In recent years, the number of collaborative tools has increased. What once started as simply shared agendas has now developed into something extraordinary.
Communication tools are among some of the more popular types of collaboration tools. These involve shared calendars, live chats, whiteboards for note taking, videoconferences and instant messaging applications.
Decision-making tools help organize ideas in graphic form; organizational tools make it easy to share files.
There are many tools that organizations can acquire to assist with collaboration. Google offers document sharing with Google Docs and allows employees to chat and communicate via Google hangout. Microsoft offers outlook messaging for emails, Skype conversations, and a space for sharing OneDrive documents.
The shared calendar facilitates the organization of appointments and meetings without the need to consult all participants. The person organizing the event finds a time interval and can check the availability of the other participants, the meeting room and then send out an invitation. These tools save a lot of time for facilitating teamwork.
File sharing tools allow you to transfer files, distribute them and give access to them. Shared files can be various kinds; software, books, videos, documents, etc.. These tools avoid transferring everything via email and saturating inboxes with heavy files.
Instant messaging allows you to exchange text messages and online files in real time via a computer. The dialogue is interactive and most applications allow the exchange of video files, voice communication and video conferences.
Document synchronization aims at matching two documents. This means that any modification, addition or deletion of a document in a directory will also be effective in the second directory. This way, employees have the latest version and the information remains the same everywhere. The two documents remain exactly identical.
Storage can be done within the organization but also in the cloud. Cloud storage exploits the power of the server’s information storage system which lives in the cloud. The data is stored remotely via a telecommunications network.
A method of communicating with a live, visual connection by means of a video with multiple people across multiple locations. In-person meetings can be replaced with videoconferences so the team can still get the “feeling” of seeing each other as they communicate.
An online whiteboard is a literal replacement of the classic whiteboard. Collaborators can take turns communicating visual information via text, drawings and graphics on this whiteboard then erase it as you would with an actual dry eraser.