In this final chapter of the Anywhere Operating System, we’ll share our favorite software and tool recommendations to help you work-from-anywhere. We’ll break this section down into three parts; for you, your team, and for your company.
We’d love it if you gave Friday a try. We’ve created a command center for working from anywhere.
For individuals, we can help you roadmap your day, stay focused, block distractions, and do your best work. For teams and organizations, we can help you stay in sync with fewer meetings and see what’s going on at work. Long story short, we’ve created a home for the most important stuff at work that complements workplace chat tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams.
Here are my favorite tools for personal productivity.
Brain.fm is an audio service to help you focus, relax, sleep, and meditate. I’m a huge fan of this service as it forces me to focus. The team at Brain.fm has spent years researching the science of how to become more productive through audio. As an alternative, you can find focus music on Youtube or Spotify.
Krisp is software that helps you mute background noise.It helps you make sure you never have to worry about your environment when you take a call. With Krisp, you can easily jump on Zoom from a noisy coffee shop or co-working space, which makes life so much better for the audience. It’s especially great if you work from home and your dog randomly barks.
3. Cleanshot for Mac
Cleanshot is the easiest way to quickly take screenshots or record gifs from your Mac computer and share them with others. I love this app because I tend to share screenshots quite a bit throughout the day. If you use a PC, try CloudApp or Skitch.
For your team
Now, we’ll share our favorite software picks for your team. Most of these products offer a free plan so you can try before you buy.
Every distributed team should consider using workplace chat and Slack (despite its flaws) is our pick here. When used within reason, Slack is a great place to have quick back-and-forth conversations with your team. If you use the Microsoft suite, you might consider using Teams. Another alternative is RingCentral MVP, which neatly bundles chat, phone, and meetings together.
For video chat, Zoom is the most reliable service we’ve found. There’s a reason why it was so quickly adopted when everyone started working from home at the beginning of COVID. Zoom also offers a generous free tier.
There are so many project management tools you could choose from, but we like Trello. It’s a simple and easy way to store and collaborate on projects, especially for non-technical teams.
Loom is an easy way to share quick asynchronous video with others. It’s perfect for situations when you need to share context, but don’t want to hold a meeting. I use Loom for product/UX feedback and to create context outside of a meeting.
Grain is an easy way to record and quickly share video clips of your Zoom meetings with your team. This is perfect for customer conversations where you’d like to share interesting snippets from a meeting.
Butter is a fun way to have interactive, virtual workshops with your team. The experience is much more fun than Zoom, which means that it boosts participation from your team. If you do team building, happy hours, or other internal calls, you should use Butter for them.
Cost: free (paid plan coming soon)
Almanac is a team wiki for structured documentation, like your company handbook or other policies. It also offers the ability to version your documents and create a digital trace of how a particular document changes over time. As an alternative, you might consider using Notion, Google Docs, or Microsoft Word.
Tools for running your company
Finally, here’s the software and tools I recommend for running a company from anywhere.
1. Post Scan Mail
If you don’t have an office, I’d strongly recommend using a virtual mailbox provider to handle your business mail instead of your home address. Post Scan Mail (or another provider like Virtual Post Mail or Earth Class Mail) will receive your mail and process it digitally, so you can disconnect your business address from your home. This is especially important if you plan on moving soon or would like to travel to another location for part of the year.
On a similar note, I’d strongly recommend that you set up a dedicated business phone, especially if you are an early stage startup. If you give out your cell phone, you will get random calls and messages for years to come. That’s why I recommend OpenPhone. OpenPhone makes it easy to forward and handle phone calls and texts, so you can keep your cell phone number for family and friends.
If you plan on hiring full-time employees or contractors outside the US, I recommend using Deel to handle payments and compliance. This has been a game-changer for my company. It saves me a ton of time and helps me sleep better at night, too!
Next up, you should use Rippling to handle your HR and IT needs, especially for team members based in the United States. It offers a PEO, which allows you to outsource annoying compliance issues as you hire full-time employees from multiple states. It also offers other features, like an applicant tracking system and time tracking. Rippling helps you handle the people side of the business.
Make sure you don’t forget about keeping your data safe when working from anywhere. That’s why I recommend using a password manager like 1Password to generate secure passwords and to securely share this information with other members of your team.
You should expect to see more tools and products emerge as working from anywhere continues to grow in popularity. We hope these recommendations restore your sanity and help you stay in sync with your team.