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Collaborative Tools and Rethinking Email

By Jake Nordquist   |    June 26, 2017   |    9:23 AM

 

Get Out of Your Inbox and Get Back to Work 

Being stuck in your Inbox all day is so 2012. Maybe you’ve noticed a movement toward collaborative project management tools, like Slack, as a semi-replacement for internal email communication. Professionals across industries are trying to increase efficiency and reduce the amount of time they spend dealing with email, and for good reason — email can be a massive time-suck.

If you want to stay ahead of the curve, grow your brand, and leverage all of the tools available to you, it’s time to try some new strategies. Let’s rethink the way you use email so that you can continue to get stuff done with your team and co-collaborators. 

Before you ditch the Inbox, have a plan 

Don’t dive headfirst into collaborative tools for project management. First, you need a plan. Start with asking yourself and your team these questions: 

  • What do you need your collaboration tools to do? Organize tasks? Streamline internal communication? Something else?

  • How much/how often do you want to use this tool? Should it replace all internal, project-based communication?

  • Which business goals can be achieved using these tools? How will the tool help you reach those goals?

  • Who will be using any new collaboration tools? The entire office? Project managers? A mix?

  • What is the technical know-how of the people who will be using the tool? Will they willingly adapt to new solutions or will there be resistance? 

How collaborative tools help streamline communication 

Keeping track of email threads is time-consuming and a major hassle. Collaborative tools help organize your messages before you even send the first piece of correspondence to your team, because everything is organized under specific projects or tasks.

As a result, you’ll spend less time searching through email threads and organizing your Inbox

Top collaboration tools to use for small businesses 

Every business is different. The best collaboration tool for you and your team won’t be the same as someone else’s preferred tool. Sign up for some free trial offers and practice using different tools to see which one you prefer. Some effective and user-friendly options are: 

Slack: Slack is one of the most well-known and well-loved collaboration tools available. Communications are updated in real-time, too. 

Basecamp has been around for years, and there’s a reason this simple collab tool is so popular. Organize projects, upload files, assign tasks, and keep everything straight… all in one place. 

Trello is perfect for lovers of to-do lists and sticky notes. It’s a very visual interface, you can easily monitor project progress, and it’s also free. 

Asana is perfect for people who are visual — the interface is stunning, clean, and easy-to-use. You can create teams and then group projects under each team, track tasks, have real-time conversations, and more. 

Appear.in is great for remote teams who don’t see each other in person very often. This video conferencing tool is easy to use and the quality of the video is excellent. 

Some companies use one main tool and others use a combination (like Basecamp for project management and Slack for chatting/messaging). Your perfect solution still needs to be identified, so sign up for some free trials and get started. Trust us, you won’t miss your Inbox