Other Tools

Last modified by Catherine Scallen on March 10th, 2020 at 11:37 am.

Zoom

While working remotely gives everyone the flexibility to live where they want and work as they choose, it can also be tough to be motivated and self-directed when you’re working in your own space and can sometimes feel like you’re in your own “island,” disconnected from other teammates.
 
Enter, Zoom! This is our go-to video conferencing platform that we use for all our “face to face” video chats, such as our Weekly Standups, team meetings, and individual 1:1s. You’ll be added to our account with your team email. For standups and meetings, just click on the following link: zoom.skyverge.com which will launch the Zoom application and bring you into the meeting.
 
This lets us chat, share screens, record meetings if needed, and more — it’s a fantastic tool, and gives us that important face time each week–which goes a long way in helping us all understand each others voices, and the way we communicate via text better.
 
We value this face time so much, in fact, that if you have to go ‘video off’ mode for any standup (bad internet happens to good people on occasion), team rule is you need to come to the next standup featuring your most ridiculous hat. Ask Julie about this one : )
 
Common Issue
No tool is perfect, and one issue we’ve seen with Zoom is not recognizing an external display camera. Solution is to run: $ sudo killall VDCAssistant
 

Google Suite

Docs, Sheets, Mail, Calendar — we rely on the all mighty Google just as much as the next team. You’ll gain access to the entire suite with your team email.
 

Google Sheets

We primarily rely on Sheets for, well, sheets! Any kind of financial layout, logistics planning (prep for conferences, invitee lists, etc,) and travel documentation can likely be found in a Google Sheet.
 

Google Docs

We use Google Docs for everything from meeting agendas, pitch docs, brainstorms, notes, etc. 

 

Google Calendar

See what everyone is up to! All meeting invites are sent through GCal, so keep an eye out for those. Each one will have the Zoom link to join set as the meeting location. You can also sync the Kin calendar to your GCal so you can see who’s on PTO, company events, anniversaries, and birthdays!

Google Drive

We use Google Drive for storing, organizing, and sharing files. Learn more about how we use it here. 

Gmail

Our company email is run through gmail. We tend not to rely on email for inter-team communication, as things get buried. We favor Slack for day to day communication, and Basecamp for keeping in sync on larger projects.

Harvest

In the Q1 2019 survey, a common theme emerged from the team around struggles with time management.

Particularly in a fast moving, fully-distributed, small team, it can be incredibly easy to get swamped and not know when to turn off. To address this, several team members have been experimenting with time tracking. We have a team Harvest account, and are more than happy to add anyone who wishes to join in this experiment!
Time tracking is completely optional, and purely for your own edification. For example, Max was kind enough to share a report of his tracked hours over Q4 2018. He then used this to identify areas where he can delegate more, or where we may need to consider additional staffing. #DATA!

Lattice

We use Lattice for several things, listed below. For more details, please refer back to our original Basecamp announcement here!

  • Weekly 1:1s
    • 1:1 agendas can be accessed in the upper left corner when you log in — under ‘Plan next 1:1’
  • Weekly Pulse surveys
    • Pulse allows us to track team sentiment and engagement on a weekly basis (in addition to the quarterly survey that measures our eNPS score). This will give us a lot more insight into when we’re doing well, and when we can improve from a culture standpoint. With more granular data, we’ll be able to course-correct immediately (instead of once per quarter), as well as offer continuous, individualized support to each team member.
    • You can read more about what to expect with Pulse here. You can fill out the survey from Lattice itself, email, or Slack. Here is a more in-depth overview of how to fill this out via Slack! As a reminder, you’ll receive this each week (with varying questions) moving forward. Please be sure to fill this out each week! Your responses help us know how we’re doing, and how we can improve.
  • Weekly updates
    • Each week, we ask that all team members post a public Update in Lattice that covers how the prior week went. A few things to note here:
      • All Updates should be posted by EOD Monday (of the following week)
      • The date range should be for the prior week, e.g. when posting on Monday Mar 2, 2020, the date range should be Feb 24 – Mar1
      • We use these Updates as a way to share what we’re working on with the wider team–so please be sure the posting is marked ‘Public’ (it defaults to ‘Private,’ so you’ll need to manually switch this each week)
      • As a heads up, the Updates tool only gives the option to post updates retroactively for 2 weeks. Once the 3rd following week appears, you will lose the ability to post that past update!
      • You can find more details on Updates here.
  • Goal setting and tracking
    • Lattice gives everyone on the team a clear view of how individual work and goals flow up into team and company goals and help us each stay on track.
  • People Month reviews
    • All assessments are housed in Lattice. You can read more about what to expect each People Month here.
  • Public praise
    • Lattice makes it really easy to highlight the great work being done by team members. You can find an overview on how to do share praise via Slack here. Any kind of public praise or public feedback shows up directly on your profile in Lattice. Be sure to include context with your feedback so everyone can understand the feedback, especially managers! Praise also shows up in our #barb-beecher-fan-club channel ????
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