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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
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.
Other collaboration tools
These are by no means the only collaboration and efficiency tools out there. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention some of these:
• Wikis, of course, though not all employees are taken with them. Compare the different wiki software platforms on Wikipedia.
• Redmine, which we wrote about in A developer’s 5 favorite social tools.
I’d love to hear about your organization’s experiences with some of these project management tools – please share your thoughts below!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.