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14 Online Tools That Help Your Team Stay Connected, Productive, and Happy

14 Online Tools That Help Your Team Stay Connected, Productive, and Happy

Being able to work remotely, or even build a company that’s remote, is not easy, but it’s possible today. Some of today’s most notable companies, including Basecamp, Buffer, Virgin, and WordPress are building companies with over 100+ employees all around the world. How did they do it?

They found the right ‘tools’When your team members are living on opposite sides of the continent and in different time-zones, effective tools are vital to your team culture, productivity, and success. We’ve tested hundreds of online tools to maximize how we stay connected, productive, and happy.  Here is a list of top 14 online tools that you will find useful for yourself and your team. The first four deal with connectivity while the last four help to make your team happier. The remaining six tolls help to increase your team’s productivity.

1. Slack – Keeping Everyone Connected

Slack is a powerful and free way to coordinate with your team and keep everyone on the same page.

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    2. Help Scout – Customer Support Inbox Managed In One Place

    When we first started, we coordinated all of our customer support through Gmail. That got messy — fast. With Help Scout, we can now invite our support team to the application, and coordinate all of our support tickets in one place. They also have a knowledge base feature that allows you to systematize your customer service.

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      3. Intercom – Live Customer Support

      Intercom is a live chat support tool that allows you to send manual and automated notifications to visitors and customers inside the app based on their behaviors. It helps our customers get direct, immediate support, and helps us keep everyone happy.

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        4. Basecamp – Creating company milestones, goals, and organizing files

        Basecamp has been around for over 17 years. Which is far longer than most team management tools out there. And their product shows it. It’s a great tool to organize everything in your company, or even for yourself to keep everything organized. They have a free plan for one project (also known as Basecamp), and you can input as many users as you want.

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          5. Stunning– Helping Customers Update Billing Information In One Click

          Stunning is a new tool we’ve recently adopted in order to recover lost revenue in our business. A common issue that every business runs into is failed charges. This could be due to fraud, card expiry, or just the customer’s bank rejecting the charge for security reasons.

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            What Stunning allows us to do is help update, remind, and empower customers to update their information with one-click.

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              6. Trello – Coordinating Future Blog Posts, To-Do Lists, And More

              Content marketing has been the biggest driver of our website growth thus far, and it’s growing faster by the month. People often ask how we’re able to brainstorm, organize, and publish so many articles at a time. Before, we were using a Google Spreadsheet, which got pretty chaotic.

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                Now we use Trello to organize everything into various sections: Ideas, To-do’s, To be published, and Published.

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                  7. WordPress – Content Management Platform

                  I have yet to hear a better platform for content management, which is why companies like Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and 20% of the internet is powered by WordPress.

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                    8. Pomodoro – Workcycle To Maximize Productivity Without Burnout

                    I would often find myself working for two to three hour periods at a time, without taking a break. When you’re working on something you’re passionate about, it’s easy to put your head down without resting.

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                    The issue was, I was feeling less productive and losing my creativity after about 60-minutes or so. I’ve recently been adopting the Pomodoro Technique, where you work in 25 minute chunks, then take small breaks (~5 minutes). It’s forced me to focus on completing one important task without distraction. Taking small breaks throughout the day prevents your team to from burning out.

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                      9. Invision – Design And Development Collaboration In One Place

                      Invision allows our team to collaborate and share comments on design layouts, feature builds, and even prototype new ideas inside the app. It’s saved us a lot of time and keeps our entire team aligned to one vision of the product.

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                        10. Zapier – Automation Of Recurring Tasks (IFTTT For Business)

                        If you’ve used IFTTT for your personal automation, you’ll love Zapier for your business. It allows us to automate important functions of our business, without needing to develop it on the back-end.

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                          11. Five Minute Journal – Daily Reminders To Express Gratitude and Appreciation

                          The five minute journal was originally recommended by Tim Ferriss, who uses it in his daily routine. It’s easy to be caught up with the current events of your day, and lose appreciation of what you have in your life. The five minute journal gives you the template and framework to record down your thoughts, and what you’re most appreciative for before you start your day, and before you hit the sheets.

