When managing a team with members who live across the nation or world, there are plenty of questions to consider:
- How do you manage time across multiple time zones?
- How do you keep everyone on the same page?
- How do you collaborate?
- How do you keep everything organized?
Fortunately, there are many communication and organization tools that will keep your team on track no matter where they work.
These are the same tools that our team at Mod Girl Marketing use every day to keep us in touch and productive. What’s best is that most of these tools are easy to use, affordable, and accessible from a variety of devices across the globe.
1. 1Password for Sharing Passwords
Let’s face it: managing all of the passwords for every platform can be a pain, especially when you have lots of employees. Who should have access to the master list? Who will be responsible for which passwords?
With 1Password, your team won’t have to worry about a password list — the tool remembers them all for you. You can save your passwords and log into sites with a simple click.
This will help managers be more productive as they can spend less time helping team members remember forgotten passwords. It’s secure, easy, and inexpensive for businesses.
2. Slack for Communication
Having an effective communications system is especially important for remote businesses.
Slack is a great online chat room that our team uses for brainstorming, sharing files, staying up with industry news, and comparing notes. Teams can converse with each other publically or privately through instant message. There is also the option to integrate a few apps into the platform, such as Basecamp, Skype, MailChimp, Zoom, and more
At Mod Girl®, Slack gives us the opportunity to communicate quickly and hold informal conversations that are difficult to have via more traditional methods, such as email.
3. Basecamp 3 for Project Management
Did you know that 36% of survey employees say their biggest time waster is the lack of processes?
It’s essential that remote teams have something to keep them on track and organized. At Mod Girl Marketing, our top pick is Basecamp 3.
Basecamp 3, the third release of the software, boasts a wide variety of tools to help track and complete the progress of small and large projects. There are six different powerful tools within the platform that work together to help with workflow:
- Campfire: For quick chats and questions
- Message board: For team discussions
- To-Do’s: To divvy up tasks among team members
- Schedule: To track due dates, events and milestones, including vacation time
- Automatic Check-ins: For asking recurring questions
- Docs & Files: For storing and sharing documents
Together, these tools give teams one centralized place to discuss and store information that pertains to a given project.
It’s also great for helping individuals stay on task. The to-do’s allow users to see their progress on different projects and know exactly what’s up next. That way, individuals can stick to their own deadlines and stay organized.
4. UberConference for Team Meetings
Booking a conference call can be a giant pain. To make things a bit easier, we use UberConference, a visual audio conferencing system.
We use UberConference for our weekly team meetings. Our team members from all over the U.S. hop on a call together to discuss upcoming projects, challenges we’re having on a particular task, and new strategies.
You can use your desktop browser or mobile phone to dial into the conference. The platform allows everyone to share documents, share their screen, record calls, and more. These features make collaboration easy among remote team members.
5. Adobe Document Sign for Employee Documents
One way to get signatures faster and easier is to use Adobe Document Sign.
Even if your recipients don’t have an Adobe account, they can open and sign a document from any browser or mobile device.
This eliminates the annoying process of having to print out a document, sign it, scan it, and send it back to you. It’s great for teams that are on the go or that work remotely.
6. Google Drive for Sharing Documents
When managing a remote team, it’s essential to have a solution for sharing documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. Google Drive is perfect for this.
You can set up different folders within your Google Drive that pertain to different projects, training documents, and resources so that your team members have access to all of the information they need. Sharing documents is as easy as copying and pasting the Google Drive URL.
Plus, you can work on documents concurrently. We use Google Docs to track our team meeting agenda, so everyone can follow along as we add notes and links. You can also easily comment and edit via suggesting mode to collaborate on projects.
If you haven’t set up Google Drive for your remote team, we highly suggest it. It’s fast and free, and you can even access your documents while offline.
7. Canva for Work for Graphics
Canva for Work is a wonderful tool that allows users to collaborate on graphics together. It’s easy to use and is accessible across multiple devices and time zones.
Canva for Work offers everything from Canva, a tool that allows you to easily create beautiful documents and designs with Canva’s drag and drop editor.
With Canva for Work, you can save your brand’s colors, logos, and fonts, so that your brand’s assets are centralized and organized. You can edit your photos, organize your images, and save templates for your whole team to access.
8. Zapier for Workflow Automation
Do you get frustrated when your tools don’t work together? Zapier solves this problem for you.
The tool connects your apps and automates your workflows, called Zaps, so that you can be more productive.
You can link your web apps with a few clicks to share data, pass info between your apps with workflows, and build processes to get more work done in less time. Zaps connect with some of the most popular apps including Gmail, Dropbox, PayPal, Buffer, and Slack. It even connects with project management systems, including Basecamp 3.
For example, when you get a new email in Gmail, you can set up a Zap that copies the attachment from Gmail to Google Drive. Then, you can set up an action that alerts you in Slack when the file appears in Google Drive.
The tool offers free starter versions and more premium plans that start at $20 per month. It’s a great way to automate your workflow and make your entire team more productive.
9. Process Street for Checklists
Time management is essential for boosting employee productivity. Without proper task prioritization, employees spend more time thinking about what needs to be done instead of actually working.
Process Street is a powerful project management tool that has a great tool for checklists. At Mod Girl Marketing, we regularly use their checklist tool to focus on recurring projects and procedures.
You can put in your company’s processes into templates and then assign checklists to team members based on these templates. Then, as team members are working on the project, you can check whether or not each checklist item has been completed.
With Process Street, you can schedule specific tasks to repeat at different intervals (quarterly, monthly, or weekly) and delegate them to your outsourced contractors and your internal team.
10. Hubstaff for Time Tracking
When managing a remote team, it can be a challenge to keep track of everyone’s time. How will you know how much your team is working and what they are focused on? Hubstaff works to solve this. The system’s time tracker runs as software on your contractor’s desktop to make it easy to track their time. Once the time is tracked, your employee can send you an invoice and you can send payment with a click of a button.
Hubstaff is unique because of the extra features that are included. You can easily set limits such as project budgets and a maximum number of hours an employee can work. You’ll get insight into what your team is working on with screenshots and activity levels. Plus, you can manage your team’s schedule through the attendance scheduling feature. The program gives new users 14 days free of charge so you can try it before you buy it, however, pricing is reasonably priced and varies based on your team size.
11. Time Doctor for Remote Time Tracking
Time Doctor is a remote time tracking application built specifically to track remote employees’ productivity. It lets you harvest time tracking data on your company’s work habits and then provides analytics to show key areas where improvements can be made.
Discover How to Create a Dream Team for Your Agency
These tools are great for managing your remote agency, but first you need to create a dream team!