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Creative Tim
Creative Tim

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at

18 Best Remote Work Tools for Devs to Overcome COVID-19

Who said, “work does not need to be done in a specific place to be executed successfully”? Well, he was right, especially for this difficult period when the Corona Virus spread has locked us in our homes and we have to protect ourselves and manifest a civic spirit.

How Corona Virus can impact our work lives as developers/designers:

  • No more office meetings;
  • No more clients meetings;
  • No more brainstorming;
  • No more socialisation;
  • Anxiety caused by news about the virus;
  • Losing time by getting distracted.

Good news, guys, thanks to the digital** work tools** we can work remotely and be more productive and happy than we usually are. Also, we are not alone, everybody is home and online, looking to check the news and to share their thoughts with other people.

We, at Creative Tim, are also working remotely this period. We know how important are tools in managing your work and your team, therefore we gathered a list of best remote work tools for developers and designers that will help you overcome Corona Virus work crisis.

Remote Work Tools Examples

1. Slack

Slack is a chat room designed to replace email and allows you to organize communications by channels for group discussions and by private messages to share information, files, and more. We believe that it is one of the best work tools for communication that medium teams can use!

Why it is good for working remotely:

  • It is like an “office” for remote work
  • It is a fast and easy solution for communicating with your team. You can write down a question and get the answer as fast as you can say…safety
  • You can move meetings to channels: you can set a weekly status meeting by setting a specific time of day by which everyone should post their status in a channel for that project
  • You can use bots that is like having a virtual team member — they can help you manage tasks, run your team standup, poll the office, and more
  • It can replace Whiteboarding: take a photo with your phones and upload it straight to a channel in Slack from there to keep the conversation flowing
  • You can organize video conferences and the meetings can happen almost face to face (without contact and spreading viruses :D)
  • You can Share channels with vendors, partners, and customers, eliminating the need to travel or get out from your safe space
  • You can use “Social” features like emoji reactions and GIPHY integrations which are a positive way for remote companies to communicate more naturally
  • There are also a huge number of slack communities for remote workers who work alone but wish they had others to chat with professionally, build connections with, and make friends from anywhere

Pricing: Free. Pro version starting from $6.67/month/user


2. Whereby

Whereby is a flexible tool providing you with video meetings in the browser – no downloads & no logins for guests.

Why it is good for working remotely:

  • You can hold boardroom meetings from the comfort of your sofa
  • You can easily share screens to quickly resolve questions, workshop ideas, and pitch to clients
  • You can record the meetings and share it with a colleague that could not attend
  • You can join the meetings from your phone (via browser or iOS app)

Pricing: Free. Pro version starting from $9.99/month/user

3. Zoom

Zoom is a very popular video communications tool, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, collaboration, chat, and webinars across mobile devices, desktops, telephones, and room systems.

Why it is good for working remotely:

  • Attendees can join the meeting in-person, via webcam or video conferencing camera, or via phone
  • It allows mobile screen sharing, so you can stay in touch with your colleagues wherever you are
  • You can record meetings to your device or the Zoom cloud for later reviewing
  • You can Sync Zoom with Slack

Pricing: Free. Pro version starting from $1.67/month/user


4. Trello

Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects and tasks into kanban boards. It replaces a whiteboard, filled with lists of sticky notes, with each note as a task for you and your team. In other words.

Why it is good for working remotely:

  • Trello tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process
  • All the information updates in real-time and lives there 24/7. No need for face-to-face clarification meetings.
  • You can organize Weekly Meeting by adding a dedicated board that creates a structured agenda for your team’s weekly (or daily) meetings. As items are discussed move them to a “Done” list, and when there are no more cards, the meeting’s done
  • You can create cards for important items like OKRs, projects, and team activities to provide an overview and link it to related boards, documents, and chat channels for anyone that wants to learn more.
  • You can stay in the loop by setting up configurable alerts to automatically notify Slack channels for activities in Trello.

