Don’t Get Lost with Your Project. 5 Useful Collaboration Tools That Will Make Your Life Easier.
Every great project needs a certain amount of cooperation. When your team of professionals is scattered around the world, it starts to be a little bit harder to be in control of everything. That’s why good and efficient collaboration tools are a must. They enable bridging the needs of different stakeholders and help to keep the balance between your various business goals. Managing international team from one place has never been easier.
Collaboration tools existed long before computers were invented – for example a piece of paper can be used as one. But in the digital era a project manager has much more possibilities than just writing down tasks. Below you can see the selection of apps that will make your life easier, from concept drafting and brainstorming to working on mock-ups and live project plus project management tool.
Trello project management tool is just cool. As the other apps – like Podio or Asana – are for managers, this one is for the people. It works like a magical customizable to-do list where you can “check” completed task on a single interface and which you can share with others in real-time. You can categorize task in the system of ‘cards’ (which are basically post-it notes), categorize and order text, photos, drawings and mock-ups whichever way you want. There’s also a nice progress meter so you can keep an eye on your project’s pipeline, as well as the ability to set appointment reminders. Besides all, it’s free.
PS My personal choice.
One of the hottest design services lately. UXPin is a really easy (yes, even for layman) drag and drop editor that allows you to create interactive wireframes and prototypes with option for real-time collaboration and edition. You can use your basic tool kit with common design elements, library of custom UI elements or just upload your own images. When you share the project, your team can make notes and discuss the problems with you. Not for free (with trial version), but affordable.
Online whiteboard designed to visually organize ideas and make collaboration of your design team smooth. You can drag and drop rich media files, links, and documents onto a big HTML5 drawing board, which is a great way to collect inspiration and gather thoughts. Sharing the project is very easy as well – just send an e-mail invitation or set up a password for the board and you are ready to go. It is a great place to start your project if you’re new to the business, as the service is easy and pleasant to use.
This app is more like a chat room with many cool options. It even has audio available – and as such it is very useful indeed. You can create your own ‘room’ and get some of creative brainstorming and artwork revision right there. It’s a really effective online collaboration tool and – what makes it even better – is available for free.
Have you ever wanted to grab teacher’s pen? Now’s your time then. Red Pen is probably the simplest design review service around. Just point and click to give feedback. This feedback tool is particularly great if you’re a freelancer and looking for some constructive criticism on a project. One of its best features is that it keeps track of the all the versions you prepared, so you can always go back to earlier design if you changed your mind. Not for free, but with reasonable pricing starting from $20/month for 5 projects.
Last but not least
Working with collaborative tools can make your life easier. Just one more tip from my personal experience. As all the apps have a bit different features and your own needs are diverse – it’s the best to combine few tools to achieve the best effect and take your project to the next level.