Collaborating with others comes with the territory as an independent consultant, freelancer, or member of an agency’s team. Here, you’ll need to keep in close contact with clients and co-workers. You’ll also need the best tools to keep organized. And while this may seem like a tall order, there’s a powerful collaborative design tool that does all this and more!
Collaborative design projects between yourself, your co-workers, and your clients requires a huge amount of clear organization and planning. This sort of work demands that you to stay on top of multiple clients and projects simultaneously.
And while there are plenty of tools available for working online and collaborating, very few integrate all the functionality needed for design projects and juggling multiple clients. Hibox, which you can try for free, is the perfect tool to cut down on the number of applications you need, the time you spend organizing your work, and the hassles of quickly and clearly communicating with clients.
Here’s how to use Hibox, a really valid tool to manage freelance work:
Collaborative Design By Stream Or Account
As a solo consultant or freelancer, or even as a team member in a larger agency, juggling various client work, tasks, and communications threads can be a real challenge. But Hibox makes light work of these and many other common frustrations.
In fact, in Hibox you’ve got two equally powerful collaboration options. Let’s take a look…
First, if your clients are individuals or very small groups, then in Hibox here’s what to do: Set up a separate and unique stream for each one of your clients. If you aren’t sure, a stream in Hibox is a private group chat between you and anyone you invite to join. There, you can live message, create tasks, share files, and even run video calls.
To use streams, you can invite your clients via email as external users. Once joined, your client will only be able to see messages, tasks, and files that have been shared within the stream you’ve set up for them. In other words, they won’t be able to see anything beyond their unique stream.
On your side, you’ll be able to easily switch between each of your client’s streams and keep on top of tasks and messages. Organizing multiple clients like this couldn’t be easier.
However, what if your clients are larger and have teams of their own? Here, individual private streams will likely be too limited. So in this situation, you may want to go with a second option. And that is to invite larger clients to create a Hibox account of their own. Then, have them invite you to join streams they set up within their account.
This approach will keep everything related to that larger client all in one spot, and you’ll be able to switch between your Hibox your accounts easily.
So whether your clients are large or small, Hibox makes it very straightforward to keep your clients and your work organized.
Integrate Dropbox To Easily Share Files
What makes Hibox so powerful and efficient is that it gets rid of the need for email entirely. Cutting email out of the picture saves you and your clients a ton of frustration and hair-pulling. This will become obvious as soon as you begin setting up streams and accounts with your clients and teams.
And once you’ve got streams and live business messaging set up between you, your co-workers, and your clients, you’re ready to begin collaborating. Here, the next thing to do is to determine how you’ll handle file sharing. That’s because with email, it’s very easy to lose file attachments. Huge amounts of time is wasted sifting through endless email threads, especially when you have multiple clients and team members.
To simplify file sharing between your clients and teammates, you can use the Dropbox integration in Hibox to share files and folders so everyone who’s collaborating has the latest versions of files at all times — all without having to dig through old emails.
Integrating Dropbox into your Hibox account helps increase your team’s productivity and keeps everyone on the same page!
Add Google Drive To Hibox For Faster Collaboration
Next up, you can take file sharing — that is, the sending and receiving of graphics, charts, spreadsheets, PDFs, and more — even further by integrating Google Drive into your Hibox account.
Using the Google Drive integration, you can share files stored in Google Drive within your stream and collaborate as a team. Your clients and co-workers can review your work right within their stream and provide you with feedback without any need for sending emails back and forth.
Just as we saw with Dropbox, everyone will have access to the most updated files without worrying about having multiple versions floating around. This integration simplifies your workflows and processes and it limits confusion, which is important when you’re working with multiple clients and large collaborative design groups.
Run Video Meetings With A Single Click
A big frustration that comes up during any collaborative design work that involves multiple people is that there’s too many tools. In other words, some people might be using one video messaging app, while others might be using something else.
But because Hibox inlcudes live video calls directly within private or group streams, there’s no need for extra software or having to remember which client uses which video call platform. Instead, in Hibox video calls are just a click away.
This means that just as you can largely eliminate email, Hibox’s built-in video calling cuts out another set of unnecessary tools you and your clients will need. Keeping all the tools you need to keep in contact with your team and stay organized saves a huge amount of time that’s otherwise wasted juggling through different applications.
For yourself, your clients, and your team, everything’s in one spot — and a video call is just a click away.
Use Tasks And Subtasks To Stay Organized
Another feature that makes Hibox so powerful are tasks. To-do lists sent over email or via a call tend get lost. And trying to keep track of tasks using apps or other methods simply adds more complication.
Further, when you’re involved in a collaborative design effort, your clients can get frustrated when they don’t know how things are progressing. And keeping them updated constantly takes you and your co-workers away from critical work.
In Hibox, you can use tasks and subtasks to plan out the clear steps for each project, and assign them to teammates. On your client’s end, they’re able to see with one click how work is progressing as they see tasks getting marked complete. It’s like a roadmap of your work for you and your clients.
Tasks in Hibox also helps you keep your task lists sorted and organized for each of your clients. Here, you can switch between task lists that are a part of each stream, or you can go to your own task list view to see what’s due for each client.
What’s more, you can take tasks even further by making use of Hibox’s built-in calendar. This is a great feature for showing clients your planning and what you’ll be working on. You can schedule tasks directly within the calendar, too.
Your clients can add tasks and deadlines for you as well. They’ll be able to see when you complete tasks and what’s coming next. And don’t forget, because they can see what’s happening for themselves, you won’t have to update them as much as your collaborative projects progress.
Use This Secret Hibox Feature To Stay On Top Of Your Work
One feature in Hibox that’s a little more hidden is the ability to track the time that’s been spent on a particular task.
This means if you’re working on an hourly rate, or if you simply want to keep track of how much time you’re spending on particular tasks, you can use the built-in timer in Hibox to know exactly how much time you spent on the tasks for client.
And on your client’s side, they can see your timed tasks as well. Again, if you bill for hourly work, this makes for easy, transparent invoicing. Your clients will appreciate the ability to see how you’re spending your time, and it’s also perfect for staying on top of your work overall.
Hibox’s built-in task timer lets you know which types of work take the longest and how you can better organize your time and your team’s priorities.
Use Hibox In Whatever Way Works For You
One of the great things about Hibox and all it’s built-in features is, depending on your organization, your team, your clients, and other factors, you can use Hibox in whatever way best suits your needs.
For example, for the little things you don’t want to forget, you can set up tasks for your own use. In other words, you can create tasks for yourself that no one else will have access to. In this way, you can use tasks as reminders, for personal use, and to help keep you on track and on top of things.
You can even set up recurring tasks for weekly reminders for things like invoicing, paying bills, or even picking up your dry cleaning so you don’t forget.
Here’s What To Do Next…
Hibox is a great tool to help freelancers, consultants and anyone else who’s involved in collaborative design work. Your clients will appreciate the organization, fast communication, and transparency that Hibox provides. Meanwhile, you’ll keep organized, and save yourself frustration and time wasted.
So next, see for yourself and try out Hibox for free today!