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The Most Popular 45+ Web Tools in 2020

August 28, 2020 Posted by Bug tracking, Design, Project Management, Remote Teams, Resources, Testing, User Acceptance Testing, User Experience, Web Development 0 thoughts on “The Most Popular 45+ Web Tools in 2020”

Innovation in web development is evolving rapidly every year. 5 to 10 years ago no one would have thought that we would be able to build powerful web applications in the browser as we are able to do today. Back in those days, people would use software installed on their local computer or laptop to do their work. But that made it difficult for the user to access their work from a different location.

Since cloud computing has come into picture there is a drastic change in how we access tools and software. Almost every software these days are being converted from a computer-based application to a cloud-based application.

We are living in times where we are no more restricted to one or two computer systems or locations. Instead, we can access our work from anywhere in the world by simply using an internet browser to login to the system and resuming the work right where we left it.

All of this was made possible because of advancements in web tools and web browsers. This has also lead to a constantly growing demand for advancements in web tools and functionality in web browsers.

More and more companies are coming out with amazing web-based solutions to ease web developer’s and designer’s life.

Today I will present you with the most popular 45+ web tools in 2020.

To come up with this awesome list of web tools, we took into consideration how many users does the solution has and what you get for what you pay.

You will find included very different web solutions: an affordable logo design contest, powerful WordPress themes and plugins, website builders, web development services, and much more.

  1. WooCommerce Support for WordPress Websites

Did you know that WooCommerce is powering over 1.5 million shops and that it is probably the most used e-commerce solution worldwide? It has lots of advantages:

• Free.
• Easy to customize.
• Lots of powerful features.
• The store you build belongs to you (versus Shopify for example and other solutions).
• There is a huge number of extensions that will supercharge your WooCommerce store.
• Informative analytics.
• Much more.

It’s easy to see why there are so many users.

If you want to properly run a WooCommerce store at its maximum capacity, to take advantage of this powerful platform and get tons of sales, you need only one additional thing. You need a specialized team to take care of your WooCommerce store.

WPcustomify is specialized in WooCommerce and they know perfectly this platform. They will help you install any type of extension, they will fully configure your store, and offer you support for any errors or problems you get.

Let the experts take care of your WooCommerce store so you can focus on getting more sales.

2. actiTIME

Besides being proficient in programming, developers can largely benefit from having an extensive set of project management skills. They should be capable of optimizing work processes in a way that lets completing the planned work on budget and schedule. Moreover, they should be able to respond to any changes in the project’s scope promptly and efficiently.

An intelligent timesheet tool, actiTIME, can be of great help for developers and their managers in attaining these objectives. Its core features are:

  • Scope management for creating projects and tasks, setting up estimates and deadlines, and monitoring current performance on the Kanban board;
  • Time tracking for keeping an accurate record of working hours and billable time;
  • Thorough reports for a comprehensive review and analysis of productivity trends, as well as project costs and revenues.

With all these features, actiTIME fosters closer attention to details in the management process and reduces the risk of errors during data collection. Moreover, it automates many HR and accounting processes, from PTO accrual to client billing and invoicing. Therefore, it saves a ton of time that you may invest in working on more critical project-related issues.

actiTIME is also very flexible, and you can easily integrate it with a wide variety of other useful tools through Zapier or API. Moreover, actiTIME’s automatic timer can be accessed directly through the Chrome extension in Jira, Github, and GitLab. In this way, the tool enables you to track time while being entirely concentrated on the primary work process. Sign up for a free actiTIME trial and bring your productivity to the next level.

3. Total

You want a WordPress theme that is complete, easy to configure and customize, lightning-fast, affordable (only $59), and which will make your website convert better? Take a look at Total, this theme will literally do all these things for you, these are not big empty words.

It comes loaded with 40+ premium demos that will make your website look exactly as in the demo, with 80+ builder modules, with 500+ styling options, and premium plugins included for free — Visual Page Builder, Templatera, and Slider Revolution.

Take a look at the theme demos, you will fall in love instantly, you never saw so much a high-quality and well-designed theme.

4. Webdesign Toolbox

Whenever you need a new web design tool for your projects, browse Webdesign Toolbox, and find it in minutes. Stop wasting your time on Google Search and in other places, to find the right web tools for your projects.

