Packing for Corona

Would you pack for a vacation without knowing where you are going? It wouldn’t be ideal ending up in Hawaii with ski bibs, would it?

If you’ve never worked from home, prior to COVID-19, you may feel a little ski-bibbie right now which is why we’ve compiled a “packing list” of helpful softwares to help you during this world pandemic. 

The G Suite (starting $6/month): Most of you are probably using these products but on the off chance that you aren’t, do yourself and your team a favor and start. Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets, etc are all a part of the G Suite package. Basically these tools all sit in the Cloud and allow team members to share and store files, help increase productivity, and allow collaboration on projects. While you will pay for this, it will be worth every penny. 

Calendly (free basic plan): Calendly is the answer to every scheduling nightmare you’ve ever had. The software allows for you to schedule calls, meetings, or anything that needs to be on your calendar by sharing a personal link that gives access to see your calendar’s customized availability. So no back and forth with availability. It is seamless. 

Chimp or Champ (free basic plan): Hopefully you are keeping in touch with your team members but no one blames you for trying to figure out how to navigate your new norm and sometimes forgetting to constantly check in. Chimp or Champ is a weekly anonymous employee happiness meter for you to check your team pulse, improve employee well-being and achieve better results. 

Krisp (free basic plan): If you haven’t seen the footage of embarrassing Zoom moments since the quarantine started, go ahead and do a quick search and thank me later… We all know working from home with children, pets, or whatever else can be difficult to navigate. Background noise is super annoying to everyone on a call, as is switching back and forth between mute and unmute. Krisp is an awesome way to solve that problem by muting the background noise while still allowing you to talk. 

Canva (free basic plan): Canva is a graphic design platform that allows users to create social media graphics, presentations, posters and other visual content. It is available on web and mobile, and has tons of images, fonts, and templates (think for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc). 

Videoup (free early access): Videoup is a personalized video messaging tool to increase engagement with your customers. In a time when customer engagement, success, and retention are more important than ever sending a personalized 30-second video to welcome, thank, and/or touch base is such a great way to cut through the noise AND you can send via email or SMS. Videoup is offering free early access now through the end of May!

Zoom (free basic plan): This software is a lifesaver for video and audio conferencing as well as really anything you need to do virtually. If you do a lot of workshops or advising and need a face to face place to meet, this will save you and is really easy to navigate. 

Google Voice (starting $10/month): Working from home also means no work phones AKA you are now sharing your personal number which is less than ideal.  Google Voice is a telephone service that provides call forwarding and voicemail services, voice and text messaging so you never have to worry about Joe Schmoe texting you at 3 AM. 

Slack (try for free): Slack is a collaboration hub that can replace email to help you and your team work together seamlessly. Think instant messaging for one on one interactions, multiple people, and for your whole team. It is the best next thing to in person conversations. 

Basecamp (free 30 day trial): This project management tool will help working at home and a part from your team feel as normal as possible. It is easy to see which team member is responsible for certain tasks, will help break things up, and ultimately makes completion and communication seamless. 

Whether your team needs help communicating, completing tasks, or a pick-me-up, these softwares can help improve the work from home experience and help your team be better than before. Who knows how long this will last or what the new normal will be but there is comfort in creating normalcy and feeling equipped and prepared.