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  • The 11 Best Tools For Managing Remote Teams by Category

    on 23 August 2018

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    The 11 Best Tools For Managing Remote Teams by Category

    Managing remote teams can be challenging. All the typical management and collaboration issues are more visible when your team is spread across different locations and time zones:

    • How do you effectively keep track of task completion and project progress?
    • How do you stay in touch when the team member you want to talk to isn’t just a cubicle away?
    • How do you ensure your team members have access to all the files necessary to complete their work?

    These are all questions a good team leader asks. And knowing how to lead remote teams starts with knowing the right tools to use. So, we asked a number of business professionals—from CEOs and business owners to team leads—to weigh in on the best tools for remote teams across key management and collaboration categories.

    Best Tools For Project Management

    Asana

    Anastasia Churazova, Chief Marketing Officer at Nuclino:

    “We deal with a lot of small tasks and were having a hard time keeping track of who's responsible for what, so we started using Asana. When planning a project, we split it into tasks and sub-tasks, assign them to the responsible team members, and set their deadlines. Each team member can view their planned tasks in a list or within a team calendar, allowing for accountability and efficient time management.”

    Remy Kouffman, CEO at Blue Sails:

    “Asana has become a critical add-on to JIRA, a development management system, and can sync up to JIRA and Slack. Asana enables us to focus more on project management with business stakeholders, while JIRA is more for the development/tech side of our business.”

    Trello

    Megan Pruitt, Co-founder of Date Night In Boxes:

    “Trello is a game changer for project management. It’s a great tool for keeping my remote team involved and organized throughout the life of a project. Plus, the various boards you can create are great for task visualization, which is necessary for a team like mine that includes a lot of creative, visual-oriented people.”

    Stephen Hart, CEO at Cardswitcher:

    “For project management, we tend to use Trello. It’s a great visual way of representing what work is planned, what work is ongoing and what work is done. Personally, I get a huge sense of achievement when I see all the cards piled up in the ‘Live’ section.”

    Priyanka Dalal, Business Growth Marketer at priyankadalal.com:

    “Trello is great for project management. I like how an entire project can be captured on the Trello card or board depending on the project’s scale. It makes it easier to see and track progress. Moreover, it doubles as an archive of all the work done, which is useful for future referencing and internal audits.”

    Favro

    Lance Cummins, President at Nectafy:

    “Favro is probably the least known tool on my list for managing remote teams, but it's been a surprisingly powerful remote project management tool. It enables us to see at a glance what we're working on, what's stuck, and what needs to happen to get it to the finish line. It’s actually the source of truth for our entire company because if it's not on Favro, you're not working on it.”

    Best Tools For Communication

    Google Hangouts

    Stephen Hart, CEO at Cardswitcher:

    “By far, my favorite remote communication tool is Google Hangouts. It’s the tool that underpins the most important ritualized meeting in our remote team: the weekly standup. During the 20-minute meeting, everyone answers three simple questions:

    1. What did I do this last week?
    2. What am I doing this coming week?
    3. What challenges can I foresee?

    And Google Hangouts is an easily accessible, free, and powerful tool that supports it.”

    Alexis Monson, Co-founder of Punkpost:

    “As our team continues to grow, Google Hangouts makes it easy to text and video chat with multiple members of our team at the same time. It provides us the same benefits of having in-person conversations when we can't be face to face.”

    Carmine Mastropierro, President at Mastro Digital:

    “With Google Hangouts, I can send everyone on my team an invite at once and easily launch a video meeting. This tool has helped us stay on track with goals, share ideas, and build better relationships with one another.”

    Slack

    Priyanka Dalal, Business Growth Marketer at priyankadalal.com:

    “Slack works great for quick, real-time conversations, coordination between team members, and even informal chit-chat. I’ve found that the key to ensuring the tool remains relevant and focused is creating well-defined channels, each with a specific purpose.”

    Megan Pruitt, Co-Founder of Date Night In Boxes:

    “Slack is essential for meetings, internal communication, and overall remote team collaboration. It gets my employees off Facebook or other social networks and includes features I love, such as the ability to take over someone else's screen, draw on a screen, share your screen, etc.”

    Anastasia Churazova, Chief Marketing Officer at Nuclino:

    “For remote team communication, there is no better tool than Slack. It has been the business tool du jour for a reason. And since our work involves a lot of interaction with remote team members, it was an easy choice. Its interface is very intuitive, so we can easily onboard new remote team members without any trouble.”

