Working remotely for various companies and on a variety of projects requires the use of a number of tools, online platforms, and services, including CloudApp to be successful. When you add in the extra element of working 100% remotely, being able to communicate effectively and collaborate effortlessly is essential!
Before CloudApp, I spent an excessive amount of time on the phone, composing emails, and sitting in video conferences to ensure that my clients understood the activities I was working on, or that I was clear about what was needed from me to meet expectations.
As a content writer, my best use of time, and what I want to be doing is writing! I also want to ensure that my finished projects will meet my client’s expectations. In an effort to find a better way to reduce manual administrative tasks, increase effective communication, and free up valuable writing hours, I scoured the internet for business tools for remote workers. That was where I found CloudApp, the holy grail of productivity, communication, and business management.
With CloudApp, I’ve found so many better ways to run my business, improve relationships with my clients, increase productivity, and spend more time doing what I do best. Check out how I use CloudApp to leverage my workflow as a writer. Plus, as a bonus, how CloudApp can improve your workflow if you’re a designer!
CloudApp for writers
CloudApp is the ultimate all-in-one tool for business workflows. The platform makes it super quick and easy to share with others, whether you are a freelance designer, web developer, software engineer, customer service professional, a startup founder, or in my case, a content writer.
In the past, miscommunication has always been a massive barrier and my number one challenge as a full-time remote worker. Physical distance makes it harder to explain complicated projects and to clearly articulate expectations. In the past, in order to overcome this hurdle, I’ve dedicated a lot of time composing or reading lengthy emails, and setting up several follow-up meetings or conference calls to ensure expectations are met on both sides. Not meeting a client’s expectations is the absolute vain of my existence, but all the time spent on the back and forth takes away from the time I could be spending on creating content for my clients.
Annotate your images
As a remote worker, it is essential that I put in extra effort to ensure an accurate flow of information and I know that clear communication is the key to success within my business. The smallest miscommunication can easily jeopardize the success of the team, project, and my relationship with a client. CloudApp makes remote work so much more enjoyable and it significantly reduces the stress accompanied by miscommunications. Rather than spending time on long phone calls or composing and reading long emails, CloudApp’s visual tools offer a powerful and effective way to quickly get my point across, or quickly grasp my client’s direction.
Although I primarily work alone, I also have a large network of other contractors that I can tap into when I require assistance on a project that is beyond my skillset. When a project requires it, I often work with graphic designers, web developers, social media specialists, and so forth on a project to project basis. Since it’s up to me to ensure they are well-informed, CloudApp is a super handy tool. When it comes to a website redesign, rebranding, or whatever else, showing rather than telling my other team members what needs to be done makes life easier for everyone involved! I trust that whoever I’m collaborating with has all the information required to work independently without constant monitoring or worry that something will get lost in translation. Using CloudApp for these kinds of workflows reduces the stress and challenges of remotely collaborating with others.
Another one of the top reasons I love CloudApp is because of its powerful integration with tons of other platforms. In particular, Slack, Google Docs, and Asana. Integrating with CloudApp allows for faster collaboration with my clients and the teams that I am working or collaborating with. Since all of my communication is done remotely, it’s essential that I have tools that allow me to get straight to the point. Whether it’s a screen recording to provide clarity with an annotated screenshot, or explaining an idea with a GIF, I can easily show what I mean. The ability to show rather than tell has proven to be the easiest and fastest way to communicate.
Communication has become much more fluid in the workplace with the introduction of instant messaging platforms, such as Slack. It allows to me to quickly share images, documents, comment in threads to keep conversations organized, create custom channels, integrate tools, message or voice call clients or team members individually, or tag individuals so they don’t miss anything important. This is the perfect platform to help keep clients up-to-date.
As a writer, I would be lost without Asana! Full disclosure: one of my biggest challenges in being self-employed and remote is staying on task, keeping focus, and organized. When processes and productivity fully depend on personal motivation, opposed to an external factor, such as a manager or corporate culture, it’s so easy to get distracted. Asana prevents me from cycling aimlessly through tasks without actually completing anything, becoming overwhelmed or unorganized.
