June 2, 2011

10 top collaboration tools for your organization



Huddle, Tungle.me, Dropbox & 7 other Web 2.0 solutions

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause and volunteer organizations, NGOs, businesses, brands, Web publishers, educators, project managers.

JD LasicaAs nonprofits get more efficient and leaner in managing a 21st century workforce, they’re discovering that all kinds of Web 2.0 collaboration tools can help team members in multiple locations communicate smarter and faster with each other. The tools also can help you work closer with partner organizations and volunteers.

Here are five tools that we’ve encouraged our nonprofit clients to try out. Not all of them may be right for your needs, and not all are free. We suggest testing them out with small teams to see how they can help you become a more social and collaborative organization.

Want to share this with your team as an easy one-page downloadable flyer? See our Team Collaboration flyer (shortcut at http://bit.ly/teamcollab).


Huddle: Free workspaces

1Habitat for Humanity, UNICEF and World Vision are a few of the nonprofits using Huddle, an online collaboration workspace that’s free for nonprofits with budgets under $7 million. We used Huddle as the online workspace for New Media Lab, one of our nonprofit clients. Coolest features: Huddle’s customizable dashboard, making it easy to add widgets, and online whiteboards that foster effortless integration with LinkedIn, Ning and Facebook. Huddle won the Best B2B/Enterprise Start-up at the TechCrunch Europe Awards 2009. Follow Huddle on Twitter.


Tungle.me: Collaborative scheduling

2To be honest, we think Microsoft Office is so 1996. Need to figure out when everyone on the team — and your outside partner’s team — is available for a call or meeting? Doodle isn’t bad, but Tungle.me is the best of breed, offering the most intuitive way to schedule meetings and to see what openings work best for everyone. After I get five or six emails proposing a counter-time, I now say, tungle.me instead.

Picnik: Edit your photos online

3Picnik lets you edit all your photos online. Picnik is great for quick editing, cropping and enhancing of photos published to the Web. Unlike Photoshop, Picnik is free and browser-based, so you can edit photos quickly from anywhere.

DeskAway: Project management via mobile

4DeskAway is a Web-based project collaboration software that provides teams a central location to easily organize, manage, share and track projects. With its mobile component, you’ll know that your work is going on smoothly when you’re in the field or away from your desk. 30-day free trial with a 30 percent discount to nonprofit organizations on all pricing plans.


Pidgin: Connect across chat applications

5Connect instantly with staff, volunteers and the rest of your community regardless of which instant messaging application they use with either Pidgin (for PCs) or Adium (for Macs). Both are free, open source downloadable applications that allow you to connect with almost anyone running AIM, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, Google Talk, MSN, IRC, Facebook and other chat networks. Continue reading

August 19, 2010

5 collaboration tools to enhance productivity

Image by ChrisL_AK on Flickr


Huddle, Basecamp, DeskAway among tools to help your team members work together

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, entrepreneurs, NGOs, citizen publishers, educators.

By Jessica Haswell
Socialbrite staff

The Google Wave came and went – what was that thing, anyway? — but here are some tools that maximize the collaboration and efficiency of your organization and are sure to stick. We took a look at five of the top Web-based project management and collaboration tools that can help nonprofits and other organizations get stuff done. These tools are productivity boosters, regardless of whether your staffers work in the same office or if your team wants to engage supporters in far-flung locations.

Have your own favorite? Please share in the comments below.


Huddle: Free workspaces for nonprofits

1Habitat for Humanity, UNICEF and World Vision are just a few of the nonprofits using Huddle, and it’s a great option for smaller organizations as well. We use London-based Huddle — which just opened a San Francisco office — as the online workspace for New Media Labs, one of our nonprofit clients. Coolest features: Huddle’s customizable dashboard, making it easy to add widgets, and online whiteboards that foster effortless integration with LinkedIn, Ning and Facebook. Thanks to the Huddle Foundation, Huddle is one of the only outfits that offers registered charities (with budgets below $7 million) completely free services. Huddle.net won the Best B2B/Enterprise Start-up at the TechCrunch Europe Awards 2009. Follow Huddle on Twitter. See Huddle on iTunes.


Basecamp: Over 3 million users

2They must be doing something right: Basecamp has 3 million users, growing at 1,000 companies a week, so one of the chief appeals of Basecamp is the ability to connect with outsiders and other organizations. On top of its massive user count is an extremely well-organized, powerful project management system, customizable interface design and mobile support. The price, starting at $24 per month, is comparable to other tools of its kind, but there are no discounts for nonprofits. Follow Basecamp on Twitter.


Teamwork Project Manager: More features for less

3This package offers a clean layout and customizable logo and layout options – important projects can be starred and featured on the main screen with “custom view.” Message boards are just one of the collaboration tools offered in addition to wiki-style notes. If you’re looking for the functionality of Basecamp at a lower cost, check out Ireland-based Teamwork Project Manager. Follow TeamworkPM on Twitter.


DeskAway: A good choice for the boss

4Delegation, sharing, tracking work and transparency are just some of the things that DeskAway prides itself on. One of this mobile-enabled project management system’s stand-out features is its ability to import data from Basecamp if you’re looking to switch out or back up your project data. Desk Away makes nominating a project manager to keep things organized easy — it’s a good choice for tech-savvy executive directors or C-suite execs. See info on the DeskAway mobile app. Follow DeskAway on Twitter.


Zoho: Build your own efficiency toolkit

5Zoho stands out from the rest of its field: It offers an online toolkit of productivity, collaboration and business apps similar to Google Docs, which has copied some of Zoho’s best features. The most exciting feature of Zoho is its ability to sync with other programs such as Google Apps or Microsoft Office, making it that much easier to communicate and share content with your colleagues. The one downside (or upside, depending on how you will use it) is that you buy all of the various tools — Business, CRM, Reports, etc. — separately. Zoho is perfect for those who want to build their own collaboration and efficiency toolkit. Follow Zoho on Twitter. Continue reading