#WorkFromHome: The Definitive List of Startup Tools For Remote Working
Working from home? So are we.
Given the current uncertainty that surrounds us with COVID-19, as the Traktion team prepares to move into remote working as well over the short term, we thought to also share some tech tools to help improve your productivity when working remotely.
The Traktion team have had the privilege of working with some of the world’s best digital marketers, with successful stints in startups such as Revolut, Deliveroo and Uber, and connecting these marketers to freelance with companies and industries that they’re passionate for. Most of Traktion’s verified freelancers and boutique digital marketing agencies work with their clients remotely, and so perfectly understand the challenges that comes with remote working.
So, together with our marketers, we’ve split up our suggested tools to help accelerate and boost your productivity during these #workfromhome times, in this definitive list of startup tools for remote working.
We've split our suggestions into different work-categories — from communication tools to videoconferencing tools; with some clear winners, and what we think are also high-potential contenders as tech tools to keep your productivity up whilst away from the office.
Here are some tools to help improve your productivity when working remotely in Traktion's #WorkFromHome Tool-list.
Day-to-day Communications: Slack
- Why is Slack great for remote working? Slack is what most startups use for day-to-day collaboration as our central work hub — whether we're remote working or not. At Tralktion, we've found Slack to be especially useful for day-to-day communication, with the ability to create specialised channels for each business function and projects, and to invite guests to join us. Slack allows you to integrate many other business functions and tools (Typeform to collect survey data, Stripe to view financial transactions (privately), Zoom integrations to make outgoing calls -- you name it!).
- What we particularly love is Slack's recent shared channels feature - where you can share 1 common channel between 2 organisations, something we've been experimenting with our marketers!
- Contender: Lark. Launched by ByteDance (perhaps most well-known in the West as the parent company for TikTok), Lark markets itself as the all-in-one collaboration tool. It’s essentially a super-app — Lark is to Slack is what WhatsApp is to WeChat. Lark is Slack meets Google Suite meets Dropbox… and more.
Video Calls: Zoom
- Why is Zoom great for remote working? Zoom is a single communications suite for meetings, chat, and more. It's a one-stop shop for meetings, team chats and more. What makes it great for remote working is that Zoom easily supports long meetings, allowing you to save meetings and along with transcripts that have searchable text.Zoom easily supports long meetings. Given current times, we'll be moving towards Zoom for more team meetings, marketer briefings and calls as we work from home.
- Plus points... P.S. What's great about Zoom is also that it's free for 40-minute meetings for up to 100 people. And that's just the way we like it too - meetings shouldn't generally last for more than 40 minutes at one go.
- Contenders: Google Meets, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, GoToMeeting
Virtual Chat/Socials: Discord
- Why is Discord great for virtual socials/chats? Whilst Discord is known for being used by gamers for voice over chats for gaming, we've found Discord to be a fantastic tool to keep conversations alive. We've created a specific company Discord channels, and people can tune in/tune out during the day, be it engaging in light banter during breaks, or checking in with an entire team. This makes it easy to ping someone, and not having to schedule voice calls far in advance. In the face of COVID-19, it's the equivalence of our "Can I ask you a short question over coffee?".
- Discord is a proprietary freeware VoIP application and digital distribution platform designed for video gaming communities, that specializes in text, image, video and audio communication between users in a chat channel. It runs in web browsers and almost all operating systems.
Project Management & Database: AirTable & Notion
Why is AirTable & Notion great for (remote) project management?
AirTable is fantastic for managing data from numerous sources, whilst it can also be used for project management, AirTable is a godsend for allowing you to flexibly customise data storage, data visualisation and data exports. With AirTable, you are able to import data from a variety of sources, customise these data buckets and make connections between them, and easily customise templates and forms for exports if needed.
Use AirTable as a central database to store, analyse and visualise your data. Think of it as superpowered Google Sheets.
Notion is great for project management and to take notes, but it specialises in acting as the central knowledge hub of the startup. We use Notion to consolidate all kinds of notes regarding digital marketing, data, product and technology, and then sort them out into different buckets for easy access and categorisation. At Traktion, we document everything - from our verification processes with digital marketers, to collecting feedback and data from focus groups - and use Notion as a central knowledge repository. When you're not working side-by-side in the office and can just ping someone over a short coffee, it helps to have everything documented in 1 place.
Use Notion as a central knowledge repository, from which to create to-do lists, kanban boards and track projects' progress. Think of it as superpowered Google Docs, or your superpowered whiteboards at work, but instead it's now in the cloud.
Contenders: Asana, Trello, Taskade, + dozens more (tell us which ones you prefer, or why we're wrong, below). There're just so many productivity and project tools, but the top 2 are our team and our digital marketers' personal favorites.
File Storage: Dropbox and Google Drive
Google Drive gives you 15GB of free storage space, with additional payment options. Use Google Drive to share small, short documents and files due to its lower syncing speeds. Use Google Drive.
Dropbox only gives 2GB of free storage space, but additional capacity are not much more expensive. Use Dropbox to share larger documents due to its faster syncing speeds. Get Dropbox.
Contenders: WeTransfer. For fast, large transfers that last temporarily.
Virtual Conferences: Hopin
Hopin is the first all-in-one live online events platform made to bring conferences online. With the recent COVID-19 situation, we're seeing conferences being cancelled left, right and center. What Hopin is doing for online events is what Slack did to email. Hopin is the first platform for video calls that specialises in events and panels - your online expo experience comes with an online reception, event stage, networking mixers, talks, and even online event booths.
At Traktion, we've held Digital Marketing Masterclasses at our London office, but moving forward, it'll be ace to introduce virtual meetings and seminars, where everyone can join in remotely via a service like Hopin.
Contenders: We've not really seen anything like it.
Dashboard Analytics: Traktion’s Smart Dashboard
Try Traktion's Smart Dashboard for free here.
Traktion's Smart Dashboard helps growth, marketing and executive teams stay focused by consolidating all essential growth and marketing data in 1 place. Serving as a "Mission Control", Traktion's Smart Dashboard pulls all your data sources from Google Analytics, Facebook, website and more in1 place, combined with a communications tool so you can raise queries and issues with your team remotely.
Our early users have all found our Smart Dashboard immensely helpful, to get the right data, at the right time - and communicate marketing-related issues and queries with one another quickly. If your ad campaigns Return-on-Ad Spend (ROAS) is going down, you'll see quickly the moment you login. If your bounce rate is fluctuating, you'll also get smart insights on why this is happening and can flag this easily with your in-house or freelance digital marketer.
Our Dashboard is free for all companies hiring freelance digital marketers through Traktion, but given the recent times, we're extending an offer and lifting the 14-day free trial limit on our free trial period for all companies as we move towards remote working. If you'd like to try Traktion's Smart Dashboard (for free) and get a real-time perspective on your growth metrics, simply enter your email address here and we'll get you set-up asap.
Contenders: Tableau, Google Data Studio, Google Analytics. But we're really quite different.
And that's the list! Is there something we missed? What else have you found to be extremely valuable while working remotely? Tweet us at @TraktionHQ, and we'll update this list.
From us to you, the Traktion team wishes you and your family good health. It's Traktion's mission to help companies grow with the right marketing talent and the right tools - these might be challenging times, but we're here to help.
Traktion is a hiring and management platform that helps startups and organisation at any stage of their business to scale with the relevant digital marketing freelancer or agency, verified on their past performance.
Traktion was created by entrepreneurs passionate about talent, excellence, and performance. We're excited about how organisations grow and find their customers. We're bringing transparency into the way leading organisations hire, source, and engage freelance digital marketing agencies and freelancers through data. Hire a verified marketer here.