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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 July 3, 2020

                                  30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

                                  30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

                                  In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

                                  1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

                                  Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

                                  2. Focus on your breath

                                  Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

                                  3. Get organized and purge old items

                                  A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

                                  4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

                                  Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

                                  5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

                                  Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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                                  6. Smile more

                                  Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

                                  7. Don’t worry about the future

                                  As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

                                  8. Eat real food

                                  The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

                                  9. Choose being happy over being right

                                  Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

                                  10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

                                  Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

                                  11. Make use of filtering features on social media

                                  You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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                                  12. Get comfortable with silence

                                  When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

                                  13. Listen to understand, not to respond

                                  So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

                                  14. Put your troubles in a bubble

                                  Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

                                  15. Speak more slowly

                                  Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

                                  16. Don’t procrastinate

                                  Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

                                  17. Buy a coloring book

                                  Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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                                  18. Prioritize yourself

                                  You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

                                  19. Forgive others

                                  Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

                                  20. Check your expectations

                                  Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

                                  21. Engage in active play

                                  Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

                                  22. Stop criticizing yourself

                                  The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

                                  23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

                                  Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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                                  24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

                                  Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

                                  25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

                                  Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

                                  26. Manage your money

                                  Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

                                  27. Stop trying to control everything

                                  Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

                                  28. Practice affirmations

                                  Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

                                  29. Get up before sunrise

                                  Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

                                  30. Be yourself

                                  Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

                                  Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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