Written By: Guest Blogger Sophia Guevara, MLIS, MPA.
For professionals who work in large organizations stretching across states or even the country, finding tools to help your team complete their work can be quite important. Tools that allow your team to collaborate and work together can be difficult to find if you don’t know where to look. Here are four tool ideas to help you collaborate at a distance.
I have experience making use of Google Docs to co-write articles and other publications with a writing team. I have found that it is a very valuable tool that helps to prevent you from updating the wrong draft. If you depend on email to share project drafts, you might not update the most recent version of the document causing issues down the line.
Not only can you make use of Google Docs to develop a project but you can also use it as a way to keep everything together. Creating agendas, comments, and resource lists all in one place can be helpful. Utilizing a content or knowledge management system along with Google Docs can help you search for these documents.
Google Hangouts or Freeconferencepro
I have found that Google Hangouts audio and video calling is helpful to connect with others. Unfortunately, trouble can arise if your team doesn’t have a Google account or the right software installed.
I have also often used Freeconferencepro.com, a teleconferencing tool, to connect with others. This tool is best for those who prefer to call into a number to discuss issues rather than download software. I have found that a small number of people have had difficulty dialing into the teleconference number provided.
Taking a moment to ensure you have the basics for these tools will save you time in the long run.
When words just won’t do it, make use of Screenr. This tool allows you to provide screenshots and annotate them. Your team members can not only see the problem but also understand what the issue is. This tool is currently available as an extension for Chrome.
Basecamp or Slack
These tools provide users with an opportunity to have a central space to store information related to a project. I have gained experience with each tool for conference planning. Basecamp provides users with a 30-day trial and free accounts for teachers and students. Slack, however, provides a limited, free account for users.
Whether you are working with team members in the next room or across the country, these tools can make collaboration at a distance a breeze. Think about making use of these tools to make your next team project a success.