One of the most important things I’ve learned working in the startup world has been to work smarter, not harder. As the digital age forges on, the workforce has begun adopting this lesson by throwing out traditional work norms and instituting new ones that make teams function better. Thanks to the internet, teams can collaborate and stay organized on tasks with programs that make their jobs more efficient and produce better results. When a team is organized, morale improves and work becomes something you love to do rather than something you have to do.
Here are five programs your team needs to get organized.
Perhaps the most well-known team collaboration platform out there, Slack’s mission is to make your working life simpler, more pleasant, and more productive by easily sharing files, engaging in video calls, and screen-sharing. The program is also best for teams who operate remotely. Imagine operating in New York and communicating with a team member in San Francisco through endless email chains and never-ending games of telephone. Yikes, no thanks. With Slack’s group feature, your team can be connected 24/7 and you’ll never have to hit “Reply All” again. The program offers small teams a limited time free trial with prices ranging from $6-$12 per user after it ends.
There are two types of people in this world: people who fall in love with people and people who fall in love with making spreadsheets. Okay, not really, but there’s something about Google Sheets that instantly spikes a person’s productivity and it’s usually the answer to life’s most important questions. How much are you spending a month at Trader Joe’s? Make a spreadsheet! How many high-five-giving cat videos have you watched on loop? Make a spreadsheet! When something is both easy to use and accessible, it’s more likely to spark productivity and boost morale for an employee or team. Google Sheets can help you and your team better organize your finances, HR materials, and other important data with tables, formulas, shapes, and graphs. The best part? It’s free when you logon to your Gmail account.
Asana is a web and mobile application that helps teams track their work. It was founded by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and former engineer Justin Rosenstein who used it as an internal tool for improving the productivity levels of Facebook employees. Asana lets you assign tasks to team members, collaborate on projects, and have conversations with your team. The app is very mobile friendly and has email integration making it super convenient for you to access everything you need. The service is free for up to 15 people, but it’s going to cost you $8.33 per team member for a premium membership.
Trello is another task management program similar to Asana. However, what makes it unique is it’s use of the Kanban system––a process created by Toyota meant to speed up production and improve quality. The layout of the program resembles one big whiteboard or a bunch of sticky notes waiting to be tackled. Picture an assembly line, but digitized. The program is also best for collaborative brainstorming or rapid spitballs of creative ideas. If you’re looking to cut down on the amount of meetings your team has, Trello is for you. By cutting down on unnecessary meetings, your team will become more organized and improve the quality of their work. Trello is free for most users, but the pricing starts at $9.99 if you’re looking to incorporate other services your team uses like Slack, MailChimp, and G Suite.
Does your team dedicate too much time to weekly check-ins? If you answered yes then 15Five is the solution to your problem. 15Five is a quick and easy way for team leaders to check in with their employees on their objectives and progress with projects and tasks. The program will keep your team organized by replacing the dreaded Monday morning meetings with quality feedback and employee insights that will actually make a difference. You’ll always be in the loop with your team no matter how far away you are from them. Basic membership starts at $7 per month, but if you’re looking for a more advanced membership the price doubles to $14 per member a month.