We are going to cover a variety of tools for working remotely, all are free and all I use personally on a daily basis! I have been working in a remote environment for 10 – 15 years now, and while the technology has changed there are some staple tools I have added to my arsenal of tools that I feel I could not do without. For that matter, If I tried to do without them, my productivity would drop immensely as would my ability to communicate with my international clients and team members.
The first of the Tools for working Remotely is called Dashlane that I use that is very similar to something called 1password which we talked about on the show in the past: Protect Your eCommerce Site – 4 Simple Steps, this is a password management tool basically and it allows you to essentially login to different different websites without having to remember your password every time.
It automatically logs you in directly so you’re not even having to type or find the password it’s just a really nice simple tool for expediting all of the logins that you’re going to do and in fact be honest each of these given tools a lot of them all require specific login access in and so if you think about that dashlane itself will save you a tonne of time just logging into these tools alone.
It is going to save you a lot of time and hassle because it’s not just logging you in automatically, but it allows for different and complex passwords on all your different logins, not only saving you time, but also keeping you safer from hackers, and malicious attempts to access your accounts. So Dashlanes the first on the list.
I use Asana for project management and task management. Basically that’s where we were able to add tasks to our work queues for various team members etc. It’s easy to check in on things, leave comments and engage in the app itself on specific tasks and projects underway. That said, that just reminded me of another tool that we use so I’m going to add it. It’s going to be a no-brainer anyway… That said, this is a great little free tool where you can do a lot of project management and task management type pieces that are critical to managing everyone from yourself to your team of remote workers. No matter how big or small your team is, it’s a great tool to start utilizing to keep yourself and team organized so that you can have all of your tasks in one place and everybody can log in and review what they need to do on a given day.
On the topic of keeping things organized everyone knows about Google Docs, I’m a big fan of Google docs, sheets and slides basically all the Google office tools. They are free and quite powerful and robust, but the part Like the most is how they work on the cloud. I can share a Google doc with a team member or a customer. They can view it, edit it, do whatever within the permissions you provide them. So for example I can have a running document in place where I am updating it as a how to guide, for a client, and instead of having to re PDF and resend them a new updated document I can just advise them that there’s been changes made to the existing document and they can go online and check it out. They can then download it as a PDF if they so choose. So that’s why I find Google docs to be a very incredibly useful tool especially when you’re sharing with clients and customers.
I’m saving my best two for last, but another one that I like to use is gimp, I basically call it the poor man’s Photoshop, because its Free and can do almost all the same things as Adobe, at least the things I need it too, not being a designer…When I need a tool that allows me to do a lot of the types of things that you can do with Photoshop I Look to gimp. I like the application because it’s very easy to use and the more familiar you get with it the more you realize you can do.
One of my most commonly used tools is a tool called ‘Snipping Tool’ to be honest with you I’m not sure if it’s something that comes free on Windows but basically you’re going to probably need it at some point in time. I find it to be the simplest tool to take a quick screenshot and be able to instantly draw a simple arrow or highlight certain things. Snipping Tool allows me to do that very very quickly. In fact I have the icon saved on both my desktops so that I can quickly click it and take a screenshot, markup with a note, for myself or team members and do the required action with it. A Lot of this is sending it on skype to explain a point to a team member that would have otherwise been able to look at my screen and see what I was talking about. Truth is this is almost faster than going to their desk, asking them to come see something then showing them… I’m at any time of whatever it is that I’m working on if I need to take in and paste that into Skype for example to share with with a team member I ca
So I just mentioned Skype, Skype is the bonus tool, everybody knows about Skype so it’s kind of a weak bonus, but hold on cause the best is still to come… I still use it every single day. It’s great for sharing and communicating with my team and am able to share screenshots like I said. To be honest with you I even have a phone number that goes through Skype so basically 99% of my communications outside of my cell number are driven through Skype, so I find that it’s a very useful tool. It’s not necessarily free, it’s free for communicating with your team members but not to have phone services via traditional phone lines, and associated phone number, but to be honest with you it’s an extremely low cost solution, if you want to buy minutes and buy a number as well. There are a lot of other ways to do this as well but this is how I do it, and keeps things really simplified.
