You might have noticed that we’re big fans of tools at Buffer. We’ve written about tools for mobile marketing. Tools for Facebook. Tools for SEO.

Of course, we make tools for social media management, so there’s a chance we could be a bit biased.

But we see online tools and apps as a key part of our philosophy of working smarter, not harder. It’s also a lot of fun to find a great new tool!

So when the tool-finding team at Product Hunt asked us at Buffer to curate a list of our top tools for remote workers and mobile teams, we jumped at the chance.
Product Hunt Buffer list

I thought we’d share a little more about each tool here. Here’s to all the remote workers and digital nomads out there!

17 tools that Buffer’s remote team uses every day

1. Trello – organize anything together

Trello is our team’s to-do list, in the many different forms it takes. Engineers use it to plan specs. Our support heroes use it to signal bugs. Our crafters team uses it to plan content. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We use Trello to stay organized on all the many different tasks, projects, experiments, and goals we’ve got going at any one time.

trello

2. f.lux – a computer display that adapts to time of day

As a team of remote workers, we have the opportunity to work at the time when we are happiest and most productive. For several on the team, this means hopping onto our Macs late at night or early in the morning. f.lux to the rescue! The Mac app adjusts the tint of the screen to be easier on the eyes during nights and mornings when otherwise you’d be exposed to a super bright glare.

flux-shot

3. Buffer – easiest way to manage social media on-the-go

As a wired team working together to build an awesome social media tool, we love to share on social media. And it probably stands to reason that we count Buffer as our must-have tool for managing our social media. Since working remotely means the possibility of a variable schedule, we can plan our social media posts in advance so they always publish at just the right time—no matter where we are.

buffer

4. Hipchat – group chat and IM built for teams

Hipchat is our always-on chat room where we hang out together all day—planning and organizing and sharing in team-specific rooms and one-on-one chats. We have our Hipchat synced to a hubot that notifies us of all sorts of automated happenings—new comments on blogposts, code pushes for engineers, and reaching inbox zero with our support emails.

hipchat

5. 1Password – password manager

Recently we’ve moved toward sharing all necessary passwords with one another via 1Password. We make vaults for the different teams and sync and share these vaults with anyone who may need access.

1Password also comes in handy as a security measure. So many on the team have access to important and vital apps and tools. The extra layer of protection from 1Password gives amazing peace of mind.

1password

6. Wunderlist – capture ideas, things to do, and places to see

For personal to-do lists and reminders, we rely on on the Wunderlist mobile app and web app. You can add items in a snap and set due dates and reminders for each, as well as drill down to subtasks and notes for each item. And the name is a play on “wanderlust”—a desire to see new things and experience new places—which seems to fit quite well with the nomad work life.

wunderlist

7. Airbnb – unique places to stay

When we fly out to San Francisco, we grab an Airbnb. When we travel for conferences or to speak at events, we grab an Airbnb. It’s an essential part to our travel planning, whether we’re visiting a new place for a few days or scouting out a new city to live and work.

8. Uber – get a ride, right from your smartphone

What was our most-used app during our New York Buffer gathering? (Besides the Buffer app, that is.) Uber. Any time we needed to get somewhere, we called an Uber—to dinner, to the hotel, to the coworking space. Plus, with so many on the team spread around the globe, several team members have Uber right in the backyard and use it regularly to get out-and-about in their cities.

9. iDoneThis – get stuff done, and celebrate with your team

Staying up-to-date with the latest from all 24 teammates is made a lot easier with iDoneThis. We document our achievements from each day, and the next morning a recap of all the team’s happenings pops up in your inbox. The achievement tracking is great for personal use (it’s really cool to see what you got done a month ago today) and for staying in touch with the team.

idonethis

10. Every Time Zone – no more time zone math needed

It’s amazing how often the following scenario comes up: You need to know what 9 a.m. your time is for all your teammates. With Every Time Zone, you can check your time in the marker at the top and see where this lands in everyone else’s day—complete with highlighted windows from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. to gauge the right work hours.

