What tools to use to best collaborate with your team

Running a tech startup or any business is difficult as you may know. One of the most difficult parts of running it is collaborating with your team. Organizing your tasks into various departments can be a headache, especially when you are the founder and must manage it all. Thankfully, there are plenty of free tools out there that make your life easier (and your startup). Here is my top 3 list:

1. Trello – makes it simple to add lists with tasks (cards) to various companies (boards). You can color code the cards, add team members to them, add screenshots, drag and drop them to other lists, and share these lists with all of your team members to collaborate on. It’s a very simple and effective tool.

2. Slack – makes it easy to chat, video call, share files, have group chats, and essentially have meetings.

3. Google Drive – if you don’t already use it, you should. It lets you share any folder, or file with anyone. And then they can also share files in the folders with you. Any changes made will be saved for all to see – in real time.  So this means you can collaborate with your team at the same time on the same screen and you will see everything happen in real time.  And the best part is it syncs with your PC, Mac, or smartphone wherever you are.

I use these every single day with my team members, and I’m not sure how I would be successful without them.  People always ask me why I don’t have phone calls or in person meetings listed as “best tools to collaborate.”  Well that’s because I feel like they are the worst forms of collaboration.  In my opinion, phone calls and in person meetings are huge time wasters.  They are forced forms of collaboration.  This means you are forced to come up with things to talk about, and essentially aren’t getting work done.

If you have a question or a comment, post it in Slack.  If you found a bug in your software, post a card in Trello.  If you want to go over a document with your team, post it in Google Drive.  Every scenario has a tool, and if you use them every time, you will never have an issue.  Phone calls and in person meetings should be saved for important conversations such as: investor wrap-up meetings (with funding offered),  partnership completed (contract in hand), software deployment (major version complete).  Basically any major part of company development should be a phone call or video chat.  Everything in between is too small to waste time talking about it.  Actions speak louder than words.

So try out these tools if you don’t already, and let me know what you think by leaving me a comment!



Jason Sherman

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