Posts tagged remote work
It’s a wrap! May 2018 
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When life gives you lemons...

Life gave me three weeks without in-person meetings and a project I’m currently truly excited about (Hello, Hanzo! I like you!). Seizing the opportunity, I immediately booked a flight to Australia and New Zealand to see my wonderful friend Greta.

Ever since I met Greta in Bali last year, I knew I wanted to visit her, so once I had an opportunity to do so, I didn’t hesitate.  The 25th of April was my last day of teaching my students, on the 26th of April I was on a plane down under. 

All of this booked and decided on the 21st of April. I do love the internet. 

Being remote and somewhere new, it makes it much easier to focus. I didn’t really tell anyone I was down under, so I made an extra effort for no one to notice and for no one to mind. 

Having done this trip inspired me to conduct a Skillshare class on remote working, so that’s what I’m currently working on. Diana is also reviewing a script about using Kickstarter as a freelancer, so that I can start recording the Skillshare class on that subject very soon. 

However, life hasn’t just given us lemons this past month. Life has also given us a great portion of GDPR. As a community strategist and someone who connects people for a living, I probably had more to do than most freelancers. I’ve written an extensive blog post about all I’ve done, which you can read here. (I’m still not 100% done but I hope I’ll get there eventually.) 

One thing I'm extremely excited about is the Google Digital Garage that I found out about just a couple of days ago. If you'd like to get up to speed with online marketing, they've created the most valuable webinar to teach you all the necessary basics. You'll also get a certificate once you successfully do the final exam. 

On the project front, I’m currently preparing content for a student outreach initiative for which I’m looking for people who’d like to contribute a fun story from their student lives that’s related to some of their odd jobs. I’m also looking for HR managers who’d like to share what they look for when hiring junior staff. If you think that’s you, please don’t hesitate and get in touch or pass on this post to someone you think should definitely contribute a story. 

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but I’m updating my website with my planned trips, so if I ever happen to be somewhere close to you, please don’t hesitate and get in touch. I’m pretty much playing it by the ear at the moment. 

Remote work and my work process.
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One of the main reasons why I quit my job and decided to start my own company was the need to be mobile. I wanted to live in different countries and work across different time zones. That does not mean that I do not work locally with people or travel to clients. It just means that I am not at a place in my life where I can commit to one location for the long term.

Only a few years ago working remotely wasn’t possible. Even these days some people have a hard time trusting you’ll deliver on time once you leave the office to work on an assignment from home or a café.

People are often amazed how I am able to deliver quality work with such short turnarounds. You might be surprised to hear that part of the reason, at least for me, is the ability to work remotely. It allows me to work from places where I can get into the “zone” quickly. 

Since I registered my own business three months ago, I have worked on various projects with six clients and managed to write and publish a book while coordinating a remote team myself. It’s been busy, but I believe that with the right tools any assignment is possible. Here is an explanation of my processes, and a list of apps I use while working remotely: 

Briefings

I am a huge fan of Skype. It’s easy to schedule calls with anyone, anywhere in the world. Although often it’s not necessary to Skype, which is why I work with Podcasts. 

For many of my clients it’s easier to share their briefings and feedback verbally, which is why my clients often send audio briefings instead of e-mails. It’s quicker for everyone and I can listen to my clients’ thoughts over and over again if needed.

Transcribing

Whenever I need to transcribe longer interviews or podcasts I use Siri to do it for me. I plug in headphones and simply repeat everything I hear and speak it to my iPhone while Siri types it for me in my phone's notes. It's an incredibly time-saving hack! 

Project management

I am familiar with Basecamp and Podio. While I like that Podio enables you to customise the apps you need for your projects, I find it incredibly challenging if I’m not an admin of a work space. Basecamp feels far more democratic to me; it’s how I prefer to manage and be managed during projects.

Copywriting

I work exclusively in Google Docs. It’s the easiest way for my clients to see my progress and it’s also a great way for them to comment on my work. If I have to transfer local files, I do so by sharing a Dropbox folder. 

Generally speaking, I save everything in the cloud to make sure nothing gets lost. It also gives my clients easy access to the work I produce for them. 

Strategy Decks

I create all my decks, which I sometimes also publish on SlideShare using Keynote. They’re saved on Dropbox to make sure no information gets lost. 

Team Communication 

If I’m involved in a longer lasting project, I cut down on the number of emails by using Slack - a great chat tool to communicate with teams. All conversations and files uploaded to Slack are searchable, making it easy to search through what one has talked about in the past. Slack is available as a desktop, and also as a mobile app for your phone. 

Accountancy

I use Freshbooks because it allows me to give my accountant immediate access to my invoices and expenses. I don’t need to drop off my receipts at his office. I do everything myself and give my accountant access to finalise what needs to be sent to the tax office. With Freshbooks I feel on top of the (accounting) game. A good feeling to have.

I hope this sheds some light on the way I work. What are the tools and practises that help you work on the go?