At Knarr, we operate in a distributed team model and have since our inception— meaning our workforce has always been remote. Powering a fully remote workforce, we took care from the onset to intentionally develop an internal communications strategy clearly defining when to use asynchronous vs. synchronous communication, which we’ll dive into in a future blog post.
We rely on cloud-based tools to help us be as efficient and effective as possible from wherever we are. Over the years, we have honed a tried-and-true technology stack that helps us get things done regardless of our locations.
Here I will share with you seven tools that we rely on to power our remote team:
Design and Ideation
Figma is a cloud-based product that can be used for multiple types of digital design and prototyping. Our team has used this tool to capture our design system and allow us to create graphics for everything from social media to mocking up pages for the website. Figma is an extremely robust tool with all of the features that a designer needs from UX to static graphics to print media.
Mural is a collaboration tool where teams can share brainstorming sessions, discussion boards, and visual representations of plans and shared projects. We have used this tool to map our vision for the company and upcoming initiatives. Collaboration is a bedrock of our company and Mural has enabled our team to truly get on the same page as we coalesced around shared values and a roadmap for our future.
Knarr is our company’s cloud-based data analysis tool that includes several tools specifically designed to facilitate remote collaboration. We use Knarr to explore data relating to our business together with our distributed team by examining datasets in Explore Mode and using the Multiplayer feature. This allows our team to participate in exploring our data together and reviewing what is working and what we need to work on. When we are not working together at the same time, we use the Notes and Snapshots features to capture insights in the analyses we’re examining through Snapshots and record them in Notes.
Asana is a project management tool that enables teams to map out projects and calendars easily including the ability to distribute assignments and forecast tasks related to each step along the way. This tool has been instrumental in organizing and recording our agile method of product creation and management as we continue expanding Knarr and its capabilities.
Slack is a communication tool that allows team members to easily organize conversation threads based on different areas of work within our organization, as well as to share files and links easily and quickly. This tool has been a huge help to us by enabling our team to quickly share thoughts with each other privately or team-wide without having to clog our email inboxes or bombard one another with text messages. It has been a crucial aid to managing our remote team’s communication.
Finally, Google Hangouts is a tool for scheduling audio, video, and/or text-based chats as your team needs. We use Google Hangouts for nearly all of our client calls and team meetings to connect with each other face-to-face and be able to easily screen-share to review different aspects of our work while also having the ability to drop in links as we reference them on various meetings and calls. This service has been reliable for us to regularly connect with one another and stay on the same page.
Most of these tools operate on a freemium model allowing you to try and compare to see what’s best for your company. We have tried many different solutions for optimally connecting and empowering our team, and the subscriptions we’ve ended up with have been well worth our investment. Whether your team is entirely remote or just looking for solutions for those times when you are not in an office together, I can highly recommend this technology stack to enhance your capabilities from wherever you are.
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