Remote-working-tools-2020

Best remote working tools in 2020

Everyone at Taimer has been working remotely for over a month now. Thanks to the plethora of remote working tools available, it’s been a smooth ride so far. There were a lot of questions that we had in mind before moving to a fully remote setup. How easy or difficult would it be for the sales teams to close deals virtually? Would managing projects remotely cost us more time and resources? How effective would digital collaboration be? How can we keep our employees motivated

What we realized at the end of these few weeks is that all these were valid concerns. If it weren’t for the tools and apps that we have today, remote work may not have been as easy as it seems today. If you are a growing business like us, you need remote working tools that are easy to use, efficient, scalable, and cost-effective at the same time. 

Remote work is on the rise and so are remote working tools. This article discusses some of the top remote-working tools that can help you manage your projects, boost sales, improve collaboration, and simplify finances from the comfort of your home office. Here are our recommendations for:

 

Best video conferencing apps for remote teams

Best-video-conferencing-app-2020

Best video conferencing apps in 2020

 

With sales calls, demos and internal discussions becoming virtual, it is imperative to have a good video calling app to ensure your meetings run smoothly. It has also become a popular marketing tool to hold webinars and product tutorials. 

Video conferencing tools these days offer more than face-to-face interactions. You can share your screen, exchange messages, forward files, broadcast conferences to a larger audience, and even record calls for future review. 

Here are the top three remote working tools for video conferencing.

Zoom

With COVID-19 forcing people to work from home, Zoom has become a ubiquitous part of our lives. Zoom has made it easy for users to conduct meetings from literally any part of the world and is one of the most hassle-free options available.

Pros & Cons

  • Easy to schedule an event and export to the calendar
  • Can have 10+ people on a group call without a dip in quality
  • Easy screen sharing
  • Compatible with different operating systems
  • Zoom rooms offer whiteboard for collaboration
  • Recent concerns around privacy and security risks
  • Requires you to download an app and/or a browser extension to use all features

Click here to learn more about Zoom’s features and pricing.

Google Meet

Tech giant Google has recently made its premium video conferencing product Google Meet free for everyone. Google Meet is an upgraded version of the Hangouts app and is designed and built to be secure at scale. Google Meet has become one of the most sought after video conferencing tools in the past few days.

Pros & Cons

  • Efficient, easy to use and a simple interface
  • It’s secure, reliable and ensures that your data stays safe
  • Offers high-quality screen sharing, video conferencing and noise-canceling functionalities
  • Can be seamlessly used between desktop, mobile and tablet with live synchronizing
  • Requires a Google account
  • Does not offer built-in whiteboard functionality but can be integrated with other whiteboards

Click here to learn more about Google Meet.

Whereby

Whereby serves the small and medium business market of various industries and is regarded as one of the simplest and efficient video conferencing tools available.

Pros & Cons

  • Does not require downloads or logins to join
  • Whereby meeting rooms are permanent links that you can go to at any time
  • Easy to set up events and use screen sharing
  • Easy-to-read meeting room links and custom logo and background for your room
  • Does not offer whiteboard functionality
  • Recordings are add-ons and cost extra

Click here to learn more about Whereby’s features and the pricing plans.

Best sales tools to boost your sales

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Best sales CRM software in 2020

Sales tools are software used by the sales teams to manage their sales processes. Sales tools offer multiple functions such as customer relationship management, lead management, business intelligence reporting, sales automation, and integrations. 

As you begin your sales stack, it is essential to choose the right sales tools based on your business needs. You may benefit from either a single function tool that offers only lead qualification or may need centralized software with multiple functionalities to manage the entire sales cycle. 

Here are the top three remote working tools to help you sell smarter. 

Taimer

Taimer is an all-in-one business management solution that offers customizable sales CRM solutions for businesses of all sizes. With Taimer, you can accelerate your sales processes to close deals faster and manage the entire sales cycle with just one centralized platform. 

Pros & Cons

  • Easy to set up and use 
  • Manage leads from start to finish
  • Intelligent insights on closing, won deals, profit margin and pipeline
  • Advanced sales quoting, CPQ, activity scheduling, cost variance analysis
  • Visual and highly customizable interface with drag and drop functionality
  • Value for money - Sales CRM, Project management, CPQ, collaboration, invoicing, billing and expense management in one unified solution
  • Limited sales automation integrations currently. More coming soon

Click here to learn more about Taimer's Sales CRM solution and pricing.

Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a sales-focussed CRM that visualizes your sales pipeline from start to finish. It offers a simple and powerful CRM solution for small businesses. 

Pros & Cons

  • A straightforward and visual user interface that is easy to pick up 
  • Offers built-in features like pipeline management, sales reporting and sales forecasting
  • Multiple channels to track and manage communication
  • Can be integrated with multiple sales automation apps
  • Features are limited to sales-related processes only

Click here to learn more about Pipedrive’s features and pricing. 

HubSpot

Hubspot offers a powerful Sales CRM software that shows you how your leads are progressing and tracks all sales activities in one place. It offers full visibility on your sales pipeline in real-time.

Pros & Cons

  • Offers pipeline management, CPQ, and other advanced features such as predictive lead scoring and recurring revenue tracking
  • See who visits your website and send a sequence of targeted and personalized emails
  • Automate time-consuming tasks like lead rotation, task creation, and more
  • Track deals won, lost, and in progress, and see which reps are your best performers
  • Pricing can add up once premium functions are added

Click here to learn more about HubSpot Sales Hub’s features and pricing. 

Best project management software to deliver projects faster

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Best project management software in 2020

If you’re a project manager or a business owner, you’d need tools to help you with resource optimization, capacity planning, risk assessment, budget tracking, collaboration and progress management. These tools help you plan, execute and monitor every aspect of your project management process.

Here are the top three remote working tools that can help you deliver projects on time and budget.

Taimer

Taimer is a comprehensive solution that has all the features that you’d need to close projects successfully. It combines project management, file storage and team collaboration in a centralized solution that can be accessed from anywhere, on any device. 

Pros & Cons

  • Manage projects, tasks, sub-tasks and resources using a customizable and interactive platform
  • Monitor project progress and capacity utilization in real-time
  • Advanced time tracking and timesheet management
  • Multiple collaboration channels such as Taimer Chat, kanban boards, automated project threads
  • Secure document storage and file sharing
  • Real-time reporting on project finances and business health
  • Value for money - Project management, Sales CRM, CPQ, collaboration, invoicing, billing and expense management in one unified solution

Click here to learn more about Taimer’s Project Management solution and pricing.

Monday.com

Monday.com is a visual, user-friendly, and intuitive project management software that helps teams manage their tasks and workflow. 

Pros & Cons

  • Visual and customizable workflow management interface
  • Automations to eliminate manual work
  • Turn dashboards into performance reports that can be easily shared with all stakeholders
  • Shareable boards to collaborate effortlessly with team and clients
  • No Gantt charts
  • No built-in time tracking functionality

Click here to learn more about Monday.com’s features and pricing. 

Jira

Jira is a project and issue tracking software for agile teams enabling you to achieve your project goals and lets you get things done faster. It is ideal for software developers but any department can use its project management capabilities effectively.

Pros & Cons

  • Customizable scrum boards and visual kanban boards to manage tasks, subtasks and projects
  • Customizable project dashboards to monitor progress
  • Powerful bug tracking tools
  • Efficient ticketing system for collaboration 
  • Design your own workflows from scratch or download pre-built ones
  • Not the simplest project management tool. May require training and support to get a hang of the product

Click here to learn more about Jira’s pricing and features.

 


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Best scheduling tools to manage your daily schedule

Best-scheduling-apps-2020

Best scheduling apps in 2020

Has working remotely caused a sudden influx in meetings for you? Faced with endless meetings, reminders, and urgent last-minute requests, you can easily be busy all day without making any progress on the most important tasks and goals for the day. 

So then, how can you ensure that you make time for things that really matter? This is when the following three scheduling and remote working tools come to your rescue.

Google Calendar

One of the most commonly used scheduling apps, Google Calendar does more than just reminding you what day it is today. If you already have a Google account then make use of this free scheduling tool to plan your daily schedule.

