The number of people in North America who work remotely continues to increase from year to year. While some are freelancers or entrepreneurs starting new ventures, many of those remote workers are now also full-time employees of some of the world’s biggest companies. How is this even possible? Thanks to advancements in productivity apps, there are ways to stay in touch with any project team and share information in real-time.
Basecamp is a project management resource that’s been around for several years. While it has gone through a few versions, the basic functionality that has been there from the beginning is still present. What’s different is that you can do more with Basecamp today than you could a few years ago.
One of the primary advantages offered by Basecamp is the simplicity of the app design. If you don’t consider yourself to be technically gifted, that won’t hinder your ability to use Basecamp. The features are set up to make creating a project easy. In fact, you’ll find it only marginally more difficult than crafting a project outline using a pad and a pencil.
Once you have a project in place, sending invitations to those who will work on it is easy. If you’ve ever sent an email, the general process will take no time at all. The people you invite will find it equally easy to establish login credentials and accept your invitation.
Communication and tracking of assigned tasks is also a breeze. The team can communicate with you, mark a task when it’s completed, and upload documents associated with their work. You get notifications of all activity so there is never any question of what action items still need attention. Your team members also receive reminders when deadlines are getting close.
This popular Google product provides a hefty amount of storage for sharing documents. There’s the free version that includes enough storage for owners of small and medium sized businesses. If you need more, it’s possible to obtain additional storage for modest fees.
One of the safeguards built into Google Drive is that you can store documents in the Drive in a secure cloud location. That means all the hard work on those documents is never lost. This application also updates the cloud document in a real time fashion. This is important if you decide to create a document in Drive as part of a collaborative team effort. The changes and additions are saved right along with the original.
While Slack may be a little newer than the other applications, don’t assume it has nothing to offer. As an acronym for Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge, Slack is a great internal document sharing, collaboration, and storage tool. As with similar applications, you get to control who has access and what documents they can view or update. The basic product is free and will work well for most SMB owners or freelancers. The interface is easy to master, and the tools included in the basic version are varied enough to handle most needs. If you do need unlimited messaging or features like unlimited external integrations, you can opt for a Slack upgrade. The Standard plan is available for a monthly fee that roughly amounts to the cost of a larger green tea latte at one of the finer coffee shops.
Try these apps and see what you think. Whether working at home or in a virtual office setting like you’ll find with Agile Offices, you can take care of tasks, check on the status of deadlines, and keep productivity levels high no matter where you’re working from.