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project management
12 Apr 2019
Project Management Tools and Softwares: Key Features, Pricing, and Pros and Cons
Seven in every ten entrepreneurs believes that the biggest obstacle to their company's success is inadequate communication between the team members. Delegating tasks, managing mega-projects, and maintaining continuous collaboration with the team members are some of the most crucial responsibilities of a team leader. The same responsibilities can result in a ‘lost chance’ in the absence of proper communication with all team members and apt collaboration throughout the project. Of course, any task completion or project management becomes a lot simpler when the company has the right set of tools to execute, control, and manage all processes of project management. That’s the reason why all companies today swear by project management tools. With the majority of companies adopting software project management tools, there has been an increasing demand for team collaboration tools. But with over a  hundred project management tools available at a swipe of a finger, the selection of the right management tool can be a daunting experience. These tools are available with different features, unique functionalities, and distinct pricing-which can all be very confusing if you don’t know what will fit your business needs. To simplify the selection, we have made an unbiased comparison of the fifteen best project management tools and software. Follow this article, learn about the exclusive features of each tool, and make your decision after going over the pros and cons we've listed below:   Best Project Management Tools   1. Trello 2. Asana 3. Basecamp 4. Bitrix24 5. Wrike 6. Redbooth 7. ProofHub 8. Podio 9. Paymo 10. Agantty 11. And CO 12. Teamwork 13. Freedcamp 14. Flow 15. Clubhouse 16. ProProfs Project   1. Trello   Trello, is hands down, one of the most popular task management tools with features that promise to boost your company's productivity, make task assigning, project tracking, and management more straightforward than ever.   Why Trello is suited as the best Project management software tools of 2019:   • Trello is best for project management as it allows the user to create a board, add steps in the workflow, assign the task, invite the team, and track the work progress on the same card. • The user can dive into detail through adding attachments, checklists, sharing files, and project due dates to each card-all of which make collaboration very easy. • Integration with slack, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, and other productivity applications • Irrespective of where you go, the tool stays synced across your devices. • Trello has Business and Enterprise plan, both priced at $9.99 and $20.83 per user, monthly. • Business and Enterprise plan have per-file attachment limit of 250MB. Trello Pros   • Unlimited team boards • Unlimited scheduled commands • Custom stickers and background • 2-Factor authentication • Easy Data Export   Trello Cons   • No Gantt Chart • Tasks get limited to only one board • It’s available only on iPhone and Android   Rating: 4.5/5   2. Asana   This work management tool can scale your business tasks to a new level of productivity and efficiency. The platform is designed in a way a user can easily follow the assignments and project through each stage, eliminate roadblocks, and structure project as required.   Why Asana is suited as the best Project management software tools of 2019: • Task assigning and organization is way more straightforward with Asana as it allows users to set goals and create milestones. • One can assign tasks and share details with team members. • Allows creation of visual projects, pinpoint risks, and implement changes. • Premium and Business plan are priced at $9.99 and $19.99 per user, monthly. Asana Pros: • Task and list view • Due dates and Assignees • Calendar and board view • Advanced search and milestone reporting • Private projects and teams Asana Cons: • UI delays • No-time tracking • No multi-member tasks   Rating: 4.5/5   3. Basecamp This tool covers all aspects of business management. It makes communication with the internal and external team easy and allows project management on the board. It's great for managing small and mid-size projects because of multiple collaboration tools which help the job get done.   Why Basecamp is suited as the best Project management software tools of 2019: • The tool has a very simple UI, and the support is excellent.   • The set up to manage the task, report to clients, and seek an update from team members is as smooth as it can be. • The Automatic check-in feature allows the team leader to keep track of tasks under progress. • The tool allows 500 GB of file storage with unlimited projects and users. • Basecamp has a one-for-all plan of $99 per month, per enterprise. This is irrespective of the total number of people working in the company.   Basecamp Pros: • Centralized feedback and discussion • Automatically progress summary • To-dos • One-for-all plan of $99 per month   Basecamp Pros:   • Too much simplicity • No tags • No reporting and time tracking • Cluttered organization of attachments   Rating: 4/5   4. Bitrix24 Bitrix24 offers state-of-the-art team communication with exclusive project and task management. With this online project management tool, the companies have the freedom to manage clients, assign tasks, track project milestone, and enjoy secured internal communication.   Why Bitrix24 is suited as the best Project management software tools of 2019:   • It has the majority of collaboration and communication features like the social intranet, user groups, document management, chat and video, and email integration. • Bitrix24 has an exclusive HR management system. • Customizable Kanban board is available for project tracking • It’s a powerful CRM tool with features like lead and pipeline management and sales automation • Online storage limits up to 50 GB and 100 GB in CRM+ and standard plan. • CRM+ and standard plan are priced at $69 and $199 for all users of a company, monthly.   Bitrix24 Pros: • Gantt Charts • Task Dependencies & Project workgroups • Multichannel customer helpdesk • Automatic time tracking & Task templates   Bitrix24 Cons: • A bit complicated to use because of extensive features • Lacks fine-tuning configuration   Rating: 4.8/5   5. Wrike This leading project management tool has features that simplify workflow, streamline project tracking, increase the productivity of team members through centralized collaboration. It lets you create, collaborate, plan, customize, and plan everything that needs your team members to be on the same page.   Why Wrike is suited as the best Project management software tools of 2019:   • The tools allow a project plan to turn into a robust strategy and a schedule into a streamlined workflow. • Wrike has advanced project management features that align your team and to set priorities and work faster. • The app allows easy integration with Google, Salesforce, Github, JIRA, Gmail, Microsoft One Drive and Adobe Creative Cloud. • The business plan allows storage space up to 50 GB and 15 GB monthly video upload limit. • The professional and business features can be availed at $9.80 and $24.80 per user, monthly. • Wrike has advanced add-on features like Wrike Extension, Wrike Proof, Wrike Resource, and Wrike Lock. Wrike Pros: • Shareable dashboards   • Subtask Management • Gantt Chart and Graphical analysis • Calendars and Time Tracking • Real-time scheduled notification and shared reports • Advanced Integration Wrike Cons: • Difficult breaking-up of tasks • Cluttered interface   Rating: 4.6/5   6. Redbooth This management tool facilitates file organization with ensuring smooth communication between team members. The best thing is easy accessibility and navigation which allows users to check, edit, and update ongoing tasks.   Why Redbooth is suited as the best Project management software tools of 2019: • It has an interactive dashboard with all necessary details • One can create tasks, make comments, add files, edit due date, and manage the task as needed. • Managers can catch a glimpse of who’s doing what. • All files are centrally located. • Integration with Box, Slack, Dropbox, Google Drive, Zapier, and Zendesk. • Pro and Business plans are priced at $9 and $15 per user, monthly. • The business plan has a storage limit of 50 GB, but with the Enterprise plan, it can be exceeded up to 500 GB. Redbooth Pros • Unlimited Workspace • Resource Management • Time Tracking • Success Manager • Advanced Subtasks Redbooth Cons: • No advanced feature for task management • No recurring task • Non-customizable workspace   Rating: 4/5   7. ProofHub ProofHub is an all-in-one task management tool compact with numerous contemporary features that can address your business necessities in real-time. The unified business tool has features that can speed up your workplace processes, document review procedure, generate reports, simplify tasks through boards and workflows, and give a visual timeline though Gantt Charts.   Why ProofHub is suited as the best Project management software tools of 2019:   • Proofing, White-labeling, Custom roles, Multilingual interface, Kanban boards, Task management, Gantt charts, Time tracking, and file management are the elite feature. • Proofhub allows integration with Google Calendar, Google Drive, Box, iCal, Freshbooks, Onedrive, Evernote, and Outlook applications. • The Ultimate control plan allows unlimited users, unlimited projects, and the storage capacity of 100 GB with all the core features. • The Essential and Ultimate Control Plan starts at $45 and $89 per month, per team. • Users can opt for IP restriction to avoid unauthorized access to their accounts. • The supported platform includes windows and Android.   ProofHub Pros: • Advanced Search • Notes taking • Project Manager and Templates • Discussions and Chat • In-app Notifications • API to connect with third-party tools • File Versioning ProofHub Cons: • Not very user-friendly • Comparatively slow in uploading and downloading • Too many notifications   Rating: 4.7/5   8. Podio This web-based task management software is one of the best business collaboration tools which has numerous customizable options that facilitate project completion on time. Companies can add different workplaces depending on their work requirement, and through these features team members can collaborate efficiently.   