every-time-zone

11. Hackpad – real-time collaboration

Whenever we take notes on something, we do it in a hackpad. Whenever we have a spec to create or an idea to flesh out, we head to Hackpad. Everyone on the team has access to all the pads, and they are simple and uncluttered so we can write down thoughts, comment and collaborate easily, and communicate in the fastest, simplest way possible.

hackpad

12. Workfrom – best coffee shops and cafes for working

Our team is split pretty evenly between coffee shop workers and stay-at-homebodies. For those who work from coffee shops, they often have a favorite or two, and when they’re in the mood for a change of pace, this website comes in super handy. Workfrom has recommendations for a number of major cities to help you find your next favorite place to work remotely.

workfrom

13. Cloud App – capture and share your screen

When you work in an office, you can pull someone over to your desk to take a peek at your screen. When you work remotely, you use Cloud App. You can take screen shots of what you see, save them to the cloud, and pass them along to your team with a simple copy-and-paste of a URL. Plus, their new Mac app lets you create GIFs of your screen!

drops

14. Jawbone UP – health and activity tracking

Transparency is one of our core values at Buffer, and this extends to our improvements in health and fitness. Each team member gets a Jawbone UP, which helps track our daily activity and nightly sleep. Remote work often means long stretches at the computer, so the additional nudge to get up and moving every now and then comes in quite handy.

15. World Time Buddy – time converter and world clock

Much like the Every Time Zone website, World Time Buddy helps us stay on top of what time it is wherever our teammates happen to be. With World Time Buddy, you can type in specific places and time zones to get the exact times for those who may not be in the major cities.

world-time-buddy

16. Spotted by Locals – experience cities like a local

Living the digital nomad life, you might find yourself visiting a number of different cities. If you want to experience these places like the locals do, check out Spotted By Locals. It’s full of first-hand reviews from people who live in the city.

spotted-by

17. Sqwiggle – Work better, together

group thumbs up

Buffer’s visual water cooler, Sqwiggle is a video chat tool that helps you stay in touch with your team by taking a screenshot of everyone every few minutes (or only when you feel like it) so that your colleagues can see what you’re up to or join you in a quick conversation by clicking on you. We tend to leave Sqwiggle open whenever we’re working so we can see everyone’s faces—and because it’s a great chance to have a little fun together. :)

What are your favorite remote team tools?

These are some of the tools that keep Buffer’s remote team on track as we work together from all around the globe.

What tools power you and your team as you work, travel and play? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Free up your day with our Social Media Tools

Buffer can save you up to an hour a day and grow your traffic too.

Learn More
Written by Kevan Lee

Content crafter at Buffer. You can find me online, tweeting about my writing process, or at home, second-guessing football coaches. Live simply, give generously, beat cancer.

  • piotry

    How does Hackpad compare to simply using google docs?

    Also, why didn’t you mention slack (instead of hipchat)

    • http://www.berrycs.com/ Rachel Berry

      Also curious about slack vs hipchat!

      • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

        Great question! We gave Slack a try a while back and we really enjoyed its look and design. For our team, communication felt a bit simpler on Hipchat. Slack seems to be the right fit for many teams though, and we enjoyed giving it a spin!

        • piotry

          I’m concerned that hackpad was acquired by dropbox. Did development stop since?

          The product looks much much better than docs, and my only barrier to entry is that acquisition!

          • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

            I’m not too sure about any changes since; so sorry I can’t help you out with that one!

        • http://www.rickey.org/ Rickey

          I tried Slack during their beta period and at that time, it wasn’t as good as HipChat for my team’s needs. I gave them a lot of feedback though! The one thing that made me stick to HipChat was Slack’s delayed notification by e-mail. They send e-mails every 15 minutes (I don’t know if that has changed). For my team where I have freelancers who are not logged on to HipChat all the time, real-time notification via e-mail and not just text was very important.

          Also there were some user interface quirks. Pressing “@” for example didn’t show a users list in Slack before, but I see that they’ve changed that now.

          HipChat Basic is free now as well, so the competition from Slack was actually good for all of us.

