Sunday, July 21, 2013

Humber PR Pro Tip: Teamwork Tools

If you ask any Humber PR grad what (one of) the biggest challenges to overcome was, a common answer will be the group work. The amount of group work you do can actually be very overwhelming, especially if you’re used to more independent study.

Fortunately there are tools available that help make working in groups manageable. I’ll list a few of the big ones that we use at #HumberPR.

1.     Google Docs
Google has since changed the name to “Google Drive” but the premise is the same. The strength in Google Docs is it allows you and your team to view and edit the same document in real-time, simultaneously. My biggest complaint is its formatting. Too many times I have been frustrated with transferring the content over to Word only to have the structure completely warp into a disaster, requiring additional hours to just edit the format. Otherwise it’s great for keeping everyone in the loop and making sure the content is 100% finalized. It’s also fun to see which colour everyone’s cursor turns out to be... 

2.     Dropbox
This is my favourite tool to use because it’s a great way to share your documents with your whole team. The downside is you can’t have the same document opened multiple times like Google Docs, because any edits create copies. This is best used as an archive for many documents and resources.

3.     Doodle Poll
This tool allows a large number of people to narrow a date that is best for the majority. It selects the majority rule and simplifies the “let’s get together” process.

4.      Facebook Groups
This is hands down the best way to communicate as a class. Good idea to set it as private so only your immediate class can have access. This will require everyone to have a Facbeook Profile, but in 2013 who doesn’t already? Great place to post pictures, jokes, questions or related resources.

5.     Facebook Messaging
The competitor to email, this instant messaging tool allows you to coordinate with groups in a very fast-paced manner. Gone are the days when you want to formalize a group email, now you just want to shoot off a message to the team and get right down to business. Facebook Message allows you to title your topic to help you stay organized (because most likely you will be in five different groups discussing five different projects, so having a title per conversation is helpful).

These are few of the main tools we use, but feel free to introduce a game changer that will help you manage your group work more efficiently.

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