The air of productivity in an office can do wonders for keeping you motivated. However, when working remotely, the lack of professional environment can make the lines between your work and home lives blurred or even nonexistent.
Working remotely may put you in greater control of tackling your work tasks, but the added freedom can also come with drawbacks related to team communication, time management, and even security. Thankfully, these iPhone apps can help you continue to perform well even when you’re working at home.
1. Google Keep
Google Keep is a great tool for people looking for a simple way to keep their short to mid-term tasks in order. Keep is optimal for remote workers who need to get their thoughts onto the screen. The app allows you to break down a larger task into bite-sized actions as text, voice, or photo notes across multiple platforms.
Outside of keeping your lists organized, Google Keep integrates with the extensive suite of Google products and works across the various devices you may use during your remote workday. Google Keep isn’t only useful for individuals, either. Its collaboration tools make it an unbeatable option for those tasks that require all hands on deck.
Download: Google Keep (Free)
For those projects from home that require a more extensive toolkit of features, Trello is the way to go. Using the app’s Kanban structure, you’ll see how Trello’s visualized method of project management allows you to tackle a task of any magnitude.
Boards, which are the overarching project holders, house both lists and cards. Lists are the buckets that you’ll want to throw your specific tasks into. Cards are the actionable tasks.
Aside from this, Trello has the standard features and tools you’ve come to expect from any respectable project management software. These include reminders, labels, file support, collaboration tools, and cross-platform integration. There’s a reason Trello is the industry standard for project management, and why it should be a part of your remote work arsenal.
Download: Trello(Free, in-app purchases available)
IFTTT (If This Then That) is your gateway to a more automated workflow. It allows applications to work together in ways that they wouldn’t normally be able to out of the box.
IFTTT operates on the actions of what it calls a service. These are apps or other web-based programs that IFTTT can interact with; each action is called a trigger. For example, when you receive an email with an attachment from a particular recipient, IFTTT could then tell Dropbox to save the attachment into a particular folder.
IFTTT’s Applets, as they’re called, can be as simple or complex as you like. Use them wisely to cut down on menial work in your remote workday.
Download: IFTTT (Free, subscription available)
With TimeCamp’s clean and organized feel, it may surprise you how much of a punch this app packs. With just a tap, you can let TimeCamp take over and track your time. Similar to Trello, you can break your work into smaller tasks and track how long it takes for you to finish the various parts of your project.
Your project manager can gain a holistic view of your time spent on these tasks thanks to an automated time report. Gone are the days of vague timesheets, or various imperfect means of calculating your own time.
Like almost all the programs here, TimeCamp operates across platforms. It also integrates into more than 100 third-party apps. TimeCamp integrates itself into your remote work life, not the other way around.
Download: TimeCamp(Free, subscription available)
Bitwarden is an excellent free and open source program for your password management needs. Bitwarden protects your credentials across multiple platforms through standard end-to-end encryption and salted hashing.
Along with your passwords, Bitwarden also supports storing other secure notes. In the program’s spirit of full transparency, Bitwarden is quite upfront about its security capabilities and hosts its full code on GitHub. Bitwarden may lack full offline support, but the program’s ability to operate on both mobile and desktop platforms for free makes up for it.
The multiple forms of authentication, cloud syncing, and ability to self-host Bitwarden on your own server make it the premier password manager for staying secure remotely.
Download: Bitwarden (Free, subscription available)
When working remotely, distractions abound. And when you work every day on the a device that holds most of these distractions, you may need outside help.
Freedom stands out from other distraction-blocking apps market by working simultaneously across the various devices you may use. Not only can you block distractions on your iPhone; you can also do so on your desktop computer. What good is a program that prevents you from accessing Facebook on your computer, yet allows you to be reeled in on your iPhone?
Freedom works by allowing you to create a blacklist of applications and websites that operate through a separate VPN, blocking your access to those programs for a specific period. Some have coupled Freedom into their existing productivity routine, including Pomodoro, to reap additional benefits in their work habits.
Download: Freedom (Free, subscription available)
Telework can induce stress—when you work away from coworkers and your normal environment, it can put your work routine out of whack. Couple in the occasional Zoom malfunction, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the end of the day.
Headspace helps in these situations. It brings meditation and mindful breathing exercises to novice practitioners looking to incorporate these healthy habits into their daily routine.
The warm user interface and approachable structure allows for a quick escape or can help you find an outlet for a specific concern. Headspace understands that breathing and stillness aren’t the only avenue to wellness; with Move Mode, Headspace gets you out of your chair with short stretches and home office-friendly exercises.
While the base experience is free, paying for the subscription allows you to unlock more sessions and packs.
Download: Headspace (Free, subscription available)
Work Smarter and More Securely at Home
The iPhone apps covered above are essential parts of your toolkit for a more seamless remote work environment. With these stellar programs, you’ll be on the road to a more productive telework routine that maintains your professional health and personal wellness.
Image Credit: Nenad Stojkovic/Flickr