Top Software, Apps, and Tools for Remote Work
Tools for remote freelancers, teams, and studios to communicate and collaborate more effectively - both internally and externally.
Remote work isn't going anywhere.
If you’re a freelance video editor, graphic designer, filmmaker, or a remote-based production house, agency, or studio - there are a number of core software, tools, and applications teams and individual freelancers can leverage to more effectively and efficiently manage projects and communicate.
If we were to start freelancing or create a new remote-based agency / business with a small team of creatives, adopting and leveraging this list of "core" software, apps, and tools will instantly level-up your operations and get you started on the right foot from the beginning.
"What the wise do in the beginning, fools do in the end." - Warren Buffet
Organized into five categories:
- Legal Resources
- Accounting Software
- Cloud Storage & File Sharing
- Project Management & Communication Apps
- Design & Post Production Software
Contract agreements, release forms and insurance
Now, you always want to protect yourself and tilt the odds in your favor as best you can.
Yet often times, creatives and freelancers-of-all-kind neglect the most important party in business - to cover your ass (CYA) from being taken advantage of or getting burned by other businesses.
LegalZoom: Starting a business has never been easier and more affordable.
LegalZoom makes it uber-simple to file as an LLC, S-corp, C-corp, Doing Business As (DBA), sole proprietorship, and Non-profit. Form your business with the right structure from the jump.
Upcounsel: Access to high-quality attorneys on demand. Whether you need a one-time consult or an entire freelance legal department.
Upcounsel's network of experienced lawyers has you covered.
You'll want to have a standard freelance agreement template that will allow you to easily customize a client's name, point-of-contact, company address, entity name (if valid), terms and conditions, and payment structure.
ie: 50% deposit up front to begin a project and the other 50% upon delivery of final assets / renders.
Clerky: Get set up for success instantly, Clerky makes it easy to form an entity and draft freelance agreements, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), company stock option issuance, corporate name changes, and so much more.
Docusign: Have templates for all of your agreements, NDAs, and legal docs directly through docusign - and make e-signing / authorizing super simple.
Athos Insurance Services: Your entertainment insurance experts.
One of the best and most affordable film production, gear, and event insurance available. Flexible and easy for last minute certifications of insurance.
Accounting, Billing, Invoicing
To find out how to invoice clients the right way, check out our this post!
Quickbooks: The industry standard for tracking your business's finances, doing payroll, and invoicing clients.
Get free setup help from a quickbooks expert, auto-track income and expenses, and always know where you stand financially.
Freshbooks: Accounting software built for business owners and accountants. Professional invoicing, expensing, time tracking, payments, reporting, and more.
Xero: A fantastic alternative to the other, explore Xero accounting software and its tools for small businesses, accountants, and bookkeepers.
Cloud Storage & File Sharing
Documents, Cloud Storage, File Sharing
Google Drive: The go-to name in cloud storage, Google Drive can be accessed through any browser.
Files on Google Drive are organized into folders, which helps keep everything manageable for simple to complex projects.
Text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations can all be created directly within Google Drive (for free), eliminating the need for additional cloud storage.
Box.com: Box is a business-oriented cloud storage platform that also has features such as file-sharing and collaboration which make it useful for filmmaking, design, and collaborative projects.
Box has a free account option, so you can try it out before committing to a paid subscription.
Dropbox: Dropbox works similarly to Google Drive and Box, but also offers photo-sharing and document review, both helpful for a freelance creatives and teams.
As with Google Drive and Box, Dropbox has a desktop app that enables you save files directly to your drive without having to use a web browser.
Playbook: Is a hidden gem, think Dropbox combined with Pinterest, with 4TB starter space.
Find your files quicker by browsing visually, and share them in a format that's more like a ready-made portfolio than tired old cloud storage.
Project Management & Communication
Scheduling, Budgeting, Organizing Priorities, Communication, Hosting, and Review Software
Depending on the size and number of creative projects in your pipeline, it can be a daunting task to keep track of each detail and set of action items.
These project management and communication apps and tools will help you and your team stay in sync and manage many projects.
Asana: A highly-effective project management tool, Asana can be used to track various tasks for production teams working remotely, managing deadlines and timesheets with ease.
It's great for filmmakers and creatives who are digital nomads or freelancers.
Asana also has a free version, but paid plans offer added features such as time tracking.
Trello: Trello is another excellent project management software. It has an intuitive design and organization that makes it easy to reorganize, reprioritize, and add files when working remotely.
Airtable: Airtable is an intuitive spreadsheet tool, offering the ability to add rows or lists with attachments and images for organizing creative projects of all kind.
It also lets users create checklists and save their spreadsheet as a template for future projects, making it easy to access and organize data.
Teamwork: Teamwork is another popular project management platform offering every tool you need to keep a creative project running on track.
Teamwork offers everything from time tracking to task-list templates to a host of communication and collaboration tools.
Slack: The best email killer and internal communication tool for everyday conversations between team members.
This popular instant messaging tool lets users chat 1-on-1 or within groups / channels.
You can upload and share files and links via your cloud storage.
It's easy to add people via their email from other teams to join the conversation.
Zoom: One of the best and easiest video conferencing tools for teams working remotely.
Calendly: Making it uber-simple to have others book time into your schedule.
Calendar: Another easy-to-use calendar scheduling tool for individuals and teams.
Evernote: Is perhaps the best note taking software for individuals and teams.
From staying on top of your to-dos to making your schedule work for you, Evernote helps bring order to the chaos.
Add due-dates and reminders so you don't miss a detail.
StudioBinder: is an online Studio Management software platform that lets filmmakers and content producers manage their production from start to finish.
StudioBinder makes it easier for remote teams to collaborate and work efficiently while staying organized.
The project management software lets you create your own production database, track each detail of the studio-production process, collaborate with other members of the production team, and share valuable information with clients.
Wrapbook: Easily tackle onboarding, timecards, payroll, and insurance with Wrapbook - a powerful and intuitive platform for production management.
They have a ton of great resources for film production companies and agencies; non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), location scouting checklists, script breakdown templates, release forms, and more.
Vimeo: This popular all-in-one video application has free and paid memberships for video creators to host their content, share it with others, and get feedback on review links.
Frame.io: This video hosting and review tool functions as a digital version of a physical edit bay. It allows users to easily share footage, screenshots, and make notes on a video or design project.
Figma: Figma connects everyone in the design process so teams can deliver better products, faster.
Build an iterative design flow with live collaboration that keeps you in the loop whether you're working in the office or remotely.
Design & Post Production
Graphic Design, Video and Photo Editing, Content Creation
Adobe Creative Cloud: The premiere design, video, photo, illustration, and motion graphics software suite for individuals and teams.
From photoshop, illustrator and lightroom, to premiere pro, after effects, and more.
Final Cut Pro X: FCPX is designed for today's all-digital pro video workflows.
Davinci Resolve: is the world's only solution that combines editing, color correction, visual effects, motion graphics, and audio post-production all-in-one software suite.
While it’s by no means a comprehensive list, it is a full-proof list of remote software for you and your teams to stay connected, manage projects, and share files with clients or collaborators.
We hope you’ve found this article on the Top Software, Apps, and Tools for Remote Work to be useful and practical.
- For royalty-free video clips and photos, check out our list of Best Stock Footage and Photo sites.
- Check out the Top 10 Things Successful Freelancers Do Differently, to gain a competitive advantage!
- Learn more about the untapped value of design resources in business.
For more valuable info, tools, and resources for film directors, videographers, photographers, motion designers, video editors, and creatives - check out the Ultimate List of Filmmaker Resources, Glossary of Essential Film Terms, or all blog posts.
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