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Online Collaboration Isn't Just for Work Anymore

Aug 15, 2008
As long as the internet has existed, online tools originally created for work environments have been used in people's personal lives. Even the internet itself was intended as a tool to share government research and not as a medium to play games, listen to music and watch videos.

Online collaboration through a project workspace makes it easy to coordinate any large endeavor. Although online project management was designed for employers, it is often used in personal projects. Here are just a few examples.

Wedding Plans

Organizing the million details that go along with a large wedding is a challenge. Trying to delegate tasks to the many people helping out just makes the job harder. Using online file sharing gives one central location that everyone can access.

A guest list allows you to keep track of who has been invited and who has sent back an RSVP. It can be a simple list of names or can include details such as contact information, dietary requirements, and hotel information. This list can double as a gift tracker, allowing you to write personalized thank you notes.

The online workspace calendar makes it easy to keep a handle on important dates. Careful scheduling means you won't find yourself with a week of work the day before the wedding.

Caring For a Loved One

Sometimes a family member needs care either due to ongoing disability or during recovery from a medical crisis. This can quickly exhaust the primary caregiver, but it can be difficult to coordinate care among several family members.

Online collaboration allows the primary caregiver to post lists of tasks such as meal preparation or rides to the doctor. Volunteers can then choose different duties, spreading the workload among many people.

Important data such as medical history, medication schedules and a list of physician phone numbers can be kept in one central place. This information can be accessed by any authorized user so it is available even if people are traveling.

The online workspace can be used to create news updates so people not involved in day to day care can see updates on how the person is recovering. Online file sharing allows photos or other resources to be posted.

Clubs and Associations

Any organization such as a knitting club, softball team, or homeowners association will benefit from coordinating through online collaboration. Association news can be posted in an easily accessible location so all members are kept up to date. Since the site can be updated at any time, news is distributed more quickly than through a traditional newsletter.

Meetings can be scheduled and members can note whether they will attend. Minutes can be posted, allowing absent members to keep track of association events.

Any time someone needs to coordinate activities among several people, online collaboration simplifies the process and keeps everyone on the same page.

Volunteers and Community Organizations

Coordinating with a volunteer workforce is no easy task. Though some volunteers work full-time and know their role, most volunteers are part-time and are typically inexperienced. This is where an online collaboration tool helps.

Volunteer coordinators and team captains can use collaborative workspaces to coordinate schedules online, provide new volunteers with resources needed through a file repository, and delegate assignments to their helpers as well.

For volunteers using a workspace, announcements are hard to miss when they are clearly posted online. Furthermore, volunteers have access to staff contacts with their bios and roles making it easy to know who to report to.

Family Activities

Online workspaces are just as useful in the home front. Users do not need to plan every activity within their life online, but coordinating with a collaborative tool on some of the bigger events such as family vacations, tax reporting, and reunions helps make sure that even niggling details are captured and managed successfully.
About the Author
Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on online collaboration or online file sharing, please visit http://www.projectspaces.com.
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