Whether you have a small team or a large business, one of the main challenges is bringing people together to collaborate and get things done. Thankfully, technology can help with the task. You can accomplish quite a bit using a combination of mobile and web apps, even if your team members are in different locations. After all, you don’t want multiple pieces of info scattered across a host of apps, or your team emailing back and forth until the end of time. These apps are just a few of the better collaboration tools out there.
Dropbox is getting into the collaboration and sharing game with Dropbox Paper. This app is very clean and simple, just like Dropbox. You, as the creator of the document, simply send a link to your team and let them edit. If you highlight a word, it will give you an option to ask a question, or to comment on it. You can also type the @ sign, and the list of names of people who are working on the document will pop up, so that you can choose to directly send a comment to someone. Paper is straightforward, yet so effective that it’s already a must-have if you frequently work on notes with your team.
Box recently launched revamped web and Windows apps to better tackle online collaboration. The app is simple, and it works just like other collaboration apps, allowing you to send a link to those you want to have working on a document. Box takes things a step further, however, by offering an overhauled web app that you can access through any browser by logging into box.com. You can also download the standalone app for Windows or MacOS, which provides access to all your notes and enables you to work with them offline. All these features, combined with Box’s secured encryption, make the app an excellent choice for individuals and businesses alike.
In iOS, the Notes app provides native support for collaboration. If you and your team are working with iOS devices, and you need a simple way to collaborate, then there’s no need to download anything. If you have iOS 10, you will see an Add People icon in the upper-right corner when you create a new Note. Just like other collaboration apps, it will allow you to send a link via iMessage, or any other app that you have installed on your iPhone or iPad. Once your team receives the link, they can open the note and start editing. The note will appear in everyone’s Notes app, and if you choose to stop sharing the note or remove someone from the note, then it will disappear from their device. It’s a simple solution, but it may be what you and your team need.
If you bought or registered an iOS device on or after September 1, 2013, then you get iWork for free. This includes Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Collaboration is live now as a beta, and it’s very simple to use. If you’re working on a document, you can now tap on the More menu in the upper-right corner, and you will see an option that says Collaborate with Others. This works in a similar fashion to the Notes app, in that you can share the link to your document with others. Anyone who has access to the link will then be able to edit the document in question, which makes iWork another great option if you’re an iOS user looking to collaborate on documents that are a bit more complex.
So many of us rely on Google services so much that having the Google Docs apps on your device seems like a no-brainer. Once you create a document, you can add people to it so that they can collaborate. Once they accept the invitation, you can create a multitude of documents — similar to what you can do with Microsoft Office — and have your team collaborate on those documents in real time. Combined with Google Drive, this is an excellent choice for collaboration, especially given how feature-rich the mobile and web apps are.