No-brainer tools every remote-first startup can use in 2024

Good tools are the basis of your team’s productivity. Here’s the best ones you can get without breaking the bank.

2023’s been a tricky year for SaaS.

Between the funding winter and the AI boom, the landscape underwent some major shifts. But things started picking up by Q4. According to Carta’s report, the median pre-money valuation for deals at both seed stage and Series A increased in Q3 for the second consecutive quarter.

So, if you’re thinking of starting a startup, go for it. And as of your toolstack, this is the only guide you’ll need.

We at Slite wanted to share some of what works for our fully-remote team, and why. It is a roadmap for other small-to-medium size, remote-first teams to get intentional about the tools they use. With a hardworking toolstack, you'll keep your tasks focused and your budget down, so you can focus on the work that truly matters.

What remote work tools do I need to run a startup?

To run a startup, you need tools for team communication, project management, knowledge management, hiring, HR, finances, accounting, ops, cap table management, etc. You could try to not take some of them and just wing it with Gsheets, etc. However, having improper systems and a scrappy toolstack gets problematic as you scale.

That’s why, we’d recommend you to take a few tools and really start using them systematically from day 1.

Top remote work tools for team communication

As much as we promote async-first work, sometimes you do need to check in live. Where do you go to say hello in the morning and goodbye in the evening? How can you share your weekend activities? What if there's an issue and you need all hands on deck?

This is exactly where communication tools become the lifeblood of our everyday work.



Easier, faster and more transparent than email. It’s the default for 99.9% of startups out there. We use Slack, too. It’s got a 0 learning curve and onboarding freelancers/external companies is extremely easy too. A solid no-brainer.


Discord is extremely popular among web3 startups. You can use it for real-time collaboration with video calls, voice chats, and more. There’s 2 challenges with Discord though. Firstly, it doesn’t have a lot of professional tool integrations. A lot of professional software addons are directly integrated with Slack. For example, the Google Calendar addon on Slack is really helpful to see which of your colleagues are in a meeting, when they’re OOO, etc. Secondly, it’s a very heavy software which can often be an issue for non-pro devices. Especially for tech teams who need power.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a good choice for new remote startups because it works well with Microsoft Office and offers many ways to communicate, like chats and video calls. It's also safe to use and can grow with your company. If your team is already using Microsoft Office, Teams can make working together easier because you can share files and information in one place.But, there are some downsides. Teams might be hard to use at first if you're not used to Microsoft's products. It also needs a strong computer to work well, which could be a problem if your startup doesn't have the latest computers.

Also, Teams can give you a lot of information and alerts, which can be overwhelming. If you need more features than the free version offers, you'll have to pay for a Microsoft 365 subscription, which could be too much for startups with a small budget.

Video conferencing

Google Meet

The easiest and the most robust default option for meetings, especially for startups. You can easily add Gmeet links to Calendar events, take transcriptions, change virtual backgrounds, and even record your meetings. Google is slowly improving Google Meet with more features like picture-in-picture. A great standard, economic, option that just works.


Zoom is professional and easy to schedule, as well as record meetings for those who can't make it.


Made specifically for remote teams with tons of flexible features. It keeps video calls interesting with its vibes and genre features.

Whereby Meetings

Whereby Meetings is the next-generation video calling app. It's like the Typeform of video conferencing. Not only does it offer deep branding customisation, it does everything you'd expect.

If your team cares a lot about branding and design, Whereby's customisation is the best way to show it off and make a great first impression in discovery calls.


Gather is a cool app for remote teams, especially startups. It's different from regular video chat apps because it lets you create a virtual office. Imagine a video game where you can walk around, bump into your teammates, and start talking just like in a real office. This is great for making work feel more fun and helping team members feel closer, even when they're far apart.

But, Gather might not be for everyone. Some people might find the game-like setup a bit too much, especially if they prefer simple and straight-to-the-point meetings. Also, if your internet isn't great, you might have trouble using Gather smoothly. Plus, if your work is really formal, this playful style might not fit.

Top remote work tools for Task and Project Management

Remote teams face challenges keeping track of progress as team members don’t talk face-to-face every day –– but a dedicated tool provides insights no matter what. Here’s the most used ones:


Linear is a helpful app for remote startups because it helps them stay organized and work together better. It's great for managing projects and keeping track of tasks. It also lets everyone see what's going on in the company, which is good if you like being open and honest about work.

But, if you like things to be simple, Linear might be too complicated. It's not great if your internet is not very good, and it might not fit well with a very serious or formal work style. So, before using Linear, make sure it's a good match for your startup's way of working.

Linear provides a detailed look into tasks and projects, with progress updates and more.


Asana is a helpful app for remote startups because it helps you keep track of your projects and tasks. It's like a to-do list, but it's also great for teamwork. You can see what everyone is working on and when things are due. This is good if you want your team to be organized and on top of things.

