Our Favorite Communication Apps
Whether it is in athletics, relationships, or the workplace, nothing is more important to success than communication. And during the pandemic, our ability to do so has been challenged and, at times obstructed. But we have also witnessed incredible innovation that allows employees to coordinate, produce, and communicate from wherever they are. Sure, we are fortunate to live in a golden age of technology and communication with Wi-Fi, the cloud, and 5G connectivity, but not all options are created equally. Below, we want to highlight some of our favorite cloud-based programs; some you may not have heard of, others you may not have fully optimized but each can be a powerful tool that allows your company to pivot rapidly, communicate effectively, and create transparency when collaborating within and across departments.
Airtable: This app is Excel on steroids! Through Airtable you can construct basic and complex data tables for project management, sales pipelines, budgets, and everything in between. The simple build-out also provides you with multiple data points to gather, track, and display within table columns. With this data, you can create multiple views (calendar, gantt, kanaban) and share as much (or as little) as you want with anyone else in the company, or with customers. Another great feature is the ability to integrate almost any other software (including those listed below).
Slack: Communicating to individuals, large groups, or teams? Slack has you covered! This is a simple, smooth, and easy to organize platform that works perfectly for task-oriented communication. Slack is a combination between text messaging, email, and social media where you can send a group message, tag an individual, and organize conversations around hashtags. The mobile app is simple and easy to use and is a great way to separate social and work related communications.
Microsoft Teams: This tool allows you to message, create project teams, video-chat, and schedule meetings on your calendar all on a single platform. This is Microsoft’s do-it-all app, and, as far as communication goes, it really can. If you need a program with similar features to Slack, but with the added bonus of video calling and easy access to your personal calendar, Teams has you covered.
G-Suites: This is a great multi-app platform that is simple, easy to use, and has more free tools available than any of the other apps mentioned above. The only downside is that each app runs individually, so you will need to be ready to have more than one screen open. A recent update has the added feature of seeing today’s schedule while you look through your Gmail, but you are better off having the calendar opened in a new window if you need to schedule something. But, as mentioned, other tools (such as Google Translate) may come in handier than you expect, whether you are brokering international deals, or working with an employee who is a second language learner, tools such as this can help you communicate, coordinate, and connect in valuable ways.
This is just the tip of the tech iceberg when it comes to office communications, but the key is always finding what works for you. It may end up being a single platform, it might be two or three, but you need to know what works best for you.