Apps That Help Your Business Operate Remotely
Technology is your best friend when it comes to running a remote business.
Many virtual business owners (VBOs) have been working remotely for a long time, and due to the coronavirus pandemic, much of the nation is following suit. Here at VBO Nation, we are a small team of VBOs who’ve been working remotely both independently and jointly for many years. Altogether, we have a wealth of information on the subject of remote work. So, we’ve decided to do you a solid and share what we’ve learned to help make your transition to remote work smoother.
In a recent blog, one of our team members put together a WFH survival guide for people who are new to the playing field. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, you’ll definitely want to check it out. It contains valuable, practical information on how to stay productive and peaceful at home in these uncertain times. You can read it here.
We’re following up on that blog by providing you with our curated list of apps that you can use to optimize your remote business. Now, this blog post is for two groups: individuals who are new to working from home, and businesses that are converting to remote operations in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Most of the apps we cover will be useful for both groups, but if they’re not, we’ll be sure to let you know.
So without further ado, let’s jump right into it. Here’s our list of the top apps that will help your business operate remotely:
For Individuals and Businesses
We featured Evernote in our Must-Have VBO Tools blog, and we’re highlighting it again here because of its great value. Evernote is primarily a tool for taking notes, but its uses go beyond that. Evernote makes keeping track of notes, articles, blogs, websites, emails and other information items easy.
They offer a free plan that’s great for individual VBOs as well as premium plans that work well for enterprises. Evernote offers a free trial, so you can put the app to the test and see how it works for you before making any long-term commitment.
The G-Suite cloud productivity and collaboration tools have proven essential for our business here and VBO Nation, and we recommend them highly. We use Gmail to support our business emails, Drive to store our files, Docs to build templates, Sheets to organize information, Slides to build reports and more.
There’s so much that you can do with G-Suite, and because it’s all within the cloud, you don’t have to bog your computers down with a bunch of software or files like you would if you were using other comparable apps.
Loom is a free screen-recording app that lets you make videos. You can then send those videos to colleagues and clients with a link. We use it all the time for all kinds of reasons. Loom saves us a lot of time by allowing us to show rather than tell. For example, one of our team members showed another team member how to upload a particular piece of content to our website with a quick Loom, instead of describing the process via email or phone call. It’s just way more efficient. And again, it’s completely free, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start using it today.
Slack is an internal communication app that pretty much replaces email for your team. Our team uses slack all day every day, and it’s a true godsend. We can message individual team members or create group chats and channels around a particular topic.
Slack allows you to set up desktop notifications so that you’re alerted to new messages even when you don’t have the app open. And they also have a mobile app so that you can stay in the loop when you’re on the go. Slack makes communication so easy for us, and we pretty much never send each other emails — a fact that we’re all thankful for. Did we mention we get all this for free?
Hubstaff is a powerful app that makes managing a remote team a seamless process. It provides time tracking, productivity monitoring, reporting, online timesheets and more. Hubstaff makes paying remote teams a breeze, and it integrates with Teamwork — which we’ll cover in just a sec — so that we can see what tasks people are spending their time on.
Hubstaff provides everything that your remote team needs to work more efficiently. They also offer a free 14-day trial so that you can test it out and see how it revolutionizes your business.
Teamwork is a project management tool that helps both office-based and remote teams deliver better results by improving accountability, visibility and collaboration. Using the platform, you can set up projects, tasks and subtasks and assign team members to them. You can track progress on projects and tasks, automate project workflows and integrate with other apps to make work more efficient. It’s pretty much the backbone of our whole operation.
Dashlane is an account information manager that we use to make our lives simpler. As a business, we have a lot of accounts for a lot of different apps and services and there’s just no way that any one of us could keep track of them all. Dashlane keeps all of our usernames and passwords secure and accessible. The big advantage is that it allows us to share passwords between team members without having to actually divulge the information. It’s just another added layer of security. A lot of businesses don’t have a good way of managing their passwords. Dashlane makes it convenient, and that’s why we love it.
So, there’s our list of apps that help your business operate remotely. This tech-stack may not be comprehensive, but it gives you the basics that you’ll need to set up shop. WFH may seem intimidating to those of you who’ve never done it before, but trust us, with the right tools in place, you can become a productive remote-work pro in no time.