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3 Apps for Team Collaboration in Your Small Business

Published on 04 October 13
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With the thousands of apps available for small businesses, we should have no excuse for communication problems, disorganization, missed deadlines, misunderstood instructions, and misplaced files, right? Developers have created apps that range from the ridiculous SimStapler, to the canât-live-without Google Drive.


(You looked up SimStapler, didnât you? Itâs as pointless as it sounds. A finger presses a stapler. You canât even change its color. At least it doesnât jam.)


As your business grows, you and your team will test apps for sharing files, managing projects, setting meetings, and brainstorming ideas. Youâll want to choose the best applications that will work across a variety of smart devices.

File Sharing Apps for Business

Google Drive is a great app for sharing files, especially across platforms and mobile carriers. Itâs especially nice on the Galaxy S4 on T-Mobile and other mobile devices, because you can view spreadsheets, word documents, presentations, and forms easily because of its responsive design.

  • What we like: Google Drive is multiple users can view and edit documents at the same time, whether they are using a smartphone, tablet or computer.
  • What we donât like: The smartphone versionâs abilities to edit documents is limited. But, stick with it, because it gets better with each update.
  • Cost: Free
  • Smartphone Platforms: Android, iOS, WindowsPhone

Mind Mapping Apps

A mind-map is great for brainstorming and so much more. Mind Meister is a beautiful app that allows users to customize colors, themes, shapes, and types of maps. Users may collaborate and send updates to each other as they contribute to brainstorming sessions. The app is also great for project management and meeting management. The basic plan is $4.99 per month for one user, and the company offers a free one-month trial.

  • What we like: Itâs incredibly user-friendly and uses clip art-style images to label maps.
  • What we donât like: It is a little hard to see those big maps on a tiny smartphone screen.
  • Cost: Free 30-day trial, then $4.99 per month
  • Smartphone platforms: Android, iOS

Customer Relationship Management

Salesforce is the granddaddy of all CRM systems. Itâs been around the longest, and it has more bells and whistles than your CEOâs Mercedes-Benz. Cloud-based CRMs are nothing more than fancy-schmancy databases of your customers and all of their buying characteristics. The data is invaluable for projecting sales, analyzing individual and team performance, and communicating with customers. Forbes tech writer Gene Marks names Salesforce first in his list of âterribleâ CRM systems, not because of what it doesnât do, but because of the people who misuse it. He says if you're going to use a CRM, appoint an administrator, use the reports, and don't enforce rules for use.

  • What we like: The endless possibilities and the menu-style pricing that can be as low as $5 per month for basic use up to five users, or as high as $250 per month for mega-enterprise users.
  • What we donât like: Itâs not plug-and-play. Yes, you have to slow down and learn the nuances of what this powerful CRM can do, and you might have to read a manual and watch a video or two.
  • Cost: Small business versions start at $25 per user per month
  • Smartphone platforms: BlackBerry, Android, iOS
One paragraph is not nearly enough to explain the depth and power of Salesforce. Check out this introductory video:
What business collaboration apps canât you live without? Share yours in comments.


With the thousands of apps available for small businesses, we should have no excuse for communication problems, disorganization, missed deadlines, misunderstood instructions, and misplaced files, right? Developers have created apps that range from the ridiculous SimStapler, to the canât-live-without Google Drive.

(You looked up SimStapler, didnât you? Itâs as pointless as it sounds. A finger presses a stapler. You canât even change its color. At least it doesnât jam.)

As your business grows, you and your team will test apps for sharing files, managing projects, setting meetings, and brainstorming ideas. Youâll want to choose the best applications that will work across a variety of smart devices.

File Sharing Apps for Business

Google Drive is a great app for sharing files, especially across platforms and mobile carriers. Itâs especially nice on the Galaxy S4 on T-Mobile and other mobile devices, because you can view spreadsheets, word documents, presentations, and forms easily because of its responsive design.

  • What we like: Google Drive is multiple users can view and edit documents at the same time, whether they are using a smartphone, tablet or computer.
  • What we donât like: The smartphone versionâs abilities to edit documents is limited. But, stick with it, because it gets better with each update.
  • Cost: Free
  • Smartphone Platforms: Android, iOS, WindowsPhone


Mind Mapping Apps

A mind-map is great for brainstorming and so much more. Mind Meister is a beautiful app that allows users to customize colors, themes, shapes, and types of maps. Users may collaborate and send updates to each other as they contribute to brainstorming sessions. The app is also great for project management and meeting management. The basic plan is $4.99 per month for one user, and the company offers a free one-month trial.

  • What we like: Itâs incredibly user-friendly and uses clip art-style images to label maps.
  • What we donât like: It is a little hard to see those big maps on a tiny smartphone screen.
  • Cost: Free 30-day trial, then $4.99 per month
  • Smartphone platforms: Android, iOS


Customer Relationship Management

Salesforce is the granddaddy of all CRM systems. Itâs been around the longest, and it has more bells and whistles than your CEOâs Mercedes-Benz. Cloud-based CRMs are nothing more than fancy-schmancy databases of your customers and all of their buying characteristics. The data is invaluable for projecting sales, analyzing individual and team performance, and communicating with customers. Forbes tech writer Gene Marks names Salesforce first in his list of âterribleâ CRM systems, not because of what it doesnât do, but because of the people who misuse it. He says if you're going to use a CRM, appoint an administrator, use the reports, and don't enforce rules for use.

  • What we like: The endless possibilities and the menu-style pricing that can be as low as $5 per month for basic use up to five users, or as high as $250 per month for mega-enterprise users.
  • What we donât like: Itâs not plug-and-play. Yes, you have to slow down and learn the nuances of what this powerful CRM can do, and you might have to read a manual and watch a video or two.
  • Cost: Small business versions start at $25 per user per month
  • Smartphone platforms: BlackBerry, Android, iOS


One paragraph is not nearly enough to explain the depth and power of Salesforce. Check out this introductory video:

What business collaboration apps canât you live without? Share yours in comments.

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