What features to look for in choosing a content collaboration platform

clock • 4 min read

Collaboration has never seen easier, but with so many tools available choosing the right one can be difficult

As the old adage goes, two (or more) heads are better than one. Gone are the days of passing around hard copy files to collaborate on a project with coworkers, when tracking the most up-to-date version was a project in and of itself.

Collaboration is the key to productivity in businesses large and small. The transition to paperless, cloud file sharing has revolutionised collaboration. Never before has content collaboration been so easy and intuitive, allowing for maximum efficiency and convenience. With real-time feedback and annotation capabilities, feedback can be shared instantly with your team.

There are many project management and content collaboration tools available today, and it's hard to decide which one is right for you. While the nature of your projects will certainly play a role in the features you'll prefer, there are standard elements you'll want in choosing the platform for you, including:

  • Annotations

  • Accessibility

  • Task Management

The commenting and annotation features of a content collaboration platform are the crux of its utility. Convenient, real-time annotations and editing is now possible on files, documents, and images.

Real-time interaction is the foundation of a content collaboration tool

The ability to make live edits, suggestions and annotations on shared documents is the fundamental purpose of using a content collaboration platform. Annotation tools add a layer of notes and comments over an existing resource, which are typically only visible to other users with the same software. Finding a content collaboration platform that does not require any additional software is ideal, offering maximum efficacy and minimising costs.

You'll want your platform to make finding and reviewing comments and annotations easy and accessible. Look for a platform that offers:

  • Threaded comments: Keeping comments threaded makes following conversations for each element easy to follow and organise.

  • Communication updates: Never miss an update with a system that provides alerts for any new comment or annotation.

  • Accessibility: Look for a platform you can seamlessly access and leave annotations on any device without additional softwares.

Accessibility to your projects on any device, in any format, in an organised intuitive system provides extra convenience and enhances productivity

Easy access to files is paramount in a quality content collaboration platform

Today people own more connected devices than ever, rising from eight devices per person in the US to 13 in 2017. The key to a productive content collaboration platform is easy accessibility, no matter what device you're using. In this 24/7 work climate, workers can remain productive even when they are away from their desk. There are three types of accessibility you should look for in your platform:

  • Universal device access: Being able to reach your projects from any device, at any time makes it easy to update even when you're on the go.

  • File format accessibility: Depending on the project you may require a variety of file formats, from Word docs and Excel sheets to image and video files. Make sure your platform can support every format you'll need.

  • Communication accessibility: Avoid the hassle of searching through multiple email threads or communication formats with a collaborative platform that offers easy access to comments, annotations, edits, and other communication.

Gone are the days of analogue to-do lists. Look for a content collaboration platform that combines task management and file sharing for optimal project collaboration

Enhance collaboration with a built-in task manager

You can avoid time-killing meetings by utilising a collaboration platform that incorporates a task management system. These systems offer the ability to assign tasks in an actionable and trackable way. Find a collaboration platform that intuitively integrates to-do lists within individual files, while keeping your team organised and efficient. When seeking a content collaboration and task manager hybrid system, you should look for the following features:

  • Multi-faceted to-do lists: A comprehensive system will allow access to meeting notes, additional resource files, images and notes in one place.

  • High-level management: Look for a system that allows you to see and respond to every team member's work. When you can see everyone's assignments and contributions in one place, you save your time and sanity. You'll also want comprehensive permissions features to manage who can access and edit individual files.

  • Assignment tagging: A quality system will allow you to easily assign tasks and deadlines to any team member, allow you to tag them within files to facilitate and organise communication and notify you of every communication within your project.

Efficient and convenient project management is critical to success in business. You should take advantage of the digital evolution of project management and assure your content collaboration platform streamlines communication, accessibility and task management in an intuitive manner.

This is a sponsored post for Dropbox. All opinions are my own. Dropbox is not affiliated with nor endorses any other products or services mentioned.

Lani Redinger is a professional writer, editor and bibliophile from Pittsburgh, PA. Her writing ranges from tech and business to culture and wellness. She was the publisher and editor of NakYouOut.com and has contributed to publications such as Point of Light Magazine and Pittsburgh City Paper. You can connect with Lani on LinkedIn.

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