Do you struggle with keeping your entire team up to date on current projects because everyone seems to be out of the office more than in it? It is entirely possible to change your Android phone into a collaboration center that fits in your pocket.
If you need your team to work together without physically being together, you need powerful collaboration apps. These should include those that share documents, notes, and drawing surfaces. Other essential activities such as chatting and project management will round out a full-service collaboration suite.
You can create a custom configuration of apps based on your needs and budget. Many of these Android collaboration apps are free or available at a low cost.
The first thing you should select for your collaboration is a document sharing app. The best ones are those that allow you to work on a document simultaneously with another person. The most widely used document sharing apps are, of course, Microsoft Office and GSuite.
Microsoft is now focusing more of its resources into making their software compatible with Android devices. Their new Android Apps work much better than older versions you may have tried before.
Another option, besides the two major players in the productivity market, is ONLYOFFICE. This program works very much like the others and integrates with both of them. One unique feature is the choice you have between Fast Mode and Slow Mode. In fast mode everyone can work at the same time, which is good, but can get confusing. If you find this difficult, you can use Slow Mode where ONLYOFFICE waits until changes save before revealing them to everyone else.
Both Microsoft Office and G Suite have other apps within their system to complete some of the other tasks we’ll discuss soon, so if you wanted to, you could theoretically use one system for everything. But there are other options available.
When team members have a stroke of brilliance and want to jot it down without opening a new document or find an article to benefit the team, you want to have a note-sharing app available. The most popular is Evernote, and for a good reason. It’s incredibly versatile and has powerful features even with the free version. The list of features on this app is extensive, so if you need more information, check the app’s site.
Google Keep is Google’s answer to Evernote. It is free as well but is missing many features of Evernote. You can’t edit collaboratively or upload outside documents to the app.
Project management apps keep your team on top of all the moving parts in your current projects. Trello and Asana are very similar, and your choice will depend on how many different projects you have going on at one time and whether you repeat the same processes for those tasks or not.
Trello is best for repeated procedures, and Asana is better for large numbers of projects. They both have free options and very similar price schedules should you decide to upgrade.
Conversations in Slack are called channels. Channels can be set up based on team members, people working on the same project or with the same client, or any other category you need for your team. Team members avoid seemingly endless email chains by joining a channel only when they need to.
Google Hangouts calls their message chains Rooms. They share many of the same features. However, Hangouts has recently been updated to include Google’s Smart Response. Smart Response suggests appropriate replies to messages so you can reply with one click on the response you choose.
Whiteboard style apps to share mind-mapping activities with your group make brainstorming possible, even when the team is not together. The most popular one on the market today is LiveBoard. A useful feature of this app is handwriting recognition. It turns your handwritten contributions into typed text for easy reading. LiveBoard also provides instant messaging and the option to upload images onto your boards.
While there are plenty of Android collaboration apps that you can use, the above-mentioned tools are some of the popular ones that you should use, as they are frequently updated with fixes and updates. If your favorite collaboration tool is not on the list, do tell us about it in the comments below.
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