By René Paula
Collaboration and communication are the keys to running any successful business (or running any venture successfully). But what happens when your company is spread out across the world? How can you ensure that everything gets done on time and to the standards your company has set? There are a lot of possible solutions, but for me and my legal department, the solutions we might typically adopt when we’re all in the same office don’t necessarily work in a global environment. Instead, we’ve had to adapt, using programs that the tech industry is already well-versed in but that are still relatively underutilized in other sectors.
These programs—Trello, Asana, and Zapier—all accomplish different tasks, and each can be used on its own to improve productivity and efficiency. But when grouped together, we’ve seen boosts across the board when it comes to getting things done quickly and efficiently. First, I’ll show you how we’ve used the three programs individually, and then I’ll explain how they work together in harmony to create a strong, stable, and efficient workflow.
Trello is, in essence, a digital billboard that lets you visually organize tasks. The program utilizes Kanban boards, which Toyota created decades ago to help manage the status of the myriad tasks occurring in their production plants. These visual representations of the work your company has to do allow you to quickly and easily see your remaining tasks.
Asana is another project management tool, though it is more standard, in that it uses typical to-do lists and other project-related task notifications. Asana allows multiple people to maintain their own personal dashboards while also seeing everyone’s group task boards.
Finally, Zapier is an app that helps connect the different web apps you use daily and automates the various tasks you have to accomplish. In Zapier, you create “Zaps,” which work like blueprints for repeated tasks.
Although each program offers its own benefits to improving your workflow, what I’ve found is that using the three in tandem lets you optimally coordinate workflows across global teams.
Zapier works as the connective tissue for this kind of integrated workflow. It helps to coordinate and merge the data from your task managers in a simple and easy-to-follow way. Zapier takes your digital Kanban boards in Trello and the different tasks you’ve developed in Asana and lets you see across the board what you and your teammates need to be doing—regardless of where their offices are.
While this style of workflow may not be for everyone, we’ve used it with great success in our offices, as it allows us to work remotely without dropping the ball on any tasks. If you’re looking for a way to increase productivity and efficiency in your office, I recommend giving this triad of apps a try. Since we use Trello as our global command center, I’ll share more details about it in another post.