Keeping yourself productive and motivated during work can be difficult at times – and even more challenging when working remotely. When your team is not in the same city or even time zone, if you are someone who needs that real-time accountability, then this can be a tough challenge.
Our Mailbird team is distributed across 7 different countries, spanning 3 continents. Each of us has found our own productivity methods and tools to keep us on top of our game with building and growing an awesome business and tech solution for unifying online communication.
We have already listed a few app suggestions in our blog post The Challenges Of Remote Working: “Maintaining Productivity With A Distributed Team”. This time let’s check what productivity apps help our Mailbird team members to stay focused and on top of their tasks.
Productivity Apps we use at Mailbird
Dimas – Mailbird Front End Developer
“I think it’s one note. I really like it. The interface is very good and it’s available on most platforms and it syncs flawlessly.”
Abe – Mailbird Back End Developer
“I find Google Keep quite useful. I can also use it in Mailbird and in Chrome I have offline access too, so that’s great”
Dasha – Mailbird Customer Happiness Lead
Alexis – Mailbird Lead Growth Engineer
“Projects from GrowthHackers, because it allows me to manage the growth process at a macro level, very effective to have a clear vision of our growth at one given time.”
Andrea – Mailbird CEO
“Ummm Mailbird!? I know, you will say “of course she says that.” I love it, because it has ALL the apps I use to stay productive built into one strong powerful app.”
Bagik – Mailbird Customer Happiness Specialist
“I use asana and todoist. I am actually using both of them in my Mailbird. Not only because I have access to both of them next to my Inbox, but also because it can reduce the memory usage. Instead opening couple of apps, I only open 1 app – Mailbird.”
Daniel – Mailbird UX Designer
“I am using Evernote. Because I need something to help me remember so many different things, so it helps me stay focused. Once I get something in Evernote I know that it will be safe and that I can easily access it later. That makes me more focused because I don’t need to keep thinking of reminders, small ideas or notes. I just put in Evernote and that makes room so i can think in other things.”
Antonio -Senior Developer
Christin – Mailbird PR & Media Relations
“I fell in love with TimeDoctor. It is simple to use and really helps me get back on track with my tasks. I also love that I can see how much time I spent on various tasks and that again helps me plan my days and weeks, because I can estimate the required time to get things done.”
How to stay productive as a team
Now that we looked at the different productivity apps that some of our team members use, lets look at what you can do as a team to maintain productivity. Different startups have different methods, techniques, and even rituals implemented to make sure the team stays productive even when its distributed over a number of continents.
Below are are only a few examples of how we create and maintain high productivity as a team.
By communicating open and transparent to everyone on the team, ensures that everyone is on the same page. Everyone knows what needs to be done and knows their part of the overall project. Making sure the communication works within your team also eliminates and reduces the so-called bottlenecks. These can not only impact on your teams productivity but also cashflow of your company.
Please check our blog post “The Challenges Of Remote Working: “What It Means To Maintain Great Communication” for more details on the importance of communication within a distributed team.
Number 2 actually ties in very close with our first point. Make sure every team member is being introduced to the company culture and aware of the company’s vision and mission. A good culture is the soil for excellent communication, taken that everyone is part of it. Making sure that any new hires fit the company culture is therefore just as important as the skill required for the vacant position. Read more about the importance of cultural fit in our post: “The Challenges Of Remote Working: “The Importance Of Cultural Fit”.
Host weekly/monthly Team Meetings
That sounds very easy, but truth is, trying to find a day and (decent!!) time that everyone on 3 continents is available is a lot harder than it may sound. Nevertheless, we somehow make it work and the entire Mailbird team gets together one day a week for our team meeting. We find it super important and also effective to get the updates and questions answered “in person” once a week. This of course is only really effective and increases productivity if your team has a reasonable size for everyone to join.
These are just 3 examples on how we maintain productivity at Mailbird, despite the challenges of being a distributed and remote working team. We have shared more details and experiences in our posts: