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Collaboration is becoming the main goal in the workplace and for good reason. Effective collaboration brings with it the potential for improved efficiency, increased productivity and greater innovation. But people can’t collaborate if they don’t communicate. From real-time remote feedback to instant messaging and video conferencing tools, there are many fantastic software solutions for fostering better team communication and driving teamwork. Here’s a list of nine of the best collaboration tools that can support your team to achieve new heights of communication and innovation in the new year:
Perhaps the most popular collaboration tool with millions of users worldwide, Slack is a very smart platform that’s available on both mobile and desktop devices. It offers video calling, the ability to send direct messages and files to a single person or a group of employees, and a way to organise conversations into different channels. It’s also compatible with popular cloud storage services such as Google Drive and Dropbox.
Flock is very similar to Slack but with perhaps slightly better usability, supporting channels for different teams as well as one-to-one or group conversations. It offers audio and video calls and screen sharing, productivity tools such as polls, note sharing and reminders, and it also has a powerful search engine for locating files and links. The platform is free to use, but the free services limits searches to 10,000 messages, has a 5GB storage limit and only permits five third-party integrations, while the Pro plan offers unlimited searches, 10GB of storage per user and admin controls. Better still, the Enterprise plan offers 20GB of storage per user and more admin controls as well as dedicated support.
Asana is one of the best-known project management tools currently on the market, and has been designed as an easy way for companies to oversee and track the work of employees. It enables users to assign tasks to other members, add followers to projects and monitor deadlines. It’s particularly useful as a collaborative to-do list or calendar for strategic planning.
Available on both web and mobile, Trello offers the ability to make boards or lists, which can be organised according to team or project and used to delegate tasks to different team members. There’s also a comments feature for delivering feedback in real time. Additionally, the platform boasts a number of integrations with popular apps such as Evernote, Google Drive and Slack. As with many of the solutions on this list, it is free to download but there are premium options available which give access to more features.
5. Google Docs
Google’s mighty collaboration tool is surprisingly simple to use. Its Docs and Sheets services also enable team members to edit files at the same time, view changes as they happen, and also save all changes automatically.
6. Office 365
Last but not least, Microsoft’s collaboration offering is a cloud-hosted platform and can be used not just with Windows, but also Mac, Android, and iOS. It is a serious player in the collaboration arena, with a number of excellent features — notably the ability to collaborate directly on the same documents in the big three apps: Excel, PowerPoint and Word. Pricing for Office 365 depends on whether you are buying for personal or business use, but the Business Essentials package is very cost-effective per month per user when paid annually.
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