18 Indispensable Productivity Tools for Remote Development Teams
For Developers

February 15, 2024

18 Indispensable Productivity Tools for Remote Development Teams

In a recent Gallup survey, a striking revelation emerged: a remarkable 8 out of 10 individuals have enthusiastically adopted hybrid or fully remote work arrangements. This tectonic shift isn't merely shaping the current work landscape; it's forging a path for the future. Amid this transformative tide, tech teams are on the forefront, embracing change with open arms.

Our unique stance as a remote-first enterprise, coupled with our role as a tech recruitment platform uniting remote developers with tech firms across the globe, propels us into a perpetual cycle of sourcing, evaluating, and vetting scores of remote developers.

Placing these developers into distributed teams positions us at the forefront of innovation. With this, we actively explore and scrutinize emerging tools designed for enhanced remote collaboration and productivity. Through our hands-on engagement with these tools, we witness their transformative potential firsthand. These solutions act as propulsion engines, catapulting the efficiency of our remote developers even within teams scattered across different corners of the world.

In this article, we're about to unveil the essential tools that hold the potential to empower your remote developers, allowing them to truly excel in their work across a multitude of dimensions:

  1. Programming: Enhancing the coding experience.
  2. Communication: Bridging the gap across distances.
  3. Task Management: Streamlining workflows.
  4. Cloud Storage & Sharing: Empowering seamless data exchange.
  5. Security: Safeguarding your digital ecosystem.
  6. Finance: Navigating financial intricacies.
  7. Time-Tracking: Mastering productivity metrics.
  8. Automation: Elevating efficiency through technology.

Let’s move on! 

Programming

1. GitHub/GitLab

In the world of collaborative development, there's a trio that needs no introduction: GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket. These traditional Git-centric platforms have taken center stage like never before.

At their core, these platforms revolve around Git, a distributed version control system that skillfully manages different versions of source code within a repository. This functionality alone makes Git a formidable tool for collective software creation. Of particular note is GitHub, standing as a haven for the world's largest open-source community – essentially, it's the global epicenter of "remote dev teams". 

Key features:

  • Collaborative coding
  • Easy project management
  • Effective team management
  • Increased safety with packages
  • Secure coding

2. Jira

When it comes to software project planning, tracking, and seamless delivery, Jira stands as a stellar collaboration solution. This remote work powerhouse, crafted by Atlassian, emerges as a boon for identifying glitches within your codebase. Moreover, Jira finds its roots in Agile principles and the Scrum framework, rendering it a prime choice for incremental software development that champions continuous integration and collaboration.

Key features:

  • Customizable workflows
  • Drag and drop automation for repetitive tasks
  • Reports and insights for informed decision making
  • Scrum boards and roadmaps
  • Third-party integrations

3. AWS Cloud9

AWS Cloud9 is a cloud-powered Integrated Development Environment (IDE) service that liberates coding from the constraints of devices. This cutting-edge platform equips you with a rich arsenal of tools, enabling you to code, test, and deploy software – all within a browser and set against a serverless backdrop.

With the ability to configure the IDE for various programming languages, such as JavaScript, PHP, and Python, AWS Cloud9 can store your files locally on remote servers, effortlessly switch between devices, and swiftly onboard new developers.

Key features:

  • Collaborative editing and chat
  • File revision history
  • Fully-featured editor
  • Integrations for serverless development
  • Supports over 40 programming languages

4. Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is a beloved code editor of countless developers. This gem stands as the preferred choice for many, and it's easy to see why. Not only is it free, but it also seamlessly traverses Windows, Mac, and Linux territories. With integrated Git commands and a plenitude of extensions, customization becomes your playground.

Key features:

  • Cross-platform capabilities across Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Built-in Git commands
  • Endless customization & vast array of extensions
  • Distinct from Visual Studio IDE, catering to simpler workflows 
  • Free for various user groups
Looking for high-performing remote developers? Contact Index.dev and we’ll find the matching candidates within 48 hours → 

Communication

Types of companies using Slack

5. Slack

Slack is a dynamic platform that serves as both a chat and file-sharing haven for real-time text conversations. For fully remote companies, Slack is the virtual embodiment of the office space. As a communication hub, it fosters direct messaging and chat rooms categorized by topics, mirroring the setup of physical workplaces. Consider developer-specific channels, whether it's for work journals, music discussions, movie talks, pet showcases, parental advice, or even diving deep into the myriad programming languages your developers master.

Within this versatile environment, developers are empowered to join various channels, partake in threaded discussions, share files, and collaboratively troubleshoot issues – all on their own terms.

Key features:

  • Audio and video calls
  • Automated reminders
  • Structured for projects
  • Task management
  • Third-party integrations

6. Loom

Loom is your gateway to seamless video recording. This tool empowers you to capture your desktop, camera, and microphone in tandem, weaving together a comprehensive visual experience. Loom's potency lies in its ability to visually articulate concepts, bridging the gap between explanation and comprehension. Whether you're capturing your screen, recording yourself, or providing real-time commentary, Loom positions itself as the quintessential visual communicator. From enlightening tutorials to personalized feedback, Loom unleashes the power of visual communication to empower your remote development endeavors.

