Best Work from Home Software & Tools for Remote Teams
So, a lot of people ask me what tools and services I use for blogging. 😈
I don’t know if it’s just me but man, I think I’ll always be in the pursuit of the best, the perfect tool. Like chasing a unicorn.
“If only I had an app like that. If only it did this. If only the price was right.”
I think I like the idea of cribbing and complaining about even the best tool out there and keep looking for another. 👿
Luckily, there are so many tools out there in this space. And new ones keep popping up. Ha! 😛
Like many of you, I run a remote workforce/distributed team.
Fuck it. It’s essentially a team of freelancers working in their pajamas remotely, but hey “distributed workforce” sounds cool, isn’t it? Like you immediately visualize a big global enterprise or something. 😮
So we use tools and software that help us get the job done in the easiest way, effectively and without burning a hole in our pockets (note to the editor – put this in italics + bold.)
Thought I’d just list them all down here so you can check them out too.
I’ve categorized them and labeled the best three in each category. Also, added notes wherever necessary.
Some of these might be affiliate links FYI. But you knew that already. :/
Well, here goes.
Table of contents
- Best Project Management Tools
- Best Meeting & Conferencing Tools
- Best Collaboration Tools
- Best WordPress Plugins
- Best Blogging Tools
- Best Graphic Designing Tools
- Best Podcasting Tools
- Best Email Marketing Tools
- Best Facebook Messenger Marketing Tools
- Best Email Newsletter Tools
- Best WordPress Hosting
- Best Landing Page Tools
- Best SEO Tools
- Best Live Chat Tools
- Best Productivity Tools
- Best Marketing Automation Tools
Best Project Management Tools
Project management tools are many. Like, I wouldn’t be wrong if I said that there’s more software in the project management category than any other.
From simple drag and drop types to complicated ones with multitasks and child tasks, the range is huge. Like always, I try to choose the ones that are easy to use and don’t suck your time.
Here are the best project management tools I’ve used.
- Asana – For team project management. Best in category
- Trello – For personal task management. Next best
- Podio – Works like Facebook for work. Good
- Scoro – A good alternative to Basecamp.
- Basecamp – A full-fledged project management tool. Good fit for large teams.
- Notion – Does a lot of things but simple to use.
- Paymo – Kinda like a newer, fancier alternative to Trello.
- Avaza – Great tool for startups. Does a lot more than project management.
- Redbooth – Drag and drop style project management.
- ClickUp – Amazing tool with to-do list type management. Worth Trying
Best Meeting & Conferencing Tools
In our daily work, there’s a lot of online meeting and video conferencing tool requirements. Every now and then, there’s a new video conferencing tool that pops up. And I’ve seen more tools die in this category than anything else.
Here are some of the best video conferencing & meeting tools I know of.
- Zoom – For easy to schedule video calls. Best in category
- WhatsApp video calls – For one on one calls. Next best
- GoTo Meeting – For remote conference calls. Good
- Skype – For one on one video calls.
- Whereby – Video calling, super-simple!
- Hear App – Meetings + action items, automatic follow-ups & sign-offs. Worth Trying
- Meeting Bird – Awesome with scheduling, other features are normal.
- Firefly – Record any meeting, transcript, save to database, search later.
- Google Meet – Super lightweight video conferencing from Google.
- Join.me – Another super easy to use video conferencing tool.
- Tico – Video calls cannot get more simple than this.
Best Collaboration Tools
It is tough to get things done and keep up with dates when working with remote teams. I use collaboration tools to solve this problem.
Here are some of the best collaboration tools I use.
- Standuply – Project Management with a smart digital assistant.
- Slack – Must have collaboration tool for remote teams. Best in category
- Invision – For design collaboration.
- Flowdock – It’s like group chat for your whole team.
- Monday – A collaboration + task management app for remote teams. Worth Trying
- Flock – A good alternative to Slack.
- Paper – Dropbox’s own task management + collaboration app.
- Workep – Team collaboration inside Google.
- Draftin – For better writing with collaboration & team commenting.
