Here are my top three tools to get your internal communications in top shape and your project management on par, so that you work more efficiently.
You just wanted to keep people in the loop. You emailed the document to Amy, CCing Matthew, and Clem, to get it on their radar too. Amy replied suggesting her changes, and CCing Jane, one of your partners. But she forgot to copy Sarah and Karl, who initially sent the document to you. You also forgot that Clem was on holiday. After the 5th round of changes, Clem comes back to work and replies to a week old email, CCing the whole company – by mistake. And so, the replies begin…
Does this scenario sound familiar?
We all know how frustrating internal communication can be. It can cost a huge amount of resources and time. And, if clients or external partners realise that there are problems in internal communications, it looks unprofessional and may undermine the company’s reputation.
If you are a growing company, with offices in several locations, and you need to manage people in different geographical areas, providing them with platforms to work together efficiently, I have a few tips for you.
Here are my top three tools to get your internal communications in top shape and your project management on par, so that you work more efficiently, using some great digital tools.
1. Slack: Reduce Emails, Organise Conversations and Get Faster Responses
Slack is a collaboration hub for you and your team. It’s free and easy to use for every topic, from project kickoffs to budget discussions, to birthday gifts for Clare in accounting.
It is organised in ‘channels’, so you can categorise your messages and go back to them if needed. Slack can easily replace internal emails and instant messages, keeping all of those communication styles together in one app.
What’s great about it is that, with both desktop and mobile versions, Slack helps your team collaborate and coordinate their work no matter where they are.
My favourite thing about this tool is the Slack Integrations. This feature is designed to tailor the app to your needs: checking your emails and your calendar directly from Slack, or monitoring the status of a document receiving notifications are only some examples of what these integrations can be used for. You can install your apps directly into Slack: the Slack App Directory offers thousands of apps that you can integrate.
2. Trello, Asana & Monday: Organise Your Work and Manage Your Team’s Tasks
These three tools are my favourite hubs to organise the work of my team.
Asana is the one I use the most, and it is specially designed to help teams manage their work and projects.
The main benefit is that using these tools you can easily track the progress of your project and keep a record of what has been done and how fast.
With Asana, you’ll be able to assign ‘tasks’ to every member of your team and set a deadline. Your team will be reminded periodically to complete the said task, and you will receive a notification once they have completed it.
You can also create a project and split it into different steps, assigning different duties to every team member.
Asana can also be integrated with Slack, offering a preview of the task status, notifications when tasks are completed directly on Slack and much more.
3. Google Drive and Google Docs: Edit Documents Together, Without Worrying About Versioning
How many different versions of the same document do you have saved on your computer? Was the last document you sent to your colleague named “Case study_Draft13_FINAL_for_real_now”? If the answer is yes, Google drive and google docs can save you some headaches.
Google drive is basically digital storage where you can save all your documents, and make them accessible to your team members. They will be able to access and edit them at any moment in time.
With Google docs, you can create a document directly in Google Drive and – my favourite feature – you can edit the document at the same time as your colleagues.
You can also keep track of the changes, and who made them, thanks to ‘history’ and ‘versions’. If one of your members sends you a Microsoft file ( Word, PowerPoint, Excel), you’ll be able to open them using Google docs, modify them online and save them as .docx, .xlsx or .pptx.
Remember the Slack integrations we’ve just mentioned? There’s one for Google docs too, which sends notifications when edits and comments are added: this way every member of your team will be on the same page!
What are your tricks to make sure your internal communications run smoothly? Feel free to let me know in the comments, or send me an email at [email protected].