Pricing: Free. Pro version starting from $9.99/month/user


5. Jira

Jira is a project management tool used for issue tracking, bug tracking, and project management purposes. It is an issue-tracking platform used by development and technical support teams to get more work done and faster.

Why it is good for working remotely:

  • Transparency – it gives your team a place to track the progress of their daily tasks, make adjustments to estimates, and see what other team members are up to, eliminating the need to go and ask your colleague directly what’s up to
  • It makes easier the communication process: When a project manager assigned tickets to a team member in Jira, that person will be notified through email. As they work on the task, they can add comments and mark their progress
  • It is perfect for development and technical support teams to get more work done and faster
  • Like Trello, it uses Flexible Kanban boards that give your team full visibility into what’s next so you can continuously deliver maximum output in minimal cycle time
  • It gives access to more than a dozen out-of-the-box reports with real-time, actionable insights into how the team is performing sprint over sprint. No need for face-to-face reporting.
  • You can bring information from your favorite version control, build, deployment, or feature flagging tool into Jira and get instant visibility into your development pipeline

Pricing: Free. Pro version starting from $7/month/user

6. Clickup

ClickUp is a cloud-based collaboration and project management tool suitable for businesses of all sizes and industries. Features include communication and collaboration tools, task assignments and statuses, alerts, and a task toolbar

Why it is good for working remotely:

  • You can edit docs with each other in real-time, no need for real presence, everything is virtual 🙂
  • You can use emoji reactions which are a positive way for remote companies to communicate more naturally
  • Know exactly how long you and others are spending on tasks with time tracking. This means no more guessing who worked on what for how long. It also helps you set personal goals on time spent on some tasks. When you are home it is hard not to be disturbed by social media messages, neighbors’ music, and so on
  • You can set recurring tasks that will save you from boring work to do and give you time for a tea break
  • If you are wondering What are people working on? Are they sleeping on the couch? With Box view, you can easily see who is overloaded and who needs more tasks. Plus, managing resources is as simple as drag and drop

Pricing: Free. Pro version starting from $4.99/month/user


7. Monday

Monday is a simple and intuitive visual team management tool that powers teams to run processes, workflows, and projects in one digital workspace. This app looks pretty much the same as a collection of very customized spreadsheets in which every team member can log their tasks and updates them with status reports and other relevant information. In this way, every person can see all active tasks and keep count on their progress. Also, the boards are completely yours to design, own, and use.

Why it is good for working remotely:

  • With Monday dashboards you can easily gain important insights and a clear overview of your work.
  • Team members can work on multiple projects without getting lost by using Monday’s weekly overview.
  • You can upload and share files so everyone has access to the resources they need via the same dashboard
  • Team managers can assign tasks to members based on their workload, location, experience, native language and the rating of previous tasks completed
  • As long as you and your colleagues are logging into your account and have your notifications set up, it’s nearly impossible to miss a message sent through
  • You can use a Q&A box. For example, you can use this to post frequently asked questions about an item. This frees you from having to respond to the same questions over and over again

Pricing: Free. Pro version starting from $39/month/5 users


8. Basecamp

Basecamp is a real-time communication tool that helps teams stay on the same page. It provides a way for teams to keep track of priorities and actionable items.

Why it is good for working remotely:

  • Every project includes the tools all teams need to work remotely together; message boards, to-dos, schedules, docs, file storage, real-time group chat, and automatic check-in questions
  • Basecamp’s real-time group chat (Campfires) lets you ask quick questions and get equally quick answers. All without reaching for a separate app
  • You can have private conversations with a teammate
  • You can give access to the client
  • Themes! Change the colour of Basecamp’s interface to make it yours. We know that working from home it can get boring…

Pricing: 99/month/team


9. Zoho Remotely

Zoho Remotely is a suite of web and mobile apps to facilitate remote working:

  • Zoho ShowTime – Engagement and training tool
  • Zoho Writer – Collaborative word processor
  • Zoho Sheet – Collaborative spreadsheet application
  • Zoho Cliq – Instant messaging/chat platform
  • Zoho Show – Business presentation tool
  • Zoho Meeting – Video conferencing tool
  • Zoho Sprints – Agile project management software
  • Zoho Lens* and Assist – Remote support software
  • Zoho WorkDrive – Document management tool
  • Zoho Projects – Comprehensive project management tool

Many companies have closed doors due to the coronavirus spread, so the Zoho team wanted to solve this problem quickly by launching “Zoho Remotely”. The best part of it, Zoho Remotely was created in just 1 week by the Zoho team.

