Given the growing pandemic, working remotely is now the norm for many business professionals. Technology is particularly important when doing so, especially if you work with a team. It can improve communication and increase productivity. Below is our list of top 5 apps for working remotely with teams.
1 – DropBox for File Sharing
How you share information is critical in a team environment. Sharing documents via email is not ideal since you can end up emailing the same document over and over again as edits are made. Additionally, multiple team members can end up altering different versions of the same document, making tracking more difficult and time consuming. Using a document sharing app can help synchronize team efforts. There are many options for this. Our choice is DropBox for Business.
The features that we like most about DropBox for Business are:
- Quick Synchronization Across Multiple Devices
- Offline Access to Documents
- Alerts When More Than One Person Is Editing a File
- File Activity History
- File Comment Streams
- Workspaces for Multiple Files Related to a Project
- Stored Version Histories
Selecting among file sharing apps for working remotely with teams is one of the most important decisions you can make. Not only does it facilitate sharing of information, but it also creates a backup of critical files in the cloud.
2 – Slack for Messaging
Another of the essential apps for working remotely with teams is instant messaging. The ability to communicate directly and instantly with others allows teams to remain connected throughout the work day. Conversations also flow better among multiple team members, as opposed to the old method of a reply-all email string.
Slack is just one of many solutions on the market. What we like about it is the ability to create channels with multiple recipients in addition to sending private messages. Slack also integrates with many other apps, making it a powerful solution.
3 – Genius Scan for Digitizing Documents
Maintaining paper files is not realistic when working with a team. If you do have physical documents, you’ll need a way to digitize them to share with your team. Anyone with a smart phone can take a picture of a document, but these result in large file sizes and can’t handle multiple-page documents. Instead, it’s better to use an app that allows you to take pictures and convert them to a combined PDF file.
Genius Scan is one of many apps that can convert images to PDF files. What we like about it is the ability to take photos directly from your smart phone, edit images, and immediately share them via email or upload them to other applications such as DropBox, Box, EverNote, Google Drive, etc. By converting images to black & white, it creates more reasonable file sizes for digital storage.
4 – Zoom for Video Conferencing
Zoom has been in the news a lot lately because of its heavy usage for home schooling and remote work. They have since released some security features to reduce the hacking problems experienced by users. We like Zoom for several reasons:
- You can view multiple people at a time in a grid format.
- Users can add custom backgrounds.
- They have a free version.
- It’s easy to share meeting invites.
5 – Insightly for CRM
To say there is an abundance of customer relationship management apps out there is an understatement. A quick online search and you’ll come across hundreds of them. Selecting the right CRM starts with understanding your needs and how the CRM should fit with your business model. If your team addresses client-reported issues, that would be a different CRM than a business providing recurring services. In our case, we have a monthly recurring services model.
- Repeating tasks allows us to schedule our weekly and monthly customer tasks.
- We can manage customers by company and include related contacts in a flexible manner.
- Major projects can be tracked separately and with pre-defined activity sets.
- Custom report dashboards give us visibility over statistics that are most important to us.
- Information and tasks can be shared with and assigned to team members.
Insightly is not as complex and jam packed with features as some other CRM’s, but for our particular business model, it’s a good fit. It has just the right amount of features and customization to help us manage our service-based business.
Summary of Apps for Working Remotely with Teams
When you work with a team, staying connected and productive are truly essential to success. The above apps for working remotely with teams are just a few examples to consider. Take a moment to evaluate the needs of your team and to search for potential solutions. Sometimes a free solution works perfectly and other times you may need to spend a little money to get better features. Typically, paid features are well worth the investment in the time and energy that it saves for your team. Ultimately, the apps that work best for your team will depend on your type of business, size of team, information shared, etc. and what works for your particular team may not be the same as what works for others. Identifying the right combination of apps will pay off in the long run by making your team a cohesive, high-powered workgroup that can effectively manage any task.