When it comes to time, we’re all in the same boat – we have a finite amount and no matter how much we’re willing to pay, we can’t buy more of it.
As a founder, you need to get and stay more productive than the average person, otherwise your calendar and responsibilities will run you into the ground. This is even more true if you run a remote or distributed team, like we do here at Fieldboom.
Eventually you’ll be stressed, tired and miserable if you don’t stop every now and then to think about how you can be more productive as a team that’s spread out around the world.
To help you run your remote team as best as possible, we’ve put together a list of the tools we use here at Fieldboom to do just that. Whether you need to deal with email overload, social media updates or meeting with people on the other side of the world, we’ve got you covered.
Here are the main tools we use to keep our remote team productive at Fieldboom:
Free, high definition video conferencing for teams that works in your browser. You don’t need to download anything and neither do the people you want to meet with. To create your meeting you simply copy and paste a link. Anyone with that link can join via both video and audio.
How many times have you sent an email only to wish you could be notified after a few days if you don’t receive a reply? That’s where Boomerang comes in. It’s an extension for the Google Chrome web browser that adds reminders and other nifty features right in to Gmail. Think of it as your personal assistant for email.
Managing projects is harder than it should be. Trello is a great tool that helps you not only manage projects with your team, but also personal projects – all from the same account.
It works on the idea of multiple boards. Each board can contain a number of lists and each list contains a series of cards which you can progress through different statuses like New, In Progress and Complete.
How might you use Trello? You could setup a board for hiring to track candidates, a board to track upcoming team events or even a board to track an office move and the various tasks to make it a reality.
Signing paper documents is about as much fun as watching grass grow. HelloSign is an amazingly simple way to sign documents electronically.
You just upload the PDF and can add your signature, initials, date or any other text in just a few seconds. You can then email the document or download it really easily.
If you’re active on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn but can’t find the time to post regularly, you should consider Buffer. It’s a social media management tool that lets you schedule posts across your various social networks.
Instead of spending 10-20 minutes each day writing tweets, etc, you spend 20-30 minutes at the start of each week where writing all of your updates into Buffer. It will then post your updates to the social channels you choose throughout the week based on your posting schedule.
When you want to open up your calendar to customers, partners or employees to book a meeting with you, Calendly makes it easy.
You can create 15/30/60 minute slots and also block out times in your calendar when appointments can’t be made. You get a simple link you can share with anyone and when they book their appointment, you can even ask them a few questions which are included in the calendar appointment as notes. Very handy.
Their tag line is “Finds it for you”. Need lunch but can’t leave the office? Text someone on Operator and they’ll take care of it. Looking for a hard to find gift for a colleague? Operator’s team of real people will track it down and FedEx it to your office.
When you need advice from experts, Clarity can help. The premise is simple – go to Clarity, browse experts by subjects like marketing, sales, HR and hiring and pay by the minute to speak with them. We use Clarity regularly to get help with marketing challenges, product ideas and even social media strategies.
Last but not least, we use our own product, Fieldboom. It’s simple software that helps you capture, manage and organize leads, feedback, job applicants and everything else you need to grow your business.
Instead of using one tool to capture leads, one for surveys, one for job applicants, one for CRM and tying them all together (using another tool!), we created a simple all-in-one product with a drag-and-drop form designer and a lightweight CRM that feels just like your inbox.