Pros & Cons

  • Sync all your Google accounts to view events in one place
  • View your colleague’s calendars
  • Sync with Google Meet or integrate with other video conferencing apps
  • Set event auto-reminders
  • Automatically add events from Gmail to your calendar
  • Receive a daily email with the agenda
  • Create tasks and add to the calendar

Click here to learn 20 awesome ways to use the Google Calendar.

Office 365 Calendar

The O365 Calendar is a popular app, especially among Outlook users. A recent overhaul has made the calendar more powerful and easy to use than it used to be a couple of years ago. Also, check out their nifty keyboard shortcuts if that’s something you fancy. 

Pros & Cons

  • Share your calendar with others
  • Add multiple calendars and sports calendars (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, Cricket, Golf, etc.)
  • Copy events from the clipboard
  • Add meetings from emails
  • View calendar in an email
  • There is no dedicated Office 365 Calendar mobile app. There is however a free Outlook app which embeds Calendar

Click here to learn how to make the most of the Office 365 calendar.

Calendly

Calendly is a great scheduling tool for sales teams. You can simply send the Calendly link to your customers or embed them on your website to show customers your availability based on the rules you’ve created in the software.

Pros & Cons

  • The round-robin feature allows the leads to be automatically distributed and schedules a demo with the first available rep
  • Integrates with Google and O365
  • Set up custom meeting types, questions and duration
  • Offers metrics and reporting

Click here to learn more about Calendly and its pricing. 

Best collaboration software to boost productivity

Best-collaboration-apps-2020

Best collaboration apps in 2020

Effective collaboration is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business. In the past, collaborating on a project meant sitting in the room together and having in-person discussions. Today, with more and more businesses working remotely, online collaboration tools have become the new norm.

Here are the top remote working tools that can help you collaborate, strengthen teams and boost productivity. 

Taimer

Taimer’s collaboration app stands out from other collaboration tools because it is seamlessly integrated with multiple other features in the software thereby allowing you to effortlessly collaborate with teams across sales, projects, resourcing, and finances, all from one place. You can replace more than 8+ apps by investing in just one centralized solution. 

Pros & Cons

  • Kanban boards and cards to manage tasks and workflow
  • Visual overview of tasks that are completed, due and overdue
  • Automated project threads to collaborate on projects
  • TaimerChat or messenger for internal and external communication
  • Real-time updates and notifications
  • Share and store unlimited files and documents
  • Newsfeed to share company updates and announcements
  • Value for money - Collaboration, Sales CRM, Project management, CPQ, invoicing, billing and expense management in one unified solution

Click here to learn more about Taimer’s remote working collaboration tool. 

 

Trello

Using boards, cards and lists, Trello lets you visually map out your tasks and activities and track everything that you work on. Anyone can begin using Trello and their free version has unlimited boards and cards for basic collaboration.

Pros & Cons

  • Creating issues and assigning them to someone is simple and easy 
  • Offers board templates and collections
  • Advanced automation to simplify workflow and tasks
  • Visualize Trello cards with due dates in the calendar
  • Real-time updates and notifications
  • Integrate with Gmail or Outlook to create cards in the inbox

Click here to learn more about Trello’s features and pricing. 

Slack

Slack is a powerful IM and collaboration app meant for teams and businesses. With Slack, you can communicate across devices, share files and integrate with other services such as Skype for video. 

Pros & Cons

  • Speak as a group or through direct messaging
  • Create guest accounts to offer limited access to individuals
  • Shared channels allow separate organizations to work together 
  • Offers audio and video collaboration
  • Share files and screen share
  • Has a comprehensive search functionality
  • Not possible to bulk delete messages
  • Message and file deletion is permanent

Click here to learn more about Slack’s features and pricing plans. 

 

Best marketing automation software to grow your business

Best-marketing-automation-software-2020

Best marketing automation software in 2020

Marketing automation tools streamline your marketing workflow, automates manual tasks, measures the results achieved and empowers your marketing team to grow your business using powerful marketing strategies. 

Before investing in marketing automation software, it is important to ask yourself a few questions. What is the goal of the automation software? Are you generating enough leads each month to make use of the automation? Do you have enough resources and support to analyze the results achieved using the automation campaigns? Have you tried enough software before finalizing the one that fits your business needs? 

Here are two marketing automation tools that can be used by remote working teams to manage their marketing workflows.