This website has 965 resources manually added in 78 different categories, being very well categorized. It will become a huge encyclopedia of web design resources; every month being updated.

Webdesign Toolbox is already used with huge success by both professional and newbie web designers, coders, web strategists, online entrepreneurs, bloggers, and marketers.

Join them and use Webdesign Toolbox, it is 100% free.

5. TestingBot

You want the most complete, technologically-advanced, yet simple to use and affordable service for doing manual and automated testing? TestingBot is the best solution for all of these, being feature-rich and supporting all kinds of tests, including live tests and multi-device testing.

Start a free trial and see how it works.

6. Codester

Codester is a huge marketplace where you will find tens of thousands of premium PHP scripts, apps, plugins, website templates of all kind, and even hugely discounted items.

Browse Codester, here you can find everything you are looking for and the prices are excellent.

7. Taskade — Remote Team Workspace

Remote teams from all over the world use with huge success Taskade, a professional, complete, and technologically advanced collaboration tool.

This unique platform lets you and your team fully customize your workspaces, in just a few seconds. You can create the workspaces from scratch, or you can use the included templates, there are hundreds to choose from.

Taskade is feature-rich, having everything you need.

It is free to use for 10 projects.

8. Bonsai Invoice Templates

Bonsai has over 200k happy freelancers and agencies using it, being the best in the freelancer niche.

They help you with invoice templates, with contracts and proposals, with a clever and simple to use CRM, and even more.

Start for free.

9. Mobirise

Mobirise is the best offline website builder in 2020, is loaded with:

  • 3500 awesome website templates
  • eCommerce and Shopping Cart
  • Sliders, galleries, forms, popups, and icons
  • A powerful drag and drop builder, and much more

Use it to create awesome websites.

10Goodie

Goodie is a professional WordPress and front-end development service that is a perfect fit for:

  • Web designers that need a reliable web development partner
  • Businesses that need to amplify their online presence with simple websites
  • Companies that need email templates

Get in touch with Goodie, these friendly professionals are always going the extra mile to deliver more and better.

11Lead generation software

MailMunch is a highly popular solution in the market, used by tons of companies and marketers to boost conversions by up to 400%.

It grows your email list and it converts your visitors into subscribers and customers.

This complete lead generation software comes loaded with captivating templates, with an easy to use drag and drop builder, and lots of useful features that will supercharge your forms and landing pages.

Use the best solution in this niche.

12Email Template Builder

Unlayer is the best email template builder on the market, being super easy to embed on your website (takes less than 5 minutes). Let your website visitors create superb emails and landing pages directly from your website using Unlayer templates and the brilliant drag-and-drop builder.

Sign up now.

13. Rank Math SEO

Do you want the best WordPress SEO plugin for your website? Rank Math is free to use, yet it is the most advanced in this niche.

After a basic configuration, it puts on auto-pilot your WordPress SEO and it helps your website rank higher and gets more traffic, with the existing content.

Get Rank Math for free.

14. Schema Pro

Use Schema Pro plugin to quickly add schema markups to all the selected pages, with 1-click. Your WordPress website will rank higher and get more traffic.

Get Schema Pro.

15. Landingi

To create engaging and high-converting landing pages you need only the right tool, not special skills or magic ideas.

Such a tool is Landingi. It comes loaded with awesome templates, with a drag-and-drop builder, with tons of elements, and a clever interface that is simple to use.

Start your free trial and build a super landing page with Landingi.

16. CollectiveRay

Do you love super in-depth and comprehensive articles and tutorials? Then you will fall in love with CollectiveRay. Here you will find such stuff, and even more.

This is among the few places where experts write so high-quality articles and reviews.

17. ContentSnare

ContentSnare will collect content from your customers, automatically, helping you finish more projects and reduce costs. Sounds awesome? Of course, because it is.

The configuration takes less than 5 minutes, and right after ContentSnare will work autonomously.

Start a 14-day free trial. No credit card required.

18. XStore — The King-Size WooCommerce Theme

If you want to launch a new WooCommerce store, or you just want more sales from your existing shop, you should use XStore.

This WooCommerce store comes loaded with over 90 shop designs, with the best performance in the industry, and with tons of elements and features.

Find out more about it.

19. FixRunner

WordPress websites are awesome until bad things happen. You can easily fix all of them by getting help from FixRunner.

