Computers, the internet and the cloud have all helped in reducing the need to work from one central location.
Instead, workforces are increasingly dispersed, with remote workers, offshore contractors and global partnerships. However, this makes the job of co-ordinating your team's work harder than ever.
Fortunately, a wide range of services has emerged that take advantage of the internet to tie vastly distributed teams together in ways that were unheard of a decade ago.
And, of course, people in the same office can benefit from online collaboration too.
Even better, you don't need a huge IT budget to collaborate online.
While enterprise programs like Microsoft SharePoint Server are still standard at large corporations, much of their functionality can be easily duplicated - and even surpassed - with online services that support activities like collective editing of documents in real time, brainstorming and long-term project management.
For small and midsize businesses, or teams with limited budgets, these apps can be deployed cheaply and quickly (some are even free), making them great go-to tools when it just isn't feasible to set up SharePoint or another enterprise app.
Below is a selection of great online applications to help make your team more productive and maybe even more creative.
I'll look at some of the common tasks teams perform and discuss some affordable tools to help your team do them better.
These aren't the only affordable options out there, but they are widely used, so you know they'll stand up to real-world use.
NEXT PAGE: Tools for brain storming and mind mapping
- These inexpensive tools can help your team work together
- Tools for brain storming and mind mapping
- Document creation, review and annotation
- More tools for document creation, review and annotation
- Project planning and co-ordination
- Staying connected
- Google Wave: The next wave in collaboration?