HubSpot

HubSpot’s marketing automation software offers a suite of tools that can help you set up powerful integrated workflows to nurture leads, automate email campaigns and scale growth. 

Pros & Cons

  • All-in-one CRM and marketing platform
  • Customizable templates for social media, email marketing, infographics, blog posts, etc.
  • Create standard and custom reports
  • Knowledge library with courses, certifications and training
  • Capture and convert leads from landing pages, email marketing, ad targeting
  • Conversational bots and live chat
  • Configurations may be a bit complex for beginners to set up and use
  • Expensive onboarding fees

Click here to learn more about HubSpot’s marketing automation software and pricing. 

ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is an integrated email marketing, marketing automation, and small business CRM system. It allows you to set up email marketing campaigns, broadcast emails, build opt-in forms and automate workflows. 

Pros & Cons

  • Easy to set up and implement
  • Create drip campaigns that automatically deploy when someone triggers it
  • Offers simple, visual and intuitive workflow builder
  • Automatically add people to Facebook custom audiences inside of workflows
  • Identify most engaged and least engaged customers
  • Tag and event-based segmentation
  • In-built CRM has limited functionalities when compared with other CRM software
  • Not the best option for companies with high database and high sending volumes

Click here to learn more about ActiveCampaign and its pricing. 

 

Best invoicing, billing and expenses management tools to get paid faster

Best-invoicing-software-2020

Best invoicing software in 2020

 

Creating an invoice, sending it on time, following up on payments, tracking receipts, and claiming reimbursements can be a pain for businesses that have limited resources and time. At the same time, managing finances is one of the most important aspects of running a business. Delayed invoices and expense claims would mean delayed payments. 

If you want to get paid on time, invest in good invoicing software. Invoicing and expense management tools automate redundant processes, keep track of payments, simplify the complex invoicing process, and help you manage all your finances from one place. 

Here are our recommendations for the best remote working tools that can help you manage your invoices, bills and expenses. 

Taimer

Taimer’s all-in-one business management software offers a simple and easy to use invoicing solution ideal for small and medium enterprises. You can invoice hours, products, bills, and expenses, set up scheduled and recurring invoicing, and even convert a quote to an invoice in just a few clicks.

Pros & Cons

  • Easily create and send invoices on any device
  • Invoice projects directly using the project invoicing feature
  • Manage expenses and travel expenses
  • Manage and send bills
  • GPS mileage tracker for tracking and reporting trips
  • Hassle-free expense tracking and management 
  • Real-time insights on profit and loss, customer profitability, company revenue
  • Value for money. Invoicing, billing, expense management, Sales CRM, Project management, CPQ, and collaboration in a unified solution
  • Do not offer other accounting services but can be easily integrated with multiple accounting software such as QuickBooks, Talenom, Procountor, Netvisor, etc. 

Click here to learn more about Taimer’s invoicing solution and pricing. 

Freshbooks

Freshbooks started as an invoicing solution provider. It now offers well-rounded accounting and bookkeeping services that support invoicing, expense management and billing. 

Pros & Cons

  • Extensive accounting features
  • Create and send invoices
  • Track and manage expenses
  • Simple, straightforward, user-friendly interface
  • Customizable invoices and templates
  • Convert estimates and proposals to invoices
  • Set up recurring and scheduled invoicing
  • Insightful tax time reports
  • Although the pricing is comparatively less, it offers limited accounting features when compared to its competitors

Click here to learn more about FreshBooks invoicing solutions and features. 

 

Intuit QuickBooks

QuickBooks offers cloud-based as well as on-premise accounting applications. QuickBooks has features for nearly every accounting need and offers several solutions customized for sole traders and small & medium-sized businesses.

Pros & Cons

  • Track expenses, sales and profits
  • Create and send invoices
  • Manage and pay bills
  • Transact in multiple currencies
  • Create purchase orders and generate sales quotes
  • Inventory management 
  • Track project profitability
  • Manage sales tax
  • May require additional training and support to get a hang of the product

Click here to learn more about QuickBooks invoicing solutions and features. 

 

Best accounting software to simplify bookkeeping

Best-accounting-software-2020

Best accounting software in 2020

Apart from managing invoices, bills and expenses, businesses also need accounting and bookkeeping services to manage their finances. Accounting software helps you manage your accounts payables and receivables, invoices, bills and expenses, payroll management, inventory management, and helps with budgeting and tax. 

