March 21, 2020

Tools For Running a Remote Business

As a digital marketing agency, we rely on a lot of tools over the internet to keep our business running effectively and efficiently. We depend on technology for our file sharing, our data storage, backups, video conferencing, internal communications, project management, client communication, reporting, passwords, time tracking, accounting and more. With that being said, we often will try new software and test new technologies. You never know if a new tool is going to provide you with a benefit that allows you to work smarter, harder, or deliver better results. 

Below Is a List Of Our Top Tools And What We Use Them For.

Cloud Storage For Documents And Sharing Files:

Google Drive and Dropbox

In addition to Google Drive, we use other Google platforms as part of Google G Suite. The most popular ones we use on a daily basis are Google Docs & Google Sheets. Google Docs is basically, a Microsoft word over the cloud. You can create a document, share it with others, access it from anywhere, make edits and suggestions, save it as a PDF or word document, and much more. Above are helpful links to these platforms with more information about them. Another G Suite platform we use daily is Google sheets. Google sheets is similar to Microsoft Excel but is in the cloud. This is great because you can access this information from anywhere at any time and can share accordingly. You can give full access or limited access. Other G Suite products include Slides (similar to powerpoint). 

With Dropbox, you can also share files in real time, which is a great benefit when collaborating on projects with your team or sharing files with your clients. You can set sharing permissions to ensure only intended parties can view specific documents.

Communication between team members:

Slack

Slack allows our team to communicate directly with each other about various projects and subjects all in one app. Each department, team project, or all the above can have its own channel. That way the conversations are organized. You can upload documents and images as well which helps with collaboration.

Video Meetings:

Zoom or Google Hangouts

Zoom is our go-to communication software tool when it comes to video conferencing. Now, more than ever, we are using Zoom to not only communicate with our clients but also to keep in touch with our team members, as it provides us with the same benefits of having in-person conversations when we can’t be face to face. We prefer this tool over others in the market because of its consistent audio and video performance, even on slower connections.

Google Hangouts is another excellent option to keep things running smoothly when your team can’t meet in person. It lets your team chat, voice call, and video conference with one another and with your clients from their computers or mobile devices.

Project Management:

Basecamp (this is our go-to), Trello or Asana

Basecamp brings everything our team needs to get projects done in one place. It helps us to not only have ongoing communication about a project, but also lets us share project progress and important files with our clients. Basecamp offers: to-do lists, message boards, schedules, documents & file storage, and group chat. Everyone in our team always knows what to do because we organize all of our projects though Basecamp.

Trello is another great tool to visually organize your projects on a kanban style board that allows you to track your projects as they move through a workflow. This tool has a simple, very intuitive interface that works best for tracking groups of tasks with a start and end date, and a clear desired outcome.

Asana, on the other hand, is a much more complex project management tool. It offers many robust features, with new ones introduced every year. but it takes much more effort to learn initially as you learn all its capabilities. Once you set up your ideal team workflow, your business processes will improve in terms of efficiency and accuracy.

Password Storage & Sharing:

KeePass, 1password, or Lastpass

We like KeePass, 1password and Lastpass to manage our internal, as well as our clients’ accounts passwords. As a digital marketing company, our top priority is to keep our clients’ information secure. These softwares allow us to store all our passwords in one database, which is locked with a master key. All database files are encrypted using the best and most secure encryption algorithms.

Time Tracking:

Harvest or Freshbooks (accounting, + invoicing + time tracking)

It’s very important for us to track our team’s hours to understand how much time we are spending on specific tasks, projects, and clients. At Digital Space Marketing, we use Freshbooks to track our time. The data we have collected overtime has allowed us to constantly improve our processes and become more efficient at what we do. We hold meetings periodically to review our use of time and collectively create better systems that provide better service to our clients.

Harvest is a very similar time-tracking solution that allows its users to track time online through a very simple and easy to use interface.

Cloud Accounting & Transactions:

Quickbooks Online & Freshbooks

Freshbooks is one of the best online accounting tools in the market. It not only helps us with our accounting and time-tracking needs, but also helps us send invoices to our clients, keep track of our expenses, and send estimates to prospects.

Quickbooks is a great alternative to Freshbooks that offers other additional services for an extra cost. Some of these additional services include payroll, payments and live bookkeeping.

Contracts:

Approve Me & Docusign

Approve Me and DocuSign are great tools for companies that have agreements and licenses they need to share and cosign with clients and vendors. These softwares address the issue of getting paperwork back quickly and securely by helping businesses avoid manually printing, signing, scanning, saving and sharing each document individually. Apart from being time-savers, all documents processed through both Approve Me and DocuSign are legally-binding and executable on court.