8 Helpful Online Tools To Keep Your Company On Track

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toolsWhen I joined Buffer, one of the things I was most excited about was seeing how we can get a lot done with a distributed team. I knew that Buffer was specifically set up to work this way and I was curious about seeing that play out.

It turns out, this is possible mostly because of the great tools we use. We’re continually testing and adding new ones to our arsenal to make sure we’re all on the same page and are looking after our customers as best we can.

Here are some of the products and services we use every day to help us stay connected and get things done.

Trello: organising the flow of work

Trello is a productivity tool that uses cards and lists to keep you organized. To use Trello, you create a board and add tasks (cards) into as many lists as you like. Here’s an example of what that can look like, from the board where we track our blog posts when they’re republished:

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 3.55.16 pm

Trello is a great way to visually manage your workflow, and collaborate with others to keep track of what’s getting done.

We use Trello to manage the workflow in almost every area of Buffer. We have Trello boards for our engineering team, our support team, and even our free Kindle book program:

trello kindle

For the Buffer blog, we use a Trello board to keep track of our ideas and the posts we’re working on. Each topic sits in the ideas column until we choose it for a specific week. Trello’s colored labels keep everyone in the loop of a post’s status as it moves through the process.

Buffer: sharing content on social media

Obviously, we’re big fans of using Buffer to share content on social networks. In case you’re not familiar with it, Buffer is a publishing tool for social media that lets you schedule posts for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and App.net.

buffer 1

We have team members set for our official Buffer accounts so that several of us can jump in and add content to the Buffer queue:

buffer team members

We use Buffer to share a mixture of content from the Buffer blog and content we find elsewhere on the web that we think our followers will find useful and interesting. We also take advantage of the built-in analytics to see what kind of posts work best, and what times we should schedule our updates for.

buffer analytics

We recently found that our engagement on Twitter increased when we posted images, thanks to Twitter showing them inline now. With Buffer’s analytics, we can keep an eye on the data as we continue to experiment with post types and new features like this.

Sqwiggle: face-to-face contact

Sqwiggle is a video chat tool that helps you stay in touch with your team when you’re working remotely. Every few seconds, Sqwiggle takes a screenshot of you so your colleagues can see that you’re around, and just by clicking on another person you can join a quick conversation with them.

Here’s a recent snapshot of a bunch of our team members working away:

sqw1

We’ve mostly replaced Google Hangouts with Sqwiggle these days, and generally leave it open whenever we’re working. This helps us to feel more like we’re working together, by seeing everyone’s faces like we would if we worked in the same office.

We can also see when others are having a conversation (they get color-coded so we can have multiple discussions going at once, and easily see who’s talking to who) and we can use the text box to share links and files as we’re talking.

sqw2

We’ve also found that Sqwiggle makes quick sync-ups much more efficient. One thing we do every day to keep us in touch with each other is to pair up with another team member to talk about what we’re working on for Buffer and what our current self-improvement challenges are. We get paired up with someone new each week, so this helps us to connect to everyone in the team.

Sqwiggle makes this daily ritual really easy. Rather than syncing up via email or HipChat first and then joining each other in a Hangout, we can quickly jump in and out of conversations in Sqwiggle, just like if we stopped by one another’s desks.

HipChat: keeping in touch with the team

As well as Sqwiggle, we keep in touch with each other using HipChat. This is a team chat tool which lets us create different chat rooms (for instance, one for design, one for support, one for announcements) as well as having 1-on–1 conversations.

Here’s what our lobby looks like, showing all of our chat rooms, and a list of all of our team members:

hipchat lobby

We do most of our general chatting in the Buffer room. This is where we say hello in the morning, share photos or press about Buffer, and discuss any company-wide issues or ideas. Here’s what it looks like on a typical day:

hipchat1

We use Zapier to set up automatic notifications in HipChat of what’s going on elsewhere, making it the central “office” of Buffer. In the screenshot above, you can see a whole bunch of notifications from Help Scout, our support email tool (coming up next!).

