home, managing, and organizing your expenses takes much time. This is where Expensify comes in handy as an excellent tool to control costs, transactions, and money matters.
This tool allows you to handle every task you need to manage expenses all in a single device. It provides you with several key features from receipt scanning, credit card import, to receipt integrations.
As a work-from-home professional, Expensify helps you to minimize stress when tax season rolls around. While you can use this tool for free, you can also explore the expanded features of the premium version.
9. Email Marketing Tool: MailChimp
Image via [email protected]
Working from home requires you being present on email and available by phone. To make it easier, you can utilize email marketing tools like MailChimp. It helps you to manage and communicate with your clients, customers, and other interested parties seamlessly.
With MailChimp, you can improve your productivity by finding a better way to reach more clients and also reach people who are likely to. It makes it easier for you to design compelling, personalized email campaigns and automation so you can develop your connection with potential and existing clients.
If you want to optimize your email efforts with the least amount of fuss, MailChimp should be part of your toolbox. Also, it offers a free plan and even a paid program which offers customization and in-depth segmentation.
10. Distraction-Killing Tool: Stay Focused
Image via Top Apps Like
Stay Focused is a tool to keep you productive by limiting the amount of time that you can spend on time-wasting apps or websites. It lets you block any app that might distract you from being productive while working from home.
All you need to do is select the app you want to block or to limit, and this tool will set it into a strict mode– keeping you busy with your task. Another cool feature is that it keeps track of your daily screen time and the number of unlocks. It’s handy to keep track of your progress and productivity and see how much you improve time after time.
This tool is available on Google Play for Android devices. You can enjoy basic features on their free version, while additional features are on the paid version.
11. Mind Mapping Tool: MindMeister
Image via CrozDesk
If you’re a visual thinker and creator, this tool is a must-have. MindMeister is a mind-mapping tool that helps you to create, develop, and share creative tasks visually. It makes it easier for you to sort your ideas or thoughts before you start working on an assignment.
Other features include presentation tools, history mode, discussion threads, publishing, and sharing. Since it’s a collaborative tool, it allows all users in different places to create team project plans, brainstorming, track progress, manage meetings, and add their part.
For a work-from-home professional like you, MindMeister is an excellent tool to spark your creative genius and turn your ideas into actions. That’s how you boost your productivity.
This tool is web-based, which means that you don’t need to download and update it regularly. Also, while you can use this tool for free, the paid version offers more features, including exporting the map to pictures and PDF.
12. Client Support Tool: Zendesk
Image via Kayako
As a remote worker, you need to come across as reliable when interacting with clients. In this case, you can use Zendesk as your client support tool. It provides you with multi-channel support so you can interact with clients through email, phone calls, social networks, and real-time chat.
Zendesk is an ideal tool for highly engaged clients as they can seamlessly submit support tickets and get immediate help. It makes it easier for you to be on top of all of your tickets so that no client issues will slip through the cracks.
This tool also features customer satisfaction ratings and performance analytics so you can monitor customers’ happiness and discover which factors affect their overall performance.
Zendesk helps you to work more efficiently in giving the clients an excellent, more personal customer experience. It offers different pricing plans for its various modules with a free trial.
13. Social Media Management Tool: Buffer
Image via Capterra
Buffer is a social media management tool that allows you to schedule your content and analyze the result. Its features include automated publishing, content management, collaboration, and post-scheduling. Using this tool can help you to organize and handle all of your social accounts in one place.
They provide analytics data that gives you a peek into necessary social media metrics for your accounts, such as likes, comments, follows engagements, and more. This makes it easier for you to maximize the social efforts and pinpoint what’s working for your business.
This tool doesn’t only help you to boost your productivity, but also guide you to the latest social trends, produce an up-do-date content, and promote your business without coming off as too salesy. Now, you can use Buffer for free with minimal features, while you can also sign up for a premium version with a monthly or yearly billing cycle.
14. Copywriting Tool: Grammarly
Image via Grammarly
In today’s web-driven world, you can’t simply avoid writing, sending an email, responding to clients, writing captions for your social media posts. It all requires you spot-on use of grammar and the right choice of words. In such cases, Grammarly is a tool you should consider.
It acts as your digital writing assistant. As you type, it will automatically alert you if you’ve made an error, such as forgetting a punctuation mark or missing capitalization, or even when the sentence is unclear. You can use this tool on Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, LinkedIn, and nearly everywhere else you find yourself writing. Grammarly also suggests synonyms or alternatives that perfect your writing and express yourself even more.
Using this tool higher your chances to enhance the quality of your writing, so the productivity of your work increases significantly. You can rest assured about misspellings and botched punctuation. Grammarly offers a free version and a premium plan with a monthly and annual subscription.
15. Account Management Tool: LastPass
Image via Cloud9Smart
LastPass makes it easier for you to manage your social accounts passwords. It provides you with a secure online vault for your passwords that are accessible on any device. This tool doesn’t store your passwords, but it also saves addresses, bank account details, insurance policies, credit cards, and other types of shared web forms.
With this tool, you don’t have to memorize multiple passwords anymore. All you need to remember is just the single “master” password to the LastPass itself. It also works on almost all browser extensions. So as long as you use Safari, Chrome, Opera, Internet Browser, your passwords are covered and secured.
While it has a functional, feature-packed free version, it also offers its services for a premium version with some additional features like autofill login for your browser and desktop.
Got Your Productivity Tools? Be Productive Today!
Working from home means flexibility and freedom. But, staying productive and sticking to a routine sometimes isn’t the easiest thing to do. In this matter, finding the right productivity tools to keep you and your virtual team connected is crucial for staying productive at home. With the help of those tools, you’ll cultivate a productive and efficient work environment in your home. Thus, you can enjoy all the perks of being a work-from-home professional.
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).