What are some of the best tools of the trade for managing a writing team?

I'd like to keep track of projects, editing, and version control as simply as possible. I see a zillion tools and possibilities, just want something simple and reliable. Any in-depth case studies of which anyone is aware would also be helpful. Thanks :)


Focus on having one place for your editorial schedule. We use for our project planning - but other solutions include Trello and Basecamp. Set in place working processes that force users back to the project management app for all their work. E.G. we use Teamwork as the agenda for our update meetings - it is immediately obvious if someone isn't using it or it isn't up to date with their status. Name and Shame works as a motivator.

Secondly, the editorial calendar (which can be a spreadsheet of monthly activities) sets out what needs to be done in advance so you can plan.

Thirdly use cloud services so there's only one version of any document you are writing. We use Google Docs and from the fall you'll also be able to do the same on Apple with their Yosemite update. One document, multiple users.

Fourthly, if you want to be picky - as I am, have a file naming convention on your documents. We use date followed by client name and detail of the document. Note using a YYMMDD date format means all documents sort into reverse date order easily (the US date format does not work).

How is that for starters? Get in touch if you want a 20 minute update on what you've chosen and I can try to spot any issues or working practices you may need to reinforce.

Answered 10 years ago

There are lots of all-in-one solutions (Co-Schedule seems to be one I see popping up in my Facebook feed a lot), but we cobble together our own. Google Docs for editing, WordPress editorial calendar for planning, Flow for assigning and completing tasks.

We manage a number of high-volume blogs, and we use the same system across the board to keep it simple for all of us. This post goes into detail on how we do it -- happy to answer any questions:

Answered 10 years ago

Hi! As a project manager/writing team head, I've tried various tools already but the tool I liked the most was Base Camp's project management board. I like its simple yet powerful interface as I was able to track pending projects, communicate with several clients in one dashboard and able to receive notices via email.

Answered 10 years ago

Management certainly takes some time and effort; though going about it in the right way, and concentrating on the key things that influence performance, help keep what must be done manageable. But it can make a difference to results, and that difference may well be significant. If you have a number of people and are able to influence them all, even a modest amount, then the results multiply and may be directly seen in efficiency, productivity and ultimately in profit, growth or whatever else an organisation aims to achieve. There is, however, no magic formula. There is no one thing, certainly no one simple thing, which you can do to guarantee a performance boost. If only life were that simple. There are, however, a number of things that can be done, which together do enhance performance and which also, over time, create a team better and better able to perform effectively and to achieve the desired results more certainly. It is some of this methodology that this publication reviews. Management matters. While it does not just happen, all the evidence is that the effective manager can influence – and enhance – peoples’ performance; so the first thing is perhaps to resolve to do just that and perhaps to set some targets and time aside so to do. It is worth noting that people do not usually resent management (some managers feel they are inherently being intrusive), they only resent bad management. Good management is usually welcomed as it allows people to do better and can see them enjoying their work more and thus finding their career truly satisfactory. Let us be clear that without good people any hope of excellent performance is in jeopardy. Recruiting and selecting the right people at any level is key. As well as having the right abilities, they must fit in, you must be able to manage them and their suitability must be good not just for today’s job, but also for the future. Retaining people, good people, is highly cost-effective. In a word it must be done – systematically. This is no place for short cuts and expediency. Nor for subjectivity and hunches (even though we all like to think we are instant good judges of character and can spot a good candidate as they walk through the door). You must get it right. This means:
1. Being clear what a particular job and work entails, in all its detail.
2. Defining the nature and characteristics of the person likely to make a success of it.
3. Creating clear documentation (everything from job descriptions to any job advertisement or specification used).
4. Considering the details submitted by applicants (which may need a well-designed application form to make comparisons easier) and short listing the most promising candidates for interview.
5. Interviewing thoroughly, giving the process sufficient time and recognising the fact that the best guide to what people will do in the future is what they have done in the past.
6. Making a considered judgement in final selection. Never make the (common) mistake of going for the “best of a bad bunch”, and always remember how much disruption (and time and cost) appointing the wrong person causes. You must be sure, even if that means the recruitment process takes longer.
You only must think of the cost of replacing people to see that extending good peoples’ tenure with the organisation is highly desirable. The longer people stay the better able they should be to do their jobs well; and indeed, the more qualified they become to take on further responsibilities. Indeed, their growth can parallel that of the organisation. So, how do you encourage it? First accept that it needs encouraging. There may be other market opportunities for people and, even if they like their job, left alone they may get bored or see apparently greener grass elsewhere.

