It’s hard to know what remote work tools you should use when trying to collaborate with your team from home, and ain’t nobody got time to try them all. So, on September 30, 2020 we held DEMO FEST: The Ultimate Remote Work Tool Webinar and ripped through a sweet lineup of our favorite efficiency-driving, collaboration-making, comfort-creating tech tools that will rock you and get you ready to roll into your next Zoom feeling wicked smart.

Here’s a quick rundown of the remote work tools we demo’d, why they made our list, account requirements, and pricing (as of the day this article was published; subject to change). Be sure to launch our Demo Fest: Ultimate Playlist on Spotify before you begin reading to add to the awesomeness.

Slido

Slido

https://www.sli.do/

Slido’s website says it’s “the ultimate Q&A and polling platform for virtual events,” and as you may have noticed we love anything ULTIMATE! We used it in lieu of the native Zoom Q&A feature for our webinar Q&A session because you can up-vote questions to prioritize when time is squished and we are into that kind of thing.

Login required? No account needed for participants, just facilitators.

Pricing: $0 for up to 100 participants with limited features up to $200/month or custom pricing for larger enterprises.

LeanCafe

LeanCafe

https://leancafe.io/

Nobody wants to attend aimless, time-consuming meetings. LeanCafe is a free tool that allows you to say “sayonara” to meeting fatigue through simple, user-friendly facilitation features. With topic curation, voting and timeboxing, you’ll be out of that meeting and onto actually doing the stuff faster than a espresso-fed ferret running in pace to a Pete Sandoval drum solo.

Login required? No account needed for participants, just facilitators.

Pricing: FREE!

MURAL

MURAL

https://www.mural.co/

This digital whiteboard workspace will bring your people together like a hundred hippies at Woodstock armed with digital Post-It notes. Prioritize, brainstorm, design and plan in real time, all in one place. This tool tends to go head-to-head with Miro which is on deck next…

Login required? No account needed for participants, just facilitators.

Pricing$0 for limited features, between $12/month to $20/month to unlock more features for more users, and custom pricing for large enterprises.

Miro

Miro

https://miro.com/

Not a total Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V of MURAL, but we often find Agile teams use them similarly. Miro is a collaboration whiteboard tool that is scalable, secure, and great for distributed teams. We love to use it for story mapping.

Login required? No account needed for participants, just facilitators.

Pricing: $0 for limited features, scaled $8/month to $16/month for additional features and users, up to custom pricing for larger enterprises.

Microsoft VS Code Live Share

Microsoft Visual Studio Code Live Share

https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/services/live-share/

Perhaps you’re a programmer who used to code alongside your comrades live and in person back when that was a thing, and now you’re craving real-time code collaboration. Enter: Microsoft Visual Studio Live Share. It makes it nice and easy to pair up with peers.

Login required? Yes.

Pricing: Depends on your Microsoft subscription.

The Keyboard (yes, a remote work tool we addressed was your actual keyboard)

How important is a keyboard when considering your remote work setup? Our friend, Sung Kang, is a keyboard fanatic so he has expanded our minds to why getting the right keyboard setup really matters. Watch his segment in our video; your wrists, arms and general well-being will thank you.

Pricing: Depends on which keyboard you purchase, naturally. While we didn’t declare a #1 favorite during Demo Fest, one webinar attendee was expressed fondness for the Cherry MX keyswitch.

Krisp

Krisp

https://krisp.ai/

You know how it goes…the second you launch that video call, the doorbell rings, the dog barks, and the kids scream. Every. Time. Thankfully, the easy-to-use app, Krisp, has come along to save us from our noisy selves.

Login required? Yes.

Pricing: $0 for 120 minutes/week, paid options from $3.33/user/month up to custom pricing for larger enterprises.

Scrumblr

Scrumblr

http://scrumblr.ca/

Need a super simple, collaborative brainstorming board tool? Then it doesn’t get any simpler than Scrumblr. Board that you can share? Check. Notecards upon which you can place text? Check. Dots you can use to vote? Check. And, that’s about it. But, there’s an advantage in the fact that it’s open source so you can take that code local and make it your own.

Login required? No account needed for anyone.

Pricing: FREE!

FunRetro

FunRetro

https://funretro.io/

Just when you thought retrospectives couldn’t get any more fun, FunRetro comes along and gives you a cool, colorful tool to help your remote work team rally together and conduct spring retrospectives like the pros you are. Choose from fun themes (like “Elvis!) or customize your own.

Login required? No account needed for participants, just facilitators.

Pricing: $0 for limited features up to $90/month for expanded boards and teams.

Loom

Loom

https://www.loom.com/

Your recipients lose a lot of context when you send them an email with just text, but the last thing you need right now is another video chat. Loom is a video messaging app that solves this problem by offering a breezy way to capture your screen, voice, and face and instantly share your video in less time than it would take to type an email. Privacy settings are available (check paid vs. free features) and videos can be downloaded from Loom and then uploaded to YouTube. Bonus: It integrates with Slack, Gmail and more.

Login required? No account needed for receivers, just senders.

Pricing: $0 for up to 25 videos and basic features or a range of $8/month (free for education!) to $12/month per user, up to custom pricing for larger enterprises.

Mentimeter

Mentimeter

https://www.mentimeter.com/

PowerPoint can be so one-sided. Mentimeter helps distributed teams create interactive presentations and obtain real-time feedback in meetings through live polls, quizzes, word clouds, Q&As and more. It’s swift and simple to use, and the feedback you can obtain is ridiculously valuable.

As a matter of fact, we conducted live polls during Demo Fest and got the following results:

Based on the real-time feedback we received from Demo Fest webinar attendees, they were least familiar with LeanCafe (followed by Live Share and Krisp) and we missed an opportunity to talk about donuts more. Next time!

Login required? No account needed for participants, just facilitators.

Pricing: $0 for limited features, ranges from $9.99/month/user to $24.99/month/user for expanded features, up to custom pricing for larger enterprises. Educational pricing available.

Demo Fest panelists en feugo in Zoom.

Why didn’t we cover Zoom at Demo Fest? Well, chances are, you have already had your fair share of Zoom use during the last several months. But, one webinar attendee posted a question about preferred Zoom plugins, and we can disclose that we’ve had a LOT of fun with virtual backgrounds and appearance touch-ups (don’t judge…it’s hard to roll out of bed and look good for those early morning Zoom calls!). We thought it might be useful to share this USA Today article about useful Zoom plugins.

Couldn’t make it? Don’t sweat. Watch the full webinar recording and we’ll bring the heat to your home office:

As always, Sketch Development is here to help, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to talk about remote work tools or modern workplace coaching, training, and software development. Or perhaps heavy metal playlists or your favorite Mortal Kombat character.

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