How long has it been since you’ve brushed your teeth before an important meeting? Have you mastered the art of curating the background of your Zoom calls and learned how to juggle entertaining kids and pets while in a meeting? The landscape of work is almost unrecognisable to what it was just over a year ago. That’s why we’re here with a list of digital tools for small businesses to help you continue crushing tasks, emails, and projects while forging ahead into the new age of virtual collaboration.
“Can Everyone Hear Me?”
To kick off, let’s dive into video conferencing. The mainstay of meetings, calls, and embarrassing moments in the COVID-19 age, is Zoom, of course. Offering free packages, this tool is a no-brainer for large meetings of up to 100 people for 40 minutes at a time. Keep in touch with your team as a group or one-on-one.
Sometimes it feels like the whole internet is powered by Google, and with good reason. Ubiquitous and powerful, Google Workspace (formerly known as G Suite) contains every app that a small or big business needs to get work done, including Google Meet. Share your screen easily and speak without time limits here.
Now that we’re all pretty much working from home, the crashes and noise of our domestic lives can really put an (undesired) bang into important presentations. To minimise the external noises around you, try Krisp. With 120 minutes a week of microphone speaker noise removal for free, restore tranquility to your meetings.
Lose the Post-It Notes
When you’re working on lots of projects within your team, keeping track of who’s doing what and how it’s going can be trickier than herding cats. By integrating with apps like Asana, Trello, and monday.com, organisation becomes streamlined, goals clear, and objectives visible. With boards, to-do lists, and goals, power your team to work together productively while keeping individual tasks manageable too.
Filing Cabinets for the 21st Century
Folders, documents, files, audio clips, videos, PDFs – where are you supposed to store all of this stuff? And why can’t you find the picture of the 2-metre plastic hotdog for the presentation tomorrow? For all your collaborative and personal digital data storage, Dropbox is tried and true. Share, comment on, and secure documents easily with your team. While there is a free plan available with up to 2GB of storage, for about €9 a month you’ll get 1000 times the storage with as many linked devices as you like. Dropbox is quite a bandwidth guzzler, syncing frequently and requiring a substantial WiFi connection. For more casual sharing, try WeTransfer for free. Simple and easy, this is a particularly handy tool.
Featuring such favourites as Google Docs, Drive, and Gmail, Google Workspace is the hub of collaboration, storage, and communication. Starting at around €5 per person per team, the Google Workspace packages are always worth the investment. Make sharing files, folders, and documents seamless with Google Drive. With a minimum of 30GB of storage for each user, there’s plenty of room to store what you need to.
Tightening Up Communication
For better or for worse, working remotely is here to stay. And there’s no more effective way to keep in touch with colleagues, teams, and your whole company than with Slack. Intuitive and easy to use, this powerful communication tool is the foundation of clear discussions, meeting setups, and feedback. Over 750 000 companies use Slack to get their work done. If you’re not sure yet that you and your small team want to commit to a paid plan, Slack offers an unlimited free trial for you to test the waters.
Where is the Segment on This Pie Chart For Snacks?
Being kitted out with a cool website, service, and Instagram feed is one thing. Knowing where your customers are coming from, how they found you, and what’s keeping them coming back (or not), is another thing entirely. For any stat related to your small business, apps like SEMRush, Hootsuite, and Google Analytics hold the key. Incredibly powerful and overflowing with insights, these tools will serve you well if you know how to use them. Confronted with countless charts, graphs, and percentages can seem overwhelming at first, but there are lots of guides to help you figure out how to get the most out of the platforms.
When all is said and done, tools are only as effective as the people using them. You can subscribe to the most expensive plans but if your team is not connected at a personal level, your work won’t be satisfying or good. We are living through strange and fluid times, and sometimes meetings and checklists are the last things we want to endure. So, focus on the core health and wellbeing of your team of people first. You can always schedule another presentation later.
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