At Staff Treats we were lucky to already have some remote working strategies in place before the Corona Crisis spread across the world. With members of our team spread across 3 different time zones we’ve had to experiment with what tools work best for our remote collaboration. If you’re still settling into the lockdown, we hope some of these tools might be able to help you as you’re working from home.
Project Management Tools
Using the right project management software with clear tasks, deadlines and responsibilities takes major stress out of remote working. We can simply log into the app and see what our shared to-do list is for the week and start managing my time accordingly. Most project management apps like Monday and Clickup have a built-in time tracker so you can plan better for future tasks. Trello is our top choice for project management however you’ll need to download a third-party app if you want to track time. Luckily apps like Everhour integrate seamlessly, and it doesn’t even count as a ‘power-up’ if you use the free version of Trello.
Quick To-Do List’s
If the team tasks on Trello or Monday aren’t quite broken down enough for your personal needs, try creating a personal checklist on TickTick or Keep. Keep is great because you can access it easily from the sidebar on Google Chrome but if you want a more expansive to-do list that separates work from your personal life and shopping list then we think TickTick is the better tool. With it, you’ll also be able to assign tasks by date.
To make quick notes in a meeting we choose Simplenote. It sync’s seamlessly across any of your web, laptop, iOS or Android apps. Basically, you’ll be able to find this app with any device you have and the notes stay updated across all of them. With the tag and search feature, we can easily find older notes when we need to refer back to them. The only limitation is that it doesn’t have any text styling features, but then again for taking quick notes, Simplenote is my go to place 24/7.
After testing a long list of mind map apps, our Head of Performance Marketing settled on Milanote. Not only does it have a nice and smooth UX, it’s available across most devices, which gives us great team collaboration flexibility, it’s also free to start! We like the comment functionality and ability to colour code our mind maps. Not necessarily ideal when you’re on the go, we have found it to be more useful on a laptop than on mobile.
- MS Team
Our top choice for quick, remote communication is Slack whether on desktop, mobile or tablet. We love being able to talk about specific topics and organise our thoughts under different channels and we especially like that we are able to promote a healthier work life balance by syncing our Google Calendars so Slack doesn’t send notifications in our down time. Fleep and MS Team are also high on our list.
Probably the best way to send a clear, concise brief is by documenting processes in Notion. We’ve found the process of onboarding new members to our remote team, much easier with the support of our guidelines on Notion. We document everything from how to format a blog post, our video production schedule and our Q&A’s for interviews.
Snagit allows us to take screenshots of our entire screen or specific regions, the record function is especially helpful when we’re providing feedback or trying to troubleshoot problems. The text replace feature is awesome because it allows the words, font, colors, and size of the text to be editable without having to redesign the entire image.
Canva is great for generating quick graphics for our social media, with its new integration to Hubspot plus video publishing, social posting just got that much easier. Our in-house design team chose Figma for any vector based design, social graphics and UX design.
- Affinity Designer
The biggest Adobe Illustrator alternative (or competitor if you like) is this Mac OS exclusive tool called Affinity Designer. Not only does it charge only a fraction of the cost at a once off fee, it practically does most of the essential or non-essential design jobs that Illustrator can do. It also has a great iPad app, perfect for those talented enough to be able to do artistic sketches with an Apple Pencil.
Polarr is probably the best fast edit tool for image editing, especially for those peeps who are not familiar with Photoshop. Intuitive user interface, powerful and granular adjustment features, tones of cool filters. If you want to quickly make some tweaks to the images to fire up on your content, we highly recommend that you check out Polar.
Image Compression for SEO
Again another Mac only app. Optimizing our blog posts for the highest ranking search results isn’t just about the text content. We like to use the Compress app, available on the iStore, to reduce the size of our images so they don’t have a long loading time on our site. If you are a Windows user, we recommend you check out Riot, a tool which does exactly the same job.
We hope that by sharing our insights into remote working we can help other companies to have more effective collaboration between their employees. For more insights into how to keep your employees engaged while they work from home, with us.