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The Smart Passive Income Podcast

AP 0866: What Project Management Tool Do You Recommend for Collaboration?

AP 0866: What Project Management Tool Do You Recommend for Collaboration?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 866 Episode Transcript

Pat: Hey, what’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here. Thank you so much for joining me in Episode 866 of AskPat. As always, I’m here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week. We’ve a great question today from Leah.

Before we get to her question, I do want to thank today’s sponsor, which is FreshBooks. One of my favorite companies not only because they sponsor AskPat and were one of the first sponsors of AskPat ever, but because they’re an amazing solution to a big problem that a lot of small business owners have. That is, how do you keep track of all of the financial in your business? From the incomes to the expenses, especially the invoicing. If you do any billing of any kind, FreshBooks makes it really easy for you to collect those payments to create those invoices, and actually keep track and follow up with people too. I highly recommend them. Check them out for 30 days for free by going to FreshBooks.com/askpat and make sure you enter “AskPat” in the, “How did you hear about us?” section.

Cool. Now here’s today’s question from Leah.

Leah: Hi, Pat. It’s Leah from Canada. I recently saw a poster that said, “Work hard and be nice to people.” I think that really sums up why so many of us appreciate what you do. My question is, well, I’m going to be starting soon a project where I’ll be collaborating with various people. I was wondering what you’d recommend as far as a resource that I could use to bounce ideas back and forth and communicate with the team that would be less cumbersome than emails going back and forth. Any suggestions that you have about that would be awesome. Thanks so much. Take care.

Pat: Hey, Leah. Thank you so much for the question. It’s true, email is not the best way to have a continuous conversation with your team, that’s for sure. Especially when it comes to recollecting conversations, to getting files that were sent here and there. Especially when there are multiple projects going on it just becomes a huge mess. How do you know what subject lines to use? What about random emails from your team that aren’t really that important? Where do you put all this stuff? How do you organize it?

Well, the answer I have for you is Slack. If you go to Slack.com you’ll find an amazing, amazing tool that acts similar to a chat room. When I first got involved with Slack it was very similar to those old AOL chat rooms where you’re having continuous conversations with people, but it’s one that you can come back to over time. You can find information really easily.

The best part is that you can create different channels for different subjects or things that are happening within your business. For me, for example, I have a number of different channels. I have channels related to web development. I have channels related to courses. I have channels related to the podcast. I have a channel related to the blog. A channel related to, well, we have over ten people total who have fingerprints all over SPI. There’s management, so there’s just a few of us in that particular channel. What’s cool with these different channels is that you can give certain people access to them and not give people access to others. The web development team and the leadership team only see the web dev one, and my videographer, Caleb, doesn’t have access to that. He doesn’t need it, right?

You can also set notification preferences there as well. We have a channel called giggles for just random funnies that we share with each other just to . . . anything we find that’s not related to business. Those are things that happen in team communications as well. If you have a specific place for that it just makes it really easy. Then, of course, Slack is also great for the retrieval, and storage, and archiving of files, and things like that. It’s just an amazing, amazing tool. It will absolutely cut out the email back and forth and all that random stuff. There are other ways to communicate with each other too. For example, Skype or other communication platforms like that, but nothing I found is better than Slack. That’s why it’s become so popular recently.

Let me just confirm that URL for you, Slack.com. Yep, indeed that’s where you go. It’s really cool because you’re going to find that it’s just going to be an amazing way to even bond better with your team. Think about it, this is communication. The better that you can communicate with people, anybody, the better relationship you’ll have with them, and the more work you’ll get done, I promise you. Simply put, Slack.com is where you go. There is actually a free version that you can use that allows you to store up to 10,000 messages. You can even do voice calls. There’s five gigabytes total file storage for the team. You can integrate with 10 different apps like DropBox or Google Docs or things like that. There’s apps for IOS, there’s apps for the desktop. I use both the desktop and the one on my phone very, very often.

Yeah, you can even just try it out for free and see how it works. I do know that other people I’ve shared this with have integrated it into their team. Michel Hyatt, for example, is one of them. I know just a ton of people who use it. There are, and have been, a couple cases where I’ve shared this with people and they tried to adopt it and they just couldn’t get used to it. There is a little bit of a learning curve, but it’s actually pretty intuitive in terms of how to use. Give it a shot. Slack.com, just create a new team. You can do it for free, you can invite people into that team, you can create those different channels that make sense for you and what you guys are up to. Then you can go from there. I would say give it a two-week trial on your own and see just how much that it’s able to cut down the communication via email and some of those other cumbersome solutions.

All right, Leah, thank you so much for the question. I appreciate you. I want to wish you and your team the best of luck. I also want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you listening, if you have a question that you’d like potentially featured here on the show as well, just head on over to AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page.

Now, thank you so much. I appreciate you all for listening in today. As always, I love to end each episode with a quote. This quote is from Alfred Hitchcock. He said, “The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them.” The only way to get rid of email communication with your team is to check out Slack. No, it’s not the only way, but it’s the one I recommend. All right guys, take care. I’ll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.

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