Working from home has become the new reality for a lot of us and has raised some important questions around collaboration and team togetherness. Even if you work alone, there will likely be a time when you need to collaborate with a client or consultant and social distancing has made that more difficult. How do you brainstorm and work on a project with other people in real time when you're physically apart? How do you ensure that everyone is on the same page, literally and figuratively? Well, let me introduce you to a few of our favourite tools for virtual collaboration!
Trello is an online application for workflow organization where you create boards for different projects and then create cards on those boards for individual tasks, which can be organized into lists. Think of it like a digital whiteboard with digital Post-it notes for all of the things you need to get done. Trello is great for client management and personal organization—like a fancy to-do list—and it also works great for teams since you can add members to specific cards to collaborate or assign tasks and due dates.
You can also add links, attachments, checklists, and other features to cards to ensure that everyone on your team has access to the necessary information for that task. The best part of Trello is how customizable it is: there are various display options and power-ups available that allow you to manage projects in a way that works for you, plus a mobile version and other app integrations (like Slack, see below) to keep your team connected.
Miro is an online whiteboard and visual collaboration platform that allows groups of people to come together online, generate and visualize ideas, create documents and plans, and work on projects together in real time.
You can easily upload your own images and files and select the canvas that works best for your project, but if you need help getting started, there are ready-made templates for flow charts, mind maps, fishbone diagrams, and more. Their numerous features like sticky notes, shapes, arrows, and drawing pencils provide endless ways for your team to work together and visualize projects in a way that works best for you.
Slack is a more widely recognized platform, but if you haven’t tried it out yet, it is essentially a messaging application for businesses.
The key feature of Slack is that it allows you to put groups of people into ‘channels’ so you can organize teams in whichever way makes sense for your business: by function (eg. #sales), by project (eg. # newwebsite), etc. You can also tag people in your messages, have a private direct message with anyone, and send out company-wide #general notifications for messages that everyone needs to see. And, Slack offers integration with many other platforms, including Trello and Miro, meaning that you can edit projects and review comments on those platforms right from Slack.
Are you interested in using one of these tools but are unsure about where to start? Etched In Marketing offers one-on-one and team training that can help you maximize your efficiency!