How does your team collaborate? To work on a presentation, for example, you’ll probably use a file-sharing app, and the team will communicate over email. If you want to get all “real time” about it, you might pop open an IM tool for team messaging. Someone might even suggest a screen sharing session. But that’s a lot of apps. A lot of jumping around. And a lot of places to keep track of—or worse, to lose track of—your team’s best ideas.
Project teamwork shouldn’t mean constantly moving between tools. Your file sharing, task tracking, screen sharing, calendar syncing, and team messaging should be woven into one platform. That’s why we developed RingCentral Glip.
"It’s Glip tasks and conversations for us all day, especially because the work is so deadline driven. It’s really, really tough to get stuff in on time. We wouldn’t be able to do it if we didn’t have a central place where we can see everything on a calendar."
Editor-in-Chief of Bullet Music
"I always tell people, when they ask me how I run my business and stay so efficient, that it all starts with Glip. It’s my best tool — it’s my ninja weapon."
CEO of SEA Media
"All our teams have very specialized tasks, but they all have to work together. Glip is probably the number-one way they communicate."
VP of Strategic Relations at Travelers Haven
What the right team messaging tool can do for you
Team messaging should make your team more efficient and productive.
Imagine you and your team have a complex project to complete, like building a set of sales materials to support a new product launch. Let’s also assume you have access to all of the productivity apps and tools your team could possibly need to get the job done: cloud file sharing, project management software, a shared team calendar, etc. But then what happens after you kick off the project and everyone goes off to work on their own tasks? Your team will need to communicate. Often, questions, requests, suggestions, concerns, and may be even great ideas will come up all day, every day, across you team.
Which brings us to the problem so many teams face today: Where will all of this important team messaging and communication take place? Where will it be kept so that anyone on the team will easily be able to find it later? Most companies and professionals use stand-alone tools for team messaging, like instant messaging programs and, of course, email. But there are some big drawbacks to this approach:
So yet another reason not to run your team messaging through a separate communication tool, and why it’s especially risky to use an instant messaging program, is that you’re less likely to generate a permanent record of all of your teammates’ great thoughts and ideas.
Team messaging through email will clutter up your inbox.
The other problem with using email for team messaging is that pretty soon those messages will fill up your inbox and crowd out your other important emails.
You probably work on more than one project at a time, and we’d bet you treat your email as a primary channel for all of your work-related messages (not to mention a few personal ones). This is why when you and your team get rolling on a big project, one that’s going to generate a zillion team messages, you don’t want all of those communications clogging up your email. If they do, you might not see other important stuff.
Email is yet another place you’ll need to check all the time for team updates.
Let’s go back to that hypothetical sales campaign your team is working on, where you’re all helping to develop new tools for your product launch.
That’s a big undertaking, with lots of moving parts. And that means you’re going to be getting frequent updates from your team. If those updates are all coming in to your email inbox, you’ll need to be checking and rechecking email constantly to make sure you’re up to date on the team’s progress, in addition to reviewing the shared calendar (wherever that’s kept), your task-tracking app (wherever that’s kept), and any other project management tools your team is using.
Instant messaging messages can get lost.
When you open your instant messaging program and start a chat with a colleague, you probably aren’t thinking of saving and storing that message thread. Most IM programs allow you to do this, it’s called IM logging, but very few users take advantage of it. Which means that if you’re messaging with your team on IM and someone comes up with a brilliant idea, there’s a good chance that idea won’t be captured permanently because nobody will save a record of the entire chat thread.
Now let’s look at this issue the other way: How will your team benefit if you can weave your team messaging capability directly into your other collaboration tools rather than having to jump in and out of several of them many times a day?
Have you ever searched your computer for a file, or a link, or an image—one you really needed—but couldn’t find it?
You knew it was on your computer somewhere, but you couldn’t remember if it was on your hard drive, in an old email someone sent you, or maybe in one of your cloud storage apps.
This happens after team projects all the time. Because the team is constantly coming up with ideas, sending each other helpful materials, and generating new content while they’re all in project mode, everything is flying all over the place at a rapid pace. Some ends up in the cloud, some in your email archives, some maybe even in text messages on your phone.
And then, when the project is over and everyone on the team is off doing different things, you need something a teammate managed to dig up during the project, and you have no idea where it is.
But what if you knew exactly where it was the instant you realized you needed it, because everything your team contributed to the entire project was stored in the same place? How much time would that save you?
Of course, this is only one way you and your team can save time with an all-in-one team messaging and collaboration platform like Glip. You’ll also save massive amounts of time by not having to constantly jump from one collaboration app to another, and enter the same information in more than one tool. Such needless extra steps often take just a few minutes at a time, so they’re easy not even to notice. But they add up.
