I’m not one for obsessing over software and systems. I realize there are tons of options out there to organize virtual work situations, and I’ve tried many of them (probably most!), without much enthusiasm TBH. But as my team has grown and we had more and more moving parts of the business, I knew that pieced-together communications and organization wasn’t going to cut it.
I know what you’re thinking — software talk is so not ~sexy~. And I agree! Like I said, I’m not a big tech-head myself, but when it comes to operating a digital business and leading a virtual team, I feel like we’ve found the systems that are effective, easy, and can grow with us. If I commit to a software system, it needs to be efficient and simple to use, and my team and I have loved these programs for their straightforward nature and the fact that they just make our lives WAY easier. Win-freakin’-win.
My team’s favorite virtual work software systems
This is our GO-TO internal communication platform for the team, and I’ll be honest, we have a LOT of fun in Slack. Between brainstorm sessions, sharing pics of big life moments (baby announcements, home buying, and new relationships have been some big topics lately), and launch updates, Slack is our daily messaging board for all the things.
We have a general group board for business updates, a random channel for (you guessed it) anything that’s on our minds really, plus capability to have one-on-one or custom group chats with specific members of the team. If you have a team of more than two people, it’s absolutely worthwhile so you don’t have to clog your emails with messages back and forth to each other.
If we don’t cover it in Slack, we get to it in our weekly team calls using Zoom. I know Zoom is a popular video conferencing platform for lots of businesses that work digitally or remotely, and we’ve loved it to be able to catch up on a weekly basis. The great thing is that you have the ability to invite up to 100 participants to a call! We usually have about 10 gals hop on ours, but if we need to bring in extra contractors or have meetings with another team, it’s an easy way to include several people in one spot.
My email is one of the first things I outsourced because — just being real — my inbox stresses me the F out. But there are some emails I have to respond to or handle, so we use Front to easily manage email tracking, responding, and communicating as a group. Steph, my email manager, can flag me on the things I need to see and organize everything else based on urgency and importance. If someone else manages your inbox or if you have a VA to help with client communication, Front is going to be a Godsend.
Let me just say… I think I’ve tried EVERY project management system in the book. And then my integrator Marisa came on board and introduced me to Monday, and my life was forever changed. (Dramatic? Yes. True? Also yes.) Monday is intuitive and allows you to track literally any kind of project or task in your business from conception to completion. We use it for our individual project progress as well as collective team deadlines, like prepping pre-launches and launches.
05. Google Drive
If you are still using Microsoft Suite, help me help you! Hang up that hat, sister, and take the dive into Google Drive. I know it might *seem* like it’s a more confusing version of Microsoft (or similar systems) at first. But if you have a remote team or work with clients digitally, Drive is your soon-to-be hero. You can easily share and work on your documents with others — at the same time, if need be.
It makes collaborating on content, data, and anything else you use Word or Excel for, so. much. easier. We use it for so many things — to track our team scorecard (or metrics and data in the business that we track weekly), to draft new content (for blogs, podcast episodes, and even my courses!), and basically to be the home for anything we need to work on together.
I started using HoneyBook when I was a photographer to manage contracts, communications with clients, and invoicing. Now that I don’t do photography any longer, I still love this system for podcast contracts and team contracts! If you run a small business that deals with clients, HoneyBook makes all aspects simpler on the communications side of things. You can set up integrations so that emails automatically deploy when you need them to, taking SO much of the hands-on work, well, out of your hands! (Plus, save 50% on your annual subscription here!)
And that’s it! I feel like we’re pretty minimalist when it comes to software solutions for the brand, but these are our tried-and-true old faithful’s that we pretty much cannot function without.
Have a favorite software system for your business or virtual team? Let us know what it is and why you love it in a comment below!