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Collaboration tool advice?

  • 1.  Collaboration tool advice?

    Posted Nov 08, 2017 17:44
    Long-time listener, first-time caller.

    Hey folks.  I'm struggling to find a collaboration tool that can do some/all of the things we want...and testing them is incredibly cumbersome. Wondering if any of you has some knowledge I can tap.

    We already use Slack, Trello, Google Sites, Basecamp, and Freedcamp for different things and we use them daily.

    We are beginning a year-long strategic planning process with a small group of staff and key players.  We want a basecamp-like experience for that small group so we can easily share items and follow up on ideas.  But we also would really love a "public" facing tool that would allow ALL staff to see our meeting notes, see our ideas... and comment on them or make suggestions to us.  We would like that "public" site to not require a login (or at least not require an individual login) but that's not a deal breaker.  We are about to settle on just firing up a wordpress site so our staff could make comments on any post/file/doc we put on the site.

    Has anyone encountered a situation like this?  How did you solve it?  I'm loathe to maintain a basecamp site for the small group then turn around and post some of the same docs and items onto a wordpress site, but I've run out of testable ideas.

    Charles Spivey
    Louisville Public Media
    Louisville, KY
    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline

  • 2.  RE: Collaboration tool advice?

    Posted Nov 09, 2017 09:52
    Hi Charles,

    I'll chime in here and share some of our experiences with you. We are currently using Slack ourselves mainly for an internal chat program.

    As for project managment tools, we've used Basecamp, Function Point, and various other tools over the years. They each have their nuances and each will work for some people depending on needs.

    We are currently using Teamwork Projects. It is a very robust project management system which can work great for collaboration. It doesn't really have the "public" side you are talking about, but can have mutliple users with different access levels.

    Key features we like and use:
    • Task Lists
      • Set start and end dates
      • Assign tasks to particular user(s)
      • Send reminders to task owner
      • Comment on tasks
    • Notebooks
      • Sort of like a Google doc
      • Great way to share large blocks of information
      • Save revisions of Notebooks
      • Make comments on a notebook
    • File Sharing
      • Can integrate with dropbox.
      • Can attach files to tasks, messages or comments
    • Messages
      • Can create and send messages to a group of users
      • Can reply directly to the email and have it tracked in the system your response
      • Saves the entire conversation for later review
    • Milestones

    Basically, it is very robust and our favorite system to date. We've explored several others over the years. Some platforms will integrate with other systems better than others if you wish to connect it with something else you have in place.

    Make sure you know what your core requirements are when looking and which features are just "nice to have" options.

    I hope this helps!


    Matt Koeppel

    Visit us at Booth #618

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline

  • 3.  RE: Collaboration tool advice?

    Posted Nov 13, 2017 19:09
    Check out Mural.co--I do not have personal experience but have a second-hand kind of knowledge.  It may be what you are looking for.

    Suzanne Isken
    Executive Director
    Craft and Folk Art Museum
    Los Angeles, CA

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline

  • 4.  RE: Collaboration tool advice?

    Posted Nov 14, 2017 10:24
    Confluence from Atlassian (https://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence) is a good product.  I primarily use it in conjunction with JIRA for my application development team but I would think it could also do much of the things you mention.  It can have an anonymous area for the public to access as well as a private section for the internal staff.  There are a decent number of add-ins to add functionality to it.  For example, we use a plug-in to allow us to utilize SSO for the areas we want to restrict access to.

    I hope this helps.

    Robert Faille
    Director - Technology and Analytics
    University of Pennsylvania
    Newtown, PA

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline