As a freelancer writer, I spend my days collaborating.
I work on teams with marketers, advertisers, public relations professionals, editorial staffs and other writers. Since we are spread across the country (sometimes globe!), it’s not always possible to hang out in an office together and make things happen.
So, we join forces, hash out ideas and make progress by using cloud-based software that we access from our individual PCs and digital devices.
We’re together on screen.
And, there are tons of options out there. So, I decided to look to my peers to learn about their favorite collaboration tools and software. Here’s what they had to say!
Question: What is your favorite collaboration tool or software to make working online with others a smooth process, and why?
“I love to use Trello for a lot of things, but one of my favorite uses for it is a collaborative to-do list. I have created a project template that I use to help walk my clients through the step-by-step process, and notify them on progress at different steps in the project. It helps me keep track of where everything is, and helps show them where we are in the overall process.”
~ Alex Standiford, Web Designer
“A tool I’ve found incredibly helpful is a new app called Upitch — it’s available in the App Store and online. It’s an app where PR pros (or brands, companies, and entrepreneurs) can easily connect with journalists. Publicists upload “micro-pitches” (4oo characters or less) along with images, links, etc. and journalists log on to swipe through the pitches.
The journalists can filter the pitches by location and subject, so they’re only seeing the pitches relevant to their beat. It’s an awesome tool on both ends, as it allows publicists to get their pitch seen, and allows journalists to avoid a cluttered inbox full of irrelevant pitches. Once a journalist “swipes right” on a pitch, the publicist and journalist are connected in an in-app chat. Using UPitch has led to some great connections for me, and has made communicating with journalists very easy.”
~ Nicole, Full Scale Media
“At Betwext I love to use a chrome extension called Awesome Screenshot. It’s a super easy way to capture the visible part of a webpage, a particular part of a web page, or even the whole enchilada, comments and all! I use it to share ideas and thoughts with co-workers. It’s a great way to archive data quickly. Some members of my team use it to archive supporting websites (just so they don’t change or disappear). And, on more than one occasion, I’ve used it to grab a long, content heavy, webpage so I can read it later. Two great things about this little piece of software: after you grab a screen shot, it gives you the option to add annotations and comments, and it’s free! ”
~ Brian Mikes, Betwext
“For idea generation in small teams, tools such as Idea Flip and Stormboard help to visualise ideas and suggestions in an easy-to-read format. There also seems to have been an evolution in recent years from shared documents such as Google Documents to more bespoke project management tools like Basecamp or Asana.
But my favorite out of all of these would have to be Asana. The tool itself enables you to set up campaigns and clearly define campaign aims, goals and also the various ongoing projects. Allocating tasks and deadlines are easy to set up and it is constantly developing from feedback, with new hacks and features. It isn’t solely beneficial for internal use between teams, but also externally with suppliers and clients too.”
~ Mark Fullilove, Content & Online PR Project Manager at digital marketing agency Search Laboratory
“One such tool I can think of is Yammer – an enterprise social network. We web producers need a quick way to reach out to each other to share stories, information, photos, graphics and video files. This private social network of content editors and producers is the way we do that. I keep the Yammer “timeline” open in a web browser page so I can see what content my counterparts need and are offering. The tool is intuitive to use. I don’t LOVE it or anything, but it serves its purpose.”
~ Anonymous Web and Social Media Content Producer at a network television station
“I’ve been guest blogging for a while and all I need is usually just email and Skype to collaborate with webmasters and editors. I totally love Buzzstream as it helps me to track my relationship with different people I interact with, see how my emails perform and conduct effective outreach campaigns.”
~Antonio Tooley, Freelance Writer and Marketing Specialist at Resumesplanet
“I like the Skyword platform and using WordPress. Both are easy for data entry and the Skyword platform makes the editing process fairly simple. WordPress allows multiple site writers to submit their articles for editing and posting purposes by the site’s editorial team.”
~Steve Auger, Freelance Writer
And what about me? My personal favorite is Google Drive’s Google Docs. I use this free program to view editorial calendars, read guidelines and submit drafts. I personally enjoy the comments feature to make in-line editing less visually messy and the text formatting (bold, bullet points, etc.) is simple to use. Google Docs sure beats downloading email attachments and renaming them edit1, edit2, edit3 after each draft!
Do you have a tool or software you’d like to add to the list? Comment below!
Do you need a reliable writer on your team? I collaborate with marketing and advertising agencies to create content for blog posts, web pages, social media and newsletters. Learn how I can help your clients HERE.