- Redpen – Feedback tool for visual collaboration.
Best WordPress Plugins
Since most of my projects are on WordPress, I keep testing new WordPress plugins. Sometimes for the sake of trying new features, sometimes purely out of necessity.
Here are some of the best WordPress plugins I’ve come across.
- RankMath – Well coded, loaded with features. Best in category
- Bloom – Email optin plugin.
- Yoast SEO – Extremely popular, well-coded. Next best
- Platinum SEO
- All in One SEO Pack – Equally popular. A bit dated IMO.
- SEMrush Writing Assistant Tool – Good standalone plugin with SEO recommendations for content.
- SEO Press – Good alternative to Yoast SEO.
- Flying Pages – Makes page loading faster. Good
- WP Rocket – Makes your blog super-fast loading!
- WordFence security – A commendable security plugin I use on most projects.
- WP Advanced Ads – For managing ads on my blogs.
Best Blogging Tools
Daily blogging involves a lot of writing. You might consider yourself a good writer until you do a software check. I use plenty of tools to make sure my writing is readable, mistake-free and good.
Here are some of the best blogging tools I recommend.
- Hemingway App – For readability checks. Best in category
- Grammarly – For grammar checks and accuracy. Next best
- Ulysses – For desktop writing help.
- Bear – A multiplatform tool for seamless writing.
- Coda – From simple note-taking to to-do lists.
- Agenda – It’s a note-taking app but can be more than just that.
- Weava – A research tool helpful in stitching up/bookmarking/highlighting content from different sources.
- Ink – Ink is an SEO assistant for writers.
- Content Idea Generator – Put in a topic and this tool spits out cool content ideas.
- Headline Analyzer – Type in your headline and this tool will tell you how good or bad it is.
Best Graphic Designing Tools
Blogging is incomplete without graphics.
Back in those days, I used to do everything on Adobe Photoshop. But these days I use design tools online. They’re so much easier to use.
Here are the best online graphic designing tools.
- Canva – It’s just like Photoshop, but online. Best in category
- Crello – For creating easy animations.
- Coolors – The best color scheme generator. Worth Trying
- Colors & Fonts – Curated list of gradients, patterns, color palettes etc.
- BrandFetch – A simple Chrome extension that’ll fetch any website’s color scheme. Worth Trying
- Responsive Test – Check how your site looks on tab & mobile.
- Type Wolf – Font recommendations & inspiration.
- Easely – An easy tool to create infographics from text.
- IMG Flip – For creating easy memes.
- Infogram – For creating fancy charts and graphs from boring data.
Best Podcasting Tools
I’ve gotten into podcasting recently and is enjoying it a lot. Podcasting was once a tedious task but not anymore. With new podcasting apps & automated distribution systems, podcasting has become super easy these days.
Here are the best podcasting tools.
- Anchor.fm – Free & easy podcasting. Record, edit and distribute. Best in category
- Headliner App – For podcast design, transcripting etc.
- Descript – Easy way to make a podcast. Transcripts, Overdubs and more. Good
- Podshare – Easily create landing pages for each podcast episode.
- Podcave – A full-fledged podcasting workflow automation platform. Helps you chart out everything from topic planning, guest invites to distribution. Worth Trying
- BeMyGuest – Service that will fetch you podcasting appearances.
- SoundTrap – High-quality podcast creation studio.
- Rate This Podcast – Gives you a short, memorable URL to get more reviews etc.
- Acast – Another top quality podcast creation platform for the pros.
- Wave Chat – If podcasting is too much, this app lets you create “micro podcasts” with your friends.
Best Email Marketing Tools
Emails are an important part of blogging. It’s probably one technology that has stood the tests of time. Even today, email marketing works!
Based on my experience trying out different tools, here are the best email marketing tools.
- MailChimp – For easy, step by step, email nurturing sequences. Best in category
- SendinBlue – Email + SMS Marketing. A developer-friendly product.
- Moosend – A complete marketing automation solution for startups.
- ConvertKit – For category-based, lead generation and CTAs. Good
- Email Octopus – A cheaper alternative to MailChimp. Worth Trying
- BlogSend – Simple email tool for bloggers.
