Essential Tools for Distributed Teams (and for Not So Distributed Ones)

The key to effective teamwork is communication, which is probably why so many workplaces have adopted Slack into their daily routine. The application allows coworkers to freely communicate across different platforms, send each other reminders, have full discussions, or just exchange an encouraging gif every once and awhile.

Slack integrates with a variety of commonly used applications to keep track of business goals and engage employees. It becomes a central tool for your team

Zoom

Just because you are a member of a distributed team doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get a little facetime with your coworkers. In the past video conferencing has been fraught with issues. Poor connectivity or equipment issues had the potential to delay meetings and impact productivity. Thankfully video services are becoming more and more reliable and user-friendly

Zoom stands out among popular programs like GoToMeeting and Google Meet, allowing even large teams to participate in a video conference. It is reliable, clear, and helps facilitate a number of different types of meetings from webinars to collaborative spaces.

World Time Buddy

World Time Buddy is a pretty simple solution to a concept some still struggle with: “Can I call Matt at this hour?” Remote teams can be continents apart and if your team stretches across multiple timezones finding an idea meeting time is a hassle.

Make your life easier by visiting World Time Buddy and plugging in everyone’s timezone, to identify the best time for a meeting.

Or just call Matt at 2 am. I’m sure he’ll appreciate that.

GitHub

Few programs are as valuable to a development team as GitHub. It allows users to host the code for their projects in a space that makes it easy for members to review and make changes. Every time a developer commits to GitHub their code is saved with a unique ID so changes are easily trackable

Google Drive

Increasing scrutiny for online security is encouraging many businesses to bring their data back in house but that doesn’t mean the cloud isn’t a valuable tool. Google Drive and its suite of built-in document programs are fantastic tools to share and collaborate on files.

Google Docs, Sheets, and slides may lack some of the features Microsoft office boasts but their ability to be accessed on just about any device and easy collaboration features make up for it. Files can be easily shared, changes on documents tracked, and everything is automatically backed up.

A project management tool

No matter how big or small your team is you need a way to stay on top of tasks. Project management software helps every member of the team set and understand each other’s tasks, timelines, and obstacles. This kind of transparency and communication help teams tackle projects together rather than just assigning a series of tasks and send everyone off to their different spaces.

There are a number of great programs out there and many offer similar features so choosing the right one for your team sometimes comes down to personal preference but here are a few of our top picks for project management.

Trello is Wildly popular because of its simplicity, which allows Trello boards to be adaptable to all manner of projects or teams.

AirTable is highly customizable, which allows you to create a project management space suited for your specific project.

Monday also allows teams to create customized boards based on the content of the project. Its clever use of colour makes it engaging for users.

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