Fourth post in The Ultimate Guide to Working Remotely: The Series.
Online collaboration and sharing tools
Google Apps for Domain
With Gmail being the email option of choice for the vast majority of Internet users nowadays having Gmail for the domain name used for the company is a welcome addition. For this one can use Google Apps for domain for free by only setting up an account and changing the MX records with the domain register.
Google has thrown into the mix a number of other apps that the remote working team can benefit from like Calendar, Docs, Wave and a couple others.
For pushing files between team members nothing beats Dropbox’s simplicity. One just needs to install the Dropbox plugin and throw the files in the shared folder. Changes are automatically pushed to everyone who was invited to see the folder content.
Basecamp / Pivotal Tracker
Both Basecamp and Pivotal Tracker are two simple tools that can help distributed teams maintain focus and have clear next actions.
While Basecamp is focused around To-Do lists and Milestones, on Pivotal Tracker the team can do Agile development on a story-based method. Pivotal Tracker calculates the team’s velocity and accordingly estimates how much work will be done in the next iterations.
Git is a version control system created by the same person who wrote the Linux kernel, Linus Torvalds. He used this for the development of the Linux kernel, which is created by the effort of thousands of developers.
Using Git lets everyone easily make changes to the code, while keeping a clear record of every change and push and pull changes back and forth from other team members.