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5 Tools for Online Business Communication


1
Project Management and Collaboration Tools
Online collaboration
Online collaboration
Matjaz Boncina, iStockphoto

There are several popular subscription Web services for tracking projects, posting updates, assigning tasks, sharing files and managing a mobile workforce. Some of the best-known are Basecamp, @Task, WorkZone and ProjectSpaces.

Here are some of the most common features of these online project management and collaboration tools:

  • No requirements for special software, just a Web browser and Internet connection
  • Allow employees, managers and executives to clearly track the progress of projects, seeing which ones are completed, on track or running behind schedule
  • Allow managers to easily assign different tasks to different team members and for team members to report back on their progress
  • Everyone has access to a group calendar with important dates and deadlines
  • Team members receive e-mail or RSS (Really Simple Syndication) alerts when changes or comments are made on their project
  • Users can easily share documents of any file type and collaborate on changes
  • Managers and executives can print reports on employee productivity, on-time project completion rates, et cetera
  • Freelance and contract employees can track how many hours they've worked on a given project
  • Several of these programs allow you to update project status from a mobile device like a Web-enabled PDA or cell phone
  • Some programs can plug into other popular business management Web services like Oracle, SAP, PeopleSoft and Salesforce.com