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25 Best Digital Facilitation Tools for Consultants

25 best digital facilitation tools for consultants

By Hanna Liimatainen on Mar 27, 2018 7:30:00 AM

With an abundance of apps, tools and technology available to consultants, there is a seemingly endless amount of possibilities to digitalize and improve your ways of working.

But with so much choice comes the difficulty of cutting through the noise, finding the right tools that will help you deliver more impactful cases, and ensuring your technologies are aligned and talk to one another.

To help, we’ve done all the hard work and gathered a collection of digital facilitation tools and technologies to help you with your future projects and cases.

Navigate this post:

 

Surveys, Polls and Data Collection

SurveyMonkey

A survey tool to ask, collect and analyze data.

✅ Pros

  • A trusted platform that collects over 16 million answers every day
  • They have an always free guarantee on their basic plan

⛔️ Cons

  • But with the free plan you are limited to 10 questions per survey and 100 responses

 

Typeform

An awesome way to collect data.

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✅ Pros

  • An excellent UX that makes forms, surveys and data collection fun and conversational
  • There is a wide variety of templates to help get you started

⛔️ Cons

  • Limited functionality with only 10 questions per form and 100 responses per month on the basic free tier

 

Google Forms

A simple way to create forms.

✅ Pros

  • Easy to create and edit questions
  • Decent inbuilt analytics of responses

⛔️ Cons

  • Limited customization of visuals and formatting

 

Productivity 

Evernote

A hub that brings all your ideas in one place.

✅ Pros

  • With links, checklists, tables, attachments, and audio recordings you can store all your ideas and notes in a centralized place
  • Teams can also use Evernote to collaborate on projects and work together

⛔️ Cons

 

Wunderlist

A super simple to-do list to manage your personal and professional tasks.

✅ Pros

  • It’s just extremely simple to use and helps you keep on top of your personal and professional life
  • Wunderlist syncs across multiple devices and platforms from Windows to Android and Kindles to Apple Watches

⛔️ Cons

  • This is more optimized for individual productivity rather than team productivity

 

Calendly

A platform for booking meetings.

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✅ Pros

  • It’s an easy to use platform and makes booking meetings quick and simple - it replaces those never-ending email loops when you try to find a common meeting time
  • It integrates with Google Calendar, Office 365, Outlook and iCloud

⛔️ Cons

  • Currently there is no dedicated app available so you need to run it exclusively through your desktop

 

 

Video & Graphics 

Loom

A way to create and share video screen recordings.

✅ Pros

  • It’s extremely easy to use and getting started is simple
  • Ideal for “how to” videos without the need to be a video editing expert

⛔️ Cons

  • Limited editing options and some users would like to add annotations to their videos

 

Draftsend

A presentation platform that combines a PDF with your voice.

✅ Pros

  • Bring your slides to life with audio recording (think SlideShare with your voice), which is great for creating and sharing presentations with your teams or clients
  • Very simple to use with a clean interface

⛔️ Cons

  • Limited editing features so you need to record your presentation in one take, which is more challenging for longer presentations

 

Canva

A design tool to create eye-catching graphics in minutes.

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✅ Pros

  • If you’ve ever dreamt of becoming a designer but don’t have the time to master Adobe Illustrator, then Canva is your new best friend - anyone can use it
  • A huge collection of templates coupled with a simple UI make it easy to create images, graphics or illustration for your presentations, reports or blog posts

⛔️ Cons

  • The site can be slow, laggy and occasionally a bit buggy - but for a free tool it’s great!

 

Btw, Howspace is the all-in-one digital facilitation platform for consultants -  create your very own free workspace to see what it can do.

 

Virtual Meetings

Zoom

A unified cloud video conferencing platform.

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✅ Pros

  • An extremely reliable tool for conducting remote video meetings
  • The sound quality is very clear and it enables for a smooth virtual meeting experience

⛔️ Cons

  • The free plan only has a 40 minute limit for meetings of 3 or more people

 

Skype

A pioneer in web-based calls and instant messaging.

✅ Pros

  • Easy to set up and use for your meetings or live messaging
  • After being acquired by Microsoft it syncs well with other Office products

⛔️ Cons

  • Reliability is an issue and Skype for Business (formerly Lync) requires an Office 365 subscription

 

Google Hangouts

A way to host virtual meetings with your teams.

