What’s one web-based tool no remote team should be without?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
When your team is remote, you need a centralized place to store things like various website and service logins, company information, discussions about new features, product roadmaps, team calendars and so much more. A Web-based tool such as Basecamp allows you to keep it all centralized and provides a record of all the important stuff.
This is a project management tool that allows you to assign tasks, keep track of project progress and see who is working on what at a glance. It’s nicely integrated into email, and it’s available as a mobile app, too. I wouldn’t be running my business today without Asana; it’s just that important in keeping everything running smoothly.
Whether you’re sharing video files, checklists or client docs, a company cannot be without a file sharing resource such as Dropbox. It’s easy to use, affordable and makes it easier to share files with team members all over the world. And an added bonus is you can restrict or remove access at any time!
Yammer is a mini social network for your team. It integrates with many third-party applications so you can do time tracking, payroll and scheduling through your Yammer network. Next up, I have to integrate Asana into my Yammer network. The two together will be a killer combination for my team to take on the world.
Sqwiggle is a program that runs similarly to Skype, but it is made for multiple users who work together. Turn it on in the morning and let it run continuously throughout the day. When you need to communicate with other team members, just click on their feeds and you’re instantly connected.
iDoneThis helps you replace the daily stand-up meeting with one simple email at the end of the day that asks: what did you do? Then, the next day you get a summary email that shows what your team members are working on. It’s perfect for keeping remote teams in the loop.
Ginger is a great way to improve your communication across a mobile team. Created by the group at Lincoln Loop, Ginger focuses on simplifying communication and keeping you focused on productivity. I’d recommend it for anyone with a virtual team.
Skype, hands down. We have offices in London and New York, and it seems like we’re all traveling all the time. Skype has been the perfect tool to keep our teams in sync and connected, despite the ocean between us. Plus, it’s nice to see our colleagues’ faces!
10. Google Apps
I say Google Apps because the whole Google cloud infrastructure is cost-efficient and robust. Whether it be Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Templates or one of its many other tools, Google Apps has helped us scale our business at a fraction of the cost of other enterprise software.
Any business has many moving parts, and keeping all of that in sync with everyone becomes even more of a challenge when working remotely. Not only does Flowdock provide a fantastic team chat service, but it also integrates everything else (code repositories, email, support, product management, etc.) into a central feed to keep everyone on the same page.
ScheduleOnce is a great and simple-to-use tool for scheduling global meetings with your team or with prospects. It keeps time zone differences straight for you and plugs into your existing calendar to block off unavailable hours. It’s a lifesaver when you’re working with people across the country or around the world.
We started using HipChat about six months ago, and even though a few of us were perfectly happy with Skype, I’m now a convert. We have some staff who are remote, and we’ve set up HipChat rooms where members of the group can follow the thread of a conversations even though they’re not in the office. Plus, it’s really easy to transfer files and photos.