In part one of this guide we discussed some starting-out questions to help narrow down which collaboration tools can best fit your needs. The first downloadable guide focused on larger scale solutions that can even act as an office replacement – integrating email, calendars, network folders, and even CRM.
The second part of our Collaboration Tools Download Guide highlights some solutions that are more specific to sharing and collaborating on documents and files. For example:
- If your employees use Microsoft Office and rely heavily on the features within Word, Excel and PowerPoint, then Office Live might be a good fit, since you can access shared files from right within the desktop application, just like accessing a shared in-house network drive.
- If keeping track of redlines and revisions from many editors of one document is important, Textflow makes that surprisingly easy to manage.
- When you need a custom branded sharing site for internal or external file sharing, consider Box.net or Drop.io. Both will allow you to customize your workspace/interface with logos and even a custom URL.
- For quick online edits of MS Office documents, Box.net allows editing within your browser window.
- Mobile file access is available from any web-enabled mobile device through Box.net, Drop.io and Egnyte.
- Drop.io offers additional security with the option to add SSL to your site for an additional ($4.99) monthly fee.
I always find that just reading about a new tool or application is never enough to decide whether it will work for me; I need that hands-on trial because there are always questions/features/uses that don’t come up until I’m actually trying it out. All of these tools offer a free account or trial period and it’s definitely worth giving one or more a quick spin to see if it works for you.
Laura Leites, Assistant Editor, Smallbiztechnology.com