Posts Tagged

Collaboration

The software situation in enterprises is an unholy mess. From the top level management to employees, everyone has to be at the mercy of the feudal lords also known as system admins. Your productivity is dependant on whatever version of software they choose to impose on you. And if the software isn’t a bloatware, there is a very good chance it won’t be bought and used in production.

Document management and Intranet are two domains that receive hardly any attention at all. If you are really lucky and the company has deep pockets, you might get to use Microsoft Sharepoint – which is just about alright. But, for everyone else, it’s so good to see that web based alternatives like Papyrs are hard at work helping businesses manage information painlessly.

If you are interested in knowing how to set up and put Papyrs to use in your organization, do read on.

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Since the explosion of cloud computing, small businesses are now turning to Internet-based software to help collaborate internet processes and help with the daily grind of tasks, meetings and memos. Internet-based software is much more appealing to businesses as it avoids the needs for expensive software licence fees and complicated computer systems. Internet-based systems also make the process of working from home a far easier and much more cost-effective solution for businesses.

I recently looked at Pivotal Tracker and yaM, two internet-based utilities that can help businesses collaborate easier (in the case of Pivotal Tracker) or organize meetings easier (in the case of yaM). But, what happens if you want to collaborate every aspect of your business, yet want to avoid spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on an ERM system such as SAP?

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Oh hey! Look! It’s ANOTHER task/project-management application! Hold on for a second while I minimize the two other task-management apps on my computer, both of which are currently clamoring for my attention. Okay, now I’m…dang it, I gotta turn off my iPad; you don’t want me distracted by the to-do apps I’ve got synced on there. Oh, and while I’m thinking about it, give me one more second to hide my email app, otherwise my concentration will get diverted by the reminder emails coming in from the various task-managament apps that my coworkers use. Okay, now I’m ready. Whatcha got?

Action Method, huh? What’s so great about that? “A radically different approach to productivity,” you say. Well, as a frequent reader of the AppStorm network, I have to tell ya, virtually every task-management app on the market claims to do something “radically different.” But okay, I’ll bite. Let’s give it a whirl and see if Action Method lives up to its marketing.

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For as long as I can remember, technology has really influenced the way we do things, such as the way we communicate, receive news and generally look at the world. This influence has also spread to the world of work. Nowadays, technology has meant that companies can reach out globally, not just locally, and has enabled them to spread their influence all over the world.

Look at business meetings nowadays. It used to be that meetings meant you had to spend an hour cooped in a hot, sweaty conference room with a cup of lukewarm dishwater posing as coffee. And not to forget the time it takes to get to said conference room. Nowadays, a lot more meetings are conducted over the Net, for example via teleconferencing. This not only keeps costs down but is also a lot more practical – meetings can be conducted straight from your desk.

Of course, there are plenty of ways to conduct meetings remotely. But these tend to be expensive to both set up and maintain. How does a free, Net-based meeting manager sound? Well, this is exactly what yaM (Yet Another Meeting) is. There’s no complicated software to install or monthly subscription fees to pay. You simply sign up, invite your colleagues and get to work.

I think we’re onto something here! Let’s delve deeper…

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Anyone who works in a business will know how important collaboration is on a project. It allows you to work more effectively by knowing exactly who is doing what and can save business time and, most importantly, money. In today’s world, which revolves around technology and the Internet, project management has moved from those old-fashioned paper Gantt charts pinned up on the noticeboard around work to the virtual world of silicon chips and cloud-based computing.

There’s so many project managers, and yet most seem to be the same old system with a slightly different design. Then there’s Pivotal Tracker, an app that takes a fully unique approach to managing projects the agile way.

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Prior to getting my iPad, I didn’t have much use for notebook apps. After my computing life went mobile, however, I found myself needing to write things down without having a notepad within reach. And so I got Evernote, the same notebook app used by so many of the bloggers I followed. After a few days, however, I wasn’t happy. Evernote could do all the things I wanted it to, but it didn’t…feel right.

My editor suggested I take a look at Memonic, a notebook app developed by a Swiss startup named Nektoon AG. I said to him the same thing I say to everybody else: if something doesn’t feel right, then it can’t hurt to try the Swiss.

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It’s a reality that those who are web designers need to work together with a client in order to generate a successful design. We have to discuss with a client what they’d like changed, and then change it (although, we should always write it into our contract to avoid any frustration when you get a client from hell).

CAGE is an awesome collaboration tool that allows you to manage projects and share images (whether they be a screenshot of a web page, or just an image of something else) of your work (i’ll be looking mainly at using this tool for web design today, but the tools are available for whatever type of image you upload). Your team and/or your clients can login too and add comments to highlighted areas, furthering the collaboration abilities of your design team.
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Instead of the standard introduction with a potential scenario that the application can save, I’m going to jump right in because today’s app, Flowdock, has a lot of features. Flowdock combines a group collaboration tool alongside a social media tracking stream to help develop your products and your business. Think of Flowdock as your development dashboard, where you can chat and collaborate, whilst monitoring your criticisms and praises on social networks.

The space for collaboration tools is very much crowded, but Flowdock seems to stand out with it’s Mac-like sex appeal and awesome set of features. As you’ll come to see, Flowdock organises, aggregates and collaborates. (more…)

When it comes to online solutions for the many problems and daunting tasks faced when running a business, a lot of app developers seem to be under the impression that your business can afford to invest hundreds in these apps. Unfortunately, for many small business starting out, the funds just aren’t there.

That’s where TeamLab comes in. It’s a promising (and completely free) change from the many apps available out there that charge extortionate amounts and only provide some basic functionality. Like what you hear? Read on to find out how to get started with the app and kickstart your business’ online portal.

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If you’ve ever worked in teams, especially large teams where everyone is located all over the world, you’ll know just how important efficient and effective team communication apps are. Communicating via email is generally standard, but let’s be honest, email works but isn’t efficient or effective enough for many situations — it’s too slow, difficult to use with more than a few people at once and and, depending on your organizational skills, can get wildly out of control.

There are plenty of great team communication apps around for varying purposes ranging from instant messaging to forums to real-time group chat rooms. No single app will work best for everyone’s specific communication needs. I’d like to put together a roundup covering the varying types of team communication needs and the best solutions available.

So let us know which, if any, team communication apps you and your company uses to stay in touch with co-workers, clients and everyone else. We’ve listed a few popular apps in the poll to the right but be sure to submit other’s we’ve not listed. Thanks!

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