First of all.. everyone and their outsourced MOMS communicate through Skype.
So download Skype and set up an account.
1) Create a job on Odesk or Elance… you don’t need to fuss so much over who to choose. They’ve since merged… so you are just dealing with the same company anyway.
2) Make sure you’ve set up some training videos for your workers. You can download Camstudio or Jing for free. Jing lets you upload 5 minute videos for free.
3) Connect these videos directly to Youtube or go a step further and make training tests/exercises on talentlms.com.
4) Test them out with a few scenarios first and then .. hire!
5) Create a separate email account for them through your hosting company, maybe bluehost.com. Remotely go into their computer using teamviewer.com in order to set up whatever software you feel they might need. Create their own mailing signature. Create separate permissions restricted accounts for them across the board that links to their company email account you create.
Virtual assistants or any type of assistant online is a great way to alleviate your workload. They are incredibly valuable people and it’s amazing companies such as Odesk, Elance, Fivrr, Freelancer.com, and Mechanical Turks from Amazon are able to bring it all together for us.
There are probably better softwares to use online and a better way to go about this but this is what I use and how I go about it on a bootstrapping level. I hope it helps!
Anywho – what have I been doing? I have been rock climbing.. a whole bunch. I am doing more leading and bouldering as well. I launched a separate company called http://superfastlistings.com with my co-founder Ron. A franchise is in the works and…. life so far is busy/exhausting/good.
Sooooooooo…… Redbooth is free up to 5 users. There are other team management programs you can use.
If you are managing a coding team and you are coder yourself – try gitlab.com
If you are a person who isn’t a coder but wants to manage a team larger than 5 people AND you have money – try basecamp.com
If you are a person who isn’t a coder but wants to manage a team of 5 people or less BECAUSE you have less money (ie. broke) – I would go with redbooth.com HANDS DOWN, YO.
I know, I know, you are probably wondering, “WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT REDBOOTH?!”
To which I will say… calm down. Yo. Let me thoroughly explain:
1) Redbooth is WONDERFUL to manage tasks because you can reference your team with an “@” sign, just like twitter, within a task, and it will not only update the message with a time stamp within redbooth BUT it will also send a notification email to your team mate you are referencing. And THIS is where it is valuable. Email notifications simply gets NOTICED! Having the cumbersome duty of visiting the actual website is no longer necessary. The trick is…you can reply to the email notification within your own email and it will update on redbooth as well. Crazy, eh? This saves tons and tons of time.
Below is a screen shot from a project I am working on:
2) Everyone in the project can see EVERYTHING and can see who is referencing who. You can also privatize tasks as well to a few viewers or only yourself. This allows for privacy as well as the ability for everyone to have an overall look at the project in one glance. I highly recommend switching the view to COLUMNS from LIST view because it makes everything more absorb-able (like osmosis!).
How to BEST use this feature is to have tasks with the big picture in mind:
3) Since the search function is incredibly fast it will be better than wading through your email. You can assign a task. Connected to a task are essential things:
Privacy – you can assign who can see the task.
Integrations – you can connect google documents, dropbox, box, or upload a document from your computer.(To use all integrations you need to upgrade… but attachments are accessible with the free membership).
Time tracking – you can put in how many hours the task took you to finish or how long it took for you to assign the task.
Assigning the task – you can assign it to a team member and they will get an email notification of the due date as well as all the details within the task AND the attachments IN THEIR EMAIL as well as on Redbooth. THIS IS SO USEFUL.
Things are blacked out for privacy.
So why is it good to use over others?
It makes the experience of managing a team, keeping up with deadlines, knowing a task is associated to what project and there is a cookie crumb trail for you CLEARLY DISPLAYED so you can backtrack a task to its origin quite easily, knowing who said what and where and WHEN (everything is time stamped), and being able to see the big picture by a mere GLANCE with the task view.
I am a fan of Redbooth because it makes sense. A lot of thought went into creating this software that is user friendly and intuitively makes sense for me – their consumer.
If you have any questions about Redbooth do not hesitate to ask.
On a personal update:
Went to King King in Hollywood to celebrate my friend Brandon’s bday!
King King, YO! It looks like I might need to get my fingers checked.