Why it is good for working remotely:

  • it was developed for remote work
  • You can meet online and communicate from anywhere
  • You can plan and monitor your projects, assign work items, allocate resources, prioritize tasks and make your work count
  • You can create, share and edit documents together as a team, each from their own laptops or mobile
  • Special designed App for Remote support

Pricing: Free until July 1, 2020

Zoho Remotely

10. Google GSuite

G Suite is Google’s answer to several different productivity problems facing most companies and organizations. In one suite of tools, it offers solutions for email, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation decks, shared calendars, cloud storage, and much more.

Why it is good for working remotely:

  • It allows workers in different time zones to work on projects asynchronously
  • You can communicate with your colleagues through Google Hangouts
  • You can comment and make suggestions on specific documents through Google Sheets and Docs
  • You can edit docs with each other in real-time, no need for real presence, everything is virtual 🙂
  • You can collaborate on projects and documents and give permission to specific files through Google Drive
  • You can share information and documents
  • You can collect information through Google Forms

Pricing: Starting from $6/user/month

Google GSuite

11. Toggl

Toggl is a time tracking app that allows you to track your daily activities across different platforms; providing you with detailed insights and an opportunity to optimize your workflow by identifying areas where you can improve.

Why it is good for working remotely:

We all know that when we are working remotely the temptations are infinite. Your friend is sending you a funny video from Youtube, your mom is calling you because she knows you are home, news about Corona Virus are viral and they all seem hot and important, and so on. Sometimes is so hard to stay focused, especially intense periods like this. This is why we have to set daily objectives and time trackers. Here comes Toggl! 🙂

Pricing: Starting from $9/user/month


12. Anydesk

AnyDesk is a remote desktop software allowing users to connect to a computer remotely from anywhere in the world with Internet access. Being able to connect remotely, is especially helpful for businesses with on-the-go employees, as well as IT professionals.

Why it is good for working remotely:

  • Because it was developed for remote work 🙂
  • You can access your office computer from anywhere. Did you forgot your laptop at the office or you can not leave the house because something unexpected happened (like the Corona Virus situation)? You can access it from another laptop immediately. You’ll just need the password.
  • You can collaborate and communicate with ease, whether you’re holding online meetings and presentations or working on the same document from the other side of the world
  • You can get a recording of each session
  • It is highly secure and your computer is protected from unauthorized access, no worries

Pricing: Free. Pro versions available starting from €8.99/mo


13. Teamviewer

TeamViewer is a proprietary software application for remote control, desktop sharing, online meetings, web conferencing, and file transfer between computers.

Why it is good for working remotely:

  • It was developed for remote work
  • It integrates a function that allows you to start online meetings
  • It supports file transfer: You can transfer files over TeamViewer simply by dragging and dropping.
  • It allows remote printing

Pricing: Free. Pro versions available starting from €27.90/month


14. Adobe Creative Cloud

Creative Cloud is a collection of 20+ desktop and mobile apps and services for photography, design, video, web, UX and more.

It is perfect for designers, web designers, UI/UX designers who are working remotely because you can collaborate with your team, upload and share designs.

Pricing: for teams $33.99/month (one app) or $79.99/month (all apps)

Adobe Creative Cloud

15. Sketch Cloud

Sketch Cloud is a service that gives you a place to upload your Sketch files and share them with anyone around the world, using only your browser.

You don’t need to present your ideas to a client or to your manager face to face. You just need to use this service.

