Over the past few years my team has grown and we now have anywhere from 4-5 people depending on the amount of interns. It’s not a huge team, but it’s the most they’ll allow me to have for now and that doesn’t include freelancers or agencies we might hire for certain projects, just the creative department.
I like to keep the team constantly communicating, brainstorming and sharing ideas and knowledge. I feel it keeps the team members growing and motivated. Last year I was informed I would have to divide the team into 2 in order to serve different areas. One of the groups would be based in another area of the company so we would no longer be within talking distance.
Of course this left me with a bit of a dilemma. We all still worked together and both groups would need to back up the other group when the work load warranted it. How was I going to keep them thinking as a team and communicating while staying in their different environments?
GLIP to the rescue
I had been experimenting with e few tools for team communication and had settled nicely into #Slack which I was using to communicate regularly with my UXDiscuss partner Rob Whiting and was thinking of introducing my team to it.
Unfortunately my company’s firewall updated and #Slack was blocked. I could ask for the IT department to unblock it, but I had run out of time and I knew that might take a few weeks. I also wanted a few extra functionalities that #Slack didn’t seem to have.
At just about the right time an article showed up in my feed about a new team communication tool called GLIP. It was completely new on the market and was trying to compete with some pretty big fish. I looked over the promotional video and liked the look and feel of GLIP and was intrigued by the functionalities it apparently presented.
I signed up and began experimenting. It only took me about a week before I decided to sit my team down and introduce them to the tool that was going to keep us connected. Using GLIP is an everyday habit for us now and we’re pretty happy.
Simple but useful features
Where to begin? Although a simple tool, the team at GLIP thought of putting together a good MVP. It does what it sets out to do, keep teams communicating and up to date.
File sharing and group chat
A nice little feature where we can easily share files either by uploading them or by connecting to an available service. The chat options are great, I can chat to individuals, specific teams or the entire organisation and sharing screen shots is as simple as just pasting it into the chat. And any file or image can be commented on directly. If per chance I forget to log in to GLIP, I get an email letting me know someone is trying to communicate with me.
Realtime Task management
Other than the chat, this is one of the features we use most. I can assign tasks to team members and set due dates and so much. Whenever I need to know what my team is working on, I just go to the calendar and take a look (this saved us quite some trouble when a team member called in sick). Another great feature is the reminder of these tasks, I get a nice little email with a reminder of any outstanding tasks if I don’t login into GLIP and also get a nice reminder when logging in how many tasks are past due and how many are due today. A nice little message of encouragement is given too.
This was a nice little touch that team Glip included to keep the tool human. KIP is automatically added to the list of people. Who is KIP? Well, if you have a problem, ask Kip. Kip is always willing to help and Kip is handled by real people on th Glip team, so it’s not an automatic response. I personally owe Kip for getting me out of a few messes I made early on in GLIP.
I feel like we have only touched the tip of the iceberg. We know GLIP has many more features, even in the free version, but due to limited resources on our end or me not being able to convince the company to invest seriously, we have stayed with the free version and mostly use the above features.
We hope to try out more of the features in the future and we feel strange at the end of the day when we haven’t paid GLIP a visit. We often use it before deciding to make a phone call.
Try out GLIP. It’s seriously a nice little tool and can be a huge help for startup teams and even larger teams if you can afford the premium features.