Why Podio is suited as the best Project management software tools of 2019: • Podio assures streamlining your business tasks in a way everything is organized, and there is no room for distraction and confusion • Structured task management where one can assign the work, discuss the details, attach files, and add comments. • Seamless integration with GoToMeeting, Dropbox, Google Drive, Email, and Excel. • Podio frontend is developed on the API, which makes integration of API operations simple. • Podio is free for a team of five members. The primary and plans are priced at $9 and $14 per user, monthly.   Podio Pros: • Feedback and review workflow with clients • Automated calculations and progress reporting • Insight to improve operational productivity • Compatible on iPhone and Android   Podio Cons: • No time tracking • Difficult interface   Rating: 4.3/5   9. Paymo This is one of the best project management tools that allow your team members to work efficiently by getting them all on the same page. The key features include project planning, task scheduling, time tracking, and project management.   Why Paymo is suited as the best Project management software tools of 2019:   • Prime features of free version include Kanban and meta Kanban boards, to-do-lists, file sharing and community support. • For small businesses, Paymo has features like advanced reporting, integrations, project templates, and advanced task management. • Paymo supports integration and API with primary social interaction and collaboration tools. • The small-office plan has a storage limit of 50 GB, whereas the Business plan offers unlimited storage. • Small-office and Business plan can be availed at $9.56 and $15.16 per user, monthly. Paymo Pros: • Invoice and Estimate features • API and Integration • Resource Scheduling & Gantt Charts • Online Remote Assistance Paymo Cons: • Difficult to navigate • Difficult to learn for beginners   Rating: 4.2/5   10. Agantty With Agantty, you can manage and organize project, teams, and task through Gnatt Chart and Graphical representation. You can monitor and administer numerous tasks and teams through a single account, and look up to an organized dashboard.   Why Agantty is suited as the best Project management software tools of 2019: • With Agantty, you can create as many projects as you want, and drag them to Gnatt chart view for visual tracking of the project process. • The task can be grouped very easily, and multiple members can be invited to assign part and access rights. • The tool guarantees a high level of data protection and encrypted file transfer • This is the only free tool with premium features.   Agantty Pros: • Project creation • Task assigning • Inviting partners and friends • Teamwork • Drag and Drop • Task progress tracking • Available for free Agantty Cons: • Difficult breaking-up of tasks • No API • No Integration • No Speed Optimization   Rating: 4.4/5   11. And CO And Co from Fiverr is one of the high rated tools that a great many features. Not only does this software has invoicing, proposal, and contract features, but it works more like a project management tool with features that help users manage on-going tasks and completing the project within the due date.   Why AND CO is suited as the best Project management software tools of 2019: • It is an excellent tool for freelancers who work on Platforms like Fiverr, and require to keep track of their on-going projects. • Task management is made easy with features like proposal and contract, payment and invoicing, expense tracking, and time tracking and report generation. • There’s a free plan that allows one active user, and the paid plan starts at $18 per user, monthly. • Integration with Asana, Google Docs, Slack, MailChimp, and Dropbox.   AND CO pros: • Customizable invoice • Set recurring tasks • Time-sheet sharing • Multi-device syncing and tracking • Contact management and time-tracking   AND CO cons: • No Gantt Chart • Very Limited Integration Rating: 4.3/5   12. Teamwork Teamwork has an appealing and eye-catching design which is similar to Trello and Basecamp. Apart from the sharable notes, direct messaging, tagging, invoice generation, some features let you create milestones for ongoing projects and assign tasks through email.   Why Teamwork is suited as the best Project management software tools of 2019: • Gantt charts, reports, time tracking, and subtasks reporting are the key features. • The tool facilitates integration with email, iCal, Google Calendar, and Microsoft Outlook. • The tool allows excellent document management with Dropbox, SVN, FTP, and Google Drive. • It is compatible with iPhone, Window phones, and Android phones. • There are pro and premium packages priced at $9 and $15 per user, monthly. • With premium package file space of 250 GB is available, and with Enterprise plan, the limit exceeds up to 500 GB.   Teamwork Pros: • Helpdesk for improved customer care • Team communication software • Documentation management • Automated marketing workflows   Teamwork Cons: • Inability to import tasks of large size • Comparatively slow and time-consuming Rating: 4.2/5     13. Freedcamp Get all your business needs at one place with Freedcamp as this is one of those tools that simplify business organization at an advanced level. Not only does this tool boasts of task lists, Kanban boards, Gantt Chart, but it also has all other features you need to accomplish your business goals on time.   Why Freedcamp is suited as the best Project management software tools of 2019: • Key Features include drag-and-drop tool, task and subtasks management, personal and private tasking. • Task Management features include calendar, milestone setting, discussion board, documentation, social communication, time management, and issue tracking. • Supported Platforms are the App Store and Google Play Store. • There are three packages titled Minimalist, Freelancer, and Business package, each priced at $1.49, $3.49, and $7.49 per active user, monthly, and billed annually.   Freedcamp Pros: • Invoice Generation for clients • Project Templates • CRM solution • Task Board and Widget Board • Backups • White Label   Freedcamp Cons: • No reporting features • No time tracking • No Gantt Chart Rating: 4/5   14. Flow   This is a visual task management app whose main functionality is to provide high-level project transparency to the team members. The tool covers all workplace task that involves delegating responsibilities, scheduling timeline for the work that needs to be done, and keeping track of progress made.   Why Flow is suited as the best Project management software tools of 2019: • Key Features include project planning, priority setting, task tracking. • Kanban boards for simple checklists. • Project dashboard for project tracking. • Visual mapping of deadlines and task progress. • Easy management of resources and workload balancing. • Basic Flow plan is available at $4.79, and the pro plan starts at $7.099 per user, monthly.   Flow Pros: • Team Collaboration • Resource management • Project tracking • Catch-up feature • All Integrations • Public API • Unlimited tasks and Projects Flow Cons: • No Gantt Chart • Difficult to get used to Rating: 4.6/5   15. Clubhouse This is an easy-to-use tool specially designed for software developing companies. The interface is straightforward, with no crammed features, and just simple UI. What makes it great for Software developers is the predictive analytics, real-time project management and tracking.   Why Clubhouse is suited as the best Project management software tools of 2019: • Anyone can create a project, add tasks, assign roles, set milestones, and track the progress. • Team members can reflect on daily chores through Kanban boards while focusing on the big picture. • For teams up to ten members, the monthly plan of $8.33 is available. • For teams up to ten members, a monthly plan of $8.50 per user is available. • One can chart the project update and generate a progress report.   Clubhouse Pros: • API access • Unlimited workspaces • App integration • Dedicated account management Clubhouse Cons: • No innovative feature • No time tracking functionality Rating: 4.1/5   16. ProProfs Project ProProfs Project is a simple project management software that has an easy to use and understand UI. The PM software also has all the tools to streamline workflow, improve team communication, monitor team performance, and bill clients automatically. Manage your projects, teams, clients, and other stakeholders on a single platform with ProProfs Project. Why ProProfs Project is suited as the Best Project Management Software Tools of 2019: It has two views - a single dashboard to view all your projects and their progress and a calendar view with which you can visualize milestones alongside your team easily ProProfs Project has features like time tracking and timesheet entries that help in project and resource management. Collaboration is really easy using ProProfs Project with features like Task Comments, Shared Calendar, Email Notifications, and File Sharing. Assign tasks to relevant teams and ensure they stay informed of all updates with task permissions. ProProfs Project offers four pricing plans, ranging from a Forever Free plan to an Unlimited Plan priced at $199/month.   ProProfs Project Pros: Easy to understand UI Extremely feature-rich Instant, insightful reporting Accurate, automated invoicing   ProProfs Project Cons: Kanban view still underway Non-customizable email notifications   Rating: 4.5/5 Summing Up: Companies trust in project management software to ensure all tasks are done on time, the project meets the deadline, and the workload is balanced for standard time management. Since these tools ensure project success, enhance the efficiency of resources, and increase organizational productivity, they are becoming an integral part of the majority of small, mid-size, and larger enterprises. Not only do these tools help with project estimation, tracking, and planning, but they also have collaboration features that make task assignment and resource scheduling very simple. Though we've shortlisted best of the project management tools, the final selection of one app can still be overwhelming. If we were to pick the most promising tools out of all these, we'd vote for Bitrix24. This tool has got all the features that you need to kick-start your team’s collaboration for business projects. You can also go for ProofHub. With these tools, the only area where you’ll have to compromise with is its pricing. These may fit the requirements of large enterprises, but given its expensive packages, it makes for a costly choice for small businesses.  
