The following is a guest post from Anita Sambol at PointVisible.
Let’s face it—we all have an email inbox full 90% of the time. In the sea of random emails that we probably don’t need, the important stuff gets lost. Besides, opening an email, reading it and replying takes a lot of time in this fast life we’re living today.
After noticing this email inbox issue in our small agency, and talking to with other, larger agencies about it, we took it upon ourselves to try out a variety of different communication apps that make office discussions easier and more efficient.
It’s become pretty obvious that the growing technology has brought in numerous changes in the way office communication is done today. Even though we’re all in the same office, we’re using communication apps for daily discussion. It’s just easier than yelling, and you can share funny gifs, too! 😉
Here are some of the communication apps we tried, liked and would recommend to your agency.
When you want to improve how your business functions, investing in Basecamp is a great idea. With this app, it’s possible to organize your projects, client work and internal communication in one central source. This way, you encourage transparency, efficiency and free flow of communication among workers. Basecamp provides the “HQ” feature for organization-wide communication, exclusive spaces for different teams working together as well as private spaces for management purposes.
Your business can purchase Basecamp at a flat rate of $99 per month, or get a 20% discount if you purchase the one-year package in a single payment. Not ready to buy? Before subscribing, you can opt for a 30 day free trial to get a hang of how the app works.
Don’t let the name deceive you! Going by the review on their website, Slack is changing the way office communication is handled for the better. With this communication app, you stand to cut office emails by 50%, hold fewer meetings and thus boost productivity by 32% (Slack). From a person who has used the platform, this is one app that is living its dream to revolutionize office communication.
How does Slack achieve this?
The underpinning of Slack is instant-messaging. However, this modern tool comes with other functions that are easily customizable for office communication. With it, conversations archive automatically, can be organized by topics or channels and you can search later.
You can use Slack on your desktop or mobile device to chat one-on-one, hold group chats, share media files, post comments on conversations and receive notifications for incoming messages. Slack can also integrate effectively with other tools such as RSS, GitHub, Google Drive, Dropbox, Hangouts, Twitter and so forth. With this kind of a communication tool, your business encourages free-flow communication and transparency.
You can test the Slacking waters for free with their basic version, then upgrade to either the Standard, Plus or Enterprise level. Their prices range from $49 to $99. With Slack’s built-in “Slackbot,” installation and setup of the application is easy.
Bitrix24 is an app that’s loaded with almost every type of communication function your business will need. With over 35 tools, you’ll be able to make phone calls, send private and group chats, video chat, email, share files and so forth. The app comes with a CRM system, document management function, social networking feature, its own cloud, planning calendar and human resource functions, among others. All you need is to pick what functions you require to keep your business running smoothly, and it’s off to the races for effective workplace communication!
The basic version is available for free, though with limited features. Users can upgrade from as low as $39 per month to get access to the advanced features.
This is a very simple, yet powerful collaboration tool that looks like an excel sheet, but functions like a full-fledged project management suite. Whether you want to allocate tasks, share files, schedule tasks, track sales or manage resources, Smartsheet is equipped to make all these tasks easy. Plus, any task you accomplish in a Smartsheet can be shared across mobile apps and desktops for consistent and easy collaboration.
Smartsheet comes with advanced reporting tools that enables users to pull out any needed information instantly and share with involved parties. The users can also customize their sheet to get instant notifications whenever a change occurs on the Smart worksheet.
There is a basic Smartsheet that comes at a price of $14 per month. Premium subscription is also available and users enjoy more features and support from the provider. The sheets are user-friendly and one does not require any special training to work on them.
HipChat is another great collaboration tool your team can use for their private or group chats, file sharing, video chat and screen sharing. It integrates with most services your business may already be using such as Google, Dropbox, Github, Asana, Bitbucket and others.
Conversations shared through HipChat are wrapped in 256-bit SSL encryption to ensure none of the sensitive information will land in the wrong hands. With this app, it is also possible to create chat rooms and invite external guests such as vendors, and clients, but still leave you with control over how much they can see.
HipChat is now available for Mac,Linux, Windows, iOS and Android. If you don’t love downloading and installing things, the web version of this app will suit you. HipChat is easy to install, setup and maintain.
Users can obtain a basic HipChat version free of charge that supports unlimited users, instant messaging, file sharing and group chats. Your business can upgrade to the Plus version at a monthly price of $2 per user.
Today’s fast world calls for effective methods of workflow management. People have no time to waste on mundane tasks, yet they don’t want to miss out on important aspects or details of their work. By embracing technology, businesses can improve efficiency and productivity, thus boosting their growth. Any of these 5 communication apps will help any modern business or agency become more efficient, and speed up the work process.
Have you been using any of these communication apps for your business? Do you have any other recommendations? Let us know!