Then consider the areas in which action is logically necessary. If people are to be retained, then they must be:
1. Fairly rewarded (and this involves more than simply salary: it includes a range of things from incentives to pension schemes).
2. Actively motivated (see next question): so that they constantly find satisfaction in their work and with the organisation – and, not least, with the line manager – with whom they work.
3. Helped to develop: to keep their skills up to date and to extend them so that they are able to do their current job well and become qualified to do more. The provision of active development is always rated extremely high in surveys asking people what they hope for in development is always rated extremely high in surveys asking people what they hope for in a job.
4. Provided not only with a clear brief, but also with variety and real challenges (far more people move jobs through boredom, than ever do so because they cannot cope).
5. Shown that there are long term career prospects: things worth achieving and about which it is worth taking a longer-term view.
6. Considered and consulted: no one will stay long in an environment that actively penalises them, or where they apparently count for nothing.

To make the task easier, these days we have several tools. Some of them are as follows:
1. nTask: nTask is a comprehensive tool that is designed especially for Agile Teams. Comprising several modules and features devoted to Task management, project management, issue management, risk management, meeting, and team management, it provides all possible solutions for any business under one roof. Top Team Management Features of nTask:
1. Unlimited workspaces
2. Unlimited team members
3. An easily workable user interface
4. Information exchange through comments and file sharing
5. Employee-time effort reports
6. Timesheet management module
7. Task and project assignment to individual members or teams
8. Individual workspaces for teams with dedicated tasks, projects, issues, risks, meeting management modules
9. Allows early issue tracking, with issue status, priority and task linkage.
10. Meeting management module to schedule meetings (one-time and recurring)

2. ProofHub: ProofHub is an all-in-one team management software with powerful features that help managers stay in ultimate control of their teams, tasks, projects, and communications. Top Team Management Features of ProofHub:
1. Custom roles to define work better and maintain transparency in processes
2. Flexible task management with simple to-do lists and agile workflows and kanban boards
3. Gantt chart for efficient planning of projects with a quick drag and drop functionally
4. Project timeline to efficiently plan tasks and keep projects moving on the right track
5. Online proofing tool to simplify review and approval process for creative works
6. In-built chat app to bring all your communications in one central place
7. Easy file sharing and management
8. Custom reporting allows you to manage your resources better with
9. Automatic timer and timesheets to foster accountability and productivity in teams
10. Integrations with third-party apps like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, OneDrive, iCal, and Google Calendar
3. Bitrix24: Bitrix 24 is a project management software that provides an entire suite of team collaboration, communication, and management features for your team. Top Team Management Features of Bitrix 24:
1. Accommodates up to 12 free users.
2. Includes social features that include comments and likes
3. Reporting and automated processes such as notifications
4. Allows subscriptions to groups or discussions.
5. Virtual voice calls and integration
6. Modules for intranet services such as conversations, photo gallery, wiki, files, calendars, and tasks
7. Employee directory, task effort, and time reporting and attendance chart
8. Time management tools that include attendance tracking, work reports, daily planners, meeting manager, an event scheduler
9. Document sharing and libraries
10. Social search including events, tasks, and uploaded documents.
11. Project coordination and scheduling
12. Telephone integration
4. Tempo: Tempo is another top team management software that helps you manage your team in multiple ways. It offers solutions for managing projects and teams through drag and drop. Top Team Management Features of Tempo:
1. Team management by roles, capacities, start and end dates, workload and holiday schemes.
2. Link Jira boards and projects to teams for backlog definition.
3. Grant permissions to individual users or groups
4. Apply custom work and holiday schedules.
5. Access an overview of all resources in your organization
6. Use filters to find staff based on their team, role or availability
7. Access a timeline with your team and their backlog in parallel.
8. Plan work through drag and drop onto the timeline.
9. Real-time reports
10. A capacity report showing details of the allocation and availability of each team member
5. Scoro: Scoro is a complete business solution laced with modules that cater to team management, project management, and customer relationship management. This top team management tool is equipped with all the necessary tools to provide solutions to your business needs. An all-in-one tool ranging from document management and project completion to invoicing, billing and client management, it helps you make use of all the powerful features along with a robust collaboration feature set. Teams can keep productive while collaborating on all levels including idea management, information sharing, team reporting, meeting management and resource balancing for workload assigned to teams. With such a comprehensive set of features, this top team management software is growing in popularity with teams and organizations across various industries. Top Team Management Features of Scoro:
1. Contact database and management
2. Work and meeting scheduling
3. Shared team calendar
4. Communication and file sharing
5. Time tracking and billing for work
6. Detailed project reports including project progress and finances
6. Previously known as Dapulse, Monday is an efficient collaboration and communication application for teams. It provides project and task management features as well as facilitates team collaboration and management. Top Team Management Features of Monday:
1. Advanced scheduling features for tasks and projects
2. Displays project and team progress visually
3. Offers an Execution Board
4. Allows tagging teams
5. Receive updates and notifications
6. Receive updates through email
7. Integrations with other tools such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Pipedrive
8. Searchable knowledgebase
9. Documentation management
10. Personal and public Boards
11. Live comments on visuals