Seven in every ten entrepreneurs believes that the biggest obstacle to their company's success is in...
team communication
19 Dec 2018
9 Trendy Business Applications for Internal Communication
Communication, Co-ordination, and Correlation are the three apexes of any business.   Business Applications for Internal Communication is a base to crack organizational goals. With seamless communication and packed co-relation, it is easy to represent the whole as one. Evolving and growing smartphone technology tangled with internet evolution makes communication smoother than ever before.   In recent days, several mobile messaging applications are coming up with a user-friendly interface to make internal communication instant and seamless.   They come handy for your business to be more effective, streamlining your attempts to optimize efficiency and productivity. Employee involvement being paramount for business growth, these applications zero in on packaging several features to stay ahead in the race for the top slot.   However, business platforms ask versatile apps having all ends of communication for process betterment, which include data sharing, voice and video calls, group formation and above all customization. Have a close look over such compact business chat applications for internal communication.   We enlist below top 9 internal communication tools compatible with smartphones as well as with desktop computer to promote instant messaging for business.     Internal Communication Tools   1. Slack 2. Troop Messenger 3. Skype 4. Flowdock 5. Basecamp 6. Redbooth 7. DialMyCalls 8. Stride 9. Azendoo   1. Slack       Slack is the most efficient cloud-based team collaboration chat application that almost every organization’s workplace is using it. It allows team members to collaborate and manage the entire workflow through one platform.   Once a game company, it developed a tiny team chat app which within a span of 4 years rocks the business scene with its thrilling sensational communication threads. It’s an amazing project management and collaboration tool that provides your business a handy communication medium. This is a cloud-based team communication application and an awesome tool for internal conversation for companies with remote workers.   The slack chat room is organized shelf of topics, private chats and direct messaging. And slack allows its user to search for files, groups, and members associated with.   It provides for easy retrieval of history and is available for web, iOS, and Android and window phones.   2. Troop Messenger     Efficacious communication without any knot is the key to business enhancement. In order to keep your business processing smooth and slippery Troop Messenger, a business chat app has been designed keeping business needs in mind. Troop Messenger is available in both desktop and mobile, building a communication channel between employees.   Loads of amazing feature implementations make it power packed to address diverse business needs and necessities. Along with basic features of limitless messaging and file sharing, Troop Messenger offers security features like secured pin code, spot image and fingerprint for its mobile app in order to keep your business conversation private and confidential.   In business, you can’t take the risk of any data loss. And Troop Messenger is the best option for you in this regard. This is an auto-sync app with data restore option in case of reinstallation. Furthermore, for project collaboration and management it allows for unlimited private group creation with group notification to keep you updated.   3. Skype     Skype, from the stable of Microsoft, is the most familiar and widely used business communication app available for desktop and mobile. It has in-built text, video, voice and chat applications with file sharing and instant messaging features.   Skype for Business, formerly known as Lync 2013, is available for both desktop and mobile version to enable uninterrupted collaboration between teams. It has totally transformed the way people communicate with each other at their workplaces with its rich feature presence.   4. Flowdock     Flowdock is the –perfect balance of project management and internal communication tool. It presents the most effective way of organized team collaborations like no other messenger application does. Flowdock with versatile chat features allows multiple flows of conversations and available for both desktop and mobile.   A single dashboard of the Flowdock provides the visibility into the work processes. Flowdock allows the team members to identify conversations and get back to them easily, with the help of color-coded threads.   5. Basecamp     Basecamp is known to be one of the best and most effective Project Management and Team Communication software which enables the team members of the project to know each task updates.   Basecamp is another group chat app with a flexible bridge between organizational staff and clients for effective business management. In trade, client management has greater priority among other functions and Basecamp provides the impetus to assist you for healthy client relationship management.   Along with inter-communication, it manages intra-communication among departments of the same organization. Internal communication includes project management, file sharing, project collaboration, task allotment, and to-do list maintenance.   6. Redbooth      Redbooth Free is for teams up to two members to work on two active workspaces. Free users can use many of the core Redbooth features, including unlimited conversations, project templates, Store and Share Files, Organize Tasks with Tags and much more.   Redbooth lets the project team members communicate, prioritize and organize tasks to facilitate easier and faster project completion. It allows the team members to stay connected with its availability on iOS and Android.   With the primary function of task tracking, Redbooth is contributing to instant messaging for business. There is an inbuilt chat software in Redbooth that helps team members for instant conveyance.   7. DialMyCalls     Company’s work culture has the vital role to polish the brand values making the company stand tall in the market. And in this line, DialMyCalls may help you out is a virtual suggestion box. It allows the employees to use two-way text messaging along with custom vanity phone number to put an anonymous complaint against company harassment, bullying, and dysfunctional management.   This stand-out feature ultimately will help in ironing out the employee dissatisfaction and pave way for the betterment of organizational culture. Furthermore, DialMyCalls aids in HR management for sending mass notifications to employees via phone calls or text messaging to inform about upcoming events, meetings or due dates.   8. Stride     Office communication has been made-easy with Stride Could based messaging tool. It enables seamless and flawless intra-communication between team members to share endless innovative ideas, code, audio and video files etc., It thoroughly integrates with Atlassian tools namely Confluence or JIRA. These integrations allow us to receive notifications.   For startups, Stride is the best option for office chat being versatile and affordable with a design to integrate it with external software like Facebook, Dropbox, Google drive and many more for data security. Again it is accessible through both web and mobile from any corner of the world. Stride has both freemium and premium versions with basic and extended features respectively.   9. Azendoo     “Turn Conversations into Actions,” is what Azendoo says…   Sales and marketing are the most important parts of any business and Azendoo have been designed for furthering marketing advancement. Basically, Azendoo is a task tracker along with communication features. This tool is very useful for the design team as well and its chat feature is the carbon copy of Facebook private chat integration.   Azendoo allows the teams to clearly understand the tasks and responsibilities of the project and deliver quality results.   This is how, all the above-listed office collaboration messenger applications made, easy and transparent office communication!    
Communication, Co-ordination, and Correlation are the three apexes of any business.   Business ...