This is especially true when I’m working on multiple projects at the same time, with multiple deliverables, milestones and due dates. It’s essential for the health of my business, and my mind, to ensure I have properly documented and prioritized my to-do list, questions, notes, and suggestions from my clients, especially after a meeting. When I don’t have everything written down in an organized fashion, I worry I’ve missed something and will constantly fight with an overload of information running through my head. Needless to say, this is extremely difficult to keep track of.
As a result, every single task that needs to be done, no matter how small, is organized and stored in Asana. CloudApp takes it to the next level by helping me complete my tasks in Asana faster with visuals. Without it, I can’t imagine how much time would be wasted organizing tasks, and how many deadlines I might miss!
CloudApp and Asana also ensure I am able to spend the majority of my time writing, which means most of my time is spent in Google Docs creating content with tons of visuals. I use Google Docs for everything from drafting blog posts, developing marketing strategies, to creating website content. No matter what I’m working on, being able to easily add in pictures and videos to really make my content come to life is key. With CloudApp, it’s a piece of cake to add the visuals I need to take the content to the next level. If I need to quickly record my screen, take a screenshot, or annotate a Google Docs images, it’s super easy. One of my favorite features is being able to annotate screenshots and other pictures with arrows, text boxes, and emojis and including those images in Google Docs.
Another essential feature of CloudApp is its snipping tool. With every snip, I get a customized, secure link that’s easy to share and simple to edit. This is great for clients that require secure ways to share sensitive information. This added measure prevents it from getting caught in the wrong hands, and provides an added level of professionalism. Just snip, copy the link and paste into an email - or into any other team communication platform, including one of my personal favorites, Slack. If need be, it’s easy for me to add a password by simply selecting the setting option before pasting it into my communication of choice. It also helps that all of my snips are saved immediately to my desktop and web apps, so anything you want to “snip” is at your fingertips. No closing out of windows, no fumbling for a new screen. Just point, click and snip.
The proof is in the pudding
As a result of incorporating CloudApp into my workflow, it’s become much easier to build trust and a strong rapport with my clients. Effective communication directly translates to a clear understanding of what I’m doing, how they can view the results, and quickly understand what I need from them to ensure expectations are met. It also provides my clients with quick access to resources that they can easily refer back to when needed.
Not only am I saving time on emails, calls, and meetings to repeatedly review things, I’ve also built excellent working relationships that have led to referrals and continued growth in my business.
CloudApp for designers
Since I typically write for designers, I’ll share some of the ways CloudApp can help improve your workflow.
GIF screen recording
Bridge the gap between the user and the product team. A lot of the problems that designers need to solve require a great deal of explanation or interaction. One of the greatest challenges is how difficult it is to demonstrate a prototype where a user has to click through specific hotspots. Communicate ideas effectively by creating mockups and then stringing them together with the CloudApp GIF feature.
With CloudApp's GIF screen recording, simply share your screen recording, and get user feedback to improve your design in any phase. This feature gives you the option to test your prototypes remotely, and can be moderated or unmoderated. Simply share your screen recording, and get user feedback to improve your design in any phase without having to upload to a third platform. Once you complete your video capture or webcam recording, a link is automatically copied to your clipboard that can be password protected and set to expire after any desired length of time.
Whether you’re designing a low-fidelity or high-fidelity prototype, CloudApp is a great tool for instantly sharing your prototype with others and getting invaluable insight based on direct input and real user interaction.
Create the mockup, open CloudApp, walk the user through the mockup while capturing it in a GIF, and then share it with the team or user. If other team members are on CloudApp, they can use it cross-functionally.
Share product and design feedback
Capture, annotate feedback, and share an instant link with your teammates. The annotations feature is a straight-forward way to make a comment on the screenshot and direct your attention to a specific part of a design or mockup. Prior to CloudApp, designers had to go through a number of steps to achieve the same thing, including taking a screenshot, locating the screenshot in their file folder, upload it elsewhere and keep track of those links. CloudApp makes it way simpler by combining the file sharing and links all in one.
If you’re not already using CloudApp, but you’ve made this far, then I certainly hope I’ve convinced you of the power behind this productivity and collaboration tool. Incorporating CloudApp into your workflow is the ultimate go-to solution for anyone who works remotely or works with a remote team in any capacity. Streamline your processes quickly, share live screen recordings, annotated pictures or videos with ease, and improve efficiency with everything from training to process documentation. CloudApp solves so many of the usual challenges remote workers face when collaborating at a distance.