Take a moment to think about your communication with your team. How much time do you spend writing emails, reading emails, and then responding to the emails you receive? How much time do you spend out of the precious time you have together just updating your team on what’s been done (and what needs to be done)? Do the answers make you want to stop thinking about it? Then it might be time to consider incorporating some up to date collaboration tools. With technology constantly evolving, there are newer, better tools being put out all the time, and the ones that currently exist are constantly being improved upon to stay relevant and improve your team’s productivity. Here are 13 collaboration tools that you should consider implementing.
Communicate with Your Team
A key component of collaboration is communication. After all, if you can’t communicate effectively with your team members, how are you going to get anything done? There are a wide variety of different collaboration tools that improve the communication between you and your team members.
Slack aids in fostering collaboration by creating open communication. Users gather around a specific topic of interest, creating a community. Different communities have several channels, which allow for open communication. You are given an option to create private channels, which enables you to restrict the information you share to a select group of people. With direct and group messaging, you can start a private conversation between you and one or more other individuals. This platform also gives you the ability to transfer files, and can be integrated with several other tools.
Flowdock is a chat platform that enables both private and group chats. Features include color-coded threading (which helps conversations, and topics, to stay organized) and search and filter functions that allow you to easily locate work items, requests, documents, and more. This collaboration tool supports numerous integrations, which can be organized on the tool belt, including video chatting and screen sharing. And, Flowdock can be accessed from any internet connected device, so you can stay connected no matter where you are.
WebEx is a conference call service that enables you create video meeting rooms. Along with team collaboration, you can host webinars, training sessions, and even provide customer support. It provides several features such as screen sharing, jot down your ideas on a virtual whiteboard, change presenters, record your meetings, and even host and attend meetings on any internet enabled device.
Remember the days of the phone conference? Everyone gathered at their landlines to join in on a phone call. There was no way to tell who was speaking, or when they were speaking. Uberconference makes this type of conferencing a thing of the past with video conferencing. More than that, there is no need for PINs to join meetings. Share screens. Mute background noises with powerful call controls. Call a meeting or schedule one at a later date. Simply select the people who are needed to attend, and what time you want to host the meeting. And, you can call or join a meeting from anywhere.
Manage Projects and Tasks
Keeping track of project objectives and monitoring progress towards goals is impossible without project management. Collaboration tools can help.
Asana is a tool that allows you to really get a handle on managing your project effectively. You can assign tasks to the different members of your team, add people to your project, and keep track of your deadlines. It can be used as a simple “to-do” list, or you can keep track of things on a calendar. Comments can be made directly on tasks to provide clarity, discussions can be held, and you can check the progress of your projects on one dashboard.
Dapulse is a wonderfully designed, easy to use collaboration tool that helps you to communicate, assign tasks, and set goals. Everything can be managed from a single board. You can comment on tasks, and mention team members. You can easily see who is busy (and who isn’t), see everything that is being worked on, and more effectively plan your time.
Redbooth is easy an easy to use project management collaboration tool. You can plan and collaborate with a wide variety of features, including video conferencing and Gnatt charts (which illustrate project schedules). Prioritize tasks, delegate and assign responsibilities, and turn your emails into tasks. And, Redbooth has several integrations, including Google, Slack, Outlook, and Dropbox.
Trello is an interesting project management tool that works well for assigning tasks and monitoring the progress of projects. All of your projects are organized into boards, and you are able to easily see who is working on what, and what is in progress (versus tasks that have been completed or have yet to be completed). You can even comment on different cards, get someone’s attention by mentioning them, and even be a little playful with emojis.
Wimi provides unified workspaces for each project you have going. Your teams can manage their projects and share files. You control the access in each workspace. Wimi offers several features, including messaging, video calling, screen sharing, and reporting.
There are some tasks that require more than one person to complete. The assigned team members need to collaborate in order to create together.
Codingteam is a great option for coders. Team members can easily collaborate to write their code, and encourages collective creation. An attractive feature of this tool is that it is free to use.
Google Docs is a collaboration tool of Google itself. With this tool, you and your team members are able to edit documents at the same time and save changes automatically. You can create new documents, and the tool is compatible with most word processing and presentation software. You can easily access Google Docs from any internet connected device.
Igloo provides your team members with a way to communicate and get things done. As a leader, you can spark a conversation and invite feedback from employees or other team members. All team members, regardless of location, can gather on Igloo to work together. And, a wiki enables everyone to share their ideas.
While it started out as a mobile app, Quip now has a desktop version as well. Documents can be imported, and each team member can work on different file types live. All edits that are made are saved automatically. And with chat features, along with commenting and checklists, it makes collaboration quite simple.
With so many options to help increase the productivity of your team, you may feel overwhelmed. Which ones do you choose? Well, the easy answer is to choose the ones that work for your company. There are a few things you can look for, including choosing tools that offer multiple features (and make sure that they can integrate easily with other apps and software), tools that are easy to use, tools that offer privacy settings (in case you need to have a one on one chat with one specific team member), and tools that are cloud based. Once you have found the tools that work best for you, you will quickly see an uptick in productivity, which can greatly help your bottom line.