Here at Craft Industry Alliance we are a group of remote workers scattered all over the country and, in the case of our contract writers, all over the world. Although we’re a small team, we’re not afraid to tackle big projects. Here are some of the tools we’ve found to be the most effective for communicating with each other as well as with our members. And don’t miss the 2018 version of this list for even more of our recommended tools.

LastPass

What it is: A password vault that makes it easy to have strong passwords with access on all your devices.

Pricing: From free to $6/month per user for the enterprise level

The version we use: The family plan

How we use it: We are a remote team scattered all over the US and we use over a dozen different software solutions daily to keep Craft Industry Alliance up and running. Security is important to us, but so is easy access. LastPass has enabled us to have both. We can share login credentials safely and securely and only with those who need them. And we’re able to maintain many different passwords for our accounts which ads a level of security we’d likely give up if we all had to memorize them.

Temi

What it is: Speech to text transcription in 5 minutes.

Pricing: $0.10 per minute

How we use it: We often conduct phone and Skype interviews for articles and blog posts. With permission from the source, we’ll record those interviews in order to get accurate quotes. Temi allows us to accurately transcribe the interviews in just a few minutes, a process which otherwise could take hours to do manually. The price is very reasonable and the turnaround is incredibly fast. Temi transcriptions also include speaker identification which is helpful. The audio is embedded, too, so you can play back just the portion you need to hear. Temi makes our lives as journalists easier!

WiseStamp

What it is: Professional email signature generator.

Pricing: $6/month billed annually

How we use it: It’s important to us to make a great first impression and often email is how we introduce ourselves to people for the very first time. With a WiseStamp email signature, our emails look like polished business cards. WiseStamp provides you with a series of templates to choose from. Just upload your headshot or logo, input your URL and social media handles, and in under a minute it generates a beautiful signature you can add to your standard emails. Little touches like this can make a big impact.

Asana

What it is: Project management and list-making platform for teams and solo business owners.

Pricing: Free to $19.99/month for Premium and Business plans.  

The version we use: The free version of Asana is incredibly robust, providing our team with just the right amount of features. For teams that rely heavily upon start and end dates, goal setting, forms, custom fields, onboarding and training, Premium and Business plans provide more control.

How we use it: We are a remote team, which means keeping communication organized and in one place is essential. What makes Asana amazing, is the ability to focus on all our projects on one platform where we can: track the progress of specific tasks, assign tasks to others, add tasks to multiple projects, and comment within projects, making email communication virtually obsolete. Here’s the magic of Asana – tagging. Assign tags to your top-level projects, and all subtasks, comments and conversations within these tasks live in one easy-to-locate place.

MailMunch

What it is: Easily create opt-in forms such as popups and landing pages.

Pricing: From free to $60/month

The version we use: Silver plan

How we use it: When a post goes viral it’s important to be ready. For us that means having a popup in place to capture email addresses of new visitors who are interested in staying up to date with craft industry news. Recently we installed a MailMunch popup and we’ve been pleased with the results. It’s a “polite popup” meaning that it doesn’t cover the entire screen and is easy to “x” out. We have it set to only show after someone has been on the site for six seconds and once they’ve seen it they won’t see it again for a month. Subscribers who come in through the popup are tagged in our email service provider so that we can send them targeted offers as needed.

Zoom

What it is: Video conferencing software.

Pricing: From free to $19.99/month

The version we use: Pro Plan

How we use it: We use Zoom nearly every day of the week in one way or another. Zoom’s video conferencing and webinar software allows us to have one-on-one and team meetings since Craft Industry Alliance team members all work remotely. We also use Zoom for our webinars, sometimes having nearly 100 people in attendance at one time. Zoom is a great way for our members to meet one another informally for networking events as well. We’ve had events on Zoom with Craft Industry Alliance members from all over the world meeting one another to talk about their craft businesses. Zoom makes the world seem smaller!

CIA's Favorite Online Tools 2019

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