Working remotely means not having the easy access to the machines and systems you used to when you were cubicle-bound. That means no no bottomless supply closet, no access to conference rooms or presentation tools like projectors, fewer face-to-face meetings. As you work increasingly in the cloud, what are the basic tools you need — and where do you get them?
Here is a list of five basic categories of tools all remote workers should have at the ready, and a variety of options to consider for each category.
Document Collaboration and Workspaces
There is a bit of a blur between virtual workspace and project management tools. These tools emphasize collaboration:
. Recently ideapi reviewed by Simon, this is a simple online tool for creating documents and collaborating on discrete sections of the documents.
. I’ve been using virtual workspace Glasscubes for a while now. Here’s my latest post Glasscubes taking a fresh look at the app.
. A free solution that lets you “manage projects by adding members, creating tasks and milestones, and assigning responsibility.” Here’s what else Binfire Amber has to say about Binfire.
. A collaborative suite bundling email and communication, project management, database management and group meetings. Hyperoffice Reviewed here by Amber.
Some of these tools also offer collaboration features, but they are more focused on managing tasks and people and getting things done efficiently.
. Many moons ago, Huddle we reviewed Huddle, and the team collaboration space is still going strong.
. Delegate, assign and prioritize tasks with others for free. It even integrates into Google Apps (s goog). Simon Cohuman published a screencast about this app.
. A collaboration tool with an emphasis on priorities, as Thursday Teamly explained in her initial review.
. A collaboration app for running a project including briefs and time cards. Thursday ProjectTurf reviewed it here.
. Simon felt this combined project management and collaboration tool Zcope had a lot of potential. It has slightly more advanced project management features than many of its competitors.
This SaaS app neatly integrates project management, collaboration and invoicing. I Mavenlink. reviewed it recently.
. Simple, online project management for the smaller team. Microproject Here’s our review.
. We’ve covered Wrike several times, including most recently when the company Wrike added mobile apps to its project management and collaboration solution.
Desktop Sharing/Presentation/Web Meeting Tools
GoToMeeting (s ctxs) is one of the leaders in the desktop sharing/web meeting space (did you see the announcement of its Skype integration?), but there is an array of other useful remote presentation tools out there:
. Elegantly combines video and audio calls with document sharing. iMeet I reviewed it in March.
. A no-registration, free screen sharing app that fills a gap now that DimDim is now defunct. We’ve praised it here on WWD before, including join.me announcing its iPhone app.
. An app to streamline the process of holding meetings including planning, scheduling and note taking. yaM See our review.
. Slideshare’s quick presentation tool adding video and chat to your slideshows for public (free) or private (fee) presentations. Mathew Zipcast reviewed it here.
Charles recently CrunchConnect. reviewed this web conferencing solution with an emphasis on sales.
A fee-based video conferencing solution with collaboration features. FuzeMeeting.
. Free and fee-based Web video conferencing with desktop sharing. Yugma
. Free for one-to-one video call meetings, or starting at $12/month for up to five participants. Zoho Meeting
Giving the entire virtual team access to files – especially big ones – without having to email them back and forth is critical for remote work processes.
. Store and share files in the cloud securely, and get access to them from your mobile device. Ryan covered the Dropbox latest version of Dropbox late last year.
. An enterprise-friendly file sharing and collaboration, Box.net reviewed most recently by us here.
SugarSync .We’ve written about this file sharing and backup solution before including most recently about new features for its iOS app.
Miscellaneous Useful Cloud-Based Tools
A couple of online tools that help you do things that previously required pricey desktop software.
. Simon Diagram.ly recently reviewed this easy-to-use site for creating flow charts and other diagrams.
. A Gantt chart-based planning tool, with easy drag-and-drop functionality; it’s Tom’s Planner now iPhone and iPad compatible.
What are some of your must-have tools for remote work?
Image courtesy stock.xchng user spekulator