As leaders, communication and collaboration are essential. When your team is spread out over the nation, or even in your neighborhood, you want proven technology tools that make these aspects easy to accomplish.
It’s not necessary for you to be high-tech to use the following four tools. As a bonus, these tools are also free! I am happy to share what I use each week with my colleagues.
Free conference call
Every week I am talking to committee members located throughout the country. FreeConferenceCall.com offers me free access to a collaborative phone system, including free recording of calls. It’s so simple to dial in and connect. If you want to share your meeting, you can record and send the link to those who missed it. Team meetings are more effective, save time, and save email frustration by setting a weekly or monthly call to work on a project.
Collaboration can require more than just words and audio. Many of us work best collaboratively when we all “see” the same content while discussing it. Our “view” of the content also gives us the opportunity to brainstorm, make adjustments to a document or create a final version together. Join.me is an online screen sharing site. A user logs into join.me/ and a code number allows you to view the screen of the host. My team has completed projects such as budgets, reviewed courses, and reviewed documents together with Join.me. It’s an easy way to be more productive as a team.
Google has a vast array of ways to work collaboratively. With Google Docs you can create, edit and store web-based documents, spreadsheets, and presentations that can be accessible to anyone with a Google account. You initiate the document in Google Docs and work on it in the cloud based site. You can invite others to join you in the document and work together, simultaneously. Documents and spreadsheets can be imported into Google Docs as well.
One of the most difficult actions is finding a meeting time that works for you and your team. Simplify the process with this meeting scheduling tool. Choose dates and times that work for you and send an email through Doodle with the choices. Each member is polled on what times work for them and a final poll can send the date of the meeting. It can connect to each team member’s calendar as well. Save time and frustration by easily setting up a time to meet.
There are more for these tools outside of volunteer leadership. At work, you can set up partnerships to enhance accountability and productivity. You may find these tools useful for home as well, by setting aside times to talk with family. By taking advantage of some or all of these tools, you will find collaboration easy and effective.
Have a favorite communication tool you use? Please share it here and share its merits.
In 2018, the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) will share tips, articles, research and member stories that focus on the basics of getting organized, the tools that help to provide organization, and how better organization yields greater productivity.
Certified Professional Organizer Ellen Delap is owner of Professional-Organizer.com, based in Houston, Texas. She is President of NAPO, the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals. Ellen helps busy people make time and space for what’s important to them, especially her ADHD clients. Learn more about Ellen at www.professional-organizer.com