Using Collaboration Tools In The Workplace
We’re pretty lucky — long gone are the days of depending on endless email chains and face-to-face discussions to collaborate effectively. It seems like I’m hearing about a new collaboration tool every month. In fact, according to Wrike, 77% of companies use project-management software for employee collaboration. If you are in the market for a new tool, but you’re not sure where to start, take a look at the following five options:
Asana’s primary focus is to facilitate team communication and move away from email inboxes. Most of the features revolve around fostering communication between employees, from enabling comments within projects and tasks to pushing the most relevant updates to each user. Asana also provides high-level views of projects, visual tracking, deadline reminders, and integration with third party apps such as Dropbox and Google Drive.
Basecamp provides a user experience aimed at keeping everyone on the same page within an organization, from individual team members to clients. Projects, calendars, and individual tasks are laid out with an easy-to-navigate page that makes it simple to stay on top of everything. This app works best for companies juggling multiple projects, particularly those dependent on each other’s completion.
Trello focuses on visualizing workflow. Instead of putting projects and tasks in text lists, it uses cards that can be moved across multiple stages to indicate what’s going on with a project. Trello essentially brought post-it notes on a white board to the computer. Team members can comment on cards to keep up-to-date on each aspect of the project, and the at-a-glance view makes it simple to figure out what’s going on. The software also adjusts to multiple workflow styles, making it both flexible and powerful.
Podio is a robust project-management app that uses add-ons to customize its feature set without requiring any coding on the user’s end. The default features cover everything from task management to an address book, while additional add-ons introduce customer-relationship management, editorial calendars, and other useful features. A text chat, comments, and status messages provide employees with multiple communication options. Podio also integrates with third-party apps, giving it the most flexibility out of these selections.
Redbooth, formerly Teambox, improves collaboration through real-time chat that includes video chatting, moving team meetings to a virtual space. These calls are in HD and can be recorded for use later in the project. The instant-messaging feature works on a group or one-to-one basis between team members. Advanced workflow reporting, task management, and centralized workspaces also provide significant advantages for a business wanting to optimize project management.