Working Remotely? 10 Digital Tools That Can Help

Maakyé,

That’s hello in Ghanaian Twi. I hope these last two weeks have gone well for you.

We know how hard it has been to adapt to the new directive to avoid public gatherings and work remotely. Some of you may be new to working online while others could be looking for new ideas to add to the mix.

Nendo is part of the UN Global Compact, an initiative committed to implementing universal sustainability principles. As part of our response to COVID-19, we would like to share the tools and resources that we use at Nendo in hopes that it will make your journey a little easier. Happy reading!


1. Basecamp ($)


Basecamp is a project management tool that incorporates tasks and work chat. It also has a “client-side” where clients can engage in the same environment and minimise emails. Why we like it:

  • It helps keep everything in one place i.e. teams, documents and to-do lists.
  • It is equally effective on mobile as it is on desktop.

Tips

  • Avoid sending alerts to your email inbox. You can also turn them off on specific days or use ‘Focus’ mode.
  • Get the mobile version to stay connected while away from your computer.
  • When assigning a task, tag the relevant person so that they are notified.
  • Upload documents and meeting agendas to respective projects for easy tracking.
  • Keep Basecamp within the team. See more here.
  • For free alternatives, consider Trello or Slack.


2. G Suite ($)

An integrated suite of secure, cloud-native collaboration apps powered by Google. Includes Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Meet and more.

Why we like it:

  • It allows for multi-person collaboration.
  • It features cross-platform compatibility (Android, iOS, PC & Mac).

Tips

  • Set up and categorise work folders where your team can store shared files in.
  • Set up company templates for documents and presentations.
  • Make use of the activity feature in the Admin console if you want to see the edits that were made to a document.
  • Aptly name the different versions of a document in order to track the most up-to-date.
  • Choose a payment tier that gives you enough storage according to your company’s needs.
  • See more tips here.

3. Sprout Social ($)

A social media scheduling tool that helps ensure your pages are up to date.

Why we like it:

  • It allows up to ten profiles and automatically generates reports, which saves time.
  • It offers both aggregated reports and individual reports for each social media platform.

Tips

  • Make use of the ‘Competitor Analysis’ feature in the reporting tab.
  • Make use of the platform’s ‘Best time to publish’ scheduling tool.
  • Analyse your best posts using engagement rate, reach and impressions.
  • Monitor Twitter keywords in the ‘Trends report’ under reports.
  • See more here.


4. Clockify ($)

A tool that allows your staff to track the amount of time they use on a certain project.

Why we like it:

  • Keeps track of the time spent on projects and reflects overall productivity.

Tips

  • Set up different task categories for each client early on.
  • Generate reports for clients to view the number of hours spent on a project.
  • Integrate Clockify with G-Suite or Basecamp to get automatic entries.
  • Install the browser extension for easier tracking.
  • Use the time data to check the company’s profitable projects and not necessarily for performance review. See more here.


5. Google Meet ($)

A  video-conferencing tool that integrates Google’s features.

Why we like it:

  • It is fully integrated with Google Suite, so you can join meetings directly from a Calendar event or email invite.
  • It has a great mobile version that allows you to dial in with your phone number in the event that you do not have an internet connection.

Tips

  • When you are on a call, always mute your microphone if you are not speaking.
  • Choose an area with adequate lighting and a plain background.
  • Inline headphones/ headset microphones yield a better audio quality than the default computer microphone.
  • Use the ‘Present your screen’ feature to share a document or presentation.
  • Set up calls in smaller rooms that will have less background echo.
  • See more video-conferencing etiquette here.


6. WhatsApp

A chat app that allows you to communicate within tailored groups.

Why we like it:

  • WhatsApp is one of the most ubiquitous apps in the country as seen in our State of Mobile Data report.
  • WhatsApp calls are more affordable than traditional phone calls.

Tips

  • Set the ground rules for each group by making the description clear.
  • In cases where one-way communication is needed, ensure that only admins can post.
  • Avoid spamming your team with irrelevant information.
  • Respect work and personal hours.
  • See more here.


7. Google File Stream

An application that lets you stream and store your files on the cloud instead of on your computer.

Why we like it:

  • It allows cross-device file sharing.
  • It can open files in common apps like Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop.

Tips

  • Have a consistent naming and file organisation system.
  • Sync your files over WiFi or with an unlimited subscription plan as the process consumes a lot of bandwidth.


8. Webflow

A  tool that helps you design and host websites and doubles as a Content Management System.

Why we like it:

  • It’s easy to create web-pages, which helps when it comes to publishing our multiple reports.
  • Webflow gives you complete design freedom, whereas WordPress is restricted by templates and constantly needs plugins.
  • It has separate dashboards 'Editor' and 'Design & Develop' dashboards, which eliminates the possibility of erroneous mistakes.
  • It is very simple to use and well made for visual designers, with zero coding needed. It, however, allows for custom coding if one wants to add extra features.
  • It has a great community of other Webflow users for support and discussion forums.

Tips

  • For repetitive website designs, use the 'Symbols' feature which also allows for quick updates to multiple sections, by editing the master.
  • Always use the free proxy domain that comes as part of a plan to test your designs and edits before publishing them to your main site.
  • Use proper naming and structuring of animations for easier reusability of animations across the site.
  • Take advantage of the integration feature and add custom webhooks and applications or a platform like Zapier that can also be used to automate some of the repetitive tasks across your site.
  • Learn more here.


9. Skitch by Evernote

Skitch is an app that easily allows you to communicate your notes visually with annotations, shapes and sketches.
Why we like it:

  • It supports PNG, JPEG, TIFF, GIF, BMP and PDF formats.

Tips

  • Integrate the app with Evernote to easily save your screenshots and annotations.


10. Creative and Note-taking Tools

We use several other tools that you can check out including Workflowy, Adobe XD, Brandwatch, iA Writer, Canva, Refind and Venngage. Feel free to check them out.

Which digital tools have worked for you? Let us know on our Twitter page. If you need clarification or advise on any of the above tools, feel free to get in touch.

Until next time,

Mark and Team Nendo

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