Flow Communications

With South Africa and many other countries around the globe in lockdown in an attempt to curb the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, the ability to work and conduct meetings from home is not only nice to have – it is essential.

Fortunately, a wide range of digital apps for computers, tablets and smartphones make remote working easier, and bring everything from games and books to movies and exercise programmes to our fingertips.

Here are some of our top picks for business:

Timesponge

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Timesponge is an in-house time-tracking and project-management intranet developed by Flow Communications for internal use to track time and budgets and allocate project budgets. This tool has helped Flow to live up to its values of integrity, transparency and reliability.

The platform allows all employees in an organisation to log their time daily, down to 15-minute increments, and enables project managers to track their projects and receive automatic updates via email early every morning.

Using the latest open-source and best-practice web technology, Timesponge is simple, easy and inexpensive to implement.

Based on its effectiveness and Flow’s success using it over the years, Flow has now brought Timesponge to the market as a perfect solution for business owners, agency professionals and project managers.

The tool makes it easy to produce detailed time reports in PDF or Excel format to show clients how much time was spent, and what it was spent on.

If you’re an individual, freelancer or small company of up to three people, the good news is that you can subscribe to Timesponge for free. Go to www.timesponge.net and sign up for an account in only a few minutes.

To find out more about Timesponge and how Flow can help you get started, email tiffany@flowsa.com.

Project management with Trello

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Trello is a great tool for project managers to use when managing small teams of up to 10 members within companies. The application allows team members to record and update their work priorities and keep track of their goals in an organised and trackable manner.

Team members have access to everyone’s boards in one place. This helps with time management, collaboration and tracking who has capacity within the team. There are three Trello options: a free option offering “personal” boards and 10 team boards; a Business Class option that comes at a fee; and the more expensive full-package Enterprise option. Trello stands out from many other project-management tools because of its straightforward system for organising and monitoring projects at a glance.

Google Hangouts meetings

In recent weeks, as countries across the globe started implementing lockdowns in response to Covid-19, tools that allow businesses to facilitate group staff meetings while working from remote locations have become indispensable.

Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat are excellent applications that not only make it easy for you to communicate with your team, but also make it really simple to conduct workshops and conferences with clients or external business partners.

Additional benefits include being able to use the applications on both mobile devices and desktop computers. Users can connect using their mobile data without needing an internet connection, meetings are secure and there is an option to record them, and it is easy to share meeting links via your Google calendar.

Google Alerts

If you’re looking for interesting, new content about anything, consider setting up Google Alerts, a useful tool that lets you monitor the web for mentions of your name, your company, your competitors or any topics you would like to know more about.

Google Alerts are simple to set up. Simply search for “Google Alerts” on your web engine and then enter all the words and phrases you want to look out for. Once you’ve completed this step, you’ll start getting alerts on phrases that mention any of your selected keywords.

These could include company names, page URLs, blog titles, industry topics and more.

Falcon

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Falcon is an outstanding, global social media sharing platform that enables you to manage social media for businesses and brands using one integrated content calendar.

Features on the platform include a listening tool so you can know exactly what your audiences are searching for online and then tailor content for them, an engagement-rate indicator that shows you what content users engage with the most, and a reporting function that allows you to evaluate and measure performance in order to draw up reports for clients or managers.

Falcon also allows social media teams to manage all their social media channels, and to drive campaigns, using one integrated content calendar. This means you can schedule content for an entire month, and take advantage of paid social media advertising, a content asset library, as well as a built-in help desk.

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