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We’ve worked as a team – remotely – for seven years, and we’re sharing some of our favorite tips for making it work.
Thanks also to our Patreon patrons and our YouTube members.
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Credits (and Twitter handles):
Video Writer, Director, Narrator: Kate Yoshida
Video Illustrator: Sarah Berman (@sarahjberman)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Alex Reich, Ever Salazar, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg, Julián Gómez, Arcadi Garcia Rius
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:
We surveyed our team members and put together our favorite specific tools and tips for working from home:
Video Conference Tips:
-During meetings, mute yourself when you’re not speaking, especially if you’re not using headphones. The noise in the room you’re in or the feedback caused by your speakers audio can make the communication less effective.
-Learn how to mute other people in meetings (and don’t take offense when you do get muted).
-Figure out tech workarounds for when your wifi inevitably goes on the fritz (call people in, turn off video to reduce wifi strain, etc).
File Management Tips:
-Establish a naming convention with your team, so that all your shared files are consistent, searchable and organized. All of our projects have two-word codenames and numbers that make it easy to identify them regardless of the final title of the video. When making recordings or video files, we use incremental numbering (e.g. “Audio 1”, “Audio 2”, etc). NEVER use the word “final” or “last” for naming a file!
-If everybody is working with a file syncing app like Dropbox, make sure to set appropriate editing rights to your files. You want at least a shared folder that anyone on your team can edit and add stuff to, but some files need to be managed by fewer people to avoid unwanted deletions. For example, we have a folder in which everyone can add/modify/delete files, but only one person is in charge of deleting and cleaning up after everything important has been archived.
-If there’s a particular task that is repetitive and can be done by different people, make sure to write down the steps in detail so that nothing is missed or forgotten.
Tools For Giving Feedback
-Screenshots: In OSX, use command-shift-4 to take a screenshot. On Windows 10, you can use the Windows Ink Workspace right in the task bar, which lets you crop and annotate your screenshot.
-CloudApp(www.getcloudapp.com): Captures and shares screenshots (and more) via shareable links
-Jing (www.techsmith.com/jing-tool.html): Lets you create screenshots and auto-generates a shareable link for each one.
-Epic Pen (epic-pen.com): Great free tool for PCs for drawing on your screen (esp when sharing that screen with someone else)
Other Work From Home Tips:
-Add things like “time to eat lunch” on your calendar if you need it, or you may end up eating lunch at 3pm.
-Keep track of your time! If you don’t keep track of the amount of time you spend working, you might overwork yourself (bad) and still feel like you’re not doing enough (worse). Toggl (www.toggl.com) is a great tool for that.
-Consider coworking with a group of (nonwork) friends over Skype or Discord. It can help you get into “work mode” and make you feel a little less lonely while working.