You meet with your team and plan the service for the following Sunday. You think you've done a fantastic job of communicating with your church staff... until the proverbial wrench hits the fan. Then even Plan B is out, and you’re scrambling to regroup.
Has this ever happened to you?
It goes without saying that you have a lot of moving pieces involved in the weekly planning and delivery of your services. Even after your team has met and come up with a plan, things crop up and plans change. So keeping everyone informed and working together can be a challenge, but it’s an absolute must.
The secret to pulling it off is taking advantage of the best communication tools available. Your work is too complex and dynamic to rely on sticky notes as a way to keep your team up to speed. Because of that, we recommend using a cloud-based system for communication and collaboration.
To help you find the perfect system, we created a list of the best communication and collaboration tools on the market. Some of them are even Causely team favorites.
Google Apps for Work
Just about everything you can find on individual collaboration tools you can find in the Google Apps for Work toolbox. That’s an advantage because you only need one login and password, and your whole team can share in all the same tools. Plus, you can access your work and projects remotely and on any device.
Here's a list of collaboration tools you'll find in Google Apps:
- HD video meetings and calls with Google Hangouts
- IMs with Google Chat
- Document sharing with Google Docs and Sheets
- File storage in Google Drive
- Email and task management with Gmail
- Calendars with Google Calenders
Slack is a team-messaging tool that allows you to stay connected in several ways. You can send direct messages to team members, or more general messages to a specific team. You can also stay connected and engaged by following running team message threads.
One of our favorite features of Slack is the ability to tag someone directly in a group discussion. This feature allows you to send a message to a group while also including the person you're tagging in the conversation. And while using Slack to collaborate, you can send images and files, so the system just makes it easy to do away with pesky email altogether.
Asana is another favorite. Our creative team uses it to collaborate on projects and tasks. Asana helps you stay organized by allowing you to share information and work throughout a team. You can create tasks and projects, assign due dates, and then share them with other people.
Within the tasks and projects, you can ask team members questions, give updates, attach files, and so much more. And all this can be done in calendar view or list view, so it really is an awesome tool.
If you care less about the day to day conversations and only want updates on progress, Zen Update might be the one for you. It's great for collecting short progress updates from your team. Limited to only 250 character updates, your team will be forced to only tell you the important things. Our head of Culture and HR uses this tool to keep our CEO updated, and it works great for them.
Trello reminds us of a sticky note and whiteboard system all grown up…. and better. Projects are listed on “cards,” and then within each of the cards the collaboration happens. From assigning tasks, setting due dates and making updates, to shuffling the order of your work-flow, Trello is the perfect tool for project management.
Basecamp is a robust project collaboration tool that keeps everyone connected and aware of what’s happening. If you’ve got a big project with a lot of moving pieces, this might be the way to go.
To start, Basecamp allows you to create projects, and do everything you want with in them: delegate, report progress, ask questions, attach files, manage associated items on the calendar, and even receive a daily email with a report of all the interactions for the day.
What do you use to communicate with your church staff?
We hope you've found this list of tools helpful. If you decide to adopt one of them, or have a better system, leave a comment below.