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97 Tools to Help You to Successfully Collaborate With Others

Whether you’re on a project team, party-planning or seeking customers’ input to improve your product you have more chance of success with the right collaborative tools.

Often, the trouble is finding the best methods or tools when you need them. Here’s a shareable list to which you can add your favorites. It’s exciting and overwhelming to see the flood of inventive software, apps and more that pop up every day to help us.

Here are some of the tools and ways they can be used to accomplish more with others:

• Brainstorm and plan together, drawing your ideas on the wall. Turn any smooth surface into a “dry erase” place using IdeaPaint.

• Your team can stay on task and be accountable to each other using AtTask.

• Start a learning community where peers, fellow enthusiasts, employees, customers or fans teach each other, using Bloomfire.

• Enable all club or association members or business employees to participate in suggesting innovations and growing great ideas from fuzzy inceptions to solid, actionable projects, with Brainbank.

• Teammates can quickly and dynamically create and refine charts, allowing other users to be invited in to review, comment on, and update a diagram in a matter of minutes without having to go through the process of saving a copy of a file, attempting to email it, making sure the recipient has the same program, and waiting for a reply, using Creately.

• Find out what your employees really know about your business and thus crowdsource innovation, tapping the “wisdom of crowds” to improve what you sell and how you sell it, using Crowdcast.

• For crowdsourcing funding for creative projects try Kickstarter.

• Just as Cisco, with its popular I-Prize, involved BrightIdea and Spigit in crowdsourcing innovative ideas you can use a crowdsourcing tool to tap the wisdom of the crowd. That way you can efficiently filter out best ideas and recognize and reward those who submit them as Ireland did. Jive offers another robust approach to crowdsourcing.

• For your group, start a WordPress blog-like social network that enables everyone in your company, school, sports team or niche community to contribute ideas, using BuddyPress.

• Co-create maps for that you can share via your mobile phones, using CloudMade.

• In real-time, meet with colleagues around the world, using dimdim to participate in real-time meetings. You can collaborate by sharing their desktops, slides, and other materials with each other. Meeting participants can also chat and speak to each other, as well as broadcast themselves via webcams. Or up to ten people can meet for free online, and share screens and co-draw items using Mikogo.

• Spot a pothole or graffiti when out doing errands? Use CitySourced on your cell phone to report them to city hall for quick resolution. This is an opportunity for government to use technology to save money and improve accountability to those they govern, using CitySourced.

• Effortlessly group text your committee, team or group of close friends with GroupMe. It works on every phone.

• If several of you are planning an event, trip or project and want to easily share and track expenses, use WePay.

What other tools have helped you in collaborating?

Please add them to this list of 97 tools.

Then you might want to peruse this list of collaboration-related books and sites – and add your own favorites, of course, in the spirit of sharing and collaboration.

Categories: Co-Create, collaboration, Collective Intelligence, CrowdSource, Customer, Learning, Local, Peer2Peer.
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  1. Posted November 6, 2010 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    Kare, thank you for compiling and sharing your “collaboration tools” list.

    FYI, I’ve found the free Google Sites platform — — to be very useful for a variety of projects where I need to co-create content with teams of people that are geographically separated, but working together on a common-cause.

    cheers, David

  2. Posted November 6, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    David – I absolutely agree – it has a mix of tools, not just the google tools i included. Of course Cisco has a rapidly growing mix of tools that facilitate collaboration. from Webex to Umi. Your blog is helpful in keeping up with Cisco’s initiatives to help “us” accomplish greater things with others

  3. Posted November 16, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Kare, That’s a great list. I’m sure you have written elsewhere, I am a newbie to, that sharing knowledge, cultural shifts, and collaboration is facilitated by technology only. We humans must learn and adopt the knowhow. I am currently pulling together a blog post (one of my first) that breaks down collaboration into two distinct components; Relationships and Goals. The goal is to provide an overview of why we fail at either one hoping that we can learn that we are not in this thing called business alone and that it does take a tribegroupdept etc to be successful.

    I look forward to experiencing more of

  4. Posted November 26, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Cool one i loved it … i will be a regular visitor to this site … i found a place which shares my ideology 🙂

  5. Posted December 1, 2010 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Nice list, Lorie also has list on her blog.

  6. Posted December 1, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Thank you all for your warm comments. Tim – I think you mean Lorie Vela and she has a great – also shareable – list of tools.

    George – do tell us when you do that momentous first post on collaboration. I am eager to learn from you all.

    For those of you in the S.F. Bay Area you may want to hear me interviewed by Forbes’ reporter, Kym McNicholas this Friday at The Churchill Club: “Collaboration: What’s Working, What’s Not.” My colleagues get a $20 discount. Sign up at and enter discount code “gKare20.”

    It is being videoed, I gather, by both the club and by Forbes so I may post links on this blog when I get them.

    Also, to see fresh ideas on collaboration curated by yours truly, each day, subscribe to the Collaboration Daily New:

  7. Posted December 11, 2010 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Yes, and a helpful list Tim. I’ve been growing two lists, of collaboration tools and of books and sites for about four years and am heartened to see more happen in the last six months than in the years before – both in tools and methods and in people who are experimenting with and writing about the importance of collaboration in this increasingly connected, complex world.

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