Often companies have no choice—they have to work remotely. So how do you circumvent that feeling that everyone is isolated and adrift on their own little planet…It’s all about the tools! Collaboration is the backbone of any good team; as such, you need tools and platforms that make these team interactions more meaningful and far more effective than they may have been in the past. Here are just a few of the tools that will help you make any collaboration an incredibly valuable experience…
1. Trello – Organize and Manage Smarter
As a manager, how do you wrestle everyone together, their files, their ideas, their schedules in one cohesive way…This is where Trello comes in. Through a series of cards, lists and boards, the app allows you to input “to do” lists, post ideas, and check things off as they are accomplished. The awesome thing about Trello is its ease of use.
Need to set the tone for the entire week? They also offer a weekly planning board that enables you to schedule tasks, assign jobs and communicate across channels with all members of your team.
2. Basecamp – A Hub of Information
Much like what you get with Trello, Basecamp acts as another info exchange hub for your team members. You can upload files, send messages, and even enable automatic check-ins. The possibilities are endless here.
Let’s say you’re in the process of designing a new website. Connecting all parties involved from the developer, to the company principals, to the content writer through basecamp helps keep everyone in the loop and on task as far as the creation of your new site is concerned.
3. Skitch for Annotating
Sometimes you need to elaborate on an idea, or use visuals because words alone cannot perform. Skitch is an invaluable tool that lets you show someone exactly what you mean. Utilizing arrows, highlights, and stamps, you can mark up everything from photos to maps to word files.
And the ability to integrate these markups is made incredibly easy with Skitch. So go ahead, communicate your opinions and spur of the moment thoughts, that’s what collaboration is all about after all!
4. MS Office Live for Document Collaboration
Following Google’s lead, Microsoft Office Live allows users to share and make changes to docs in real time. Granted, for the time being, you do have to have Office on your computer and the service is not free. But with the easy-to-use, tried and true editing tools of MS Word behind this product, it is bound to become a company favorite.
5. Dropbox for File Sharing
Dropbox—the one and only. Who hasn’t used Dropbox? There is so much that you can do with this particular tool that, in some ways, it makes others obsolete. And because it “plays nice” with a host of other tools, Dropbox is completely comprehensive.
From viewing new files within a Slack team, to storing Basecamp files, to creating Trello cards, Dropbox gives your remotely collaborating team the flexibility and agility it needs to get the job done!
6. Slack for Messaging
Messages are an absolutely essential part of collaboration, and this is why Slack has quickly risen in the ranks. Not to mention, Slack is also fun! You can spend your day sending messages back and forth, praise and reward your team members, and brainstorm ideas…anything to make remote work easier and a lot more entertaining.
What else can you do with Slack? How about using InVision to collaborate on designs, share screens, and just basically help manage the day-to-day tasks. Their slogan is after all, “where work happens.”
7. Zapier for Automating Workflows
How do you connect all of your favorite apps and tools—how about with Zapier…For those who find switching from app to app a pain in the proverbial behind, Zapier puts everything in one accessible place. Input the tools your team is using, and Zapier will connect them for you! Make it easier on yourself and your team, and just “zap” it.
Anything that can be done to ease the pressures of remote collaboration is good! You want to maintain effectiveness, keep everyone on the same page and make sure that all components of a project are connected. These tools (and so many more) are designed with just such an end goal in mind.
Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below!