In the first part of a series of articles about the best tools for a Road Warrior, I looked at Productivity tool’s for those who are working remotely as It occurred to me that alot of people whether they be marketeers, developers, business men and more nowadays actually spend alot of time on the road or traveling or outside of the office. Working at IDR Solutions alot of us have found that we are frequently out the office attending conferences such as Devfest, Devoxx and JavaOne so we’ve found ourselves using some tools to work remotely or on the move.
This time I will be looking using some tools to communicate and collaborate with others.
Communication & Collaboration Tools
Trello is a free web-based project management application made by Fog Creek Software. Trello’s structures projects as boards, which contain lists (corresponding to task lists). Lists contain cards (corresponding to tasks). These Cards can be moved from one list to the next (via drag-and-drop), and cards can be assigned accordingly to users can be grouped into organizations. Trello operates a freemium model, so this means that the basic service is provided free of charge however for certain other features there is a premium. At the moment, it supports PC/Mac/Linux Via a Web App and supports other mobile app platforms such as iOS and Android.
Skype is a VOIP service and instant messaging client, which operates a freemium business model and is developed by the Microsoft Skype Division. This service allows users to use a microphone for voice calls, video by using a webcam, and instant messaging over the Internet. Premium features include calls to landline telephones and mobile phones, sharing screens and video conferencing with multiple users. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free of charge, and it is a useful collaboration tool for file transfers, and videoconferencing.
Google Hangouts is an instant messaging and video chat platform developed by Google and is a competitor to Skype It replaces three messaging products that Google had implemented concurrently within its services, including Talk, Messenger, and Hangouts, a video chat system is also present, and is capable of being using for meetings as it supports video conferencing between multiple users.
Mozilla Thunderbird is a free, open source, cross-platform email, news, and chat client developed by the Mozilla Foundation, and is a perfect collaboration tool for those requiring an a dedicated email client for communicating whilst on the road. Presently Mozilla are offering only “Extended Support Releases”, which deliver security and maintenance updates, while allowing community to take over the development of new features. In terms of collaboration it is easy to set up and easily supported with a strong community, it is also easy to send emails and get news whilst on the move.
Wunderlist is a cloud-based task- project-management system developed by 6Wunderkinder. It allows users to manage tasks from a number of different platforms such as smartphone, tablet and computer. Wunderlist is a free application, and allows users to create lists to manage their to-dos. These lists can be shared with other Wunderlist users. You can add due dates (including repeating due dates), reminders, sub-tasks, and notes to tasks. To-dos can also be organized with #hashtags. Wunderlist Pro (a premium version of this service offers several new features such as Tasks that can be assigned to other users of a shared list, however the number of sub-tasks in each task is unlimited in the premium version and in the free version its limited to 25 sub tasks and other premium features include files can be uploaded, and users can talk to each other in real-time through Comments.
Basecamp is a web-based project-management tool developed by 37signals which can be used to Track files, discussions and events from start to finish and is useful for collaborating with team members, contractors and vendors. It comes with a built in file management system, Group calendar for schedule coordination, task lists, archives, full control over who sees projects and other team members however there is a cost to use the software.You can read about how we make use of Basecamp here.
ProjectPier is an free, open-source, PHP application. ProjectPier is a “flexible system for managing multiple projects involving multiple organizations through providing a central place for all project activity and information while integrating with users’ existing tools and workflow. Users can organize your projects into Milestones, Messages, Tasklists, Tasks and Files.
collabedit is an online code editor that allows team members to collaborate on coding in the real-time, Collabedit works in any web browser with no need to download, install or manage applications. It comes with a built-in chatroom, text editor, document history, syntax highlighting for programming languages and is is written in Python using Tornado
Project Manager.comProjectManager.com is a useful online project management platform designed for planning projects, assigning tasks to team members, and tracking project progress.
It’s a powerful tool that can be used by any sized team big or small for a project of any scope. The software contains a built in Gantt chart for project planning, workload management tool, file storage, and a real time dashboard for keeping track of various metrics in the project.
Ganib is a useful way of keeping track of your projects, it is an open source web based online project management software which is free and based on the J2EE platform with MySql database with project dashboards for reporting. It comes with tasks for stetting milestones, tasks, sub-tasks with duration, wikis and discussions, time sheet, tacking and bug tracking.
Our Free online PDF to HTML5 Converter has been extremely useful for me especially when exchanging documents on the web, With the rise of smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices, and that there is HTML5 is natively supported on a multitude of devices, platforms and browsers, I found it is it extremely useful for sharing numerous reports with my colleagues as sometimes PDF’s can get a little too big in file size especially with charts and diagrams and take up memory and load time on smartphones.
Hopefully you’ve found this list of communication and collaboration tools useful, next time in the ‘Road Warrior Series’ I’ll be looking at Development tools that are useful for Developers.
What are your favorite communication and collaboration tools? Let us know.
IDRsolutions develop a Java PDF library, a PDF forms to HTML5 converter, a PDF to HTML5 or SVG converter and a Java Image Library that doubles as an ImageIO replacement. On the blog our team post about anything interesting they learn about.