Andrew

Discovering and describing project management software since 2017

23 Time-Tested Apps to Manage Your Remote Software Development Team

The demand for software developers is ever-increasing, with many industries turning to IT for help concerning marketing, automation processes, etc. It's estimated that by the end of 2019, the total number of software developers will count over 26 million. Scattered around the globe, managing them online could prove to be a difficult job for managers.
Some of the obstacles include:

Scheduling

Largely connected to different time zones, scheduling tasks and deadlines is a very important matter in project management. This is why it’s important to use the right project management tools when managing a remote team.

Language & cultural differences

As mentioned above, over 26 million programmers will be available for work by the end of the year, meaning workers coming from different cultures and practicing various religions will join your company.

Tracking performance

Remote workers are paid by the hour. Thus, it's required of them to fully focus on the tasks at hand and minimize slacking. However, you can't really tell what your worker is doing in front of the computer.

Lack of trust and team cohesion

Although remote software engineers can remain loyal to a single company for years, there's often a lack of trust between them and managers. Sometimes, it's favoring one person over another and other times, it's simply a difference in characters.

Communication

Conducting head-to-head conversations is still a major issue when managing remote teams. Apart from talking things over during company retreats and team-building events, you don't get to see your employees for the rest of the year.
Let’s dive into specific categories of tools.

Project management

Finding the perfect app to manage both remote workers and essential projects isn't as easy as many would imagine. Luckily, there are plenty of online project management solutions based on various methods. These are the best of the best.
Price: $15 for personal needs, $5.90-$7.90 for teams based on the number of users. Trial version available for 14 days.
Rating: average of 4.6/5 at G2Crowd and 4.5/5 at Capterra.
Used by over 350.000 project managers and by companies from every industry, GanttPRO app makes life easier for every remote team.
Some of its best features include:
  • Famous Gantt chart. It truly assists in every aspect
    of managing.
  • Prioritization.
  • Time & expense trackers.
  • Resource management. 
  • Export and sharing.
  • Team collaboration.
  • JIRA and Google Drive integrations.
Due to the multiple tracking and management features, as well as acceptable prices, GanttPRO is the ideal tool for any company, small or large.
Price: starting at $10. Trial version available for 7 days.
Rating: average of 4.1/5 at G2Crowd.
With a dashboard design similar to Trello, Jira is easy to plan and track all tasks. Users can add many apps via Atlassian Marketplace to upgrade the existing software.
Some of its best features include:
  • Measuring the amount of work employees can do during working
    hours.
  • Product release forecast.
  • Budgeting.
  • Time tracking.
Overall, Jira is a great tool to have that is easily upgradeable. For managers offering more in-app options for the staff, it's a good addition.
Price: free forever. Paid plans are available at $9.99 and $20.83.
Rating: average of 4.4 out of 5 stars at G2Crowd.
Trello is a well-known management app, incredibly easy to use and with flexible plans, including a free one.
Some of its best features include: 
  • Setting deadlines.
  • To-do lists.
  • Different dashboard views.
  • The ability to upload various media.
For those who want to keep it simple, Trello is the right choice. Beginners can easily join conversations and contribute to all boards, without wasting any time on functionality.
Why is Trello good for project management? Due to its simplicity, thousands of companies use it to create boards and delegate daily tasks to the staff.

File Management

Every company needs a stable file management service to store all projects and media files. Every user is allowed to test out the following apps and choose whichever suits them the most.
Price: free up to 15 GB per user. Paid plan starts at $8/month.
Rating: average of 5/5 at both Capterra and G2.
Everything Google does is of the highest quality, and so is their storage management software. It has already crossed the '1 billion users' mark and is way ahead of its competitors.
Why do millions of users have it bookmarked? Easy usage, the free version features, and its 'drag & drop files' option are perfect for any programmer and designer in need of safe file storage.
Price: starts at $5/month. Four plans available for small and large companies.
Rating: average of 4.5/5 stars, Box has received generally positive reviews.
Box may not be as popular as Google Drive, but it still lets you organize files efficiently and share folders with the rest of the staff.
Perfectly adjusted for mobile functionality, Box supports a wide range of file types and supports device syncing, especially between PC and smartphones.
Price: offering both free and paid plans for individuals and businesses, it starts at $9.99 per month.
Rating: average of 4.5/5, making it a great alternative to Google Drive.
Dropbox has been around for a decade and is still one of the best file hosting services around. Supporting multiple OS, it's ideal for remote teams.
Users can set storage limits, change between multiple languages for better navigation, while managers can report user activity between folders.

