Apps I Love: CloudApp

No matter how our workflows and habits change as new technologies emerge, the need to communicate with our teams, clients and collaborators will always remain a top priority. 

Face-to-face meetings with clients have morphed into email chains and Dropbox links. Conversations that previously took place on a coffee break or huddled around a whiteboard take place remotely, via text, video call, and file exchange. 

While there’s a lot to be said for the freedom new technologies offer us in our work environments, sometimes it’s more difficult to explain or introduce simple concepts without the power of immediate, seamless visual tools. 

As usual, there’s an app for that. 

CloudApp provides intuitive solutions for screen sharing and recording designed to improve workflows. They’ve got a strong focus on visual communication, understanding that time can be saved when ideas can be shared and engaged with visually. Its top level features include...

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Top picks for easy video calls

Video calls have a tendency to get a bad rap. When they do, it’s generally deserved - perhaps as a result of a conference call gone wrong, buggy software and apps, or the most unfortunate of moments when someone doesn’t quite realise the camera’s still on.

Video call etiquette - I can’t help with that. The rest? There’s a few easy solutions.

When video calls work, they work well. Video calls can be integral for remote teams looking to connect and brainstorm together. They’re also great tools for connecting with clients from afar with the additional benefits that emails alone don’t offer.

In order to keep your video calls from coming to screeching, awkward halts as a result of avoidable technical difficulties, look into using one of these trusted workhorse video call apps to soothe your frustrations.

 

  • Zoom is a reliable and consistent video communication tool which works from a cloud platform. Offering video and audio conferencing,...
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Show distractions the door. Focus on what matters.

We’re suckers for productivity clickbait. Articles proclaiming productivity hacks, workflow techniques,and five-step-programs whet our curiosity time and time again. With the same 24 hours in the day as the next guy, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that there’s a ‘secret’ you may be missing out on when it comes to squeezing the most juice out of each day’s opportunities.

Well, yeah, kind of.

As a business owner, prioritising the most important tasks of each day is fundamental to continued growth. I’m a big believer in the power of uninterrupted work. Instead of letting my inbox dictate my schedule, I map my time and capacity each week in a way that allows for deep and meaningful work to be achieved.

And yet, I do so in a way that means the world’s not waiting for me to resurface.

I use practical automation tools on a daily basis to keep business running without my input. Clients can schedule meetings, employees know...

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21st century work: use automation to strengthen your remote employee workflows.

Remote work isn’t quite the buzz term it used to be. With flexible work conditions becoming more common across all kinds of industries, our ideas of a ‘day at the office’ are changing rapidly, incorporating technological advances and greater desires for work-life integration into new solutions for all kinds of workers.

A 2018 study by Zug found that 70% of professionals around the world are working remotely for at least one day a week, with 53% working remotely for more than half the week. These kind of work arrangements are a far cry from the 9-5 in a crowded cubicle we used to believe was standard - but with such changes in work dynamics, new solutions are needed. When you can’t pop your head in to your colleague’s office with a quick question, there’s got to be a way to replace collaboration in an online environment.

Enter a whole suite of automation tools. There’s a plethora of powerful and intuitive apps that can make teamwork across...

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Add a chatbot to your team.

You’ve probably come across a chatbot before - perhaps far more often than you’ve realised. This relatively new form of communication has begun to flood apps and the online space with a flurry of activity. After all, when it comes to 24/7 customer-facing conversation, robots have the upper hand - no rest required.

Chatbots are one of those tools that can either be GREAT, or can feel unnatural and clunky. The key to using chatbots effectively is to place yourself in your customer’s shoes. How can you communicate your brand’s personality through this point of interaction? What value does a chatbot offer in making your business accessible and engaging?

It’s also important to respect your customers’ intelligence. There’s nothing worse than a friendly chatbot trying to pass as a human, when it’s obviously pre-programmed to be prompted by keyword. Embracing the technology for what it is, including its strengths and limitations, will protect...

