Getting started on freelancing? Here are the top work from home apps you can rely on and they're super user-friendly!
With more people shifting into remote work positions, it has been a learning curve to encourage people to take measures that will allow them to be as productive, efficient, and happy as possible. That being said check out my article on the fastest ways to get started working from home as well as continue reading to learn about the 25 best apps for people who have shifted into a work from home lifestyle. These apps will help with organization, productivity, efficiency, and security while telecommuting.
Has Remote Work Increased Productivity?
Over the last 2 years, remote work has become increasingly popular especially when the covid-19 pandemic forced companies to social distance, which caused them to drastically cut the number of people working in the office at once. Now that studies have been conducted on remote workers, the research has shown that working from home has proven to increase employee productivity.
After all, working from home has proven to help increase employee productivity. A study conducted by Stanford University before the rise of Covid-19 conducted tests on 16,000 workers over a 9-month period and found that working from home increased their productivity by 13%. They attributed the rise in productivity to the fact that these individuals were not being disturbed as frequently and they were taking fewer breaks and sick days.
To compare this research which was conducted before Covid-19 I have also found a similar study conducted in March and April of 2020, as this was the first 2 months of stay-at-home orders due to the pandemic. This U.S.-based Prodoscore study evaluated 100 million data points from 30,000 users and found a productivity increase by 47%. As specifically detailed in the article, phone calls were up by 230%, CRM activity was up by 176%, email activity was up by 57% and Chat messages were up by 9%.
Not only have large companies been transitioning to promote more people working from home, but there has also been a rise in self-employed remote workers. If this is something that you have always wanted to do, but are not sure what path to take with it, check out my article on part-time jobs you can do from home that pay every week!
Best Work-From-Home Apps for Companies and Teams
Asana is a content management system (CRM) that is known for its highly customizable and user-friendly design. Companies use Asana to achieve enhanced organization efforts across their various teams. Asana allows teams to analyze progress and address issues, comments, or concerns all in one place. Additionally, the app allows project managers to assign projects and tasks with due dates attached so that employers are always aware of what needs to be done and by when. This allows companies to effectively streamline projects, thus increasing overall efficiency and productivity.
Slack is one of the most popular communication tools across a variety of businesses. It is a messaging app that allows teams to communicate and share documents in a very organized fashion. You can create various channels on slack so that you can organize who is able to see and access various chats and documents.
Harvest is one of the most effective, easy to use apps for time tracking across your team. Harvest allows you to track time, report and analyze your employees work schedule, invoice employers or clients/get paid and integrate workflows. Harvest is particularly good for Freelancers when they pick up remote jobs on sites such as Fiverr. Fiverr connects freelancers and employers to get jobs done remotely. So, if you can build a website from scratch, write shownotes for a podcast episode, or artistically design pins for Pinterest content, Fiverr will reward you for those skills and allow you to earn money instantly
So many people have become dependent on Zoom during the last year with the ongoing pandemic as their prefered method of video communication amongst clients, co-workers, and family. Zoom is a cloud-based video communications app that allows anyone to set up virtual video and audio meetings. Not only does this app allow people to chat face to face, but it also allows screen sharing and live chats!
- Google Drive
Google drive is a cloud-based storage system that allows individuals and teams to access, store and share files from anywhere. You can access Google Drive from virtually any device and it will allow you upload just about anything (documents, photos, videos) with 15GB of free storage. From google drive you have access to google docs, google sheets, google slides, google forms, google drawings, and google sites. Many people also use google drive to maintain their financial records and history of purchases.
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- Google Teams
Google teams offers an effective way for any team to share an online space where everyone can upload, store, search and access their various files.
Clockify has become a very popular tool for time tracking and timesheets. Clockify offers unlimited users at no cost! Once employees have tracked their time working using Clockify, the app will allow you to analyze each work week in their reports section to ensure that employees have been working efficiently and productively on each project and task they are assigned.
Nozbe has been around since 2007 but has rapidly gained popularity over the last couple of years. This app basically allows users to create an enhanced to-do list for everyday tasks, while offering a wide range of features including productivity reports and easy to use management functions.
15Five is a user-friendly platform that develops ultra-successful managers and unlocks superior performance among employees. According the 15Five’s website, they are the only platform currently aligned to the latest positive psychology research to help companies achieve a team that will live up to their full potential for optimal results.
Like Slack, Clickup is an all-in-one suite where businesses can manage people, projects, and everything in-between all in one place. Some of the best features on ClickUp include integrated calendars, timelines, and Gantt charts.
Best Work-From-Home Apps for Individuals
GoodNotes is the absolute best note-taking app specifically designed for iPad. GoodNotes allows users to write beautiful handwritten notes in digital notebooks as well as annotate imported PDF documents. Additionally, because GoodNotes is so customizable, you can purchase customized planner, calendar, note-taking, and organization designs that you can import directly into your app. If you think you are disorganized and can never remember what tasks or plans you have on a day-to-day basis, I highly recommend downloading this app!
