If you’re like us, you’re always on the lookout for your next collaboration tool. Many employees now work outside the office or spend time out on the road or in the field. Or, maybe you outsource some of your tasks to vendors. Finding tools that empower everyone to communicate, collaborate, and stay updated is more important than ever.
Often, our clients ask us for recommendations on collaboration tools that would work well for them. Usually, it’s an easy answer: the best tools are likely the ones you already have but don’t use! If you have Microsoft 365 (and at this point, if you don’t, let’s talk), then you’ve got several of our favorite collaboration tools already. All you need to do is identify and use them.
Yes, Outlook is an email and contact management tool. But if that’s where your use of Outlook ends, we’ve got great news for you. It’s also a great tool for fostering team collaboration.
Outlook’s tasks function can help you get rid of paper to-do lists and sticky notes and get organized. Create a task and assign it to yourself or someone else in your contact list. Use its prioritizing feature to rank tasks by urgency. Add a start date, a due date, or both, then set reminders. If it’s a task you or someone on your team must repeat, you can set up recurrence, too. Pretty slick for an email application!
Outlook’s calendar function is another collaboration tech tool. It goes way beyond setting aside time for a meeting. You can invite collaborators, share calendars, book meeting rooms, and RSVP right in the app.
You can also use Outlook calendar as a scheduler. Show yourself as busy or available so team members know when they can reach out. Invite people to a Skype meeting right from your calendar. Once your meeting is done, add notes from your OneNote app.
Speaking of OneNote, it’s another collaboration tool you likely already have and don’t use. Microsoft bills it as a digital notebook. You can take text notes, draw, take and store photos and videos, and clip web pages to read later. OneNote allows you to share your notes and invite others to collaborate on notes, too. This makes it a great tool for creative teams that work remotely.
SharePoint is one of the most overlooked tools anyone with a Microsoft 365 account has at their fingertips. How nice would it be to have a single place you and your team could go to find and share files, share company news, ask questions, submit requests, and even track purchasing and production. Your team can access your company’s SharePoint site from their phones, keeping them connected wherever they are.
Think of Teams as an internal instant messaging system, web conferencing platform, phones system, shift manager, and scheduling tool all rolled into one. The most robust version of Teams is an application for companies with Business Premium versions of Office 365. But you can get a free version of Teams with chat, file sharing, and video calling for free. Yup, free.
Datto Workplace, aka OneDrive on Steroids
We’ve talked about Workplace on our blog before. It’s a file sync & share (FSS) application designed just for business. Think of it as a Microsoft OneDrive on steroids. You can sync, access, and share files from your desktop or mobile device anytime, anywhere. But Workplace also provides highly secure infrastructure and data privacy tools that you can ramp up or dial back as you require. It also offers HIPAA and SOC 2 compliance for health care and financial companies.
Interested in integrating any of these tools into your workflows? Contact Now IT Connects and we’ll help you and your team get set up.