Effective team collaboration is something businesses are continuing to navigate as working remotely settles into normalcy, but fortunately, we live in a time of progressive technology! There are many online tools, both paid and free, for keeping your team organized. Below are a few of our recommendations for tools to keep your team efficient during this time.
Zoom is a video conferencing software that allows one-on-one video chats to large scale webinars. Using Zoom for daily check-ins is a great way to keep your team accountable while providing means for positive interactions. Hosting team video calls in the morning and/or afternoon provides an open platform for team-wide communication.
Another great use of Zoom is the breakout rooms. The host can put team members, such as different departments or by projects, into different virtual rooms while the rest of the team continues on with the call or breaks into additional rooms. Of course, you will undoubtedly need to remind a few team members to mute themselves otherwise the muffling and echoing is going to make a horrendous debut.
Slack is a collaboration hub that enables instant messaging while integrating with other tools and special features. While Slack has a subscription cost, you get what you pay for. This tool will allow you to communicate with your team no matter where you are located and gives an easy way to have both private and group discussions. With Slack, you can supplement the in-office conversations with quick and organized communication that is more efficient than sending copious emails back and forth. You can also turn your notifications alert to verbally say, “Hummus” whenever you receive a slack message, just in case you need some entertainment while sitting at home.
3. Google Drive
Google Drive is not a new tool nor should its capabilities be underrated. Google Drive is a great way to be able to work on documents, including Google docs, slides, sheets. etc., together at the same time, which allows group work to be completed remotely. This tool can be used in a myriad of ways, but we suggest making a shared drive and dedicating time to intuitively organizing all documents so they are helpful resources for your team. Some examples include allowing team access to progress reports, documenting individual projects, or starting a doc where everyone shares a daily joke, because why not?
BaseCamp is every project manager’s dream. It is designed to organize project workflow with an easy to use interface and comprehensive features. It allows for each step of a project to be planned, detailed, and carried out, and all from one central location. In addition, it is not only for internal team use, but it can also be used to connect with clients using a secure and documented platform. It allows all project-related documents, tasks, and work to be stored together, instead of lost in the abyss of “I thought I put it in this folder…”
Rocketbook is a new notebook and whiteboard technology that allows users to scan in their writing online and easily share what they are working on. Are you a big “let’s whiteboard this” team? Now that everyone is out of the office, the ability to visually and collectively brainstorm using the good old fashion whiteboard is gone, and it’s being missed. The Rocketbook brings the collaboration of the whiteboard to your team’s individual homes. While it is a few more steps than just having the team in the conference room, it a fantastic option for the note-takers and doodlers of the world.
Trello keeps your project extremely organized, and visually appealing, by seamlessly breaking down projects using boards, lists, and cards. It is a great tool for assigning tasks, marking deadlines, and advancing checklists for both short and long term planning. It keeps team members accountable for tasks while allowing the entire team to easily view where a project stands. It brings collaboration and access to a simple and straightforward platform. You can also create fun boards such as adding all the amazing curbside orders you’ve tried and recommendations for your team, because at least you can pretend you all get to enjoy lunch together.
Asana is a web-based or phone application that streamlines work and manages tasks. This tool simplifies team-based work management and is an effective way to help your team remain focused while working on different portions of a project at the same time. This tool allows for agile development and encourages communication as each portion of the project as tasks are both created and completed.
While there are countless other tools that can be used exclusively or together, we recommend you find some time to discuss which services are worth the investment for your team. There are many free online tools out there, but you get what you pay for and the more reliable ones will often require a fee, so it is important to figure out which services will benefit your team. The most important part is providing your team with the tools and resources necessary to not only complete their work, but to enjoy the process.