Collaborative Tools and Rethinking Email

by Megan Hettwer
6/26/2017 9:23:38 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

Additional Resources to Help Grow your Small Business

White Paper

How Mail Services and Professional Addresses Help Entrepreneurs Succeed

In today's mobile economy, digital entrepreneurs often work from varying locations. While this can help save money and increase agility, it comes with one big drawback:

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Assistants Provide a Competitive Edge

Countless small business owners rely on remote assistants or offsite receptionists to help with critical organizational duties. While some are content to offload simple tasks to self-employed, stay-at-home support people, others demand more comprehensive services...NULL

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Assistants & Remote Assistants: A Comparison

While the traditional virtual assistant is likely to work from home, an executive-level virtual assistant is part of a greater brick-and-mortar presence. This fundamental difference opens the door for extensive training opportunities that broaden the professional's support capabilities.

Read More >
White Paper

Overview of Virtual Offices, Executive Suites and Co-Working Spaces

Work has changed. In an age of instant communication, cloud-based applications, and workplace versatility, the era of the traditional office culture has come to an end. Providers of virtual offices, executive suites and co-working spaces have effectively liberated the nation’s work culture, adding dynamic and energizing new choices...

Read More >
White Paper

Part 1 of 4: Introducing the SBA

For entrepreneurs and small business owners, navigating the tricky terrain of creating a sound business plan, forecasting for growth and developing an operative growth strategy can be a major challenge. Fortunately, American entrepreneurs and operators have access to one of the most effective resources in the worldwide market...

Read More >
White Paper

Part 2 of 4: Starting a Small Business

Navigating the complex terrain of creating a sound business plan, forecasting for growth and developing an operative growth strategy can be a challenge for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Fortunately, American entrepreneurs have access to one of the most effective resources in the world via the Small Business Administration (SBA).
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Part 3 of 4: Managing a Small Business

Congratulations! You have gotten your small business up and running. Now what? This part of our four-part series on leveraging the Small Business Administration to help you launch and manage a small business will focus on the operational aspects of running a business. Whether you need leadership strategies, day-to-day decision making skills
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Part 4 of 4: Marketing, Sales and Contracting

Understanding marketing and sales as well as the technical complexity of our Internet-driven society gives entrepreneurs a distinct advantage over the competition. This final segment of our four-part report will take a deeper dive into the logistics and philosophy of marketing and sales and their impact on your business success.
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

DIY Marketing Tools

If a business isn’t marketing, its potential customers are not finding it. Small to medium size businesses often struggle with spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing. New DIY marketing tools, however, have eliminated the need to spend astronomical amounts on online and traditional marketing. These tools
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Office For Legal Professionals

Law firms (large and small) and solo legal practitioners alike can use virtual office services and spaces to run their entire legal operations or as a supplement to a home office or traditional brick-and-mortar offices. Virtual office services can be particularly useful during trial preparation
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Finance & Tax Professionals

Finance and tax professionals, whether they work solo or as part of a larger firm, can use virtual office spaces and services to stay on top of their workloads, especially during the busy tax season. Professional virtual office spaces can be particularly useful when back-to-back client meetings are necessary...

Read More >
White Paper

Traveling Entrepreneur

As business people and entrepreneurs continually strive to grow their business, doing so frequently involves traveling around the country to attend networking or tradeshow events, meeting clients and prospects on their own turf, and getting some face-time with colleagues, contractors or employees who may operate in a remote location. Preparation
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Office Eguide

Have you ever wondered why some small businesses are successful and others are not and what do these successful companies do to gain an edge over their competition? Through our years of experience
... Click to read more

Read More >