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    5 Online Collaborative Tools That Help You Work Remotely

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    5 Online Collaborative Tools That Help You Work Remotely

    Working collaboratively is a hallmark of today's digital age. Our marketplace has expanded into global parameters, and many organizations work remotely with people all over the world as an established norm. This culture of collaboration is no less evident in our schools, either. There are a few tried-and-true collaborative tools that we use here at the Global Digital Citizen Foundation that help us work more effectively. We’ll go over these and more, and show you how they fit in with the entire sequence of Collaboration Fluency.

    Collaborative Tools for Every Job

    The first step of Collaboration Fluency is Establish. This stage begins by selecting and organizing the collective group, establishing the norms, and determining the role each team member would be best suited for, and developing a group contract.

    Find Team Members



    One way to establish your team is to hire the right people. Upwork is a service that connects employers with freelance employees. Employees list their strengths and go looking for work. The work can be short-term or long-term.

    Employers list specific jobs and skills they are looking for and when they find the right match, interviews and hiring take place.

    Upwork’s timelog app keeps track of hours worked and reports the amount to employers. Alternatively, a set price can be agreed upon for short-term jobs. The payment process is also handled here.

    Collaboration Fluency connections: Envisioning, Engineering, Executing and Evaluating Tools

    Online Task Organizers



    Once employees are hired or you’ve assembled your team from other sources, Asana can serve as your virtual office or workspace. With Asana, you can list ideas, delegate tasks, communicate and link to files that are shared. This is the next best thing to being in the same office building.

    You can send messages to each other regarding tasks and move tasks up and down the pipeline to show their progress. There’s a lot that’s cool about Asana. Sharing files through Google Drive allows you to keep one copy of the file on the cloud server, rather than a whole bunch of different versions of files accumulating in your inbox.

    Alternatives: Basecamp, Trello

    Cloud Storage

    Google Drive


    This serves as a storehouse for files that you use to compose, save and discuss throughout development. It provides easy access for everyone, and as we mentioned before Asana links directly to Google Drive. Once you’ve created the document and attached it, you don’t have to login to your Google Drive again.

    Alternative: Dropbox

    Text Chat

    Google Talk


    Since a lot of us use Google, we simply use their chat program built right in. Of course, Facebook and Skype have these as well. Nowadays, it’s very easy to get in touch with anyone. Facebook has its advantages since it’s on everyone’s smartphone. But as a distraction—we rarely use it for business or education.

    Alternatives: Slack, Skype, Flowdock, Facebook

    Video Conferencing



    For face-to-face conversations, these collaborative tools allow us to touch base with our teammates when we need to speak directly. Video chat is useful at all stages of collaboration, from establishing the groundwork to evaluating your product. Skype's ability to share screens is useful for presentations, and you can speak to many people at once.  Online teachers can use these for their classes, as well.

    Alternative: GoToMeeting, Zoom

    Certainly there are countless other collaborative tools out there for you to explore. These are the ones we use, have used, or have heard good things about. In the end, the collaborative tools question for you to answer is: what gets the job done for you?

    Information & Legend

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    Source code available on GitHub

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