Key features:

  • Inclusive video recording
  • Instructive videos
  • Drawing tools
  • Custom branding
  • Advanced security

Task management

7. Asana

Asana commences with a simple to-do list tracker and expands into a dynamic project management haven. This scalable collaboration solution does more than curbing the email influx – it orchestrates and oversees projects and tasks across your entire business. With Asana's spectrum of integrations, time management gets a boost, and productivity scales. Embrace its integrations with the likes of Slack for real-time communication, Everhour for meticulous time-tracking, and Whimsical for a visual representation of tasks through mind maps and presentations.

Key features:

  • Streamlined communication
  • Multiple views
  • Comprehensive project and task management
  • Insightful reporting
  • Integrations galore

8. Todoist

Elevate your productivity with the golden rule of Getting Things Done: shift tasks from your mind to a dedicated app. Todoist's brilliance lies in its simplicity, enabling you to steer clear of task clutter. Create tasks, assign recurring due dates, categorize them with tags, and even delegate responsibilities to your colleagues within the Todoist environment. In the journey of task management, Todoist is a steadfast companion, ensuring that no task goes unnoticed. 

Key features:

  • Effortless task input
  • Organizational excellence
  • Prioritization tools
  • Delegation power
  • Lightweight and flexible

9. Trello

While Todoist excels at task management, Trello is your guiding light for projects that require teamwork. Trello orchestrates the developer collaboration, converting complexity into simplicity. Boards and cards morph into project views, with team members collaborating seamlessly. As a result, development progress becomes tangible, eliminating ambiguity and ensuring that everyone is on the same page. With automation, varied project views, template-based ease, and an array of integrations, Trello solidifies its standing as a favored collaboration tool among developers.

Key features:

  • Visual collaboration & automation
  • Milestone tracking
  • Development sprint management
  • Real-time task visibility
  • Checklists and integrations: Slack, Google Drive, and Asana

Cloud storage and sharing

10. Google Workspace

The Google Workspace toolkit encompasses a plethora of web-based applications geared towards document creation, spreadsheet mastery, and presentation excellence. Within this array, each tool boasts intricate collaboration capabilities, enabling team members to jointly modify documents while monitoring real-time progress. Additionally, Google Drive extends its embrace, simplifying document sharing with secure cloud storage.

Key features:

  • Access control and permissions
  • Content publishing options
  • Real-time editing
  • Secure cloud storage
  • Team collaboration

11. Dropbox

Dropbox emerges as a stellar alternative to Google Drive, catering specifically to the storage needs of remote workers. This cloud-based platform specializes in file sharing, encompassing documents, images, videos, and presentations. With effortless drag-and-drop functionality, Dropbox shines across multiple devices, ensuring anytime, anywhere access.

Furthermore, its advanced scanning algorithms act as guardians, identifying potentially malicious files that might escape other platforms.

Key features:

  • Ubiquitous accessibility
  • Automatic backup
  • Encryption security
  • Robust storage and sharing
  • Version history and recovery

Security

12. NordVPN

Remote work grants the ability to work from anywhere. But this flexibility demands safeguarding your online boundaries. NordVPN, is a Virtual Private Network and a trusted piece in this realm.

Free VPNs often compromise data integrity or offer weak defenses, exposing vulnerabilities. Investing in NordVPN is prudent. It furnishes robust protection against digital threats, shielding you from potential intruders, even at your local coffee shop.

Key features:

  • Secure connections
  • Global reach
  • Data privacy
  • Network anonymity
  • Robust defense
Percentage that forgot a Password and had to do a Password Reset in the last 90 days

13. LastPass

In the digital landscape of remote work, security stands as an impregnable fortress. Amid the labyrinth of accounts and platforms, passwords are the guardians of our online sanctuaries. However, the ubiquity of countless accounts often lulls us into a dangerous practice – relying on a single password or a few variations. This is where LastPass emerges as a game-changer, eradicating this risky behavior and ushering in a new era of password security. With LastPass at your side, you can bid farewell to the perilous habit of using one password across multiple platforms. Embrace the art of crafting intricate passwords for each account without the burden of memorization.

Key features:

  • Password fortification
  • Universal password storage
  • Effortless login
  • Critical information repository.
  • Access from anywhere

Finance

14. TransferWise

Imagine having bank accounts in major currencies at your disposal, facilitating seamless transactions with economical and rapid currency conversion. For those navigating diverse currency landscapes, TransferWise stands as an indispensable asset. Freelancers sending invoices to clients with varied currencies find a steadfast companion in TransferWise. As remote developers endeavor to transcend geographical barriers, TransferWise emerges as the conduit that transforms global financial interactions into a frictionless experience, accentuating the fluidity of remote work in a boundary-agnostic world.

