Why Collaboration Is Important
So many businesses, nonprofits, and even small, independent groups waste unnecessary time and finances because of miscommunication and missed opportunities, easy problems that could have been solved with effective group collaboration.
To understand why collaboration is important, it’s important to first understand what good collaboration is. When discussing team collaboration examples, building a collaborative team environment means opening up visibility or transparency within a group or organization and streamlining communication so that every member of a group understands where each other is on a project and can assist each other. This often requires the use of project collaboration tools or team collaboration tools.
There are two types of collaboration that can happen: Internal and external. Collaboration tools useful to a network administrator will often approach both. Internal collaboration is team collaboration that happens within the small team that is working on a specific project. External collaboration is when an organization opens up and uses something like free nonprofit management software and free online collaboration tools to get feedback and ideas from those not within a specific team, such as asking consumers, for feedback on a product idea.
The big benefits of team collaboration and reasons for using collaboration tools, both internal and external, are that no one person gets stuck in a loop or works inefficiently on an idea that someone else has already tried. Instead, everyone brings forth their best ideas and works off of each other to create the best solutions in the most efficient manner.
Ways to Collaborate at Work
So now that you know why you should incorporate collaborative work management tools and free collaboration apps, the next question is what types of collaboration tools to use and the different ways those tools can help foster collaboration.
Collaboration tools for business can be separated into those that improve chat communication with team communication tools and those that improve organization. For example, enterprise collaboration tools that foster conversation include those that assist in taking notes and streamlining chat discussion. Conversation and discussion about projects are essential for bouncing ideas off each other and ensure everyone within a team is on top of their part of a project. Free online discussion tools, free online collaboration tools for nonprofits, and free online collaboration tools for education will almost always have communication features at the heart of their team collaboration app.
The other key way of collaborating is about sharing information that does not involve direct communication. In other words, meeting management, task management, and project management. For example, you’ll find a lot of visual collaboration tools such as with Docket app or Heyspace app (using Heyspace for MAC or the Heyspace mobile app). These types of technology tools for collaborative work assist in organizing information and sharing it. Good collaboration tools example for this include free collaboration apps that make it easy to create and share agendas, create project lists, and share tasks to each person working on that project.
There is also a third way of approaching collaboration that can generally be fit into either of the above categories but it’s worth separating out as some free database software for nonprofits, free tools for nonprofits, nonprofit management apps, project management software for nonprofits, or nonprofit management tools. For technology and collaboration in the classroom, there are interactive classroom technology tools such as online collaboration tools for college students, educational technology tools for students, and free digital tools for students. That third way or method specifically involves document and content management in which documents themselves are made easily stored, shared, and worked upon by various members of a team or network. Consider Google Drive and how you can easily share a document with friends or family members or Docket, in which you can share agendas and meeting notes as well as connect and preserve them along with their applicable content and resources.
Tools that Help Encourage and Simplify Collaboration
So now that you know the basic ways of collaborating — communication, task management, and file sharing — with general examples, let’s go over some of the more specific features and collaboration tools examples that will improve your teams’ effective collaboration skills and establish team collaboration best practices. Such specific Docket and Heypsace features and collaboration tools for nonprofit organizations and businesses include:
- Chat and messaging tools allow real-time conversations to occur via direct and group chat no matter how far apart team members are.
- Audio and video messaging since text chat can only go so far. These types of tools make it easy for team members to hold more comprehensive meetings that allow for the sharing of visual information, i.e. whiteboards and product displays.
- File management to make it easy to add and arrange documents and files in one online or in the cloud location
- Task assignment and task prioritization to appoint team members to necessary tasks and ensure those tasks are approached and completed according to schedule.
- Prepared templates that help spurn team collaboration ideas and make online collaboration tools for students and new businesses more accessible.
- Cooperative writing and synchronize editing that allows multiple people to work on the same project together.
Finding the Right Online Collaboration Tools for Education, Business, and You
When it comes to both paid and free collaboration apps, there are a lot of choices out there. Some will specialize in one part of team collaboration, such as only offering communication tools, while others like Asana, Edmodo, Heyspace, and Docket will feature a nice balance of features. If you’re just getting started with project management software for nonprofits and businesses, read Docket and Heyspace reviews and start with their free plan to experiment and see how your team utilizes it.