Building a company that embraces a "work anywhere" culture is not easy, but it's never been more possible.
The key is finding the right tools.
When your team members are living on opposite sides of the continent in different timezones, tools are vital to your team culture, productivity, and success.
With everyone from our coaches, students, and team members being remote, we've tested hundreds of online tools to maximize how we stay connected, productive, and happy.
So today, we're going to share with you our curated list of top 17 online tools. Hope you find something useful for yourself or your team.
17 Online Tools Our Remote Team Uses
Keeping everyone connected
Rype is a human company, meaning that we don't just built software products, our core product is the quality of teachers we have in our network. Slack is a powerful (and free) way for us to coordinate our team members and the different teachers we have based on the languages they teach (French & Spanish for now).
Coordinating everyone's schedule
I personally started using Calendly to coordinate my own schedule, and realized that it could be beneficial for our entire team. They allow you to integrate with your favorite calendar, and it will automatically update your schedule based on the changes you make on your own calendar.On advanced plans, it will also send out confirmations, automated reminders to your invitees, and the ability to reschedule/cancel.*Go ahead and book a slot with us to learn more about Rype!
The next best thing to in-person meetings
This one is nothing new, but it's still one of the most powerful online tools we have used. Without it, it would be that much more difficult to coordinate our team meetings and culture.Our language lessons are also powered by Skype, since we have yet to find a better 1-on-1 video chat software out there than what Skype offers.
Customer support inbox managed in one place
When we first started Rype, we coordinated all of our customer support through Gmail. That got messy -- fast. With Groove, we can now invite our support team to the application, and coordinate all of our support tickets in one place.
Live customer support
If you head to our website, you'll see notifications that we send out on the bottom right corner. This is one of the many great features that Intercom offers. In summary, it's a live chat support tool that allows you to send manual and automated notifications to visitors and customers inside the app based on their behaviors.It helps our customers get direct, immediate support, and helps us keep everyone happy.
6. Google Document
Discussing upcoming features, blog articles, and exchanging notes
This one is another undervalued tool that we preach. Since we don't have the ability to exchange notes face-to-face in a meeting room with everyone, this is the next best thing for us. We discuss everything from upcoming features, blog posts, and general notes using Google Document.
Helping customers update billing information in one click
Stunning is a new tool we've recently adopted in order to recover lost revenue in our business. A common issue that every business runs into is failed charges. This could be due to fraud, card expiry, or just the customer's bank rejecting the charge for security reasons.
What Stunning allows us to do is help update, remind, and empower customers to update their information with one-click.
Coordinating future blog posts, to-do lists, and more
We write about 4-5 articles a week, which gets published on this blog and other publications online. Content marketing has been the biggest driver of our website growth thus far, and it's growing faster by the month.People often ask how we're able to brainstorm, organize, and publish so many articles at a time. Before, we were using a Google Spreadsheet, which got pretty chaotic.
Now we use Trello to organize everything into various sections: Ideas, To-do's, To be published, and Published.
Where everything on Rype's blog is hosted and managed
This blog is hosted using Wordpress.org. I have yet to hear a better platform for content management, which is why companies like Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and 20% of the internet is powered by Wordpress.In our future post, we'll share a complete guide to writing blog posts, and include some of our favorite plugins in Wordpress.
10. Pomodoro (BeFocused)
Workcycle to maximize productivity without burnout
I would often find myself working for two to three hour periods at a time, without taking a break. When you're working on something you're passionate about, it's easy to put your head down without resting.The issue was, I was feeling less productive and losing my creativity after about 60-minutes or so. I've recently been adopting the Pomodoro Technique, where you work in 25 minute chunks, then take small breaks (~5 minutes). It's forced me to focus on completing one important task without distraction, and taking small breaks throughout the day allows our team to avoid burning out.
Design and development collaboration in one place
Invision allows our team to collaborate and share comments on design layouts, feature builds, and even prototype new ideas inside the app. It's saved us a lot of time and keeps our entire team aligned to one vision of the product.
Automation of recurring tasks (IFTTT for Business)
If you've used IFTTT for your personal automation, you'll love Zapier for your business. It allows us to automate important functions of our business, without needing to develop it on the backend.
12. Five minute journal
Daily reminders to express gratitude, appreciation, and optimism
The five minute journal was originally recommended by Tim Ferriss, who uses it in his daily routine. It's easy to be caught up with the current events of your day, and lose appreciation of what you have in your life. The five minute journal gives you the template and framework to record down your thoughts, and what you're most appreciative for before you start your day, and before you hit the sheets.
Meditation and peace of mind on-demand
Whenever we feel stressed out, Calm is a go-to tool to get grounded again. It provides soothing background noises for you to enjoy, including a guided meditation practice that lasts 5 to 10 minutes.
Powerful habit tracker with visual data analytics of your habits
We are what we do repeatedly. As boring as it sounds, having daily routines is what gives us the freedom to do what we want in our lives. I've tried multiple habit tracking online tools, but Strides is one of the best based on visual appearances and usability.
Curated music selected based on what mood you are in (Personal favorite: Tropical house + Happy)
8tracks gives you music collections depending on what mood you are in.
Learn a language around your busy schedule (your personal language trainer)
And of course we make sure all of our team members are Rype members as well, since we heavily prefer hiring people who are language lovers themselves.
What are your favorite online tools?
We've shared our team's favorite tools, and now we'd love to hear from you! Whether it's a personal favorite or your team's favorite, please share with us below, and we'll try to include it in our next roundup post!We wrote this post because one of our audience members, Jack, asked us to:
If you want us to write a post on a specific topic or answer a question for you, just leave us a comment below! We read and answer every single comment.