Cloud Tools to Work Remotely, Efficiently and Safely

COVID-19 Quarantine Was a Test!

2020-03-13 – When I realized the COVID-19 situation is more serious than we initially thought, I made a very quick decision to move every single staff at Brixwork & HOVR to work from home. We were able to get up and running within a matter of hours, if not less than an hour. The time taken to drive over the 27” iMacs was the most significant portion of it. The agility at which we went to work-from-home mode as a whole team was incredible. It was reminiscent when we managed to recover full operations in 5 hours after an overnight burglary cost us every single iMac (and other items).

“The agility at which we went to work-from-home mode was incredible.”

Luckily, as a smaller team of 8 we didn’t bottlenecks in transitioning, but another major factor that allowed the rapid transition was the utilization of cloud communication tools.

Did you miss my Tools of the Trade Article from 2019?

Discover essential cloud tools for project management & client communication that will save your small business time & money while improving performance.

We passed the test with flying scores!

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Jeff Kee (@jeffkee) on

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Jeff Kee (@jeffkee) on

2020-03-25 – We are making huge strides on various branding, presale design & print media design projects, with more quotes lined up. We are constantly exploring new tools & better systems. Maintaining our Brixwork software to be faster 7 better is critical – and so is our selection of cloud software & tools. We’ve made the following tools a regular part of our operations, and this made our transition to remote-working as smooth as it can possibly be.

Added To Our Arsenal Between 2019-2020

Zoom Us logo

Zoom Us logo

Zoom Us

This is by far the best video conferencing call system I’ve used, and the team loves it too. Sharing screens is easy, and the quality is great. We have a corporate subscription. The free version will satisfy many sole proprietors and freelancers (40 min cap per meeting).

. . . .

Dropbox and Google Drive logo

Dropbox and Google Drive logo

Dropbox On-File Annotations (commenting)

Being able to draw a square and comment directly on PDFs and JPGs on Dropbox is one of our favourite new features, and we rapidly made this the recommended way to notate & provide feedback on our branding & design drafts. Our clients love it too! The revision process for the Delta Green presale marketing project was incredibly smooth.

. . . .

Concepts App logo

Concepts App logo

Concepts App on iPad

While technically not a full cloud tool, this app allows rapid sketches & prototypes to be drawn which can then be shared easily via Asana, Slack, Dropbox and more. For custom-designed websites and powerful listing presentations, we need an organic hands-on approach, and the Concepts App delivers it.

Concept generation on Macbook

. . . .

Slack logo

Slack logo

Slack Calls

Did you know Slack allows quick voice calls in its free version, and videocast on the premium versions? When you need a quick voice-to-voice chat instead of just digital chat with your teammate, Slack will scratch your itch!

What We Miss & Don’t Miss

The Collaborative Team Vibe & Social Aspects (and coffees)

We miss our great vibe in our office. The collaboration between coders and designers, the excitement of new projects being signed & launched, and the ensuing celebration as a team. And I particularly miss the great lattes from our DeLonghi fully automatic espresso machine.

The Landing Phone – Almost Obsolete!

Do We Even Need This Telephone Thing?

While we are checking the voicemail remotely 2~3 times a day, it just goes to show how useless the phone is. Any in-depth discussion is far more productive with a proper screen-share call over Zoom.us, and design drafts/samples/revisions are better communicated through Dropbox/Gallery.io with more precision & speed. We check our emails faster than we check our phone line or voicemail, so we are really starting to question, “Do we even need this telephone thing in 21st century?”

Making the Best Of It All – #Efficiency

While we cannot wait to get back to our office and be closer to our colleagues, we are embracing the situation and making the best of it. Becoming even more agile at communicating and working remotely is adding to our efficiencies and teamwork. The quiet is allowing us to focus better to get through our heavy project load faster without losing quality.

Gastown, Vancouver

Do you have tools, tips & new workflows to share to make the COVID-19 isolation easier? Please comment below!

About the Author:

Leading Brixwork Real Estate Marketing & HOVR Marketing with discipline, dedication & creativity