Collaboration Tools for Working Online (and Offline!)
Working in an office means you will inevitably have to work together with somebody. Even if you work from home, you still have to connect with real life people about products and services. Unless you live like a hermit in the mountains (which means you probably won’t be reading this anyway), you will need tools to make collaboration a bit easier. Here are some collaboration tools (and techniques!) that you might find helpful. Whether you are connecting locally or remotely, any one of these could help you out.
Here at turnstone, we use Trello for keeping track of projects and assignments. By adding tags, members, dates, descriptions, and even checklists, everyone can keep track of what is up next. You get emails whenever there is activity (like a comment) on one of your cards.
Who this is for: Teams that like to see everything laid out in a simple and clear visual format. The option for multiple boards is great for people who are on more than one team, or have a lot of projects to keep track of.
While this is not a new service, it still is overlooked. For example, screen-sharing and video conferencing on Google Hangouts means it’s possible to connect with anyone anywhere for free. It also allows you to stream and record conversations for immediate upload to YouTube, so your fans can watch live or watch later. This service is similar to Skype, but works within the Google sphere. While you are chatting on Hangouts, you can watch YouTube videos together, share documents, screenshare, and tons more.
All of the Google Apps make it easy to share seamlessly and quickly right within your Gmail account.
Who this is for: People working remotely, employees that are on the road, and for in office document sharing.
Makers of powerful and popular team project platform Basecamp also have Highrise, which is a contact management tool, and Campfire, which provides private group chat rooms for your business. See all three at 37signals.com. The mission of 37signals and these apps is to keep things as simple as possible.
JUST LAUNCHED: Basecamp Breeze, which is an easy way for small groups to stay together via email.Check it out.
For example, Basecamp will send you a recap every morning of your project. Follow along in real time as participants write notes, share documents, and finish to-dos.
Who this is for: Companies that could benefit from a robust but easy to follow experience. This program is quick to follow, and fast paced companies will lose minimal time implementing this system.
Collaborating in person
As important as it is to be able to effectively collaborate on shared work online, there is something to be said for connecting in person. Consider tips for successful collaboration in an office, like deciding when you should work together. Design your office for communication, and remember that employees have a right to privacy.
Who this is for: Especially for teams that need to connect locally, an adhoc area or dedicated workspace for collaboration should be considered for maximum productivity and innovation. See four ways to create collaborative spaces.