Let’s be honest, one-on-one is great, but who hasn’t thought about the college threesome or even an office foursome? I mean, get out your webcam right?
OK, OK! Sorry, before this gets too much farther and I get into trouble, what I’m really talking about does involve multiple people and a webcam, but our activities were completely kosher and business related, I assure you.
Yesterday we had the pleasure of meeting with one of our partners up in Canada and even though we couldn’t all actually go up there, one of our favorite tools made it so the rest of the Salty team back in Seattle could still help out. Using Skype, which now offers up to 10 way video chats, we called in, participated, took notes, made suggestions, even laughed alongside everyone else.
I was able to take some notes, debrief with Nicole afterwards, and even get a quick document to her based on a meeting that took place 200 miles away. The fact that we have all these amazing collaboration tools available inspired me to make a list of all the ways we stay in touch despite being apart.
The way we run Salty Waffle isn’t like most businesses, we rarely physically see each other; we’re all about the modern ways of connecting from anywhere we may happen to be. If if weren’t for some of these tools, it wouldn’t be possible to run Salty Waffle the way we want or to be as available to our clients. Check out these tools, they are all free or have free options, and can help any business communicate and collaborate more effectively.
5 Tools We Use (Almost Every Day) To Stay In Touch and/or Collaborate With:
- FreeConferenceCall.com: We use this every day to call in at 8:32 am and get on the same page for the day. We report our metrics to each other, strategize, get out assignments, and even cover a little of the latest in our personal lives. It’s great to talk with your team every morning and get the excitement and energy flowing right off the bat. Without our conference calls, I’d feel lost and alone!
- Skype: Skype is a popular tool for any type of communication, but with ability to group video conference, we are taking our classes to a new levels of availability and customer service. Our meetings with clients are served by extra minds in the room and we save by not having to travel everyone.
- Google Docs: I was stoked to see that Google launched a new Docs app for Android because we use our Google cloud everyday as well. Docs let’s us work on documents together regardless of the fact I haven’t been able the rest of the Salty team back from the Apple dark side. Sharing is simple, it constantly auto-saves, you can post comments, edit simultaneously, and even live chat in the document editor. Gone are the days of saving, attaching, and emailing documents back and forth.
- Hootsuite: With Hootsuite we do our tweeting as a team. All our accounts are available to each other to post from, follow important people, respond to mentions, and otherwise tend our Twitter. Hootsuite allows you to see pending tweets scheduled for accounts you’re a team member so we never tweet over each other or clog our feed.
- Texting!: Being spread out means you don’t always know what a person might be doing when you need to talk to them. Nicole has so many phone calls, meetings, and other things going on that texting offers us a way to get to her no matter what. It doesn’t interrupt what she is doing but also allows the rest of the team to get at her when need be. A Salty Waffle text message could include anything from a question, to an assignment, to a hopeful query about weekend snowboarding. Having a good textual relationship with your team really makes things convenient.