With the possible spread of COVID-19 bringing all of us into a state of isolation, working from home is becoming the new normal. As a national team spread across a multitude of states, we are no strangers to apps that help us stay connected and productive.
We Are Here to Help!
During this time, we believe it is so important to share resources. In light of that, and in light of our many years working as a remote team, we are creating a new series of blogs designed to pass along what we’ve learned! Read to learn more about some of the tools we use to stay grounded and focused.
Grammarly is an app that provides real-time grammar edits as you write. At LightHouse, this comes in handy when Katie, a member of our content team, is finishing that last late-night article, or when Carl, our Head of Development, is trying to write an email before his morning Red Bull.
Tory, our Head of Design, has the following to say about Grammarly’s virtual editing services: “If you have the kids at home with you, your level of distraction may be at an all-time high. Having the Grammarly app installed will help you review an email before you send, making sure you didn’t completely space out and forget half your sentence, or if you’re like me, that you didn’t accidentally type what you meant to say and say what you meant to type!”
Google Calendar makes our clients’ lives easier. From the moment we send them their first meeting invitation, their Google Calendar accounts automatically manage their schedules. Links are included, which means no scouring your email for that Zoom invitation!
If you already have all of your business’ events set up on a Facebook or other platform, never fear! Google Calendar offers seamless integration tools to make sure you don’t waste precious minutes copying over old plans. Best of all, you can share your calendar with your teammates, ensuring that everyone knows when you are available and when you are fulfilling your new duties as a homeschool instructor.
GoToMeeting is an online meeting software that offers a variety of services, such as cloud recording and voice commands. Josh, our owner, and resident Apple aficionado loves that he can start or join a GoToMeeting with a simple, “Hey, Siri!”
Self-isolating is new to many of us and can feel, well, isolating. Tools like GoToMeeting allow us to digitally connect with one another without having to worry about replacing handshakes with elbow bumps or maintaining a six-foot radius from our colleagues. Cara, our Head of Content, loves GoToMeeting for the personal touch it can lend our otherwise busy and highly digitized interactions. There’s just a different feel to a virtual meeting when you get to see the faces of your favorite coworkers!
There are times where you just can’t seem to line up schedules, but you still need to pass important information along to your team. Loom is just the tool for those moments! Loom offers a simple fact on its homepage: “You talk six times faster than you type.” Unless you’re a keyboard wizard, like Mike, our Developer, this is probably true for you.
Loom allows you to make the most of your time by taking a quick video, screen shared and all, to send to your team. You can teach them a quick skill, or even just offer some friendly inspiration before you begin your day. These videos can be particularly useful for new employees, who can pause and replay the videos as they need–this allows them to learn on their own time, while you move on to other tasks!
“Asana is a web and mobile application designed to help teams organize, track, and manage their work.” On our team, we use Asana to “task out” various pieces of projects to other team members. Kim, our organizer extraordinaire, can’t stop talking about Asana. She loves being able to automate tasking and ensure everyone knows where their work fits within the team’s greater flow. The next time you give us a call, ask her about her elaborate system of boards and checklists!
One of the app’s greatest features is your ability to sort tasks by deadline. It also has a number of filters. When you need to see all that you’ve accomplished, you can set it to display all tasks. When you really need to dig in and focus, you can ask the app to show you only work that remains outstanding.
Slack markets itself as a modern alternative to email. Through Slack, you can set up a variety of chat rooms to stay connected to the individuals and teams within your organization. With its mobile app, you can use Slack much like you would use the texting app on your phone. Sara, another member of our content team, loves this app for the quick and efficient way she can touch base with other members of our team.
If your team is transitioning to working at home and looking for a way to stay in touch with each other, Slack should be a go-to. Having the ability to connect with your team has never been so easy.
PandaDoc is a platform that you can use to virtually sign contracts. If your brick and mortar operation has taken a pause, but you still need clients to receive and sign their contracts, you can use PandaDocs to upload and receive contracts that are just as binding as those signed in person. Jake, our team’s salesperson, loves that he can keep our clients right on the timeline using this app.
PandaDoc serves a variety of other functions as well. Users can use the platform to send proposals, create quotes, and collect payments, all through their secure website. Continuing business as usual has never been easier with this digital paperwork manager.
LightHouse Graphics Cares About Your Business
We know that we are entering uncertain times. It can be unnerving to run a business in light of the closures and other effects that COVID-19 is bringing to our nation.
However, whether you are a longtime client or a new acquaintance browsing our website, LightHouse Graphics cares about you and the health of your business during this time. Feel free to reach out to us–we pride ourselves on creating custom solutions for everyone we interact with.