One of my most used Tools for working Remotely is on the topic of snipping tools one of the other tools that I like to use quite regularly is something called screencastify. It’s a Chrome extension you can use and basically what it allows you to do is take screenshots but video type screenshots. With a single click you can start recording voice audio (if desired) and your screen. So for example if I had to show a developer something I was seeing a site I was building, I could simply make a quick video to show exactly what I am referring to.
Screencastify is a great way to make video screen captures basically without sharing your screen live,what it does is allow you to record my screen either my tab or my actual application so this works outside of the chrome application, I just use it to load the tool. I can use it to give ideas and examples to people as well so it’s just a really nice easy way to be able to send a quick demo or online video of my screen to people so that they’re able to then see a little bit better what it is exactly that I’m speaking about so screencastify has become one of my most commonly used tools.
Now my two favourites when it comes to setting up meetings, one thing a lot of people are going to be having to do over the next short while. The first of these two apps is called Calendly, and the other called uberconference, but first let’s discuss Calendly. In the general order of things Calendly would be the first tool used because what it does is simplify the booking of a meeting. It allows you to send a link and have it integrated with your Google calendar, basically you send a link to anybody, they click the link and choose a time that works that is available in your calendar. They’re going to have access to a simple drop down through the app to choose a time that works with their schedule, that is not booked in your calendar already. So what you can do is pre book blocks on your calendar where you’re going to be busy or don’t want to have people schedule meetings with you and from there they can then simply choose a time that works for them. They book it into your calendar, you and them both get a notification and it’s added to your calendar. From there you connect, so it is a really simple way of avoiding the back and forth and back and forth of trying to set up a meeting time. It’s so easy to use the only person who ever had issues, wrote a book on Digital Transformation, so if grandma and grampa can make it work, I think the others are just those who are not following the easiest set of instructions.
Of all the Tools for working Remotely, this is it! The other piece of the online meeting, you have the meeting booked, not how do you facilitate that meeting without endless issues with people installing software, things not working on Mac or PC, or the endless issues that can arise!? For all my meetings I use Uber Conference. How do I host a meeting in such a way that we can all be on a simple conference line, access screen sharing tools, and more. I love Uber Conference right down to their hold music. They’ve got some really custom cool hold music and I know that sounds funny but to be honest I’m a big fan of having consistency in your messaging and your overall marketing and I think they definitely do this well. But as far as what they do very well is allow you to login to your conference room and have others join your conference room. You can share screens. Anybody can share the screen if they need to, everybody calls into one central line either by their phone or through their internet depending on their internet capabilities. This is important, because you need to remember, not everyone has 5G or Fibre lines, for example I run an international eCommerce Development firm with a team of specialists all over the world, but I work in a remote area of the world where my internet is Satellite based, I have fast internet, but Laggy. So it’s best that I am on my phone so that I have the best connectivity for the call, my landline yes that’s very old-school I understand but you have to also understand that not everybody is going to have access to their top-of-the-line technology all the time and in that case you need to consider solutions that work for everybody and that’s why I like uberconference.
You can call dial-in through Skype, dial-in through Uber Conferences VOIP service and then you all have access to see the same screen so you can have the one person doing their presentation and discuss what it is they’re doing and then you can move it onto the next person to screen share and and talk about what it is they’ve been doing and if they have a video that can play the video for people there’s a lot of different things that you can do with in uberconference that allows for some very very exceptional and Free Conference calling capabilities so like I said I saved my favourite to for last. Between the last two, Calendly and Uber Conference I probably could not live without and represent absolutely critical time-savers and efficiency tools for everybody.
Thats A Wrap:
Each of these tools are free and a must for working remotely, and will allow you to step out of your office and into your home office with a very simple and smooth transition so thanks for your time I hope you found some value in today’s podcast thank you everybody and have a fantastic day.