      • http://www.referralcandy.com/ Visakan @ ReferralCandy

        Our team at ReferralCandy started out on Skype when we were little, and as we grew we moved to HipChat (this was before Slack was popular, I think.)

        We’ve invested quite a bit of time building internal tools on HipChat that work great for us, so transitioning to Slack would be tedious and costly for us.

        Did try Slack myself, and it does look pretty! But HipChat works fine for us.

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Hey piotry! Both Google Docs and Hackpad have their advantages. :) In my experience, Hackpad can sometimes be a bit more intuitive when it comes to things like interlinking documents, referencing teammates, and embedding multimedia. I’d love to hear what you think if you give it a try!

    • Ethan Gates

      So glad you mentioned Slack! Our team use it, and we couldn’t be happier. Of course, it’s not for everyone – but I was slightly disappointed not to see Slack mentioned.

  • http://www.berrycs.com/ Rachel Berry

    Thanks for the list, I saw it on ProductHunt a while back but it’s nice to get the explanations :) Workfrom seems like such a great idea, can’t wait to see it in LA!

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Thanks, Rachel! Very glad you enjoyed the list! Are there any tools you use that didn’t make it on here? :)

      • http://www.berrycs.com/ Rachel Berry

        I’ve been using Pivotal Tracker for my projects, I like it better for agile dev than Trello, but other than that, you’ve got them covered ;)

  • http://www.inc.com/guides/set-up-a-home-office.html ceceliajernegan

    Fabulous advice! Don’t forget to check out this interview for more great working from home tips! http://www.inc.com/guides/set-up-a-home-office.html

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Thanks for sharing, Cecelia!

  • http://www.saulofhearts.com saulofhearts

    Really disappointed to see Uber on this list! I know how much Buffer values transparency, and Uber is, well, the exact opposite. If you haven’t read up on their shady hiring practices, poor communication with drivers, and opaque pricing models, let me know and I can forward you some articles.

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Hey there Saul, I’m so sorry we let you down on this one! I don’t know that we’re entirely aware of some of the items you mentioned, but I could see how Uber’s rapid growth might bring a few challenges. I agree; it’s the best of both words when we can surround ourselves with people and services that feel in line with our values. Even though we personally believe in transparency, we often ponder whether it is the best practice for every type of business. What do you think the right approach would be?

  • jimrodz

    No tools/software for time tracking just like Time Doctor?

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Hey there! Great question! We don’t really track time at Buffer, at least in my experience. I personally check out RescueTime on occasion to make sure my productivity is on par. :)

  • http://www.danhauk.com danhauk

    Sqwiggle looks pretty interesting and a fun way to keep communication lines between the team open.

    Our main tool for keeping connected is the p2 WordPress theme (http://p2theme.com/) for internal “blogs” that are more like conversation threads. We have different “p2s” for each team as well as for meetups, special interests, certain projects, updates, and just goofing around.

    We also use Slack for real-time IM, Google Hangouts for face-to-face time, and Cloudup for image sharing.

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Interesting! We’ll have to check out P2. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://worksnaps.net/ Worksnaps

    As far as software recommendations to ensure easy communication, Yammer is a good one to setup your own private social network. One that is a bit less intense is Hip Chat which allows for company discussions and group instant message, I’d say more or less like an upgraded Skype kind of communication if you are familiar. And another free alternative to Skype for free video chat (with great screen sharing) is Google Hangouts. G+ has done a great job here, it seems to be more stable quality and connection than others. There are also many great remote time tracking programs like we are building at Worksnaps (http://www.worksnaps.net/www/) that keep people on track, accountable, and allow for complete transparency for all involved.

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Thanks for these tips! Lots of good ones in there. :) We love to use Google Hangouts for many meetings as well!

  • http://www.petrpinkas.blogspot.com/ Petr Pinkas

    Hey Kevan, thanks for the list of tools. Amazing and so inspiring! Will try some of those apps soon. I love f.lux – use it both in work and at home and it helps my eyes a LOT. I just have to switch it off when I make comments about any design or colours in our company :)

    We also use Evernote and Google Docs for sharing documents, projects, ideas, websites etc.

