Collaborating with your clients or colleagues across town, across the country, or around the world, like they’re still in the same building.
Are you always ready to collaborate at the same time as everyone else? I’m not. It’s more likely that I’ll get my best ideas when I’m settling in for the night. Or my stroke of genius comes when I’m in the shower. It’s when our minds are relaxed. We have time to process everything we’ve been trying to take in. This feeling is one of my favorite benefits of working virtually. And it’s one we should take advantage of!
There are all kinds of helpful tools for adding your piece of the puzzle and sharing your ideas when they happen. And if I don’t note it down then, it may be lost forever.
I love collaborating in an online document. If you’ve ever uploaded, downloaded, updated, reuploaded the same doc, I know you’ve felt the same annoyance that I have. Then when someone beats you to the reupload and you are now working on separate document versions. It’s made me want to bang my head on the desk a time or two. But I haven’t had this happen for over a decade.
It is so great seeing a document come alive with other people’s comments and suggestions. It’s also great never having to upload and download documents. When the comments I need to make come to me, I can post a comment or a suggestion in the document and it’ll be there waiting for my client or colleague to dive into when they are ready. It doesn’t matter what calls or appointments we have, everyone else can still contribute. My priority is to hear everyone’s thoughts, to hear as many ideas as possible. For there, we can decide which align best with our goals.
Google Docs is my favorite when it comes to living documents, but I should say Google Drive where you can have documents, spreadsheets, presentations, flowcharts, and so much more.
How do you know what to start a living document about though? It probably stems from a task list or project management tool. It’s important to have a living and breathing project management tool or task list. I’ve used Asana for years. Not only can you share ideas on tasks to meet your goals but you can nest tasks within tasks, and it’s ongoing. Talk about layers! It’s very helpful to be able to assign tasks to someone, add images, and comment on other’s images.
Trello is another fun one when it comes to managing a project. It’s much more visual. With Trello, you can also comment and post images to share on tasks, but here you’re moving the task card between columns. In many Trello projects, you’ll find columns named “done”, or “in progress”, maybe a column for next. I’ve always found it helpful to have a different ‘board’ for each project.
I know that I don’t get my best ideas right away. It takes time to settle the dust from everything we try to take in. Just like the thought that life is like an onion, so are many of my projects – they have to be taken layer by layer. In between each layer, there are a lot of moving pieces and they need their space. Or maybe LEGOs are a better example. Each layer is adding to it until everything comes together in the big picture. Give yourself the tools you need to collaborate when your best ideas are sparking!
I’d love to collaborate with you on your projects and goals! Schedule a call and let’s chat.