Working collaboratively is nothing new… The challenge of continuing doing so with an ever-increasing use of online tools could definitely make life much easier. However, should you not be careful, you can quickly get a large number of new accounts in services that only a few people use.
You can tackle collaborative work using things such as email, but I am sure that you can agree with me that by the second iteration of doing and undoing tracked changes (once you have managed to convince other to track them that is…) becomes a bit tiring. In that respect, tools such as google docs have a distinctive advantage.
More recently I have come across a couple of new takes on the subject, one is Wunderkit and the other one is Hojoki. I started having a look at both of them, so this post is more about first impressions rather than fixed recommendations. Should you have any views on this, please do let me know.
This platform is brought to us by 6 Wunderkinder, a Berlin startup that also created Wunderlist (which is a good to-do application). Wunderkit lets you create projects that then can be shared with other people. The application lets you connect to Twitter and Facebook. Your contacts are treated in a similar way to followers in Twitter and you can invite contacts to your projects. You are supposed to be able to discover other people, but I must admit that the process was a bit cumbersome.
Once you have created a project and invited some people, your followers can post messages, comment on tasks, setup discussions and send status updates. A very interesting aspect of Wunderkit us that it includes some applications that can be very useful:
- A progress tracker: You can easily see that is the status of the project and can easily see what peopler have been discussing as well as the activities that your collaborators have been working on.
- A to-do list: The to-do list lets you set up tasks and lists. You can assign these tasks to specific members and setup due dates. I wish they could synchronise these lists with Wunderlist…. but never mind.
- A notepad: This is a useful addition to the task lists ass you can add ideas, notes, scripts, etc, to your project.
Another useful thing about this application is the fact that not only does it live in the web, but the 6 Wunderkinder have created mobile applications that let you take your projects and lists with you. They also have a desktop application, but it seems that currently these additions are only for Apple devices. The accounts are free and should you need more support you can get a pro account. So far so good.
Tho other tool I wanted to talk about is Hojoki. Hojoki is also the creation of a German team and the prospect is a very interesting one. The main premise of the application is the accessibility, in a single place, of a number of existing outlets you already use: Dropbox, Google Docs, Github, Highrise, Mendeley, etc… Once you connect your different services, Hojoki creates a single feed that gets updated as soon as team members create actions such as saving or creating files, submitting updates, etc. It also integrated with Twitter, but should you be following a lot of people, this can be a bit too much! You can also setup workspaces and
It is a good idea and it exploits the cloud features of many applications. Currently it only works from a web browser although they say that a mobile app is a bit of a work in progress. Accounts are also free.
Well, all you have to do now is give them a go and let me know what you think. We might even be able to start a project using one of these tools.