Working from home with Apple's ecosystem of services

Apps like Asana allow for productivity and collaboration while working remotely. — Picture courtesy of Apple
Apps like Asana allow for productivity and collaboration while working remotely. — Picture courtesy of Apple

KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 — It’s been interesting talking to Singaporeans I know, many of whom are now working remotely thanks to the current Covid-19 situation.

Thanks to how much technology has matured these days, working from home can be just as productive  though it would require a wee bit more self-discipline.

In Malaysia, the places I’ve worked at have preferred Google’s suite of solutions—mostly due to the seamless integration of Gmail, Hangouts and Drive.

Microsoft also has its Office 365 that integrates that old office mainstay Outlook with mail and the monster storage of OneDrive.

What about Apple then? Apple’s approach is a lot more app-centric, which has its good and bad points.

Apple mainstays

Apple’s own productivity apps such as Pages, Numbers and Keynotes are fairly robust alternatives to Microsoft’s own Office suite and now support collaboration with iCloud makes sharing files a lot easier.

Group FaceTime is also a nice addition as it can support multi-user conferencing over Apple devices that might prove less of a headache than third-party teleconferencing apps and there’s also iMessage that lets you reply to chats on all your devices.

My own indispensable app is Notes—now that it supports sharing and collaboration, it’s easy enough to share things like lists or compile entire folders to share with others, whether for work or leisure.

A quibble perhaps would be the need for everyone to be on the ecosystem and unlike Google or Microsoft, you can’t argue Apple is cross-platform.

Still, many iOS apps are available on other platforms so if you happen to be, like most Malaysian workplaces, working with people with a diversity of devices, there are still ways for everyone to work together from wherever they are, whatever their devices.

Here’s a list of apps you might want to check out to make your working from home experience a lot easier:

Quip

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/quip-docs-chat-sheets/id647922896

Productivity app built for teams.

Slack

https://apps.apple.com/sg/app/slack/id618783545

Slack brings team communication and collaboration into one place so you can get more work done. 

Trello 

https://apps.apple.com/SG/app/trello-organize-anything/id461504587

Visually manage your tasks.

Allegory

https://apps.apple.com/sg/app/allegory/id1470828583

iOS/macOS exclusive. A clean yet powerful notes app with mark-down support.

Buffer

https://apps.apple.com/sg/app/buffer-social-media-manager/id490474324

Plan, manage, and execute social media content anywhere.

Asana 

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/asana-organize-tasks-work/id489969512

Organise and track your to-do lists.

Microsoft Word

https://apps.apple.com/sg/app/microsoft-word/id586447913

Create and collaborate on documents easily.

Microsoft Outlook

https://apps.apple.com/sg/app/microsoft-outlook/id951937596

Manage emails, meetings, and dates in one app.

Expensify

https://apps.apple.com/sg/app/expensify-receipts-expenses/id471713959

Keep track of bills and receipts.

SignEasy

https://apps.apple.com/sg/app/signeasy-sign-and-fill-docs/id381786507

Sign, share, and track documents.

Dropbox

https://apps.apple.com/sg/app/dropbox/id327630330

Bring content together in one central place and safely sync and access them across all devices, anytime and anywhere. 

Evernote

https://apps.apple.com/sg/app/evernote/id281796108

Digital notepad and easy-to-format word processor. Write, collect and capture ideas as searchable notes in a variety of formats. Great integration with iPad and Apple Pencil.

Noisli

https://apps.apple.com/sg/app/noisli/id862773459

The background noise and colour generator for working and relaxing. Noisli is mainly used to drown out annoying noises in order to better concentrate and to enhance productivity, or to create a pleasant audio environment for relaxing or sleeping.

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