Working with virtual teams gives you the opportunity to tap into a larger talent pool and bring creative, like-minded professionals together to achieve something monumental. Yet, if your all-star team is going to work together efficiently in a way that meets or exceeds the productivity of an on-site team, they're going to need a bit of help from the best online tools.
We polled our own dynamic digital marketing team here at TAP, Inc. and asked them which online tools have made the most difference in the way they work with team members and clients.
Here are the top 10 online tools our team says are absolute game changers!
Online Tools for Planning & Team Management
The key to any successful teamwork is planning and project management. Here's what our freelance professionals say are the "must have" online tools for proper planning.
Whether you serve your clients by providing digital marketing services or you're planning out your own company website, SlickPlan is a one-stop shop for:
- Sharing designs
- Creating wireframes
- Planning a website
- Generating user flows
- Building stunning, info-packed diagrams
- Gathering content to fill your webpages
From concept to creation, SlickPlan is the best way to organize your thoughts and collaborate with others to create a masterful web presence.
We all want to work smarter, not harder. Harvest is a time tracking tool that analyzes your data to give you insights into how you can optimize your workflows and become more efficient.
Harvest also doubles as an invoicing and payment management tool so you can pay your people easily and quickly.
Website Design & Development
A brand's website is the face of the company. Don't walk around the digital world with egg on it.
Remote teams that specialize in website design and development are ga-ga over Sketch. Oftentimes there's a bit of a communication gap between what the designer envisions for a website and what the developer builds with the design concepts.
With Sketch, all those barriers are gone. This web design tool allows designers to easily export their styles and imagery for an easy handoff to the developer. Sketch is particularly useful for websites being built in WordPress or with tools like Divvy or Elementor.
When you're working with a team full of creative minds, you need a single pane of glass where you can all contribute ideas and collaborate. That's Abstract.
Abstract gives you and your team a centralized place to easily organize and find design files, have version control, and ensure nothing gets lost in email or Slack. Plus, Abstract integrates with Sketch (see above) so you get the power of both awesome tools in one place.
If you want to create a visually magnificent website the wows visitors and dazzles the eye, you need Webflow. Webflow is the all-in-one website designer, content management system, and ecommerce platform that allows for the creation of incredible websites without extensive coding knowledge.
Apple has set the bar high in terms of providing consumers with a stunning, memorable user interface (UI) that anyone can recognize as uniquely on-brand. Storybook allows you to leave your mark on the minds of users by creating beautiful, sleek UIs.
Whether you need to create individual components or create a universal style guide that all your future creations will fit into for brand and user consistency, Storybook has you covered.
Oh, icons... Every brand needs them but those little bits of line art are so difficult to personalize. Make sure you don't end up with the exact same icons as the next site and the next site and the next with Nucleoapp.
Nucleoapp is an icon organizer and library made up of more than 28,000 searchable, customizable icons. Go find your stand out iconography today.
While we all seem to have a love-hate relationship with social media, it's by far the best digital distribution mechanism for getting your brand name, content, and ideas out there.
Planoly makes dealing with all things Instagram easier – a lot easier. On Instagram, it's not enough to create stunning posts with just the right cocktail of hashtags. You also need to have an overall profile that looks like it was curated by Michaelangelo himself. Planoly helps you do just that.
Recently, Planoly has expanded to include Facebook and Pinterest planning, too!
So you have a sleek, professional-looking website and you've mastered social media. Now it's time to tell the world why you're different from all the competition out there. The best way to do that is with content marketing.
StoryChief is a blogging tool that allows you to perfectly SEOptimize your blog content, add rich media, and publish it to your website with a single click. Plus, in the same amount of time, you can also push your post out to countless media platforms such as Facebook Articles and Medium.
Oh, and you can also schedule your blog posts to be distributed over your social media profiles and add custom images, post copy, and hashtags, too. With StoryChief account ambassadors, you can ask people on your list to reshare your content to maximize your reach into new markets.
One more thing... you StoryChief also gives you rich data analytics so you can see how well your content is performing, on which platforms, and tweak your strategy for optimal growth.
Good ol' email marketing. It's been around since the dawn of the web and it's still here – for good reason: it works!
Gmass allows you to easily schedule emails, send out mass emails, and complete mail merge campaigns all from within your favorite email client: Gmail! Maximize your email open rates and click-throughs, easily tap into your database of contacts via Google Sheets, and set automatic follow-up emails to be sent sequentially until you get a reply.
With these tools, managing your virtual team, collaborating, and getting the best results is easier than ever.
Have other online tools your team can't live without? Drop your suggestion in the comments below! We'd love to hear it.