✅ Pros

⛔️ Cons

  • The sound quality is unreliable and participants can be dropped mid-meeting

 

 

Docs & Presentations

Office

A classic. Microsoft’s famous suite of products, including Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

✅ Pros

  • Powerful feature set that lets you get a lot done
  • It’s a widely used toolset making it easy to collaborate with others outside of your organisation

⛔️ Cons

  • Co-authoring with Howspace-time collaboration is possible but documents need to be stored on SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business

 

Google Docs, Sheets & Slides

A simple way to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets and presentations in real-time.

✅ Pros

  • If you’ve used any Office product then getting started with Google’s products will be easy
  • It’s all in the cloud you can actually see other people’s modifications in real-time - it’s great for collaborating on a document

⛔️ Cons

  • The feature set is limited and doing things in Google can be more difficult than the classic Office products

 

 

Communication

Microsoft Teams

A chat-based workspace in Office 365.

✅ Pros

  • HD video, VoIP, and dial-in audio conferencing options move this beyond basic chat
  • The platform has been optimized for professional learning communities

⛔️ Cons

  • It’s primarily a place for individuals to share their thoughts and has limited functionality to analyze and structure the data you gather

 

Yammer

A social network for work.

✅ Pros

  • Ideal if you’re looking for a more informal communications hub
  • Easy to use and integrates with other Microsoft tools

⛔️ Cons

  • A relatively limited set of features beyond basic chat

 

Slack

A real-time messaging platform that brings all your communication together in one place.

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✅ Pros

  • A very fun and simple to use platform, great for 1-2-1 or small group chats
  • It eases the inbox overload and speeds up discussions

⛔️ Cons

  • Requires careful management as it's possible to spend more time discussing in Slack than doing actual work

 

Workplace by Facebook

A Facebook-like platform to interact with co-workers.

✅ Pros

  • The experience mirrors that of Facebook so it’s easy to get started
  • Clear pricing with no long-term contracts

⛔️ Cons

  • Despite similarities to Facebook, users have reported it’s not as intuitive as you may think and there is a bit of a learning curve when getting started

 

Project Management

Trello

A collaboration tool that organizes your projects into cards and boards.

✅ Pros

  • A lightweight drag and drop interface that is easy to use
  • Power-Ups (Trello’s form of integrations) let you connect with other tools to create a more robust project management solution

⛔️ Cons

  • It’s a highly horizontal tool that has not been specifically built for project management and has limited functionality, for example if you want a Gantt view

 

Teamwork.com

An online project management software application.

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✅ Pros

  • A comprehensive project management platform with a large feature set
  • Multiple projects, task management, agile and Gantt visualizations, time tracking, goals and deadlines

⛔️ Cons

  • It does so much that it is complex to use and takes time to get to grips with the functionality

 

Basecamp

A web-based project management and collaboration tool.

✅ Pros

  • Clean interface that isn’t overly complex
  • It’s an open platform with an open API that integrates with many other tools

⛔️ Cons

  • Relatively outdated look and feel with a limited feature set

 

 

Resource Management 

SharePoint

A mobile intranet that integrates with Microsoft Office.

✅ Pros

  • Share company wide information and documentation in one central point
  • File versioning allows you to store, track, and restore documents in a library whenever they change

⛔️ Cons

  • The experience has not been optimized for Mac users so it’s more for Windows users

 

Google Drive

A hub to access, modify and sync all your documents from anywhere.

✅ Pros

  • Real-time collaboration and access to all your docs anywhere without a VPN is extremely useful
  • It works across all platforms and devices, whether that’s the Android, Apple or Windows

⛔️ Cons

  • Assigning sharing rights to view, comment and modify can be challenging as it’s not too intuitive for new users

 

Dropbox

A simple way to store and share files in the cloud.

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✅ Pros

  • Organizing, finding and sharing your files is very simple and easy
  • Strong security features where you can quickly recover deleted files and restore previous file versions

⛔️ Cons

  • It’s primarily for storage so collaboration is more challenging than when compared to Google Docs & Drive

 

 

All-In-One 

HOWSPACE (formerly known as REAL)

The all-in-one digital facilitation platform for consultants, facilitators, trainers and OD practitioners.

 

✅ Pros

  • It’s built specifically for consultants and lets you share documents, photos, videos and presentations, chat in private or in groups, and gather feedback via polls and surveys in real-time
  • Super easy to get started and facilitate - it also works seamlessly across multiple devices and platforms

⛔️ Cons

  • We felt the feature set needed a power up, so we’re launching the brand new Howspace platform in 2018 

 

If you want to try Howspace, you can set up your very own workspace today.

It’s free; no strings attached, no credit card needed.

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