During the Corona outbreak and social distancing we spend a lot of time working home. It can be challenging, but it can also help us discover new tools, that we can use in order to collaborate in teams.

I’ve decided to gather and share some of my favorite tools for this purpose! I’ve used quite a few collaborative tools on my study and work projects. Here I would like to share some of the tools, that have been helpful in achieving succesful remote collaboration. 🙂 Stay home safe!

Communication tools

The most important aspect is communication. E-mails often are commonly used but outdated way to communicate something fast and to have an ongoing discussion about a project. There are many ways to communicate with your team efficently:

1. Slack

Slack is a great tool, that is used as a workplace chat platform. You design it yourself, by creating a new slack group and different channels(group chats) for it.

It allows you to communicate in a group, as well as one-on-one discussions. You can pin important messages on the top of the chat.

Slack is an amazing tool to communicate with your team, instead of using e-mails. You can use Slack on your phone, desktop, as an online website or app. Slack also supports integrations with Google Drive and other platforms.

Find the tool here: https://slack.com/intl/en-dk/

Group chats
Private chats
The chat window

2. Zoom

Zoom is a video platform, which allows you to communicate with your colleagues in real-time. The platform also allows you to record your meetings, which is an important feature, this especially helps when you want to conduct video interviews – instead of slowing time by taking notes, you can record the interview – and look at it back. Zoom also allows screen sharing, which can be a useful tool for presentations. Zoom can also be used as a chat platform.

Find the tool here: https://zoom.us/

Video
Invite participants
Manage participants
Start a chat
Record the conversation

Project management

In order for the project to run smoothly it is important to set deadlines and have an overview of the project flow:

1. Trello

Trello is great for monitoring progress and tasks. It can be used as a scrum board – where you divide different tasks/projects, wether it is in progress, ready for revision or done. You can assign different team members to each task and apply deadlines, comments. Trello allows you to create several boards: each for your different project.

Find the tool here: https://trello.com/

Different lists
Different tasks on the lists
A specific task, when clicked
Task description
Any comments, that you like to add during the process

2. Monday.com

If you have the resources, it is great to invest such tool as Monday.com(starting plan 5 USD per month), which allows you to keep team on the same page throughout the project management process. It helps to track the project process and shape the workflow.

Find the tool here: https://monday.com/

Project name
Team members
Tasks list
Options, messages, calendar
Profile

Create together

You don’t have to sit in the same room to work on a project together, you can use several tools to work together and collaborate:

1. Miro

I just recently discovered Miro – and it is great! In the core, it is an online white board – where all team members can edit the content on the white board, in real time. Miro white board can be used to create mockups, schemes, write down ideas, and comment on other members input. It is a cloud based solution, and it comes  with an integrated library of icons and wireframes. The whiteboard can be later on saved as a pdf. Great for mindmaps and brainstorming sessions.

Find the tool here: https://miro.com/

Toolbox for the white board
Toolbox for presentation, chat
The white baord space
Upload the file

2. Figma

This is for all the designers – this design program allows you to work online, and it saves everything on a cloud based solution. You can work in real-time on a design file with your team mates. It works similar like Sketch, Adobe XD and other vector based softwares. What makes Figma so different is that it allows you to collaborate and work simultaneously on the same file.

Find the tool here: https://www.figma.com/

The toolbox
Pages
Different layers
Workspace
Team members viewing the file

3. Invision

Invision has many features, however it is mainly used for interactive prototypes, and that’s also where my main experience with Invision comes from. Invision is a great tool for creating interactive prototypes – it is cloud based and several people can work on the same project at the same time. When it is finished – just share a link to the finished prototype with the user.

Find the tool here: https://www.invisionapp.com/

Project name
Add team members
Project screens

4. Google Drive

Most likely you’ve used Google Drive before – and if you work in a company, there’s a high chance you use a different document directory.

Anyway, I had to mention this collaborative tool, that can be used not only for creating documents, but also presentations, excel sheets, etc, where all team members can collaborate in real time.

Find the tool here: https://www.google.com/drive/

Search function
Create a new document
Different folders
Other files

Afterthought

It is important to pick the right tools, depending on the project and team needs. It is always fun to explore more new online tools, there are so many out there!

Some aspects to consider when choosing a new tool:

  • The features (What is the purpose? What do you want to achieve?)
  • Ease of use (How long it takes, to get familiar with it)
  • Investigate the security features – how data safe and sensitive is the tool?
  • Read reviews, use products that have good reviews.
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