THE BEST WEB COLLABORATION TOOLS

PLANNING

Mind42 is a web tool that lets you create a visual plan for the project you are working on. Its mainstay is that you can invite teammates to jointly work out a master plan. This way , you will have a clear idea of the processes you need to follow, the issues that may arise, along with possible solutions.

Registering with Mind42 gives you a whiteboard and tools to flesh out the intricacies of your project. Say, you have to host an offsite event. Your whiteboard can include venue, catering, entertainment, etc. You can add notes, images, links, to-dos, and add icons to each of these points.

Mind42 saves multiple revisions, allowing you to refer to earlier versions at any point of time. Your final “flight plan“ can be exported to multiple formats, including PNG, JPG, RTF and PDF. Print it and you can then start assigning tasks based on this plan. It is recommended that you refer to the Guide and the public gallery on the site to get an idea of Mind42’s capabilities.mind42.comWEB COLLABORATION  TOOLS

TASK MANAGEMENT

Once you’ve planned your project, you will need a task-management service to keep a tab on all your processes. Wrike gives you a bird’s-eye view of the work in progress.

A free account allots you 2GB of online storage and lets you create a fivemember team (including yourself). It also lets you work with unlimited collaborators (clients and freelancers who need to be part of the discussion).

Each project in Wrike can comprise multiple tasks. You can configure each deliverable to have a start-finish date, complete with supporting file attachments, which can be sourced locally or from Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and Microsoft OneDrive.

Each task can be accompanied with detailed information, and can be viewed as a list, live stream (similar to Facebook), or an easy-to-read spreadsheet format. These can be searched by keyword, status and assignee.http:www.wrike.com

SHARE DESIGN

Marqueed is a cloud-based image sharing tool. Designers, for instance, could share a mock-up image with clients along with annotations that explains each design element.Clients, in turn, can reply to those with their feedback.

You could share interior plans for your home with your decorator ­ with notes and pointers in the image ­ to explain the look and feel you desire.While photographers could, perhaps, critically discuss a snapshot.

Create a free account, upload an image, and invite collaborators to view it and start a discussion. A free account gets you 100MB of storage and lets you create two collections of images (think of them as folders that can be individually shared “privately“ with an unlimited number of collaborators).With a paid account, you can get up to 25GB of space, an unlimited number of albums, and priority support.

When you sign up for Marqueed, you also become a member of a social network, where you can share your creative oeuvre with the public. You can follow others, and they can choose to follow your work. And this even allows folk to invite you to view their collections, resulting in a neat little community of collaborators, artists, designers and photographers.http:www.marqueed.com

COMMUNICATION

Like it is with document sharing, Microsoft and Google have an equally strong offering in the form of Skype and Hangouts for video conferencing. Skype limits the number of simultaneous users to five, while Hangouts lets you have discussions with up to 10 people.

For pure voice calls, however, we recommend Voxeet. This service, which can accommodate up to eight people in a single virtual conference room, is available for Windows PCs, Mac machines, Android and iOS devices. It uses proprietary technology to capture high-quality audio and allows for clear group conversations. Volume bars alongside speaker avatars on the screen let you know who is talking and you can send instant messages while the audio call is in progress.

Voxeet also lets you move a call from one device to another ­ say , PC to smartphone ­ seamlessly with a single click of a button. What’s more, you can schedule a group call through Voxeet and get the service to automatically start the conference by calling all the participants for you.http:www.voxeet.com

MANAGE SOCIAL MEDIA

There are a number of paid solutions that will help you handle an group social media account with its team management functions. However, for small teams, you can use TweetDeck Teams (now a part of Twitter). It is a free service that lets you share a Twitter account with multiple users. Here, you will play the role of “owner“ who can addremove members.

To begin, visit tweetdeck.twitter.com and sign in. Click on the Accounts symbol (found at the bottom left corner of the side navigation bar).

Then, click on Team @YourID (where YourID is the name of your account) and add teammates (they need to be registered with Twitter). Finally , click Authorize.

Team members will receive a notification and have to click Accept to begin tweeting on behalf of the official Twitter ID.

Similarly , you can take charge of a group Facebook Page and authorize team members to post updates. It is recommended that you clearly define who does what so as to minimize duplicate updates.

To do this, login to the Facebook account that is linked to the group page.Navigate to that page and click Settings.Then, click on Page Roles (in the left column).

Enter the name of the person you want to delegate responsibility to and click on the Editor dropdown list to select a role ­ admin, editor, moderator, advertiser, or analyst. Click Save and enter the password to confirm the change.

SHARE DOCUMENTS

If you need to work as a team on text documents, spreadsheets and presentations there are very few services that match up to the features of Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive.Both services allow multiple people to edit the same file, allowing for real-time collaboration.The best part is the login for your GoogleMicrosoft account also gives you access to a Drive OneDrive account.

Using these services, you can choose to keep documents (like personal to-do notes) `private’. You can give `read-only’ access (to project plans and objectives); allow your team to collaborate and edit certain other files (text docs, presentations and spreadsheets), and you can even give `comment only’ access to project stake holders. Both services give you 15GB of free space.