Other notifications we have include:

  • new posts on the Buffer blog or on any of our personal blogs
  • github commits
  • edits to our Wiki
  • when someone moves to the next stage of the hiring process
  • whenever someone grabs a free Kindle book
  • when a new comment gets posted on the Buffer blog (these ones go into our Content Crafters chat room, as you can see below)

hipchat comments

Help Scout: supporting our customers

For customer support, we have two main tools. Help Scout is the one we use to manage support emails, which all of our team members take part in.

Replies are threaded like a normal email conversation, but they’re not automatically assigned to anyone in particular. We often take over conversations with customers from other team members, in order to keep our support times as fast as possible. Help Scout has a great feature that lets us add notes (as you can see below) so that when another team member takes over, they’re always in the loop.

hs note

Help Scout helps us stay organized when it comes to customer emails, with different inboxes—for instance, one for our Buffer for Business customers, another for general support, and others for each new Buffer position we’re taking applications for.

hs inboxes

We can also tag emails which helps us keep track of customers who have requested a particular feature or noticed a bug, so we can keep them in the loop of any updates.

Another great feature is that we can assign emails to a particular person on the team. Any emails relating to the blog, for instance, get assigned to me. This helps our Happiness Heroes to stay focused on customer support while specific queries get handed over to the right person.

Sparkcentral: engaging our users on Twitter

Our other main support tool is Sparkcentral, which helps us keep on top of Tweets sent to (or about) Buffer.

Sparkcentral threads replies, similar to email, which makes it really easy to see the whole conversation at once.

spark3

It also does some neat things for us automatically, like splitting our Tweets up for us when we make them too long (guilty!) and adding our names at the end of each Tweet we send.

We have saved searches set up in Sparkcentral, and of course we monitor all mentions of our @buffer Twitter handle, and our former handle, @bufferapp—just in case. Each Tweet that we see has options for us to favorite, Retweet and reply. After we’re done, we archive the conversation and move on to the next Tweet in the list. It works a lot like a shared inbox, making our process really clear and simple so we can focus on helping our customers.

spark1

Something that both Sparkcentral and Help Scout do well is to show us when someone else is viewing or replying to a customer, so we don’t all jump into the same conversation. Here’s what that looks like in Sparkcentral:

spark2

And in an email thread in Help Scout:

hs1

Hackpad: sharing information among the team

Hackpad is a collaborative document-editing tool, which lets us create and save documents that we can all view and work on together. Each document gets created by a team member, and then others can be invited to edit it. We also get an email digest once a week with links to all of the new Hackpad documents that were created during the week, so we can see what’s new in different areas of Buffer.

hackpad list

We use Hackpad for writing up meeting notes, working on new copy and sharing the results of any testing we do on the product. One great use-case of Hackpad is that Leo and I have recently started working on a style guide for the Buffer blog. With Hackpad, this can be a living document that we continually edit.

hackpad1

When we collaborate on a document, our names get added so that it’s clear to see who wrote which parts. This can be really handy when looking at meeting notes or a list of ideas.

hackpad collab

iDoneThis: sharing our successes and challenges

Another tool that’s really important to us because we’re a distributed team is iDoneThis. It’s a shared work-diary, essentially, that lets us share what we get done each day.

When we login, we can see today’s date and each team member’s list of tasks they completed. Each entry can be liked and commented on, which is a great way to stay in touch with what everyone else is working on and generate discussions about our work at Buffer.

idonethis comments

Something we specifically added to this daily routine is the inclusion of our current self-improvement. Each week we pick a self-improvement challenge to focus on, such as running, yoga, reading or blogging. We detail our progress both in our daily pair calls in Sqwiggle, and in our iDoneThis entries for the rest of the team to see.

idonethis improvements

This is a really great way we’ve found to keep us accountable to our goals and to share support and suggestions around our improvements.

iDoneThis comments

We all get a daily email from iDoneThis that we can reply to, so that we don’t even have to visit the website. There are lots of other ways to add your “dones” though—some of us use the iPhone app or Alfred to add things as we do them. There’s a great list of apps and integrations on the iDoneThis apps page.

