Collaboration is often at the centre of a successful business, but for some, getting staff together at the same time and place is near impossible. That’s where collaborative apps come in. Here’s our pick of five to help bring your team together.
Evernote allows users to create lists, track tasks, collate comprehensive notes (including clippings from the web, snaps of handwritten notes and photos), share ideas and discuss projects. It syncs across mobile and desktop, works in real time and has a search function.
Evernote Basic is free, while the Plus and Premium versions are offered through paid plans and include extra features such as offline access and the ability to save emails in the app.
Used by more than 400 million people globally, Dropbox is an easy and secure file sharing and storage app for documents, photos, files and videos. Available for phones, desktop and tablets, simply download the app, invite your staff to related shared folders and start collaborating.
Users can leave comments on files with Dropbox noting who last modified a shared file and when it was modified. It also syncs across devices. Dropbox Basic is free for 2GB of space, and there are paid plans for their Pro and Business versions.
Compatible with iOS and Android, this team messaging app is a simple communication tool for small businesses. It allows users to organise team conversations by project or subject (to which everyone can contribute) and create private groups for sensitive discussions, and it has a direct message function.
Slack syncs across mobile and desktop and can be used to drop and share files with users. You can also search for old messages and files on the Slack archive. The basic version of Slack is free, and there are paid plans available for more premium services.
Available for iOS, Mac and Android, Flow is a great project management app. It allows users to chat via direct message or in established groups and track the status of projects (as well as their own allocated tasks and deadlines within different projects).
Features include the ability for users to turn chats into actionable tasks, share files, vote for their preferred ideas, allocate jobs and set due dates. Flow offers a free trial period, after which it charges based on the number of users in the business.
While most people are familiar with Skype, some may not realise that it offers group calls for as many as 25 people. So if you’re trying to arrange a cost-effective conference call with your team, it may just be the thing.
Whatever collaborative apps you do introduce to your business, ensure they are easy to learn and implement so staff are happy to use them individually and collectively.
Lisa Cugnetto is a Sydney-based freelance writer, editor and content producer. While she writes across all manner of subjects, she enjoys business, arts, travel, lifestyle and popular culture best.