As a small business with a startup mentality, At Media relies on great technology just as much as its great people to function at its prime. We’re efficient and nimble as a business, and require tech solutions that can keep up with our pace. So when it comes to being efficient, doing more with less, and providing the best project management for our clients, we’ve come to rely on a handful of amazing software tools and web apps.
If you’re a project manager or even managing a startup of your own, I highly recommend you take a look at these apps and start to implement them into your processes. Along with our list of content marketing tools you can’t live without, there’s a plethora of free resources you should be using. None of these companies have sponsored this – we just believe in their functionality and rely on them on a daily basis. After all, they help keep us delivering projects on time, and on budget.
Harvest is the end-all-be-all solution for time tracking. Time tracking is an important aspect of agency work, but it’s also one that can become burdensome if not implemented correctly. As a small agency, everyone’s input counts in At Media, which is why its so important to track each team member’s time. We have every client and each project associated with them assigned hours, budget, tasks, and team members. On a daily basis, each employee is required to track any time they spend according to client and task. The desktop (and mobile) app make tracking time as easy as clicking a “play” or “pause” button.
In budget planning and proposal writing, this helps the agency estimate required hours for new clients. With ongoing current client work, Harvest reporting provides tracking down to the minute, making it easy for clients to see where time is going. Weekly time reports keep our CEO in the loop and provide a perfect snapshot for project managers.
At first, it felt strange to track my every minute of every day, but now I find myself wanting to click the timing app even when at home doing real-world things…like cooking…or walking the dog. Gotta track that time!
Next, Asana is a project manager’s dream tool. I wouldn’t be surprised if it even gave some people a God complex, as it’s an all-encompassing project management tool that lets you assign tasks to all employees (including your boss). I, personally, don’t know what I’d do without it in the office.
Like Harvest, Asana lets you break down your to-do list by client and project. Adding a project and assigning it to team members is simple, efficient, and totally intuitive. Then, once the project is assigned, Asana provides great email updates and inbox reminders whenever someone comments, completes, or changes a task. Better yet, you can respond to the task’s status right from your email too.
There’s no better solution for a small, growing business or startup than subscribing to Google’s business suite. As an all-in-one platform for email, calendars, docs, and storage, it just makes so much sense.
Most employees that start working with At Media are already familiar with webmail such as Gmail, and Google’s business email runs identically to the ever-popular Gmail interface. There’s zero learning curve, and all the best features of Gmail are there (threaded conversations, I’m looking at you).
We’ve been using the Drive and Documents as a way to collaborate on ongoing strategic documents and lengthy website content outlines. The cloud is the perfect way to make sure everyone’s edits are taken into account and really helps keep everyone on the same page.
Talk about keeping everyone on the same page, there’s nothing better than Join.Me for making sure clients, customers, or even team members are all seeing the same thing. This service (free to try) makes sharing your screen remotely a simple task.
Just create an account, start a meeting, and share the link of the meeting with your guests. They’ll be prompted to download some small software and the meeting will start, letting you display your computer screen right on theirs.
We’ve found this extremely useful for situations when we’re demonstrating a new website’s design and functionality, and want to display it in a controlled environment. Join.Me gives us the ability to show a client exactly how the site should look – eliminating the variables of poor resolution, image distortion, etc.
Whether you’re a project manager in a small business like us, scaling rapidly, or a startup that’s just beginning, these tools are just begging to help project managers succeed and focus on what they do best. I’ve found that even though I rely on all of these apps on daily basis for 8+ hours a day, they’ve almost faded into the background – I don’t need to think about them. And that’s how essential technology should function for small businesses. It should complement your work style and provide efficiencies you couldn’t achieve without it.