The way we work has changed in recent years. The individual contribution used to outweigh group efforts. Now, we’re seeing work assignments become project-based and requiring teams to complete tasks. In response, an increasing number of tools are on the market to help streamline processes, promote communication and transparency and to make sure everyone is working with purpose and focus.
Some of the best tools are for communication. Others are for knowledge management and transfer. Many work for project management.
• Ubiq. Wireless presentations made easy with instant access to your meet’s Hive, central access point. It connects people using multiple device types to a presentation where they can share content through a data encrypted, secure system dedicated for your meeting. The added bonus will come in the form of remote presentations, which will open, yet secured access to those beyond the Hive in virtual locations.
• Canva. Presentations and other communication assets may require visual content. Canva is a free, online graphic design tool to create posters, infographics, email templates and more! As a collaborative tool, you can share your design with team members to work together, make changes/edits and gather feedback.
• Mural.ly. Mural.ly is a cloud-based whiteboard application, great for brainstorming sessions. Using virtual whiteboards, called “Murals,” you can invite team members to draw and type onto your board to gather ideas, map out workflows and more. Collaborate in real-time and visually track activity as your project evolves.
For Project Management:
• Asana. Designed to support teams through web and mobile applications, Asana is communication and project management tool that works to keep teams organized and promote open communication. It includes a multitude of features, like interactive checklists, to ensure teams remain on task and rely less on email, where things can get confused or lost.
• Trello. Trello is a card-based project management program. Its application focuses on the use of cards, which work great for online brainstorming sessions. Ideal for content and editorial development, users can pitch ideas, assign tasks, leave notes and visualize progress as cards are being worked.
• TeamWork. This project management system supports file transfers, task assignments and status updates. In addition, TeamWork promotes communication with each task having its own discussion board. It’s user-friendly where both the project owner and the end-user can assign, edit and update tasks based on security settings.
For Communication/Social Media:
• Skype. When Skype was launched in August 2013, it took the telecommunication world by storm. Being able to make calls over an Internet brought people together across country borders and oceans. It’s still relevant and significant to how we do business today. With easy to use software, chats and free audio and video calls to other Skype users are simple. Need to direct dial someone, Skype offers great rates for pennies per minute. Communication provides immediate access with cost savings.
• Yammer. Yammer turns your company’s internal communications into an enterprise social network. Employees access the network through their work email address to communicate with others by departments, groups and interest. Stay on top of projects, understand strategies and break down silos across the organization. Internal communication is no longer just receiving memos through email. It’s now about having actual dialogue amongst colleagues online.
• HipChat. This internal communication tool integrates chat, video and file sharing all within your organization. Set in the cloud, employees can engage in private/group chats, videos and screen sharing from remote locations. It works on a chat room platform, which allows full chat histories to be saved and referenced. We’ve been using HipChat for over a year now, and we communicate over HipChat more frequently than email!
Many of these tools integrate with other applications and can be used across multiple devices. Some have apps for smartphone and tablet available with data being saved and shared on the cloud. It makes collaboration easier to accomplish without having to have everyone in the same room at the same time.