10 min. read

February 18, 2021

9 Tools You Need to Optimise Your Remote Workflow

Staying focused while working remotely comes with a unique set of challenges.


Michiel Mulders, Software Engineer

This article explores popular tools, among Slack, 1Password, Calendly, or Notion, to boost your team’s efficiency. Furthermore, you get to learn more about the recent “No Code” hype that gave birth to many workflow automation tools. 

As Ryan Hoover explains, “No Code tools are reducing the amount of time and coding expertise required to translate an idea into something people can use. You no longer need to become a programmer to build things on the internet, empowering a new wave of makers from different backgrounds and perspectives.”

Yet, the “No Code” movement stretches far beyond makers. Most users implement No Code tools to reach workflow optimization by connecting different tools via a visual interface. For instance, Makerpad provides a tutorial that explains how to email Zoom recordings to participants automatically. In this example, we use Zapier to connect Zoom and Mailchimp to send recordings to participants. Awesome, right?

Let’s get started with nine productivity tools.

1. 1Password to improve accessibility and safety of passwords

There isn’t a more unsafe approach than sharing passwords in plain text via email or messaging apps. On top of that, managing passwords becomes a very complex issue, also compliance-wise.

Imagine a situation where an employee takes a day off who knows a password for a particular tool. Now, on that particular day, you require access to this tool. 

To solve this problem and make password sharing more secure, 1Password helps you manage passwords securely and in an organized manner. You can create different vaults that contain passwords. For instance, all passwords your marketing needs to access their tooling. 

Often, password manager tools come with interesting features, such as:

  • Automatically generate strong passwords

  • Automatic password renewal after a predefined period

  • Data breach reports verifying if any sensitive company information has been exposed

2. Monday.com to manage everything in one workspace

Monday.com brands itself as an online collaboration tool. Teams can use it to organize and manage most of their day-to-day operations. You can describe the tool as a highly customized spreadsheet with a modern interface to track the status of all kinds of tasks. You can compare it with similar project management tools, such as Trello, Asana, or JIRA.

It’s a great tool to design well-defined processes in a visually beautiful interface.

3. Sidekick Browser to boost productivity

On November 30th, 2020, Sidekick Browser launched on ProductHunt. It became a straight hit, becoming the #1 product of the week.

This browser aims to integrate all sorts of popular productivity tools to create a combined workspace. There’s no need to switch tabs or virtual desktops. You can load everything within your browser view. It’s a piece of excellence for power users who like to use a single tool for all their work.

sidekick browser

Some of you might remember Franz, a tool that integrates many popular messaging apps, such as LinkedIn, Slack, Telegram, Trello, and many more. What Sidekick did is offer Franz on steroids. 

Sidekick’s most powerful feature? Search across all your apps, tabs, and workspaces in seconds. Here’s a screenshot from Sidekick’s website that illustrates this concept. You can access documents stored in Notion, Slack channels, Evernote notes, and Figma designs with a single search.


4. Notion templates to optimize any process

If you don’t know Notion yet, look it up! Notion started as a simple note-taking app with many building blocks. These building blocks make quite a difference. You can insert complete data tables that offer advanced functionality like:

  • Data linking between tables

  • Create different data views

  • Advanced filtering

In other words, it’s not a regular note-taking app. You can insert all sorts of elements, such as cards, Gantt charts, or To-Do lists.

Notion’s popularity took off because of their active templating community. Users started to create templates for all sorts of work-related processes to improve them. 

Notion template

Here are some useful templates to start with.

  1. Roadmap template (for product team)

  2. Content calendar template (for marketing team)

  3. User research database template (for design team)

5. Calendly to avoid endless meeting confirmation emails

Calendly helps you to schedule meetings with your team members or clients quickly. It’s very frustrating to go through endless meeting confirmation emails to find a shared time slot to schedule a call.

Calendly solves this problem by helping you create a calendar that reflects your availability. Furthermore, you can send your Calendly link to anyone who wants to schedule a call with you. Nex, they can pick a free time slot from your calendar. 

Of course, you remain in control by setting rules about your availability, time between meetings, or when you take breaks.

Interesting feature: Calendly provides a couple of workflow automation options, such as email meeting reminders, sending a “Thank You” email, or sending additional resources before the start of the meeting.

6. N8n for design advanced No Code flows

N8n offers a more advanced No Code workflow automation tool, which offers many integrations and software-related logic like an if-statement. For instance, you want to create a support form for users. They can fill in their personal details, describe the problem, and indicate how urgent the problem is on a scale of ten. 

Next, we can attach an if-statement that determines what action to take based on the problem’s urgency. There are two-cases possible.

  • If the urgency level is higher than >7, send a message in a specific Slack channel to notify the support team about this high priority issue.

  • If the urgency level is equal to or below =<7, record the support request in a Google Sheet for the support team.

n8n screenshot

It’s an excellent tool to trigger different actions based on the output of other applications.

7. Zapier for social media automation

Zapier brands itself as the glue that connects thousands of web apps. Zapier has become most popular in the domain of marketing automation. Automating all kinds of tasks, such as:

  • Newsletters

  • Content distribution

  • Social media monitoring and engagement

Zapier works with so-called Zaps. Each Zap represents a web app that can send different events to trigger other apps in your workflow. Zapier allows you to connect apps to create automated workflows. 

Here are some examples:

  • Automatically share a new blog post to Facebook pages, LinkedIn, and your RSS feed.

  • Add HubSpot leads to your Airtable database to store this data and trigger further actions such as automatic follow-up emails.

  • Automatically create Google Calendar events from new Trello cards.

You can check out Zapier’s blog post about 101 use cases for social media automation for sales and marketing teams.


8. Slack for effective communication and integrations

You’ve probably noticed I’ve mentioned Slack a couple of times in the examples in this blog post. Slack has become an established messaging tool for teams that want to have the ability to extend their messaging app with many of the available plugins.

As a software engineer, we have to wait for code feedback from a Continuous Integration pipeline. Instead, there’s a plugin that sends you a message about your code’s testing results, so you don’t have to monitor or refresh the testing page continuously. 

You can design any integration using the Slack API. Of course, you require some coding skills to integrate different applications. Luckily, there’s a whole integration ecosystem to get you started.

slack integrations

9. Avoid unnecessary meetings with Polly

Last but not least, Polly! It’s a popular tool to capture instant feedback for teams. Polly is often used to quickly decide on smaller tasks without having to coordinate a meeting. Therefore, it fits the category of productivity tools as it saves you time. 

Most people already know Polly as it’s a widespread Slack integration. One of the key features is to vote anonymously for more sensitive or critical decisions.


That’s it! Want to learn more about the “No Code” movement to optimize your workflow, make sure to check out the No Code subreddit.