productivity
06 Jul 2019
How To Tell If a SaaS Provider Is Handling Sensitive Data Correctly
As companies show more and more interest in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) so do their concerns about the risks associated with storing their sensitive data on poorly secured SaaS “cloud” servers.   The results of a 2012 Capgemini report showed the top concern for businesses considering a move to the cloud was the possibility of a data breach. Companies are rightly concerned about such breaches, in the backdrop of a flurry of reports of data breaches in recent times.   Data is an important strategic asset for any business, and its breach can be devastating. This means any SaaS provider worth consideration should centralize its efforts into maintaining high security and privacy standards for its clients’ data.   In this article, I’ll share what to look out for when considering how a SaaS provider will handle your precious data.   I’ll also cover the risks associated with storing your data with a poorly secured SaaS product.   Along the way, I’ll explain how to ensure that you’re making the right choices when it comes to selecting the SaaS provider to who you’ll be trusting your sensitive data.   What are the Risks?   While using a SaaS provider will undoubtedly offer you several advantages, such as less upkeep on your part, lower overall costs, and making things easier on your IT department and your users, there are several risks involved in migrating to SaaS.   Data Access Risks   When you use a Software-as-a-Service provider, you are handing over your valuable data and other information to a third-party. If your data ends up in the wrong hands, especially your competition, it could be disastrous.   Stability   Security and stability are significant factors to consider when deciding on a SaaS provider. In a continually growing market like that SaaS is experiencing you can expect to encounter providers that may have difficulty in keeping up with the growing demand. This could be a significant problem if the provider you select goes out of business down the road.   If your provider does shut down, you could be faced with issues such as data recovery, the portability of your data, and additional costs of finding a new provider. That equals a lot of time and your business money going down the drain.   Security of Your Data   While a SaaS provider can easily discuss encryption protocols, 256-bit security, and more, it may leave the customer a bit confused. Logically, you know your data is being kept safe. But, just how safe is it?   In addition to how your data is protected while it’s being transmitted and stored, what about disaster recovery? What happens in case of a power outage or a natural disaster? Is your precious data recoverable? How long will it take to get back up and running?   There will also be ongoing concerns on how well a provider will keep up with modern security standards. You’ll need to make sure the provider responds promptly when security holes are discovered, and updates to their security protection are required.   Loss of Direct Control Over Your Data   While using a SaaS provider’s servers means you don’t have to spend time and employee resources to configure, set up, manage, maintain and upgrade software, you do lose total and absolute control over your data.   If something happens and you lose data, you won’t have any direct access to find out what went wrong. Instead, you’ll be forced to contact your service provider, then wait for their answer on what went wrong and for them to tell you what can be done about it.   The Location of Your Data   Your SaaS may not disclose to you the locations of their data centers. This could cause issues for you down the line. Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) regulations state customers must store sensitive data within the borders of the U.S. This could lead to instances where you might not have access to your data if you’re outside the country.   Lack of Transparency   SaaS providers can certainly be less than transparent about how they handle the security of their customers’ data. This lack of transparency can cause mistrust between the provider and its customers.   There are providers that will argue, and perhaps rightly so, that this lack of transparency on how they run their server operations helps protect the security of their customers.   However, there needs to be found as a happy medium between secrecy and data transparency. In this case, you do indeed want to know how the sausage is made!   What to Consider   Security   When using a Software-as-a-Service provider keep in mind that all of your data will be residing on your service provider’s servers. Always take a close look at what type of safeguards a SaaS provider has in place to protect your company’s data.   Real World Security   Site Security   Real world security might not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering SaaS and cloud storage. However, if you’re using SaaS, your data is sitting on someone else’s hard drives. Those hard drives exist in a physical location, and that location should be kept secured from access by unauthorized personnel.   When a company is using its own servers, they consider things such as how their server farm is secured, which personnel has both physical and network access to the servers, and more.   Considering the security protection for SaaS should be no different. Always quiz any potential provider on how whether they own their servers, where they’re located, what type of physical security protects access to their server farms, and who has physical access to the farms.   Disaster Recovery   Disaster management is also an important consideration when considering a SaaS provider. What types of disaster recovery plan does the provider have in place in case of fire, earthquake, or tsunami? (Hey, it could happen!)   Any provider worth consideration should have a solid disaster recovery plan in place. They should have a disaster recovery site set up in a location geographically separated from their primary location, and they should perform disaster recovery testing on a regular basis. They should also be able to provide an informed estimate of how long it will take to get things up and running again when disaster does strike.   Backup and Recovery Guarantees   Make sure you understand how the SaaS vendor you’re considering approaches backups and recovery of your data. Make sure the agreement specifies the vendor is required to restore your data in case of disaster.   Important factors to consider in this department are the amount of time an application might experience and what kind of potential data loss might take place. You should always have some type of compensation coming your way if your vendor doesn’t meet your reasonable expectations.   Virtual Security   Once you’re satisfied the servers holding your data are physically protected, it’s time to determine how well your data is protected from virtual access by malicious parties.   What type of access do you have to your data? Who else has access to your data? How well is your access protected against a Denial of Service Attack?   User Access   Would it be possible for unauthorized users to gain access to your data via the vendor’s website? (In other words, does the vendor offer a login gateway on their website or is access performed strictly through a protected portal?   A website gateway isn’t necessarily a weak spot. However, it can be used as an important piece of any spoofing attack that might be conducted against a SaaS provider. (Some readers may remember the 2014 email spoofing incident that involved Salesforce. This is an excellent example of how a login gateway on a website can cause trouble.)   What type of authentication does the SaaS provider use to authenticate your users’ logins? Do they offer two-factor authentication (2FA)? Is the 2FA performed via an authentication app on a mobile device, is a link or code sent via email or text? Or does the provider supply SecurID key fobs?   Check to make sure you can configure SaaS logins to come through a portal, like your company’s enterprise portal. Portals that are accessed via a VPN are a security plus. (A VPN is always a plus when it comes to security.)   Data Encryption   You’ve made sure access to your data is secure. Now, what about the security of the data itself? Always make sure your data is protected by encryption, both while it’s being transmitted and while it’s stored on the provider’s hard drive.   Data should be encrypted using a strong algorithm, such as offered by AES-256. Also, make sure your backups are encrypted for extra protection.   Find a provider that is open about their security and encryption procedures. Sure, they can’t spill all the beans on how things are secured, but they should be able to supply enough information to put your mind at ease. Microsoft, for example, has done a top-notch job of being transparent about their security measures.   Data Ownership   While SaaS buyers may logically expect that they own their data, there have been cases where the companies have been in for a big surprise when they terminated their relationship with their provider.   Make sure all contracts clearly specify what, if any fees are connected with getting back your data at the end of a contract. Also make sure it is clear that in addition to all of your data, you also retain ownership of any proprietary code and customizations you may have put in place during the agreement’s run comes with you at the end of the day.   Data Usage Analysis   Many SaaS vendors keep track of their users’ data (anonymously) across multiple clients. This allows the vendors to determine their research and development roadmaps and enables them to benchmark areas such as application usage, sales pipeline metrics, customer service wait times, and much more.   While this is a reasonable way to do business, customers should be provided with information about the data being captured by the provider, plus any possible benefits the customer might gain from the gleaning of their information.   Uptime and Performance   Be sure your SaaS service contract details expectations for application uptime. While a provider may make some off-hand guarantee of “99.5% uptime”, make sure the provider can supply documentation of previous uptime performance. Push for a performance guarantee.   By the way, a 99.5% uptime guarantee means you might reasonably expect to not have access to your data for almost two days out of the year. It doesn’t sound so great when you put it that way, does it?   Support   One benefit of Software-as-a-Service is that companies can move some of their help desk and support burden over to the SaaS provider. While this includes the traditional support calls and bug fixes duo, SaaS vendors should also offer additional support services such as password resets and other system health-related checks.   Always make sure the vendor specifies what types of support you can expect, (such as text, email, phone support, or online chat), and which users will have access to the support. (Management, base users, supervisors. etc.)   In Closing   While Software-as-a-Service is an excellent option for many businesses, there are pitfalls along the way that must be dealt with. The security of your company’s data is of utmost importance, and any concerns you have must be dealt with before agreeing to any contract with a SaaS provider.   Make sure all of your concerns are addressed before signing on the dotted line. Pay close attention to every security-related consideration, treating each concern with the utmost care. By doing so, you feel upbeat as your valuable data is in a safe haven!
As companies show more and more interest in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) so do their concerns about ...
