• Taylor Desjardins

Top 7 Tools + Resources for Working Virtually



As the world shifts in the wake of the COVID-19 virus, employers have been scrambling to make the switch to full virtual work.


If this is the first time you are diving into remote work with your employees, it may be a daunting task to find what tools + resources work best for team meetings, collaboration, project management, scheduling, and document storage.


Every business has its own needs and abilities, but to make these tools perform well, they must work together. Retain simplicity and ensure your entire team is using the same tools and feeling comfortable with how they work.

To help you, we have put together a list of helpful tools that will aid in the transition to remote work.


Meetings:

  1. Zoom:


Zoom is a video conferencing program that provides high-quality video and audio for meetings up to 100 participants on the Basic free version and up to 1000 participants in the Enterprise Plus version. It’s an easy-to-use platform at an affordable price point compared to other software in the same segment. Zoom gives you the option to share your screen, record meetings, use a virtual whiteboard, host webinars, and breakout rooms for one-on-one discussions.


Other alternatives to consider:


Communication :

  1. Slack:


Slack is a collaboration hub that organizes conversations about specific topics, teams and projects into “channels.” These channels allow you to focus on one task at a time and creates alignment with the team as everyone can view the progress and status of the work. It even enables you to search within channels for specific files and keywords without having to reach out to other team members of supervisors for context or information.

You can even connect services and tools within Slack’s software to ensure you can accomplish more without sacrificing continuity. There is a free version, but you may want to check out the website to see if that is sufficient enough or if you require an upgraded version.


Other alternatives to consider:


File Sharing and Storage:

  1. Dropbox:


Dropbox is a cloud storage and syncing service accessible from anywhere. Considering Dropbox has been in the file-syncing and storage game for quite a long time, it has grown to integrate with all the best tools and apps out there. Here is a list of all the Dropbox App Extensions available.


There are also collaboration tools that enable you to create new paper documents, input images, videos and tables. You can add comments, to-do lists and tag people to assign projects. When you create a file that you want to share with a colleague or manager, you can restrict it to link only access, add a link expiry date, and protect it with a password. Dropbox even notifies you when someone accesses the folder through email and explains what happened in the shared folder.


Other alternatives to consider:

Project Management:

  1. Trello:


Trello is an easy-to-use project management tool that is straightforward in terms of design and how it outlines projects and each associated task. Your dashboard consists of a card system and boards that allow you to generate and organize actions based on priority. Each member of the team can interact with each card by adding comments, photos, files and links. It is simple to retrieve projects between your smartphone, desktop, and tablet as well.

Other alternatives to consider:

Taking Notes:

  1. Evernote Business:


Evernote is an excellent tool for note-taking and having those notes synced across all devices. It’s a place where you can save all your ideas, notes, voice clips, photographs, essential files, and documents. There is a search tool integrated within the app to help you find a specific item you uploaded on the platform. On top of that, it allows you to organize and categorize your memos with text tags, location tags, and notebooks, ensuring you can always find your notes based on other unique characteristics about the note.


Other alternatives to consider:


Time Tracking and Reporting:

  1. Toggl:


Toggl is a cloud-based software that tracks working hours and generates user-friendly reports, including graphs and allows you to export logs into Excel spreadsheets. The software enables you to receive weekly tracking reports sent right to your email and share those reports amongst staff with a dedicated link. By installing Toggl as a Chrome extension, you can attach it to productivity-related sites such as Google Docs to manage your time wisely while completing tasks.


Other alternatives to consider:


Automate Workflows:

  1. Zapier:


Zapier is an automation service that creates automated actions between all your applications to boost productivity and take away the need to perform repetitive tasks manually. The software allows you to construct a series of interlinked functions and commands amongst all your apps and services called “triggers” and “actions”. For example, you can make it so when you receive an email with an attachment on your Gmail account, and you can automatically have that attachment be saved into Dropbox, then alert you on Slack about the new Dropbox file. The idea is to have all applications work together to reduce unnecessary downtime.


Other alternatives to consider:


Takeaway

When implementing these applications in your business, ask yourself these questions before adding too many of them into the roster:


  • What particular aspect of my workflow is this application going to solve?

  • Does the application give you enough value for your money?

  • How are you going to support your team through the training of the new application? (resources, articles, video tutorials)

  • How can I integrate each application to streamline workflow without toggling between too many apps?


There are thousands of applications available online; it’s about narrowing down the essential ones and keeping it as simple as possible to boost productivity.


Please share this blog post with any businesses you know that could use some support moving into the digital world successfully.

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