Communication

Lack of communication leads to distrust and it's essential that you keep everyone in the loop, at all times. We're giving you the few options used by millions of companies and individuals so that every member of the staff is engaged in brainstorming, screen sharing assistance, and task performance.
Price: this famous meeting app starts at $10 for individuals, depending on the number of allowed features per plan.
Rating: average of 4.5 stars at Capterra, based on the opinion of over 800 users and 4.2 stars at G2Crowd.
Users praise join.me for its simplicity and video quality, giving it an excellent rating.
You can schedule and attend internal meetings, as well as manage attendees remotely.
Price: for small companies, there's a free plan giving up to 40 free minutes a day. Paid plans begin at $15/month.
Rating: average of 4.1/5.
Users love its user-friendly interface, multi-platform usage, and for not having to install it on their laptops.
Screenleap is used by companies such as Home Depot and Whole Foods Market.
Price: similar to Screenleap, the free version offers limited options, while 'Pro' plans begin at $14.99 per month.
Rating: average of 4.5/5 stars.
Zoom is a pioneer in video conferencing, known for taking care of its employees and customers. The only piece of the puzzle missing are more features in the free version. Still, it's ranked number one on multiple app review sites.
Some of the Internet's most famous companies use Zoom for video conferencing, including Dropbox, GoDaddy, UBER, and the board of directors at Atlassian.
Why Zoom? It's designed to work flawlessly, it's easy to use and adapted for senior managers, and helps develop discussions with its comment, voting, and instant messaging features.
Price: while there is no free version, the 'Standard' plan begins at $7/month per individual.
Rating: based on the opinions of over 30.000 reviewers, it has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Slack has officially passed the '10 million users' mark at the beginning of 2019, making it the most used remote communication software ever.
By winning several awards for its ease of use, Slack proves to be a great app for tasking, brainstorming, and instant messaging.
Price: all plans are free for the first two weeks, then you get charged for as little as $7 per month.
Rating: the relatively new
remote communication app is quickly gaining on its competitors.
Pukkateam may not be as famous as the other apps on the list, but it's still used by remote teams around the globe, including companies like Tesco, Shopify, RyanAir, and Cisco.
Some companies love short team building games, such as showing who has the neatest office desk, etc.

Security

With so many hackers trying to break into the servers of famous corporations, startups are easy targets. Security is an important step to make before any sensitive information is stored in the servers.
Price: it costs as little as $3.99/month per user, for businesses and remote teams. A free trial is included.
Rating: average of 5/5 for its efficiency and enhanced security measures.
1Password is one of the best password management apps ever built, offering to store and create all your passwords, making it impossible for hackers to break in your private emails and credit card information.
To make our lives easier, 1Password does not only create and store passwords, but there are several folders you can create, containing passport information, bank accounts, and credit cards, IDs, and even driver licenses.
Price: for just $5 flat ratep er month, you'll get complete security and backup for your teams. Free trial and demos are included.
Rating: it's another full-star app.
Spinbackup is used by thousands of companies, mainly to assist with G-Suite and Office 365, safeguarding all business data in the process.
Companies love the encryption feature, cloud backup scheduling, and allowing local and remote servers to get connected.

Time Tracking

Time is money, and money can't be made if remote workers aren't focused on the tasks at hand. Tracking the working hours and completed work will get you the finest employees - the most productive ones, at least.
Price: the basic plan is always free, while users get a 30-day trial period to explore all options.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars for its simple design and value for money.
CEOs and project managers love this effective time-tracking app for multiple reasons, including the ability to track multiple activities.
Besides the usual features, you can see how much a programmer has spent on research, learning, and project tasks.
Price: for small teams, there is the 'free forever' plan. Otherwise, paid plans begin at $9 per month.
Rating: With an average of 4.3/5 at G2Crowd, Teamwork is among the top 5 time tracking apps available.
Users praise Teamwork for increasing their work productivity and helping them manage time better.
Features include a panoramic view of all projects, messaging, and a general board view. Overall, a great time tracker.
Price: this time tracking software is relatively cheap, with prices for both individuals and teams beginning at $12 per month, although a single user can activate the 'forever free' plan, working on two separate projects.
Rating: excellent reviews of 4.5/5 stars make it ideal for companies in the IT sector.
Project managers can create visual reports from all data collected, and then check expenditure per hour and project completion.
Additional features include project budget alerts, apps integration, multi device availability, and price discounts.

