Hi, I’m Charlie Lehman and I’m a remote (based in Austin, TX) Lead Product Manager for Sibi, a software company that’s transforming the way technology enables smart buying and smarter supply-chain logistics for the Real Estate industry.
I wanted to share my favorite tools that help me as a Remote Product Manager (from the comfort of my home office):
It’s cliche, but Slack really does take the cake when it comes to company wide communication at Sibi. We use a lot of integrations and automations (Zoom, Around, Linear, Figma, etc)to make things easier to view, monitor, and/or take action on.
We communicate very deliberately in Slack: for example, if a member of our team posts an announcement, product update, or something important in a channel, it’s expected for teammates who have read the message to respond with a simple 👀 emoji. This way, the sender of the message knows that teammates acknowledged the message, even if they don’t have anything substantive to add.
Yes, Slack can be noisy and overwhelming to some but with self- discipline and empathetic communication, it’s the most powerful and effective tool I use every single day.
At the start of 2022, Zoom is still the easiest and most reliable video/audio conferencing software I’ve ever used, period. As a Remote Product Manager, every single meeting I attend takes place via Zoom so it’s nearly become second nature. I’ve had to adapt the way I interact in meetings but Zoom makes it feel as natural as possible in my opinion. I’ve spent hundreds of hours transmitting my voice and face via their software and as long as my internet connection is stable, I hardly have any problems at all.
Before joining Sibi, I swore by Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and all the apps that Google Workspace offers to their users. However, transitioning into using Notion for almost all of my writing was incredibly easy. I quickly realized Notion is one of the most flexible “productivity” apps that I’ve ever used — one piece of software to take meeting notes, write requirements, connect pieces of data between pages and tables, and much more. I use Notion multiple times a day and actually look forward to the experience.
Otter.ai is an interesting tool that helps me record (audio only) and transcribe important meetings. One of the cool things about Otter.ai is the fact that it transcribes and indexes any meeting that you use it in. After a meeting is recorded, you can literally just search for terms to find instances of where your search term was actually said in different meetings — it makes answering the “what exactly did we talk about in that meeting?” question a lot easier.
Essentially, Hotjar is an incredibly powerful “Product Experience Insights” tool that helps me (and the rest of the Product Team) answer the question of “how are our users interacting with our software?” It allows for playback session of users sessions and makes it extremely easy to gather feedback from actual users.
Linear has been one of the better task management tools I’ve used in my PM career — I call it JIRA’s hipster, younger brother. It’s straightforward and makes sense to track software development projects, software bugs, roadmaps, etc — plus offers a dark-mode 🤓.
Whimsical is my preferred tool for wireframing, process documentation, prototyping, etc. It’s extremely simple while remaining wildly flexible and collaborative.
PS: Like this post? Check out Part 2 of my Favorite Tools here!
Bonus: My Office Setup
Adjustable Standing Desk
For the legs and frame of my standing desk, I went with a black “Jarvis Frame” from Fully paired with a green “LINNMON Tabletop” from IKEA. I highly recommend this combination to anyone who wants a cost-effective adjustable standing desk with a large amount of deskspace — nearly 40" x 28".
I like to “dock” my Macbook Pro 💻 using an inexpensive Vertical Stand I found on Amazon.
Speakers 🔈 are a pair of Creative GigaWorks T40’s that I picked up Craigslist over 10 years ago — they still sound crisp as ever.
Calendar 📆 on the wall is a Stending Wall Calendar.
P.S. We are currently hiring for a number of roles. You should apply!