I’d like to share a tool I’ve developed that’s useful for collaboration.  If you have a website (and this would even work on a blog such as one hosted on WordPress), use that webspace to devote an entire page to a collaboration.

What this entails:

  • Create a webpage and send a link to it to all collaborators via email.
  • On the webpage, post links to files (you can upload to FTP using free and safe programs such as FileZilla).
  • Include text about those files or updates on how the project is progressing.
  • Post bullets with date-marked updates to give a timeline of how the project is progressing.
  • It doesn’t have to be pretty.  My collaborations are simple text, bullets, and links with no other formatting.  It looks nothing like the rest of my composer website, but that’s okay because only my collaborators know the URL and there are no links to the collaboration page on the rest of my site.  You could even create it in Microsoft Word if you’d like (save as a webpage under “File>Save As”).

For an example of this, see this page I created for a recent collaboration: http://danlismusic.com/AveMaria.html.

The advantages of having a webpage like this are:

  • People always have the latest files as you upload them.
  • It’s easy to find the files (just go to the URL and click the link) and no one has to search through email attachments to find the files.
  • All of the latest comments or updates can remain in one place, so everyone can track progress you’ve made.
  • It can be accessed from anywhere (so long as there’s an Internet connection), and collaborators can download files to keep with them if they want to work with them.
  • It’s simple (and thus fast and easy for you to create).

For collaborations with more than two people, I recommend using a WordPress account, because you can upload files, post updates, leave notes for each other, etc.  This combines email, web hosting, and collaboration all in one online location.  However, if you’re the only composer involved, the single webpage on your site might work just fine (it has for me so far).

What do you think?  What online tools do you use for collaboration?

Thanks for reading,

Dan