You can get a one-time fix from FixRunner or a monthly package that will help you prevent potential problems with your WordPress website.

This is the most affordable WordPress help and maintenance service, being used by lots of companies with huge success.

20. Heroic Table of Contents Plugin

Heroic is a powerful, yet free to use, WordPress plugin that will help you quickly add a table of contents.

Why add it? Because your article readers love it, and because it helps you for SEO.

Install it for free.

21. React Templates from WrapPixel

Download high quality react templates, which comes with lots of ready to use components and stunning designs.

It will help you to create your react application much faster and minimize your efforts and cost.

22. Pixpa

Pixpa is a brilliant website builder that you can use with 0 experience to create all-in-one websites: blogs, client galleries, and stores.

Use the built-in designs or start from scratch, you decide.

Sign up free.

23. The Best and Most Popular WordPress Theme 2020

Astra is the fastest growing WordPress theme of all time, having already 1 million users in 2020. It has the most comprehensive library of website designs, unparalleled performance, and tons of features.

Get it now and supercharge your website.

24. uKit

Need a website? Make one yourself with uKit. A powerful tool that enables you to create a modern site in your browser. No need to download anything or fiddle with the code — simply pick a template, then edit it as you see fit in a convenient editor. Sell services and goods with the integrated Store module, and promote your site with the SEO module.

25. Fotor Online Photo Editor

Fotor is an online photo editor and background remover software that is used by tens of thousands of marketers, graphic designers, bloggers, vloggers, and online entrepreneurs.

It is easy to create engaging content with Fotor, there are tons of pictures and elements included, and the editor is brilliant.

26. stepFORM

If you need a form, quiz, and surveys, you can create it on a shoestring or even for free with the stepFORM builder. It contains 17 basic elements and a rich library of professional-looking templates. Moreover, you can integrate payment systems (PayPal, Wallet One) and statistics (Google Analytics), configure CSS properties, and add custom code. The platform is mobile-friendly. Start with the free plan today!

27. Opinion Stage Facebook Quiz

Opinion Stage is a brilliant Facebook quiz maker that you can use right away, without having any experience.

The process is guided by the interface and it takes only a few minutes to launch your own Facebook quiz.

Try it.

28. SuperbWebsiteBuilders.com

SuperbWebsiteBuilders.com highlights pros and cons of the most popular web design platforms as well as their main characteristics and special features. It contains dozens of reviews and comparisons of these services as well as those of hosting providers. This eliminates the need to look for the niche-related info elsewhere as all the required data are at hand here.

29. pCloudy

pCloudy is a popular mobile app testing software that lets you do all kinds of tests, both manual and automated. The platform is super simple to use, yet is among the most advanced in this niche.

Start a free trial and see how it works.

30. Bonsai Contract Templates

You are a professional freelancer and you need tailored contract templates? No problem, Bonsai will help you with that.

They are the best in the freelancer software industry, being the best for invoice templates for every freelance profession, for CRM, for calculating taxes, time-tracking, and much more.

Start free.

31. uSocial

Do you have multiple social media pages? Do you want to share them most efficiently across the audience of your multiple channels? Open your door to a new effective social media tool — uSocial. Sporting several unique features, such as Meta Builder to build thumbnails, clean code to load faster, and own analytics, it’s one of the best tools for your social media needs. Try it now!

32. Controlio

A simple and quick way to heavily increase productivity and security in your company is to use a PC monitoring software for your employees. The most popular solution is Controlio, being simple to use, and feature-rich.

Start a free 14-day trial and see how it works.

33. Wix2WP.Pro

Wix2WP.Pro is the all-in-one Wix to WordPress migration platform, which has distinguished itself due to its professional staff, years of niche experience and rich portfolio of successfully completed projects. They pay individual attention to each client and each website that is under transfer. This is a perfect solution for beginners and web design pros, who don’t have time to complete the task independently.

34. WhatFontIs — The Best Font Finder

You are curious to find out what fonts are used by your competitors or on your favorite websites? WhatFontIs will help you identify these fonts for free, being the best font finder in the industry.

Identify fonts like professionals, with WhatFontIs is simple.

35. FoxMetrics

If Google Analytics is hard to understand and you don’t like it, switch to FoxMetrics.

This cloud-based web analytics platform is much better organized, will provide easy to understand information, and the interface is user-friendly.

Try it for free.

