Tidbits on software development, technology, and other geeky stuff

Communicating Visually While Working Remotely

One thing I have learned in since I started working remotely about five years ago is that communicating clearly is very important. Remote working has many benefits but inherently better communication is not one of them.

Context can be easily lost. The other person may be in a different timezone. Cultural jargon you understand can be lost with other cultures. There is a time delay when using asynchronous means of communicating (chat, comments).

There are things I’ve learned to help overcome these challenges. Communicating clearly, with concrete examples is one of them. Making sure to “spell things out” and not assume my reader will know insider jargon or acronyms. But, one of my favorite things to do is communicate with screenshots, annotations, animated GIFs and videos often.

I’ve spent quite awhile finding tools I like and setting things up to make me productive. I’d like to share my setup in hopes it spurs some ideas in others.


Keyboard Shortcuts

I have keyboard shortcuts setup for these tools, in a progressive order. This makes using this quick and easy to remember.

Keyboard Shortcuts


If the app I am sharing to supports copy/paste or drag/drop I will use that. For example, I do this when sharing screenshots and animated GIFs to Slack or GitHub. This allows my audience to see the visual quickly without having to click a link.

For all other cases (including email), I will upload the media to Google Drive and share the link. Monosnap and Gifox both support sharing to Google Drive.

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