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Best tools for collaboration - digital edition

Here are the most effective methods for successful team collaboration and the appropriate digital tools

Digital collaboration has become an essential aspect of modern workspaces. Despite active trends in process and task automation as well as the rapid development of artificial intelligence, the need for productive team work is still significant for many reasons, such as the importance of human creativity, contextual decision making, and many other skills that cannot be replaced by any technology at the moment.

To cut a long story short, it is important to know how to collaborate - and how to do it successfully, too! Therefore, in order to help you with this challenge, we have collected some of the most popular and effective methods for digital collaboration - and also digital tools, the use of which implies a particular method. So let’s dive in!

Video Conferencing

✔️Video conferencing has been, and continues to be, one of the most common methods for collaboration, especially since the pandemic of COVID-19. Real-time video connection allows co-workers to fulfill various tasks including team discussions of projects, brainstorming sessions, virtual presentations thanks to easy screen-sharing, documents review and much more.

👍 Particularly useful for teams working remotely or across different time zones, video conferencing presents many benefits like instant communication, both verbal and non-verbal, immediate feedback and great flexibility.

👎 Regarding the disadvantages of this approach, we can highlight for example the technical issues related to the quality of the Internet, confidentiality & security problems, distractions etc. And let's face it, we’ve all been there when the half-hour meeting might actually have been one message.

🔗Most popular tools: Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Meet, Webex Meetings, Whereby

Instant Messaging

✔️Next up on the list is instant messaging. Quick, easily accessible and real-time, chat messaging represents another effective approach for digital collaboration. It enables teams to share information and exchange opinions, without the need to send emails back and forth.

👍This method provides a lot of communication efficiency as messages can be sent and received very quickly. Also, the sender usually takes some effort to compose their text, so the meaning comes out much more precise and relevant. In addition, sending files and documents is also much easier with instant messaging apps.

👎Instant messaging relies solely on text-based communication, which may be prone to misinterpretation, miscommunication, or lack of context. Moreover it can generate a significant volume of messages, leading to information overload and difficulty in finding relevant information when needed.

🔗Most popular tools: Slack, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp, Mattermost, WeChat

Project Management Approach

✔️Project management alongside relevant tools provide teams with a centralized location to collaborate and track project progress. It provides especially a structured approach to managing tasks, timelines, and resources, ensuring that team members work cohesively towards project goals. It helps teams streamline their workflow, set priorities, and track progress.

👍Defined roles & responsibilities, clear deadlines and transparent communication are among the most important benefits of using project management strategies. On top, project management tools facilitate project documentation, task assignments, and progress updates, ensuring that everyone is on the same page.

👎Implementing and maintaining a project management approach as well as tools requires time and effort to set up, configure, and maintain. Moreover, training and onboarding may be required to ensure that all team members are proficient in using the tools effectively.

🔗Most popular tools: Jira & Confluence, Notion, Trello, Asana, Monday.com

Cloud Collaboration

✔️Cloud collaboration and cloud storage tools provide their users with the possibility to store, share and work on files and documents from anywhere, at any time, and from any device with internet connectivity. For instance, writing and revising content or creating presentations is far more straightforward thanks to this approach.

👍The main advantages of cloud collaboration include real-time access and possibilities of teamwork with different types of documents in parallel. Robust data backup and recovery features are also really handy, which minimizes the risk of data loss significantly.

👎Teams must carefully consider the privacy policies, data handling practices, and security measures of the cloud collaboration and storage tools they choose. In addition, such applications often lack direct notification and use the comments function instead, which means that there is a need for more efficient management.

🔗Most popular tools: Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive, Dropbox, Sync.com

Online Whiteboards

✔️When our creativity and team brainstorming needs a boost, online whiteboards can become really useful. A large white sheet someplace online is not a difficult concept in itself, but it is also one of the most effective approaches for collaboration because it creates a dedicated digital space for new ideas.

👍 Online whiteboard tools allow teams to collaborate visually, brainstorm effectively, and present concepts in a dynamic and interactive way. This can enhance creativity, facilitate communication, and foster innovation within the team. Adding text, images, shapes, and annotations in real-time actually allows everyone to choose their own preferred way of sharing their ideas.

👎Not all online whiteboard tools may offer advanced features, such as integration with other collaboration tools, advanced drawing tools, or multi-user capabilities. Poor or unstable internet connections may severely hinder productivity and disrupt the collaborative process.

🔗Most popular tools: Miro, Canva, ClickUp, Mural, Google Jamboard

Well, there are different methods to improve team collaboration and that choice depends on the specific task and the problem that needs to be solved. Here's a hint: these approaches work well in combination and some applications even provide several of them at once, for example Slack and Microsoft Teams have both instant messaging and video conferencing functions.

So when choosing both a method and an application, we recommend carefully analyzing the processes and tasks that the team encounters on a daily basis, make a list of task categories and compare them to the functionality provided by the softwares. And then, you can achieve much greater productivity in your teamwork and organization as a whole.

Tangled up and need help? We are here for you.

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