It is the age of the internet, cloud computing, and mobile technology! Over decades of constant, rapid technological advancement we have seen near every aspect of our day to day lives changed in an effort to keep up and adapt with our expanding world. Business is no stranger to this, either, as more and more businesses are keeping up with the growth of the technological industry, and learning how to adapt it into their company for improved productivity. Welcome back to another #TechTuesday, where we're going to teach you about a few services that will do just that!
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
If one thing is for certain, it is that running a business is not what it used to be. With the introduction of cloud computing, online advertising, search engine optimization, and a thousand other fancy ways of describing the benefits of the web, being a business owner has become a whole lot more complicated with the need to balance a strong presence both in the physical and technological world. However, with that change has come an immense load of new opportunities for both freelancers and small businesses, as it is now also more available than ever for everyone to take their idea and market it into something big, something amazing.
To be able to market, though, you have to be able to be productive. You have to know how to manage time, delegate responsibilities, and communicate effectively with your team whether big or small. In comes a few services we want to talk to you about today; Slack, Asana, and Ryver. These services offer a way to manage collaboration on your projects through the web, and a way to effectively communicate and work on tasks with co-workers in real time regardless of where you might be. How you work is still up to you, but here we can find the right applications for the job.
Slack: Where Work Happens
Coming up first on our list is Slack. Slack is a smart platform for collaboration that is available on everything from a Web Based application, to Windows and iOS, Android, and even Windows Phones. Slack is a communication platform primarily, which allows you to create channels for various different departments, projects, or work groups that can be assigned as public or private. All of these channels keep a history of your communications so that they can be tracked and reviewed down the line.
Slack also supports file sharing, with integrations into a vast number of services including Twitter, Google Drive, Dropbox, Facebook, and so much more. Since Slack has innate integration with most of your heavily used applications, you can Connect all the tools you use to Slack and avoid all that constant switching between apps. Set up your integration so that you get all your notifications directly within Slack—from support requests, code check-ins, and error logs to sales leads—all of them searchable in one central archive.
With the addition of the possibility for Direct Messaging to any employee on your list, and the ability to leave your desktop and pickup the conversation on any mobile device seamlessly, Slack makes it easy to stay in contact and up to date on any of your various projects.
Slack comes in three subscription models. The Free model includes a searchable message archive with up to 10,000 of your Team's most recent messages, 10 app or service integrations, two person voice and video calls, and 5 GB of total file storage for the team. For $6.67 a month, you can also step up to Slack Standard, which removes the limits on your message archives and service integrations, and adds guest access, priority support, custom user groups for teams or departments, group calls, 10GB of File Storage, and additional security features. Finally, Slack Plus comes in at $12.50 per user, per month and includes even more security features for authentication of users, Guaranteed uptime at all times, 24/7 Support with priority response, Active Directory syncrhonization, and 20GB of file storage.
Asana: Form Chaos to Clarity
Asana is a service that has been around since about 2008, backing it with almost 10 years worth of experience in its field, and advancement in its technologies. Companies such as Salesforce, TED, and Uber all use it as their core method for communication, and it is pretty easy to understand why. It was designed as an easy way for a business to track the results and progress of their employees.
With Asana, you get a similar set of communication features as Slack, however they take this a step further with the ability to create To-Do lists for ongoing projects, set reminds for deadlines, and send requests to other employees. Conversations can be turned into actionable tasks, which then can be broken down into brainstorming or progress tracking. Your inbox as a user of Asana also works to show you only the things most relevant that you want to see, rather than a flood of messages that are not as important to you. You can use custom fields to track everything important to you, whether its leads, bugs, or even job applications.
Asana has a long list of features that goes even beyond the key points we discussed here, too. The best part, is that the majority of the entire platform is entirely Free to use! You just need to sign up to get started! You can also subscribe to their premium service, which expands on many of the services offered such as Tema Members, high level work views, complex workflows, and security for $8.33 per member per month.
Ryver: Goodbye to Email & Meetings
According to the team over at Ryver, we are using email for things that it just is not good at. Everyone spends up to 60% of their day using email, and most of that time is spent doing things it wasn't meant to -- Team Communication being the most prevalent. Ryver has the aim of taking all of that communication and bringing it together into one place, accessible from all devices.
Ryver is an entirely, no strings attached, free offering on this list. Built as a communication platform first, it functions actually very similar to our first offering on this list, Slack. However, Ryver has no limitations. Unlimited users, guests, teams, chats, posts, searches, and data are all offered by Ryver with its price of $0 USD. Ryver also supports native applications for iOS, Andorid, Mac, and Windows. There are some interesting filters, too. You can control who sees the things you say and post in the app, and obviously enough, join the teams that are most relevant to you. All company posts are located within a Facebook-style newsfeed, and you can mark posts to come back to them later on.
So what makes this any different than Slack, you might ask? Why should you choose Slack at all? Ryver is a newer service for one, but that does not discredit it in the least. For the age of the application, it has advanced in leaps and bounds in its time. The main drawback, is that it does not support the innate social media and work application integration that Slack does, making some forms of file sharing and archiving a bit less feature fulfilled here. Otherwise, Ryver has no other strings to it. It is entirely free, with a potential subscription model being released, but not for a forseeable future as of now.
Let's Work Together
These services are all primarily communication platforms, and that is the main draw to them. It takes away the worry of being able to get in touch with employees to get an update on the status of any current jobs. You can keep a track of the live progression of all of your projects, as well as the brainstorming and thoughts going into new ones. You can reach out to any of your employees directly, and speak with them or pull them into meetings. You can keep entire archives to see the progression of a project, and reference back to them in the future to see what steps were taken where.
Of course, there are a great deal of services out there that have similar feature sets, and perhaps even more than those we offered here! Explore for yourself, maybe you can find something even better than what we discussed today!