Email is one of the easiest ways to add entries for the day, though. This is what the email looks like:

idonethis email

We also get a daily digest email which shows us what everyone else has entered for the day. You can set what time you’d like to get these emails, which makes iDoneThis fit in really well with our routines. I used to get my digest email in the morning before I started work, for instance, but now I get it around dinner time, so I can read it while I’m winding down after work instead.

Here’s an example of the digest email:

idonethis digest

What tools does your business use to keep in touch and get things done? Let us know in the comments.

P.S. If you liked this post, you might also like From Ideas to Traffic results: How we run a blog with 700,000 readers per month

Image credit: Cayusa

  • Decision.io

    Sqwiggle looks great. We’re still a pretty small company and we’re often on the road and working remotely. This looks like a nice step up from G chat! I’ve noticed Google is pretty great at making awesome ideas popular enough that startups are inspired to do it better!

    I wrote about this today and I think your post emphasizes the fact that B2B companies are awesome, exciting, and dare I say sexy… even when compared to the ever popular B2C’s out there.

    We B2B’s tend to judge how interesting we are based on our product. I say derive your meaning from the amazing work you help your users do well.

    For example, Buffer doesn’t just enable people to schedule social media sharing and get some analytics back. Buffer helps people share the absolutely most important information in the world at the times when the most people are likely to get that critical information. You all do a lot more, but at the core of it, this is the awesome work you do.

    Go B2B!

    • Belle

      Great point!

      Yep, Sqwiggle definitely works well for small teams, I think.

    • http://tommoor.com/ Tom Moor

      Woop! Glad you like the look of Sqwiggle – let me know if you give it a try and I’ll be happy to give you an extended trial :-) (Co-founder)

  • http://www.gxjansen.com/ Guido Jansen

    Awesome post (as always), thx for sharing!

    I do wonder about some things tho:

    - Why not use Skype instead of Sqwiggle + Hipchat? Seems like Skype would do most of that and it’s more broadly adapted so easier to use with 3rd party connections too.
    - If you keep Trello up-to-date, shouldn’t a daily log of that show you the same info as an iDoneThis e-mail? (in other words: why add another system like iDoneThis)? Or is that mainly because you also include the self-improvement challenges in iDoneThis (I suppose they don’t really belong in Trello)?

    - Hackpad: does this have any advantages for you over Gdocs?
    - HelpScout + Sparkcentral seem like great tools, but wouldn’t you want something that keeps all customer interactions in 1 system instead of spread out between several systems for every channel? Bet that you also have other (social media) channels to manage besides e-mail and twitter.

    Thx!

    • Belle

      Hey Guido, great questions! I’ll have to ask someone else to jump in here and answer properly for you, as many of these tools were chosen before I came on board. Hopefully I can clear up a couple of things to start with, though:

      - Unless I’m wrong, I’m not sure Skype lets us have separate chat rooms, right? We do this to keep things more organized, so that we can have conversations in the appropriate room and not overwhelm everyone if it’s not relevant for them. I haven’t looked into doing something like our Zapier + HipChat setup in Skype, so I’m not sure whether that’s possible or not.
      - Good point about Trello and iDoneThis, but they do serve slightly different purposes. Trello is separated, like HipChat, into different areas, so we’d need to go looking at each board to see what was new, if we’re not part of it. iDoneThis, on the other hand, is separated by team members, so we can get a good overview of what one person did, regardless of which different areas of Buffer they were working in today. It also lets us add whatever we want, including stuff that’s not in Trello, like our personal improvements, but also things like meetings we have, or interesting resources we come across during the day, which don’t count as tasks in Trello.
      - Hackpad seems quite similar to Gdocs to me, but other people in the team use it a lot more than I do, so I’ll ask someone else to answer this one.
      - I’m not sure that there is a tool that can do this, but maybe I just haven’t come across it. Twitter and Email are definitely our two biggest channels for customer support, and they work quite differently. Email support is often longer and more involved, whereas Tweets are often just a quick question, so it works for us to keep them separated.