7. Clarizen: Clarizen is a project management tool that provides robust features to boost collaboration and workflows, making it one of the top team management software. Top Team Management Features of Clarizen:
1. It offers collaborative planning
2. Caters to Salesforce Integration
3. Includes personal calendars, billable and non-billable work items
4. Offers real-time team updates
5. Allows expense tracking and shows financial indicators
6. Offers time and budget tracking
7. Resource management feature
8. Easy role definition and assignment for projects
9. Document exchange and information sharing
10. Work scheduling

8. Smartsheet: Smartsheet is a web-based tool for project management, team task management and more. Comprising a wide set of features to facilitate workflow and project deliveries, it caters efficiently to the team management as well. Top Team Management Features of Smartsheet:
1. Contact management for customers and employees
2. Discussion Board for team discussions
3. Easy e-mail integration
4. Document management and file sharing
5. Group calendars
6. Project hierarchy for team assignment
7. Automated reporting
8. Live chat for discussions
9. Customizable workspace
10. Notifications and reminders

9. Flowdock: Flowdock makes it to our list of top team management software due to a clean interface, simple yet powerful features, and great collaboration options. With Flowdock, you can manage your team with centralized and open communication and options for multiple integrations.

The best part – work is anything but boring with Flowdock as it lets you add custom emojis and GIF images from Giphy to make work and collaboration full of humour and fun. Plus, you have a Team Inbox that lets you save all your discussions and conversations that can be accessed by all team members. Top Team Management Features of Flowdock:
1. Multiple Chat flows for easy communication
2. Emoji and GIFs to make work fun
3. Drag and Drop feature to create a more streamlined workflow
4. Team Inbox to save all discussions
5. Audio notifications for desktop/mobile users
6. Threaded chat to make conversations more understandable
7. Online contacts
8. One on one chat
9. File uploads and storage to store all your important information
10. Manual and automated data backup
11. Image and video previews to the work in focus
12. Comments for added information and ideas
13. Editing
14. Status updates
15. RSS Reader
16. Custom Content
17. Powerful, full-text search to save time
18. Notes and Tagging
19. Top-notch security to keep your data safe
20. iOS and Android mobile apps

10. Quire: Quire one of the top team management software for a number of reasons. It gives you a myriad of options for managing teams and projects. Although most of the features focus on creative teams, it proves as an asset equally to teams in other industries as well.

Whether you want to jot down ideas or implement them making use of unique tree structures, it allows you to simplify complex projects into easy chunks of work through unlimited tasks and subtasks. If you love Kanban boards, this tool will easily help you design your workflow through Kanban. Top Team Management Features of Quire:
1. Real-time and instant team collaboration
2. Unlimited tasks and subtasks with unique trees
3. Organize, prioritize and assign tasks
4. Easily updateable task statuses
5. Start and due date/time for tasks
6. Transparent and simple, an all-in-one workspace
7. Exclusive third-party access
8. Integrations with Siri and the camera for iPhone
9. Multiple team roles and permissions
10. Smart folder + Filter feature
11. iOS and Android mobile apps

11. Team Support: Team Support is an online, cloud-based app that helps you manage various aspects of customer support. With functionalities such as an internal centralized communication chat channel, ticket management, contact management, live chat, and customer self-service portal, this top team management tool is ideal to work with support teams even based remotely. Team Support lets your team interact efficiently with other teams including sales and finance to better carry out customer support responsibilities. Top Team Management Features of Team Support:
1. Centralized internal chat for team collaboration
2. WaterCooler social networking tool
3. Groups
4. Integrated screen recordings
5. Intuitive online help desk interface
6. Knowledgebase
7. Multi-channel support
8. Email integration
9. Integrated live chat
10. Customizable dashboard
11. Powerful search
12. Mobile agent tools
13. Ticket automation
14. SLA management
15. Community management
16. Customer self-service
17. Advanced portal tools
18. Ticket deflection
19. Integrated customer database
20. Product database
21. Track service contracts
22. Integration with popular CRM systems
23. Management tools
24. Reporting and metrics
25. Rights management
26. Integration with business intelligence systems
27. Compatible with iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone.

12. Kanzen: Kanzen makes use of Kanban boards in order to facilitate project management and keep work transparent amongst teams. Kanzen is a part of our top team management software list due to a feature set that helps teams collaborate efficiently keeping workflow crystal clear and to the point. Teams can share information and files, send and receive notifications, assign tasks and customize their Kanban interfaces with a few clicks. This tool helps teams stay creative and versatile through multiple options for task and project management including configurable card templates and analytics. Top Team Management Features of Kanzen:
1. Create Teams/Groups
2. Document Management
3. Messaging or Instant Messaging
4. Social Collaboration Platform
5. Notifications
6. Customizable Kanban boards
7. Card templates
8. Calendar
9. Interactive Gantt Charts
10. Project Hierarchy
11. Project Portfolio Management
12. Project Templates
13. Scheduling
14. Supports Multiple Projects
15. Card View
16. Cycle Time Analytics
17. Manage Product Backlog
18. Track Project Hours
19. Task Management
20. Resource Management
21. Issue tracking
22. Analytics
13. Hygger: When it comes to team management, catering to popular Agile frameworks is a plus point for an online tool. Hygger helps you adopt the Agile practice into your workflow by letting you design projects and team collaboration along the lines of Agile frameworks. Following the approach Scrumban, which combines optimal aspects of Scrum and Kanban, this top team management tool lets you stay on track with transparent team management. From tools that allow you to jot down project ideas to modules and features that cater to issue management, task and project management, time tracking and customer feedback, Hygger is your all-in-one tool encouraging effective team collaboration for timely project delivery. The best part – teams and individual users are able to work simultaneously on multiple projects or even combine projects without affecting any part of the project development cycle.
1. Kanban plus Scrum-based team collaboration
2. Smooth communication and collaboration channel
3. Ideas storage and scoring
4. Ability to create roadmaps and share with teams
5. Task and project management
6. Progress tracking and monitoring
7. Reporting: Burndown report for Scrum and Cycle Time for Kanban real-time monitoring for a release.
8. Gantt charts
9. Percent complete tracking
10. Time tracking report for accounting and payroll
11. Release management
12. Time tracking
13. Milestone tracking
14. Expense tracking
15. iOS and Android mobile apps

