Granular’s Remote Work Tools / Tech Stack
At Granular we’ve been setup to work remotely since day one. While most of the team is in Milwaukee, we were built to have a flexible work schedule and be able to be plugged into work from remote places. PPC doesn’t sleep, weekends and holidays need coverage sometimes – so we need to keep things running without skipping a beat for our clients from anywhere in the world.
Rather than sharing everything we use, I picked all of the tools we use that would take you from Zero to 100 and enable you to work 100% remote by using these. This is probably 70% of our “tech stack”.
Zoom – Video and Conference Call tool (everyone already uses this, right?)
- We tried WebX, GoTo Meeting and Uber Meeting and Zoom is hands-down the winner.
- Call quality and video quality are great
- Zoom Rooms – seamlessly launch meetings in conference rooms with a TV and webcam
- Flexible and compatible with everyone (call in, computer audio, 1-touch join with mobile device)
- Can get costly as you scale with more users
- Video + Computer audio with groups can get “laggy” if your bandwidth is low
- Pro Tip:
- Use the Space Bar to temporarily unmute yourself. Good best-practice with group meetings so you’re only adding “noise” to the call when you talk.
- Virtual Backgrounds – easily change your background (messy house, ugly office, etc) into a clean professional (or fun) background.
- Cost: $15/mo per user + $49/mo for a Zoom Room
- Link: https://zoom.us/
Logitech headset – best audio quality we have found for the price
- Microphone audio quality is podcast-level good. The mic is great.
- Very affordable
- Comfy enough, very long cord with big mute button
- Messes up your pretty hair with the headband
- You have a mic sticking on the side of your face
- Only USB connectivity
- Pro Tip:
- This little headset will perform as well as a Blue USB mic or any other podcast-quality microphone for a fraction of the cost. Apply that to a Zoom meeting and you’re the clear voice in the group.
- Cost: $25
- Link: Amazon (currently sold out) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000UXZQ42/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
G Suite – Gmail, Google Calendar, Keep, Photos, Docs, Chat, Drive
- Universally loved Gmail and Calendar apps are the bedrock of this business productivity suite
- Highly customizable and brand-safe with great security and anti-phishing tools
- All in the cloud, available everywhere on every device.
- Unlimited storage in Google Drive (mid-tier pricing)
- Great team collaboration on Sheets, Docs and more within the suite. No more sending docs back and forth for edits.
- Can get technical on the Admin side of things. Setting up email routing, permissions, office locations, and groups can be cumbersome and too technical for some folks.
- Your whole business is dependent on Google maintaining up-time with these cloud-based services
- Pro Tip:
- Schedule Send in Gmail. Don’t be that guy who sends emails at 10pm to show you’re working. Schedule that sucker to send at 8am like a gentleman.
- Unlimited Storage in Drive. Ditch Dropbox and the like, dump that file in Drive.
- Cost: Basic = $6 / mo per user Mid-tier $12 / mo per user (unlimited storage)
- Link: https://gsuite.google.com/
Basecamp 3 – Project management, file sharing, to-do, team sharing, client facing project management
- Collaboration on project management
- Ability to invite Client to certain parts of a project so you can get quick feedback, approval or have conversations within a certain project
- Repository for all-things related to that client or project. One stop shop.
- Shared to-do lists and nice usability within the platform
- Everyone needs a reminder it’s there – nice to have but not critical to daily work
- Platform updates are fairly infrequent (their MO is why fix what’s not broken)
- Pro Tip:
- The Schedule tool is great for media flight planning
- Cost: $99 / mo
- Link: https://basecamp.com/
Slack – Team chat, client chat
- Great for quick Q&A with a team member or to get an option from multiple people
- Much faster than email for small, quick chats
- Fun things like Polls, Gifs, Memes – plenty of non-work stuff happens here. It’s the modern water cooler.
- Multiple topics and channels can really make this a productivity powerhouse
- Makes it Very easy to disrupt someone “in the zone”
- Costly if you pay for it
- Lack of historic chats or files if you use free version
- Pro Tip:
- Set guidelines like, “If your question or request is a paragraph…send an email instead”.
- Create custom emoji’s
- Add-ons make it endlessly customizable, called Apps. Google Calendar, Zoom, Simple Poll and scorebot are some of our favorite additions.
- Cost: Free or $15/ mo per user (get the free version!)
- Link: https://slack.com/
Ring Central – Phone system for the wireless office and remote workforce
- Office Phone, anywhere you are
- Flexible and easy to scale up and down as needed
- Good call quality and easy integration with smartphones or VOIP desktop phones
- Call, text, voice-to-text voicemail, custom greetings
- Office Hours and routing make it easy to push phone calls to users or voicemail based on your office hours and staffing setup
- No hardware costs, like a traditional or hard-wired VOIP setup.
- Can get costly as you scale
- Setup and Admin can be a bit difficult to learn
- Pro Tip:
- Custom Greetings for your company and users make this look like a big expensive corporate phone system, so take advantage of those features.
- Cost: $25/ mo per user
- Link: https://www.ringcentral.com/