7 tools & tricks

to make your

remote work easier


In HighSolutions, we have been always working remotely. Each of our team members is working right now from different city, me in Bangkok, Piotrek our sales guy in Warsaw, Adam responsible for IT in Poznan and 2nd Adam in Lusowo. You can say that we are a small team and this can work for us, but will not work for bigger companies. Based on article “Why working remotely is better for business” written by Sean Kim from the Fast Company:

“Many of the greatest companies in the 21st century, including Virgin, 37signals, and IBM have built successful businesses providing people the freedom to work where they want, when they want, and how they want.”

In my opinion remote work is the future of work. Therefore, by this article I would like to share our experience in remote working and open a discussion what kind of tools and tricks can make remote work easier and faster.

Hack your Gmail for better email management and save your time

Get your Gmail here: http://www.gmail.com

I am sure that you do not need introduction to Gmail, because everyone knows this great mail app from Google. I just want to mention how many great hacks you can find in their Labs functionality. Just go to settings and check Labs tab. You will find many great apps, which will save your time while working remotely with your team.

The greatest feature I found is Multiple Inboxes. This app changed totally how I am using Gmail right now. With the knowledge from Getting Things Done” from David Allen you can create a powerful tool for managing your inbox.

Firstly how my inbox is organized. It is divided into 6 parts:

  1. My inbox — here I get all emails, which are not filtered by my filters
  2. Important inbox — I put a star next to the email which is important to me and I need to save it for later.
  3. To answer inbox — I move emails to “To answer” box when they are too long to answer them at the moment I am reading the email.
  4. To do inbox — I use this label to move all emails, that need my work
  5. Waiting inbox — I think the most important one! All email I need a reply are here and I can easily track them and ping people who didn’t answer.
  6. Maybe / One day inbox — I put here all email which are not important, but have some information which I will need in the future.

Below picture shows my inbox and how I manage all my emails. It saves a lot of time and gives you a big picture on what is happening in your inbox.

To implement your inbox in this way, just install Multiple inboxes functionality and configure it like that:

Use Google Drive for remote cooperation on documents

Get your Google Drive here: http://www.drive.google.com/

There is no better app for remote cooperation on documents than Google Drive. Everyone should use it when you have remote teams and you want to edit your documents at the same time from different places on the world. You can create the files like documents, presentations, spreadsheets, but even more like forms or drawings. You can even add more apps to extend the functionality of your Google Drive! I strongly recommend two: Gantter project for creating gantts and Mind Map for basically drawing mind maps.

I have one more, great tip for remote work. Usually, Google hide very important feature, which is the activity feed. It shows you all the recent actions done by your teammates in a chronological order. You can even click on particular document and access the previous version. It is very convenient to know exactly what is happening in your google drive team space.

Schedule your meetings in Doodle and inform everyone about final date

Get your Doodle here: http://www.doodle.com

Doodle is really easy and great app for scheduling your meetings with your teammates. It is so simple to create an event! Just go here and you will easily walk through the whole process.

What I really want to mention is a great feature of doodle that not everyone knows. The name of it is Meet me page and you can find it in your manage account after you sign up. It gives your own page to request a meeting with you. When you have a premium version you can even connect your Google calendar and people will see when you are available for meetings with them!

Be on the top of your tasks in Asana and manage the work of others

Get your Asana here: http://www.asana.com

Asana is a project management tool, which eliminates in a great way emails from the collaboration process. In Asana you can easily track progress of your and your teammates work. Assign tasks to people, add comments and documents to tasks and mark your tasks when are completed. These are just the most important functionalities provided by Asana.

One more time you can hack this app and make it even friendlier by installing integration with other apps here. Apps I especially recommend to install are Google Drive and Dropbox, that give you possibility to attach files directly from both apps.

Manage your sales in Base and track your company sales strategy

Get your Base here: http://www.getbase.com/

When you start sales in your company, you will shortly realize that you need a sales CRM. In the beginning you can manage it in a spreadsheet, but why when you have such a great tool like Base.

Base gives you everything what you need in your sales management. Starting from leads management, CRM for all prospects and customers, deals overview divided into sales pipeline, calendar functionality with scheduling meeting, tasks management and final but not least reports.

The most important is that everything is interconnected with each other. Let’s take below example. I can add to my contact whole sales history. Emails I have sent, tasks and files I added, deals I have created, appointments I have scheduled, everything in one place and presented chronically on timeline. Amazing tool!

Store all your company files in Dropbox and share them with other teammates

Get your Dropbox here: http://www.dropbox.com

While working remotely you will for sure need a one place in a cloud to store all your company files, that everyone will have access to them at any time. We are using for that Dropbox. The most powerful functionality of Dropbox is that you can access it from your folder view on your laptop. Just install an extension for your Windows and drag and drop your files to the cloud.

Dropbox gives you an easy way to send folders or files to others. Just right-click on the file and select “Share Dropbox link”. A download link will be copied to your clipboard which you can then send. Person who will get your link can then download the file from your Dropbox.

Manage all your Social Media channels in Hootsuite and implement your Online Marketing strategy

Get your Hootsuite here: http://www.hootsuite.com/

You can also work remotely with your teammates on your marketing strategy for Social Media. Use for this great tool called Hootsuite. In this tool you can plan all your Social Media appearance at once. Just choose where do you want to post and send your message to all your communication channels. It is easy and very comfortable and save you a lot of time. We have just started using Hootsuite, but it is our favorite tool and for sure after some time we will write you more about tips & tricks you can use.

Working remotely is definitely a challenge, but if you implement it correctly can be one of the most effective way of working. If you work remotely, in any aspect, what are some of the tools that you use to make your work easier and faster? Please share in the comments!

***

Krystian is a young entrepreneur with international and multicultural experience, whose personal goal is to make a change in the world. He is passionate in social media and marketing and develop his knowledge and skills in these areas to become a professional game changer.

Original article appeared on HighSolutions Blog:
http://highsolutions.org/7-tools-tricks-make-remote-work-easier/

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