8 tips for better communication and collaboration in your business

There are lots of ways that the good use of technology can help boost the levels and quality of communication and collaboration in your business. Read on for our handy tips on how to do just that…

Twitter: If you’re not already on Twitter, you really should be. Start up a Twitter account for all your business updates and invite your associates to subscribe. This will let you contact the whole team from wherever you are via your mobile.

Don't fear IM: Instant messaging is an efficient method for getting answers quickly, and cuts down on distracting chatter. Encourage your employees to use IM – but remind them not to use it for anything confidential (conversations are saved on servers, and the messages are very easy to intercept).

Refrain from email flames: Never send an email in the heat of anger – write your screed and save it as a draft, telling yourself that you'll send it later when you've settled on your course of action. (You'll probably never send it). This will result in fewer burnt bridges that could hurt your business in the long run.

Succinct subjects don't suck: Make the subject line of your email reflect, well, the specific subject at hand. Don't reply to an email on an old, unrelated subject; start a new thread instead. It's good etiquette, and also makes it easier to find a specific conversation in the future.

Use shared calendars: Google's play well with lots of other online services, so they're a good place to begin. Start by inviting two colleagues you work with often. Once you hone your procedures, invite the rest of your office.

Eschew huge attachments: Need to share large documents or images? Use YouSendit or a similar web storage service. Your email correspondents will thank you for not jamming their mailboxes full of storage-depleting attachments.

Empower PowerPoint design: For your PowerPoint presentations, use simple backgrounds, small amounts of text, and large fonts. You want the people at the back of the room to be able to read your text.

Wikis ain't tricky: Set up a wiki where knowledge and procedures about your business can be stored and edited by all employees. For instructions on how to go about this, see our guide to creating your own Wiki.