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Disruptt works as a predominantly remote team, with our roster and clients based all over North America – from New York to Los Angeles.

 

We don’t live the 9 to 5, Monday to Friday lifestyle and sometimes that can make team communication challenging. Our core team works together in-person when we can, but there are times where Jordan’s on tour with What’s Your Big Lie or Cali’s away at school, or both.  

 

We have collaborative multi-person tasks with deadlines, and we want to check on their status as they progress. After months and months of product trials and demos, we’ve finally settled down with productivity tools that work for us.

 

If you’re waiting for others on your team to respond to your emails buried within their cluttered inbox, sending links to documents that need to be reviewed, and texting each other reminders that, let’s be honest, are usually forgotten I’m here to help you out. The best part – they all have a free version!

 

A bit of context for you – before I started working with Disruptt I was a hard-core pen & paper planner. I had weekly planners, to-do lists and matching stationery from Chapters Indigo (Canada’s Barnes & Noble). I’ve entirely phased out paper (save the trees!) and use the tools below for my personal and professional life:

 

1) Calendly

This is my #1 recommendation for campus programmers. We’ve all experiences this before: Talking to someone over email and trying to figure out the best time for a call. It usually goes something like this:

 

I’m free between 2PM and 4PM Wednesday and 10AM to 12PM Friday, what time works best for you?

3PM on Wednesday and 11AM on Friday work for me. Which day would you prefer?

Let’s do Wednesday at 3PM. What’s the best number to call you?

 

…and so on.

 

Calendly alleviates the back and forth of finding the right time and contact information. It connects with your Google calendar to ensure if you have something else blocked off and marked as “busy” it won’t schedule a conflicting event. I get email notifications when a call has been booked, and reminder emails 30 minutes before. All you have to do is connect your calendar, set the weekly times you’re available and send people your link when you want to schedule a meeting.

 

Check out my Calendly page here: www.calendly.com/lexieward

(Note: I have the premium account, which allows me to have multiple meeting types. The free version allows one meeting type, which is really all you need to start)

Video Tutorial for Setting up Calendly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek9cVK4sCgs

 

2) Slack

Everything from group forums to direct messaging to document sharing, Slack’s slogan is “team communication for the 21st century.”

 

We use Slack with our entire roster, many of whom are all over the world doing what they love. We have different channels (forums) for different projects and topics and only those related to that topic are in the channel. We also have a channel called “#fam” where everyone can post photos, quotes and little pick-me-ups for the entire team and roster to see.

 

Program demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RJZMSsH7-g

Check them out here:  https://slack.com/is

 

3) Trello

Trello is my to-do list on steroids. Back when I was hand-writing lists, I’d find myself re-writing 10 of the 50 items I still had to do, simply because I didn’t like looking at my messy list of checked off and recently added things.

 

Trello has boards (to-do lists) with different cards (categories within the to-do lists) where you can assign team members and add deadlines to certain tasks. My personal board is called “Lexie’s To Do List Yo” and has cards for the days of the week with “Weekly Repeating” and “Weekly Specific” tasks. My team can view my to-do list and add specific things they’d like me to get done, and vice-versa. When tasks are completed, you can “archive” the task. If a task hasn’t been completed yet, you can drag it over to the next day’s to-do list (and repeat as long as you need to). We also have boards for tasks we know have to get done eventually, but haven’t decided on when it’ll get done or who will take on the task.   

 

Trello has an awesome phone app to add those random “oh yeah, I need to do that” items when you’re out of office.

 

Check out a demo video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xky48zyL9iA

The best part? Trello integrates with Slack to keep you updated on everything task related!  https://trello.com/platforms/slack

 

4) Airtable

If you aren’t crunching serious numbers, Airtable takes Excel and Google Sheets and blows them out of the water. It’s a more interactive spreadsheet that lets multiple users work on the document at once, while letting you organize ideas, assign owners, and attach documents and images to a specific row/cell.

 

We use Airtable for databases, checklists and tour scheduling, but they have a collection of editable templates for everything from film production to recipes to wedding planning.

 

Their sorting feature is my favourite. You can apply multiple filters and hide columns for easy viewing.

 

Check out their product tour here: https://airtable.com/product

 

5) Buffer

Social media is important in this day & age. Whether it’s for specific event promotions or increasing overall brand awareness, you have to get your name out there. We at Disruptt much prefer to sit down for an hour or two per week and schedule all the posts across our social media accounts for the entire week, rather than create posts individually throughout the week. Believe it or not, it saves HOURS throughout the week. Once they’re scheduled, you’ll get a nudge on the selected date/time. All you have to do is click a button confirming you want to post it and off it goes.

 

For more: https://buffer.com/#individuals

 

Even using one of the five above will save you time in the long run. Setups and demos can be a bit overwhelming, but once you get the feel for them and use them on a regular basis, you’ll be a productivity machine.

 

Do you have any tools you’d recommend to campus leaders? Comment below! 🙂