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A toolbox on remote

#tools #productivity #mobile #desktop #use #cases #UI #UX #thankyounote #1minute #read

The tools are made for humans, not the other way around: they should clarify, simplify, enhance, and accelerate everything you have in mind. When that is so, they empower you to create together effortlessly.


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: if you read it on mobile, click on the first row of the table below 👇 to see the full content, and simply keep swiping 👉 from there on. It’s a 1-minute read.

As it happened, I have been working remotely for about 15 years. I figured, it might be of help to share some field notes -
use cases
- as so many people out there get used to a distant work environment, restructure an online-offline mix, need to be even leaner as a company or just now prepare to launch one - and who likely doesn’t have any or extra money either.

I have prioritized my list based on the level of complexity these tools manage - and the difference of my user scenarios on mobile and desktop. I limited this list to the
toolbox
we would use for early stages of a startup, a place, a project or a gig. Meaning: before hardcore coding, building, engineering, producing (debatable thouth; some things are simpler than they seem). These tools are either free or free to the point.

Set aside the utility purpose, this list is
a thank you note
to all these awesome companies. You have made life so much easier for me and the people I was and am fortunate enough to work with.

It’s a personal experience, so take it with a grain of salt. Common sense still works miracles last time I checked.

Beware, that it’s a work in progress
: I am curious on collective ideas exchange, and how that influences collaborative work, and how well various tools fit into that. Join in and share your experience right here.

My tools and how I use them
0
Tool
Mobile
Desktop
1

Self-chat functionality
Making quick notes, recording audio ideas, attaching files. Plus hashtags for easy search, and pinning messages for the stuff I use frequently. And there is a library of pictures, audio, links via the profile link. It’s perfect for idea creation stage, when you ping-pong ideas in your head, and think of whom to talk to or what to research.
Edit notes, move bits to other documents or apps, open links from the desktop and such. Ping pong ideas between devices.

By the way, have you noticed, that ideas read differently on a mobile or desktop, and in various apps? Collective ideas - even more so.
2

Group communications
It works to the point you have way too many separated work groups with nearly the same people. Rather a tool to catch on the news, exchange ideas, make a call or schedule a meeting, send links and such, to my taste.
Basically, to write anything bigger than an abstract, but be still suitable for a messenger to read it in, plus edit or move notes and links and materials to other apps, or to go between chats, browsers and apps.
3

Voice meeting notes
Recognizes English speech into a transcript. I record on mobile + send a link for everyone to listen and edit. It’s cool to use, when you start chatting with your close circle and need to quickly catch some really cool bits, but they are all flying within a larger stream of collective consciousness.
The auto-transcript is easily convertable to idea notes, CRM notes and early to-do lists. You can only edit it in a desktop version of Otter, but it’s actually more comfortable to sit down with the record and think on it on a slower lane.
4

Integration for meeting scheduling
I be damned, I only got introduced to it, and I am in love. You add an AI bot in an email copy, and it matches everyone’s times and calendars on its own, plus sends daily reminders on what’s planned today. I honestly do not do calendars unless I must – I accept what other people send me, or send mine through a zoom integration only to share the link. With this one, I don’t even have to use the calendar anymore.
5

Personal check list
Wunderlist was recently bought out by Microsoft, the new name is ToDo, and its GOOD. You can setup a reminder for each list or a task within the app, integrate to a calendar, or share / assign tasks. It’s handy, when it’s not really a launched project or a startup yet, the team is only forming, but you all have various things to do and check out.
6

Collaborative docs
Reading & sharing & commenting materials only.
I love using Paper for early drafts and collective idea generation, streamlining the flow into some versions of potential forms. Understanding together, what you are not going to do, and narrowing down what you all are willing to bet on. QUESTIONS! - and yes, work calls notes, outlines, 1-pagers, product or business assumptions, specifications for decks and websites, industrial or interface design, early contact lists to get feedback and such. Works to the point when you must a presentation or a website or a task list – well, basically, when you have another level of complexity to manage.
7

Team checklist
It is super simple, and helps navigate the workflow, once operations are up. Works greatly when you have a team and things to do, and the growing workflow does not fit anywhere anymore. Say, milestones or tasks to make a website, structure early days CRM, create look and feel for the product, prepare a festival schedule, model a budget and whatnot.
I rarely use it from the desktop, but my partners and teams do. I can setup a tree of tasks from my computer once (a lot of typing), and then get back to mobile to only change or comment it.
8

Group communications
I stopped using Slack; but some of the teams i collaborate with - do. For a business team, with multiple chats separated by topics. Well, you know. I recently discovered that its capacity is limited, if you have several businesses within the same group of people, with different stake holders / owners on each one, but wish to exchange ideas and experience, typical document formats or else. Not sure anything like the latter exists yet though; chat for SLLC of sorts.
To be honest, I only use slack on desktop when I need to send a file from the computer.
9

Video conferences
I loved them since forever. And I am in awe with how they handle 16 figure growth, during the lockdown, fixing bugs and rolling out updates on the go. It’s incredibly difficult IT-wise! I use them on desktop most of the time, so I can also type notes, or share screens, or send links easily.
10

Mobile reading app
Nothing can beat kindle mobile to read PDFs on the go. And books, but workwise: PDFs (pitch decks, research, analytics or similar).

To read files within the app, choose kindle as the default app to open PDFs from mobile.

I usually send files to read to my-self-chat in telegram, and open them in kindle; a mobile library & a chair.
11

Data & project management
There is no much difference to them except UI. I personally prefer Coda. It seems simpler to me, and they absolutely ROCK mobile. I mean it.

My gut feeling is that various teams prefer either one or the other.

I usually go with the flow:
team’s
comfort
is a priority, and a huge part of what makes creating together a seamless experience.



Coda’s and Notion’s method of organization is based on an information unit. It means that you can add any type of asset (text, table, graph, audio, video), and get them connected via formulas or meta-tags. There are many templates, shortcuts, integrations, or add-ons to insert documents, types of text formatting, and such. Say, you can upload and interlink a CRM, setup a sales funnel, put together product assumptions, navigate company registration, accounting and legal included. Or structure a festival’s schedule, including timetables, documents, equipment, artists materials and such. Or outline early hardware device specifications, with design, equipment, electronics and software layouts. All that in a matter of an hour or a few hours. Imagine that!
12

Website constructor
Browsing to check if the design looks fine on mobile.
Register a domain, with SSL or not, make a landing page with some first CTAs, add analytics to measure it all.

We would have detailed specifications at this point. Say, of a target market and customer assumptions, product assumptions, sales ideas, website specifications, name for the business and branding ideas, some references for the company style and such.

With that at hand, we would go to our awesome partner
to make it all work and look neat, clean, and professional.

And here is how we all can concentrate on what we do best!
13

Design and interface tool
Browsing; either to see what’s in the works or to check if the design looks fine on mobile.
Much like with Tilda, we would have a lot of things done at this point, and would invite Jetstyle to make it work, and look neat, clean, and professional. Now, I am personally learning how to make simple prototypes for the software or for industrial design or ping pong ideas on a look & feel or a user flow in Figma now, and I love it. I draw like a broken legs chicken, so a tool that can fix that, say, help me sketch a copy from some reference or a picture or a design or a scheme helps a lot. I can transfer or communicate ideas much better with it.
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