Although I’m the founder of Leaders in Heels, there are many people who help out with the site. Some of us are stay-at-home mums, while others work full time or part time and volunteer their spare time. We work from home or on-the-go, and the majority of our work is done remotely. We work at different time zones and have different schedules. Sound complicated? Here’s how I manage a team in multiple locations!
All our files are on a shared drive in the cloud
We keep all our files on OneDrive. It’s a cloud solution by Microsoft that allows us to access, share and modify files from any device in a common shared drive. We no longer need to email multiple versions files back and forth, or bring along USB sticks when meeting in person. The Leaders in Heels drive is located on my personal account and I simply share it with everyone in my team.
Microsoft is very generous with the storage–I have 7GB of free storage and a bonus 3GB for backing up my camera roll (more about that below). OneDrive also works with Office 365, so with my subscription, it’s easy to create, edit and share documents, even on mobile devices. I can also download the files I need if I know I’m going to lose internet connection. You can use the OneDrive app or File Explorer to make files available offline.
OneDrive is built-in to the latest version of Windows 8.0 but if you don’t have it, you can just download the OneDrive software or app and automatically sync the files in your OneDrive folder across all your devices. You will need a Microsoft account (free) which you might have already if you use other Microsoft products or their Live email service. OneDrive works with PCs, Macs, tablets and mobile phones (iOS, Android and Windows Phone).
We use internet on the go
I have very busy schedule, and I’m constantly on the go. Whenever I have time between meetings in the city I open my laptop and connect my phone to it, which lets me use my mobile internet on my laptop. It’s such a useful feature, but I’ve found many people don’t realise you can do this. On an Android or Windows Phone look for Settings, then WiFi Connections. On the iPhone, it’s under Settings, then Personal Hotspot.
We have a shared calendar
When I first started the site, the communication between a contributor, editor, the chief editor and myself meant that we were sending a large number of emails back-and-forth. These days, we utilise a shared Google calendar to manage the entire editorial schedule. Our editors create an entry in the calendar in red. Once the article is submitted into WordPress, she changes the entry’s color to orange. Once the Chief Editor reviews it, it’s set to green. I have a very good view of what’s coming up in the next few weeks and what’s the status of it and our Social Media Manager, Yolanda, can manage her tweets well in advance using Hootsuite. No more unnecessary emails cluttering up any of our mailboxes!
I automatically back up my photos to the cloud
As the founder of Leaders in Heels, I have the pleasure to be invited to many events. I tend to take many photos (on my Nokia 1020) which I later use for articles or social media posts. The OneDrive mobile app can be set up to automatically back up all my photos to my OneDrive. This is very useful when I need to access those photos from computer later (e.g. writing an article about the event I attended). Others on the Leaders in Heels team also use with Android and Google Plus (or Dropbox).
We manage larger projects with the shared drive
Again, OneDrive comes in handy. Very often our projects and events are managed by volunteers who are not part of the team. They don’t get access to the entire Leaders in Heels drive–I can simply give them access to selected folders like the one for our “We need a Champion!” event. I establish different access levels for each folder, and sometimes simply share a link to the file without giving access to the folder at all.
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We run group meetings remotely using Skype
The Leaders in Heels team is spread across Australia and having babies or busy career doesn’t doesn’t make it easy to get everyone in the same place at the same time. It can be painful! So we use a premium Skype account for just slightly over $AU3 a month, which allows us unlimited group conferences and screen sharing.
Do you use any cool technology to manage your work? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Featured Image: overge
Kasia is the founder of Leaders in Heels and is taking part in the Microsoft Connection Program.