14. Teamweek: Teamweek is a project management and team management tool that will help you sort your resources and monitor your workflow visually. You have options such as capacity planning where you get to monitor your team and modify it according to your requirements. You can view roadmaps and with the shared timeline option (which is downloadable as pdf), your team can stay on the same page regarding project updates and other information thereby giving way to more streamlined collaboration. Plus, with teams that require versatile plans for holidays and workdays, Teamweek helps you customize holidays and establish milestones as needed. You can also view your long-term plan by reviewing work annually.
1. Multiple user access levels
2. Shared timeline
3. Timeline downloadable as PDF
4. Customized workdays and holidays
5. Public links
6. Team availability view
7. Ability to import from Basecamp or Trello
8. Export to calendars
9. Send tasks via the Google Chrome extension
10. Drag-and-drop interface
11. Filter calendar by project
12. Set public holidays by country
13. Organize tasks into folders
14. Timeline view
15. Customized, color-coded tasks
16. Integration with Slack (communication) and Toggl (time tracking)
17. Overbooking calculations
18. Backlog for unassigned tasks
19. iOS and Android apps
15. Slack: Growing immensely in popularity over the years, this app can be integrated with your existing task and project management tools. You can create tasks and projects in other tools such as nTask and have team members notified on Slack regarding the creation of tasks and projects, status updates and other alerts in the corresponding tools. So, it works both ways. You can create communication and collaboration channels, opening doors for one on one private chat as well as group discussions. You can also upload files and search for important elements and shared files in individual or group conversations. With the option of inserting emojis and attachments, Slack becomes a powerful yet fun collaboration tool for all types of teams. Top Team Management Features of Slack:
1. Instant messaging
2. Individual and group discussions through multiple channels
3. Create, customize, and hide channels
4. File upload
5. Search
6. Direct creation of tasks and projects for certain tools
7. Receive notification and alerts for tasks and project creation as well as status updates
8. Setting reminders across activities typed
9. Voice and video calls
10. Single-sign-on via industry-standard authentication protocols
11. Support for two-factor authentication
12. Encryption of data in transit and at rest
13. Pinup to 100 files and messages
14. Customizable sidebar
15. iOS and Android mobile apps
16. Asana: Asana is a popular task and team management tool that continues its reign in the field of project management. This top team management software offers a broad spectrum of features related to project management as well as team collaboration and management software. Customize task management and project delivery by organizing and prioritizing activities according to your project requirements and team sizes. Your team can collaborate seamlessly through a multitude of features such as letting team comment on tasks, ‘like’ tasks, assign tasks, monitor different activities and their progress by team members, and keeping a centralized view on teams through ‘My Dashboard’. Top Team Management Features of Asana:
1. Activity feed for centralized updates on the workflow and team activities
2. Task assignment, liking, My Tasks list, and Focus Mode
3. Multiple workspaces for handling multiple teams in parallel
4. View team members’ tasks and priorities
5. Real-time updates for teams on tasks and projects
6. Customized team calendars and views
7. Automatic updates to team members’ inbox
8. Email bridge
9. Notifications and reminders
10. iPhone support, HTML5 mobile site
11. Meeting minutes

17. Wrike: Wrike needs no introduction and is rightfully one of the most successful project management and top team management software available to project managers. With a sleek interface hosting a multitude of features for streamlined project delivery and team collaboration, this top team management software is an asset to project management teams on all levels. Make sure to keep your team on the same page and their workflow managed appropriately with Wrike to facilitate timely project completion. Plus, it gives you several subscription plans to accommodate your team size. Top Team Management Features of Wrike:
1. Team discussions in tasks
2. Member engagement through tags
3. Meeting management
4. Real-time newsfeed
5. Document collaboration and workload management
6. Task assignment
7. Email integration for teams
8. Meeting management
9. iPhone and Android mobile apps

18. Proworkflow: Proworkflow is a single tool that helps you manage tasks, projects, teams, and resources via a single dashboard in a way to extend more flexibility to workflow and resource management. This top team management software offers a vast array of characteristics including activity management, templates to customize your workflow, timesheet reporting to track time and expense on activities, as well as messaging and document sharing to facilitate team collaboration and communication. Furthermore, keep more in control with the finances through the quotation and invoicing management modules. Top Team Management Features of Proworkflow:
1. Centralized messaging and collaboration
2. Team file sharing
3. Contact management
4. Shared content management
5. Cooperative writing
6. Task assignment
7. Resource allocation and management for easy workload balancing control
8. Notifications and alerts
9. Client access and request ability
10. iPhone and Android mobile apps

