Today, there are tools for just about everything. Just as you can get fitness trackers, business calendars and personal assistants, you can also get tools to encourage your team work together more efficiently. The most common tools for teams are collaboration tools.
What are Collaboration Tools?
Collaboration tools are any tools that you can use to collaborate on work with others. They’re useful for teams of all kinds: remote teams, in-office teams, freelance contractor teams, and everything in between. If you work with a team, you will definitely benefit from using collaboration tools.
These tools aren’t magic. What they do is help to facilitate normal team activities such as communication, file sharing, editing, project management and more. Using a centrally accessible platform, your teams will need to spend less time on administrative details and more time on the work itself.
There are many different types of collaboration tools available from a wide variety of providers. While some tools such as live chat software will be a better fit for specific needs, a few are really big hitters. These collaboration tools give you important benefits over traditional communication systems like long email threads or a mash-up of different programs. With an improved and integrated system, your team can work together more seamlessly.
Top 6 Collaboration Tools for Teams
It’s easy for teams of any size to use Trello for any collaborative projects. This platform is visually pleasing and simple to use. Tasks are organized under boards and can be dragged around as needed. Each team member connected to a board can add comments, attach files like images, and share feedback on individual tasks or general boards.
Trello is a great tool for staying organised and allowing everyone to follow what’s happening, allowing them to add their own comments and contribute as each project moves forward. It’s also able to integrate with other useful apps like GitHub, Google Drive, or even Slack (another entry on this list). The main area in which it falls short is communication, because it doesn’t offer a robust communication system for direct or team chats.
Asana has been in the game for over a decade. In that time, they’ve been refining their product for a more convenient workflow. You can integrate Asana with a lot of your existing business tools, but even on its own it can be incredibly usefuls.
The basic features of Asana allow you to communicate via instant messaging, assign tasks to people in a list or board format, add comments to existing projects, set deadline reminders, make requests from other team members, and form personal or group to-do lists. There are a lot of different ways that you can use Asana’s basic features to help your team’s performance.
While Asana is great at what it does, its strong suit is not communications. Other platforms offer more sophisticated messaging options.
On its own, Slack is already a powerful collaboration tool. But, the beauty of this tool is that you can integrate a lot of other tools with it to increase its functionality. It’s flexibility allows it to accommodate the different needs and working styles of each team and team member.
Even on a basic subscription plan, Slack allows you to share files, communicate via direct messages or group (‘channel’) messages, search through archive posts, set up mentions, and receive notifications through a secure platform. When you add in the integrated features, available on premium plans, even more options become available to you, including:
- Making VoIP calls
- Direct connection with CRM tools
- Access to cloud storage platforms
- Multi-platform communication
- Customer support & HR features
- Productivity app features
Where Slack excels at communication and sharing, it falls a little short as a project management app. On its own, Slack is a useful tool. When paired with your existing tools or when you want to integrate extra tools into your business practice, it becomes even more useful to teams of all sizes.
#4 G Suite OR Office 365
Depending on the budget, size, and location of your team, one of these program suites will be better suited to your business. G Suite is a fully cloud-based collection of tools with Sheets, Docs, Slides, Drive, Gmail, Google Chat, and others at your disposal. It’s easy enough to get your whole team connected in the right places using it’s free tools.
Office 365 from Microsoft is costlier than G Suite, but it also contains more powerful tools that allow you to have more flexibility regarding sharing and editing. You can use Office 365 products as cloud or local programs, syncing to a central company OneDrive or sharing files directly. Office 365 includes all the normal Microsoft Office products like Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneDrive, but also adds Teams and other collaboration-focused tools.
We grouped these two product collections together because they offer a similar range of products and functions, with G Suite being a free option and Office 365 an enhanced enterprise version. Both G Suite and Office 365 have their own great tools for productivity and communication, including VoIP calling and video calls. Both are great collections, although they are a combination of many different tools that can’t all be accessed from a single central location.
In many people’s opinion, Basecamp boats the best features of all of the listed platforms, providing a collaborative project management and communication platform for organizations of all sizes. With static pricing, Basecamp generally appeals more to larger companies who want a budget-friendly option or smaller companies looking for a scalable solution to grow with them. There is no free version of Basecamp.
There is so much that you can do through Basecamp , including setting up and managing tasks and communicating with your team. It’s more of a cloud-based project management tool than a communications tool. While there are direct communication features and some group communication features, it also doesn’t allow VoIP calling or any sort of video conferencing.
With such a huge selection of apps available, you’re bound to find one that works well for your team and helps you take your teamwork to the next level. Each tool has its own list of advantages, disadvantages, and additional features. It’s up to you to choose which one suits your needs best and keeps your team flowing together without snags or obstacles.
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