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11 Tools to Help You Keep Track of Your Remote Employees

11 Tools to Help You Keep Track of Your Remote Employees

As the workforce continues to grow and change, so does the kind and location of employees. Outsourcing and telecommuting are quickly becoming a normal part of the workday. But, as an employer, it can be difficult to keep an eye on your employees if they don’t (or can’t) come into the office. How can you be sure that they’re working and not watching funny videos all day?

While it’s definitely important to trust your employees, you can also have the additional security of knowing when they’re working for you. Here are eleven tools to help you monitor your staff even when you don’t work in the same place.

1. Google+ Hangouts

This is a common option because the name will be easily recognized, virtually anyone can have access to it and it’s also a free service. There are limits to this service, however, one of which is an occupant max per conference call.  This is also a great option because of how flexible and well-known the brand is. You can coordinate meetings and conference calls across the various mobile platforms, both on Android or iPhone.

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2. Ximble

With a low monthly cost and various features, Ximble is a great choice for employee tracking. There is multilanguage support so you can communicate across countries. There is a feature that allows you to complete your staff payroll easily and without any extra hassle. They offer a mobile component so you can be aware of any changes or issues even if you are on the go.

3. Freckle

If you don’t want to add any clutter to your computer, this is a great piece of software. Operating out of your web browser, Freckle lets you track projects, remote employee time usage and create invoices to better organize your workspace. They also offer a free trial so you can test it before you commit.

4. LiquidPlanner

This software specializes in project portfolio management and individual project tracking. When your employees are working, they have the option of either running a real-time clock or entering their time manually. It also utilizes a timesheet feature, which lets you combine multiple, repeated tasks so you can be better records.

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5. WORKetc

This web-based tool is actually a combination of systems. This software manages projects, billing, sales and other tasks. This program also lets you be as free with your own telecommuting as your employees. You can access the software wherever you are so you can follow your employees as they work.

6. Trigger

Trigger is a time-tracking software that also has tables meant for client information tracking. If you’re in sales, your team can create different categories and manage their information. Using the different color grids, which will let you track your employees easily by name and picture. It’s also one of the cheaper options.

7. iDoneThis

If you’re looking for a tracker that doesn’t require your constant attention, this is it. This software tracking system allows you to get updates without any extra typing or input. Your remote employees are required to submit an email that lists their daily completed tasks. The email is automatically sent to you for review, with the compiled data from each worker. By having each worker input what they actually completed versus just how much time was used, you can track achievements too.

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8. Timely

Boasting an easy-to-use interface, Timely is one of the best time monitoring apps. Instead of a general time clock, it has project-specific trackers. This way you’ll be able to learn how much time you need for a project. There is also the useful feature of email notification, which will alert you in case the project clock is still going.

9. MySammy

MySammy is another of the more in-depth trackers available. It doesn’t have cursor tracking but instead uses a bar graph to represent productivity. It displays productively used time in green and other, less work-related time in red. What’s nice is that what gets the red or green placement is entirely up to you. They offer a month-long free trial and have one of the cheaper payment options.

10. TSheets

One of the hassles of remote employees is coordinating their available schedules. You also have to worry about managing pre-work punch-ins and post-shift punch outs. TSheets has more than one option for your employees to record their time so you’ll always be up to date with this information.

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11. Worksnaps

This is another time-tracking software choice for those who need more frequent and more detailed status updates. Along with time, this will what your employees type as well as mouse movements. It takes screenshots every ten minutes and also makes a list of which applications your employees are using.

Featured photo credit: StartupStockPhotos via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on October 16, 2019

11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

1. ScheduleOnce

    ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

    ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

    ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

    Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

    Available on Web

    2. Calendly

      Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

      You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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      Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

      3. Assistant.to

        For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

        From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

        While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

        Available on Web

        4. Acuityscheduling

          Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

          It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

          Available on Web | iOS | Android

          5. Pick

            Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

            At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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            Available on Web

            6. X.ai

              For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

              This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

              Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

              Available on Web

              7. YouCanBook.me

                is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                Available on Web

                8. Doodle

                  Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                  It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                  You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                  While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                  Available on Web | iOS | Android

                  9. WhenAvailable

                    WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                    Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                    Available on Web

                    10. Rally

                      Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                      Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                      Available on Web

                      11. NeedtoMeet

                        Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                        NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                        While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                        Available on Web

                        Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                        In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                        To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                        Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                        A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                        Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                        If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                        Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                        With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                        The Bottom Line

                        Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                        Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                        Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                        Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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