The world is currently asking us to review, adapt and change the way we work. With social distancing and self-isolation being advised to people across all continents, working from home becomes the new norm. This requires a good dose of creativity from us all and there is one thing we rely on more heavily than ever: technology. Thanks to technology we can continue working together from the safety and security of our own homes.
Obviously, this is a hot topic for us at SignRequest. We aim to bring people together in business without having to physically bring people together in a room. We’ve always known that the world is a small place when technology is involved. E-signatures are a great example of how technology can not only make working together remotely possible, it can make it easier and safer.
Many of our own team members work remotely year-round. Our headquarters are in Amsterdam but we have colleagues in New Zealand, mainland US, and Hawaii. I am personally working remotely from South Africa right now. We thought we’d share some tips and tricks from our personal experience.
We have put together a list of some of our favorite online tools for working together remotely. These are highly useful tools on any given day but have become essential right now. We’ll look at a number of project management tools, tools for clear and fast communication, tools for document management, tools for sharing sensitive information safely and last but not least a wonderful tool to up your efficiency. These are the tools we personally recommend to make your life easier.
Keeping track of what everyone is working on is as easy as glancing across your desk with these tools. A good project management tool reduces the need for lengthy meetings and cross-application communication. Everything can be managed from right within the tool.
At SignRequest we love working with Asana to manage our projects and tasks. It is easy to create an overview of tasks your team needs to complete, who is working on what and you can even give each other feedback directly in the app. Asana offers a free plan, which is perfect for small teams or just to test the waters. An upgrade won’t hurt your wallet either.
Many others rave about Monday.com which has the same purpose as Asana with just a different user interface. It is slick yet colorful. Monday.com helps you assign tasks and keep up to date with the process. The main downside of Monday.com is the price. Monday.com does not have a free version and the subscription options are significantly more expensive than the main alternative: Asana.
If you are looking for a simple task manager and don’t need all the bells and whistles of project management, Trello is a great option. It is clean and mostly self-explanatory. It offers a very useful free option which can be upgraded for a friendly fee.
Whether it is about that new important launch or just a little social chitchat, keeping in touch while working from home is important for our work as well as our mental health. These tools will let you communicate with your team and clients wherever you and they are.
For many companies, Slack is already a vital part of the day-to-day business. This Chat tool allows you to create a team for your company and various channels within that team. This ensures that everyone will always receive the information they need and only the information they should have. Video calls and personal chats are also possibilities. To become even more productive, Slack integrates with many different tools allowing you to gather all information in one place. Slack has a free, as well as a paid version. The paid version comes with conference call features and a whole list of integrations such as Google apps, Asana and SignRequest.
We all know Skype but you might not yet be familiar with its competitor Zoom. Zoom is an excellent tool for both one-on-one video calls as well as large conference calls. With the free version of the Zoom you can host up to 100 participants. Hold webinars to keep your audience engaged while they’re stuck at home or just give your mom a ring.
To avoid endless email chains and wasteful printed copies we use document management systems. Work together in a document or easily review a colleague’s work without leaving your home. And of course, sign documents safely and securely online.
It’s an obvious one but we cannot leave it out. Google Drive offers a whole list of different apps to manage information: Docs, Sheets, Numbers, Drawings, Jamboards and more. You can collaborate in real-time in the same document and never worry about losing your changes because everything gets saved automatically.
SignRequest is a hassle-free, intuitive e-signature solution that allows you to sign and send contracts anywhere in the world from any device. SignRequest makes the signing process quick and painless and a lot more secure than the old-fashioned print, sign, scan method.
Good for teams, good for clients and partners and good for the environment. Use SignRequest Free if you only need something signed every now and then or try out the Professional plan for free in a 2-week trial for the heavier lifting.
It might very well be that you and your team members share certain accounts. A safe and secure tool to share sensitive information such as passwords helps keep your own and your customers’ data private.
Many people still have 2 or 3 passwords that they use for everything and often forget which one they used for which platform. There is no more need for this with LastPass. This browser extension saves all your passwords and it also generates very random, very safe new ones. You can safely store payment information as well. There is a free version for personal use and business packages start at $4 per user per month.
LastPass and 1Password have more common ground than differences. Both tools are accessed with a Master Password that opens your vault. However, 1Password also provides you with a secret key when you create your account. This key needs to be provided when setting up the tool on a new device. 1Password also offers an offline desktop app next to the browser extension. 1Password does not offer a free version but business pricing is similar to that of LastPass.
Integrating different tools with each other saves time and tedious work. Most tools offer custom integrations to enhance your productivity but there is one winner that lets us connect almost anything with almost everything.
Zapier helps you integrate everything you use online with everything else you use online. Create connections called Zaps to let different tools talk to each other, exchange information and take over small tasks.
Do you want to automatically post from WordPress to Facebook? No problem. Do you want events in your Google Calendar to be added to Trello? Done. Do your electronically signed SignRequests need to be stored in Dropbox? Zapier’s got your back. Get more Zapier inspiration for SignRequest here.
We hope these tools will help you keep your business up and running while staying safe. On the bright side, you won’t be stuck in boring boardrooms having inefficient meetings anymore. Your days won’t be filled with watered-down coffee because no-one ever refills the machine on time. No more endless stories about Eddie’s vintage Harley-Davidson. Finally, we can focus on actually getting work done.
With a little creativity and a lot of technology, we can keep the growth going.