Everyone is forced to work from home due to the Covid-19 outbreak. For those who work in a distributed company, working from home is not a big deal at all since they have been working remotely on a daily basis. Different case if you are working for a conventional company where office is your daily workplace. It takes a bit of adaptation to change a new habit. Even for a temporary habit like everyone is facing recently, where they have to keep working from home. Something they didn’t usually do.
In a blog post, Matt Mullenweg (the CEO of Automattic Inc.) provided tips on how to work from home ideally to make you keep productive during this tough time.
Thankfully, we are now living in the internet era where everything is connected. There are a bunch of internet-based tools that you can use to work collaboratively with your teammates. We have collected 8 essential tools you might need in order to keep able to work while you can’t go to the office.
1. Google Drive: For real-time collaboration on documents and spreadsheets
Google Drive is not merely a tool to save stuff online. You can also use it as a real-time collaboration tool with your teammates. Inside Google Drive, there are three main office applications:
- Google Docs
- Google Sheets
- Google Slides
Those three apps have compatibility with Microsoft Office. You can, for instance, open and edit a DOCX file you created using Microsoft Word with Google Docs. Conversely, you can also save the document you are creating with Google Docs into a DOCX file. The most important part — be it Google Docs, Google Sheets or Google Slide — supports real-time collaboration. You can add a comment to any part of the document you are editing and the comment will be read by your teammates right away.
To add collaborators (your teammates) on Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides, you can click the Share button on the upper-right side. Make sure to allow your teammates to edit the document.
2. TickTick: For managing tasks
TickTick helps you manage tasks. Not just your personal tasks, but also the tasks of your teammates. You can use TickTick if you are a project manager or anyone with subordinates. TickTick allows you to create tasks and assign them to someone. When creating a task, you can set the priority level, due date, and add some notes. At bettertechtips.com, we also use TickTick to make everything better organized. We love to use TickTick as it is pretty simple, yet powerful to manage tasks.
TickTick allows you to manage tasks in folders and lists. In order to be able to assign a task, you need to share the list where the task you want to assign belong to.
TickTick also allows you to add a supporting material (such as a PDF file, image, document). If you use the pro version of TickTick, you can even monitor the progress of the tasks you assigned.
3. Google Meet: To make a virtual meeting
In many offices, meeting is one of the weekly agendas. If you have to make a meeting with your teammates, Google Meet is there to help. Google Meet allows you to make a video conference for free. Google Meet allows you to make a video conference with up to 100 people for free. Google Meet comes with a presentation feature that allows you to present your screen to the audience at the conference. You can select whether you want to present the entire screen or a certain app window. You can easily invite your teammates to join the conference via email or by sharing the meeting URL. Live chat feature is also available in Google Meet.
4. Slack: To create a virtual workspace
Slack is one of the best tools to create a virtual workspace. Slack is basically a communication tool just like WhatsApp and Telegram, but it has more comprehensive features for more professional use. Teleconference, video conference, file sharing. These features are available in Slack. Slack allows you to create a channel (public or private) to communicate with a certain group on your team.
5. Canva: To collaborate on designs
Canva is an online design tool. It is especially a great tool if you work for a social media agency or any firm that often uses images as promotional material. You can use Canva to create a wide range of designs from social media materials, flyers, and even videos. Canva allows you to create a team and work on designs together. The way it works is pretty similar to Google Docs where you can leave a comment to a certain area of the design. With this feature, you can, for instance, ask your teammate to revise a certain part of the design you are working on together.
In addition to creating a team, Canva also allows you to create a group in case you want to work on a design with a certain group or division. Canvas has a great file manager feature that allows you to organize your designs in folders.
6. Jumpshare: For easier file sharing
Jumpshare is a great tool if you are a tech blogger like us. You can use this tool to capture a screen, annotate it and share it easily with your teammates via email. If you use the pro version, you can even create a workspace so that you don’t need to email every single screenshot. You can simply invite your teammates to join the workspace so that they can access everything on the workspace.
Jumpshare also comes with an analytics feature to allow to monitor the use of the resource on your workspace. You can monitor how many times a certain file has been downloaded and viewed.
In addition to capturing a screen, Jumpshare also allows you to record a screen and turn it into a GIF file.
7. GoVisually: To present your design project
Right now, nearly all government around the globe instruct their citizens to stay at home to prevent the coronavirus spread. Due to this, you can’t make a physical meeting with your client to present your project. GoVisually allows you to present your project (design project more precisely) to your client and allow your client to review it. Your client can provide feedback by leaving a comment to a certain area of your design.
Once your client approved the design, you can go to the next step. Unfortunately, GoVisually doesn’t offer a free version but you can try it for free during the 7-day free trial period.
8. AnyDesk: To remotely access a computer
For a certain reason, you might need to remote-access a laptop taken home by your teammate. If the laptop uses Windows 10 Pro edition, you can simply ask your teammate to enable the Remote Desktop feature. If the laptop uses Windows 10 Home edition (or even Linux or Mac), you can ask your teammate to install AnyDesk.
AnyDesk is a multi-platform remote desktop software, available for Windows, Linux, and Mac. It’s pretty easy to use. You just need to ask your teammate to install AnyDesktop to the laptop you want to remote-access and provide you its unique address and you can start to remotely access the laptop via AnyDesktop app installed on your laptop.
AnyDesk comes with a feature that allows you to transfer files from your remote device to your local device and vice versa. It also comes with a chat feature to allow you to have a chat with your teammate. You can use AnyDesk for free.
The bottom line
Just because you can’t go to the office, doesn’t mean you can’t be productive. We are living in the internet era where everything is connected. There are a bunch of tools you can use to keep be able to work collaboratively with your teammates. For the time being, let’s stay at home to help medical officers do their job. Let’s fight together to get through this tough moment.