We all know the struggle that group projects can be. Following all those back and forth emails, trying to split up tasks evenly – and the list goes on. There are even a series of memes dedicated to the topic.
But what if I told you there are ways to improve the working experience via FREE digital tools? The three below can help with collaborating, managing tasks and maintaining communication.
This is Google’s version of the Office suite, including Docs (equivalent to Word), Sheets (equivalent to Excel) and Slides (equivalent to PowerPoint). The best feature for your group project is the ability to collaborate online and work on the same document simultaneously. It means you don’t have to keep sending drafts back and forth, and saves multiple versions of the document online, so you can roll back changes if need be.
If you don’t have a Gmail account, don’t fret, your student account is set up to use this service.
Here’s how to access it:
1. Log in to your student email
2. Select the Apps button
3. Select Drive
4. Click the New button
5. Click which program you’d like to use
Here’s how to add other users to collaborate:
1. Once the document is open, click the Share button
2. Add your group member’s email address, click Send
For those longer group projects, it can be difficult to keep track of tasks. Trello is organised via online boards with lists of tasks. Each task is called a ‘card’ where further information is stored for that particular task. Best of all, teams can all work together on a particular board from anywhere, and can organise projects by assigning tasks to each person. You can also set due dates for when a particular task needs to be done.
Below is an example of what a potential group project board could look like:
Each task above has its own card with additional functionality, for example to set a due date or checklist for that particular task.
To find out more about how to use Trello, this great video has been created by the team at Trello.
Clear communication between members is essential for success, and Facebook groups are a great way to achieve this. Facebook allows you to create a ‘group’ where users can discuss a particular topic. A group has the common features of Facebook profiles, with the ‘wall’ where users can write a post. You can also upload files and create documents, polls and events! The poll (survey tool) is especially useful if you need to find a time to meet up that suits everyone.
Facebook has a great tutorial on the basics of creating a group and using its functionality.