The Trusty Toolbox: Helpers To Bring Your Team Together


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It’s no secret that the right tools can be of tremendous help in running a business efficiently, and here I want to highlight a few of the tools I use regularly around hiring and communicating with my team.

Project Management:

Asana is the project management tool we use at Vegan Mainstream. I have also used Basecamp and Trello, and those work as well, but I like Asana because it’s a lot more nimble, and it’s easier to set up for larger groups. It also has a free version so you don’t have to pay for it if you have a smaller team.

Tracking Time:

For tracking time I use a free tool called Toggl. If you have a larger team the more advanced tool, Harvest, might be more appropriate because it will allow you track time as it is related to a project. Then you can take that tracked time and turn it into a client invoice.

Paying Staff:

Most banks have a “bill pay” function, which you can use to immediately mail a check to someone. I really like this feature because the way I have it set up for my employees gives it the feel of a payroll. I go in once a month on a specific date, and all I have to do is type in the amount owed for any individual (I’ve already preloaded their names and addresses in the system). Then my bank mails checks out to those individuals. It’s an efficient way to go if you’re paying by check. Paying your employees by Paypal is another alternative that is easy and convenient. Or, if you need a more traditional payment service, consider checking out waveapp. There’s a fee for the service, but it’s completely worth it since they handle all the tax filings, and keep track of all payments to make reconciliations a breeze.

Finding Freelancers:

I use Upwork as my primary tool for finding freelancers. I have also used but I prefer Upwork because you can actually pay people in Upwork, and they will take care of filing the 10-99’s as well. I also like using Upwork as a database for finding people. I’ve been surprised by how many great freelancers I’ve found through them, and many vegans too!

Another great tool for finding employees is Vegan Mainstream’s own job board. When I am looking for someone I post jobs there, and this is a great tool that you can use as well. You can post any job for free for the first 20 days — it’s a good way to find candidates who will likely be aligned with the values that you hold in your business.

Conducting Interviews & Meetings:

I use tools like Skype if I am conducting a long-distance interview, or for meetings so that I can meet people face-to-face. Tools like this are invaluable for forging a connection amongst team members when you are working remotely from one another. It’s much nicer to work with someone when you can both picture who you’re working with. Slack is another free tool that provides this feature.

Take Action

In the comments section below, tell us what tools you are using for hiring/communicating and what you love about them!

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