Technology has taken over the world (mostly). That’s abundantly clear in marketing, where the way we communicate was unfathomable a generation ago. If you’re working in this industry, there are some key tech tools you need to know about. In my last post, we talked about those that make basic design easier. In this one, we’ll focus on how we talk with each other.
I started working from home in 2013. When everyone else joined me in 2020, it became clear that there were as many communication avenues as there are preferences on how to use them. That said, there are a few things that stand out and that will streamline all your communications.
I call this one “old faithful.” Notice I didn’t call it reliable. I used conference lines all the time from 2013 until March 2020. But the service became inundated when everyone else started working from home. It seems to have recovered, but it’s worth noting that this shouldn’t be your only option to connect.
That said, conference lines are great if you have more than three people on the phone…or if you don’t want to share your phone number for some reason. I use one from FreeConferenceCall.com. If you’ve got additional needs, like to record your calls, you may need something with a few more features.
Video conference tools
Are you so tired of Zoom yet? It’s not going anywhere. But Zoom isn’t the only thing out there. My favorite is Google Meet, but that’s mainly because I’m on Google all day. There are plenty of other options, like Ring Central and Microsoft Teams, among others.
When you’re considering your options, look at features like:
- Meeting security – Do you need a password? (Remember Zoom bombing early in the pandemic?) Would you like to approve of everyone who wants to join? Is it open to the public?
- Number of participants – Some platforms are better than others at handling large numbers of people and the aesthetics of the meeting.
- Recording – Zoom has an easy recording feature that automatically saves three files: the video alone, the sound alone and a video that includes the sound. Other platforms have their own setups, but review what you need before you pay for anything.
- Price – Google is pretty much available to anyone. Zoom has a free option with more limited features than the paid version. Microsoft Teams is only available to paying customers. Make the decision that is best for you.
- File/screensharing – Some platforms are better than others for presenters. What are your specific needs in this area?
- Conversation – It makes sense for an online class to have all students muted unless the teacher says otherwise. But what about in your meetings? Are they collaborative? Do you want one person to be able to mute or unmute someone else?
Cloud storage and sharing
I live in Louisiana, home of all the hurricanes. It’s really important to me that my data is secure in a non-physical location. But that’s also important for my office…which is in Memphis. They need access to my files just like I need access to theirs. Enter the cloud. It regularly backs up files, and we can share things with each other and our clients without sending massive email attachments.
Everyone knows about Google Drive and DropBox. But there are lots of others out there. Find your favorite!
If you’re reaching the end of this and thinking “What about Slack?!” or “She forgot my favorite one,” I know! There are a ton of them. There are secure chat functions and cloud-based collaboration tools and countless other things you may not even know you need. But that’s the beauty of technology. If you need it, it might exist. (And until it does, I’ll keep imagining there’s a real Rosie the Robot to clean my house.)