Great collaboration is about sharing, accessibility, and trust. As more and more people are telecommuting and working with remote teams, it can be tricky trying to coordinate tasks and stay connected.
Today’s tip includes three of my favorite remote collaboration tools that I use every single day.
Flow by MetaLabs
You know how, when you’re doing something you love, time just slips away unnoticed? They call that the state of flow, and this app is appropriately named. It’s available as a web interface as well as an iPhone app, and it keeps the whole team together.
I get notifications when someone posts to a Flow task, it kills the whole chain-of-emails torture, and everything syncs up nicely. It’s so easy and fast, I have been able to provide input on an urgent Flow task while standing in line at Disneyland.
HipChat by Atlassian
When you’re working in the same office, you can yell through the wall when you have quick questions (or if you want to talk about the latest Survivor episode). HipChat gives you the same immediacy, with public and private text chat rooms, notifications, and file sharing. It’s totally cross-platform on mobile, and available as a web client or desktop app.
Picture this scenario…you are on the phone with a client and they ask a question you can’t answer. You pop into HipChat, and get the answer from another member of your team, without skipping a beat. You look like a genius.
Sometimes text just isn’t enough. If you really want to build strong team relationships, there’s no substitute for face-to-face. Google+ Hangouts are a wonderful solution for remote teams to share project information and — hangout. They are so simple to set up and use that there’s no excuse for not trying it yet. How else are you going to bust that colleague you suspect is working in their pajamas?
How do you collaborate with remote colleagues? Share your favorite tools in the comments.