Let’s face it, AI is all the rage right now. And honestly, for good reason. I’ve personally seen how it can 3x the productivity of some companies. It seems like the smaller the entity (i.e., freelancers and one-man companies), the more beneficial it can be for them. Personally, the implementation of AI in my stack has helped me 5x my productivity!
This is especially true of remote workers as well, there is a wealth of AI tools and processes that can truly multiply their output. In this article, I’m going to explore some of the AI productivity tools and tactics, as well as get some help from contributors to explore how they use AI as well.
Implementing AI for communication
I’ve written extensively about communication for remote teams. In my opinion, this is the single most important discipline when it comes to remote working. Without it (or even with poor communication), everyone suffers. But with so much data flying around the interwebs nowadays, that’s hardly the only type of communication that businesses and remote workers are involved with.
AI-powered chatbots like Intercom and Drift streamline some of the more basic inquiries people might have, allowing teams to focus on more complex tasks. Meanwhile, transcription services such as Otter.ai and Zoom’s built-in transcription feature capture every detail of meetings, which can be a lifesaver for remote work productivity.
One of the most productive features for me is using Zoom’s built-in feature to obtain meeting and webinar transcripts. These transcripts are then fed into ChatGPT to generate concise summaries, streamlining the process of information consolidation and sharing.
Sentiment analysis tools, including MonkeyLearn, offer insights into the emotional tone of written communications, aiding in the accurate interpretation of messages and emails. This is particularly useful in customer service and team interactions, where understanding sentiment can be crucial to overall business operations.
Perhaps my personal favorite tool in my arsenal is Crystal. Anyone involved in sales, business development, or account management needs to check this tool out. Crystal provides personality insights that help you tailor communication to individual preferences, helping to skyrocket engagement. It’s freaky just how accurate the insights are.
Grammarly is another big one that many of us use so that we don’t look stupid before we hit send ;). This AI-driven writing assistant ensures messages are not only grammatically correct but also clear and appropriately toned, enhancing written communication across emails, reports, and documents. As far as using AI for remote work productivity, this is one of the most widely used applications.
As a seasoned digital nomad and travel blogger, AI has been instrumental in boosting my output and efficiency while working remotely. One example is the usage of Grammarly, an AI-powered writing tool, to ensure I am always publishing top-tier content for my travel blog, which consistently reaches over 400,000 people each month.
Using AI for Admin and HR
It’s not usually the first type of role that you think of for remote workers, but AI is alive and well in administrative tasks. For example, AI-driven tools like Clockwise are transforming scheduling by optimizing calendars for maximizing productivity, automating meeting arrangements, and minimizing disruptions, all without human intervention.
If you’re on the accounting/financial side of things, platforms such as QuickBooks and FreshBooks leverage AI to simplify invoicing, expense tracking, budgeting, and financial forecasting. Imagine having to reconcile an entire quarter’s worth of expenses without the built-in AI used by these tools. What would take days previously now is mostly done by the time you even log in.
AI extends into human resources as well, streamlining candidate screening, employee onboarding, workforce analytics, etc. Tools like IntelliHR utilize AI to offer data-driven insights into employee performance and engagement. Similarly, Coassemble employs AI to revolutionize training and development, enabling the creation of personalized learning experiences that adapt to the learner’s pace and preferences.
This isn’t going anywhere either, we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. The recent funding of TravelPerk, with a $104 million investment to advance AI in travel expense management, highlights the significant impact of AI on even more administrative tasks.
Time Management and Productivity
The discipline needed to be a remote worker of any kind is a must. I firmly believe that if you struggle to manage your time and level of productivity, you won’t make it. There are so many distractions in regular day-to-day life, that self-discipline is tantamount to competence. Remote workers that use AI tools for greater productivity can find ways to not just manage time, but to optimize it.
For example, RescueTime and Timely offer a window into your personal work habits, tracking time spent across activities. RescueTime identifies distractions, suggesting changes to boost focus, while Timely provides automated time tracking and analysis. Both tools certainly have their merits, especially for remote workers who operate their own businesses. For them, every minute can make a big difference.
Tracking time is one thing, but being able to schedule it is crucial as well. Reclaim.ai and Todoist shine in this regard. Reclaim.ai optimizes calendars, balancing work and personal commitments without manual input. Todoist, with its natural language processing capabilities, makes task prioritization easier, helping users focus on what matters most. They streamline the planning process of tasks and meetings, especially when used in tandem.
We find immense value in content automation tools like Jasper AI for generating short blog content and social media posts, thereby saving precious hours. A more complex use case can be witnessed in Data Robot, which we use for automating intricate data analysis tasks, yielding optimal business strategies at a fraction of conventional processing time.
Tools like Zapier and IFTTT are hardly new, likely, you’ve even used them before. That said, they already have integrations with other AI-based tools. If there aren’t any tools that do quite what you need, it might be worth looking into these trigger tools to create your own workflow between AI apps.
Creative and Content Creation
The infusion of AI into creative processes is a boon for content creators, enabling enhanced creativity, efficiency, and personalization. These tools are reshaping how content is conceived, developed, and delivered, making a higher-than-average output more accessible to individuals and small teams.
ChatGPT4 has literally changed the game when it comes to content creation. It can’t create a full article, case study, or presentation (at least, not a good one) without extensive human editing, but it is crazy-good at testing ideas, creating outlines, and even planning trips! It’s arguably the Swiss Army knife of AI tools right now.
Not to be outdone, image-based content has come leaps and bounds as well. Canva’s Magic Write (also powered by OpenAI) simplifies graphic design, offering automated layout suggestions and content generation for professional-quality visuals. For more unique and custom designs, Midjourney provides an AI-driven approach to visual creation, enabling bespoke imagery with minimal input from the creator. Getting good at prompts for Midjourney might take a little practice, but it’s well worth the time investment.
We use Midjourney’s text-to-image capabilities to create detailed and engaging images and dive into Runway to achieve engaging videos for our social media followers. Not only do we see higher performance and engagement metrics in platforms like LinkedIn, but we also see a boost in both referral site visits and sustained growth in pages/sessions.
As for video, Synthesia allows creators to generate AI-powered videos from text inputs. This tool democratizes video creation, eliminating the need for complex equipment or extensive production teams. Having said that, the times that I’ve used Synthesia, I’ve found it to be great for me, but likely elementary for experienced video pros. It’s probably best for simple videos or internal presentations, in my opinion.
Putting These Tools to Work
Regardless of the type of work you do, there’s almost certainly an AI tool that will help your productivity. I won’t sugarcoat it, some of these tools still take a lot of work. However, just know that they’re usually worth exploring. Even just finding one that is useful to you can increase your output tremendously. And don’t stop here, there are plenty of AI resources for remote work productivity out there that can help further. Good luck!
Jared has worked remotely for 15 years in various marketing capacities, and has managed hundreds of marketing campaigns along the way. He has held freelance, agency, and in-house positions for companies large and small.