New Gmail layouts: create newsletter templates for branded emails in Gmail
A guide to the new Gmail feature, Layouts. How to use newsletter templates in Gmail to create professional branded emails.
Over the years, the Streak team has shifted from one primary office at our San Francisco HQ to three distributed offices and a handful of remote employees across two countries. In doing so, we’ve not only built Streak CRM (which we use for all of our business functions!) to support remote work, but we’ve also explored ways to maintain culture, connection, and productivity as a remote team.
As many companies are shifting to remote work, we wanted to share some of the tips, tricks, and tools that helped us successfully make this transition.
Remote work comes with a handful of benefits and challenges. The main challenges and opportunities that we identified are:
Communication is often the first challenge that comes to mind for remote work. We’re not able to walk up to somebody’s desk with a question or glance over to see if they’re busy, so we rely on tools and systems to stay in touch throughout our daily workflow.
Apps like Slack become important communication tools when we can’t all be together. Our Slack integration helps you engage with your pipelines, communicate with your team, and get work done more efficiently from within Slack.
Add the Streak app to your Slack channels from the Slack App Store.
When you don’t need an immediate response, chat and video calls can be more disruptive than helpful.
Leave comments in Streak to share details and ask questions in your boxes. Use the @ symbol to mention a teammate in your comments — they’ll get a notification and be able to reply when they have a minute.
Creating tasks helps us stay on top of our to-do list and keep things moving forward in our pipelines. For remote teams, delegating tasks and knowing what your team is working on are the first steps to effective collaboration and communication.
Create tasks for yourself and your teammates to see all of your team’s tasks in Streak Upcoming.
We can accomplish a lot by leaving comments, assigning tasks, and chatting with our remote team members – but sometimes the message just doesn’t come through in writing. As a remote and distributed team, we make it a rule to switch to video early and often.
We use Tandem to see each other’s status (like focus time, getting lunch, or walking the dog), and to be able to quickly start a video call or screenshare.
It’s important to document what happens in our daily work as well as in our conversations with each other. This keeps everybody in the loop and makes sure nothing slips through the cracks.
Keeping track of where a conversation left off with a customer or partner is a challenge for any team. Add your emails to Streak to give your team visibility on your communication without asking for an update.
You can also reply to your team’s shared emails — even if you weren’t included on the thread — to join conversations without starting a new email or waiting to be introduced.
Contact and organization pages give your team a complete interaction history of the people and companies in your pipelines. Each page documents all of the email communication that your team has had with a particular person or company, plus their box details and contact information in one place (and in real time).
The best part? Streak automatically updates this information so your team has one less thing to manage.
We take several measures to make sure we share what we’re working on. The pipeline newsfeed gives you real-time updates on what your teammates are doing in each pipeline. See when they add a comment, move a box to a new stage, or update information.
As we shifted to a remote and distributed team, we found that a little extra documentation goes a long way. Each morning, we share what we’re working on via chat and follow up with an updated check-in in the evening. This way, we understand who to ask for certain information, who might be blocked on a certain project, and how we’re all making progress on our goals.
Building culture and connecting with remote teammates is more important than ever right now. With some creative thinking, we’ve found meaningful (and fun!) ways to stay connected.
We hosted our first Virtual Grilled Cheese Contest and things got… cheesy.
The theme for next week is “Guilty Pleasures” and we can’t wait to see what people will be cooking up.
Now that we’re all spending more time at home, we’ve been making some time to share what we’re up to outside of work. Are you a closet musician? Painter? Master chef? Bike mechanic? Maybe you’re choreographing a feature-length musical with your kids? It’s a great time to learn more about your teammates.
Typically, our favorite time of day is sitting down to enjoy a meal and catch up with each other — closely followed by our end-of-the-week happy hour and games. Although we’re not physically together, we use video conferencing to stay connected with virtual “picnic table” lunches, happy hours, and game time.
Many of our customers are doubling down on remote work practices or trying it out for the first time. Join us this week for Streak Office Hours: Remote Work to ask your questions about remote work, using Streak, or general best practices live!
We always strive to provide the best product and service for our customers. Right now, it’s especially important to do our part in helping our customers and community who are affected by COVID-19 — please don’t hesitate to reach out to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org if we can help your team.