13 essential communication and project management tools for small businesses
Photo from unsplash
Business communication & project management platforms are critical for businesses to succeed. According to an Alfresco survey on business professionals, it was found that nearly 83% of professionals depend on technology to collaborate. A majority of organizations are suffering from disparate and disjointed in-house business communication platforms that are not effective or reliable. Most of the time, the existing business productivity tools used by businesses were found to be woefully inadequate in handling the steadily growing remote workforce. A study points out that 56% of employees don’t get the right tools to perform their day-to-day activities.
According to another study, if your business communication platform could handle remote workers effectively, you can save much as 78% on annual operating expenses. By switching to a Saas-based business communication platform companies can save in multiple ways. There will be no need for hardware or server infrastructure, internal maintenance team, license renewal, integrations with other applications etc.
Here is the list of 13 essential business productivity tools that will help your employees to collaborate, manage time, remove distractions and organize their work better.
Clariti is one of the most cost-effective business communication platforms for businesses to organize all their communications in one place. Clariti supports all communication forms including chats, emails, cloud-based documents, voice calls and social feeds. Clariti uses TopicFolders to automatically connect all your related conversations no matter which medium was used. For example, you can combine chats, emails, calls, documents, and even to-do alerts in TopicFolders. TopicFolders eliminates the need to search for information, which is otherwise stored in separate silos.
Once you start a TopicFolder, all your related interactions including chats, shared files, social feeds, and emails regarding that topic will be connected and stored in that folder. Later, when you want to refer to a conversation that you have had on a particular topic, you don’t have to search for the information in different places like your email inbox, chat app, or your social feeds separately. All you have to do is look inside the relevant TopicFolder for all your communication history. So, TopicFolders are an inbuilt mechanism to organize all your communication as it happens, without any effort on your part.
Dropbox Business promises to be more than just secure file storage. It helps your teams, tools, and content come together. It is used for creating, storing, and sharing cloud content from Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, Microsoft Office files, and Dropbox Paper alongside traditional files in Dropbox. Dropbox Spaces brings your files and cloud content together so that your PowerPoints can live next to your Google Docs, Trello boards, and whatever tools your team wants to use.
Skype is a recognizable name in the world of VoIP software. It offers a free plan that can be perfect for individuals needing it for personal use or a small business that needs to keep up with others. Skype has long been able to allow you to connect to anyone from anywhere. Calls can be made to a person’s mobile phone and their landline. It also allows for sending text messages with end-to-end encryption so you can rest assured your conversations are private. You can use it on a multitude of devices like your PC, tablet, or smartphone.
Asana helps you plan, organize, and manage your team’s work, from start to finish. It is a good project management software you can use to coordinate your team tasks so everyone knows who’s doing what. Share feedback, files, and status updates. Plus, get a complete view of work so teams tackle the right tasks at the right time.
Managing projects is hard work. It’s easy to lose track of all the moving pieces—and tough to stay up to date. That’s when things fall through the cracks. Asana helps you to organize projects, and meet deadlines.
HipChat is one of the best on-premise instant messaging tools. HipChat enables your team to work better together by making it easy to share ideas, updates, code and files in real-time, anywhere.
HipChat can integrate with a lot of other tools, but it perfectly integrates with Atlassian tools such as Confluence or Jira. Thanks to integrations, you and your teams can communicate and receive notifications from those tools in HipChat rooms.
6. Microsoft OneDrive
Microsoft OneDrive is the one place for everything in your work. It gives you free online storage for all your files so you can get to them from your Android device, computer (PC or Mac), and any other devices you use. With OneDrive for Business, you also get storage for your work files so you can share and collaborate on them with other people at your work or school. The OneDrive app for Android lets you easily work with your work files when you’re on the go.
Salesforce is a customer relationship management solution that brings companies and customers together. It’s one integrated CRM platform that gives all your departments — including marketing, sales, commerce, and service — a single, shared view of every customer. Using Salesforce web-to-lead forms you can easily push leads from the website to your sales team for further follow up.
YouTube is an online video platform owned by Google. In total, users watch more than one billion hours of YouTube videos each day, and hundreds of hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube servers every minute. Video is a must for companies to succeed with marketing efforts in today’s marketplace. Using YouTube connectors, you can easily pull YouTube videos into your website without you having to host it yourself.
9. Campaign Monitor
Campaign Monitor gives you everything you need to run beautifully-designed, professional email marketing campaigns to grow your business. You can choose from hundreds of professionally-designed templates and drag-and-drop to put your email together in moments. Drive urgency using a countdown timer, and customize every visual aspect for a completely branded email campaign that looks great on any device.
HubSpot is a leading CRM platform that provides software and support to help businesses grow better. HubSpot platform includes marketing, sales, service, and website management products that start free and scale to meet our customers’ needs at any stage of growth. HubSpot builds connections, careers, and employee growth by creating a workplace that values flexibility, autonomy, and transparency.
Box is a cloud content management platform for companies of all sizes and industries. It offers security and controls for admins as well as sharing and collaboration capabilities for end users across the globe. Box enables users to collaborate on all types of files, on any device and choose where to store data, to manage encryption keys and set metadata-driven workflows to automate content-based processes.
SharePoint empowers teamwork with dynamic and productive team sites for every project team, department, and division. Using SharePoint you can share files, data, news, and resources. Using SharePoint, you can customize your site to streamline your team’s work and collaborate effortlessly and securely with team members inside and outside your organization, across PCs, Macs, and mobile devices.
13. Google Drive
Google Drive makes sharing your files simple. It also allows multiple people to edit the same file, allowing for real-time collaboration. Google Drive is a safe place to back up and access all your files from any device. Easily invite others to view, edit or leave comments on any of your files or folders.
By signing up for these business communication platforms discussed above, you can collaborate seamlessly with your remote team and boost your productivity.