As we all spend more time working remotely, I wanted to share a list of tools and resources that may be helpful to keep you and your team not only productive, but serving your clients.  

I’ve bullet pointed basic info and key features for each resource and the info below should be accurate as of 4/5/2020, but you’ll obviously need to check with each resource to find current pricing, additional info, and confirm the information provided below.  

Hope it helps!

VIDEO CONFERENCING

Zoom

https://zoom.us

Great tool for video conferencing.  I’ve been using this myself for quite some time. 

  • Free Version: 1 to 1 meetings for up to 40 minutes. 

Unlimited number of meetings.

  • Pro: $14.99 per month/host

Includes 100 Participants

Meeting duration limit of 24 hours

1Gb of MP4 or M4A cloud recording.  Great if you want to share the meeting after.

+ All Free Features

  • Business: $19.99 per month/host

Includes 300 participants

Vanity URL

Company branding

Cloud Recording Transcripts

+ All Pro Features

  • Enterprise: $19.99 per month/host

Includes 500 participants

Unlimited Cloud storage

Google Hangouts Video and Hangouts Meet

I’ve been using this feature for years as well and love it.  While you’re in a video call with someone, you can also share screens, which is a great feature.

Works across most devices.

You can also just use the group chat or call feature without video.

Plans (each plan below has tons of other features included in the Google Suite platform):

https://gsuite.google.com/pricing.html

  • Free with a Gmail account, but number of participants and features are limited in the free plan.
  • Basic $6 per month per user

Video and Voice Conferencing for up to 100 participants per call

  • Business $12 per month per user

Video and Voice conferencing for up to 150 participants per call.

  • Enterprise $25 per user per month

Video and Voice conferencing for up to 250 participants per call.

**Google also recently announced that they were rolling out advanced Hangouts Meet to all G Suite customers until July 1, 2020 which includes:

Facetime

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209022

Free.  Great for easy video calls on Apple devices.  Up to 32 participants in a Group Facetime call.

Skype

https://www.skype.com/en/

Free for Skype to Skype calls (unless you upgrade to features like voicemail, SMS texts, making calls to a landline, etc).  Great for easy calls across devices. You can video call or call landlines and mobile phones, use subtitles, screenshare, and more (upgrade fees may apply for some features).  Up to 4 people in a video call. Record and Stream calls.

SHARED DOCUMENTS / COLLABORATION

G-Suite / Google Drive / Google Cloud

Google has pretty much everything you could need in regards to shared documents.  From regular .docx files to spreadsheets and cloud storage, it’s virtually a one-stop shop for private and/or shared documents.  

Integrate your email, cloud storage, file-sharing, video calls, messaging, documents, and more.

Gmail is free, but you can upgrade to basic, business or enterprise and also upgrade your Drive Cloud Storage incrementally for pretty cheap.

https://gsuite.google.com/pricing.html

Evernote

https://evernote.com

A great way to keep your notes organized, share ideas, manage projects, To Do lists, and more.

Plans:

https://evernote.com/compare-plans

  • Free: Based around taking and organizing notes
  • Premium $7.99 per month.  

More organization options including PDF and Doc text searches.

More sharing options including the option to turn notes into a presentation.

Integrate with some other platforms like Google Drive files, Slack, and email providers

  • Business $14.99 per month per user

Pretty much more features across the board.

AI suggested content 

Integrate CRM tools like Salesforce

Team Collaboration

Team Admin

Slack

https://slack.com

SHIPPING

Shipstation

Easy management and affordable pricing for shipping to customers.  They also offer integration into a lot of the popular selling channels and platforms.

https://www.shipstation.com

Free 30-Day Trial and monthly plans

Plans:

https://www.shipstation.com/pricing/

And of course, the USPS, Fedex, UPS, and other shipping services all appear to still be operating at the time that I write this.  

REMOTE DESKTOP ACCESS

When you’re working from home the last think you want is to realize there’s a few items on your computer in the office that you need.  Luckily, these remote desktop access services can save the day. However, you will need to have them set-up before you leave the office!  

TeamViewer

https://www.teamviewer.com

LogMeIn

https://www.logmein.com

LogMeIn offers different plans starting with remote access, all the way up to plans to provide remote assistance to your customers.

SplashTop

https://www.splashtop.com

Also allows remote access with some additional features and a reasonable pricing plan.

VPN – Virtual Private Network

If you have good technical knowledge, then you may be able to set up a remote VPN, but generally an IT professional will get this set up.  A remote VPN can allow access to a network as if you’re directly connected. For example, if you have a server in the office, but you’re at home, a remote VPN can allow you to securely access the server as if you’re practically in the office.  This is great for a connection with almost no delay or latency, and fast file transfers.

FILE TRANSFER

In my line of work, it’s rare to go even a few days without needing to send files to other folks.  I use a combination of the below services, depending on the type of file, the size, and how I need to share it.  

Google Drive

Again, part of the G-Suite or Gmail package is Google Drive space.  You can upgrade your Drive space incrementally at reasonable prices.  If you’re already a basic/business/or enterprise customer, then you likely have a lot of space.  The Business and Enterprise plan both allow unlimited cloud Drive storage, or 1tb per user if under 5 users.

https://gsuite.google.com/pricing.html

WeTransfer

https://wetransfer.com

  • Free
    • A great free service for files under 2gb with a 7 day expiration period.  
    • Email transfers to up to 3 people
    • You can send the transfer link to unlimited people
  • WeTransfer Pro $12 per month
    • Transfers of up to 20gb
    • 1TB of storage
    • You decide when the transfers are deleted
    • Email transfers to up to 50 people
    • You can send the transfer link to unlimited people
Dropbox

https://www.dropbox.com/

You can sign up for free, but you get a very small amount of space.  DropBox can be a bit of a pain to use sometimes, but overall it’s a good platform for folks who need to transfer and share a lot of media, and do it often.

They have a variety of plans starting at around $9.99 per month and going up from there.  I won’t list them all, but even at the entry price of $9.99 you get 2tb of space. 

Box

https://www.box.com/home

Box also has a number of plans with tiered storage and features.   Link below to compare plans.

https://www.box.com/pricing

VIDEO HOSTING

I’ll keep this section short and sweet.  If you’re looking for a free platform to post videos to reach your customers, definitely consider Youtube or Facebook.  Of course, you can pay to promote or advertise your content on both platforms as well.  Make sure you’re creating content to their specs, and within their guidelines. The caveat with Facebook is that pretty much everything you post is visible to at least some folks, while Youtube does have some features to keep videos more private.  If privacy matters, consider Vimeo (below).

Vimeo also offers a free account, but your weekly upload limit is pretty small.  Luckily, they offer very reasonable plans to expand your weekly upload capacity.  They also have great organization, collaboration, and privacy features.

https://vimeo.com

Thanks for reading, and I hope that this is helpful to some of you out there.  A lot of the tools can be used to help stay in touch with your clients, advertise, and even continue to offer your services remotely.  

If you have any questions, or want to discuss video production and marketing services to stay connected with your customers and clients, please feel free to reach out.  Stay safe!

Dragonfly 44 Productions is a video Production and Post Production company in Sacramento, CA that creates impactful content for clients all over.

Areas Served also include: Roseville, Folsom, Auburn, Rocklin, San Francisco, Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Stockton, Yuba City, Chico, Redding, Vacaville, and all over!

– AJ | ajhavrilla@dragonfly-44.com