3 Collaboration Tools for Cohesive Teams

Anywhere, any time, these three collaboration tools that will help you create a connected team:


Co-op: A Virtual Bulletin Board

Do you need a way for people to quickly share ideas or leave a note about their schedule? Have you asked people to review reports from your retail management software system and want feedback? Co-op is the solution for you if you’re looking for a virtual bulletin board. Co-op is Web-based and keeps your team connected — users write to each other in a running comment format.

Co-op is designed for short notes and links to other documents can also be included in notes. Each person will have an accessible screen that displays conversations. Timers displayed on the messages can be used for time tracking and billing. Each person can create an agenda and share it with others; therefore goals are for the day or for a meeting are transparent. A team status area is available that displays people using time tracking while working on a task.

Co-op is free and developed by Harvest, which designed time sheet and time tracking software. Time tracking abilities in Co-op integrate with Harvest tools.

Dropbox: For File Sharing

Dropbox set the trend for establishing a digital environment where people can share information and work on materials together. Mashable recommends Dropbox for its file sharing feature. Create project folders that store files shared by the team. Team members can work on products together, move final documents to another set of folders and give access to customers for review.

You can also store different file types in Dropbox. Create your own product demo videos, store them on Dropbox and link to them from your website. Files too large to email clients can be stored on Dropbox. A link is sent to the client to download the file.

Personal accounts on Dropbox are free and provide 2GB of storage. Receive up to 18GB of storage by referring friends to sign up. Dropbox for business is available for a $100/year, which provides 100GB of storage and the ability to create multiple accounts for space sharing. Mobile apps that allow people to access Dropbox files are available for Apple, Android and Windows products.

Evernote: For Storing and Sharing Ideas

Evernote adds an ever-evolving set of tools on top of their storage and collaboration platform. This product provides your team with a place to store ideas and research materials. Create libraries to hold files for multiple projects. You determine who has access to these libraries.

With Evernote store notes, documents, audio, and video files. Take pictures and send them to your project library. You can save entire Web pages to be referenced later. Online tutorials teach your staff how to do tasks, such as creating a table of contents to help library file navigation. Anything you can store in Evernote, you can annotate with your own notes.

Forbes Magazine recommends Evernote as a collaboration tool for small businesses that don’t need a huge collaborative workspace. Personal accounts are free with 2GB of storage. Evernote Business is $10 per person per month and 2GB is available to each person per month. Install Evernote on all mobile platforms to keep your staff connected on any device they prefer to use.

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