Collaboration is one of the most important elements of modern working. Internet availability means that colleagues can make contact from just about anywhere in the world. So for collaboration to be effective, it’s important for businesses to adopt modern technologies that help their workforce connect and share ideas, wherever they are.
Google Drive is similar to DropBox and alike in that it enables you to sync a local folder, and it’s contents, with that of a corresoponding folder online. Anything dragged into the folder on your local device is automatically copied to the corresponding folder in the cloud and vice versa.
Google Drive is free for storage of up to 5GB for any file type. The site is secure and accessed, through your Google account. There are various filters to sort, and quickly find your documents. You can also create a number of document types online. These include:
Adding more storage to your account is very simple and a reasonable price – $2.49 per month for 25GB or $4.99 per month for 100GB. More storage is available (up to 16TB) upon enquiry.
Google Drive is available for:
- PC and Mac
- Chrome OS
- iPhone and iPad
- Android devices
Prezi is an online presentation tool for sharing ideas. The main difference from other presentation software, such as Powerpoint, is that Prezi is animated and follows a ‘path’ showing your thoughts regarding any given subject.
A free account is available which offers a small amount of online storage for any files used. The ‘Prezi’ logo cannot be removed from presentations and any Prezi’s that you create are public. If you would like to be able to create private presentations, display your own logo and increase storage, then you can upgrade to either a $4.92 or $13.25 per month option, depending on the storage required.
An example of a Prezi can be found here.
Prezi also has a mobile app available for free download, enabling the creation of presentations from anywhere.
Skype is best known as simple chat software. However the ability to share files, free calls (wireless Skype to Skype), video conference and connecting with multiple contacts simultaneously make Skype an invaluable tool to collaborate with colleagues.
A lesser known feature of Skype is the ability to share your screen with an individual, or a group, to collaborate and share ideas. Group screen sharing is only available in the premium version of the product however from $2.99 per month the price is reasonable.
Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. Cards accept comments, attachments, votes, due dates and check lists. You can add photos, drawings, sketches, and mock ups to quickly illustrate ideas. Creating check lists and viewing calendar entries are also possible.
Collaboration is similar to social media sites in that you can invite people to view specific boards which you have created.
Sync.in is available as a free or premium account. Being an online word processor, when multiple people edit the same document simultaneously, any changes are instantly reflected on everyone’s screen. The result is a new and productive way to collaborate with text documents, useful for meeting notes, brainstorming, project planning, training, and more.
The free version allows you to create public documents, and so not appropriate for most business documents. The ‘Pro’ version, at $2 per user per month allows the creation of private documents.
Other features include:
- Multiple people can edit the same document simultaneously
- Invite friends and colleagues to co-edit notes easily by sharing the note link over IM, Facebook, Twitter
- Everybody’s edits to the note show up as a different colour making it very easy to know who contributed what to the document
- Export all notes as HTML files or Plain Text>
- Chat with active collaborators in real time
Basecamp is probably the most widely-used project collaboration application online. With over 3 million users and a number of major corporations as clients. Projects are displayed on one page, making the process simpler for collaboration. Everyone involved in a project can work together on Basecamp. You have full control over who sees which project, and who sees each other. Share any file with your team or client by dragging it from your desktop to your web browser.
Pricing starts at $30 per month and also offer a mobile app for added accessibility.