The professional world is changing, but the way we collaborate, both online and in-person, is still being curbed by inherent, harmful group dynamics. Now is the time to fix them—or watch your company’s level of innovation fall behind the competition.
Here are five vital tools to improve collaboration during five universal workplace interactions.
For streamlined drafting, use Notion
Anyone who deals with written content—including emails, blogs, press releases, marketing messaging, and so on—knows how tedious the editing process can be. Notion allows for live co-editing, so you can make changes as they come in from colleagues, leave comments you can revisit even after they’ve been resolved, and significantly reduce the number of drafts between prepping, polishing, and publishing.
Pro tip: Use Notion’s reminder function to keep track of all your tasks. Simply type /remind, add the details, and schedule the notification by adding a date and time. When you reach your due date, you will get reminders on both your desktop and mobile apps.
For collaboration and decision-making, use Balloon
There are many costly problems with group work—cognitive biases, dominating voices, groupthink, and fear, just to name a few—that didn’t go away when we went remote. (For some groups, remote work actually exacerbated them.) Balloon uses a staged collaboration process called a flight to remove these harmful group dynamics and reduce meeting time by 70%. During a flight, team members anonymously voice feedback in response to questions posed by the team leader before up-voting ideas they support from the group. Once leaders see the top-voted results, they can make tangible changes that everyone approves of and create a culture of efficacy and psychological safety, which is proven to drive productivity.
Pro tip: You can set a flight, or a collaboration session on Balloon, to last as long as you need. If your team is distributed, set Stage 1 to last a few days, so your team members can work asynchronously without sacrificing collaboration.
For workspace management, use Dropbox
Google Drive is great...if you’re only using Google platforms to create content. Dropbox allows you to house your Google Docs, Trello boards, Microsoft Office files, and more all in one place, streamlining content management and information flow. Dropbox also has intuitive mobile apps, so you’ll never again have to wait until you get home to send your manager that file.
Pro tip: Dropbox isn’t just for file management—it also includes Paper, a content drafting platform (similar to Google Docs) that includes templates to help keep your notes and tasks organized.
For quick messaging, use Slack
Now that so many companies are remote, clear and frequent communication is vital to staying aligned and on track toward success. Email inboxes can easily get overwhelming, and setting meetings for updates or quick chats can be huge time (and money) wasters. Instead, use Slack for one-off DMs and check-ins with your team in team-specific channels.
Pro-tip: Slack integrates a lot of other great tools into its functionality with the backslash command. There are a ton of apps you can install, but we recommend at least connecting your accounts on Zoom, Balloon, and Google Drive for a seamless Slacking experience.
For project management and goal-setting, use Asana
Asana’s UI is slightly more complex than other SaaS platforms, but it’s worth a few tutorials: Successful, holistic project management requires constant organization of a lot of moving parts, and Asana has built-in ways to flag, categorize, and track them all.
Pro tip: If your team does weekly or biweekly sprints, use a template to build a new Asana project to track all the tasks, big and small, your team needs to complete before the sprint is over. To stay organized, label them as “Sprint - XYZ” and give them each a fun name to keep things light while you get down to business.