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Author Topic: developing a collaboration suite  (Read 2179 times)

Steven Avery

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developing a collaboration suite
« on: January 28, 2015, 02:38 AM »

Circumstances, largely biz-related, have led me to look at the best tools for ongoing long-distance web collaboration on projects. Small team of 2-3 people, frequently meeting with another individual or small team from outside.

Some things are simple.


Teamviewer is used for helping directly. Or watching something in process. It is not normally on, but when used, works superbly.

Skype is used for the ongoing calling (as if in the same office) and the actual conference calling. (I use some other VOIP as well, but company-wide .. Skype really does the job pretty nicely. I even try to hot-link the telephone numbers in the browser using Firefox extension Telify or the aggressive Skype add-on.)

Google docs and sheets has a place of helping with Google drive and they are used in a mild sharing manner. (Smartsheet is an interesting program that might enhance some of that experience).  In the long run, this might be changed, but it does work.


I find Skype to be poor on the chat portion though. e.g. Conversations get fractured into various ad hoc team groups that are created on-the-fly by adding people to Skype calls.

For me, the choice right now is Hipchat.  A little private biz chat room.  They are a leader in that niche  (businesses do not want to even try to use Facebook or Paltalk for chat, due to the distraction level.) There are alternatives, Kato, Slack, Svyft, Flowdock are examples.  One big thing about HipChat is  that they have a desktop app, and it is hard to consider chat alternatives while they are only browser based.  Granted .. theoretically I could put them on one of the lesser used browsers like Pale Moon and Vivaldi, so that is not an absolute requirement.


We needed a CRM.  Sales and contacts is central. If it had project, task and calendar capabilities, that was even better. Light, friendly.  Three got a lot of consideration, Workbooks from UK, Nimble and Insightly from USA.  Insightly is being used, although I am still playing with the others, with personal accounts.  Each has advantages, Nimble is heavily social media savvy.  Workbooks is more in the style of a multi-faceted biz product and its notes are really RTF!  Insightly has a good balance and solid google integration.

Anyway, thus we bypass the Asana, Basecamp, Codebase types of programs internally.  Although we do get Basecamp and Codebase stuff from two outside companies that are involved.
email, webhosting and ecommerce are all involved.  I will say that Nexcess does an incredibly good support job on web hosting.


What about ad hoc quick screen sharing notes and pics?  So far, dunno. Too light a need to load up Teamviewer.  Google docs and Insightly and email attachments are for more formal use.  Maybe Hipchat but not for short documents, it really is talk and url and a couple of pics.  It is not meant for pretty. Or annotations and notes.

Sharex (formerly ZScreen) and Ybex Clipboard and a dozen more represent one way to handle that. My NoteZilla (also Stickies and PNote) experiments could be considered, since the have a type of networking capability. (e.g. "Send via Network" - PNote.)  See the Memonic thread. On the stickies I would have to compare the implementation.

What is light, easy and acceptable to a couple of people who have not worked with those tools?  


Your thoughts on any of the above welcome.  Granted, it touches on a wide range of software.

Would it be good for Donationcoder get more "social" .. using Facebook or chat or collaboration?  hmmm...

« Last Edit: January 28, 2015, 02:49 AM by Steven Avery »


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Re: developing a collaboration suite
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2015, 03:15 AM »

Thanks for mentioning Notezilla :). It can send notes over local network and over Internet also using its cloud solution.

We recently launched a native Android app too for Notezilla.

Gautam Jain