19. Basecamp: Basecamp can be termed as one of your top team management software due to the vast collaboration abilities it lends to its users apart from its project management features. With channels for task assignment, instant messaging, real-time chat with groups and individuals, document sharing, and automatic work reports, it gives users to stay on track with project progress individually and stay in sync as teams. Plus, the teams get notified on all updates on a central page and through a feature called ‘Check-in questions,’ the team members can provide status updates on a daily level without having to arrange time-consuming meetings. In essence, Basecamp keeps your team productive and projects streamlined without the hassle of incorporating multiple tools. Top Team Management Features of Basecamp:
1. Teams and Groups creation
2. Messaging or real-time messaging with individuals or in groups
3. Task-associated conversations
4. Document sharing and management
5. Information and file sharing
6. Forums for team discussions
7. Shared timeline to view activities across the team for projects
8. Tracking hours for employees spent on projects
9. Team calendar
10. Single view to oversee tasks from multiple assignees
11. A centralized page for all notifications
12. RSS Feed
13. Resources allocation and forecasting
14. iOs and Android mobile apps

20. RingCentral Glip: RingCentral Glip or Glip is yet another versatile, cloud-based project planning software that helps you keep team management under control. It incorporates effective team management into task and project management features through multiple options with tasks and projects. For instance, you can assign created tasks efficiently, share documents and files, schedule project deadlines and track project progress while keeping the team in the loop. Team members can converse with each other with the option of assigning tasks within the conversation. Plus, you can keep a history of conversations to refer to later if needed. There are also contact management and screen sharing options for training and meetings. Top Team Management Features of Glip:
1. File sharing
2. Real-time messaging for individuals and teams
3. Video calls and meetings
4. Screen sharing
5. Conversation history
6. Task assignment through conversations
7. Configurable email and push notifications
8. iOS and Android mobile apps

21. Fleep: Fleep is a simple yet fun to use team collaboration and communication tools. You can use Fleep as your team management tool within a single team, across various teams in an organization or with remotely based teams. Focusing more on effective communication, it offers the needed feature set for keeping teams on the same page via features such as file drawer for each conversation where concerned team members get to store and manage files, tasks to create, search, assign tasks and a pinboard along each conversation for adding additional information to a conversation such as meeting notes, links and other important details. Top Team Management Features of Fleep:
1. Task assignment
2. Real-time conversations
3. File exchange and storage
4. Pinboard for storing additional information
5. Presence features that display ‘last active‘, ‘last seen‘ and ‘writing’ statuses for employees
6. Audio and video calling
7. Screen sharing
8. iOS and Android mobile apps

22. Hubstaff: This is one of the most sought-after team management applications on the market right now. This is because the application provides some very powerful task management capabilities, hours tracking features, and overall exceptional reporting capabilities among many others. It is an amazing software that can be used in a physical office or even from the cloud to manage remote teams. This remote feature helps to track employee’s hour logs, track their work reports, and view their work progress, etc. Top Team Management Features of Hubstaff:
1. See the software programs your team uses in real-time
2. Calendar management
3. Customizable templates
4. GPS and location monitoring
5. Mobile integration
6. Accounting integration
7. Budget control
8. See all your team’s work unfold in one place
9. Employee management
10. Invoice management
11. Timesheets & reports

23. Trello: Trello is one of the most important software in the world of project management or general collaboration for that matter. This is an amazing software that uses the Kanban methodology to its advantage and offers and a simplistic way to tackle all of the needs and requirements of a project manager. The UI is amazing as it provides a simplistic overview of projects and the tasks through the Trello boards at its disposal. Top Team Management Features of Trello:
1. Activity logging
2. Boards
3. Lists
4. API availability
5. Attach photos, drawings, sketches & mock-ups
6. Due date tracking
7. Security & encryption
24. Podio: Podio is an amazing team management software that was created on an agenda which was to create an application that will produce smarter and structured workflows to streamline the context, content, and conversations related to the team. Apart from being an excellent task management application. It is also a collaboration platform for all your employees working in the company or within a specific project development team. Top Team Management Features of Podio:
1. Simple CRM & sales tracking
2. 24-hour personal support from the Podio team
3. Time tracking by project
4. Activity management
5. Task assignment
6. Automatic reminders
7. Calendar sync with Google
8. Content sharing & feedback workflows with clients
9. MS Exchange integration
10. Mobile apps for Android, iPhone & iPad
11. Dynamic cardboards
12. Activity tracking
13. Automatic notifications
14. Calendar management
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 4 years ago

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