19 Tools We Can’t Live Without At Livit That Are Also Useful For Remote Teams

We’re exaggerating, of course, any remote teams or we could live without these, but our lives and work would be bumpier, less streamlined, and definitely sadder.

The Livit team has been remote-capable since its inception in the early 2010s. We are not developing software or a tech team per se. But we are a support system and a service provider for tech teams. We’ve always employed amazing technologies to move faster and work smarter, and an essential part of our work is teaching other teams how to get streamlined and organized.

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We use a few dozen tools regularly and test at least a few new ones each week for our projects or clients.

So, we surveyed all our team members to find their favorite tools and put together this list for you, otherwise known as our “tool stack.”


Getting stuff done & collaborating (team-wide)

  1. G-suite

versatile and intuitive suite of cloud computing, productivity, collaboration tools, software, and products developed by Google. Among the services we use most: company email, cloud storage (a good practice we recommend: no files stored on computers), collaborative documents (sheets, docs, slides), Hangouts/Meet, shared calendars that keep us organized, allow us to schedule meetings when our colleagues are available seamlessly and book time for deep work & learning without being disturbed.

Having all of these functionalities in one is extremely convenient.

  1. ClickUp

Our project/task management software of choice. It allows lots of flexibility, and each team and individual can customize how they use it (views, boards, custom fields). It makes it easy to add subtasks to a task and attachments, updates, and comments that streamline collaboration. Everyone knows what everyone else is doing; this encourages transparency and accountability and helps us spend less time in meetings to get updates. ClickUp replaces your to-do list and your internal email. The rule of thumb we use is: if it can be a ClickUp task, it shouldn’t be an email to save both your time and the recipient’s.

We have used Asana and trialed Notion lately, and we’re pretty impressed with both! They both combine a variety of features such as project and task management, notes, wikis, and databases.

  1. Slack 

We use Slack for ongoing team communication and team calls. Our workspace is structured in various channels where specific topics/areas are discussed, which keeps things neat and organized and easy to find and refer to at any time in the future. A noteworthy mention here is that Slack can become quite “noisy” and a source of interruptions, so we highly encourage our team members to make heavy use of the “Do Not Disturb” and “Away” features to create space for focused work.

A great alternative for those who prefer asynchronous communication is Twist.

  1. Hubstaff

We do not think centralized time tracking and surveillance is a good way to go about work. However, we occasionally need to figure out what time was spent on what when we bill clients on evaluating the time invested in a particular project. So we have encouraged each team member to open their own Hubstaff account, that they fully control and no one has access to, to enable reporting when we need to. And also, to figure out when we’ve worked too much :).

  1. Loom

A wonderful tool that allows you to record your screen, voice, and face to create an instantly shareable video in so much less time than it would take to type an email. Super useful for anyone who is onboarding, mentoring, teaching, especially in a remote format (wait, that’s all of us now!). Our Talent Management loves it 🙂

  1. Dashlane 

Managing passwords and access to shared tools is really important in a remote setup, and Dashlane is arguably the best one there is.  We used LastPass for many years, which worked well for a while, but started being really buggy and difficult lately. We recently switched to Dashlane and we’re happy with it.

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  1. Spotify

Apparently, no one ever wants to get stuff done without great music 😀 Some of us have specific lists for a certain mood or type of task. We have a Livit Hub account which you can follow and get playlists/inspiration from, too. You can also create collaborative playlists with your peers, which is great for remote team building.

For those who prefer white noise/ambient music and added features to keep you focused and productive, Noisli, Mindfy or Forest are great apps to try.

  1. Zoom 

We use Zoom to run public online events & classes. It’s always stable and reliable, with easy to use features such as breakout rooms, co-hosting, etc. Downside: has apparently had some security breaches recently, but they’re reportedly working on them as we speak.

  1. Glassfrog

Livit is a flat hierarchy and runs on a holacratic* system. 

We document our internal structure, roles, accountabilities, domains via Glassfrog, as well as structure our meetings so they can be short and efficient. If we’re unsure of who’s in charge of what, or want to add topics on the agenda for the next meeting, it’s all there.

*Holacracy is a method of decentralized management and organizational governance, in which authority and decision-making are distributed rather than centralized.

  1. 7geese

We run our performance reviews, 1on1s, feedback & more via 7geese. We also work with OKRs (objectives and key results) and we track them via 7geese.


Must-haves from our marketing & business development peeps:

  1. Canva

Makes design and video editing amazingly simple and fun! A visual that used to take you hours and hours to complete is now easily done in half an hour or so.

  1. Hubspot 

Easy to use email marketing/automation/newsletter tool, with thorough reporting and a generous freemium plan (free up to 10,000 emails a month to 2,000 subscribers).

A popular alternative is ConvertKit.

  1. Elementor 

Our webmaster put it in place a while ago, and we are thankful for the intuitive interface that makes publishing articles and making changes to pages super smooth.

  1. Later

Allows you to visually plan, schedule and analyze posts for Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. And enjoy a picnic or cocktails on Sunday instead of sitting by your computer to post at the perfect time on social media 😀

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  1. Grammarly 

If you care about grammar, spelling and writing well, but you can’t afford the expense or the time needed for a native speaking proofreader/editor to have a look at everything you write, this is for you. A free online writing assistant that helps you write correctly, clearly and effectively. Some of us use the Premium version, a paid upgrade that offers over 400 types of checks and features, among which vocabulary enhancement suggestions, detects plagiarism, and provides citation suggestions.

  1. LinkedIn

It allows us to (both personally and as a company) connect with audiences and potential leads, stay up to date with what others in our industry and beyond are up to, have access to and produce ourselves thought leadership and curated content.


Must-haves for finance

  1. Xero 

Cloud-based small business accounting software with tools for managing invoicing, bank reconciliation, inventory, purchasing, expenses, bookkeeping and more. QuickBooks is another good alternative to this.

  1. Fathom 

Powerfully simple financial analysis, management reporting, dashboards and consolidations. If you’ve ever racked your brain and squinted your eyes trying to figure out the “bigger picture” of an excel file with multiple sheets, you’ll love it.


Bonus: team happiness

  1. Officevibe

A great tool to measure and increase team member engagement, develop trust and drive team performance. Officevibe does this very simply: each week, everyone in the team gets a pulse survey to assess 10 Key Metrics of happiness and engagement. This is done anonymously unless a certain team member prefers otherwise. The questions are short and enticing to respond (e.g. each person spends around 5 minutes per month on this). With all that data, Officevibe generates a full dashboard of metrics and suggestions. We integrated this with Slack so our team members get the questions directly on our communication platform.

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Yes, our team scores are in the 2% happiest and most engaged among all companies in 90 countries in the world 🙂

What are the tools powering your team and making your life easier? What are your favourite apps? We’d love to hear.

And if you need help figuring out any of the “tool stack” bits for your team, let us know, we’d be happy to help!

Lavinia

Managing Partner at Livit, #futureofwork enthusiast
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