- Vetter – Test if your email is spammy.
- Mail Meteor – Send bulk emails in Gmail to contacts in spreadsheets.
- TrueLead – Find anyone’s email on LinkedIn (Chrome Extension)
- GMass – Mass/Bulk emailer within Gmail.
Best Facebook Messenger Marketing Tools
Facebook messenger has become an inevitable part of new-age marketing. Compared to emails, it is a better and sometimes effective way of communicating with your audience.
Here are the best Facebook messenger marketing tools.
- Pushletter – Send newsletters on Facebook Messenger. Best in category
- Botletter – Another newsletter tool for Facebook Messenger.
- Privy – Marketing via text/SMS.
- Chat Fuel – Probably the best Messenger bot. Good
- Many Chat – FB Messenger + SMS Marketing.
Are you good with curation? Newsletters may be for you.
In certain niches, newsletters work really well.
The audience is always looking for valuable information and email newsletters are a great way to keep them hooked!
- Goodbits – Create newsletters from any source.
- Revue – Easy newsletter creation tool for publishers. Best in category
- Leave Me Alone – Easily unroll from email spam.
- Letter Fuel – Create curated newsletters easily. Like really easy.
- Pear – Find advertisers for your newsletter.
- Button Down – Another easy way to create newsletters!
- Stripo – Create drag and drop type AMP emails.
- Upscribe – Embeddable signup forms + Super easy newsletter service. Good
- Newsletter Breeze – Create curated newsletters. It looks a bit dated.
- Feed Otter – Create a newsletter from blog feeds.
- Elevatr – Email-based marketing automation.
Best WordPress Hosting
I’ve been on the WordPress blogging platform for the last fifteen years. And I can proudly say that I’ve tried most platforms out there. Dedicated, Shared, Optimized, everything!
Fun thing is that new hosting services and technologies keep popping up every few years. And you need to keep trying different WordPress hosts to stay updated.
I don’t blindly trust the marketing claims made by these WordPress hosting services.
Based on my experience, here are the best WordPress hosts for bloggers and small startups.
- Kinsta – Top of the line. Amazing team. Delightful support. Top-notch stack. Ok…Pricey. Feels like driving a Tesla. ?? Best in category
- CloudWays – Nimble. Lot of options to choose from. Great support. Very good stack. Cheaper. Worth Trying
- WP Engine – Super popular. Probably not a wise decision, but go for it if you don’t care overage fees and want to feel good.
- Closte – Hidden gem. No fancy branding or glitter! Good
- GoDaddy – Good for getting started with. Trust me, one day you’ll grow out of it. ?
- BlueHost – You’ll see many bloggers promoting it only because of their affiliate relationship. A decent host – that’s about it. ????
Best Landing Page Tools
A visitor is just an IP address until they signup with their email address. And landing pages are that magic you do, to get it done! You never get tired of testing them.
Here are some of the best landing page creation tools I’ve tried and recommend.
- Instapage – Probably the most popular landing page creator out there.
- Lead Pages – Landing pages with a focus on conversions and sales.
- Drift – Conversational landing page for various use cases.
- Landen – Almost a one-page website like landing page generator + email lists, analytics etc.
- Viral Loops – A landing page with viral & referral marketing elements.
- Landbot – A chatbot enabled landing page builder.
- Cruip – Beautifully designed HTML landing page templates. Worth Trying
- Landing Folio – A collection of landing pages designs for inspiration.
- Unicorn Platform – Powerful landing page generator for startups.
- Flauntly – Amazingly simple landing page/single-page website creator.
Best SEO Tools
I don’t think I need to emphasize this but SEO is an integral part of marketing today. It has always been and will be. I am passionate about SEO and have been trying different tools for the last ten years or so.
Here are the best SEO tools that I know of.
- SEMrush – For everything SEO. Big fan. Best in category
- SERPstat – A good SEMrush alternative.
- Cognitive SEO – Another great overall SEO suite for small startups.