productivity
14 Dec 2018
Top 20 Team Building Activities that Your Employees Would Love to Play
Industries and business often turn a blind eye towards “Team building activities” supposing them as a waste of time act and lame.   But whenever a manager says that we are going to do a few activities, my reel immediately recollects the episodes of The Office. Steve Carell nailed in being insanely awkward and hilarious though. Isn’t it?   Or you did not observe your employees rolling out their eyes when you bring about this topic? I am sure you did.   It could be because the events you are organizing are not exciting or insightful that resulted in sheer negligence within your workforce. But at Troop Messenger, we conduct team activities that almost all types of employees enjoy. Thus, I am sharing a huge list of activities that your team members would find hard to come by:   Team Building Activities   1. Sneak a Peek 2. The Wall 3. Truth and Lie 4. Find me 5. Egg Drop 6. Bind hands and Feet 7. Fill the Basket 8. Radio Play 9. Who is the Sherlock? 10. Campfire Anecdotes 11. Silver Lining 12. Blind Drawing 13. Shape of Words 14. Lemon and Spoon 15. Bubble Questions 16. Scramble Puzzle 17. Magazine Cover 18. Sale! Sale! Sale! 19. Kite Flying Competition 20. No Hitting    1. Sneak a Peek   This problem-solving team building activity needs a few building blocks. Yep! With which we used to play in our childhood and built the castles that touch the clouds.   How to Play :   Divide the members into two teams   Build a structure with the blocks and retain it in a separate room One player from each team can take a look at the building for 10 seconds.   Then that player has to get back to his/her team and guide them to build it for the next 30 seconds.   Each team gets one minute of time in order to build according to the guidelines.   Next, another player would get a chance to sneak peek for 10 seconds and do the same for the next 30 seconds.   This process repeats till all the members get a chance to peek the building and the team which modeled it first wins the game. Woohoo! Do not forget to take a pizza party from them ;)   This game majorly expects the teamwork and communication to relish the triumph.   2. The Wall    It need not be of 700 feet tall and should be made of solid ice just like in GOT. But I believe that nothing else can bond a team better than re-experiencing the memories they shared together. It is one of the team building games they will remember for eternity.    How to Play :   Set up a board and hand-out the notes and sketches among the group.    Ask the members to draw the memories they have with their fellow workers in that room.   Give some 20-30 minutes of time.   Once the time is up, let them stick with their partners on the wall.    Now, let everyone walk down the memory lane and share what they have penned down and attached on the board or wall, whatever. Observe their lingering smiles, there you go!    3. Truth and Lie   This game does not require any instruments and can be done anywhere anytime without any hassles. It is no competitive kind of game instead just designed to get to know each other better. The best moment to spice up your lies and experience some hilariously outrageous statements.   How to Play:   Gather them all in one room   Tell them to write two truth and one lie statements about themselves.   Each member has to come front and read the list and rest of the team has to identify the truths and lie among them.   This is one the best ice-breakers game. Give it a try!     4. Find me   Not a hide-and-seek game. But I am your employees love this team building game.   How to Play:    Tell your members to write three major qualities that define them   Keep all the notes in a casket   Pick a member and let him/her read the notes and rest of the members should guess who it could be.     5. Egg Drop   It is one of the classic team building activities that connect teams on artistic problem-solving. The whole idea is to construct an egg package that should have the ability to keep the uncooked egg intact even after surviving the 1-4 floor drop. Boom!   How to Play:   The package can only be constructed with balloons, newspapers, tape, and supplement straws as touch-ups.   Each team is expected to complete in 1-2 hours of time.   The package which remains after the fall would be the winner.   This game is a bit messy but classic one. The prime intent is to let them work together and communicate.   6. Binds Hands and Feet   Certain aspects in the workspace become easier and simpler with a proper collaboration amongst the team. This game majorly emphasizes the fact of how teams must collaborate and carry on.    How to Play:   Get some cloth strips or shoelaces or zip ties that can serve as to tie up two people without any discomfort.   Now ask all the players to shape like a circle and place all the items in the center of the circle.   Now tie one person’s wrist to his/her neighbor one until the whole group is joined together.   And the tasks could be your wish considering the resources, time, and space over there. Few suggestions could be transferring a cup of water from point A to point B, build a train with Legos etcetera.   A little touch of the time limit can excite the things.   Since the members are joined together, they ought to communicate crystal clearly to accomplish the tasks. It builds the relationships among the organization and supports people work together.    7. Fill the Basket   This is one of the team activities that are both challenging and exciting. This activity entirely relies on verbal communication which is essential in any business.    How to Play:   Prepare the playground with objects that are different from each other. Also, place a hamper at the center of the ground.   Divide the members into two groups and let them settle on the opposite sides of the ground.   Now let them pick a member from each group as a volunteer and blindfold them and release into the area to pick up their appropriate team objects and place them in the hamper. Since they are blind-folded they cannot see and they cannot question either.   And the teammates cannot tell the name of the object either. They just have to describe in their own way and help the volunteer reach the basket.   The group which places the object in the basket only lifts the trophy.   You can repeat this process until each member of the group gets a chance to act as a volunteer.   The team which wins the most number of rounds is usually considered as a winner.   I believe that this game is apt in showing the importance of team communication and how it can lead us to success.   8. Radio Play   Come on, come on, turn the radio on; it’s Saturday night and it won’t be long...La la la la laaaa I love Cheap Thrills. Well, we all love it. So, getting back to the story, there are always few members in the organization who like to hide behind the curtains when you mention that it’s a picture or video time. This game is all for that particular squad.   How to Play:   Get all the equipment needed that produce the sound effects.   Arrange notes and pens to prepare the lyrics or do whatever stuff needed.   Divide the members into three or four equal sized groups.   Let them pick or you can also assign a theme Give each team one hour to come up with their play and next 5-10 minutes for performing it.   Analyze each play and declare the nightingale of your company.   This activity would enhance unity and also a space to express their creativity. Additionally, it is a voice-related game so many might come forward to participate.    9. Who is the Sherlock?   It is high time to find out that Sherlock in your gang. This play does not demand any equipment or preparation either. And you can just organize it anytime.   How to Play:   Prepare a list of niceties kind of questions related to your workplace such as how many people share the name Sonal in the delivery department or like how many people do work in the development team and so on.   Write questions and answers on index cards   Now ask the questions to the group and look for answers   The member who answers the most wins the game   To make this game even more fascinating, divide the members into teams and provide whistles or buzzers for the participants.    10. Campfire Anecdotes    A classic corporate team building activity that encourages members to tell a tale. Companies can assemble in a circular form and experience the old memories with the warmth of the campfire with misty eyes.    How to Play:   Create some buzzwords that have the ability to ignite the storytelling session such as the first day at work, first crush, unforgettable experience in the current project and stick them to notes.   Take a board and separate it into two sections. Stick all those notes to the board over there.   Ask each member to come forward and share their story and also jot down the words.   Repeat the process until you get a wall full of words with stories. Storytelling is something that goes straight into the heart. This session could let your members open up and result in bliss!    11. Silver Lining   Every cloud has a silver lining. Don’t you think so? Recalling the memories is one of the best activities for the employees to get connected to each other. This activity could enhance self-esteem and make the members look at the other side of the coin.   How to Play:   Divide the members into groups who have worked together in the past.   One member from the first team shares the negative experience he/she has endured.   Then the other team members concentrate on the positive side of this issue.   The same process repeats until all the employees are done with this silver lining session.   Sharing experiences could boost the team bonding and build healthy relationships amongst themselves. Also, the experience is more like a matter of perspective. Transforming it into a positive light could certainly bring a difference in an individual. So, try it out.    12. Blind Drawing   One of the team building games I love to play every single day if possible. Nope, I am not exaggerating.   How to Play:   Divide all the members into teams of 4-6   Let them pick “the artist” among themselves   Arrange a flipchart and draw a picture leaving one main feature of it   Now blindfold “the artist” and make him stand in front of the picture   The rest of the team has to guide him/her in completing the picture within 1-2 minutes.   Enjoy Mr/Mrs. Picasso art now.!   13. Shape Of Words   This is a fun and physical activity your team members like without a second thought. This game would be interesting if there are large open space and a huge bunch of employees in your company.   How to Play:   As always, divide the members into groups.   Let the groups decide who acts as a team leader.   Write three-lettered or four-lettered words such as “team” “bat” etcetera depending on your employees' size and area. Place all these chits in a container.   Shuffle them well and let the team leaders pick chits of their own.   Now the team leaders have to guide the members to form that particular shape.   The team which manages to arrange themselves first wins the game.   This physical activity could actually bring the team together and gives a space to relax and drench in the fun and lots of laughter.    14. Lemon and Spoon    Yep! The game our teachers made us play in childhood.   How to Play:   Initially, make up your playground. Draw two borders with some 20-40 feet distance.   Split up the members into three to five groups. Each group has to play one-by-one.   Arrange some spoons and lemons that could fit in the space of spoon.   Now organize the employees to stand in a row with the spoon and lemon in their mouth.   Join the hands of the employees to each other.   Let the race begin. Boom!   Analyze which team took less time in reaching the destination without falling and declare them as winners.   Since this game strictly excludes the help of hands or arms, it is really funny and signifies the importance of teamwork to succeed eventually.    15. Bubble Questions   A bubbly game it is! This game is one of the stress-busters.   How to Play:   Arrange some balloons, paper, and pen.   Give each person a balloon and a piece of paper and write a question on it. It has to be funny, crazy, and quirky.   Now tell them to drop that paper in the balloon and blow it   Once everyone is done with blowing and tying, leave all the balloons into the air. Let them fly for some time.   The employees have to pick any one of the flying balloons and answer that question. Regardless of how stupid or childish it is.   16. Scramble Puzzle   Okay! This is funny enough and also implies the magnitude of communication among the members of the group.   How to Play:   You would require blindfolds and sets of the puzzles we played in the nursery.   Divide the members into teams and make them sit in a circular manner leaving one as a team lead or guide.   Now blindfold them all and make the team lead sit outside the circle   Lay out all the pieces in front of the blindfold group and let them fix the puzzle   The team leads or guide can of course guide through instructions in a verbal way.   This team building activity establishes high levels of trust and attention to detail among the organization.    17. Magazine Cover    Who does not like to be on a magazine cover? This corporate team building activity brings out the creativity and uniqueness in your team members since it is strictly without a computer or internet.   How to Play:   Get some papers, pens, markers, and stickers to create a magazine story.   Divide your employees into groups of 4-6.   Give them a couple of minutes to discuss how the visual magazine cover has to be like.   Allot some 30-40 minutes of time to come up with their cover that should reflect who they are or like what they are known for.   Analyze all and pick the best among them.   If possible, reward them in any organization occasions or events.    18. Sale! Sale! Sale!   Yes, you have to sell now. This could be enthralling and hilarious since you will get to know all the weird and funny ways of convincing you to buy an item.  This event has to be spontaneous.   How to Play:   Gather all your members into a room that have a different kind of objects.   Split them into small groups of size three maximum.   Now each group has to sell the item to another group in just three minutes of time.   Repeat this process until each group acts as both buyer and seller.   Whichever team has been successful in selling and buying owns the product or item. Just saying :P    19. Kite Flying Competition   Fly high till the sky. Yep, not literally but you can experience that highness during this outdoor team building activity.   How to Play:   Again, divide the members into groups.   Arrange all the elements needed to make a kite.   Distribute the items equally to all the groups and give 30 minutes of time to make a kite.   Now it is time to let the kites fly up in the sky.   Consider the things like the time taken to make the kite, which kite is stable for long, and the appearance of kite etcetera while finalizing the result.   20. No Hitting   This is also one of the team building games your team says yes to play. But I think men prefer it.   How to Play:   Divide the team into two equal parts.   Arrange a proper balloon or ball for stability and fun.   Draw a line as a border in between both the teams   The task is whichever team can keep the ball without letting it strike the ground in the given time is a winner. But no person can hit the ball twice in a line.   We have compiled the list of team building activities we have implemented and experienced the positive vibes from our team. A team can be effective and productive only when they do things with will and wish. And these activities certainly could bring a difference in your operations.   And what do you do in your team? Share with us in the comments section below:  
Industries and business often turn a blind eye towards “Team building activities” suppo...
