Working from anywhere in the world, having the ultimate freedom to work when and where you please, isn’t that the dream of so many?

It’s probably no surprise that remote workers love digital tools to make working from their laptop easier, faster and ultimately more productive. If you are thinking of becoming a freelancer or you recently took the leap, this article will help you tackle all the everyday challenges. These include communicating with your coworkers and clients, keeping schedules across time zones and managing multiple projects at the same time.

Take it from Carolin Pilligrath from Breathing Travel who has been working remotely for over five years, and blogging about it along the way. Born and raised in Germany, she left her home country in 2014 with the plan to travel the world and figure out how to work online. Fast forward to today, and she has traveled to over 30 countries and now built a beautiful home base in her favorite country on earth, Australia.Blueground offers fully-furnished, equipped and serviced apartments in some of the world's most sought after cities.Carolin walks us through her proven tools for remote work and productivity tips for freelancers…

 

Slack

One of my all-time favorite tools for chatting with other team members is Slack. This cloud-based team collaboration tool is next level with its various channels to keep everything organized. Yet the real magic lies in the endless choice of integration to make workflows run super smooth. There is even a free version! Or upgrade if you have a bigger team, it’s definitely worth it.

 

Zoom

tools for remote workers carolin sitting on a couch

While Google Hangouts is a great tool for team and client meetings, I have found my favorite video conferencing tool to be Zoom. It’s very easy and intuitive to use and it has built-in collaborative functions so you can share your screen or hold a presentation for clients. It’s another free freelancer tool that you cannot miss out on when working remotely.

 

Trello

One of the first tools I used when I became a freelancer and I still use it to this day! Trello is an awesome web-based project management tool. I use it for all sorts of things, but mostly to organize individual client projects and record milestones. Organized in boards, lists and cards, you can share everything with team members or clients so they can follow up with the project. It is also an epic tool for personal travel plans, to-do lists, and so much more!

 

Toggl

It pays to know how much time you spend on certain tasks when working online. If you have clocked in your hours in an office previously, you might not know how long you actually take for individual tasks. However, when pricing yourself, knowing how much time you take is invaluable. Toggl is a time management tool with some powerful reports and it gave me a major productivity boost, as distractions are real when you work from anywhere. Set a work schedule and monitor it regularly.

 

Google Drive

There’s no way past Google Drive or Dropbox as a freelancer. I like them both but Google Drive gives a whopping 15GB free cloud space while Dropbox only gives you 2GB for free and then it’s pay time.

 

1Password

Ever forgot a password or are you generally just using the same password for every site and tool you sign up for? Needless to say that this is a security risk and simply not a smart thing to do in today’s world. 1Password is a password manager that generates secure passwords and stores sensitive information all in one place with one master password. No more forgetting passwords!

 

Every Time Zone

Are you working with clients or team members across the globe? Me too! It’s the best, but I easily get confused with time zones. Every Time Zone helps you find the exact time difference through their visual time zone converter. No more getting up at 5 a.m. for nothing, because you thought you had a call scheduled with the other side of the world. This tool is absolutely essential to being productive with your global freelance work!

 

Productivity Tips For Freelancers

Everyone’s work style is a little different but these remote work tips will help to keep you at peak performance.

    • Keep a daily schedule and build a routine for ultimate productivity. Some people are early birds, some are night owls, honor when you work best
    • It helps to dress up for your work, client calls and team meetings, simply because clothing can prime the brain into work mode. Like Elizabeth Gilbert says: “dress for the novel you want to write”
    • Do the most important or difficult task first thing in the morning, this way you won’t have to think about it all day long
    • Cut out distractions, like social media. A great tool to limit your virtual distractions is an app called SelfControl. For outside noises, buy some good noise canceling headphones
    • Take regular breaks! It’s proven to increase productivity and creativity
    • Don’t forget to reward yourself. A nice dinner, a new Netflix show, or a new tech gadget will help you stay motivated in the long run

 

Final Thoughts

Becoming a freelancer is a fun journey, challenging at times, but so very rewarding once you really get going. On a typical day, we freelancers work from our home offices or nearby cafés. But it’s equally important to have a comfortable and pleasant space to work from home. Blueground offers fully furnished and beautifully decorated apartments currently in nine cities across the world. Becoming a remote worker is a big change, so it’s best to avoid the hassle of looking for a place and furnishing it, and Blueground provides you with this option.

tools for remote workers woman walking her dog

I believe we live in a very exciting time, where working online is more than possible and I can only encourage you to take the jump if you are still on the edge and procrastinating. In the end, all I know is, that there are plenty of jobs to find and if I can do it, you can too!

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