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Make yourself heard.

Even with the plethora of digital communication tools available to us, I remain a big believer in the power of voice. There’s nothing quite as personal as voice communication when it comes to creating an authentic communication experience for your customers or clients. Plus, for some, it’s perceived as the fastest way to get the answers you need in the moment you need them. Voice communication can protect the time of both your team and your customers when implemented strategically.

If you’re looking to integrate voice communication into your strategy, automation’s got a plethora of powerful options. Automation can give you the tools you need to leverage voice communication on a 24/7 basis.

Here are my recommendations when it comes to kick-starting your automated voice connection…

  • Check out Voxer - I’m a big fan of this app. Remember those walkie talkies you used to play with as a kid? Voxer’s your modern-day solution. Voxer lets you...
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SMS is awesome.

Existing technology and forms of communication can play an important role in your overall communication strategy. I’m encouraging you to keep using something - just in a kinda different way.

SMS is still the most widely used messaging platform and is a native form of communication for a huge range of consumers. Your clients and customers already have their phone by their side 24/7, so it’s a powerful way to reach them in a space they’re already active. 

There are a number of ways to harness the strengths of SMS communication and put it to work for your business in an intuitive way. Whether it’s an initial point of communication, ongoing messaging, friendly reminders, or bot messaging, SMS is fully customisable, easy to set up, and can be a less intrusive form of marketing messaging than communication alternatives.

Better yet, SMS messaging is cheap and simple to use. We’re big fans of Twilio, which gives you the functionality you need to...

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Email is linear. And I’m not a big fan.

 

I’m going to make a bold statement that’ll shock any of you still hanging out in Outlook 2003: email is not the most powerful form of communication, internally or externally.

 

Wait, what?

 

For some, it can be hard to fathom going even more than half an hour without checking the inbox and throwing our opinion into the latest inter-office email chain (and let’s face it, there’s always one person who responds three times as much as the quiet guy without adding a whole lot of value). The thought of finding a way to communicate with your employees, your colleagues, or even your customers without relying on The Ol’ Inbox is a foreign and strange idea.

 

Well, it’s time to get used to it pretty quickly. I've got plenty of compelling reasons as to why it’s time for you to jump on board the non-linear train and revolutionise how effective your communication tools are.

 

We’re big fans of non-linear communication as...

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Communication Is Changing

How many ways have you communicated with a fellow human today?

 

You’ve probably sent a few text messages. Maybe jumped onto that Facebook chat group that blew up overnight and sent off a quick response. You’ve most likely sent an email, answered a phone call, or perhaps even engaged in that most old-fashioned of communication methods: face-to-face conversation.

 

The way we communicate  has exploded as technology continues to make its way into every corner of our rituals, habits and processes. No longer do we wait for the mail to bring important news, or send telegrams to loved ones far away. As quickly as interpersonal communication has morphed into an ever-present, always-available, multiple-options-at-your-fingertips web, so too has the potential for businesses to engage with their customers in new, intuitive and innovative ways.

 

And yet, surprisingly - far too many businesses communicate with their customers the same way today as they did a...

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Old-School VOIP Alternatives- How Your Team Can Benefit From New Voice Call App Technology

Many advances in the online world can be defined by a desire to replace analog systems with instantaneous and improved solutions. Physical mail = email. Filing cabinets overflowing with documents = cloud-based storage optimised for sharing across multiple users. Old-school telephone calls = VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) solutions.  VOIP alternatives were absent for a long time.

When VOIP was first introduced, it was a revolution. Removing the need for copper-and-wires telephone systems, VOIP allowed for phone calls to be placed and received to and from any number via handsets and numbers connected to the internet. This offered businesses and individuals a cost savings opportunity, as VOIP service providers offered lower rates than standard traditional call rates. This was particularly attractive to companies who relied on consistent and affordable phone calls as an integral part of their business model.

However, as time has progressed, telephone services have continued to...

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