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Communication Apps That Make Team Collaboration A Breeze

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Collaboration and great communication is absolutely critical when you’re working with a team. As an entrepreneur who is busy and likely working on several creative projects at once, it’s critical to have an organized and effective team communication strategy that allows things to stay in motion and actually get accomplished.

It takes some time to find a rhythm among team members, but I want to share a few of our favorite apps that we utilize to keep things flowing. I think the magic is actually the synergy between all three tools and how they cover all the angles of effective communication.

From my quick start perspective, I love having places for all my good ideas to incubate, but really love that these tools help me communicate the important projects that I most want to move forward. The flexibility in these systems really helps everyone remain fully empowered and enjoying the journey as we push forward with creative projects and ideas.

TALK IT OUT

Voxer is a key tool for me in all parts of my business. I talk with my team, mentors, and clients using the tool.

If you’re unfamiliar with Voxer, it’s the love child of texting and voicemail. The tool allows you to “talk” to one another much like you would an old school walkie talkie, but you’re leaving messages that can be picked up at the user’s convenience, like you can with voicemail.

It’s like texting, because you can share text, pictures, gifs, location, and attachments. But it’s cooler than that, because you don’t actually have to share your phone number with users, which can be great to maintaining professionalism and reserving your personal text messages for family and friends.

I realized two things long ago: talking is faster than typing and I can process my thoughts and creative brainstorms really quickly when I’m talking out loud.

So for me, Voxer allows me to speed up communication and share creative solutions fast.

I’ll never forget when the amazing Neil Gaiman said during his commencement address in 2012 at the University of the Arts that he woke up one day and realized that he was in the business of professionally responding to email. (Truthbomb drops at the 9:00 minute mark)

I feel like emails can be a giant waste of time, so I love the way Voxer lets me skip all that. Sure, email is still a tool I wouldn’t want to live without, but there’s a time and a place.

When speed and accessibility are the goal, I’ll take Voxer for the win.

Key Features

Recall a message. I do this often because when I speak things out loud, I’m able to make connections and problem solve in the moment. There are times where I send a string of Voxer messages, and by the end, I’d figured out the answer on my own. Or I figured out how to say something much more succinctly. I love that I can recall a message and not waste my team member’s time.

Say something complicated fast. Sometimes I need to tell a team member something that will take 20 minutes or more to type clearly. Rather than taking that time, I can often send a 90 second Voxer and say everything that needs to be said. The message is available for them to replay if necessary, and we both save a ton of time in the write/read/respond/read cycle.

Night or day. When a thought hits me, I’m able to quickly capture and share it. And because of “silent mode” and “do not disturb mode” on today’s smartphones, I know that sending off-hours Voxer messages won’t disturb the person until they’re ready to listen.

Real Time Talk. Sometimes, my team members and I actually have a real time conversation. I see the person is listening and responding in the moment, and it’s simple to quick go back and forth quickly to solve a problem without sending emails.

Insider Secret: I actually give all my Inner Circle and Private 1:1 clients Voxer access to me. It’s a game changer when it comes to receiving support when you need it most.

KEEP IT RELEVANT

My team hangs out in Slack. It’s an easy, convenient way to send messages, files, and to keep track of questions and processes. My favorite thing is how the streamlined, straightforward interface keeps things relevant. Because every user gets included on only what’s relevant to them, it saves a ton of time and eases collaboration.

Slack keeps us organized, cuts down on emails, and helps us communicate fast. P.S. The free version serves us really well.

Key Features

Sending screenshots. I’m often perusing the interwebs and find something I want to capture and share quickly with a member of my team. Usually it’s creativity or design related. With the {Apple + Shift + 4} keystroke sequence on my mac, I can capture what I want to share, snap the screenshot, and share it fast.

Group Channels & Messages. I love that there are easy ways to communicate with small groups of team members inside of Slack, and that it’s so easy to create those channels or group messages so we can have streamlined discussions.

Private Messages. I also love that I can have private messages going with each of my team members, too. It lets me stay in communication with them, but keep the conversations really relevant.

Success Tip: Create a private message with yourself in Slack to save active links to Zoom Rooms and Acuity Schedules for team members or collaborators. It makes it super fast to get things scheduled or get connected quickly.

MANAGE MOVING PARTS

Here’s the truth — I don’t operate inside of Asana, but my team does. It’s where all the projects inside my company live and what helps them actually happen. The reason I’m not in Asana is because I’d probably screw it up or make things hard for my team #quickstartstruggles.

Instead of being inside the platform, my Executive VA Sadie keeps me wrangled and on task. She knows that the best way to keep me moving forward is to keep things really simple. She puts my Asana tasks inside calendar to-do blocks that I actually pay attention to 85% of the time.

Key Features:

Make things simple. I love Asana because it can take all my complicated, big-picture ideas and actually allow them to get done. I’m able to share ideas with my team and they’re able to make them reality. They can break down complicated projects, take responsibility for the relevant pieces, and then work at their own pace.

Less micromanaging. Asana cuts down on our well intentioned tendency to micromanage our team. With Asana, I can trust that if a task has a deadline (which more often than not, the team member has a say in creating), that they’ll get it done.

Stay focused on big picture. The best part about Asana for me as the CEO, is that I don’t actually need to be in on all the inner workings of projects. I can execute on the high level creative pieces that only I can do, and make sure things stay on the creative leading edge. I love that my team can work so successfully because of a tool like Asana.

Success Tip: Stay creative by training your team really well and then TRUSTING them to get things done. It frees up your energy and allows you to be the visionary creator in your business.

So there you have it, some behind-the-scenes tools for leading a successful team and business. Tell me, do you have more to add to the list?

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