36. Creative Tim

The best UI Kits and dashboards can be found on the Creative Tim website. They produce all their stuff with their own teams, that is why the quality of the products is outstanding, including for their free stuff.

Browse the website and see what cool products they have for you.

37. SiteBuilders.PRO

SiteBuilders.Pro is a worthy solution for users, who decide to move their web projects between well-known CMS or website builders. They deal with transferring all types of projects, taking care of all the details and special platform nuances. In addition to content transfer, SiteBuilders. Pro experts will help you with further website promotion. Their rich experience will contribute to positive results.

38. uCalc

If you want to entice more customers to your website, uCalc is what you need. It’s a modern, easy-to-handle form/calculator builder that provides a wide collection of templates suitable for a small or medium-sized business of any industry. Plus, various formula types are available for creating a calculator for any purpose. Start with the Free plan and let it work for you!

39. UPQODE — eCommerce Website Design Agency

UPQODE is an eCommerce web development agency in the US that develops platforms for online stores to sell their products. In addition, the agency offers cost-effective eCommerce services for small businesses.

UPQODE’s team of experts is dedicated to providing its clients with marketing solutions such as SEO services, Google Ads setup, social media ads, and conversion optimization.

The agency has worked with a majority of US customers.

40. IP Geolocation API

Abstract is used with huge success by tens of thousands of companies and is among the most popular IP geolocation API service.

Start for free and upgrade the plan whenever you need it.

41. Moderated group chat for live Q&A and Web Events

RumbleTalk will help you add a moderated chat for Q&A and live events on your website, being the best solution in the market. It is simple to use and they have a free plan that you can start with.

42. WordPressToWix.PRO

WordPressToWix.PRO focuses on ensuring easy, convenient and fast website transfer from WordPress to Wix. The platform also offers quality project promotion and preservation of search engine positions upon the completion of the task. The team of proficient web designers will gladly assist you with all the steps of the procedure, ensuring top notch result.

43. uCoz

Is your website builder not good enough for you? Do you feel like you lack features to build a website that you truly desire? uCoz website builder is here to rescue you! A unique blend of Pro-level editing tools, custom code access, and a visual editor allows you to create a unique and professional website with ease. And it’s free to use!

44. HTMLtoWordPress.PRO

HTMLtoWordPress.PRO is a full-cycle service, which deals with the professional, safe, and convenient transfer of HTML websites to WordPress. The platform has dozens of successfully completed projects in its portfolio and lots of satisfied clients. They employ a team of experts, who will take care of all the stages of the migration process to ensure worthy results.

45. Blabber | All-in-One Elementor Blog & News Magazine WordPress Theme + RTL

If you are looking for the best Elementor-based WordPress theme, then Blabber is definitely worthy of your attention. This is a ready-to-go solution apt for all kinds of blogs, media sites, businesses, entertainment projects, and even eCommerce. One of the most impressive features of the Blabber theme is the constantly-glowing collection of homepage demos. The theme includes 20+ demo styles apt for personal, travel, fashion, sports, science, health, and other topics. All pages and design elements of the theme are ready to be modified in the intuitive drag-and-drop mode. Take control of your site’s content organization with the Gutenberg editor.

46. FC United | Football, Soccer & Sports WordPressTheme + RTL

FC United is a functional and multi-purpose WordPress theme apt for the launch of football, basketball, and other kinds of sports-related websites. The fully responsive layout of the theme is intended to adjust all pieces of your site’s content razor-sharp on different screen sizes. It also includes a collection of ready-to-go homepage demos. The number of extra demos grows bigger with the launch of every next update. The theme supports all the major WordPress plugins and extensions, including SportsPress. The latter lets you transform your WordPress website into the fully-featured sports clutch website with match reports, league tables, and more.

47.Craftis — Handcraft & Artisan WordPress Theme for Creatives

Make your craftwork look it’s best using the Craftis WordPress theme. The clean and stylish design of the theme is perfectly suited for a range of websites promoting handmade works. The Craftis theme is intended to be used for blogs and web stores. The latter is easy to achieve using the theme’s compatibility with WooCommerce and Elegro Crypto Payment plugins. It also contains a bunch of ready-made pages, which are ready to be modified in the drag-and-drop mode of the Elementor page builder. Additionally, the theme lets you choose from 10 unique homepage styles apt for artisans and craftsmen.

