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Strategy and Transformation

4 Online Collaboration Tools Every Consultant Should Know About

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As a Freelancer or Consultant, we’re not always lucky enough to conduct our business in the same office, (or same state for that matter) face-to-face. Not only does that make it difficult to relay our meanings, and give presentations, but it also is more difficult to bond and get to know the people we’re working with. Here are some tools that may help to overcome this shortcoming.
1) Work and Play With Skype or Google Hangout
Although both of these tools have been around for quite some time, I’m still surprised at how many meetings I see that have collaborators working together from all over the globe that still just call into a conference line. There is a level of human interaction and comprehension that gets lost when conducting business just over the phone without the face-to-face. At Perficient, some of our teams that collaborate are located all over the US, and we find it invaluable to still have an old fashioned face-to-face conversation… even if it is via the web. My current tool of choice is Google Hangout, but Skype works just as well.
Check out It’s a simplistic screen-sharing tool that I have been using recently. It takes three minutes to install, is completely free and you’re even able to give or take away control from your collaborator. It’s also great for presentations.
3) Meetifyr 
Meetifyr is lovely when you’re trying to set up meeting times and the people you’re trying to meet up with don’t have the ability to see your email calendar. It allows you to set a certain timeframe that you’d like the meeting to happen in, and you can have multiple people view it and suggest dates that work best, while noting the days they aren’t available.
4) Dropbox
I’m not really sure how I lived without Dropbox to be honest. As a consultant working with large teams, it’s important to be able to share multiple files at once, as well as allow multiple people to work on or update files. I love that I can share specific folders with colleagues, as well as get a little alert/notice on my computer when they’ve completed updating a file.

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Abbey Smalley

With 10 years of interactive industry experience under her belt, Abbey Smalley serves as a Solution Architect within Perficient XD’s Strategy & Ideation Practice. Client industry list includes Financial, Retail, Healthcare, Fitness, and Restaurants. Prior to working for Perficient XD, Abbey served as the Online Design and Usability lead for 3M’s global mobile design strategy. Abbey is passionate about spreading the message of a User-Centered Customer Experience and has spoken Internationally at several industry conferences. She is a contributor to Perficient’s Spark blog and a part of the leadership committee for the Minneapolis Interaction Design Association (IxDA). Abbey’s other interests include creative strategy, writing, jewelry making, and rather cute cats.

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