I’ve worked with Hayley for six months now and we have only ever met face to face on two occasions. Sometimes we even go a week or two without speaking on the phone. We live in different states, and work different hours to each other. But I know I can get a quick response from her if I need guidance, and I’m pretty sure that Hayley knows I’m there when she needs me.
We manage this through using some simple and effective technology that allows us to keep in touch and stay focused on our work priorities. Our current favourite apps are:
We use Voxer ALL THE TIME. It is a “Walkie Talkie” app that allows you to send texts, voice messages, photos and videos to your contacts. This is how I ask Hayley a “quick question”. The great thing is that you can respond to your Voxer messages a couple of times a day, allowing you to focus on more important tasks for a block of time (eg, writing a plan) without being distracted. For teams that are not located near each other, I think it’s very useful for allowing you to communicate in a very effective way, without taking time away from your key priorities. It’s also more personal than emails or text messages and allows you to share the funny and silly things that happen during your day.
Trello is an organisational app. It allows you to create your own Boards, Lists and Cards so that you can organise all aspects of your workflow. I love using it - I find it a flexible and simple tool to organise my priorities for the week. For each task (“Card”) you can add labels, comments and due dates, and it’s easy to categorise tasks and re-order them as your priorities shift. Trello allows Hayley to see what I’m working on, and keeps us informed of the work we are both doing with our clients. For me, Trello has replaced my task list, and post it notes!
By using apps like Voxer and Trello we are more efficient and effective, which in turn gives us more space and time to enjoy our personal lives (and that’s what it is all about for us here at CPS)!