    And of course for sharing passwords we use our own tool Sticky Password :-) (www.stickypassword.com)

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Thanks, Petr! Ha, great point about switching off f.lux for design comments. It took me awhile to put the pieces together on that one myself – kept wondering why the images I created all turned out orange-ish! :)

      • http://www.petrpinkas.blogspot.com/ Petr Pinkas

        Yes, exactly! I have been commenting on our new design parts of the website like “Not sure about these colours, are you sure they are correct?” and realized shortly I am all wrong because of f.lux :)

  • Agnes Dadura

    As I’ve just joined a team of remote workers, I can say I have been using quite a few of these already. New app I’ve discovered is Podio though! it’s awesome and flexible, for all kind of projects. Also, I could not live without Spotify now, as it provides soundtracks to my work.

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Great stuff, Agnes! Do you have a favorite Spotify playlist? We’ve got a good mix on the team here between Spotify and Rdio. :)

      • Agnes Dadura

        I like all kind of acoustic playlists (acoustic morning/afternoon/fall, etc.) What’s your favorite?

  • http://iamenric.me/ Enric Enrich

    I recommend you to check Todoist too! Is available on 13 different platforms, with different apps and plugins! + a lot of other amazing features! Let me know what you think! :)

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Thanks, Enric! I’ve heard great things! Will definitely give this one a try. :)

    • Ethan Gates

      Couldn’t agree more!

  • http://paritydesigns.com/ Kara

    Great list! There are some awesome tools here, and some new ones I haven’t heard of yet!

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Thanks, Kara!

  • http://www.sahilparikh.com/ Sahil Parikh

    Hey Kevan, nice post and thanks for everytimezone.com – need this while scheduling demos for Brightpod.com around the globe :) Very helpful. Another one that I personally use is evernote.com – have a notebook for “brightpod” so any comments from customers gets forwarded there. Good to go through at the end of the month. Our remote team recently started using BitBucket for bug tracking.
    Cheers!

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Thanks, Sahil! Yes indeed, Evernote is a great one to add to the list here. :) I know several on our team who use it for note-taking and idea-grabbing!

  • Todd Dunphys

    For my invoicing and time trackin, I use Nutcache. The free version covers all my needs.

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Sounds like a cool one to check out, Todd! Thanks for the tip!

  • http://www.groovehq.com/support/ Len Markidan

    Love this…can’t believe I hadn’t heard of World Time Buddy before. Spent way too much time this week hurting my brain trying to do the math and synch up with a customer in Auckland. DST didn’t help either.

    Thanks for sharing! We love Trello and Buffer too :)

    • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

      Time zones can be so tricky! ;) Glad to share all our little helpers!

  • Elaine Johnson

    I will definitely check out the time zone tools to see if they are better than the one I use now. I am wondering if any of the teamwork tools will stand up in an Enterprise environment that is GMP regulated?

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Great question, Elaine! And here’s hoping you find the best time zone tool for you! (What are you using now?)

  • http://boutiquejapan.com/ Andres Zuleta

    Great list! Here are some personal favorites to add to the mix:

    * Timer Tab (http://www.timer-tab.com/)
    * Asana (https://app.asana.com)
    * CoSchedule (http://coschedule.com/)
    * Grasshopper (http://grasshopper.com/) + Ruby Receptionists (http://www.callruby.com/)
    * Vypr VPN (http://www.goldenfrog.com/vyprvpn)
    * PicMonkey (http://www.picmonkey.com/) + TinyPNG (https://tinypng.com/)

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Thanks, Andres! Wow, great stuff you’ve added here. Excited to try some of these out!

  • Lauren (BKMedia Group)

    Our team is on the Google platform and uses Hangouts for IMs and video chats. We have recently started using InVisionApp for mockups. Anyone else a fan of InVision?