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                            12. Calm

                            Meditation And Peace Of Mind On-Demand

                            Whenever we feel stressed out, Calm is a go-to tool to get grounded again. It provides soothing background noises for you to enjoy, including a guided meditation practice that lasts 5 to 10 minutes.

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                              13. Strides – Powerful Habit Tracker With Visual Data Analytics Of Your Habits

                              We are what we do repeatedly. As boring as it sounds, having daily routines is what gives us the freedom to do what we want in our lives. I’ve tried multiple habit tracking online tools, but Strides is one of the best based on visual appearances and usability.

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                                14. 8tracks – Curated Music Selected Based On What Mood You Are In

                                8tracks gives you music collections depending on what mood you are in.

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                                  Featured photo credit: businessfitnessblog.files.wordpress.com via businessfitnessblog.files.wordpress.com

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                                  Sean Kim

                                  Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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                                  Last Updated on March 25, 2020

                                  How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated

                                  How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated

                                  How many times have you not achieved your goals and let yourself down due to your lack of motivation? When you’re not wallowing in sadness and self-pity, you are too busy procrastinating till you can’t anymore and before you know it, you are part of vicious cycle of anxiety and stress.

                                  Whether it’s losing weight or bringing your business to fruition – motivation is essential for growth and success in every sphere of our lives.

                                  That said, it is not easy staying motivated. In order to constantly stay motivated, you need to take ownership of your life and consciously make efforts in that direction.

                                  Well, it’s never too late to take matters in your hands and change the course of your life. Here are 11 effective ways to crush your lack of motivation and always stay motivated:

                                  1. Write Your Goals

                                  The power of writing goals down has always been underestimated. Why write when you can remember, right? Wrong.

                                  Our thoughts are all over the place and the first step to achieve your goals is to organize your thoughts. So, write your goals down, however big or small they might be. Make them as specific as possible and assign deadlines to each of them.

                                  As you write them down and revisit them regularly, they get further drilled in your head, taking you closer to your goals. Doing this small exercise helps you to remain focused, motivated and lets you track your progress with ease.

                                  Start today – take to your laptop or a diary and get down to writing what you wish to achieve in life.

                                  2. Beat Procrastination

                                  Your lack of motivation and procrastination go hand in hand. Every time you procrastinate, your motivation levels take a greater hit. The only way to bring an end to this loop is to stop procrastinating.

                                  Next time you find yourself putting off something for ‘later’, stop and assess the reasons behind it. Get to the root of the cause and eliminate it in order to overcome this poor habit of procrastinating which is sabotaging your life and mental health.

                                  Take a look at this guide and learn how to beat procrastination:

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                                  What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating)

                                  When you finally overcome procrastination, you will realize the positive impact it has on your mood and motivation levels.

                                  3. Celebrate Small Wins

                                  In the quest to achieve the bigger goals in life, we often forget to celebrate the smaller wins along the way. An achievement is an achievement – be it big or small, it deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.

                                  Finished a project on time? Reward yourself. Managed to run on the treadmill for a good one hour? Pat yourself on the back. Found time to meditate? Celebrate it.

                                  It is these small achievements that reinstate that we are on the right path and take us one step closer to the bigger goals.

                                  So, get into the habit of recognizing and appreciating small wins. You will be surprised to see how this practice helps you stay motivated.

                                  4. Practice Gratitude

                                  It’s easier to whine about what we don’t have rather than counting our blessings. Isn’t it?

                                  Making gratefulness a part of your life is a very important step to retain high motivational levels. It revitalizes our spirits and renews our enthusiasm for life.

                                  So, how do you practice gratitude? For starters, keep a gratitude journal to jot down what you are grateful for, express your gratitude to people you love and spread positivity wherever you go. If you need some inspiration to be thankful for, here it is:

                                  60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

                                  By doing so, you begin to focus more on what you have rather than what you don’t and that is a great start to stay motivated.

