If you’re working remotely, finding ways to improve and streamline communications with your clients and team might seem like a never-ending chore, but with the right mix of tools, it’s possible to keep projects moving forward with ease. Here are ten tools that will help improve your communication.
Shared to-do lists
- Wunderlist. Wunderlist is a simple task manager that works on the web or your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Android phone. Your list follows you and stays synced across all your devices, and you can even share your to-do list with the Wunderlist via URL or Twitter.
- Reverb. Reverb is a project and task manager that allows you to collaborate with your team and stay organized. Similar to Basecamp and other popular project management solutions, Reverb offers the ability to upload files, host discussions, and manage tasks within one interface.
- Splendid Bacon. Splendid Bacon is a stripped-down version of project management that lets you see, at a glance, what’s going on with your projects. Don’t expect elaborate functionality or a complex interface; Splendid Bacon is straightforward and concentrates on one main area of project management, status updates. Post short, Twitter-style status reports to let team members and clients know where you are with a project, and use the simple dashboard and timeline to see which projects are moving forward and which are on hold.
- Client Stat.us. If you like Splendid Bacon’s Twitter-style approach to project communication, another option is Client Stat.us, and this one doesn’t even require log-ins or passwords. Just share a link to the project status page, and your clients stay in the loop. I love the simplicity of this interface that takes the intimidation factor out of client updates; just post what task is in progress and brief (140 characters or less) updates as you move the task forward.
Online meetings and conferencing
- Vyew. Vyew is an online meeting room application that allows you to collaborate with your team visually and in real time. You can upload images, files, and videos into your meeting room, and up to ten participants can access the room and contribute. Conferencing features include a whiteboard, video conferencing, screen sharing, and VoIP. You can even add text or voice comments to the pages of your room, so the interactive features make for truly dynamic presentations and meetings.
Collaborative social media
- CoTweet. CoTweet allows business teams to engage in social media as a group in a unified way. Team members can publish updates to Twitter (and Facebook with an Enterprise account), collaborate on responses, track engagement, and analyze campaigns. All conversations are combined into a single, unified inbox. Work groups can be formed in order to focus on a specific brand or product within the company. Plus, there’s the ability to create and control roles and permissions within the company so that team members are allowed specific access within social media accounts.
- Mobiola Headset. Mobiola Headset is an iPhone/iPod/iPad app that both records calls and also acts as a headset for your PC or Mac. It works with a variety of VoIP applications, including MSN/Windows Live, Google Talk, AOL IM, and Skype, and you simply use the screen to control recording or playing back conversations.
- IM+ Talk. IM+ Talk allows you to make Skype calls from your smartphone. Depending on your phone, you can receive calls to your SkypeIn number, see who is online and chat with other Skype users, and make free VoIP calls in half-duplex mode (similar to a walkie-talkie).
- Smart Scanner. Smart Scanner is an iPhone app that captures and recognizes scanned information, such as articles from magazines, notes, or other printed information. Once you scan it, you can copy and edit the text, access email or make a call, and open URLs within the text. The application recognizes phone numbers, email addresses, web addresses and QR codes, and it works in five languages.
As tools and technology evolve, communication among distributed teams is becoming easier and easier, making it possible to work from anywhere, literally from the touch of a button.
What online tools and applications have most helped with your communications?