With a lot of businesses shifting to remote working, we thought it would be helpful to list some handy tools that we recommend and currently already use on a daily basis. Fortunately flexible working is part of our company culture and Carlana already encourages occasional days working from home so our employees already have the tools they need to ensure their working day runs smoothly.
Trello is a Kanban style project management tool. It allows you to see the current status of tasks and a visual to-do list so you can see what’s being worked on and who’s working on what. It’s basically virtual sticky notes stuck on the wall! Trello allows you to organize projects into boards and set up various cards and checklists within each board. We have cards for clients, checklists by services and we even have a ‘rainy day s**t list’. You can access it via desktop browser or app on your mac and/or mobile device. It’s great if you’re an overthinker or have random ideas at 3am, you can quickly swipe to ‘pop it on trello’ and head back to sleep.
Team Collaboration and communication
Slack is a communication tool that involves instant messaging via various channels. You can set up various channels to share ideas and keep everything in ‘one place’. We have the app on our phone and laptop and can update our status if active or inactive. We have set our slack up with a channel for each individual client or project so it’s really easy to navigate and refer to the information we require. We’ve also set up an internal resources channel to link to important HR and training resources, an inspiration channel for ideas we like and a random channel for memes, pics of cakes, our children and cats.
Cloud storage and communication
G Suite offers productivity tools including Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar and Meet. We use it every day for communication, scheduling and for all project tasks and communication.
Each month our project manager, Gemma, schedules our workloads and projects into our Google Calendar. It’s really helpful to know and see each day what projects and tasks the team are due to work on and also to look ahead and see what’s coming up.
Cloud storage is even more helpful when it comes to remote working as you can share and collaborate with documents and multimedia files that are too large to send by email. We use Google Drive to keep all our files in one secure and centralized location. It’s synced across devices and can be used to share Google docs.
For all spreadsheets and written documents we use Google docs. We can easily share, edit and publish documents online. It’s really important that you check the sharing permissions when sharing documentation so only the intended recipient gains access. The great thing about Google docs is that you can collaborate with multiple contributors so you can all work together from the same document to avoid several versions ‘floating around’. You can also set to offline mode so you can use docs without an internet connection.
Hangouts is Google’s version of video conferencing. You can very quickly create a voice or video call for several people and can even share screens or set up chat rooms to quickly chat or share files.
If you don’t have G Suite, we recommend using We Transfer; it’s an internet based file sharing website which is perfect for sharing large files.
Invision is a prototyping tool for designers to create interactive mockups and prototypes. We use Invision to draw up and display our wireframes when planning the user experience for each website we create. This really helps when it’s not possible to run through ideas and pencil drawings face-to-face.
This is not a necessity but it makes the working environment a lot more fun and entertaining. Radio garden was a recent find and it’s really cool as you can move around the globe to listen to several radio stations. Our favourites so far have been Kool FM in London and Eruption FM in Romford.
We hope this helps with setting up your home office. We appreciate there will be stressful times ahead for everyone so we want to be able to help where we can. If you need any support in setting up any of these tools, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help at no cost to you.