Office of the Future: 3 digital innovations to boost collaboration

26 September 2015

2 min read

Need to collaborate with your team? Good luck getting everyone in a single room. Work forces behind today's growing companies are spread not just all over the country, but all over the world.

Office of the Future: 3 digital innovations to boost collaboration (Desktop)

And this can put collaborative efforts in a bind.

But getting everyone on the same page and in the same virtual "room" might be easier than you think. Dig into these smart digital collaboration tools that can help your growing company boost its collaborative efforts. They're all reasonably priced to help you break through to new innovations - without breaking the bank.

  1. Remote Design: Mural.ly

    In the design world? Need to get client feedback on design or bring multiple graphic designers together to collaborate on a single project? Then give Mural.ly a go.

    Mural.ly allows teams to co-design in real-time on a single, visual canvas. With layout templates, the ability to add images, stickers and headlines, as well as sticky notes for feedback, Murals can be used as group mind maps, moodboards or rough drafts for design projects.

    Participants can see each individual collaborator's additions and changes, so that for each project, everyone is, quite literally, on the same page.

    There are plans for both small business and enterprise-level clients, ranging from 3 to 50 users.

    Cost: $25 (~£16) to $879 (~£569) per month, depending on number of users (billed annually)

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  2. Task Tracker: Wunderlist

    Ever wish your entire team could track progress on all of its to-dos? Clear your desktop of those sticky notes and tap into the power of Wunderlist for Business, which lets you assign, track and complete every task in one simple app, as well as collect supporting assets like files and attachments.

    There is even a browser extension that allows users to add web links and multimedia to Wunderlist projects in a couple clicks.

    Team members can check an Activity Feed to view the latest project and task updates in a single place, ridding inboxes of those teeth-gnashing reply-all emails. You can also update each user via email, smartphone and web, keeping your project moving, questions answered, and deliverables delivered.

    On the security front, 256-bit encryption ensures that your conversations stay within company bounds.

    Cost: $4.99 (~£3)/user per month or $49.99 (£32)/user per year; educational and non-profit businesses are eligible for discounts (review pricing here).

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  3. Real-time Business Chat: Slack

    Want to cut down on how many tools and apps you use to keep your team communicating? Yes, you do. Slack is a real-time messaging app for desktops, laptops, and smartphones with excellent functionality for public and private chatting.

    You can create channels for particular topics - say, for the marketing department to weigh in on the latest campaign, or for everyone to have their input on Friday's lunch venue. You can also create private group chats for invited members, or direct message particular colleagues.

    Team members can share files from services including Dropbox and Google Drive. Shared files are instantly searchable so you can quit rifling through your email archives to find that attachment someone sent you at some point - and just look on Slack.

    Cost: from $0 to $12.50 (~£8) per month (billed annually) depending on plan

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