While email services are universal with cross platform access, emails can get cumbersome when a group of people are collaborating on projects, sharing files, holding discussions, and managing tasks. Even the folders and label system in Gmail may not be a good solution. As an alternative to emailing, Oogwave and Twoodo provide a simple network and discussion thread solution for team collaboration and project management. These kinds of tools are also very useful for online meetings.
How Oogwave Works
Oogwave provides three online plans: free basic for up to 20 members, business for $49 per month, and enterprise with 100+ members, for $3/user. An Oogwave account consists of a single Dashboard where staff or group members can communicate and collaborate through what are called Internal Network workspaces. External networks can also be set up for collaboration with non-staff members.
These online network workspaces are useful for teams and departments in which staff members work in or outside of a physical location. Workspaces can be made available to the entire staff or restricted to select members.
Workstations consist of four areas: activities, uploaded files and documents, discussions threads, and task plans. This type of setup makes using Oogwave better than using emails because it reduces the need to constantly create and exchange emails on long range projects and discussions. Individual networks can be set up for staff announcements, file sharing, project plans, group feedback and evaluations, and various topical discussions.
The group owner of a workstation can limit the content of the space to team file sharing, discussion or task planning. Staff members can quickly compose and share messages to the entire staff, privately with selected co-workers, or to a selected group/workstation.
Though Oogwave doesn’t have a dedicated mobile app, the service can be accessed on iOS, Android, and BlackBerry devices via their web browsers.
Oogwave may not be always accessible as email, but that may be a good thing, because it enables staff members to get important information outside a crowded inbox and streamlined in manageable workspaces.
Twoodo Beta works similarly to Oogwave in that it allows users to set up an individual network and add other staff members or collaborators to it. Twoodo reminds me of Google+ and Facebook, but without all the distraction of posted links and other content.
Twoodo is more like a straightforward message board that replaces internal emails. Similar to Wunderlist, an iPhone To-Do list app, Twoodo can be useful for sharing notes, to-do lists, shared tasks, or ongoing chats about various topics. It’s mostly done in what is called the “command box”, in which users can use Twitter-like tags to create and manage tasks, messages, calendar events and notes from one place. You can basically, in a single sentence, send a message, update a task list, set a level of importance and tag your message. It reduces the need to open windows or fill out forms.
In addition to basic conversations, users can upload linked files, and designate messages as a to-do item, a question, or a topic to be voted on. These “actionable” messages get filtered and grouped below the Inbox for each user.
A Twoodo network can also consists of a team of users. Teams are created by typing a team name and adding the user IDs of the people you want to invite to the team (e.g., +websiteteam @bakari @tim, @tim). You can also send messages to other people, but they must join Twoodo and create a user ID, like it’s done on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.
Twoodo uses the tag system to sort thread exchanges. This approach means that when users click on a tag it will present all the messages with that same tag, as if they were put into an actual file folder.
Messages and other activity posted to Twoodo can be supported by recently updated, priority, or creation dates. Twoodo also provides mobile access through its free iPhone app [No longer available], which mirrors the functions of the online web application.
If you’re pretty keen on using the hashtag system, Twoodo might be a neat alternative approach to emails. However, Twoodo might not be as useful for the type of project management and team collaboration needs that Oogwave provides.
Alternatives To Emails?
Most people still use the emailing system to collaborate on projects and stay in communication, but online tools like Twoodo and Oogwave make you question whether emails are too time consuming or really are the most productive method for online networking.
Let us know what you think of these collaboration tools. Are there features you would like to see added to them? Are there limitations that prevent you and your team from using them? What alternative services do you recommend?