The Best Apps To Improve Collaboration: Part 1

With apps increasing productivity by 40% or more, it comes as no surprise that businesses everywhere are increasingly adopting enterprise apps into their workflows.

One of the areas where enterprise apps are making a great difference is in enabling collaboration. Mobile collaboration tools allow users at disparate locations to work together on projects and tasks without geographical distance getting in the way. This is becoming increasingly important with the rise of remote working and flexible work hours.

Another reason is that smartphones and tablets are perceived as much handier gadgets to pass around in meetings and to be used by several users simultaneously.

There are now a number of great apps available on the market that can help support team collaboration both remotely and when in the office.

Here is a list of the mobile collaboration apps for Android and iOS that we love at Fliplet:

File sharing

Dropbox

  • iOS and Android
  • Free (2GB) and Premium (between $9.99-$99 per month from 50GB)

With over 300 millions users, Dropbox is certainly one of the most popular apps in the world for file-sharing, but what many people don’t know is that it is also a great tool for collaborating on documents.

With Dropbox you can create folders to share files and designate the specific people that you wish to be able to access each folder. Shared folders will appear on each collaborator’s account whereas private ones will only appear in your own account.

Shared folders can be accessed by every team member, who can download, edit and re-upload files, sending notifications to all other members to make them aware that the specific file has been updated. Updates automatically sync across devices and in the cloud.

Files can also be assigned to team members and effectively act as ‘tasks’, and you can keep up to date with their progress.

dropbox.com

dropbox.com

Document collaboration

Evernote Business

Popular note-taking app Evernote can also be used for collaboration between users within a company by allowing them to co-edit “Business Notebooks”.

With Evernote Business, you can create notebooks to be shared with colleagues, designate which users can view and edit each notebook and receive notifications to keep up-to-date with edits and updates.

Evernote Business also includes Work Chats, allowing users to chat live while they collaborate on a notebook or note.

Evernote Business integrates with your existing Evernote account, granting you access to Evernote Premium (2 GB of space per month plus an extra 2 GB to share in Business Notebooks).

evernote.com

evernote.com

Google Docs, Sheets and Slides

  • iOS and Android
  • $5/user/month in combination with all other Google’s “Apps for Work”

Google Docs is possibly the business favorite for collaborating on specific documents. Its strength lies in the ability for users to work on the same documents at the same time, so that updates are instantly syncronised across devices and accounts. Google Docs includes regular documents (Docs), spreadsheets (Sheets) and presentations (Slides).

Another great feature of Google Docs is that all edits are instantly saved, and so you never lose your work if your computer shuts down. One of the features we really like is that you can access Google Docs either in a browser, or via a mobile app, enabling easy shifts across devices.

Documents can also be exported into a variety of formats for use offline.

google.com/docs

google.com/docs

Calendar

Google Calendar

  • iOS and Android
  • $5/user/month in combination with all other Google’s “Apps for Work”

Google Calendar is a very popular calendar tool, and rightly so. Part of the Google for Work suite of apps, it allows teams to create a shared calendar so that they can keep up-to-date with each other’s availability, with meetings and with important dates.

Google Calendar has an intuitive interface and integrates with all other Google apps.

Users can create private events or public ones, to keep on their own calendar or share with the communal work calendar. Users can also invite other users to events via their email address, and when accepted, events automatically appear on their personal calendars.

If the other users don’t use Google Calendars, however, they will still receive the invitation via email to manually add to their own calendars.

Another feature is the ability to edit events by adding times, location and other relevant information.

google.com/calendar

google.com/calendar

Internal communications

Yammer

Yammer is an internal social network for the workplace – like Facebook but for your work colleagues. On Yammer you can post, “like” and comment on other users’ posts.

Yammer has an intuitive interface that most of us are familiar with thanks to its similarities to Facebook. But Yammer is much more than that; it supports collaboration by allowing users to post project updates, share files and documents and comment on other users’ posts to solve problems or add relevant information.

yammer.com

yammer.com

Slack

Slack is an alternative internal communications tool that is very different from Yammer; instead of a social network, it is designed as a chat room.

Slack allows you to create several channels to divide your team according to the departments or projects; this ensures that users are only getting the information that is relevant to them.

The desktop client also sends non-disruptive notifications, so that users are always aware of new posts and they keep on top of their work.

Slack is a great tool to use as an alternative to email for internal communications, and is particularly effective when working remotely, or for users wishing to get a head start on work while commuting.

slack.com

slack.com

Brainstorming

MindMeister

  • iOS and Android
  • Free and Premium (from $36/6 months)

MindMeister is a collaboration tool for mind mapping and brainstorming.

With an intuitive easy-to-use design, MindMeister allows users to collaborate on creating a mind map. Users can then discuss over live chat and make changes in real time.

Mind maps can be accessed both online and offline and MindMeister syncs with Evernote, Dropbox and Drive.

mindmeister.com

mindmeister.com

Popplet

Popplet is a very simple brainstorming tool that is easy to use and share.

It allows you to upload all kinds of information onto a map, such as text, videos, images, and even to draw on a canvas.

Popplet can connect to multiple devices, enabling several users to access it simultaneously. Brainstorms can also be assigned tags and categories, making it easy for users to find them.

Popplet also offers great sharing options, such as embeds for websites.

popplet.com

popplet.com

Does your team use any of these apps? If so, do you find them useful? Are there any we should add to the list?

Read part 2 of our list of the best mobile collaboration apps