10.12.21 - Makeway Culture
How to Choose the Right Communication Tools for Your Company
People say there’s more than one way to skin a cat.
While we don’t exactly know (or want to know) what that means, we think the sentiment applies to the software it takes to get business done.
There is a seemingly endless list of tools for communicating and tracking projects within your company. You’ve probably heard of a lot of them, but it’s not always easy to select the right one (heck, it’s hard enough figuring out what to order for lunch or what to watch on Netflix).
At Makeway, we use these digital tools to help us get our work done and streamline communication with clients on projects. We have a distributed team across multiple locations and time zones, so having smart tools and a thoughtful system to keep us connected and on-task is critical. Unless you’ve been living under a rock through the pandemic, you know this sort of decentralized approach is becoming more common—even among smaller teams.
So, how can you maintain culture and communications under this paradigm shift?
It’s about having the right tools in the toolbox.
For the purposes of this article, we’ll look at three main categories:
- Miro This whiteboard platform is good for bringing teams together to collaborate in a super flexible manner. We use it to run strategy workshops, do high-level design reviews, build out data models, and much more. Only limited by your imagination, it’s the closest thing we’ve found to replicating the physical whiteboard experience in a virtual setting.
- Pastel Because we do a lot of web design and development, this was a game-changer tool for us. It speeds up the website feedback-and-approval process with the ability to review and comment on websites in real-time. You can simply enter a URL and then click to leave comments on any website. It even exports to our project management tool, allowing us to get the right team member working on the right things.
- Invision “An oldie but a goodie”, Invision is a tool for presenting design wireframes/mockups and receiving real-time feedback. There is built-in prototyping and feedback to our design tool of choice (Adobe XD), but Invision comes in handy when we simply need a place to upload creative for review.
2. INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS:
- Slack Chances are, you’ve at least heard of Slack. Or maybe that little shuffling alert sound pretty much runs your life. No matter where you are on this spectrum, you should get to know the pros and cons of Slack as an enterprise tool for your organization. The tool is certainly useful for instant messaging, but there is much more to it, from sharing documents to setting meetings and hosting quick calls. It’s a critical daily tool to keep our team organized and communicating efficiently. It also includes several automation tools to help with things like automated recurring check-ins, reminders, scheduling events, and more.
- Google Workspace This platform formerly known as G Suite includes custom emails and collaboration tools like Calendar, Docs, Meet, and Drive. We love the power and flexibility that Google Docs provides and it’s an important tool for helping our team collaborate in real-time, all across the world.
3. PROJECT MANAGEMENT:
Project management tools are good for, well, managing projects—all the way from planning through execution… through celebratory drinks 🥂
- Asana Asana says you can “work on big ideas, without the busy work” and that’s exactly what it’s good for. The aesthetically pleasing layout is popular with users and helps teams stay organized and connected. Organizing, assigning, and tracking tasks is a breeze. We use it to track pretty much everything on a larger scale: internal projects, client projects, support tickets, and more. This provides a clear roadmap of what we’re doing and who’s working on it.
- Hubspot This versatile CRM is a great platform for the whole business. It has plenty of tools and integrations for sales and marketing, content management, and customer service. You can choose to use it for just one aspect of your organization or implement it for pretty much your entire company. The more you use it, the pricier it gets. So make sure you have a pretty clear vision for your long-term usage plan so that you can ensure it’s a good fit for your operational needs and budget.
There’s a lot to think about, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
This is important to get right because it can literally shape the way your organization communicates and works. It’s like choosing the right bed for quality sleep. Getting it wrong can make life a whole lot worse. Getting it right is blissful.
The first step is to understand the utility as well as the pros and cons of these tools. Thinking critically about the right tool can save a lot of time, energy, and money in the long run.
Beyond that, seek help if you need it!
We work with these sorts of tools (and a ton of others we haven’t covered in this article) on a daily basis, so we’re happy to talk you through them. Just contact us today for a complimentary review!