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                                  5. Be Optimistic

                                  Life is not always hunky dory. There will be bad days when things aren’t going in your favor, when you feel lost and all you want to do is give up.

                                  At such times, instead of letting negativity take over your life, adopt an optimistic approach to life. Quit overthinking, ask the right questions and focus on finding solutions.

                                  Yes, there will be hurdles along the way but if you hang on to positive affirmations and hopes, the journey will be a lot smoother. So, with every passing day, sow the seeds of positivity and you are sure to build a positive environment around you.

                                  6. Don’t Dwell on the Past

                                  A lot of times, our lack of motivation stems from the habit of dwelling on the past. This gives rise to fear and regrets, preventing us from making progress in the present day.

                                  Dwelling on the past is nothing but a waste of time. Understand that the past is long gone, and you cannot do anything to change that.

                                  What you can do is make your present day worthwhile. Instead of looking back and having regrets, learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself and move on.

                                  So, the next time you find your mind wandering off to the past, be determined to change the way you think and consciously concentrate on living in the present. This guide can help you:

                                  10 Simple Steps To Let Go Of The Past

                                  7. Face your Fears

                                  You can never find motivation where there is fear. Identify the fear that is pulling you back and tackle it.

                                  If you don’t face your fear head on, you cannot expect to conquer it and renew your motivation.

                                  Ask yourself: What is stopping you? What are you scared of?

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                                  Once you accept your fear, you can work on an action plan and think of solutions to overcome it. This article will give you some effective tips on conquering your fears:

                                  How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

                                  Seek external help if required but don’t choose to turn a blind eye over your fears – it will only aggravate matters.

                                  8. Visualize your Success

                                  You must have heard the famous quote, ‘see it to believe it’. That is exactly what visualization is about.

                                  One of the most effective self-motivation techniques, visualizing the process to your desired outcome helps you move in a positive direction and achieve your goal.

                                  Close your eyes and focus all your energies on the minutest of details that will take you where you want to reach. Doing this exercise everyday inspires you to keep going and not lose hope. The vision of attaining success will drive you to do better while instilling belief and confidence.

                                  9. Find Inspiration

                                  Can’t seem to find inspiration inwards? Don’t panic. There are plenty of external sources to gain inspiration from.

                                  From motivational books and quotes to speeches, films and apps – it is a good idea to take help from motivational material to rekindle your spirits and regain your motivation.

                                  Everyone is wired differently. For instance, a self-help book might work for your friend, but it might do nothing to move you. So, find what inspires you and turn to it when you are in desperate need for motivation.

                                  Finding inspiration externally fills you with hope and sometimes that is all you need.

                                  10. Enjoy Downtime

                                  You are clearly exhausted with all the running you’re doing in life. So much, that you don’t even have time to stop and think what’s causing you so much unhappiness. All you know is that you are lacking motivation and everyday seems to have become a struggle.

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                                  Now, that’s certainly not how you should live the rest of your life.

                                  You need to schedule downtime for yourself, relax and give your mind and body some rest. Take a vacation, indulge in hobbies, meet some friends, put your hair down and stop with all the overthinking. It is important to do things that make you happy in order to think clearly and stay motivated.

                                  11. Meditate Regularly

                                  Meditation lets you take control of your mind. It improves focus and concentration while helping you relax.

                                  Whenever you have had a tough day or find your thoughts going places, the best way to calm yourself down is by closing your eyes and meditating. It helps you to remove all the unnecessary frills in life and keeps you on the right track.

                                  Include meditation in your daily schedule and you are sure to see an improvement in your productivity and motivation.

                                  The Bottom Line

                                  Practicing these simple exercises isn’t the tough part, what’s tough is religiously doing them every day.

                                  However, don’t expect to get rid of your lack of motivation overnight. There will still be days when you will be low on energy but by making these conscious efforts to stay motivated, you are sure to see a vast change in your perspective and your response to bad days.

                                  So, start today and be committed to making a positive change in your life.

                                  More Tips About Staying Motivated

                                  Featured photo credit: Sonnie Hiles via unsplash.com

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