Anyone who works in an office is familiar with the trap — if most communications are done via email, it’s easy for your inbox to be overloaded with emails, meeting requests, documents to review and edit, and more. Not only can it clutter up your digital workspace, but important items on your to-do list can fall through the cracks and deadlines can pass you by. It’s not good for you, your coworkers, and the overall mission of your parish office.
Thankfully, there are many tools available that allow for easier communication and collaboration that don’t rely only on email. Read on for some ideas your office could use.
Two of the most commonly used programs for email and office communications are Microsoft Office and Google’s G Suite. Both of these programs have subscription options that cover email, calendars, meetings, chat functions, and file sharing across users and devices. An added benefit of these programs is the ability to access to programs from the web on your home devices.
Microsoft Office 365 has three suites from which you can choose: Business Essentials at $5/user/month, Business Premium at $12.50/user/month, and Microsoft 365 Business at $20/user/month. Your office might already have some of these tools if you are Microsoft subscribers, but evaluating the apps you have against what you can add or where you can shift certain functions can simplify your processes.
Similarly, G Suite has three tiers of pricing. The basic package ($6/user/month) includes custom business email (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org) through Gmail, video and voice conferencing, Google Hangouts, shared calendars, and Google Docs. Each subsequent level (Business for $12/user/month or Enterprise for $25/user/month) offers the same services as the Basic suite plus additional services and support from Google.
There are many apps or programs that can be purchased if you only have a few needs to fill.
Rocketbots has a list of apps for varying needs that might help you meet your office’s requirements. Below are a few options that might work for you.
- Slack: This is an option for smaller teams that want to communicate and collaborate via one-on-one or group chats. Chats can be organized by channels, from which team members can share files and gather feedback directly from the chat. Another bonus is a searchable archive of up to 10,000 messages.
- Wrike: For project management needs, this cloud-based software that allows you to create projects, assign tasks, share work, and get approval from team members and to track progress at each stage.
- Troop Messenger: This office chat app is free for offices with 1-50 users. There is the one-on-one function as well as a group chat function for up to 5 users. It also allows file sharing and 50GB of storage.
Does your parish office use other apps or software to help with communication or projects? What has worked for you? Let us know below!