x series vs slack
17 Jun 2019
Ryver Vs Slack: Which Platform Made Collaboration Simple!
We knew that you have already read few articles from our Troop Messenger blog-store on Slack alternatives.   So far we have made comparison blogs on Slack vs Microsoft Teams, Slack vs Yammer, Slack vs Discord, etc., to make you understand the insights of both the tools.   Having said that, we have added one more to our store, and that is Slack vs Ryver.   Table of Contents    Introduction of Both Tools Getting Started Conversation (Messaging, audio, video call) Integrations Task Management Channels vs Forum Pricing Support   Quick Infographic Comparison between Ryver Vs Slack        Introduction of Both Tools   Ryver The USP of business messaging applications is -Interact less and collaborate more. Among the plethora of such tools, Ryver stands tall both in terms of cost and efficiency. This tool ranks as one of the most searched out one across the USA for its fame.   Pat Sullivan, CEO of Ryver Team Communication says Ryver has been specially designed for teams, enterprises, IoT networks with solid features of security embedded. The Ryver website offers live chat support for all its users to answer a wide array of user queries in order to provide smooth communication across teams.   Slack Slack brings teams together to make them communicate on project discussions, task updates, delivery deadlines and to ascertain quite a lot more daily office routines. It is launched in the year 2013 by Stewart Butterfield. Slack is an acronym which expands to “Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge”, but across continents, it is widely known as Slack.   Slack stands as a best collaborative software that moves work forward across teams in the organizations.   Getting Started   Ryver Ryver comes with a free 14-day fully functional trial to create a new Ryver organization. Whoever is interested to be a part of Ryver can join by Clicking on the ‘Start for Free’, tab on their website home page to get registered to the application. It insists the users fill up the registration form with the basic details and valid email id to send a verification mail.   The new users will also be receiving a direct message through the mail from Eddy Bot to help them get great Ryver experience. This free trial lets the admin add unlimited users, with provision for extending usage after the trial period by contacting the Support Team.   Slack  Slack would definitely be a great choice to opt when it comes to the team collaboration across small and medium-sized companies, as it allows its free trial for an unlimited amount of time, though with a depleted set of features. Slack users can directly login to the application with their workspace name.   The project name users give at the time of the Sign-up process is seen as a channel on the home page of Slack interface. Slack users have the privilege to switch between the workspaces from within the interface itself.   Our Verdict: The Signup process of Ryver seems to be a little confusing and tedious when compared to Slack.   Conversation (Messaging, audio, video call)    Ryver  Conversations in Ryver happens through direct messaging, Teams and Forums. The “Start Here”, roster tab which is seen on the home-page makes the users chat visible to all organization members and guests. To have endless chat conversations among team members, the admin is allowed to add people to the organization by sending them an invite to join Ryver.   Ryver facilitates the users to create Forums and Teams to interact dynamically on a wide range of projects and tasks. The Roster “Start Here”, the tab shows “JOINED ORG ADMINS, JOINED MEMBERS and BOTS” at the right panel of the home page to easily identify the list of admins and members.   Messaging can take place across;   Ryver’s Forums - Members and guests join the conversations to participate and view activity.   Teams  - allow only team members to participate and view activity.  Ryver says, “Private teams are a great way to have a group of people focus on a project, topic or assignment”.Ryver allows voice and video calls across direct messaging, teams and forums.     Slack  Messaging across Slack takes place through direct messages, channels, and threads. The users can directly interact with Slackbot for all kinds of help/assistance.   If in case it couldn’t answer the user queries, it will search for the help center to assist them further.   The sender can open the chat window of the recipient user from the member's list to initiate a one-on-one conversation with the chat support features of ;   Add reaction Share link Attach files  Star message  Delete message  Mark unread  Show conversation details  Voice and video calls  Conversation settings and many more.   Our Verdict: Conversations across Slack and Ryver happens through messaging, audio and video call. Slack is easy to use than Ryver.   The similar post you might like:   Discord vs Slack   Microsoft Teams Vs Slack   Yammer Or Slack   Integrations  Ryver  This application supports a wide array of integrations presenting the best user experience!   Dive into the world of integrations from the user's profile drop-down window of the Ryver home-page. Ryver, in association with Zapier, supports 1500 integrations along with a good number set of custom integrations to make users super productive.   Slack  Slack comes with a tag line of “Add apps, get work done” in its app directory page. The user needs to navigate to this page from, “Browse Apps”, a section of the Slack home page where they are further allowed to manage custom integrations too.   With a diverse range of app integrations, the users of the Slack team collaboration tool can pull reports, start making calls, file support tickets, have a face-to-face video conferencing and more right within Slack   Pros and Cons of Integrations: Integrations make a great way to help users enhance the quality of the application.  A wide range of apps can be integrated into Slack and Ryver to address every need of the user.   The only disadvantage would be the process of integration that the users have to undergo.   Our Verdict: App Integration Process in Slack seems to be much easier than Ryver.    Task Management Ryver Task Management at Ryver is simply awesome!   It allows users to create unlimited tasks to help them process better solutions. The feature of the team and personal task boards enable the users to personalize them according to their project requirements. This feature allows to break down your project into various tasks and presents a complete view at each of them.   The task stream section that is available on the left navigation bar gives us an overview of all the latest tasks.   Slack Slack allows its users to integrate with a wide range of project management tools like Asana, Trello, Jira, etc., to keep all your projects on track. Slack to-do lists in channels enable all the team members to view all the tasks at one place to have an easy understanding and flexible workflow.   Automation of tasks is said to be one of the unique features of Slack. We can “time” the Slack to send automated task reminders through notifications.   Our Verdict: Comprehensive and built-in task management and work-flow automation process are available in Ryver, whereas in Slack this facility can be only achieved through integrations.     Channels vs Forum   Ryver Forums All open discussions happen in Ryver’s Forums.   Forums allow individuals, teams, and guests to join and participate in team decision making and discussions. These Forums are almost similar to Slack’s channels. The Slack Migration Tool enables Ryver to import Slack users, messages, files, and posts into Ryver. You can find the “Forums” on the left panel of the Ryver’s home-page.   As a user of Ryver, you are supposed to join a Forum to avail the services provided by it. The users have the privilege to join and leave Forums at their interest.     Slack Channels Slack facilitates leverage to create public and private channels. While in the public channels any users of the workspace will be able to view and join channels. Whereas in private channels only invitees are supposed to view and interact with others. Slack allows having up to 1000 people in each channel.   The users of Slack can find all the channels grouped at the left navigation bar of the home page.   Pricing   Ryver Ryver comes with the pricing plans of Starter - $49/month Unlimited - $99/month Enterprise - $399/month    The first two plans start as a free 14-day trial offer. The starter plan has been built for up to 12 users with the features of unlimited chat, unlimited file sharing, task management, etc.,   The second plan which is the most popular of all three is meant for unlimited users with the features of custom invite links, unlimited chat, unlimited file sharing, task management, voice, and video calls, etc., An advanced feature of workflow automation, single sign-on, premium support, advanced team management, testing sandbox and with all other features of Starter and Unlimited are seen in Ryver’s Enterprise plan.   Slack  Slack comes with the pricing plans of Free - $0 (Storage per member- 5 GB) Standard - $6.67/month (Storage per member - 10 GB) Plus - $12.50/month (Storage per member - 20 GB) Enterprise Grid (Storage per member - 1TB) The free plan of Slack comes with 10k searchable messages, 10 app integrations, one-to-one video calls and two-factor authentication for an unlimited amount of time. The other plans would include Standard, Plus, and Enterprise Grid.   Support   Ryver Ryver extends great support to its users. The support website page welcomes the user with Eddy Bot. A detailed quick start guide for navigating the Ryver, user guide for providing an overview of the Ryver, a technical guide to assist users on external integrations, Slack import tool, Developer APIs, etc.,   Ryver further allows live chat and help support to attend all the user queries with the utmost ease. It facilitates the users to share their product ideas and requests new features with the Ryver team from the support webpage.   