SimpleCrew solves a very particular communication issue for groups and teams – namely, internal photo sharing for businesses.
Whenever your group needs to take and share photos internally – whether for documenting work, accountability, project management, or communication – SimpleCrew makes that sharing process easy, efficient, and painless.
But whenever you’re working with teams, broader communication is important. Whether through email, chat, or phone – other tools can help you keep in touch with your team, so you can work together more effectively.
Here’s a few tools we recommend that will fit nicely alongside SimpleCrew as you and your team do your thing:
1. HipChat (Group Chat)
HipChat is a group chat application for teams.
Remember those old AOL chatrooms back in the day? A/S/L?
HipChat’s kind of like that – it gives your team a common room to chat in.
With group chat, you’ll be able to have a single, central communication channel to communicate things like project goals, ask questions, have general chit-chat, etc…
If, like most street teams, your team is somewhat loosely associated and doesn’t meet in person very often, it can be helpful to have a central chat like HipChat to bring everyone together and give everyone a chance to connect and interact.
One killer thing about HipChat is that it’s cross-platform. Meaning you can download HipChat apps on iPhone, Android, Mac, Windows, and you can even use it from the browser.
Other features of HipChat include file-sharing, the ability to go 1:1 chat with anyone else in the group, search history, and even video chat and screen sharing as a premium feature ($2/mo per user).
The only thing I don’t like about HipChat is that you can’t join multiple groups with one email address. Meaning if you’re a part of multiple teams using HipChat, you have to use different email addresses for each group.
That’s kind of a pain in the ass for folks like me (and, most likely, you) who juggle multiple projects.
Other than the premium video and screen-sharing features, HipChat is free for unlimited users. Check it out at HipChat.com
- Slack – Very close HipChat competitor. More functions/features and more polished design. A little more complex UI. Free for unlimited users, premium features additional monthly.
- Flowdock – Free for up to 5 people, $3/mo/user after
- Check out this comparison chart of HipChat vs Slack vs Flowdock
- CampFire – 37Signal’s group chat offering. Plans start at $12/mo for up to 12 chatters.
2. Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups are an awesome, free central communication channel for your team.
First, everyone’s already on Facebook and checking it regularly, so the on-boarding process is painless. Just enter everyone’s names and they’ll be on board.
You can use the group to coordinate your team, share files/photos/videos, start discussions, and engage your team.
And because of the social aspect, you can give your team a chance to interact with each other and connect on a social level if they don’t all already know each other already.
We see a lot of SimpleCrew customers using Facebook Groups as a great free compliment to SimpleCrew, so it might be something your team can implement as well.
To create a group, go to Facebook.com/groups and click the “Create Group” button.
3. Google Groups
The last tool I wanted to share was actually what inspired this post. I set up a private Google Group recently for some business contacts and realized it would be a perfect tool for street team communication.
If you’re not familiar, Google Groups (https://groups.google.com/) are kind of like a hybrid between an email list and a forum.
In fact, I have mine set up to do both.
Basically, when you create a Google Group and invite a bunch of people, Google Groups sets up a group email address.
When anyone in the group emails that address, it goes out to everyone else in the group, creating an email thread that people can reply to and see everyone’s responses.
In that way, it’s like a group email list.
The group also accessible as a message board-style interface (pictured above). You can access the groups message board on the Google Groups site, or even embed it as an iframe on a page of your website if you like.
If you access the group from the message board and create new topics or respond to existing topics through the board, your team will receive updates the same way they received email responses, so it’s a pretty seamless experience.
So there you go.
Wanted to share the quick run-down of group chat and communication tools I thought might help you guys work together alongside SimpleCrew.
Do you have any other project management tools in your arsenal? Or any questions about the tools I listed above? If so, drop a line in the comments and let me know.