48. Zento

Zento is a state-of-the-art Software-as-a-Service eCommerce platform built on the solid foundation of Magento 2 with a next-gen Progressive Web App frontend. All the tools and integrations you need to run and operate your online shop, in a modern and reliable solution. Sell everywhere, automate your operations, increase conversions, and focus on your business, not the technology behind it.

49. zipBoard

zipBoard is a web-based visual review and bug tracking tool for web developers and designers to better manage website development projects. It is built to manage internal reviews, tasks, bugs or issues, defects, and client feedback all within one centralized system. Simplifying the review and approval process from internal teams and external stakeholders.

zipBoard lets you review multiple digital contents in a single project or across multiple projects. It allows reviewing multiple types of file formats ranging from images, videos, live websites, e-learning courses, PDF documents, and HTML pages.

By using zipBoard for bug tracking and visual review, you can improve the quality and speed up the development process, while cutting down the website development cost.

Now, deliver quality products at an affordable cost as all plans come with unlimited projects and unlimited collaborators. You can start with a free trial account without any credit card.

Start your free trial today.

Conclusions

What web solution are you already using with huge success? Share your opinions so you can help others find awesome solutions for themselves.

Don’t forget to try the powerful ai logo maker, it will help you create splendid logos.

Manage your zipBoard Projects in Microsoft Team, Import Issues in CSV, and Improved reporting

September 3, 2020 Posted by inside zipBoard, Process, Product updates, Project Management, Remote Teams, Remote Workplace, User Experience 0 thoughts on “Manage your zipBoard Projects in Microsoft Team, Import Issues in CSV, and Improved reporting”

zipBoard features updated. Now its easy to manage your zipBoard Projects in Microsoft Team, Importing Issues in CSV/excel and track progress with improved reporting.

How highly productive remote teams use asynchronous communication

June 4, 2020 Posted by Process, Project Management, Remote Teams, Remote Workplace 0 thoughts on “How highly productive remote teams use asynchronous communication”

We are all spending more time in video calls and zoom meetings, navigating through the current times. Lets, face it zoom fatigue is real. Learn how you can move some of your synchronous meetings to asynchronous communication.

In our traditional work culture, we spend a lot of time in meetings, which does not necessarily turn into productive work. Moreover, this takes up a lot of time for every team member. Many times what you accomplish sitting in a meeting, you could send across using an email or a note in your messaging service otherwise. 

Real-time communication is essential at times, but a much better approach is to update the team over email or messaging systems. Unless it’s urgent, let the team members review it when they have got time off from their primary deliverables.

Meetings sometimes run with too many people not needed in a discussion in the first place. When working remotely and working with teams in different time zones, running productive virtual meetings is even more crucial. 

How to ensure that your meetings are productive and whether all the sessions you are organizing are really needed, or you could get away with other modes of reviews – aka asynchronous reviews

Asynchronous communication helps your coworker to manage their own time, do the research that is needed and then reply instead of trying to respond in real-time without having complete knowledge of the discussion.

Short and quick real-time communication is becoming more popular among remote teams. It makes it easier for employees to work remotely without missing essential conversations. There are many Benefits of Hiring Remote Development Team For Software Project.

However, in this article we will see how zipBoard and other remote teams achieve the best results in their work using asynchronous communication.

One great piece of advice from Hailey Griffis from Buffer in her article – Asynchronous Communication and Why It Matters For Remote Work writes:

“Ensuring good asynchronous communication practices is one of the ways that we address this struggle at Buffer. Asynchronous communication can be an asset for remote teams for many reasons, but especially if you have teammates in multiple time zones. Instead, make sure you exclude no one from meaningful discussions and collaboration because of where they live! 

Instead of relying on everyone being online at the same time, we try our best to communicate in a way that keeps conversations and decision-making open to all teammates, no matter where they are.”

Let’s deep dive into this new and highly effective business communication method, especially in the remote workplace. 

What is Synchronous communication?

As the name suggests, synchronous communication is a form of communication that happens in real-time and requires immediate response from one party to another. It includes people communicating face to face or over a call or message. It doesn’t matter which technology platform you use. Or what kind of live arrangement it is. But everyone is present at the same time and is responding with questions, answers, suggestions, and opinions in real-time.

