Are you feeling lost under the overwhelming amount of work you and your team are trying to get done from home? Take a breath & do a bit of research – there are oodles of project/workflow management tools and collaboration apps that will give you help you stay connected and give clear visibility over what needs doing, who’s doing it and where they’re up to.
Trello is like a white board, filled with lists of sticky notes, with each note as a task for you and your team. Each of those sticky notes can have attachments, labels, checklists, due dates and a place to comment and collaborate with your teammates. The iPhone and Android apps have the same look and feel as the desktop function and allow you to continue operating on the go. We use Trello at Aspire2 Business Management Programmes for varying purposes – it’s simple to use interface and visually appealing layout make it easy and fun to use.
Best Feature: It’s free. There are priced options but you can achieve streamlined workflows for even the most OCD team member with the free version.
Pet Peeve: Archive and then Delete????? We haven’t quite figured out the thinking behind why you need to archive a card before you can delete it…
Slack is a collaboration hub that can replace email to help you and your team connect, collaborate and work together seamlessly. It’s designed to support the way people naturally work together, so you can collaborate with people online as efficiently as you do face-to-face. Slack also allows you to create public channels through # hashtags and most of the workflow, teamwork and communication can get done through these tags. # Channels allow you to get organised by team or project to chat or share files, share knowledge, voice message or calls.
Best Feature: It integrates with Office and Google to share files and tools.
Pet Peeve: Blink and you’ll miss the important stuff – when a chat starts flowing you’ll need to be watching like a hawk or you could miss the key message, but having to be “on” all the time won’t be good for anyone’s mental health.
Yammer is a social networking tool to openly connect and engage across your organization, so you can discuss ideas, share updates, and network with others around the globe. It uses all of the tools you’ll be used to seeing in Facebook but replaces “Friends” with your colleagues. This is a great way to keep abreast of announcements within your company and team and allows connection between parts of the business that might not necessarily engage otherwise. Yammer also allows people to bring a bit of fun to the workplace – who doesn’t love a good GIF?
Best Feature: The super familiar “Facebookesque” interface.
Pet Peeve: Its yet another social network – the average social media user has 7.6 accounts – do you have the patience for another one?
Teams is a collaboration hub based in Office 365. It brings chat, meetings, files and apps into a central space that allows remote and dispersed teams to communicate very effectively and efficiently. Teams also integrates with most other Office 365 functions and a huge list of other apps (including Trello and Yammer!). There is also super functional iOS and Android apps.
Best Feature: Chat – the ability to maintain office engagement (we really mean banter) is priceless especially now more than ever.
Pet Peeve: In more than one Team? – good luck! Unfortunately you can only have one Team open at a time so it’s going to be tricky to keep on top of everything that’s going on.
A few short weeks ago these tools would have been most important to your businesses productivity but now the major benefit is to your employee’s connectivity with each other. More than ever before collaboration, transparency and communication are vital. Using any one of these apps (or the many others out there) will help bring people together and give them clarity, direction and a chance to connect.
This article was written by Pip Herbert – Student Success Enthusiast