    Eric Nagel, Managing Partner at Rust Built:

    “I switched my team from Skype to Slack and never looked back. I couldn't imagine managing a remote team today without Slack. The team and individual communication is great of course, but the integrations with other apps really seals the deal. For example, we use Standuply (a bot for Slack) to run our daily standup meeting. At 7 AM, the bot asks what we did yesterday, what we're doing today, and if there's anything in our way. Everyone has 2 hours to answer, then the results are broadcast in our #general Slack channel.”

    Zoom

    Kean Graham, CEO at MonetizeMore:

    “As an online video meeting tool, Zoom is the most consistent for video and sound quality, even on slower connections with many participants. It has useful features that allow us to record meetings, create meeting links, and assign user hierarchies for varied levels of accessibility.”

    Lance Cummins, President at Nectafy:

    “The video platform makes it easy to have team meetings, quick video conferences, screen sharing, and recording. I think Nectafy is a stronger team because we use video meetings so much. We love getting to see each other and talk to a human face, rather than just chat or audio conferencing. It makes our company feel more connected.”

    Brett Helling, CEO at Ridester:

    “We find it absolutely necessary that our team members don't stick to emails alone and instead speak to each other via audio or video calls. Zoom is the perfect option for both.”

    Best Tools For File Management & File Sharing

    Google Drive

    Eric Nagel, Managing Partner at Rust Built:

    “A well-organized Google Drive is key for our remote team. My partner and I can share documents meant for just the two of us, or our bookkeeper can upload reports for the finance team. The best part is that files are accessible anywhere, so it doesn't matter whether I'm sitting at my desktop in my home office, working from the corner coffee shop from my Chromebook, or pulling up a document on my phone on the go.”

    Megan Pruitt, Co-Founder of Date Night In Boxes:

    “Google Drive is an inexpensive way to collaborate on documents in real time. It is excellent for when we have multiple contributors who want to comment and make changes, which is basically all the time.”

    Dropbox

    Adam McIntyre, Co-Founder of BrandPacks:

    “With Dropbox, we can share files in real time, which is a great benefit. However, one of the most overlooked benefits of Dropbox is that every team member can have access to every file within the entire organization or at the project level. For example, if I come online and our illustrator is offline, I needn’t email her and wait eight hours for a file to be sent over. I can simply browse her working folders and download the file myself.”

    Best Tools For General Team Management & Collaboration

    Toggl (Time Tracking)

    Dean DeCarlo, President at Mission Disrupt:

    “This time tracking app goes the extra mile by providing comprehensive reporting and insight into the efficiency of timed tasks. I use it to help me estimate future jobs.”

    Workable (Recruiting)

    Lance Cummins, President at Nectafy:

    “Hiring and recruiting is a huge part of managing a remote team. At Nectafy, hiring is a team process, so having a dedicated, funnel-like tool like Workable makes it possible for us to process hundreds of applicants simply, each time we have an open position.

    Because we're in an always-hiring mode, Workable allows team members to set aside a specific time each week to review their parts of the hiring funnel. One team member reviews application questions on Monday or Tuesday, one team member reviews work samples, one team member schedules meetings—and all of this is trackable and visible to the rest of the team. Having a tool like this makes recruiting fit into our weekly workflow rather than feeling like it's a hindrance to our ‘real work.’"

    Zapier (App-to-App Integration & Workflow Automation)

    Adam McIntyre, Co-Founder of BrandPacks:

    “We use Zapier to automate many small but highly effective tasks across the web apps we use as a team. For example, when a new file is added to certain folders in Dropbox, Zapier pings an email notification to related team members. Or, when a new lead/sale/support ticket is received, the related departments are notified to ensure a quick response.”

    Want to bring together all the great features from these popular collaboration tools? Choose Glasscubes.

    Glasscubes is in a collaboration category all its own and is one of the best tools for remote teams. It brings together project management, file sharing, team communication, and even intranet/extranet capabilities into a secure hub of online workspaces that you control.

    Our solution provides a working environment that enables teams to collaborate in a more efficient way. Glasscubes helps break down common barriers for working together, resulting in greater productivity among all team members.

    So, ditch email and other unscalable tools. Get the comprehensive SaaS solution that fully enables collaboration—from information sharing to communication and more. Start your free trial today.


    Posted by Gabby Shultis