Improve your productivity and project planning at work with these great apps!
Email is still the go-to communication tool for business, but more often it's taking a backseat to a wide spectrum of cloud-based apps that can have a positive impact on individual productivity.
We'll be highlighting messaging, task management and project-based apps that have the potential to completely revamp how your company communicates and organizes projects.
Slack brings all your company's communications into one app, allowing for real-time messaging and collaboration on projects. With Slack, you can create channels for different departments or projects related to your company — including private channels for more sensitive topics — and everyone in your company can seamlessly communicate and share files with one another via direct messaging, group messages and even voice calls through Slack apps available for web, PC, Mac, iOS and Android. All this helps to cut down internal email, and keeps all your communication in one archivable, searchable place.
It's an ideal fit for smaller or medium-sized businesses. You can try Slack with your company for free, and if your team likes it, you can upgrade to a premium version that offers group calling and more feature integration.
Google Apps / G Suite
If your company has been relying on the ubiquitous services of Microsoft Office, but you're in need of something more collaborative, you should really take a serious look at Google's G Suite.
If you're familiar with Google's offerings (and if you use Android, you should be), you'll know how well Google does at integrating all their apps and services into one another. Beyond the convenience and ease-of-use of services such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive and Google Hangouts, Google also offers their own creation tools that are surprisingly powerful and perfect for collaboration — Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Forms and Google Slides. Perhaps the best part is the cloud-based storage, allowing anyone on the team to access and contribute to documents on all their devices at any time.
You can jump in and try them out for free, and if they more than serve your company's needs, you can upgrade to the G Suite Basic or Business plans and get more of everything that makes Google's products great.
Odds are you use Dropbox for your personal cloud-storage needs — why not use it for your businesses needs too? With Dropbox for Business, you'll get as much space as needed so you can store and access all the important files for your business via the web client, along with apps for Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows.
Dropbox is great for collaboration, too, as teams can work out of shared folders uploading and downloading content to their devices as needed. Dropbox also features unlimited third-party integrations and takes your files security seriously, offering password-protected links, and the option to remote wipe a device in the case of a lost phone or laptop.
Trello offers a fantastic way to monitor progress and encourage collaboration on projects within your company. Built around the concept of boards and cards, it's an intuitive organization system that can be customized to fit the needs of your company. Anyone on the team is free to create, comment on, or upload relevant files to cards, making Trello a pretty great tool for remote brainstorming sessions. Your team can access Trello on the web, or take it with them always with the mobile app, available for Android and iOS.
Given how simple and flexible Trello is to work with, it just might change the way your company keeps itself organized. You can try it out for free before upgrading to Gold or Business.
Basecamp offers a great all-in-one platform for keeping your company organized and everyone on the team in the loop with what everyone else is working on. It's a great option for a growing team that's feeling overwhelmed by constant internal emails and frequent meetings. Message boards, to-do lists, schedules, and file repositories are all combined via elegant design into a system that's easy to navigate and accessible to the entire team at all times.
Your team can even check in to Basecamp on the go, via the Basecamp app for Android.
What are your favorite collaboration and communication apps? Let us know!