We all know how time is a scarce resource. Communications are intensely multi-channeled nowadays. And they omnichannel even more as time goes by.
However, the more communication tools we use, the more distractions we come across.
Especially with the smartphone at our reach.
So, it’s super important to suppress them in order to gain productivity and mental health.
And have proper free time too.
Cause we can’t live our day according to all the notifications we see on social media, right?
On the other hand, we need a lot of internal communication tools to be able to work (and enjoy leisure time too).
So today, we're going to focus solely on business communication.
And how to make the most of it through the use of several internal communication apps that will save you a lot of time and headaches.
This way, both you and your team members can enjoy more what you do — and always have task management under control.
As companies grow bigger, there are more clients, more meetings, and more users who will need efficient responses on social media.
So, that means that the team has to learn to communicate in
And just get things done.
(Or GTD for the extreme time-savers that we are.)
When problems arise in the workplace (especially when it is a remote one) it’s super important to be responsive and helpful with your message.
Because only stellar communicators will survive this digital paradigm.
Here our favorite 12 communication tools to help you achieve it:
1. Put social media channels at your service
It’s an awesome idea to choose for example one social network (let’s say Instagram) for one specific type of communication.
A lot of effective business professionals use Instagram only to arrange f2f meetings with local entrepreneurs to make brand alliances.
And that’s it.
They don’t get lost in the like, comment and save loop of mobile devices. They enter Instagram to follow their content strategy (or to have some fun on their personal accounts) but they don’t make ineffective use of messaging.
And they don’t waste time without having a clear purpose.
2. Collaboration clouds do help you communicate better
Collaboration tools have to be at the order of the day. If you manage a high volume of info, you can separate ideas, content, and matters in different clouds:
- One Drive
- Google Drive
- Dropbox (we'll talk more in detail later)
Documents are everywhere. But it’s your responsibility to keep them in order. And it's not easy when a lot of information is coming and going all day long.
So, the same logic of #1 can be applied to file sharing and storing.
You’ll have to find your perfect match and what functions for you in particular today.
But, for example, you can try:
- One Drive for personal matters
- Dropbox for individual projects which may need occasional collaboration in the future
- Google Drive for sharing information with ongoing staff/employees/ freelancers about your current business
Either way, these clouds combined with clever use of notifications and e-mail flow can totally save your life.
3. Killer task management apps: Asana
Asana is a work management platform used by managers to stay focused on goals, projects and on all the daily tasks.
It helps a business grow, by getting a team organized, plan and structure work.
And most importantly, it helps you because you can see everything in a single dashboard.
Asana is built for anyone who wants to track work progress from beginning to end.
It Integrates other services like Dropbox, or Google Drive to add files to any task or conversation.
You can also integrate your Asana Workflow into a Slack Channel, of Github commit.
And there’s more. It's available for IOS and Android devices as well as computers.
Asana is used by many major companies, such as Airbnb, Red Bull, the New York Times and Nasa, among many others.
4. Dropbox: Ins and outs for business owners
Dropbox is a service that allows you to remain organized without breaking your flow. You can bring your files together in one place accessible from wherever you are.
They're easy to find and synced to all your devices, so you can access them on your pc, phone or tablet when you need them.
And sharing them with those you collaborate with on a project, especially big files like Photoshop and/or Powerpoint files so everybody has the right version.
And everyone is on the same page. Literally.
Also, you have the ability to create Dropbox Paper, your team’s place to bring ideas to life.
You can all brainstorm, collect inspiration, share rough drafts, and it can hold everything from video, images, code and/or sound.
With the basic free package, you can do all this and hold up to 2GB of data.
With the paid Dropbox Plus plan, you get all this and more: your storage goes up to 2TB (that's 2,000 GB!) of data, 30–day file recovery and version history, better sync and account recovery options.
Finally, with the Dropbox Professional plan, you get everything on plus, and it gives you
- 3 TB (3,000 GB) of space, advanced sharing controls
- 180–day file recovery and version history,
- Web previews and commenting for specialized file types
- Time-based commenting for videos
- Dropbox Showcase
- Full-text search in documents and images
Dropbox is simple to use, designed to work anywhere you need it. It's secure with lots of strong security features to keep your files safe where they belong, it works across multiple platforms and devices and it's always accessible around the world.
5. Group messaging: Whats App (and why not Telegram)
A great organization idea is to have two phone numbers.
One is personal and the other is business-related.
You can use WhatsApp for business and Telegram for personal use.
That’s why it’s easier to separate your personal and work life.
