Team work: 10 tools to ensure successful collaboration
Updated: Feb 28
Collaboration and teamwork are an invaluable part of any enterprise. With globalization, the wide spread of internet access, and diversification of resources, their role has only been growing. The rise in importance has contributed to the appearance of new distinct and specific tools.
The multitude of options for collaboration tools is rather overwhelming. The fact that the software you pick can shape the way your team functions adds even more anxiety to the process. To make things easier for you, let’s review the points you should focus on and take a look at some of the most popular and effective tools at your disposal.
The Advantages of Using the Right Collaboration Tools
In order to pick the right tools for your business, you need to know how they impact your team’s way of working. If you choose one or two aspects you want to focus on in the beginning, it will be easier for you to make the right decision.
Here are a few of the main benefits collaboration tools can provide:
Fast access to any part of the project by all team members
Effective collaboration requires the ability for different departments to edit a certain file. A specific file management system or shared drive can ensure your team has such an ability, as well as additional features, like a detailed history of changes.
An easy way to monitor tasks and overall progress
The organization of workflows is an important component of successful cooperation. Without proper synchronization, chaos is inevitable. Fortunately, even the most basic calendar software is a powerful tool for organizing. Advanced task managers make teamwork even more coordinated and easily managed.
Flexible working locations provide the ability to work from any part of the world
The global reach of the internet has resulted in the ability to communicate, trade files, and work from wherever you like. Not only does this grant access to benefits of the remote employment (bigger talent pool, resource saving, comfortable conditions, etc), but also allows for faster reaction times and better communication.
Direct data flow between team members and business partners
Digital work continues to develop at a rapid pace. Current and prospective clients will have higher and higher expectations of your company. While they are in control of how to interact with you, they expect your team to know the answer to each of their questions immediately. That’s why your customer care, sales and product team needs complete and fast access to all possible data.
1. G-Suite or Google docs
This online set of tools is one of the most popular choices for collaborative efforts. The fact that it’s supported by Google and is free to use makes G-Suite and Docs irresistible for beginners. However, this is also why the software is lacking some in-depth features you might need.
Etherpad is an open-source text editor. It is designed to support real-time collaborative editing process. It is very simple but can be customized and altered for the specific needs of your business
3. Office 365
Microsoft Office is the pioneer of document editing software. The online version has transferred all the components perfected through the years as a collaborative platform. The basic free version does not provide the full experience. If you want the whole experience you need the subscription version. Even though it is much better than G-Suite, for most users it might not be worth the money.
Communication is one of the most important parts of collaboration, and Slack is the go-to tool for businesses to manage it. You can create multiple channels and chats for effective information exchange both inside each department and for inter-company communication.
5. Hangouts by Google
Hangouts is a tool developed by Google for quick audio and video messaging. Its features allow for effective communication and correspondence. Unfortunately some bigger companies banned it for their employees due to security concerns. With the proper equipment Hangouts can be a cheap and easy to use solution for conference rooms with big screens.
6. Skype from Microsoft
Skype is a solid alternative to Hangouts and one of the most popular and easiest to use video and audio conference tool. Skype for Business expands on the features its predecessor provides and offers even better connection quality, easy file sharing, and multiple collaboration features.
Trello is the modern online version of a post-it notes board. Each task and comment is easy to follow and available for all, which is what made it such a widespread business instrument.
Asana is an easy to work with activity tracking tool. The features it provides are specifically developed for effective task management. As a business owner you will find it very easy to set up and work with on a daily basis.
9. Teams by Microsoft
Microsoft Teams is a platform that unites a multiple of features. The chat reminds us of Slack, but it's not as intuitive as the original. The hub that unites all the Microsoft products helps if you use multiple MS services. Teams has everything you might need for a successful collaboration and more. Scheduling capabilities are also included, which makes it a perfect tool for successful time management.
10. Time Doctor
Time Doctor focuses exclusively on time tracking. Not only is it helpful for alerting team members about task deadlines, it can also help analyze the productivity and time consumption efficiency. Time Doctor is a good choice if you don’t need all the bells and whistles Teams comes with.
Podio is a flexible and customizable online platform for work and communication among teams. It gives you a way to organize large stacks of work and to delegate tasks between multiple colleges and employees.
Like many of the other business collaboration apps out there, Podio provides you with the tools to share files, view the status of ongoing projects and get feedback on the tasks you’re currently working on. These functionalities are combined into an easy-to-use interface.
What makes Podio so special are the quality mobile apps for when you’re out and about and need to use your smartphone or tablet. Podio also has an huge amount of integration with third-party services and apps including Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote and Zendesk etc.