Pricing: $99 one time payment / $9/user/month

Sketch Cloud

16. 1Password

1Password is a secure way to make sure everyone on the team has access to passwords for apps they use for work.

Pricing: starting from $2.99 / month


17. Remote Roulette

Remote Roulette is a chat platform that connects remote workers helping them make new friends and stay sane.

Pricing: $10

Remote Roulette

18. Dropbox

Dropbox is a personal cloud storage service (sometimes referred to as an online backup service) that is frequently used for file sharing and collaboration. Users can save files to the folder, add new folders, and drag and drop files among folders just as if they were all local.

Pricing: Free. Pro versions available starting from €9.99/mo


Final Thoughts

Did you check out these mighty-fine work tools that are tried and tested by our team? They will help you to power your team’s virtual collaboration and happiness. We really believe that working remotely, in general, is beneficial to both the employee and the employer: it helps both to achieve better work/life balance, which is a desired advantage for modern-day workers.

If you are feeling lonely, try to keep in touch with friends or people that share the same interest. Here’s our Facebook Group - Creative Tim Inner Circle where you will meet people who are passionate about web design and app development.

PS. One golden rule when working remotely: Never work from bed. You may start to feel like you’re always at work and lose a place to come home to.


Top comments (10)

aleksandrhovhannisyan profile image
Aleksandr Hovhannisyan • Edited

Unpopular opinion: Slack is terrible for workplace productivity.

It's very easy to get addicted to it. I often find myself checking Slack for new messages seconds after having already closed it. Disabling notifications doesn't even help.

jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel 🕵🏻‍♂️ Fayard • Edited

That's a correct take, not a unpopular opinion @aleksandrhovhannisyan

Slack is terrible for workplace productivity.

I mean the company that produce it gave us a big hint:

they called it Slack, not Work.

Slack: characterized by slowness, sluggishness, or lack of energy
To Slack: to shirk or evade work or duty

Slack is successful because it's addictive, not because it allows you to focus on what matters at work.

What Slack does is to train everyone to

  • think one line at a time instead of writing down your thoughts in a coherent matter
  • make the communication synchronous - like speech but much less rich and efficient - while the secret of effective remote work is to master the subtle art of asynchronocity
  • gives the impression that whatever was discussed last is the most important thing, leaving teams with no useful compass of what really matters
  • make you react on loads of notifications, which are basically an external TODO list. Real productivity comes from the inside

Slack is basically an all day long meeting with no agenda where everyone is invited

Hint: if you are annoyed by Slack, you may probably like Basecamp

codemekathy profile image

Thank you for a great article, @creativetim_official ! A free alternative to Toggl that I am a big fan of is TopTracker ( Other reasons to use Zoom include great pair programming features like providing meeting attendees remote access with the ability to type and control the mouse of the shared screen device.

julia_moskaliuk profile image
Julia Moskaliuk • Edited

Thanks for useful list of tools. Actually, I'm already using lots of them working in team. But for tracking my time I use TMetric ( as it's completely free. BTW, between JIRA and Trello I prefer JIRA for Project- & issue tracking.

unrealartemg profile image

Thank you for the great list of tools and extremely useful info. The only tool I would add is DueFocus Why? Because this software provides activity metrics and KPI's that are extremely helpful for remote work.

jschleigher profile image
James Schleigher

Nice post! Trello is the tool that I used when I started remote working. It's a great app, but it can be pretty hectic when I have many cards. Then, my friend suggests I try Quire. It's a simple but robust tool. They have a list, board, and timeline view. Thou they don't have a native calendar, but I can simply sync my google calendar, and it works enough for me.

florincornea profile image
Cornea Florin

Great article, thank you guys!

richard21266663 profile image

Great list Mr Tim.

sumitkharche profile image
Sumit Kharche

Microsoft Teams is also good option.

zoebourque profile image

Great article! I like to use Slack, Gmail and collaborate with Quire. They did a great collaboration!