      • http://www.gxjansen.com/ Guido Jansen

        Thx Belle!

        You can setup diffent chatrooms in Skype, but I also don’t think there’s a (default) way to include the HelpScout messages in those chats so that might be an important factor for Buffer to go for HipChat.

        • http://blog.idonethis.com/ Janet Choi

          Hi Guido!
          To echo Belle, Trello is great for task/project organization and there can definitely be some overlap but iDoneThis centers around people, communication, staying in sync, and supporting each other — based on what they do and share. We use both tools at iDoneThis similarly ourselves.

          • http://www.gxjansen.com/ Guido Jansen

            Thx Janet!

    • http://tommoor.com/ Tom Moor

      Hey Guido!

      On the Sqwiggle question specifically we built a page just to answer this question – let me know if it helps you understand the differences/benefits :-) https://www.sqwiggle.com/comparison

      Thanks!
      T

      • http://www.gxjansen.com/ Guido Jansen

        Thx Tom!

  • http://www.michevan.id.au/ Evan

    I’ve seen Sqwiggle mentioned a few times now, and while overall it looks great for dealing with fast and easy instant communications, the feature of publishing a snapshot of you every minute or so gives me the screaming heebie-jeebies.

    Given that my workplace is also my home, it really feels like of an invasion of privacy. When I start a video chat manually, it is an intentional action, not an automated process taking unexpected close-up of me yawning, slurping my coffee, talking with my children, or plucking out that long, weird mutant hair out of my eyebrow that appeared over night (you young’n’s wouldn’t understand.)

    Does it offer alternatives to this? One I can think of straight-off is using the camera for facial recognition instead, and just give some sort of presence indication instead. One thing I’ve been toying with is using an ultra-sonic distance sensor to tell when I walk away from the computer and pause my music player automatically (and start again when I return.) You could use it similarly for this.

    • http://www.gxjansen.com/ Guido Jansen

      +1

    • Belle

      I love that sensor idea! That’s really clever.

      As far as I know, Sqwiggle doesn’t offer an alternative to the screenshots idea. And we do, in fact, occasionally catch each other in situations just like you described, so it may not work for everyone!

    • http://tommoor.com/ Tom Moor

      Hey Evan!

      Co-founder of Sqwiggle here – just wanted to say thanks for the feedback! We’re always trying ways to make it less ‘invasive’ and it’s very likely that in the future we will have an option to turn off the camera when you need privacy or perhaps slow down the still shots.

      Right now we don’t offer this as one of the main benefits is the intimacy with your team, occasionally you get caught in an off-pose but in our experience that just serves for a bit of a laugh and actually helps to bond everyone together :-)

      Thanks again!

      • Decision.io

        I can see how that would work well for small teams such as ours. We’re all pretty much friends anyway and the org chart is pretty flat. Catching someone picking their nose would just be hilarious!

        Perhaps it becomes a problem in a larger company with a well established hierarchy?

        • ericbieller

          Hey there,

          I think it really comes down to company dynamic. We have a lot of smaller, tighter teams using Sqwiggle, but we also have some larger companies too.

          It also comes down to trying it out! Once you use it you can really see the value it brings :)

      • http://www.michevan.id.au/ Evan

        Hi Tom, and thanks for the feedback.

        To give Sqwiggle its due, I can see how the doing the snapshots is an effective part of the product, including the team intimacy aspect. It certainly is a good innovation, and the idea of getting caught in an off-pose is only a mild concern (I’d like to think at this stage in my life I’m not that vain. :-)

        It really boils down to that “screaming heebie-jeebies” feeling of the visual surveillance, whatever the benefits might be. I suspect this might be an “It’s not you, it’s me” issue.

