Work From Home Program Round-Up
Here are some programs you may find useful while working from home.
Trello — Trello is a pretty straightforward tool that is useful both for internal development as well as community facing progress reports (if you are the type of developer that likes to give your playerbase insight into development — I personally like Dauntless’ public roadmap).
Asana — Asana is a free database/project management system. It’s a lot more robust than Trello as far as functionality, although some of the higher level functionality is still locked behind a paywall (like some report generation and task dependencies).
Breeze — It’s a good mix of visual and textual, and a better mix of project management board and database than Trello, but not as commonly used. Preferred by art types.
Monday — A lot of manufacturing, fabrication companies use this while digital companies tend to be more aligned to Trello or Asana since this is mainly list-based.
To Do — To Do is usually used in combination with one of the task tracking programs above. This is best used for a lot of little tasks that come up and can’t be immediately addressed but you don’t want to forget. Things like “Don’t forget to email client X” or “Schedule meeting with animation department” go here as your daily checklist. Additionally, it’s great to set up recurring tasks here as reminders (which is much harder to do in project management software or database tools).
Remo — Remo is a visual, top-down view, 2D virtual studio. The app uses video, whiteboard, audio and chat to allow people within the space to interact in real-time. It’s perfect for immediate communication with someone in the same room: one click and you’re in a video call! It also solves the issue of online presence — you can easily tell if someone is at their desk, or if they are busy and should not be interrupted. — Eliana Dibs, Rogue Snail
Zoom — Meetings, visual conference rooms, phone calls, business messaging. This is being utilized most heavily by those in education and service facing industries. It keeps video meetings a bit more orderly by allowing attendees to raise their hands and be chosen to speak by the meeting’s facilitator.
Microsoft Teams — Microsoft Teams is a hub for teamwork in Office 365. Keep all your team’s chats, meetings, files, and apps together in one place
Slack — Slack has a ton of good hidden functionality, but one of the most helpful ones is the /remind function — this helps you to work asynchronously with your team. If you know someone is going to be working different hours than you, then you can set up a reminder to ping them about a task by typing /remind @username tomorrow at 9am Thing you want to remind them about. There is a lot of additional functionality in the /remind function that you can see if you try it out in Slack.
The /poll function is also very useful when it comes to setting up meetings and determining team availability, or for coming to decisions about design questions.
If you open up a message to yourself you can use this as an extra checklist of reminders. When things come across my plate that I don’t want to forget about but can’t immediately address, I’ll sometimes drop a message to myself as a reminder and delete messages as I accomplish the associated task.
Slack also embeds directly into many of the project management programs like Trello and Asana so that you can get updates posted directly by Slackbot into your channels. This is usually only helpful to smaller teams, as it can create a lot of unnecessary noise to track.
Slack also ties directly into GoogleDrive, so if you maintain your shared files here, it is super easy to share them and even adjust permissions directly in Slack.
Discord — Discord is a great tool, especially for developers that are heavily community facing. They have integrated voice and streaming functionality that works well for both internal and external communication and it’s the best tool for curating and growing your audience. Skullbot Games is excellent at using Discord to monitor their community for reported issues, collecting feedback to translate into tasks and keeping all their development transparent.
It’s easy to create private channels with different permission settings to keep certain channels internal only. Really, my only issue with using Discord for both work and community management is that it can sometimes be difficult to parse which messages are work-specific and which are banter. I tend to ignore notifications on Discord compared to Slack because a lot of it is just chatter, which can result in missing some of the important stuff.