Team Productivity Apps We Love
There are many choices for team productivity apps. Over the past 10 years working remotely we've tried (it seems) all of them. But there are a few reliable mainstays that we keep coming back to and were the top of the list when building the WorkingAway company.
What is a team productivity app?
Team productivity apps are those web and mobile applications that you use to stay connected with your team as you work together to get things done. These applications are particularly suited to remote working because they allow easy sharing, collaboration and work progress.
Why is this important for remote teams?
Let's face it, remote teams (whether everyone on the team is working in separate locations or just one satellite team member is away from the group) face some unique challenges to staying connected and productive when working together. These applications are are web based, so it is easy for anyone with a web connection to access them. And they are particularly good at allowing multiple people to contribute, update, share and track the things they are working on.
What are the best productivity apps for a remote team?
Below are the applications we are currently using and would be hard pressed to do without. A computer or phone and wifi are required for them all.
Zoom.us - video chat
For remote workers, the body language is the thing we miss. Enter video conferencing to give back the indispensable visual cues.
Skype - audio calls
Yes, there is some overlap with Zoom, as Skype is also primarily a video chat service. We tend to use Zoom for the video calls (more reliable) and Skype for the audio calls and when talking with people who prefer Skype.
Slack - group chat
This is the online version of sticking your head in someone's office to ask a quick question without full on interruption. With the added benefit that the entire conversation is captured online so you don't even need to remember the answer, because you can always search for it later.
Trello - work management
The best way to describe this app is a catch-all for all the things you and your team are working on (conversations, documents, tasks, etc.), but with the benefit of being able to organize them however you want. And if that seems overwhelming, they have tons of templates that other teams (from documentary filmmaking to corporate HR processes)
Google Drive - documents, spreadsheets, slides and more
This is the best place to share documents and collaborate on their development. The functionality is not as robust as Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint, but the collaboration is much (MUCH) easier.
MS Office 365 - documents, spreadsheets, slides and more
The oh so reliable Microsoft Office Suite. You know, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and a few others helpful in working with all those folks out there who still use spreadsheets and docs.
Canva - graphics design and image editing
The online version of Photoshop, but much easier and geared towards creating brand designs and marketing materials (lots of templates for social ad sizes, etc.).