However, if you like things to be very simple and don't need all the extra features, Asana might be more than you need. Also, if your internet isn't super fast, it might not work as smoothly. So, before using Asana, think about whether it fits your startup's style and needs.


ClickUp is another app that can be handy for remote startups. It helps you manage your projects, tasks, and even your team's time. You can customize it to work the way you want, which is great for startups with unique processes. It's also good for staying organized and making sure nothing gets forgotten.

However, if you prefer a really simple to-do list, ClickUp might feel a bit overwhelming. It has a lot of features, so it's best for teams that like to dive deep into their work tools. Make sure it aligns with your startup's way of working before diving in.


Trello is a simple and easy-to-use app for remote startups. It's like digital sticky notes on a virtual board. You can move tasks around, see what needs to be done, and who's responsible for what. It's great for visual thinkers and teams that like a straightforward approach to task management.

But, if your startup needs more advanced project management features or if you prefer a more detailed way of tracking progress, Trello might not be the best fit. It's essential to match your startup's style and requirements with Trello's simplicity before deciding to use it. is a versatile app that remote startups can use to manage projects and tasks. It's like a digital workspace where you can plan, track, and collaborate on your work. It's customizable, which is fantastic for tailoring it to your startup's unique needs. It's also great for keeping everyone on the same page.

However, if your startup prefers a very basic and straightforward approach to task management, might feel a bit complex. It has a lot of features, so it's better suited for teams looking for a comprehensive project management tool. Consider whether it matches your startup's work style and complexity requirements before adopting it.

Top remote work tools for documentation collaboration

You need somewhere to make important decisions, brainstorm processes and build a knowledge base for your team. Companies do not run without a place to store and update key information. This is just as true in the office as with remote teams. However, on remote teams there is no safety net of asking the friendly person next to you that’s been there longer. You need a central, up-to-date platform. That’s why a knowledge base is one of the most important collaboration tools to get right.


Slite is a documentation platform designed to help remote startups streamline their knowledge management and documentation processes. Think of it as your company's digital encyclopedia, where you can create and organize documents with ease. This simplicity makes it an attractive option for startups looking to efficiently capture and share their knowledge.

One of Slite's key strengths is its user-friendly interface, which allows startups to quickly get up and running with minimal learning curve. It's excellent for maintaining a well-structured knowledge base, enabling easy access to essential information.

Its Chrome Extension seamlessly integrates with web browsers, simplifying the process of capturing and organizing information from external sources. This is particularly valuable for startups constantly seeking insights online, ensuring that no valuable information goes unnoticed. Slite's ability to connect to external sources further enhances its capabilities, allowing for smooth integration with other tools and services commonly used by remote teams. This integration fosters a more connected and efficient workflow, making Slite a practical choice for startups looking to streamline their documentation processes.

The platform's AI Editor provides a distraction-free writing environment, simplifying document creation and collaboration. This user-friendly editor is especially beneficial for remote startups striving to maintain clear and concise documentation. It not only aids in content creation but also suggests real-time improvements, ensuring the accuracy and quality of the documentation. Additionally, Slite's AI-enabled search function is a significant time-saver for remote teams, searching both within the knowledge base and external sources to provide answers promptly. This comprehensive search functionality empowers startups to access the information they need quickly and make well-informed decisions, ultimately contributing to enhanced efficiency and productivity.

Planning out a cycle in Slite Q&A.


Notion is a versatile documentation tool that can be a great asset for new remote startups. It's like having a digital workspace where you can create documents, databases, and wikis all in one place. This versatility is excellent for startups as it allows for easy collaboration and organization. You can tailor it to fit your specific documentation needs and keep everything in one centralized location.

However, Notion's flexibility can also be a double-edged sword. Its many features and customization options may initially feel overwhelming for a startup that prefers simplicity. Additionally, for startups with slower internet connections, the app's web-based nature might pose some challenges. Therefore, it's important to consider whether Notion aligns with your startup's documentation style and if your team is comfortable with a more feature-rich tool.


Guru is an app designed explicitly for documentation and knowledge management. It excels in helping remote startups capture and share important information efficiently. It's like having a smart assistant that prompts you with the right information when you need it. This can be a game-changer for startups looking to onboard new team members quickly and maintain consistent documentation.

However, Guru's strength lies primarily in its documentation capabilities, so if your startup requires a broader range of features like project management or workflow automation, you may need to integrate it with other tools. Additionally, while Guru is excellent for finding and sharing knowledge, some startups might find its learning curve a bit steep. Therefore, before committing to Guru, ensure it fits your startup's documentation needs and that your team is comfortable with its interface.


Document360 is a dedicated documentation platform that provides startups with a robust way to create, manage, and share documentation. It's like a well-organized library where your team can access important information easily. This structured approach to documentation can be incredibly valuable for startups seeking clarity and consistency in their knowledge management.