Accounting tools can make budget suggestions and provide revenue forecasts based on the financial statements they have. It is also a secure way to store all your financial data. 

Here are three remote working tools that can help you streamline your accounting processes.

Xero

Xero’s cloud-based accounting system is designed for small and mid-sized businesses. Xero offers interactive graphs and charts for key insights on your invoices, bills, expenses, and other financial data. You can integrate it with PayPal, Stripe, Square, and multiple other payment processing tools to make online payments.

Pros & Cons

  • Categorize bank transactions and keep accurate records
  • Monitor the money that goes out and comes in on a daily basis
  • Send quotes and invoices and schedule recurring invoices
  • Set up automatic payment reminders to encourage customers to pay on time
  • Reconcile bank transactions
  • Capture bills and receipts
  • Manage multi-currency accounting
  • Manage your businesses’ fixed assets
  • Limit custom reporting in comparison to other competitors

Click here to learn more about Xero’s features and pricing. 

Intuit QuickBooks

Refer to the section above to learn more about QuickBooks. 

Freshbooks

Refer to the section above to learn more about FreshBooks.

Best customer service software for better customer engagement

Best-customer-support-software-2020

Best customer support software in 2020

There are numerous studies that show the value customers place on how companies address their concerns and how prompt they are in responding to their questions. 

Customer service software helps in tracking, supporting and managing customer concerns more efficiently and effectively. They usually have a ticketing system that converts customer queries received through emails, chat, calls, forms, etc. into tickets. This helps you consolidate all customer inquiries in one place and provide immediate resolution based on the priority. Some customer support software also provides knowledge base platforms to host product support articles and tutorials. 

Let us look at three remote working tools that can help you support and engage with your customers from the comfort of your home. 

Intercom

Intercom’s customer support software allows you to communicate with existing and prospective customers. They offer personalized messaging solutions for sales, marketing and support, all connected on one platform.

Pros & Cons

  • Answer customer questions through a collaborative shared inbox
  • An outbound messaging solution to push customers to take action
  • Customized bots to get more qualified leads
  • Onboard customers using product tours
  • A chatbot that intelligently answers commonly asked questions
  • Publish articles to knowledge base
  • Get actionable reports on team performance

Click here to learn more about Intercom’s features and pricing. 

 

Zendesk

Zendesk is a cloud-based helpdesk management solution offering customer service portal, knowledge base and Sales CRM software. Businesses can also set up an online community using Zendesk where their customers can post queries and engage in discussions.

Pros & Cons

  • Manage conversations across all channels- chat, email, voice and messaging
  • Pull information on previous events and conversations
  • Let customers engage with you from their favourite social media apps
  • Zendesk talk offers voice and SMS functionalities
  • Use chat to engage with customers in real-time
  • Customize and tailor access to knowledge base content
  • Provide a forum where customers can connect and collaborate with each other

Click here to learn more about Zendesk’s features and pricing.

Single or multi-purpose business solutions?

There are three things that are essential to any growing business - your time, resources and money. And managing a business with multiple single-purpose apps requires exactly these three things. 

You’d need the time and resources to set up multiple applications and follow up with different product support teams every time the application is down. Not to forget, employees need to be trained and onboarded on each of these tools. 

Switching between multiple applications can also hamper productivity to a large extent. Sales teams, for instance, are required to enter customer data in a CRM, send emails and communicate using different collaboration tools, manage events and activities using scheduling apps, monitor work hours on timesheets, track travel expenses using an expense tracker, etc. They end up spending the majority of their time alternating between multiple tools rather than actually selling. 

Furthermore, as a small business, you cannot ignore the costs associated with operating multiple applications. Also, your needs may be limited initially but as the company grows, so would the requirements and the costs. 

As a growing business, choose remote working tools that are easy to learn and set up. Pick software that scales with your business and is also cost-effective. Since products offer a free trial, try out different products to see if they offer onboarding tutorials and product support materials. Last but not least, invest in solutions that can be customized according to your business needs. 

See how Taimer's remote work management solution can help you grow your business!

Try Taimer for free so you can see how it works for your own business!

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