A lot of companies suffer from an inability to collaborate. Imagine work and collaboration as two bad roommates. They are rarely in the same room, but both are required if you want to pay the rent. Whether everyone in the company works in the same office, multiple locations or as part of a virtual team, collaboration between employees delivers critical value to an organisation and its growth.
Traditional collaboration does have its setbacks, however. The continuous struggle of finding time everybody is free, the meetings scheduling to discuss minor issues and most of all, the interruption of your flow of work. These experiences are not only frustrating but unproductive. Therefore, many companies have successfully employed productivity applications into their workplace, allowing employees to collaborate on projects with ease and efficiency. Here at Think Productive North America, we dislike the idea of being inefficient, and we’re not too fond of those long, trivial meetings either, especially since there are so many ways to turn them into effective meetings. So here are 3 Productivity Ninja recommended apps to help improve employee collaboration and teamwork.
Whether you’re working on the same document as a colleague, wanting to show a project’s progress effortlessly or just be able to access information at any time – anywhere, Google Docs could be your solution. A significant benefit is that no office software is required – everything you need is either in your browser or via the mobile phone app.
Once started, Google Docs might soon become your personal favorite. An application that can be used effectively for all types of content creation, while remaining open and collaborative in nature. This free app is a must for those wishing to work together on multiple projects or similarly, individual documents (calling all you students out there).
The traditional style of brainstorming – using a pack of Post-it notes together with a team to plan out a complete project, it allows you to jot down ideas, decide tasks and organize them in order of priorities. Trello has gone ahead and taken this classic productivity system and created an online version.
Trello’s interface is formed on a card-based system which helps provide a simple overview of your project. You can have separate boards for independent projects, meaning this application can keep track of your complete ‘To-Do’ list. Each card can be detailed with a due-date, be assigned to other people and can be commented on, plus many more helpful features.
Personal use of Trello suggests it to be excellent for a small team or even more so an individual basis. With the clear interface, you can easily see what needs to be done, what’s in progress and what’s completed. Helping you and anyone you assign, keep track of the projects progress. Similar to Google Docs, it can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. Making Trello a must-try for anyone juggling a project themselves or within a small team, no matter if you’re based in the same location or spread out around the globe.
There aren’t too many people out there who are too keen on chasing up payments and sending out invoices, but spending hours sitting in front of a spreadsheet and a calculator doesn’t make it too appealing either. A Productivity Ninja is all about cutting down time spent on tasks and automating as much of the tedious tasks as possible. QuickBooks suggests it’ll save you 8 hours a month on your accounting – we like the sound of that. Check it out here to see if it could help you and your team spend more time on projects, rather than chasing payment.
How much of your day do you lose to the back and forth of emailing colleagues? Rather than using work time productively, we find ourselves writing status’, emailing people work they should already have done and searching our inboxes for that one all-important document. Besides getting in touch with us to book an Email Training, you should also look into Asana.
Asana is a project management application that is wanting to change this, change the way we interact and collaborate with colleagues. As projects get more complicated (as they always seem to do), you may look to move away from Trello to Asana. Complex tasks come with lots of moving parts, something which Asana can do a more efficient job of managing.
The app can help track your to-do list, the progress of your team on a particular project, who is working on what and the ability to communicate with everyone. All of this is in one place, where it is easy to find and easy to utilize. The flexible framework and multiple customization options make it a great tool for teams both small and large that wish to organize their projects in one, central location. If you want to move away from the painful back and forth of internal emails, Asana will provide that solution – and much more.
Do you use any other apps to help your team become more efficient? Let us know @thinkproductiveusa
By Miles Singleton
Miles is Think Productive’s Editorial Content Producer.
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