Be Free, Lance | Collaborate Effectively

After working with my friend Jen on the Be Free, Lance workshop for over a year now, I thought it would be fun to share some tips (and apps!) I’ve picked up on to help make collaboration a breeze. Working with someone else can be an amazing and insightful experience, but if you aren’t organized or on the same wave length, it becomes that much more difficult to operate. So why not make life easier?

GOOGLE DRIVE One of the first things we did when starting our collaboration was to create a shared Google Drive folder specifically for our project that we could both access. Within that folder, there are OTHER folders (surprise surprise) that help keep everything organized. We have a section for course content, finances, and a few other things, too. This way, we can both update documents at the same time, collaboratively edit, and not have to send files back and forth, which is a major time saver.

DROPBOX Jen and I are both synched up with DropBox, so that we can access our files absolutely anywhere (highly recommended). I signed up a little late in the game, but after I got myself situated, Jen invited me to her “Be Free, Lance” folder and everything has gone SO much smoother since. Now, instead of having our own folders on our respective desktops, we see the exact same things. If I edit a file, Jen automatically has the updated version. Or if Jen creates a new folder and fills it with important files, I’ll be able to see it as well. I can’t tell you how slick this is. I’ll never go back. ;)

SPLIT TASKS Whenever you start a new collaboration, it’s important to talk about who does what. Assess each of your individual skills and assign different tasks so that the work is split up evenly. For example, I have more of a background in website development, so I handle a lot of the “tech” stuff related to the BFL website. And since that takes time, Jen has stepped in to be the main designer on our website and marketing materials, as that’s something that takes time as well. Other little things, like who posts to what social media outlets, can (and should) be discussed!

TODOIST So you’re already sharing files seamlessly and have decided who does what. But how do you create a plan and system so that you’re both aware of what’s happening at any given time? This is where ToDoist comes in for us. Inside ToDoist, we have a specific BFL folder where we can list tasks, assign them to a certain person, and set due dates. We started off sharing timelines in email, but those quickly got buried or lost, so this has become a lifeline! Now, we know exactly who needs to do what and when they need to do it by. And when a task is complete, we simply check it off and move on! I’m completely obsessed.

COMMUNICATE Despite having all of these cool apps and feeling organized, it’s still extremely important to make sure that you’re always communicating. If you have an idea that you’re not sure about, share it! That’s what collaboration is all about … working together to create something BETTER than you could do yourself. Or if you feel like there’s too much on your plate, speak up! Open + honest communication is the backbone to a successful collaboration. If you have that, you’re already ten steps ahead. ;)

PS Registration for our second Be Free, Lance workshop is only open until this coming Monday!! Our private facebook group is already buzzing around with new relationships and introductions, and I’m excited to see how it flourishes from there. We hope you can join us!

  1. Hooray! I’m loving all the posts you’ve been sharing about Be Free, Lance. I’m pinching a few pennies to join in on the fun :)

  2. Thanks for the resource list! I’ll definitely have to check out To-do list, sounds really useful.

  3. Kelly Brito says:

    I love Todoist. I also like TeuxDeux. Both great in their own way.
    Dropbox is lovely, but Google Drive integrates with so many other apps, offer more document type possibilities and tons of more space, so is the one I use (also sync on my computer, so I never lose anything).

    Wow, Be Free, Lance 58 already? Holy cow! Time flies! :)

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  6. Giulia says:

    Thank you for sharing this! For me post like this are so important. I would try Google Drive (I heard about it but I never tried it)

    Giulia
    http://www.leggitea.it
    http://www.leggiteablog.wordpress.com

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