Trello has become trusted by millions of people all over the world for it’s easy, free, and flexible application that aids people in managing their projects into boards. Trello allows teams to organize projects and tasks very simply on a digital whiteboard by adding yellow stickies onto the board that everyone can see. These stickies indicate specific projects that can be easily moved around, reorganized, and reassigned to different people to illustrate project ownership, workflow, and project completion status.
Notion is one of the fastest growing productivity apps for its ease of creating an all-in-one workspace that aids in planning, collaborating, and keeping organized. Notion allows users to take detailed and aesthetically pleasing notes, add daily tasks and manage projects.
Todoist is a very fun app for creating and managing a virtual to-do-list and task manager for small businesses and working professionals. Todoist combines all the basic tools you may need in creating your perfect to-do-list such as task builder, project builder, comments area, attachments, notifications, and more. Todoist is also a cloud-based service, which means everything that you do on this application will sync automatically to any device that you use this app on.
Things is an award-winning task manager that individuals and companies can use to keep themselves on track when completing goals. Do be aware that things have been specifically designed for Mac, iPhone, Apple watch and iPad.
Are you someone who is constantly having to click on “forgot password’ because you just have way too many accounts to remember them all? This application will be a gamechanger for you! 1Password is a password manager and digital vault. The only password you will have to remember from now on is your ‘master password’ that will grant you access to your digital vault where you can find all the rest. Not only will this vault store all your passwords, but it will also safely store any private documents you may have.
Toggl’s goal is for you to work smarter and live happier. Toggl is a reliable time tracking, planning, and candidate-screening software that is currently used by over 5 million people worldwide.
Like Harvest and Toggl, Qbserve is a time-tracking application that provides seamless tracking of all work hours or freelance projects. Qbserve offers a host of other features as well including invoice generation, performance feedback, timesheets, scheduled data export, Slack, and Skype team tracking and notifications.
Noizio is a must for all of you remote workers that are working from a busy, chaotic household or coffee shop. Noizio will help you in drowning out the noise of your surroundings and allow you to concentrate on your work for increased productivity. Noizio offers over 40 relaxing sounds for better concentration and relaxation while working.
Magnet is a productivity app designed for Mac users that will help to seamlessly organize your many open windows. Having multiple windows open at once creates a very cluttered digital work environment that will ultimately increase stress and decrease productivity. Magnet has made it easy for you to snap these windows into small tiles that you can easily view and organize while multitasking. Once you use Magnet, you will wonder how you ever survived without it in the first place.
Remember when we were kids and we had online games that would allow us to care for digital pets, plants, or homes? Forest is an app that allows you to grow a digital lush forest that is later turned into a real forest, but only if you maintain your focus and productivity. Basically, whenever you want to stay focused you plant your digital tree, your tree will grow the more focused you are. If you become unfocused and leave the app, your tree will die. Forest has partnered with a real tree planting organization so when users plant digital trees and spends virtual coins, the Forest team will donate all proceeds to their partner to plant real trees.
Spark is one of the best email organization apps out there. Spark will intelligently organize all emails in your inbox, to prioritize the most important ones. Additionally, spark will optimize your notifications so that you are only notified of an email when it is from someone you know.
Figma is a web-based design app that allows teams to collaborate on design focused projects to create anything from website design, prototypes, logos, apps etc. Figma is a cloud-based tool, so everything your team does in Figma will be automatically saved to ease the stress of losing work.
- Aloe Bud
Aloe Bud is a self-care digital pocket companion. This app will check-in with the very busy worker to remind them to complete their daily self-care activities such as hydrating or taking a well-deserved break. Aloe Bud will also encourage users to reflect in their journal by giving various prompts throughout the day. This app will also pop up to give gentle reminders in the form of words of encouragement.
- World time Buddy
World time buddy has become a very popular visual world clock. If you are a remote worker who collaborates daily with people from all around the world, this clock will be a life saver! It will highlight work/awake hours for individuals living in different time zones, allowing you to schedule meetings, calls and events with ease.
Physical Items are Equally as Important in Remote Office Spaces to Increase Productivity
Although it is important to have apps that will increase your remote work productivity and efficiency, it is equally as important to have physical objects in your remote office that will keep you comfortable, relaxed and aid in providing a focused state of mind. Be sure to check out the best list of work from home office must-haves here.
Additionally, a site called Swagbucks allows you to earn points called “SB” for various activities. These SBs are like a virtual currency that can be redeemed for prizes, gift cards, and other items. One of the best features of Swagbucks is their very lenient bonus system! You get 1-5% back on almost everything you buy from Amazon (excluding taxes), not just things bought through Swagbucks’ website.
Swagbucks is offering a $5 cash bonus just for signing up through their special offer so sign up here to snag your bonus cash.
Read the Entire Work from Home Series
- Work From Home Office Must Haves
- Amazon Work from Home Jobs That are In Demand
- 7 Part-Time Work from Home Jobs that Start this Week
- 5 Productivity Tips to Work from Home [Get More Done!]
- Work from Home Jobs That Don’t Require a College Degree