        Another idea to reduce the feeling of intrusiveness: the ability to have a second camera that is used for the snapshots. That way you could mount that camera off to the side (profile view) or further back so it doesn’t feel in-your-face as much, then switch to the central camera for video. In some ways this would simulate a “real office” more.

        Best of luck with Sqwiggle.

        • http://cevolabs.net Shane Edwards

          I am resurrecting an ancient discussion here, but we just started using Sqwiggle and that second camera idea is already on my mind. I was reading recently where Scott Hanselman does that for his webcam at work–he mounts it perpendicular to his seat so that when you go to chat with him it is like walking into his office. Then he can turn and talk to the camera. Having a second camera option would allow the best of both worlds.

          I want to show my presence, not show my nostrils to the team, but use my laptop camera when I am in a live chat with others.

  • Rae

    Really interesting post, it’s great to see how all these tools are being used in a real world scenario. However, I have some concerns about the privacy of your clients in the HipChat graphic via the HelpScout first response posts, which posts the names and email addresses of clients who have presumably sent through customer service inquiries. I know that you have a transparent culture as a company, but have these clients given permission for their names and email addresses to be published publicly?

    • Chris O’Dell

      agreed. at least blur out usernames. it would take two minutes with another tool you can add to your list: Skitch

    • Sharon

      That concerned me too. “Ask for forgiveness, not permission,” right?

  • Brandon Schaefer

    Belle, as always… great information, love the tools, and I look forward to implementing them into our workflow over at 90DayEntrepreneur.

    • Belle

      Thanks Brandon!

  • Vikash Koushik

    Great info! Awesome work guys on keeping in touch with the entire team. :-)

    Try TweetDeck. It helps you folks to manage more than one twitter handle at a time and can keep track of a particular hashtag or even a person.

  • SouthOfTheBorder

    Great tips, thanks for sharing. You have the hackpad link as http://blog.bufferapp.com/hackpad.com – it should be http://hackpad.com

  • http://jacksmith.eu/blog/ Jack Smith

    Cool post. What do you use to power the wiki that you reference? And what do you use the wiki for?

    You also say that you use Zapier to monitor the different hiring process stages; what do you use to track applicants? Do you just use a Trello board?

    You might also be interested to check out : http://coschedule.com/ which automates the editorial content calendar process that you currently use a Trello Board for.

  • onreact

    the hackpad link is broken.

    • Belle

      Fixed! Thanks for the heads up :)

  • http://thebrokerlist.com/ Customer Service

    Thanks Belle Beth, this is so absolutely generous of you to share with us. All of us at theBrokerList, really appreciate as we are a distributed team and travel as well. Also, the industry we serve is very mobile and as we learn how to use these tools, we will share with them as well! We are huge Buffer fans. Happy Thanksgiving too!!

  • http://www.sahilparikh.com/ Sahil Parikh

    Super list! We love hipchat :) instead of Trello we use Brightpod.com
    Sqwiggle seems pretty cool althought I might to want to see my teams faces all the time – sort of an invasion of privacy.

  • http://raymondduke.com/ Raymond Duke | Copywriter

    So the Buffer team uses Buffer to share posts about how the Buffer team uses Buffer.
    So meta :)

    • http://CloudieNetwork.com/ Evan Varsamis

      haha :)

    • http://2livehere.blogspot.com/ Ronit Steinberg

      It always feels so meta when I buffer a buffer blog post

  • Joey Ambrose

    It’s official…you guys are disgustingly awesome :)
    It’s so hard to find all the right tools, but this is a cool list for me to play. Google apps works for us for much of this, and I really like having stuff centralized. Not sure the cool features of some of these are enough to switch yet, but there may be some that integrate. Thanks for sharing. It may just be worth trying some of these.