Slack The slack team extends a well co-ordinated and collaborative customer support to all its users. The support teams resolve issues and share knowledge on the product. It allows users to collaborate with more powerful integrations to achieve faster customer query resolutions.   It lets you post support tickets in channels itself only, thereby not letting you leave it to track status on them.   Conclusion Team collaboration applications are must-have for any kind of organizations. Be it small, medium or large type of organizations, there is an utter need of people to interact with each other on diverse projects and tasks to achieve success and within time schedules. Ryver and Slack, both have their own set of pros and cons in extending team collaboration.   Disclaimer: The aim of the article is to be informative. We intend users take an informed decision for an effective and productive experience. The comparison shown between Ryver vs slack in the blog is only towards that end and has no intention of pitting one against the other team collaboration app brands. The images, logos, any concepts etc., used in this blog, purely belong to their respective companies or applications (Ryver and Slack). Readers are advised to consult and confirm from the respective service providers regarding details of features, latest updates, prices, and their policies before utilizing any of their services. This further informs the reader that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog solely belong to the author’s perception, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual.
We knew that you have already read few articles from our Troop Messenger blog-store on Slack alterna...
productivity
18 May 2019
Finest Five To-Do List Apps in 2019 for Android, iPhone, Windows, and Mac
When was the last time you forgot to do an important task?   And, when was the last time you decided to create to-do lists, but never kept up to it-because obviously, who has the time to pull out a pen and paper to note everything down?   Well, you are not alone. It’s a human tendency to forget things, and later regret not being efficient at task management.   Having a to-do-list app is not only about organizing the daily tasks but also keeping track of the progress, and completing them to meet goals.   Do we even need to explain why everyone should have to-do-list applications on their smartphones? There are over hundreds of to-do-list applications with a great many features and specifications. These applications have been around for a long time.   But, here’s something: Not all the applications fit the user requirement. Keeping track of tasks and daily work is an intensely personal thing, and users will switch off from any application that doesn’t meet their needs.   Let’s face it. Finding the right to-do-list application can be an overwhelming (and equally disappointing) task. That’s why we conducted exhaustive research on the top-rated applications reviewed each of them on the basis of their features, ease of use, pricing, and supported platform.   We have written this article after spending a lot of time during feature analysis and unbiased comparison. And finally, we present to you what we believe is the best to do list apps for iPhone, Android, Windows, and MacOS.     Best To Do List App in 2019   1. Microsoft To-Do 2. Wunderlist 3. Todoist 4. TickTick 5. Things 6. Keep & Share 7. Any Do 8. Toodle Do 9. OmniFocus 10. Notion     Microsoft To-Do     Supported Platforms: Android, Windows, and iOS   Pricing: Free   From office task management to daily life events, Microsoft To-Do can be your go-to application for recording everything you need to get done, every single day.   To-Do by Microsoft empowers the users to accomplish more by adding a new task, tracking the on-going work, removing the to-do once it is completed.   With access to your daily list, you can review tasks due, set reminders to complete them on time, streamline your activities, and eliminate all confusion.   Highlights:   Microsoft To-Do has a very clean and user-friendly interface. The app assures great flexibility with the standard UI and UX. The deep integration with Microsoft tools is a standout feature. If you are using Outlook and wish to sync your task to your mobile phone, the Microsoft To-Do makes it possible with one-click. Adding to-dos has never been easier. For this application, Windows and iPhone users can also use voice command service. For example, if you are using Windows, you can ask Cortana to add a new task to your specific to-do list. It is cloud-based and so it can be integrated with Office 365.   What’s Missing:   The tools lack task management and collaboration feature. MacOS version is still unavailable and hence Microsoft To-Do needs to work on the collaboration front.   Best Suited For:   Both Personal and Professional needs. If you want a personal space to create and track your tasks, Microsoft To-do is the best. It’s not for those who want to work collaboratively with colleagues on the same project.     Wunderlist       Supported Platforms: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, Windows, Kindle Fire and the Web    Pricing: Free   With Wunderlist, you get the flexibility to get stuff done with ease.   Whether you have plans to meet a friend, deliver a project, contact a client, or plan a business party, Wunderlist is the perfect solution for ticking off all your professional and personal to-dos.   Highlights:   The app makes it super easy to create, organize, and share the to-do on the go. You can also group the related list in one folder. It allows the users to assign to-dos and tasks irrespective of geographical locations, set reminders, and accomplish tasks within the due date. The tool allows users to work collaboratively. With Wunderlist, teamwork can be very flexible since you can share tasks and work together. It’s also a perfect app where you can host all communications together. With Wunderlist, you can print the to-do with one click.    What’s Missing:   The application is not suitable for advanced task management.  It doesn’t support a native calendar view and built-in time tracking feature, which can be a hindrance for task management.   Best Suited For:   Basic level task management. As long as you need standard task management features in a to-do list app, Wunderlist comes in really handy. For advanced task management, this online to-do list tool is not the best choice.     Todoist      Supported Platforms: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, Windows, and the Web    Pricing: Free Version Available      Millions of people are using this application to streamline daily tasks and activities.   The tool lets the user keep track of all their tasks, and in that way, helps them enjoy peace of mind. With Todoist, you can efficiently add the tasks, set reminders, never worry about forgetting urgent things.   It works anywhere, anytime, and across all devices.   Highlights:   It keeps all the tasks in one place and gives users confidence that all the activities and to-dos are well organized. Where ‘Quick add’ allows users to capture and manage tasks, the ‘Reminder feature’ helps them build habits and remember approaching deadlines. The prioritization feature facilitates prioritizing tasks, highlighting what’s more important, and mapping out project goals The application can be integrated with dozens of third-party applications like Dropbox, Zapier, IFTTT, AmazonAlexa, GoogleCalendar, and others.     What’s Missing:   Built-in time management and tracking feature are missing.  Todoist lacks a dedicated module for meeting management.   Best Suited For:   Todoist is best for those people who want to meet productivity goals.  The Todoist Karma points, streaks, and levels are some of the features they can use to see tangible progress of your project. This feature lets you measure the progress through beautiful visualization and graphs.     TickTick        Supported Platforms: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, Windows, and the Web    Pricing: Free Version Available    Paid Plan Starts at : $2.4/month    As the name implies, this tool lets the user make checklists (to-do lists), organize them in the order of priority, and then tick them off after completing the tasks.   Millions of people use this to do list template to capture, organize, and prioritize tasks and make the most of their working days.   Highlights:   The in-built calendar facilitates reminder setting so you never miss an important meeting, a client’s project delivery, or an important phone call. The flexible calendar view helps a user check their schedule and manage it according to their convenience. Those who want to work collaboratively, can assign tasks, share the to-do list, check project progress, and stay productive together TickTick can be synced across multiple platforms. The tool supports voice input, Siri commands, and it can also convert emails into tasks. TickTick also has Pomo Timer, which is based on the Pomodoro Technique that helps the user to stay focused and play white noise in the background.     What’sMissing:   TickTick doesn’t support integration with other project management apps, which hinders workflow.   Best Suited For:   It’s perfect for everyone who wants to increase their daily productivity. The PomoTimer is a great feature that can be used to enhance focus and eliminate distraction. With TickTick, Organization is simple. You can organize tasks into lists, tasks, subtasks, and folders. Furthermore, all these can be sorted in accordance with priority, tags, and custom lists.     