Collaboration for the modern age.

Collaboration in the workplace is critical, especially in creative fields where many teams work together to create a consistent and effective deliverable. Many tools exist to help organizations communicate and collaborate internally. Businesses often use an array of different platforms and services in the workplace to increase their collaborative efficiency. When looking at the standard tools that organizations use there are a few many categories they fall into. The first, and arguably most important, are tools that aid in communication.

The most well known of these are Slack, GoToMeeting, and Skype. In recent years skype has fallen behind some of its other competitors but is still used in many smaller organizations. On the other hand, Slack has quickly risen as one of the go-to tools for team communication. Slack focuses on messaging and file sharing. Additionally, it integrates well with many other platforms for project management which sometimes lack a solid messaging component. GoToMeeting is also still widely used for primarily video calls and conferencing but doesn't provide the same well-integrated team messaging elements that Slack offers. Expanding the view of collaboration from only communication shifts the focus to management.

Just like messaging there are many tools for project management, some of the most popular being Asana, Basecamp, and Trello. Project management tools are also essential in collaboration. They allow users to break down larger projects into easy to tackle smaller pieces which they can assign to certain team members. They also allow you to track the progress of a project and set deadlines to maintain the project timeline. Asana is an excellent solution for smaller organizations as their free base package includes a lot of features and functionality. Basecamp is also another platform that is growing in popularity and shares much of the same functionality as Asana but offers no free version. Lastly, there's Trello. Trello essentially an incredibly toned down version of Asana. It's excellent for simple projects or task tracking but does not offer much else.

The last category of collaboration is creation. In this category are tools used to help team members create and share. Googles Drive is one of the most widely used, but there are other platforms such as Dropbox, Box, and OneDrive. Google Drive features some extremely powerful collaboration tools that truly let team members work simultaneously on documents, slideshows, spreadsheet, and acts as cloud storage. Although, the other platforms mentioned are more cost-effective cloud storage solutions.

My take away.

With all the solutions and platforms available it's hard to know which is best and it comes down to choosing whatever platform the team will actually use. Keeping it simple and having a set strategy regarding how each platform will or should be used is also a good plan. My current holy trinity is Basecamp for general management coupled with Slack for communication and Google Drive for file/document collaboration. These three together work well, but it's always changing and evolving for the sake of efficiency.