Working from home has its advantages, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. You might initially get a lot of work done, only to get distracted by something that you wouldn’t find in an office environment. Thankfully, there are lots of apps that can help you stay focused, organize your workday, and communicate with your coworkers. Here are some of the best productivity-boosting apps, whether you work from home temporarily or do it full-time.
Doodle is a calendar app for smartphones and tablets that makes it easy to set up meetings with coworkers remotely. This app lets you create a poll that gives members a choice between different times that work best for them. This way, you won’t need to spend all day emailing everyone and asking about their availability.
After participants vote, Doodle lets you know the best time for everyone to attend the meeting. You can also set deadlines and add reminders from the Doodle dashboard.
You can download the app for a 14-day free trial, but after that, it costs $4.49 a month for the starter package. Or, you can also upgrade to the Pro package for $5.99 a month or the Team package for $30 a month.
Pro and Team users get more features, like Doodle 1-on-1 meetings. With this feature, you can let your guests see your availability and pick a time that best works for them.
With its clean, intuitive interface, Asana is one of the best work management platform apps. This app lets you create tasks and check the progress of your team’s deliverables in real-time. You can also set deadlines, assign a person to a task, give feedback, or add attachments to tasks.
The free version lets you add and manage an unlimited number of tasks. You can also upgrade to the premium package for $10.99 a month or the business package for $24.99 a month. The paid plans let you see projects in a timeline view or add dependencies and scheduled tasks in the timeline.
When meeting face-to-face is not an option, you can take your meetings online with Zoom. Zoom is a video conferencing and group messaging tool all rolled into one. The company’s main offering is Zoom Meetings, which lets you hold meetings in HD video with up to 1,000 people.
You can complement meetings with Zoom Chat, where you can send messages and share files. It even has fun features that let you change your background image or touch up your appearance. Thus, Zoom can be considered as one of the best apps for working from home despite coming late into the video calling scene.
The free version of Zoom grants you 40 minutes of calls for meetings with three or more participants. However, Zoom recently announced that they will lift the 40-minute limit to allow for unlimited collaboration. You can also pay $14.99 for the pro package or $19.99 for the business package to get additional features.
TeamViewer is a remote desktop support tool that lets you connect to another computer over the internet and take control of it. That means you can use your mouse to open and move files on another computer, and those changes will happen in real-time.
You can even download TeamViewer on your phone and take control of your work computer while you’re on the go.
You can even take control of a computer with a different operating system. So, if you’re using a Mac, you can take control of a Windows PC and vice-versa. Teamviewer uses AES-256-bit encryption, which protects your data from hackers.
If your organization does not have a TeamViewer license, there is a free version available for home or personal use. If you want more features, you can download the single-user license for $49 a month, the multi-user license for $99 a month, or the team license for $199 a month.
If you want to communicate with your coworkers instantly, Slack is one of the best instant messaging platform apps you can get. Designed as a replacement for email, Slack makes it easy to quickly reach out to someone and get a response.
With Slack, you can organize coworkers in dedicated chat rooms called channels. Whenever you send a message in one of these channels, it sends a notification to all the members. This means you can make sure all your team members are in the loop without getting buried in emails. Inside channels, you can send messages with links and attachments, or send fun emojis and GIFs.
You can join or leave channels when you want to, unlike email threads. The free version of Slack gives you 5GB for storing files and 10,000 searchable messages. If you want to archive an unlimited number of messages, use and integrate an unlimited number of apps, and more, you’ll need to pay for the premium plans. You can get the standard plan for $6.67 a month or the plus plan for $12.50 a month.
Nothing beats a face-to-face meeting with your team. If you’re working remotely, you can use Skype to make and receive video calls with your computer, phone, or tablet. You can make one-on-one calls or have a group video call with up to 50 people.
The free version of the app lets you share screens with two or more people, which previously required a Skype Premium account. And, you can also record your screen and save the file to your desktop or phone. With all these features, Skype is one of the best apps for working from home, despite the rise of competitors like WhatsApp and Viber.
Skype has a free version for personal use, but if you want more features, you’ll have to pay for a subscription to Microsoft Teams.
Dropbox lets you store your files work files online, so you can access them any time and anywhere. You can also use Dropbox to send your coworkers large files online, which would not be possible over email because of file size limits. You can also manage folder permissions and allow certain users to view or edit certain files.
While it’s mainly known for file sharing, Dropbox also offers collaboration features that are useful for remote teams. For instance, you can create to-do lists and timelines with the Dropbox Paper feature. And you can share your work with partners or clients from your own branded page with Dropbox Showcase. With its robust features, Dropbox is one of the best apps for working from home.
The free version of the app lets you store up to 2GB of data, or you can upgrade to the standard business plan for $12.50 a month to get up to 5TB of storage space. If you want unlimited space and more features, you can set the advanced business plan for $20 a month.
If you’re a visual person, Trello is one of the best apps to help you organize tasks and see the progress of your team members.
Trello is a project management and collaboration tool that allows you to categorize tasks into columns. With this app, you can organize tasks by level of completion, importance, or whatever makes sense for your workflow. Then you can add cards and assign members, set due dates, and upload attachments relevant to the card. You can get notifications every time a team member adds a card or makes changes to an ongoing project.
You can download Trello for free, or you can pay $9.99 a month for the business class plan or $20 a month for the enterprise plan. These paid plans give you custom fields, calendar views, and more.
Google Drive is one of the best apps for working from home, and for a good reason. For one, you get 15GB of online storage space when you create a personal account. That means you can store important files and share them with coworkers by sending them a link. Your team members can then edit Google Docs, Google Sheets, and more in real-time together.
If you want to undo any changes, the file version management feature lets you revert to a previous version of any file. This is especially useful for when one of your collaborators accidentally deletes a word, or if you simply want to track your document’s file history.
If you have a slow or intermittent internet connection, you can even work on documents offline. All these capabilities are housed in a clean, user-friendly interface. If you need more storage space, you can pay $1.99 a month for 100GB or $9.99 a month for 1TB of storage space.