We live in the age of fast and efficient communication. As businesses expand their global reach it can be difficult to get the entire team together for a productive and creative collaboration session. However, no matter if your team members are working remotely or in cubicles around you, there are loads of cloud-based tools that can help ensure that your next brainstorming session is filled with fresh ideas, a great attitude and effective communication among the members of your team.
These cloud-based tools can help you improve communication, but also shorten time to market a product, quicken product upgrade cycles as well as lead to quicker responses to competitive challenges. That’s exactly what a study released by Forbes Insights has discovered.
Forbes surveyed 532 executives from companies with sales ranging from $250 million to over $20 billion and they discovered that cloud-based collaboration solutions:
• Accelerate business results by helping them execute tasks faster than ever
• Enhance collaboration across time zones and functional boundaries
• Enable more efficient processes
• Spur innovation
Ok, now that you know what the fuss is all about, let’s take a look at 5 fantastic cloud-based tools you can use to improve communication and collaboration among your team members, whether they’re working from the office or from somewhere in Tahiti.
1. Trello for productive collaboration
I personally love Trello and I highly recommend it to anyone, whether you’re a freelancer juggling multiple projects, a start-up or a multinational. It’s extremely easy to use and fantastic for working and managing numerous projects at the same time with others. You can create different (private or public) Trello boards if you’re managing different teams at the same time and on each of them you can add Trello cards with project details and deadlines. You can assign people to projects so everyone knows what’s on their to-do list. You can’t possibly go wrong with Trello.
2. Stick with what works – Google Drive
Google Drive (formerly known as Google Docs) is not new, but it’s a solid choice for sharing documents and collaboration. I think this may actually be the simplest solution to share files and have several people work on the same document, as well as exchange ideas and notes in real-time via the chat feature. It’s easy to use and definitely helps get the job done.
3. Join.me all the way
There are many tools for screen-sharing and while the most popular one is TeamViewer, I’ve become a huge fan of Join.me. It’s super simple and perfect for high quality screen sharing, especially if you’re working with people from other countries. It takes just a few minutes to install, it’s extremely lightweight and you can start sharing screens by just giving your collaborator a code. You can also give him control of your mouse. If you’re giving sales presentations online, give Join.me a try.
4. Skype all day
Skype has been around for years and it may possibly be the best cloud-based tool for daily collaboration. It’s fantastic for teams as they can have a group call and brainstorm ideas. Plus, it’s free. You can also use Skype for screen-sharing but the quality is not a good as Join.me.
5. Zoho for online editing
Zoho is a nice collaboration tools that allows you to chat, create wikis, edit documents and have group discussions in real-time. Unlike email or static wikis, Zoho is full of energy as you get to collaborate in real-time so you don’t miss out on the dynamic interaction of all the participants.
Which cloud collaboration tools would you recommend? Tell us about your favourites in the comment sections below.
Guest post by Alex Gavril of 123-reg. The company recently launched a new selection of cloud servers.