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Planning and Communication Tools

Web Projects can become chaotic and complex. With so many moving parts and people cranking the gears, it can be difficult to keep track of the tiny details and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Here at CommonPlaces, we deal with very large and very complex projects every day. How do we stay focused and deliver projects on time and on budget? Here are a few tools we use every day.Mouse and Laptop

Active Collab

Active Collab is our Project Management System where we monitor all our projects, communicate with clients, and keep track of time being spent on various tasks. We have been using ActiveCollab since 2011 when we moved to it from Unfuddle. The program comes with robust reporting functionality. It allows us to see where we are spending our time so we can make adjustments and allocate our resources accordingly. Most importantly, it provides a great medium to communicate with our clients over various aspects of a project. Each task is given it's own ticket so all discussions are in one place.


We use Skype as our internal communication tool, or instant messenger. It allows us to create various chat rooms and share document immediately. While we absolutely LOVE coming into our new office, Skype gives us the opportunity to work from home and still be able to communicate with the rest of the team. We also use this tool to communicate with clients who are overseas or want to chat face-to-face without traveling.


Join.Meis a free service that allows you to share your screen with multiple users. While Skype is a great communication tool, we prefer to use Join.Me when it comes to providing webinars, going over designs during the planning stage, or providing training on one of our platforms.


In our industry, we do a lot of file sharing between our clients and us. We use DropBox to share larger files such as high-resolution images, design comps, and multiple pages of content. We create shared folder with our clients so it is easy to manage and organize various files.

Google Apps

When all else fails, we turn to the always-reliable Google. We use Google Apps for business, a cloud-based suite of applications that serve a variety of function, e-mail, document creation, storage and sharing, hangouts and chat. Google Apps allows you to work on virtually any device with an Internet connection. The best part about Google Apps is that it is very simple and easy to customize to fit your business needs and goals.

What tools are you using? How are you using them?

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