Which Collaboration Tools Are You Using?

Author: Justin Reynolds | January 29, 2016

Years ago, if you were planning on working on a project with a few of your coworkers, you had to sync schedules and find a time where all of you could be in the same room—a task that’s considerably easier said than done.

But now, due to the evolution of technology and the rise of cloud computing, today’s knowledge workers are able to collaborate with their colleagues with ease. Thanks to the proliferation of collaboration tools, employees can work together digitally, synchronously or asynchronously—whichever is more convenient.

This is all made possible by a slew of platforms and apps that all try to do the same thing: make your job less stressful. If your business has yet to deploy collaboration tools of its own—or even if you’re simply unhappy with the tools you’re working with—consider whether one of these platforms makes sense for your needs:

  1. Slack. Valued at an impressive $2.8 billion, Slack is a collaboration platform that’s recently stolen its share of headlines and rightly so. The tool allows you to take part in group conversations and share files. It also boasts comprehensive search functionality. What’s more, Slack is always in sync, meaning all team members are able to stay up-to-the-minute from any connected device. With Slack, you and your team can “be less busy,” which is the company’s motto. 
  1. Asana. Say goodbye to email. Asana is a web-based collaboration tool that centralizes all team communications and tasks into one easy-to-navigate interface. With Asana, you can group conversations and projects together—which sure beats having to search through hundreds of emails to find the three you need to do your job.
  1. UC Exchange. To be successful, today’s knowledge workers need the ability to collaborate with their colleagues in real time—even if those folks work for other companies. Unfortunately, most businesses aren’t exactly alike, which means your business partners may very well use collaboration tools that don’t interoperate with the ones you’ve deployed (e.g., you may use Microsoft Lync while your colleague uses Cisco WebEx Messenger). UC Exchange was built to bridge the gaps between disparate communications platforms, allowing two colleagues who don’t work for the same company to communicate with one another as if they were on the same platform.
  1. Trello. You can use Trello to get a clear bird’s-eye view of what assignments your team has to tackle, who’s working on what, and how much progress has been made on each project. The service is completely customizable—and quite intuitive, too. And you can configure Trello to automatically send you emails whenever someone else interacts with a project you’re assigned to, assuring you won’t miss any critical communications. 
  1. Google for Work. If you’re not familiar with Google’s professional productivity suite, here’s a quick primer: You—like 5 million other businesses are already doing—can use Google for Work for email, word processing, spreadsheets, slideshows and more. Your employees can easily access and share the documents they need from any connected device. With plans starting at $5/user/month, what’s not to like?

Be advised that the above five tools by no means represent even a fraction of the collaboration apps that are available today—you can find tons more here, here and here.

But at the end of the day, if your company isn’t taking advantage of these modern platforms, work is measurably more difficult than it needs to be. And where’s the sense in that?

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