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3 Collaboration Tools You Should Be Using—and 1 You Should Avoid
  • 21 March 2018
  • Daniel Vahab

3 Collaboration Tools You Should Be Using—and 1 You Should Avoid

As a small business owner, you’re constantly trying to maximize productivity, making the most out of your limited time. With only so many hours in a day to get everything done— what you accomplish with that time matters. Choosing the right collaboration tools for your team can be the difference between hitting deadlines and falling behind.

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What is a collaboration tool?

Generally speaking, these tools are software or internet-based and enable groups of people to work together on projects regardless of where they’re located. Collaboration tools include everything from shared file storage systems to video conferencing.

Evernote

Evernote is a note-taking and productivity app that has more than 200 million users around the world. Users can access it from mobile, desktop or web, allowing you to sync and share documents in real time. Your notes can include links, checklists, tables, attachments, and audio recordings—even searchable handwritten notes. To keep everything organized between your business's different departments or teams, you can also segment your notes into team folders and grant selective access.

Google Drive

From the world's largest search engine, Google Drive offers cloud-based collaboration tools that allow you to store, edit, and share files in real time—which means you and members of your team can all work on the same documents at once, from different devices. No more saving separate files named version1, version2, etc.! Users start with 15 GB of free space which you can use as your main source of file saving for all of your videos, photos, and documents. You can also use your Drive to back up your work that is saved elsewhere.

The Google suite includes Docs, Sheets, and Slides—similar to the features of Microsoft's Word, Excel, and PowerPoint— that can be used to create general documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

Slack

Slack is a project management app that allows your team to work together seamlessly. You can quickly and easily leave comments and access an archive of projects at any time. Share various types of files and links—all of which are searchable by relevant keyword hashtags, making it even easier to find the project you’re looking for.

Slack can help you simplify your communication process, reducing the use of hard-to-keep-track-of emails, helping your team manage projects for any department or business objective.

What not to use

Speaking of email, that brings us to our final category: which collaboration tool to avoid. Though email communication has been a workplace staple for years, many sources cite email as one of the worst ways to collaborate with your team.

While the above tools and apps can help improve your team's workflow, email actually slows down productivity. According to software development company, Atlassian, it can take a person 16 minutes to get back on track after reading an email.

Cut back on the stop-and-go that comes with email communication, and stay organized and efficient by leveraging collaboration tools like Evernote, Google Drive, and Slack. When that next big idea comes around, you can get your team to capitalize on it right away. Accomplish more while driving your business to reach your core business objectives.

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