Systems We Use To Collaborate
The Free Tech to Successful Communication Between Collaborators
My fellow co-creator, Sheila Pai and I use free technology to communicate and bring our heart centered collaboration to the world. Curious to see what technology we use and how we setup our systems? First let me say that both Sheila and I run our own individual businesses. This means when we come together in our shared venture of An Artful Breath, it’s incredible important that we use our time efficiently and always enjoy the interaction that takes place between us. Now that you have that important context allow me to show you a day in the life of how we communicate.
Good Ol’e Email: Many people dislike the hectic nature that email can sometimes have. I find email a critical, underestimated tool with a bad rap for communicating. Sheila and I live in two different states and have many joyful obligations to our families, businesses and communities that makes our remaining time very precious. Email keeps that precious time in our own hands. We’re able to communicate at our own convenience and have a free searchable tool to keep us accountable and honest. If you find email too hectic a communicating tool then I would suggest a task manager that has communication features. Asana is a popular tool but my favorite is Wunderlist. If you do use email to communicate with your collaborators, then allow me to suggest the following good measures;
- Always use informational subject lines: The subject line is to inform the reader what the topic of the email is.
- Provide clear action steps and facts in each email: One well thought out email is better than 6 scattered thought emails.
- The fluffy stuff is always good: If you’re reading this blog, you’re most likely a heart centered entrepreneur so remember when sending an email your talking to a real life person. Treat that person as the beautiful, whole human they are….. Ask how their day is going, share something of your life and feelings. Keep the fluff brief and within your comfort zone but always remember to build and sustain the relationship first. That’s why we’re in business right? The beautiful relationships.
FREE and Forever Wondrous Google: Sheila and I use Google Docs, now known as Google Drive to create, edit and house all of our content. We share thoughts on each others content with their notes feature and stay organized by using different color fonts. We intuitively label and organize our documents but you may consider having set structures for naming files etc when you work with your collaborators. My favorite thing about Google Drive is the diversified file types. We can create a “word” doc to share content or create a spreadsheet to share calculations and calendars. Here are a few documents Sheila and I share. Perhaps they will inspire you for your next collaboration.
- Blog Post Ideas: Perfect for brainstorming
- Launch Plan: Where we discuss how to market our card deck
- Card Deck Planning: Where we keep our meeting notes
- An Artful Breath Card Deck Content: Where we write out the content that will go on the cards
- Collaboration: This is our agreement on responsibilities and monetary arrangements
Phone and Text: Like email, texting allows us to communicate at our convenience. I find we use text sparingly as to not abuse each others time. When we have phone meetings they are pre-scheduled and although not completely structured, we have a basic idea of what we’re going to talk about. If you desire more structure in your meetings then I would suggest emailing each other an agenda and taking minutes to share after the call.
That’s it! How simple, right? Collaborating doesn’t take fancy software systems or expensive conferencing hardware.
- Agree to what systems you will collectively use.
- Stay flexible, if the systems aren’t working for you, communicate that to your collaborator(s) and change them.
- Use your manners and remember you are working with a beautiful whole human.