Some key points to remember about synchronous communication 

  • All communication in real-time
  • Participants respond at the moment. 
  • Not necessarily a system that could be face to face, or over any kind of call.

At zipBoard, we usually do one live call at the start of the and run a daily scrum for our dev team to ensure we can discuss our priorities for the next 24 hours.

What is Asynchronous communication?

Asynchronous communication is when the people involved are not present and available to respond in real-time. They have the freedom to decide and react at a time they feel comfortable and necessary. There is no communication happening simultaneously.

Asynchronous communication takes away the need for people to coordinate a necessary time to communicate. But asynchronous communication still helps achieve the goal of talking and discussing a specific plan or topic.

Some key points to remember about asynchronous communication

  • Not happening in real-time
  • Participants respond whenever they want
  • Relies on tools and systems (emails, google docs, feedbacks)

We are a fully remote team, and everyone works asynchronously throughout the day. At the end of every day, we share an EOD report, and that’s how we manage all our work.

Here’s a sample of my EOD report to my manager. It includes what is done throughout the day, work that needs to be reviewed and approved, and links to docs and extras.

Advantages of asynchronous communication.

There are many advantages of using asynchronous communication in your workplace. Below i share 7 that are most important ones.

1. Uninterrupted long focus time

By not having to respond immediately, there is hardly any distraction. It lets you focus on your work and be highly involved in the task at hand. It gives you more long focused hours to work. For example, when I am working on a blogpost content, I never check my email or chat messages for 2 – 3 hours at a stretch.

2. Communicate in multiple time zones

With changing times, we are in an era of global teams, working from various time zones. If you implement an asynchronous communication model correctly, you will end up talking less and doing more. Companies as big as Zapier have a fully remote team that operates from 17 different time zones over slack and zoom. And the whole group meets twice a year at their company retreat.

3. Recorded communication for future reference

A conversation is much more effective if it’s well documented and recorded. Asynchronous communication is highly dependent on chats, messages, call recordings, and documents. And hence no matter what was discussed, everything is recorded and can be used for various purposes in the future. It has to be somewhere, and you only got to find it in the right place. At zipBoard we usually do not record calls but instead, take notes like this during the call.

4. High-Quality Communication - Listen, think, and check before you respond

No one on the team is expecting an immediate response when the team follows an asynchronous communication style. So you get plenty of time to do your research, think, and respond with meaningful observations that will add value to the work that you’re doing and to the team as a whole.

For example, a few days back, we planned to integrate Marketing Automation tools into our existing tech stack. We discussed what we need, what our budget is, and what would be the timelines during our first sync up call for that call. Next, it was my responsibility to search for the tools, review them, and come up with recommendations. The next day, we got on the second call because we took the time to assess different software and could finalize two tools (Intercom and Sendinblue) instead of one that we initially had planned.

5. Save yourself from a long email chain

A few messages over chat or a quick call vs. a long string of emails. What would you prefer to get the work done? Undoubtedly email chains can add unnecessary time to finishing a project. Instead, just message what you need from who or if something is complicated, only decide a time to meet and discuss over a call. Get the work done in less time.
“Today, our team of 52 people spread across the world sends zero internal emails.”
writes Neil Vidhyarthi from Doist in his article – How to Replace 100% of Your Team’s Internal Emails with Twist

6. Control over working hours

You and your team members get to choose their time to work. They can take breaks at their own will and can work with more focus for long stretches without breaking a sweat.

7. Diverse, happy, and productive work culture

We are all different and can perform differently under different conditions. Think about what if your workplace allowed you to work with very little or with no restriction. You could choose to work from home or office as it suits you: there is no need to answer every email, every message, and every call in real-time. You will certainly never think about leaving and instead add more value to the company.

“A Stanford survey found that the employees flexibly working from home raised their productivity levels by almost 13%.”

As quoted by Barasha Medhi from vantagecircle in her article – 5 Essential Benefits Of Offering Flexible Working Hours.

How to effectively use asynchronous communication?

Now that you know how beneficial asynchronous communication is, let see how you can use this communication model in your workplace.

1. Conduct at least 1 or 2 live meetings every day

To sync up goals and deliverables for the day. For increasing the efficiency of work, get on-call daily even for a few minutes to discuss the priorities for the current day. And how you will accomplish it. 

For example – At zipBoard, we do one to one calls as and when needed. Team wide meetings happen once a day, where we get on a live call to sync up on priorities.

