Incredible Collaboration Tools for Your Business

A great collaboration tool can take your workflow to the next level. The market boasts an incredible array of collaboration tools and choosing the best for your business can be a pivotal decision. Learn how to choose the best collaboration tool for your business and get introduced to some collaboration tools you haven’t met before.
 
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What are collaboration tools?

Collaboration tools help employees work and communicate more efficiently. A collaboration tool can be something as simple as a whiteboard for brainstorming. But most tools are online or marketed as software apps and they help teams with everything from virtual meetings to chat, sharing files and task management.

 

How to integrate collaboration tools

Select the collaboration tool will best quicken your process and help you achieve goals. Here are some steps to help you get started:
 

  1. Look for opportunities
  2. Ask employees what they need
  3. Research options
  4. Integrate smoothly
  5. Manage change

 

1. Look for opportunities

Look for areas to improve. Perhaps your employees communicate well, but their organization or project management skills need help. Perhaps you have a remote team working on the same documents and they need to share files quickly. Consider the challenges and ways to help teams sync and collaborate.

 

2. Ask employees what they need

Send a short survey to your employees or get teams to brainstorm solutions. Ask your HR team or an external company to conduct interviews on ways to improve the process and pain points.

 
Related: How to Find Good Employees

 

3. Research options

Take your employees’ needs and narrow down to primary concerns that will make work easier and faster. There are a few basic types of collaboration tools, some of which serve more than one of these needs:
 

  • Communication: Chat and email
  • Coordination: Project and task management, calendar and scheduling, sharable files and spreadsheets
  • Cooperation/Collaboration: Video conferencing and IM teleconferencing tools, shared brainstorming and decision-support

 

4. Integrate smoothly

Ensure that tools will sync with any current software. For example, if your team uses a group calendar software to schedule meetings, ensure it can be synced with new tools to transfer data seamlessly.

 

5. Manage change

Ensure that all employees understand when they will start using the new tool and what they will need to do to log in, set up or transfer profiles. Supply links to tutorials and a contact name for questions or concerns.

 

Ten collaboration tools for your team

These 10 collaboration tools help teams stay synced, innovative and productive:
 
Communication
 

  • Flowdock: Ideal for team communication, Flowdock integrates notifications from other channels such as Twitter.
  • Igloo: With a range of features, customized intranet experiences help employees share ideas and information.

Coordination
 

  • Monday.com: Some of this tool’s best features include its task management and message boards. Employees can also customize the interface.
  • MindGenius Online: Employees can view work process as a mind map, task board or timeline.
  • ProofHub: Ideal for task management, ProofHub’s best feature is that it allows employees to review and approve files, and it also has space where the team can discuss and monitor projects.

Cooperation
 

  • Quip: This software comes as an app, but it also has a desktop version. Employees can import documents and files on this tool. They can also chat and leave comments on completed work.
  • Wimi: Employees can share everything from files to projects and even calendars.
  • GoToMeeting: Ideal for virtual meetings, GoToMeeting is an online video conferencing software. This collaborative tool allows employees to schedule meetings and share screens.
  • CoSketch: This tool is a multi-user whiteboard that supports image uploading, Google Maps and a chat area for discussion.
  • Canva: This graphic design tool enables employees with thousands of layouts and the ability to create templates that employees can share and comment on.

 
Related: Team-Building Tips and Activities to Boost Employee Morale and Engagement

 

Collaboration tools FAQs

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about collaboration tools:

 

What are the most important questions to ask before choosing a collaboration tool?

When you are browsing through tools, ask yourself the following questions:
 

  • Can a project be managed by multiple users?
  • Can I receive alerts when a project has reached a milestone?
  • Can the tool be used by employees situated in different countries?
  • Will employees need to be trained to learn how to use the new tool?
  • Can the tool be accessed outside of the office?
  • What kind of data and privacy policy does the collaborative tool have?
  • Does the tool offer video conferencing, a schedule of meetings and shared calendar options?

 

Why have collaboration tools become so popular?

Changes in the business landscape have led to the rise of collaboration tools. These days, more people are able to work from home or choosing to work with others based in different countries. Collaboration tools help facilitate communication regardless of the difference in timezones or locations.
 

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