Managing a virtual team can be hard. When you have more than a handful of people on your team doing different things, it can feel like herding cats.
Fortunately for us, there are a lot of great software programs that can make the process much easier.
Dare I say, even enjoyable?
Unfortunately, there are way too many options, and picking the right tools can be hard, costly, and time-consuming. I’ve learned this firsthand.
This article includes the software that I’ve tested and currently use whenever I work with VAs (virtual assistants) or outsource one-off projects.
ScribeHow feels like a cheat code for creating SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures), training and onboarding VAs, or explaining how to complete one-off tasks.
With the ScribeHow Chrome extension, I can perform a task I want to document for training purposes, and it will store all of the actions and compile them into easy-to-follow guides. I can then share these as URLs with whoever I want.
I document all of my processes, even if I’m not currently hiring someone to do them, so that my business can be delegated seamlessly in the future.
I also embed the SOPs I create into blog posts sometimes to help explain complex processes clearly. Here’s an example of one I made that shows how to create an email inbox workflow in Trello.
It costs just $29 per month, and you can get a discount if you pay annually.
Loom and ScribeHow are slightly redundant, and I would probably stick with just ScribeHow if I had to pick one, but Loom helps me record and share videos demonstrating tasks or giving feedback on work.
Before ScribeHow came out, I used Loom and Google Docs for all of my SOPs, but now I use it primarily for providing feedback on projects when I can’t be in the same room as someone else. I despise live calls, so Loom helps me get out of most of them.
Loom has free plans, but I pay $12.50 per month for their business plan.
Trello is a web-based project and task management software that works on a card-style system. It’s very much like a cork board with notes that you can move between different stages of a workflow.
I use Trello for large projects with multiple steps that need to be managed and for ongoing tasks that have no end point, like managing email inboxes.
Trello has free plans available, but I pay $257.98 for the premium features.
#4 Google Sheets
If you don’t know about Google Sheets, that’s wild. It’s basically the evolved version of Microsoft Excel and Numbers by Apple. It gives you all the basic functionality you need to create workbooks and spreadsheets. It’s much easier to share and collaborate with others than desktop spreadsheet tools that require you to exchange single versions of files. It also doesn’t crash and cause you to lose data.
I hire a lot of one-off projects that use Google Sheets. The biggest recurring use I have with it is having VAs copy and paste affiliate sales data from my affiliate portals so I can see the information without needing to log into anything.
Google Sheets is part of Google’s free suite of tools, but I pay a little more (like $10/month) for extra storage. Most people don’t need that.
Gusto is what I use to pay my VAs and freelancers. I’ve used a lot of payroll software, but Gusto is by far the best.
It’s easy to add or remove people from any country and see reports that actually make sense.
It’s also one of the more affordable solutions on the market, at under $35 per month.
LastPass makes sharing account log-ins easy. I can give access to usernames and passwords without making them visible. If someone stops working with me, I can simply remove access instead of needing to change the passwords. This is a huge timesaver, especially when you have a lot of different software and accounts to share.
What about communication?
It might be a shocker that I don’t include any communication tools like Slack or BaseCamp here. Frankly, I use mostly email for communicating with my freelancers and VAs.
I highly recommend that you don’t pinch pennies when it comes to investing in the tools that help you manage paid employees and plan important projects. “Expensive” is such a relative statement when it comes to these things. The ROI on great systems is unbelievable and almost always worth the investment. The best understand this.