2. Setup communication guidelines

Everyone must understand how to communicate effectively within the team. What and what not to expect from whom. Set rules for when to use chats, when to use project management tools and when to use docs.

For example, at zipBoard, we do one live call on zoom, send chats messages on slack for almost all internal communications, and all external communication are done over email. Additionally, all work is documented in google docs, and we use zipBoard for all visual review and bug tracking. Our internal response time is anywhere from 12 hours to 24 hours but is very detailed. And for external communication, we try to reply within 12 hours or less depending on the urgency.

3. Use a platform that supports various ecosystems and devices

Not everyone might have the same set of digital ecosystems. So always opt for tools and systems that can be accessed by your team members on any platform. Eg. Skype or slack for communication, they support desktop and mobile devices on both windows, mac, ios, android.

4. Choose cloud storage

For everyone to work on a project as a team, it’s essential to access and see things the way you see it. By keeping all files and folders on cloud storage, everyone can access and add to it without duplicating the efforts or losing the work. Try to keep all work on cloud storage to promote easy access.

5. Stop micromanaging

Everyone is always trying to contribute to the company, let them take the responsibility from the beginning. Micromanaging doesn’t help; instead, it would not let your employees work effectively. Alternatively, set clear expectations for the day, week, month, and see things happening more quickly than you expected.

I would personally say sometimes you need a little hand-holding for someone to get started, but continuously being on someone’s head is disastrous. 

At zipBoard, we have a zero micromanaging culture as compared, and I would not quote company names. In my personal 10 + years of experience, I have worked in places where there is constant micromanaging, and I am sure you would agree with me it’s suffocating. 

6. Never make assumptions

It does not just apply to asynchronous communication but in every business communication. By making assumptions, you are merely doing something that is not needed or expected from you. Instead, when in doubt, just ask the question, get a clear understanding of what is required, and then start working.

My number one life lesson that I learned in my career is never to assume what the other person is expecting. Always ask questions and clarify things to avoid any issues later. Because of the transparent work culture here at zipBoard, before starting to work on any project, we make sure everyone clearly understands the tasks and knows what deliverable is expected from them.

Tools to consider for effective asynchronous communication

To implement the asynchronous communication in the remote workplace we certainly need tools and systems in place. Let’s take a look at some tools. 

Communication

Use google calendar to schedule internal team meetings and send a prior notice to everyone who needs to attend the meeting. So that way, everyone knows that they can work anytime throughout the day, but they have to be available for the live session.

 

  1. Skype – Free and Support all platforms and easy to chat and call with internal teams and external teams and vendors.
  2. Slack – It’s a common word for people working in a remote environment. Use this for chats, calls, document sharing. Free plans have the limitation, but you can upgrade to paid plans for more features
  3. Microsoft Team – Microsoft Teams is the hub for team collaboration in Microsoft 365 that integrates the people, content, and tools your team needs to be more engaged
  4. Zoom – In recent times, Zoom has emerged as a top platform for group calls, and why not? You can do all internal and external live meetings over zoom with 100 or more people at the same time. Free with some limitations can be upgraded to paid plans for additional features.

Feedback and Work Management

One of the most significant challenges that we face in a remote environment is not being able to show what we mean visually. Another problem is managing projects. Merely saying someone in chat or call “change the structure on one of the web pages” doesn’t help. You need to show them using visual feedback systems. And you also need a project management system to manage projects, deliverables, and tasks. A right combination of Visual feedback tools and project management systems improves the team’s efficiency and delivers excellent results. 

 Don’t just write your problems; show them visually.

 

  1. Zipboard – zipBoard is a complete feedback management system in which you can create and manage reviews and feedback from internal as well as external people. We have both the visual feedback and project management integrated into one software. Try it out today!
  2. Asana – Its a work management platform, your team can stay focused on their goals, projects, and tasks.
  3. Trello – Trello is another popular project management tool. It has got some amazing and focused on project management features.

Files and Folders and Remote work setup

All that work that we do has to be stored somewhere, where it can be easily accessed by any team member at any point of the team. Additionally, there should also be a track of who accessed what and the changes made, etc. For this, we need to have a system where we can host our files and folder in the cloud. While choosing any software in this category, look for security, version control, collaborative environment, ease of use, supported platform, and application documentation. You don’t want to spend hours setting up systems and support for your team members and later training them for hours to use them.

