Communicating with your team can be a pain in the ass. Keeping track of who said what and when can be a rabbit hole of wasted time and energy. If you work remotely with a team then developing efficient habits with your communications is crucial.
Obviously, using email is the most popular form of communication between teams but is it always the best option?
Well, no. For high-touch communication, there is a multitude of other options out there that won’t flood your inbox or leave you scratching your head and wondering where that invoice from last week went.
With features like full chat history and audio/video calls becoming a standard for a lot of tools, you may find that you never send another email again. Ever. Maybe.
Alternative 1 – Skype
If you prefer to stay in contact with your team using audio and video chat then Skype is the tool to use. With full conference calling capabilities you can chat to your entire team at once (up to a maximum of 25 people). Skype also features full chat messaging, with file transfer capabilities and a chat history so you can recover any information that you need.
Skype is perfect for those team meetings and for communicating long distance for free as opposed to forking out for hefty call charges, (does anyone actually do that anymore?).
Alternative 2 – Cell Phone
With the wealth of apps available to smartphone users, you may find that mobile technology is the best way to stay in touch with your team whilst on the go. This is of course especially useful if you are regularly on the move and like to keep your communications portable. Using email on a phone can be clunky at times and sometimes a more direct option is preferable.
A popular reason for using an iPhone is the portable instant messaging feature. For example, the iPhone allows you to communicate for free with other iPhone users provided you have an internet connection using iMessages. Lest we forget of course, you can also make calls on a cell phone which is useful if the team members are in the same country and you can always use the Skype mobile app which allows you to communicate with anyone in the world over an internet connection.
Another option for cross-platform mobile users is WhatsApp messenger. This allows you to instant message people all over the world regardless of their smartphone platform. You can also send video, audio and images whilst on the go which obviously has its benefits to the traveling entrepreneur and CEO.
Alternative 3 – Project management tools
Project management tools are becoming more and more popular in the tech community and for a very good reason. They allow you to manage everything you need for one project in an easy to use dashboard. You can see all the relevant updates and information you need straight away and can even communicate directly with your team.
A shining example of a project management tool is Basecamp by the guys over at 37 Signals.
“With an entire project on one page, nothing gets lost and your team always knows where things are.” – Basecamp
With the ability to hold discussions, make decisions and give feedback you can easily keep track of your team and help guide them in the right direction. You can create to-do lists, upload files, store idea concepts and draft documents for later use. Everything is there on that dashboard that you will ever need. No more looking for lost files or looking for that needle of an email in a haystack of information. The simplicity is key to efficiency and project management tools are the perfect way to simplify not only your communication but your entire business.
So is email dead? Definitely not. Nothing can match the wide user base that email has and this means that it will live on for many years to come.
Take a look at this post for more alternatives to email: 3 More Alternatives to Email