If you’re using the different-tool-for-every-part-of-the-project approach, and you complete a task—let’s say drafting a short document—well, now you’ve got some work to do. You’ll have to upload the document to your team’s file-sharing folder. Then you’ll have to go into your shared calendar and make a note that you’ve completed the draft. Then you’ll have to pop open your team’s project management tool and update your status from “in progress” to “submitted for review.” And then you’ll probably also go to your email and craft a message to the teammates who need to review the document and let them know it’s ready.
But with an all-in-one team messaging and collaboration app like Glip, you can get all of that done—attach your file, give the team permission to edit or annotate, update the tracking tool and calendar, shoot your team a message—in the same place.
Your team will benefit from centralization.
The most obvious advantage of pulling together as much of your team’s collaboration as possible into a single platform is that all of the information you’ll need at any given moment will be in one place.
Instead of using one tool to review the team’s calendar, another to upload a file or make notes on a shared document, another to monitor a colleague’s progress on a specific task, and still another to send a quick note to your team, you should be able to manage this entire collaboration effort using a single tool.
And this is why we built Glip.
Let’s say it’s been a few months since your team built that set of awesome sales-enablement materials for your launch. Your team was using Glip to collaborate, so the entire project—every file attached, every team messaging note sent, every helpful link pasted in, every subtask tracked, and a record of every teammate involved—is all stored under “Product Launch Sales Tools.”
(By the way, one of the benefits of using Glip for your team messaging and collaboration is that even the free version gives you an unlimited number of file attachments, an unlimited amount of team messaging chats, and the ability to invite as many colleagues to the platform as you’d like.)
Now you’re helping out with a similar project, and you remember one of your teammates on the earlier “Sales Tools” project found a great industry report as background information.
You could really use that report now, and you’re in luck. Because your teammate attached the document to the Glip project, you’ll be able to find it in seconds by popping that project open. You can search for it by the file’s name, the project it was associated with, the name of the teammate who attached it, or by date.
Who says team messaging needs a separate app?
Team messaging should be woven seamlessly into your team’s collaboration, which itself should be as unified as possible.
Think of a typical team today working on a large and complex initiative. Maybe the team is scattered across several geographical locations, meaning online collaboration is a must. Chances are they use many different tools for team messaging and collaboration. They use a calendar app to schedule meetings and record upcoming milestones related to the project. They use project management software to assign tasks, subtasks, and deadlines. They create a team folder in the cloud (or on their company’s internal network) to upload and work on files. They might use a screen sharing app for some of their conference calls. And they almost certainly use everyone’s default communication tools, email, and IM for most of their team messaging.
What an inefficient way to tackle a team project. In an ideal world (or today, if your team uses the free team messaging app from Glip), all of these collaboration features will live in a single environment so everyone on the team always has just one place to visit online for everything related to the project.
But as inefficient as it is to manage a team project across so many different tools and apps, we believe the most inefficient part of this strategy is to use separate communication tools like email for team communication.
That’s because just about everything that happens on a team project triggers a communication between at least two team members. And by keeping all of those communications in different teammates’ email and IM accounts, the team will always miss out on insights, ideas, and knowledge contained in these decentralized (and possibly even deleted) messages.
This is why collaboration tools are developed in the first place.
The whole point of building software tools and apps for collaboration has been to help teams, particularly geographically dispersed teams, reduce the friction of working together to get things done. Part of that friction results from the difficulties in enabling many people to communicate and share information quickly and inexpensively across great distances.
But thanks to the internet, affordable telecommunication services, internet-connected mobile devices, and cloud apps, teams today can reduce a lot of that friction and work smoothly and seamlessly on projects in real time, no matter the location of individual team members.
So why would a team want to add so many needless steps to its collaboration by using a different tool for every part of its work? Why not just merge all of these project tools into a single, unified platform for team messaging and collaboration?
The answer is probably that, until recently, such an all-in-one collaboration platform didn’t exist. And even today, when such a solution is available—and free!—few professionals know about it.
Think about how often important team messages fly back and forth on a project:
A member of the team views the task-tracking tool and wants to request an extension on a deadline for one of his tasks, so he emails or text messages the project lead.
A team member comes across an interesting stat that could benefit the project, so she emails it to a few of her teammates.
The team leader has an interesting idea about the project, and he instant messages that idea to a colleague who replies with an equally intriguing idea.
All of this information is important to the team, but where is all this information being stored? If it’s spread across a bunch of team member’s email archives, the answer might as well be nowhere.
This is just one of many reasons that team messaging should not be a stand-alone element of your project collaboration; it should be woven directly into the collaboration environment itself. And that collaboration environment itself should be as unified as you can make it so your team doesn’t have to keep bouncing between apps and platforms to get their work done.
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