- Rankz – A hidden gem. Helps distribute your content in top rated websites. Like quality link building. ? Worth Trying
- SpyFu – For competition research. Raw data.
- Link Miner – Find links of competitors and helps you get/replace them.
- Detailed – An Chrome Extension that pulls out basic SEO elements from any page.
- Open Link Profiler – Checks all your backlinks and throws actionable insights at you.
- Site Liner – Finds duplicate content on your website.
- Visual Sitemaps – Create visual sitemaps easily.
- SERPstash – Kind of a low priced, minimal SEO tools for those who want to get the hang of it before investing in big tools.
- Botify – AI-enabled enterprise-level SEO tool.
- SERP Checker – A geo-based ranking checker tool.
- Unamo – A well designed SEO tracking and performance analysis tool.
- Sucuri Page Load Time Tester – Says what it says it will.
- Page Weight – Analyses pages for load time (with a focus on images).
- Google Page Speed Insights – Google’s own page analysis tool. (Hate using this tool. Never gives you good results. ?)
- Pingdom Tools – Checks page load time. Not accurate always though.
Best Live Chat Tools
Live chat is one of the easiest ways of lead generation. It can be irrelevant if you don’t have a targeted content plan though.
Like if your blog deals with multiple topics, just putting all of those leads without segmentation into one giant bucket is not a good idea.
That’s why we need live chat tools that aren’t just a plain popup widget.
Here are some of the best live chat tools I’ve used & recommend.
- Live Chat – Probably the most popular live chat tool. More fit for e-com and startups.
- Userlike – A customer-centric approach to conversations.
- Smart Chart – AI-based live chat. Because, AI. ?
- Crisp – Easy to use chat with marketing automation possibilities. Worth Trying
- Drift – Conversational marketing with chat as a starting point.
- Facebook Chat – Facebook’s own native chat widget for websites.
- Intercom – Brings marketing & sales under one platform. Best in category
- PureChat – Not the fastest but a very good pricing plan makes it a popular one.
- GoSquared – Live Chat as a sales lead gen tool.
- Crisp – A well-integrated live chat solution for e-com sites.
- WhatsApp Live chat widget for WordPress.
Best Productivity Tools
I mean imagine, creating a task to create tasks in your productivity tool. That’s how it always ends up.
Most productivity tools look promising until you start using it. Maybe it’s just me. But that doesn’t stop me from trying out the new one.
Here are some of the best productivity tools I’ve used.
- Station – A browser with all kind of apps for organized workflow. If you’re wasting time finding stuff all the time, this is your new browser. Best in category
- Todoist – Great task manager and overall productivity tool.
- Pomodus – Block notifications, analytics etc. Good tool to cut out distractions. Worth Trying
- Streak – Makes Gmail a Trello like experience.
- Inbox When Ready – Helps you check email only at intervals.
- Yourganize – A nice task organizer
- Milanote – A visual board organizer.
- Toggl – Amazingly good with time tracking.
- Evernote – Not going to explain.
- Freedom – Stop distractions with this app.
Best Marketing Automation Tools
- Hubspot – A pricey marketing automation tool.
- Marketo – The gold standard in marketing automation. Enterprise-level shiz!
- Active Campaign – Lead generation, nurture, repeat visits, support – It’s got everything seamlessly integrated. Good
- Erxes – An open-source, nimble, full-lifecycle marketing automation platform. Surprisingly good!
- Autopilot – One of my favorite marketing automation tools. Everything is fucking visual. So easy to chart out customer journeys. Best in category
- Freshworks – A straight forward marketing automation tool. But part of a bigger suite. Probably pricey too.
- SendX – Email marketing automation for e-commerce sites. Nothing special.
- Jump Lead – A full lead nurturing automation suite. It’s got everything from popups, lead scoring to leads handover. Wish the UI was more sexy!
- Platformly – Goes the whole fucking nine yards. Lead capture, nurture, even a CRM. Good option if you cannot afford Salesforce.
- Treck – A liteweight lead generation tool. Worth Trying
Wait. Did I miss anything? ?Icons made by Freepik.