Our Favorite Internal Communication Tools for Business
Yelling across the office just isn’t working anymore and no one has time to train a carrier pigeon. Not only are yelling and pigeons flying around the office annoying to all of your coworkers, but they just aren’t efficient ways to communicate. When it comes to internal communication within a company, the tools you use have to be top-notch.
One of the best reasons to implement an internal communication tool is that it gives you and your team the ability to work remotely, and as we’ve recently learned, sometimes that’s the only option. Whether you’re traveling, want to get out of the office, or there’s a situation that’s out of your control, everyone can stay on the same page and keep the business running efficiently.
Because we like to keep everyone in the loop, here are our favorite internal communication tools that we use every day.
Slack is a real-time chat application we use for anything from quick updates and new ideas to sharing our favorite memes of the day!
One of our favorite features is the use of channels. Having one feed of updates, ideas, and memes would more than likely get extremely hectic and there’d be no way to go back and find anything later on. So, we use channels. This lets us create custom groups to keep conversations together based on different topics. We can also private message each other in a one-on-one direct message or in smaller groups. Keep in mind, the more channels there are, the more notifications you’ll get. If you’re a part of the zero inbox crew like me, it can easily become distracting. A quick setting change to the notifications should help weed out anything unnecessary.
Slack also gives a fun component with status updates. When everyone is working remotely, you can let your coworkers know you are in a meeting, out for lunch, or walking your dog. Your status is completely customizable so you can put a little personality behind it!
Hive is our go-to project management tool. There isn’t a single day we aren’t communicating and working in this application.
Hive lets us separate our “to-do lists” for ourselves and all our clients in many different ways. Whether we need to view each client separately or just see what is assigned to us individually, we can do it with the many filters that are provided. Each task can be assigned to one or multiple people and can be given a due date to help with prioritizing and deadlines.
Our favorite of Hive is the ability to set the view to status columns, which aligns with our agile marketing process. They allow us to see which tasks need to be done, which are in progress, which are in review, and everything that has been completed. This helps us keep things moving through production and allows us to help each other out if we see anything getting left behind.
Compared to other project management systems we tried, Hive had the most robust feature set, including built-in time tracking, which was an added bonus.
Since so many people are working from home, it’s more important than ever to get that face to face interaction. Zoom is our favorite video meeting app for both effective work meetings and daily chatter.
We’re so used to having in-person conversations, and sometimes a video or voice call is much easier than typing out a novel. Zoom helps us stay connected with each other and allows us to have meetings as if they were in-person. The screen sharing ability lets us easily put on full presentations or walkthroughs for each other and our clients. In case someone doesn’t have access to a device with a camera, there’s always a “call-in” option that lets them hear everything like it was a regular phone call.
One of our favorite things about zoom is virtual backgrounds. You don’t have to get carried away, but sometimes we do. I won’t name names but certain team members have called in from the beach, space, and even Olive Garden.
Not many would think of Google Calendar as an internal communication tool, but it actually helps you communicate with others without saying anything directly.
As usual, Google Calendar works as your everyday meeting planner, but you can share your schedule with everyone on your team. This way, instead of going back and forth trying to plan a time where everyone is available, you can see it on your own calendar. On the contrary, if you need to set a time to dial in and focus on a project, you can block off however long you need and that’ll keep anyone from trying to schedule a meeting with you at that time.
The best thing about all of these tools is that they all integrate with each other, so sharing across platforms is particularly easy. Each one also has a mobile app, making it easy to stay connected whether you’re seated at your computer or not. Not only do they help our team communicate more efficiently, but they also boost our productivity.
What else is out there?
I understand these tools may not be the best fit for every team, so I got Hami and Stephen to ask their friends/colleagues what they’ve been using to communicate with their own teams. So if you aren’t overly fond of or haven’t used what One Foot Over uses for our internal communication, here are some of the recommendations we got from other business owners!
If you use any other internal communication tools for your team, let us know what they are in the comments and tell us why they work for your business.