However, startups that prefer a more flexible and free-form approach to documentation may find Document360's structured style a bit restrictive. Additionally, for startups on a tight budget, Document360's pricing may be a concern. Therefore, it's essential to evaluate whether Document360 aligns with your startup's documentation preferences and budget constraints.


Slab is a modern knowledge base platform that can be beneficial for remote startups. It's designed to facilitate collaboration and organization through documentation. It's like having a well-structured digital handbook that your team can access anytime. This can be particularly helpful for startups aiming to establish clear processes and share knowledge efficiently.

However, Slab's focus on structured documentation may not suit startups that prefer a more free-form approach. Some teams might find it lacking certain advanced features compared to more comprehensive project management tools. Therefore, consider whether Slab aligns with your startup's documentation style and whether it meets all of your documentation and collaboration requirements before adopting it.

Top remote work tools for Asynchronous video

Asynchronous video tools allow you to communicate in a different way than text, but still on your own time. You can record meetings, provide transcriptions and even embed videos into docs or on your website. Chances are that at least once a week you have a scenario where video is better than text. It opens up possibilities like new feature walkthroughs, QA, and presentations, without forcing a synchronous meeting.


With Loom, you can make short videos to talk to your team. These videos are great because they help you explain things better than just writing words. You can also show things on your computer screen, like a teacher showing a lesson. This can be very useful for remote startups when they want to share ideas, give feedback, or teach something. However, Loom can cost more money for bigger teams, so that's something to think about.


Grain is another tool that helps remote teams talk using videos, but it has a special power. It can highlight important parts of the videos you make, like putting a spotlight on the best moments. This makes it easier to remember what was said and share the most important stuff with your team. It's like when you mark important pages in a book with a bright marker. However, not all remote startups might need this special power. Some teams might be happy with just regular videos or text.


Tella is like a quick and easy way to send video messages to your remote team. It's good when you want to talk to your team without having long meetings. You can make short videos to explain things or share updates. It's a bit like sending a quick message to your friend, but with a video instead of just words. However, Tella might not have all the fancy features that other video tools have. It's more simple and straightforward. So, if your remote startup needs special features or a more advanced tool, you might need to look elsewhere. But if you like quick and simple video messages, Tella can be a good choice.


Claap is a tool that helps remote teams work on projects together using videos. It's like a mix of video and teamwork. You can make videos to explain your ideas, and your team can watch them and add comments. It's a bit like when you work on a puzzle with your friends and talk about where the pieces go.

Top remote work tools for Scheduling

An app that makes it easy for distributed teams to schedule synchronous events and block out working hours across time zones.Keeping track of everyone’s working hours, workflow and free time is a challenge that gets harder with every new hire. Here’s the top 3:

Google Calendar (Part of GSuite along with Google Drive)

Google Calendar is best for setting up meetings, appointments, and reminders. The best part is that it syncs with other Google tools, like Gmail, making it easy to stay on top of your work. Plus, you can share your calendar with your team, so everyone knows what's happening.

However, Google Calendar may not have all the advanced features you need for managing complex schedules and appointments. It's good for basic scheduling but might lack some customization options.


Calendly is a scheduling tool designed to make setting up meetings and appointments a breeze. With Calendly, you can share your availability with others, and they can pick a time that works for them. This eliminates the back-and-forth emails and helps you save time. It's great for remote startups looking for a simple and efficient way to schedule meetings.

However, Calendly might not be ideal for startups with very complex scheduling needs. It's excellent for one-on-one meetings or small group appointments but may not handle more intricate scheduling scenarios. Additionally, some teams might prefer more control over their scheduling process, which Calendly simplifies, but it might not provide enough customization options for all startups. is another calendar tool that aims to simplify scheduling for remote teams. You can create different types of events and share them with your team or clients. also integrates with various other calendar tools, making it easy to connect with your existing scheduling systems.

However, as is a relatively new tool, it may not have all the features and integrations that more established calendar apps offer. Startups with specific needs or those deeply entrenched in other calendar platforms may need to assess whether meets all their requirements. But for startups seeking a fresh and streamlined approach to scheduling, can be a promising choice.

Top remote work tools for file sharing/Cloud storage

When it comes to remote work, having reliable tools for file sharing and cloud storage is crucial. These tools not only store important documents but also ensure team collaboration. Navigating the sea of available options can be daunting, but here are the top 3 picks that stand out for their ease of use, reliability, and integration capabilities.

Google Drive (Part of GSuite)

Google Drive is a powerhouse for file storage and collaboration. It's an excellent choice for teams already using GSuite, as it integrates seamlessly with other Google tools like Docs, Sheets, and Slides. You can easily share files or folders with team members and even collaborate in real-time on documents. The simplicity of its interface and the robustness of its features make it a go-to for many remote teams.

However, while Google Drive offers a generous amount of free storage, larger teams or those with more significant storage needs might find the free tier limiting. Additionally, businesses that require advanced security features may need to explore Google Workspace’s premium plans.


Dropbox is a veteran in the cloud storage space, known for its reliability and straightforward user interface. It's great for startups that need a no-frills, secure way to store and share files. Dropbox also offers features like file recovery and version history, which can be lifesavers in a remote work environment.

But, Dropbox's basic plan offers limited storage, which might not suffice for teams with extensive file storage needs. While it integrates with many third-party apps, startups relying heavily on collaboration might find Dropbox less seamless compared to other tools that offer built-in document editing features.

Microsoft OneDrive

For teams entrenched in the Microsoft ecosystem, OneDrive is a natural choice. It integrates tightly with Office 365, allowing for easy collaboration on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. OneDrive’s deep integration with Windows makes it incredibly convenient for users on this platform, providing a seamless file management experience.

However, OneDrive's interface and usability might not be as intuitive for those not already familiar with the Microsoft ecosystem. Also, teams using a diverse range of operating systems might find OneDrive less flexible compared to other cloud storage solutions.

In summary, the choice of file sharing and cloud storage tool depends heavily on your team's existing workflows and the specific features you need. Whether it's the all-around capability of Google Drive, the straightforward simplicity of Dropbox, or the Microsoft-centric OneDrive, each tool offers unique strengths to support remote teams in today's digital workspace.

Top remote work tools for Performance reviews

While task managers and schedulers work for the every day, 1:1s and performance reviews are more special for remote workers. Consider an app that supports keeping performance goals, people ops and meeting notes together. An app that keeps all feedback documents in one place, and makes sharing sensitive information privately a breeze.

  • For smaller teams: Slite –– see how we do performance reviews (with templates!).
  • For larger teams: Lattice –– an all-in-one people success platform.
Performance review template in Slite

Top remote work tools for Communicating with the "outside world"

What: While internal tools are where remote teams live, sometimes you need to talk to people that don’t work at your company –– especially leads and customers. Email works great but…

Why: You need a tool that works specifically for remote teams, so you can keep track of messages and collaborate right in the inbox.

Top remote work tools for People ops

This helps keep team wellness and people operations running smoothly.If you have covered all the bases above, you’ll be in a good place on a weekly basis. But the team-centric parts of the business that happen weekly or monthly need attention, too.

  • Travelperk – for planning offsites, including Greenperk which helps measure the sustainability of your remote retreat.
  • OfficeVibe – a virtual “open door” for teams to give feedback and align with managers.
  • Oliva – mental health support for team members.
  • BambooHR – feature-rich HR software, including a time-off calendar that integrates with scheduling tools.
  • Spendesk – Comprehensive spend management platform, offering real-time expense tracking and company card distribution.
  • Lattice – Advanced performance management software, designed for goal setting, feedback, and employee growth tracking.
  • Ashby – Innovative recruiting software, streamlining hiring processes with intuitive ATS, analytics, and collaboration tools.
Travelperk makes booking those all-important remote team retreats a breeze.

Giving kudos

It’s worth considering a software or integration that encourages people to congratulate each other on growth.When you work in an office, it’s easy to say “well done!” during the course of the day, after a big meeting, or when you’re all at team lunch. Remote, even day-to-day praise takes more work. But praise is key to keeping employees feeling engaged and seen by their teammates.

  • Bonusly – team kudos and rewards.
Bonusly is an easy way to recognize the (sometimes invisible) achievements of your teammates.

Getting everyone paid

These tools help keep money flowing exactly as it should, across borders. Remote teams need to think about how to handle international payments smoothly, and also face more difficulties approving expenses. We have 2 recommendations here:

  • Deel – international payroll and compliance.

Note: You might be thinking about time tracking tools. We’re intentionally choosing to not cover them. While there’s still debate about the efficacy of time tracking tools for large enterprises, they have no function of being in a small, high-trust team such as a startup.


A hiring software helps to coordinate all the different people involved in hiring and all your candidates, no matter what timezone or team you are hiring for.Hiring is a difficult process for any company. As an all-remote team, you need someplace that is secure, easy to manage and handles everything from scheduling to candidate decisions. Our recommendation for this section: Ashby – all-in-one recruiting software.

Ashby's platform streamlines the hiring process from first touch to offer.


From 2020-2022 many companies learned that doing remote work takes a lot more software than being in an office does. For us at Slite, it’s important that we have a workflow that supports fully remote work and is tailored to distributed teams.

Further, we believe that remote opens the possibility to better ways of working. Software is what makes this possible, and it’s the heart of our company in every way.

Learn more about what Slite can add to your remote workflow.

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