In today’s world, team collaboration is a pillar of cohesiveness and efficiency for each and every organization. And now, since we have so many teams globally working remotely, it’s even more important that they can collaborate and communicate to maintain productivity.
There’re hundreds or even thousands of tools to get the job done, and we can often get lost in figuring out which one to even use, but today we’re trying to make the choice a bit easier. At C7 we use several tools on a daily basis to make work flow easily from person to person and eliminates the need for constant back and forth over messages or emails or other cumbersome means to communicate and collaborate.
Here’s a few tools that we use over here at C7 to make our days a little less stressful:
Dashlane– it’s a password management system so you don’t have to remember if the random character is a ‘!’ or a ‘#.’ Apart from that, remote teams mean that different users will require access to some of the same resources or other tools. Having one central location (that isn’t a spreadsheet) for this access makes working together or individually easier and it’s definitely more secure since credentials are also required to access it.
Freshbooks– you might wonder when would Cloud accounting come in handy. Well, when you have a team in different locations that have to track billable hours, it makes invoicing and estimating processes much simpler
With FreshBooks, estimates and invoices can take 5 minutes or less. Your reports are at the click of a button and you can Keep all information in 1 central place. It also has tons of additional features.
Additionally, it allows for employee timesheets, contractors to log hours, track expenses, sent automated emails for recurring payments and so much more.
File Sharing and Storage
Dropbox– it’s a smart shared workspace that can be used with or without an internet connection. Team members can sync, share and collaborate on large documents that are impossible to send via other means.
Dropbox is also secure so losing documents is the least of your worries. Its cloud storage technology encrypts your files in transit (when they are moving from your device to the cloud storage service and back), and the stored ones. There are also ways to retrieve files that have been deleted, or you can view older versions of files in case you need to replace something in your Final Final Very Final.ai file with something in the 3rd Final Very Final.ai file instead.
In the event you’ll be working without internet for a few hours, you can mark files you’d like to access offline and they will automatically sync to your device allowing offline access.
With Dropbox the pros far outweigh the cons.
Meetings and conference calls
Zoom– for the entire year of 2019 Zoom recorded 1.99 million new active users. So far for 2020, there’s 2.22 million new active users. This reliable video-conferencing tool is stellar for one on one meetings, comprehensive team discussions or even quick calls to clear things up all without the “Can you hear me?” at the start of every call.
Screen-sharing is available so for teams that need to collaborate like this, it’s a breeze. You can also record sessions so that teams can refer to or document meetings in the event something was missed or a team member was not present. And even on its free plan Zoom can host up to 100 participants. It’s plain to see why nowadays remote teams are choosing Zoom.
Flow– assigning tasks and managing projects can get disorganized or lost in translation. With all the moving parts, Flow helps streamline projects and tasks so managing people and projects is simplified. Flow has a quick catch-up dashboard so you can skim tasks and progress without having to delve into each individual project.
You can also have multiple teams if your organization has several departments, or if you have various clients with special teams. Projects can also be public where all teams can see it or private, where only invited team members have access.
You can set start and due dates, give each project a colour, add in subtasks, notes, comments and attachments. And you can use a workload view if you have a large team for a better overview for calendars, projects and tasks and the associated workload.
Sharable Documents- Word Doc, Spreadsheet, Forms, Surveys
Google Drive– as a digital solutions provider, having digital file management is a key component of operations. Having a diverse team means the need for various resources and one major advantage of Google Drive is the ability to open and edit various types of documents, or the ability to integrate tools that can. Google Drive allows you to open anything from Adobe Suite files to spreadsheets and Microsoft Word documents.
Additionally, it isn’t only convenient for sharing documents between team members, but for documents that require further client input, the privacy settings of individual folders and files can be changed whether it’s to edit or simply view the document. The features also make it easy for you to create a filing system that works best for your organization.
Google Drive is also cloud based storage so it can be accessed anywhere, at any time as long as there’s an internet connection. This means no matter where you or your team are in the world, collaborating on or sharing documents is simplified.
As with any business, knowing your data is secure is priority and with Google Drive data is stored off-site and encrypted using SSL. Also, “Google Drive also allows you to back up files to the Cloud using ‘Back up and sync’, or, if you are a paying customer, ‘Drive File Stream’. This option provides you with a copy of your files in a Google Drive folder on your hard-drive, making your data both secure and more easily accessible.”
With these tools, team work becomes seamless whether you’re a conference room apart, or continents apart.
Have these tools helped you? Or what other tools can you recommend we try to help our team increase efficiency and productivity?