  • http://www.xtrant.com/ Xtrant

    I think swiggle looks great as well and we use and love buffer here at Xtrant. Thanks for sharing all of these tools. It’s interesting that you’re using so many different tools that we combine into one system – maintaining a central and contextual productive sharing space around a project or initiative. If you have a chance to check us out we’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for making Buffer awesome – I am always impressed.

  • Bookhunter

    I need Idonethis…
    That looks totally what my current (temporary) unfocused, unproductive phase needs.

  • Bookhunter

    Idonethis should have a switch that turns off FaceBook, email alerts, etc. :)

  • http://blog.idonethis.com/ Janet Choi

    Thanks so much for the awesome write-up Belle! Great idea to plug different notifications into hipchat through zapier as well. We just started using hipchat and I don’t think we’ve explored all the fun possibilities!

    • Belle

      Agreed, Janet! We’re constantly finding new fun ways to use HipChat :)

      • sam_rye

        Hey Belle, have you played with Google+ or Hangouts as a back channel for your team at all, or is it just not real-time enough for you / too one dimensional? Trying to see how we can use existing workflows to build in non-invasive communications! Cheers, Sam

        • Belle

          Hey Sam,

          We did used to use Hangouts every day for our daily pair calls, our 1:1 chats and any quick face-to-face sync-ups we needed to have. Nowadays we use Sqwiggle for all of this, except for anytime we want to get the whole team on at once, where Hangouts is still the best option (e.g. when most of us are on retreat and we want to do a call with everyone else included too). Does that help?

          • sam_rye

            Hey Belle,

            Sort of :) We aren’t so “respond real time” in our set up (we run http://lifehackhq.co – a Social Innovation Lab which supports people to design, develop & launch social ventures around youth wellbeing & technology – it’s mostly offline experience-based and then workshops & skills development). That said we are a ‘mobile team’ in how we work – frequent travel, flexible working schedules etc.

            We tend to have several streams of communication:
            - Short form instant messaging for chatter without disturbing people – currently using G+ Hangouts for this.
            - Important links & discussions that we need to return to – currently using Google+ Community for this.
            - Collaborative Task related communications – nested in our own choice of to-do app, mine being Asana.
            - Discussions which thread in external people – currently use Email for this.

            It sounds like you’re using a lot of these tools to help you scale your Culture, more than just for productivity / communication. We’re still in the early stages of figuring out how we operate & relate to one another, so we’re not at the stage of considering how to scale it yet, which might be the main difference?

          • Belle

            Ah, you may be right there, Sam. We do use Trello to keep track of tasks between us, but mostly we rely on email for productivity at the moment, and the rest of these tools help us connect to each other and stay on the same page.

  • vorobiev

    Nice list! I’ll try some of them in my small projects. In current projects I use Papirus.net because it has offline sync and free for small teams.

  • http://www.theyogimovement.com/ Monica Stone

    This is Amazing and so Helpful! I just started my own blog and using buffer (which has completely changed my life) so I totally trust your advice and cant wait to try these out! Seriously… thanks!

  • NealForda

    Trello is great. And Trello + Bitrix24 is the best free productivity combo in the history of humanity

  • Andrea Moro

    Can somebody explain what’s the point in paying a service like sqwiggle when free alternative like Skype and Google plus exists?

  • http://www.asianefficiency.com/ Thanh Pham

    Sweet insights. Thanks for sharing this. Just integrated Help Scout with Hipchat too. How do you guys get those notifications that said someone responded to a ticket within 15 minutes? I don’t see such a trigger within Zapier.

  • Daniel Root

    Nice list. I’m about to go check out Buffer because of this article. It’s been on my todo list for a bit ;) On the repost trello board, you could automate that with IFTTT or Zapier, I’m pretty sure. (If I understand the repost board correctly ;) I’m working on a book, Enter, Trello Dojo http://leanpub.com/trellodojo where I show how to do similar for real estate and several other sectors using Zapier. But essentially you could just trigger a card to get created every time an article shows up in a RSS feed from Google Search.

  • miguelad

    This is great. I hope this post be an inspiration for other companies so we all could discover this tools.