Key features:

  • Multi-currency bank accounts
  • Economical currency conversion
  • Rapid transactions
  • Global accessibility
  • Client invoice facilitation

Time tracking

15. RescueTime

For remote developers, harnessing time mastery is non-negotiable. RescueTime transcends tracking; it unlocks a world where your time is an ally, not an adversary. Whether it's deciphering your habits, blocking distractions, or augmenting productivity, RescueTime emerges as a pivotal tool. It's your guardian against time's elusive nature, ensuring that every moment spent in the realm of remote development is cherished and optimized. If RescueTime does not resonate with you, Toggl offers a worthy alternative.

Key features:

  • Automatic time tracking
  • Distraction defense
  • Comprehensive reports for time usage
  • Productivity enhancement
  • User-friendly interface
Looking for high-performing remote developers? Contact Index.dev and we’ll find the matching candidates within 48 hours → 

Automation

16. ClickUp

Whether you're fostering teamwork, goal alignment, or project timeline management, ClickUp stands as your compass, guiding you towards streamlined processes and time-saving efficiency. As the orchestrator of end-to-end solutions, ClickUp enriches your remote development journey, offering an integrated haven where customization, communication, and collaboration converge. 

Key features:

  • Customization capabilities
  • Multiple viewing options
  • Real-time reports on progress and performance
  • Collaboration and communication channels
  • Time tracking and task Mastery
How automation helps knowledge workers

17. Zapier

With the tagline "easy automation for busy people," Zapier unveils a world where automation thrives effortlessly. Zapier turns the mundane tasks into automated solutions. Plus, its versatility knows no bounds. Imagine effortlessly generating a new entry in a Google Sheet every time a FreshBooks invoice is settled. Envision all Gmail attachments seamlessly finding their way into Dropbox, all without your direct intervention. Zapier extends a bunch of possibilities. 

Key features:

  • Automated connections
  • Workflow enhancement
  • Software synchronization
  • Time and effort savings

18. Every Time Zone

In the realm of remote development, time zones often morph into silent adversaries, complicating communication and coordination. Every Time Zone unfurls as an indispensable companion, showcasing the time zones of your colleagues, thus eradicating the frustrating wait for the messages. Beyond that, this tool assumes the role of a global timekeeper, granting you the ability to monitor the current time across different cities. Plus,it ensures that your remote development journey is devoid of delays and misalignments.

Key features:

  • Time zone transparency
  • Meeting scheduling simplified
  • Real-time city clocks
  • Informed interactions

What to look for in a collaboration tool

Project collaboration tools should have features that make it easier for team members to communicate and collaborate on shared business goals while efficiently completing their tasks and projects. Here are some of the key features to consider when choosing a collaboration solution for your development team:

  • Accessibility. Remote developers should be able to access the collaboration tool from any location and on any internet-connected device.
  • Communication. Team messaging, video conferencing, and screen sharing are all essential to remote work, so look for apps that offer a full range of communication features.
  • Cloud-based storage. It is crucial to store developer documentation and make it accessible to programmers anytime, anywhere.
  • Project and task management. Invest in tools that can help developers plan an entire project from beginning to end, manage their schedule, and keep track of their progress.
  • Security. Cybersecurity is a primary concern and priority for all companies. Remote work tools should be robust enough to keep all company data safe and secure from unauthorized persons.

Key considerations when choosing a collaboration tool

Selecting the right collaboration tool for your development team is akin to harmonizing remote work with seamless communication and task execution. Here are pivotal features to prioritize:

  1. Accessibility: Look for a collaboration solution that offers universal accessibility, ensuring team members can effortlessly engage from any corner of the globe.
  2. Communication: Seek out tools equipped with an array of communication features, including team messaging, video conferencing, and screen sharing. 
  3. Cloud-Based Storage: Opt for a platform that provides cloud-based storage, offering programmers unimpeded access to vital resources irrespective of their location.
  4. Project and Task Management: Choose a tool that empowers developers to blueprint entire projects, orchestrate schedules, and track progress with precision.
  5. Security: Prioritize tools fortified with cybersecurity features. Your chosen tool should safeguard company data from unauthorized access and external threats.

Time to get started

The essence of remote development excellence hinges on empowering developers with the perfect toolkit. As architects of innovation, we assert that the triumvirate of GitHub, Slack, and Asana lays the cornerstone for optimal collaboration. These tools create an ecosystem where engagement defies geographical constraints, contribution becomes intuitive, and leadership blossoms organically.

If you're on the lookout for adept developers, be it for full-time positions or project-based endeavors, consider Index.dev – a tech recruitment platform with a robust community of over 10,000 developers. Our unwavering dedication to excellence shines through our meticulous assessment process, boasting an impressive 97% successful match rate and an average matching time of just 48 hours. Transparency is the cornerstone of our approach, and with no concealed fees, your journey with Index.dev is rooted in trust.

To all seasoned developers aspiring for remote software roles with esteemed US and UK companies, your search concludes here. Index.dev opens doors to opportunities that align with your expertise and offers thriving developer communities in locations such as Brazil, Argentina, and Serbia. Our engineers relish competitive salaries that surpass market averages across various countries. Register now and let the remote revolution redefine your career →