You can use WhatsApp groups to solve more urgent business situations and Telegram for 1to1 messaging.
6. Internal communications tool: Look for a messaging platform
Depending on your profession and niche, you use different platforms or apps.
These usually have internal messaging when there’s a policy of transparency and collaboration.
This is fantastic because it helps you solve problems inside the platform when you’re working with it. And you avoid distractions or leaving the task unsolved because you forgot to communicate or ask for help, for example by e-mail.
7. Killer task management apps II: Trello
Trello lets you work more collaboratively and get more done by using boards, lists, and cards to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun and flexible way.
Maybe it’s for everyday work, for a side project—or even the next family vacation.
Trello has the flexibility and features to fit any team’s style. It easily gets your team up and running from beginning to end.
This app encompasses all the tools you need to succeed in one handy resource and it also integrates the apps your team already uses directly into your workflow.
And no matter where you are, Trello stays in sync across all of your devices. Be a computer, and Ios or Android device.
Both applications offer free and paid versions, upgrading their basic storage capacity, security measures, and useful features to improve your workflow according to your particular business needs.
8. Video conferencing: Embrace Zoom meetings, Hangouts and Skype
With these apps, you can communicate all around the globe from your computer or phone using data connection or wi-fi, with no charge to your phone line.
They are easy to use and set up and each allows a variety of ways to communicate. And share files too.
Hangouts offer you chat and video calls to and from any Google account, either on the phone or your computer, from your Gmail or through Hangouts.com.
Skype can be installed on your phone or computer. It allows chat, video calls and it can call landlines from all around the globe. (With a fee).
You can opt for Skype businesses where you can have personalized meetings of 250 attendees, tools such as presentation helpers and video recordings.
Zoom has similar features to Skype, but it also offers chat rooms and webinar spaces, where you can dictate a class online or have a group meeting.
You can choose from four plans; Free, Pro, Business or Enterprise.
Each plan allows you to integrate more users into your team, more data storage on the cloud, higher priority support, and security, plus a handful more features at each upgrade.
This is the case of increased meeting duration, administrator controls, and custom e-mails.
9. E-mail to refine communication skills
E-mails are still underrated for some. Apart from the great marketing tool they are, it’s one of the most powerful internal communications tools.
10. Public speaking improves team communication
This is empowering from several points of view.
If you want to sell better, communicate better, and feel better with your interactions, you should totally learn public speaking.
Some people are excellent writers but are weak oral communicators.
It’lll do wonders to yourself and you’ll be able to motivate your team.
11. Google Calendar to stay on task
All the details of an event in one place. The possibility to join by phone or video if you’re running late.
The opportunity to share, invite people and integrate it with multiple platforms.
Heaven on earth for Type A’s.
That’s Google Calendar.
12. Last but not least: Slack
Slack is an integrated communication platform where you can co-work remotely with your team, via text or face to face, share files easily and even show your screen to share progress live and on the go.
You can also integrate a wide variety of apps to keep all your work in just one tab without having to navigate from app to app.
Slacks offer a good level of online security, with authentication and encryptions at your disposal. That way you can handle sensitive information with the care it deserves.
The free plan, for a small team, has no limitation of time and you do not need to change to a paid membership after a while.
It does have a limitation of searchable data inside the workspace, and a limit of 10 synchronizable apps. The storage size for this plan is 5GB, total.
The standard plan has medium-sized teams in mind, it allows an unlimited search through messages, users and files and no limit on the number of apps you can synchronize.
This plan also offers the chance to work with outside channels via guest accounts and shared channels. You can customize the retention of your files, say you want your files erased once a week?
You can do so automatically.
Also, with this plan, you can have video chats with up to 15 users with screen sharing. Storage is 10GB for each member of your team.
The Plus plan allows further user authentication methods, you can also use real-time Active Directory sync with OneLogin, Okta and Ping and your storage is upgraded to 20GB for each member.
Your support status is also improved, guaranteeing a 24/7 support team at your disposal.
We really hope that you can take full advantage of these diverse communication tools to make the most of your remote team.
And prepare for an exciting 2020.
However, true collaboration is not easy to find in the business arena.
Especially when you
- Are pressed for time (mostly all the time)
- Understand that very few people can help you the way you need
- Start receiving more and more customers that you don't want to lose
- Have a hard time hiring in-house employees
Fortunately, we have the solution for these problems.
It’s called Uassist.ME.
Your stunning and taylor-made virtual assistance experience.
Remote teams are our cup of tea.
Embrace the 80/20 in 2020.