 

  1. Google G Suite – Google docs and sheets are the most commonly used collaborative system. You can use this not only at your workplace but even in personal life. They are highly secured feature-rich and offer version control for files and folders.
  2. Amazon Web Services – Amazon Web Services, also known as AWS, offers highly trusted and scalable premium products suited for large corporations. You can choose this custom solution if you are ready to pay more but looking for solutions to complete setup, not just files, and folders but your entire company, operation, and everything else on the cloud within one ecosystem. 
  3. Zoho – Zoho provides various solutions for small to large companies that work in remote environments. HR, Payrolls, Password management, time tracking, email accounts, and host other solutions all under one roof.

Read a more detailed article on  Tools For Remote Teams To Stay Connected.

5 actionable steps to build an asynchronous communication culture in your remote workplace.

 

1. Let people connect as people first

No chance to bond in real life, so let people interact 1-1 and know each other a little bit before jumping on projects, tasks, and deliverables. Jumping on a call and chatting straight away, talking about deliverables is not a great idea. At least when you start for the day, check with your team members how it is going with their lives. It gives everyone a sense of belonging, which is very important if you are going to sit and work alone throughout the day. At Least once a year, plan a live meet meetup for the whole team.

For example, Zapier organizes a company retreat twice a year. Here’s a picture of them.

Image Courtesy – Zapier Company Retreat

2. The MORE, the better when communicating

Always provide as much information as possible to other people. This will make things more transparent for the other person to understand. Be as detailed as possible in your message.

For reference see how we communicate at zipBoard.

How we DO NOT communicate

How DO WE communicate

Bhavya – Hi, can you send me a recommendation on marketing automation tools.

Anurag – Sure, I will send it. 

Bhavya – Hi can you send me a recommendation on marketing automation tools. Make sure to consider these aspects while doing your research.

  1. Features
  2. Pricing
  3. Reviews
  4. Setup support
  5. How quickly can we start

Anurag – Sure, I will research through and put a doc. I am currently working on a blog, so I might only be able to provide it for two days, is that okay?

And do you have any particular tool in mind or anything in particular that you are expecting?

3. Adequate response time and deadlines

Let other people know when you are expecting to hear back on the deliverables. While discussing the project, try to be as realistic as possible and keep reasonable expectations from the team. Make sure you give enough time for them to complete and deliver on your expectations. Deadlines are just compulsory, no matter what model of communication you use. Ensure everyone understands that they have a time limit to complete and deliver; they cannot be working forever on a task. See some best practices for managing remote teams. At zipBoard, we generally have a turn around time of 24 hrs.

4. Next set of actions

This is very important to make a note of and delegate to team members. The next set of actions gives accountability to your team members. Every individual knows what tasks they are supposed to work on. It helps identify the dependability of every team member and how their work will affect others’ work.

Tips – Make sure you discuss who will be doing what. Make a numbered list of deliverables and delegate the tasks as suits. Confirm everyone understands their responsibilities and check if there is any doubt or question.

5. Record calls or Take notes meetings

While discussing projects on live calls recording the call or even better, take notes. It will be helpful when you are working. You can refer back to call notes and calls and do things as was discussed and not the other way round. Additionally, this process in itself creates internal process documents or content that can be used in the future. In the form of training material, article for Blogspot, explainer videos, etc. If someone missed the meeting, they could go through the recording and notes and be in sync even when they were not present.

Tips – Make someone responsible in the team take notes and ask others to add to it if anything is missed. Share the notes doc with the team before the meeting.

Maintain only one doc for everyday sync up call and add details with the date as headers. By doing so, you can even see what was discussed the previous day, format the notes well using sub-headers, bullets, and a section for deliverables. In deliverables, add the name of the person accountable for that task.

Notes are helpful as one can quickly skim through the vital point or do a quick search using related keywords. Whereas if the meeting is of long durations, then you will have to listen through the whole recording, even if you just want details of something particular.

Read: How to create a work from home environment that ensures productivity yet is flexible enough to withstand an uncertain future.

Final Words

Every model of communication has its pros and cons. Asynchronous communication is no different. But a wise man once said, “Change is the only constant.” And to improve and grow, it’s necessary to adapt to change. Try to use the best of both worlds when working with remote teams. 

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