I can’t turn on my computer without receiving an alert that I have a new chat message or an email or a heart on Twitter or a like on Facebook. I can’t even remember a time when we weren’t connected in every single aspect of our lives. I choose to be connected personally, so I happily accept these alerts. But when is it too much?
Today most work places have taken on some sort of digital communication. There are so many different kinds available from Skype to Google Hangouts to Slack. And these are piled on top of good, old-fashioned emails, phone calls and even the occasional fax. How many of you have experienced a voicemail letting you know that someone sent you an email or vice versa? It can be maddening and it can make the workday seem overwhelming.
Micromanaging is in full effect because of these technologies that were intended to make our lives easier. And they can be beneficial when used the correct way, which is not in overdrive. Its important to do your research and find what works best for your company. Here are five of my favorites:
- Google Apps for Work
Organized into four categories, consisting of 12 products, Google Apps for Work provides tools for communication, collaboration, management and storage. Hold impromptu meetings with Hangouts. Share content with your customers using Google+. Create and simultaneously edit spreadsheets with your team using Sheets. Store, sync and share your files with Drive. And that’s only the beginning. Its a great, all-in-one solution for small businesses that don’t have much of an IT budget.
Basecamp, an online software package, allows you to manage multiple projects at a time with to-do lists, file sharing, chatting, messaging, calendars and time tracking tools. To-do lists allow you to manage assignments without a pen and paper. You can share files, such as photos, notes, designs and invoices with coworkers. With the Basecamp message board, you can post messages and comment on others. Deadlines and hours can be tracked using Milestones. Having all of these functions in one place make the software a must-have for any company.
At its base, Slack is a instant messaging app, but it provides a lot more. Channels help you organize your conversations into topics or based on team members. Private channels limit conversations to invite-only groups. You can direct message team members when you don’t want to share with a group. Sharing documents is a basic feature of the app, along with a search function. Slack also offers integration with more than 60 partners. https://slack.com/apps
While it can be difficult for the basic user to master, Asana provides management of team workflows. Businesses use it to keep an eye on daily to-dos, while giving employees a more-productive place to keep track of a particular job’s status. Within it, you can assign a task to an employee, give it a due date and track whether it is completed. Every task in Asana can have subtasks, attached files, discussions, tags, and followers.
If you’re like me and love crossing off items on a list, this app is for you. Wunderlist can be used to manage personal and professional to-do lists. Wunderlist for Business provides a place to manage your team’s projects with centralized communication and unlimited collaboration features. Delegation becomes easier with shared lists and notes. Files can be shared with team members, while comments let others provide feedback.