Business BootStrapping Tips – 09. Collaborate 101

Business BootStrapping Tips – 09. Collaborate 101

Business BootStrapping Tips – 09. Collaborate 101

This article originally appeared in issue 213 of .net magazine – the world’s
best-selling magazine for web designers and developers.

Economical services for collaborative work

Chances are you rarely work on projects alone, and there are plenty of
free services out there to assist with collaborative projects

Successful design studios thrive because of collaboration between team members,
who may be located anywhere in the world. Whatever action you’re doing,
chances are there’s a free (or at least cheap) tool to help.

Convince team members and clients to sign up to Skype – top tip: go on about
free phone calls until they get the hint – and that’s calls and video-conferencing
dealt with. For conferencing with whiteboarding and screen-sharing, Vyew offers
an ad-supported free version that can be used by up to 10 people.

If sharing words is your concern, Google Docs is the obvious choice, with its
Office-like components and online document sharing. However, also check out
text document tool Writeboard by 37signals, which provides group editing,
rollback capabilities, and the ability to compare versions of documents.
Like Google Docs, Writeboard is free.

If you’re writing code rather than words, it’s worth thinking about working
with GitHub. “It’s really useful to have your codebase browsable online,”
says Dan Michaelson, adding that GitHub also acts as a version control repository.
It’s free for open source projects, and plans otherwise start at $7 per month.

For sharing more general documents, Dropbox and SugarSync offer free
file-sync/sharing accounts, as does CloudApp. And for when working on
collaborative development, Alec East says Subversion is a must and absolutely
ideal if you’ve got freelance or remote workers in your team.