Things      Supported Platforms: iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch    Pricing: 15-Day Free Trial Available    MacOS: $49.99    iPad: $19.99    iPhone & Apple Watch: $9.99    Things is an award-winning, and critically acclaimed personal task manager, specially designed for iPhone and Mac users.   It's got powerful features, all-new design, and a great many interactions. It has no shortage of functionalities, and yet all features are provided in a manner they never feel cluttered. Things are the best to-do list apps for the iPhone.   Highlights:   Easy drag and drop UI that allows users to rearrange the task in order of priority. Headings feature for creating categories within the task and forming structure to streamline the workflow. Calendar view with start and end date of the task. Push notifications for reminders, advanced search filters, and focus mode for essential tasks. Visual aids like a pie chart that allows project tracking and progress monitoring over time.     What’s Missing:   The tools lack collaboration feature. The lists cannot be shared with others and so, co-working through Things is not feasible. It's more of a personal task manager. The app is available only for Apple device users.   Best Suited For:   Apple Device users who want to sync their to-dos across all the devices, and review, edit, and organize the personal tasks. Things are mainly recommended for personal use.     Keep & Share      Supported Platforms: iPhone, Android, and Windows.    Pricing: Free Plan for individual use is available with 500 calendar entries    Paid Plan: For personal use is available at $9 per month with 3000 calendar entries    Multi-User plan: starts at :$19 per month with 3000 calendar entries   Have you ever wanted to have a personalized calendar that marks all your important dates, meetings, schedules, and upcoming tasks? In short, your virtual time management assistant.   Keep & Share is one such application that offers a secure and customizable calendar which you can review, edit, and access anytime, anywhere.   These calendars are shareable, which makes office collaboration very simple and secure.   Highlights:   As soon as an admin makes any changes in the schedules, all team members get instant notifications by text message and emails. Keep & Share can be used to assign tasks, jobs, and schedule appointments with team members and also in their personal calendars. All the individual calendars can be grouped later to create a master calendar. The tool tagging and variant coloring options, which makes the organization very simple. Using the tags, you can filter the calendar to find just what you need. You can divide events between different team members, add extra details in grids, and compare schedules through the side-by-side view.   What’s Missing?    The tool lacks a dedicated subtask management feature and the time-tracking option.  One can share the calendar with team members, but cannot integrate it with other task management applications.   Best Suited For:   Office and Team Work. If you want to manage a big project by keeping all the team members on the same page, Keep & Share is a perfect choice. The tool will keep all the employees on track of what's happening and what has been changed in the plan.     Any Do      Supported Platforms: Android and Windows.    Pricing:  Free Plan with basic features is Available    Paid plan with advanced features starts at : $2.99 per month     Your busy life needs an application that can streamline all your tasks and help you become a more organized and productive person. Any-Do is one such application with extensive task management features. It is used by millions of people to get more things done.   Highlights:   The tool’s basic functionality is organization. You can organize your lists, tasks, and events, and set reminders for each. The application seamlessly syncs with all types of devices and operating systems, which makes your to-dos accessible anytime, anywhere. With beautiful calendars and the turbo-charged features, the users can keep track of all their projects, save time, and make every day productive. The app has a one time, recurring, custom, and location-based reminder settings, which assures that you never miss out on what’s important.    What’s Missing:    Any Do doesn't support advanced task management for the free plan. For example, you cannot share the list or integrate it with third-party tools in the free version. The premium plan, however, offers both communication and collaboration features.   Best Suited For:   Both personal and professional needs, especially users who want to complete tasks based on their geographical locations. The location-based notification features are a great way of getting things done just where you want.     Toodle Do      Supported Platforms: Android, iOS, Web browsers, and Windows.    Pricing: Free Plan with basic features is Available    Paid plan with advanced features starts at : $2.99 per month     With Toodle Do, Task management is easy, efficient, and productive. If you want a To-Do application with great many task management features, Toodle Do has to be the final pick.   It has got everything you need to streamline workflow, organize tasks, and boost productivity.   Highlights:   It is a powerful application with features like Due Dates, Reminders, Schedule, and Folders management. You can quickly sort all the lists with the easy search, filter option, and tags. The Status features allow users to keep track of the tasks, and the Batch Edit can be used to make changes to the group. Prioritize the tasks and to-dos by adding stars, setting goals, and adding priority levels. The tool has a wide variety of options like exporting, importing, and data backup.   What’s Missing:   The tool lacks a dedicated customer care support or issues management module. Both the collaboration and advanced task management features are missing in the free plan.   Best Suited For:   Office teams on tight-schedules and deadlines. The collaboration features, tasks addition via email, full history, and priority support are some of the features that can make task management efficient for professionals.     OmniFocus      Supported Platforms: iPhone and Mac Computers   Pricing: 14-Day Free Trial Available   OmniFocus : 3 license is available at $49.99    This is a To-do list application with the most refreshing design. OmniFocus is built with a fresh design and interactive UI, which makes it an appealing platform to work on. With all the powerful features like Quick entry, forecast, view options, perspectives, syncing, and light and dark mode, you can take complete control of the daily tasks.   Highlights:   You can add actions through Siri Voice Command, and the reminder setting to make sure you never forget anything important. The actions can be grouped into tasks, and then into projects. This way, you and your team can work collaboratively. For better search results, add tags, set priority, importance level, and location. There is a perspective feature that can be used for OmniFocus users to plan their day and do things on their lists. Online syncing assures that all your data are always up-to-date on all your devices. Mac users can opt for a pro plan where they use features like custom sidebar, focus mode, custom perspective, and apple script.   What’s Missing?   The application is not available for Android and Windows users. For beginners, OmniFocus can be too complicated. Many options can be overwhelming to understand at first.   Best Suited For:   iPhone mobile and Mac computer users who want to follow to-dos and streamline workflow in both personal and professional aspects of their lives. It's an excellent tool for users who follow the GTD approach as it has a dedicated functionality to help get everything done faster.     Notion        Supported Platforms: Web, Mobile, Mac, Windows    Pricing: Free Version is Available    Personal plan is available at : $4 per month    Team plan is available at  : $8 per month    Enterprise plan is available at : $8 per month     This new to-do list tool is designed for writing, collaborating, planning, and organizing purposes. With Notion, you get to do a lot more than setting up tasks and reminders. It's a one-in-all tool with a great many features.   Highlights:   The application supports over 30 media types, and lets you have a simple and comfortable writing experience. It works like GiHubWiki by turning a user’s tribal information into the easy-to-look answers. You can add tasks, assign teams, and roles. You can create checklists and roadmaps to accomplish the assigned roles through Kanban board, list view, and Calendar. This tool lets you keep a record of all the critical information through spreadsheets and the databases. It works offline too and syncs with your devices in real-time.   What’s Missing?   It lacks communication features and real-time discussion with the team members The time tracking feature is not available.   Best Suited For:   Notion is the perfect solution for ticking off all your professional to-dos and managing tasks at an advanced level. The project management is more accessible with Notion, but you'll have to use a separate application for communicating with the team members.   Conclusion:   Finding the best task management software system can be overwhelming. More the options, more confusing it gets. Hence, we have done your homework and presented you with the top-rated tools to pick from.   If you are an android user, TickTick and Todoist can be a great pick. Windows users can easily rely on Microsoft To-Do, and Apple users can go with Things and OmniFocus. And if you want a tool that works across all platforms, Wuderlist, Toodle Do, and Keep & Share can be the safest (and the smartest) pick.   This marks the end of best to do list applications available. What do you think will work best for your task management needs? Let us know in the comments below.     
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