Nowadays more and more people work on home office and in remote teams. We have been working like that for a long time, so we would like to share our tips for useful software and apps that will help you to work remotely more efficiently. The software are presented in no particular order and they are neither the only nor the most important we use. Most of the listed applications are those we use more often and more intensely on a daily basis.
Our time tracking tool. We use it not only because we develop it, but because it is also a great tool. One built to be great and be what other time trackers were not. Its interface offers different view modes, which allows each user and team to pick the one core compatible with their work. Some use the stopwatch in the calendar, others prefer the agenda view while some choose to enter time records in retrospect. Although it is widely used by freelancers everywhere, it supports teams and contains features designed for teamwork and team management. One of those is the team calendar, which offers a general view of the team’s activity in a given period. It also helps a lot when we need to hire freelancers; we can give them access to a profile and we can follow up on how the project goes, what is yet to be done and how much it will cost us. The app is free with no restriction of time or features for up to 3 users. For those operating on larger teams, it has a paid version. The best deal you can find for smaller teams.
Skype is a basic tool for team communication. Even when sitting in the same room you can use Skype to share information and material. Although we have other communication channels with customers, they sometimes request us to contact them via Skype. It is free but contains a paid version with additional features you may find useful.
Canva is a design tool for info-graphics or simple graphics in general. It is very easy to use. You can choose from many pre-made platform specific templates, images and fonts or import and edit your own files. The (editable) designs, can be shared among a team. The collaborative factor is very important teams working with a multilingual audience. By sharing a sketch different people can have it translated and adapted to the different markets in which you operate. Canva has a basic free version but offers paid versions with more comprehensive features.
ProofHub is a great go-to tool for collaborating with multinational teams and managing your day to day tasks. It has some amazing built-in features. You will love using the proofing tool. It lets you share, proof and approve files instantly. Kanban boards help immensely in boosting your team’s productivity. There’s an in-built chat app too that brings all the team communications to one place. The best part is the tool has a fairly easy-to-use interface, which makes onboarding of both in-house and remote team members effortlessly easy. There’s a free trial, and you can choose from different payment plans.
Crowdin is a great collaborative translation tool. Since we offer primaERP in 7 different languages (German, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Slovak and Russian), we have in Crowdin the tool we needed. Makes the process of translation a lot more agile and organized. Crowdin was an easy decision for us. Mostly for the feature that allows translation directly on the graphic interface of the app, leaving no doubt about the context of what is being written. It is great for cloud applications that can be accessed via internet browsers. In addition to that, this tool has enabled us to offer users to take part in the translation of the app to their own languages in case it is not been made available yet. With Crowdin we have made primaERP available for translation to French, Italian and Dutch with the help of a few enthusiastic users. It offers a 10-day free trial and there are several payment plans.
Basecamp keeps all the relevant information and advancement of our projects in one place and available for all those involved. It can hold a lot of relevant information so that newcomers or people getting involved on ongoing projects can easily be up to date with whatever is going on. It is not a coincidence we have implemented a built-in integration with primaERP early in its development. With that you can track the time on the projects we are working in Basecamp without having to move back and forth between applications. It is free for individual use but in order to take full advantage of Basecamp’s teamwork advantages, we recommend to check the paid plans.
Remote teams will benefit from the calendar and the spreadsheets. With the calendar, you can plan and share notes. Everything happens in real time, so you know exactly who and when has shared an article, found a new contact, etc. The spreadsheet can for example contain an overview of statistics from Google Analytics (also an indispensable tool) and help reporting bugs or sharing suggestions with the development team. It saves time, which would possibly be spent in email communication. Plus, it has offers storage space to share data. It has a generous free version but those who need more can use one of the payment plans.
Our choice to communicate with and keep track of primaERP’s users. It offers several means to communicate including in-app messages, live chat, email and Facebook messages via integration. The users can be filtered according to a large array of categories among which language, location, payment status, level of access in the app or website, use (or lack thereof) of your mobile apps, level of activity, etc. A fair presentation of all of Intercom’s possibilities would need its own article. It contains a free version that offers an overview of user’s activities but in order to communicate you need to pick one of the different payment plans. It is very useful yet very discreet and respectful of user’s privacy, which is a must for most people these days.
So, now you have our list of useful tools. Which do you use? Do you have any suggestion? We would be grateful for your comments!