Invoicing & Documents

Managing remote teams' finances and getting documents in order is often stressful. There are ways to improve and save time on printing invoices with the following apps.
Price: starts at $15, while small businesses can get the 'Plus' plan for just $25 per month.
Rating: average of 4.5/5 stars on several relevant app reviewing sites.
One of the good things about this app is the custom functionality and various workflows.
Credit card integration, automated bank importing, and time tracking with estimates are some of the coolest features.
Price: it's free to order a TransferWise debit card, and they only charge small fees for transfer and converting between currencies.
Rating: TrustPilot reviews show a high rating of 9.2/10 stars, making it a highly reliable app to transfer payments and save money for both companies and remote staff.
With Virgin's owner as a key investor and over 4 million users worldwide, this money transfer service is relatively cheaper than PayPal.
Some of its best features include sending money to over 70 countries worldwide, converting to over 40 currencies, and get paid like a local in some countries.
Price: starts at $299, while you can use it for free if you make less than 100 transactions per month.
Rating: based on over 100 reviews, the digital signature app has an excellent 4.5-star rating.
Hellosign is a digital signatures app, letting managers sign invoices and other important documents online, for which they are legally obliged to fulfill.
As a bonus, you can authorize other members to sign documents, or simply sign via mobile. In case you forget, there are auto-reminders to keep you updated.
Price: they charge $95 per contract review, for 10 pages or less. Other plans exist, depending on the company's needs.
Rating: unfortunately, you can't find many reviews for this app, being only a couple of years old. However, the ones to be found show a 5/5 rating, since not many people have thought of this idea before.
Lawgood is an innovative app in the IT industry, allowing managers to write agreements and contracts without having to consult a lawyer. Experienced attorneys do it for them, reviewing every single page and editing it to perfection.
Other options include faster turnaround time, and tips on how to improve contracts, followed by direct calling.

Code Management

Remote programmers, no matter how experienced they may be, still need assistance on projects. Sometimes, even communication and problem solving sessions with fellow colleagues will result in the status quo. However, these tools help fill in the gaps and solve almost any coding stump.
Price: being bought and integrated into Slack's app database, it's included in the latter app's pricing plans.
Rating: reviews on Trustradius show a high 9.2/10 score, meaning this screen sharing software is highly recommended for any remote coding team to solve problems.
Screenhero allows users to share multiple screens and conduct brainstorming sessions without interruptions.
As part of Slack, you get this app along with hundreds of other features and apps, as per request.
Price: there's a free version, as well as plans beginning at $7/month, for both small companies and major corporations.
Rating: based on almost 2000 reviews at Capterra, its rating is straight 5/5 stars, given by coders from all around the globe.
GitHub is simply a distributed source code management tool that serves as a hosting service for repositories. With its great graphic interface, it offers hosting for project versions used by developers and helps fix many errors in the process.
Pros include visualized changes, easily deployable code, and centralized repositories.
Price: there is a free/limited
plan. Paid plans start at $39 for individuals and $79/month for teams.
Rating: rated as 4/5, zipBoard
is among the few apps focused solely on bug tracking.
The app helps developers get rid of those pesky bugs in the code more easily and efficiently. It's a 'must' for every remote team and saves a lot of time on fixing errors.
Filtering and issue tracking are some of its pros, with task management added as an extra feature, to make it whole as a bug-tracking software.

Conclusion

Using any of these tools is the right decision for project managers to really get things going. Teams working remotely are hard to manage, so you'll need all the help you can get. For every process, there are multiple apps to choose from (or combine) and get the best of it.
Without using at least a few of these apps, losing both time and money is inevitable. Intelligent leaders know the importance of it and invest in automating tasks, allowing them to focus on everything that needs attention.
Which ones would you use? Have you used any of these so far? What are your impressions? Share your opinion with your fellow programmers!







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Comments

July 31st, 2019

Great list, thanks for sharing. Here I would like to add ProofHub in your list. With ProofHub, your teams, clients and all the project communication stay in one place. There’s no need to invest in too many different tools to run your business. Our project management software makes it easy to create plans, collaborate with teams and clients, keep things organized, and deliver projects on time. Take a look at https://www.proofhub.com/

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