Why do we need a virtual office?
I know, I know! We’ve been over this a bunch of times but it’s still worth asking. Think back to the beginning of time, when the internet was young and email was amazing and instant. Now, it is annoying. I’m sorry, dear email, but it’s true. The less time we spend together, the better.
There are a few reasons for this. The first, clutter. There are some amazing features that you can use to manage your inbox such as labels, folders, filters, and the like. The problem is that your inbox is your inbox and if you want someone else to go in there, they need to sign into your account. If you forward an email to your team, it will get lost in the mountain of promotional junk and Twitter digests. If you send it in an email, consider it forgotten.
The second, an email isn’t a task, it’s an idea. If you are a solopreneur, can you manage with just your inbox? No, but you think you can. If you have a partner, VA, or a cat that you need to collaborate with, forget it. If you want something to get done, you need a plan and the sam way “Make money” isn’t a business plan neither is “Launch product”.
“How do you get multiple people to work together virtually and kick some serious butt while doing it?” I’m happy you asked.
Your virtual office consists of several tools but the foundation is your Project Management tool. I picked two powerhouse platforms which are at the forefront of driving online businesses and ensuring that teams stay organized.
The sight of this logo makes my heart sing. The features here are outstanding and the customer support doesn’t quit. There are always new features being added to make Teamwork the foundation of your online business and no matter how much I throw at it, Teamwork PM easily stays organized.
It is a no-nonsense platform that is, quite simply, a workaholic.
Here’s the breakdown:
★ Built for large collaboration- Easily add people and control what they have access to.
★ Teamwork Chat- Create chat channels and project right from their built-in chat feature
★ Built-in time tracking- You may choose a third party application (such as Harvest or Toggl) but teamwork has a free built-in time tracker that is simple to use
★ Starred projects
★ Start dates
★ Assign multiple people to a task
★ Reminders- Get reminders of upcoming tasks
★ Sectioned task lists
★ Easy to see subtasks within a project
If Teamwork is a no-nonsense workaholic, Asana is its rebellious cousin.
With pops of color and unicorns, Asana understands that you need a little bit of fun in your work-day. Many of us work from home and need a little bit of life from our Project Management tool. Its user experience is quite different from Teamwork and it is no surprise to see that amongst virtual service providers, it is beloved.
Here’s the breakdown:
★ Ideal for smaller teams
★ Color based marking systems for projects and tags
★ Integrates (somewhat smoothly) with Slack
★ Easy to understand progress tracking
★ Task history within the task window
★ User-friendly dashboard
★ Hidden and compact subtasks
Asana is great for people just starting out with Project Management tools and seeing what they can do. It is reliable and useful. The drawbacks become apparent when more people are brought on. Due to their compact views and tasks list view, it becomes increasingly difficult to navigate. It is also frustrating that when collaborating on a task, you need to volley the ‘assigned to’ person back and forth.
Its timeline feature is very nice but if tasks are difficult to keep in order, what’s the point?
Teamwork PM is for those who need to get things done with bigger teams. (Tweet it!) Their simple dashboard and features make it easy to keep things orderly. Their built-in Teamwork Chat allows for easy task creation and progress tracking. When it comes down to it, getting the task done is the priority. Simply put, going from Teamwork PM to Asana feels like a step backward.
I know I am going to get a lot of blowback for this but that’s ok. Let me know what your experience has been!
Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. I only partner with websites and platforms that I use on a daily basis and provide real value to my business and my team. No clicks for a quick buck at Sarah Noked OBM!
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