  • http://daveshrein.com Dave Shrein

    This is super helpful. Really gives folks a vision of where they could start and then tweak to find the combination of tools that works for them.

    How often do you find yourselves auditioning new or replacement solutions?

  • Danny Lim

    Super cool! Thanks for sharing some of these tools! I really like how @helpscout and @sparkcentral works! :)

  • FOIreland

    Great post, thanks!

    As a records management professional, I wonder how you’re managing all this information. How do you decide what to keep, long term? If you get hit with a lawsuit (hopefully never happens!) how quickly could you extract information? How do you make sure important information on business decisions is accessible in 5 years, when many people will have moved on? And how do you get rid of the vast amount of info you’re building up?

    Traditional businesses use file plans and retention schedules, electronic document and records management systems to keep on top of these things. I’m not sure they’re the way to go in the future, especially with so many creative software products like the ones you describe. I would love to find better ways of dealing with these problems. Do you have any suggestions?

  • Aiken Cook

    I think proofhub.com is far the best tool I have ever used must be included in this list.

  • http://www.littlemagpie.org/ Bethany Stephens

    Hey all,

    Do you have a preferred screen sharing tool you use or recommend? There are so many options out there, and I just want to count on something smooth, intuitive, preferably free and reliable for screen sharing and realtime chat.

    By and large, I find your recommendations to be the exact sorts of tools I prefer, so appreciate any thoughts!

  • Mike

    You guys should add http://hitask.com to this list! I freakin love it.

  • http://praetorlabs.com/ UltimApe

    That is ingenious using zaper to get stuff pushed to hipChat. Are you using it with HelpScout as well?

    I’ve had something similar kicking around in my mind tied to a ticketing system. I specked it out after being sick of how much was done through massive email chains and getting sick of losing track of which version of a document was up-to-date or what the latest word was for a customer focused issue.

    How do you keep track of things like brainstorms or project related data? Say you needed to start a collection of images to use in the headline of your blog post but weren’t sure what ones would work (new files, comments, reviews, revisions etc). How would that end up being worked into Trello?

  • Alfred wagley

    Great roundup. I’ve used tools like this for 20 years — long before they even arrived on the web — and for me the biggest hurdle has been getting staff to consistently use them. It’s no wonder. They’re all about tasks and treat people as machines you feed task lists to.

    I found something that takes a different approach. It puts people first and addresses issues like creating supportive teams, developing my skills and finding challenging and fulfilling work. IMO, if you have that, the task part is easy. Check it here: http://www.proofhub.com

  • Shenoi

    Time and task tracking tools are more useful for business, which would help track virtual team members time through iphones. I’m always happy to use time tracking tools not only to track time bust also to improve productivity.

    I use Replicon’s product – http://goo.gl/yGF1mm . I believe that in all time tracking tools that I tried, it is the one that works best for me. With this tool it tracks all my activities which allows me to limit wasted time and improve productivity.

  • Núria Costa

    This looks perfect! Thanks so much Belle for sharing.
    I am giving Trello a chance to become more organized. I hope I’ll get used to it :D

  • Matt Litkie

    Ahhh :) my questions finally answered :) Was wondering which twitter tool you guys use to see/track who is replying to tweets! Thanks for this, now I got some new tools to try.

  • http://process.st/ Vinay – http://process.st

    Take a look at http://process.st – its designed for documenting, tracking and systemizing your business. Great for training employees, tracking quality and collaborating.

  • http://netreset.de Alex Maiburg

    I’d like to give trello a try to keep track about my blog post ideas. I’m curious about how you name your trello labels for this process. Would you like to share that information with the community? Thanks in advance! :-)

  • Kent

    How do you keep track of schedules across time zones? What do you use to make sure when you meet with someone your scheduling isn’t wrong?

  • Edward

    ProofHub should also be added to this post. It enhances collaboration and boost productivity. Really a great tool to keep the projects on track.