Best apps to use when you’re working from home

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Working from home is sweeping the world, and has been for the last few years. More employers are making it easier to work remotely, without the need to drive to an office every day.

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But the best part about this is being to use some of the best tools at your disposal. Apple’s App Store is filled with different apps for you to use and try out to help get work done and keep you sane in the process.

Communication

ZOOM Conferencing for Mac
Image courtesy of ZOOM

ZOOM Cloud Meetings (Free) – If you need to get some video conferencing done, and not everyone has an iPhone or iPad, Zoom is the way to go. The service is free for up to 100 participants, and offers up to 40 minutes of meetings for groups.

Slack (Free) – Slack is great for work, friends, and any other reason you can think to send messages. There are a slew of integrations, including those that work with Google’s suite of productivity apps, and more.

Spark (Free) – Managing email is rather frustrating, but Spark Mail tries to make it easier. The Smart Inbox puts your more important emails first, but there you also have the ability to collaborate and chat with team members.

Eye on the prize

Best Apps for remote work
Image courtesy of Timery

Focus (Free w/ IAP) – The Pomodoro technique is one way to keep you focused on the task at hand. Focus offers an elegant design with a built-in task manager to help you figure out how much time is being spent on various projects.

Be Focused (Free w/ IAP) – Be Focused is another app that takes advantage of Pomodoro, and makes it easy to track your progress. The app also has a built-in task manager, while offering a plethora of customization features.

Timery (Free w/ IAP) – If you have projects that are billable by hours, you’ll need an app to keep track of those. Timery integrates with Toggl to provide a beautiful interface and design, while making it easy to keep track of how long those projects take you.

Share files

Best Apps for working from home

Dropbox (Free w/ IAP) – Dropbox is the go-to option for many folks who don’t want to deal with Google or iCloud. The service provides 2GB of cloud storage for free, or you can upgrade to Dropbox Plus and get 2TB of storage.

Google Drive (Free w/ IAP) – From the three options here, Drive offers the most free storage (15GB). This gives you a central hub to store various files and create documents across Google’s suite of productivity apps.

Box (Free w/ IAP) – Box provides 10GB of free storage to its users, before requiring you to sign up for a Premium account. But you can also quickly and easily share files up to 5GB with anyone, and then anyone with access can edit the file and it will be saved.

Take notes

iPhone Notes app in portrait and landscape
The Notes app on iPhone is designed to work in landscape and portrait mode.

Notes (Free) – Regardless of whether you just need a scratchpad or something more robust, Apple’s Notes app is great. The app syncs across all of your devices with iCloud, and offers the ability to create folders, collaborate, and more.

Bear (Free w/ IAP) – If you want an app that works with Markdown and looks pretty, Bear is the place to be. You can organize by tags, customize the layout and theme, and even use FaceID or Touch ID to protect sensitive notes.

Evernote (Free w/ IAP) – Those who want a series of digital notebooks will want to use Evernote. The app, despite issues with updates over the years, continues to be the best place to have a digital version of any notes, files, pictures, and more.

Sign and edit documents

Adobe Acrobat Reader on iOS
Image courtesy of Adobe

Adobe Acrobat Reader (Free w/ IAP) – Adobe’s PDF reader not only can manage your documents, but offers more. With this app, you can view and annotate PDFs, while also signing and filling out various forms that may need to be sent.

DocuSign (Free w/ IAP) – If you need an app that just makes it easy to sign and fill out forms, DocuSign is the way to go. The app allows you to upload documents right from your email, sign them, and then email them back to the appropriate parties.

What needs to get done?

Add links and images to Reminders in iOS 13 and iPadOS

Asana (Free w/ IAP) – Asana is great for those who need to get some collaborating done, or just to manage your tasks. The mobile app allows you to organize your tasks with ease, with many of the features you need from a task management app.

Todoist (Free w/ IAP) – Those who want a task manager that can handle just about everything other than collaboration will want Todoist. The app is constantly being added with all of the project management features you want, but you’ll have to pony up some dough to get them.

Reminders (Free) – This is the to-do list app that is pre-installed on every iOS, iPadOS, and macOS device. It’s free to use, and just saw a big overhaul with the release of iOS 13 and iPadOS. There are even some collaboration tools onboard.

OmniFocus ($9.99 per month) – The OmniGroup finally moved away from the single-purchase model and moved to subscriptions. The app itself is perhaps the most robust out of the group, but it’s well worth it if you need an app to help manage your tasks and your life as a whole. There’s even a new web client available for those who want OmniFocus but don’t have a Mac.

Keep your sanity

Dark Noise App Hero
Image courtesy of Dark Noise

Headspace (Free w/ IAP) – Sometimes you just need to get away from your desk and take a deep breath. With an app like Headspace not only will that help you, but it can also teach you the ways of meditation. And the best part is that it doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner, or a pro, the app works great for everyone.

Sleep Cycle (Free w/ IAP) – Nobody likes having a bad night of sleep, and Sleep Cycle helps with that. The app will analyze your sleep and wake you up at the perfect time, so that you feel rested, and not groggy or grumpy. Then, you can view your stats and add bits of info to document what caused a bad night.

Dark Noise ($3.99) – There are some instances where listening to music or nothing just doesn’t cut it. Some of those times you would just like to have something like the sound of the rain, or different noises. Dark Noise is a new app that provides a great experience for an ambient noise app and even includes Shortcuts support.

Conclusion

Regardless of what you do or how you do it, there really are apps to help get you through the daily rigamarole. Some of the aforementioned apps are free and just let you get to work, while others have additional and necessary functionality to get the job done.

Nonetheless, these are some of our favorites to use when we work from home. Sound off in the comments and let us know some of your favorites and why they help you get your work done.

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