When I ask people about “remote tools”, they usually mention Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack. Needless to say – this is a correct answer but what worries me the most is the fact that many have no idea about the availability of various apps and software that would make their lives much easier. Working remotely doesn’t just mean conducting video calls from the distance but being able to embrace technology as a component of successful daily operations. Instead of clicking through numerous windows and doing most things manually, we can implement solutions that will do all the repetitive and dull tasks for us.
Meaningful virtual meetings
How many meetings do you attend per day? How many of them are productive? You may want to check out Clockwise that will optimize your calendar. I also keep mentioning that every virtual meeting requires a goal, agenda, and roles of all participants. But this may be easier said than done unless… we use a tool that is called Fellow. It will literally run your meeting by automatically connecting itself to your invite. Every attendee will have a role that’s assigned to a talking point or action step, and these can smoothly access other project management software such as for example JIRA or Asana. Gone are the days when you must take notes and share them with everyone in an email after the meeting. I can assure you that the interface is user friendly and easy to connect with other apps to create a centralized toolkit.
If you’re not keen on installing a new tool and you’re already a Notion user, you can definitely check out its meeting frameworks. This way, you can keep all your information centralized in one database. Keep mind that those suggested agendas can serve as inspirations in your daily meeting planning as you can use them straight ahead. This will ensure more clarity for all attendees. And if you use Asana – don’t you worry as this tool can also serve as a meeting agenda as well, if you set it up correctly.
Asynchronous daily meetings
When I introduce the idea of asynchronous “meetings” during remote workshops, many look at me with disbelief. They ask: “How can you run a daily meeting if nobody is present?”. Well, it’s not nonsense at all. There are actually some really cool bots out there that can run them automatically. Wasting time to just check in within a team of 20 people day by day may be frustrating. So why not try out Standuply or Geetbot? They’re both Slack plugins that will ask the team short, performance – related questions at a chosen time. Some teams that I work with, have established the following rule: virtual F2F meetings on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and Standuply or Geekbot check-ins on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Let’s optimize time – after all, that’s the most precious thing we have!
However, if you decide to attend a meeting after all, it’s sometimes clearly visible that the host is enjoying a monologue… In this case it may be wiser for the speaker to just pre-record and share it later. This way everyone can check it out whenever they see fit, right? Of course, there’s a tool for this and it’s called Loom. It allows to record whatever we need within different combinations: our screen only, our screen and ourselves or just ourselves. The free version is limited to 20 5-minute videos. I personally believe that it’s more than needed. Meaningful messages should be concise to keep the viewer’s attention.
New tools can be difficult to learn
Yeah, I’m familiar with this statement and I have a few suggestions that should be considered. Firstly, let’s find out if we even need a tool. It may be that we already have great features in our applications but we’ve never checked them out. Secondly, we must take into account the technological advancement of our team. If we have more millennials who already lead a digital life, adding new tools shouldn’t be a problem. However, it can be that mastering them can be quite challenging for people who are used to very basic programs and these are already giving them a hard time.
So check first before you rush into a new, fancy idea as you’re most probably not the only one that’s supposed to benefit from it. Start with brainstorming and make sure to check the features of your current tools. Keep in mind that enhancing the remote toolkit should be pleasant and hassle-free rather than add more work. Tools should serve us – not the other way round.