  • http://www.sarinaprimrose.com Sarina Larson

    Hey Kevan! Great article, yet again. I love your posts. Thanks for sharing f.lux and workfrom.co. Definitely will use them. I love Asana for project management, I like Slack (although we have never tried HipChat), and, BoostBlocks for social media management, and Buffer! With social media, I use TweetDeck – Buffer – Facebook and Twitter. The simplicity of Buffer is everything to me. Whenever I switch away from it, I switch back.

  • http://www.rigginsconst.com/ Bridget Willard

    I use flux on my Macbook at home, buffer, and I keep hearing about Trello. Good resource guys.

  • FirefoxGuru

    Surprised Slack wasn’t mentioned :/

  • https://www.fipe.net/ VPN Service

    Great intersting post thanks lot

    THX | https://www.fipe.net/hidemyass-review.html

  • http://about.me/ddavis/ Dustin Davis

    Some of my top used tools for remote working that were not mentioned:

    Slack – https://slack.com/
    Nozbe – http://nozbe.com/ (this has replaced Wunderlist for my todo app)
    EasyHabits – http://www.easyhabitsapp.com/ – buggy & ugly, but the only habits app that works across devices

    Skitch and/or Snagit instead of Cloud App

  • https://www.fipe.net/ VPN Service

    thanks lot This is Great post.https://www.fipe.net/

  • Teamup Calendar

    If a shared calendar is helpful to the team – like planned holidays and absences – check out teamup.com

  • Krista Krumina

    Our team couldn’t live without Basecamp, Teamgantt, DeskTime (time tracking) + some of the tools you mentioned. Awesome list, thanks Kevan!

  • http://www.click-your-ads.com Leon Hoffmann

    I really like digitalnomad-jobfinder.com to find and post jobs in the nomad community. We get our freelancers there and are pretty happy with them.

  • Thomas

    Thanks for sharing this great list. Besides the mentioned tools, I’d like to recommend the following tools (especially if you’re a remote developer or designer):

    * Slack: I guess everyone knows Slack (https://slack.com)
    * GitHub: for code collaboration (https://github.com)
    * InVision: give feedback on design drafts (invisionapp.com)
    * Usersnap: collaborate on website prototypes (https://usersnap.com)
    * Screenhero: screen sharing made easy (https://screenhero.com)

    I collected further tools for remote developesr & designers in this post: http://usersnap.com/blog/remote-web-development-teams-productivity-boosts/

  • Colvin Warner

    We for our app development project use
    Proofhub : To manage everything.
    Pocket : To bookmark important stuff.
    Webex : For meetings.
    Google Analytics : For tracking website traffic.
    Dropbox : For storing files.

  • Rachel G

    Hi Kevan! Great list, I have some overlap but here are the tools I use when I work.

    -Hubstaff: How I track time and justify my hours with screenshots and activity reports (https://hubstaff.com/)

    -Skype: How I communicate with colleagues and do quick conference calls to discuss complicated tasks (http://www.skype.com/en/)

    -Trello: How we organize all our actionable tasks (https://trello.com/)

    -Basecamp: Complete project management software, great for my clients who have multiple “projects” (http://basecamp.com/)

    -Buffer: How I schedule all social media posts. Nice job on the new Buffer extension btw (https://buffer.com/)

    -Jing screencast: How I send and recieve video tutorials (voice and screen capture) on what has to get done (https://www.techsmith.com/jing.html)

  • Ugur Kaner

    Have you tried https://invoice.to ?

  • Misha Odonoghue

    Excellent analysis , Apropos , if people has been needing to merge PDF files , my business partner came across a service here AltoMerge.

  • Ramesh Srini

    Thanks Kevan for the list. I manage a team of remote employees / contractors and use the following:
    Asana for project tracking – http://asana.com
    Skype for team calls – http://skype.com
    HiveDesk for time tracking and screen shots. Extremely useful for T&M billing – http://hivedesk.com
    Hipchat / whatsapp for quick chats – http://hipchat.com

  • Sharon Thomson

    Hi Kevan! Awesome list, I can’t wait to check out all the tools I’ve never seen before. I’d like to add one more tool in your list; Proofhub, which I use everyday to track my project and time.