Photo showing a team of people at work on a table with their computers and notebooks.
Busy teams can’t rely solely on messaging and email to keep track of what’s getting done (Photo: Canva)

You need a reliable and easy way to share documents and instructions with your team. But you’re not quite ready for a big Learning Management System or teamwork system quite yet. What can you use? 

When it comes to working with your team, your contractors or even just your virtual assistant, working out things like how to collaborate on a spreadsheet or how to communicate things that need to be done can be a bit of a nightmare when it comes to emails and Messenger chat. Thankfully there are some great and free tools that make it easier for you. 

Google’s free tools for collaboration

If you’ve got a Gmail account, you have access to Google’s excellent collaborative tools called Docs, Sheets and Slides. They are the same as Office 365’s Word, Excel and Powerpoint. The big difference here is that these have been built from the ground up to be easily shared and for collaboration on these documents to be super easy with your team. If two or more of your team are in a spreadsheet and updating it at the same time, you can actually see what they are doing as they are doing it. This way you’re not working over the top of each other, and you’re seeing a real-time version of the spreadsheet, document or slide. This makes it great for getting real-time editing, proofreading and sharing the process of tidying up documents, proposals and presentations before they are released out in the public or to clients. 

Trello – To Do, Doing & Done 

A free tool called Trello acts as a great little pinboard. You can create a card that contains instructions about something that needs to be done and put it in a column called To Do. Then when you or someone else is starting to work on it, they drag it over to the Doing column. Finally, when it’s done, they drag it across to Done. And all the while they can leave notes, update status, add and tick off checklists and even load up files and attachments to the card so that everything you need to know about that piece of work is right there where everyone working on it can get it. It’s free to start, and you get a lot of power as a free user. As you grow up in your business or as you need more powerful integrations, you can upgrade your account to something higher and get more features. Whatever you choose it’s going to be better than trying to manage your work, your social posts, your household chores or almost anything, than just sending emails and messages.