I’ve worked from home or remote most of the last twenty years. While it has its advantages (obviously), there are some disadvantages as well. Including motivation (it’s really difficult to work when the gaming console is next to you or your family thinks that “you have time, you’re at home, can you go and buy something for me?”).
Here are some of the tools I use, tools without which I could never do my job.
I use Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, Slack, even Facebook Messenger/Whatsapp/Telegram, if necessary.
Zoom is a really good tool, but they had a weird component inserted in the desktop app, that allowed websites to turn your laptop’s camera, at least on Mac, so take this into consideration.
Skype is a good tool, but it became a little bit too bloated, trying to be too many things for too many people. I’ve had more and more business partners asking to use a different tool, other than Skype.
Google Hangouts is good, especially for videocalls with multiple people.
I’ve used Slack a lot with the team here, at The CEO Library. I don’t like the fact they don’t have a native app for MacOS, but other than that, not bad at all. I didn’t use it in the last 6 months or so, maybe they changed some more things.
Finally, Facebook Messenger/Whatsapp/Telegram are apps you use when nothing else works. They don’t have screen share options or anything like that, but for calls they’re good enough.
Of course, you can use the phone for calls, but when you travel extensively, this can become quite expensive. I know Skype has a phone number option, but I never used it. Google Voice also gives you a phone number, but it only works (for me) in the US, so it’s a little bit limiting, seeing that I live in Portugal, I have family in Romania and I mostly travel in the European Union.
I use Dropbox for file sharing. They are getting bloated by the day, but they’re the best for the me, for the moment.
I also use Google Docs (Drive) for collaborative work. Any Excel/Word file I need to look over with someone else, I use this. I know Office365 is a really good tool now, but I never used, so I can speak about it. The difference between them? Google’s tool is free to use and I know most people I work with have a Google account.
For screenshots I use the Skitch app by Evernote. It’s not the best, not the worst. Since I use Evernote as reference dump for everything, Skitch is a good enough tool.
I don’t really use time tracking tools. I don’t work for clients, so I don’t NEED to track my time. I have 2-3 main tasks everyday and I try to achieve those. If I have more time, I do some other smaller tasks I need to do. Like getting some documents for taxes, let’s say :)