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College of Design

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Awesome Collaboration Tools for Group Projects!

In my Interactive Design class, we are working on an interactive personal project of our choosing throughout the course of the semester. This project is a huge portion of our grade and procrastinating is not an option. We are required to check in and have critique sessions with groups of students we have been placed with who are doing similar projects. We were also asked to find a unique project management tool to share our progress and ideas throughout the course of the semester.

Up until now, I have primarily used either Facebook or Google Docs/Drive to stay on page with others while doing group projects. After researching project management tools, our group found that there were much more elegant and efficient solutions for managing our group tasks and progress. Next time you have a group project, consider trying out one of these awesome and free collaboration tools!

Dispatch is a great tool for collaborating and stay up to date with your team. Discussion boards allow you to easily attach any files or links that you want keep your conversations organized and removed from your email inbox. You can tag your group members in comments with an @ symbol like you would on Twitter to make sure they get notified. Best of all, tools you might already use like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Evernote integrate seamlessly with the tool.

Trello is a great tool for managing deadlines and organization information, whether it's only for yourself, or an entire team. Trello's interface is a set of user created "cards" that can be shuffled around and organized however you want across a board. For instance, a card might have project details and due date on it, as well as your teams conversation regarding the project. When you finish the project, you could move the card from a "to-do" section of the board to "done". Trello is great for keeping members of a team on the same page. It's a little difficult to explain, but super easy to learn and use. Try it out!


Dropmark is a little different from Dispatch and Trello in that it is focused more on collaboration and idea generation rather than full project management. However, it's still a really nice tool so I thought I would include it. Dropmark allows you to drag and drop almost any type of file (images, music playlists, PDFs, even raw Photoshop or Illustrator files) into the browser where it is organized into a mosaic of squares. Dropmark is great for quickly sharing visual inspiration with other team members or sending a preview of a Photoshop or Illustrator file without converting to PDF.


Do you know of any other great project management or collaboration tools? Tell me about it in the comments!

Sean Mateer
Graphic Design