Collaboration Tools

Everything below is a free tool unless otherwise noted.

This document is located at:


Markdown Here makes emails beautiful with little effort.

        STC’s CSS file:

Repetitive Typing

Text Expansion Options - you type a few characters, and your computer pastes a phrase or entire email. With some options you can even share a text file of expansions with your team through Dropbox, etc.

Bookmark Management

XMarks synchronizes bookmarks between computers. Even between different people’s computers if you share an account.

Scheduling Meetings

Doodle uses checkboxes

WhenIsGood allows you to “paint” over times. Best interface.

        STC’s script that helps choose the best times for large meetings.

Appointment Slots

Exchange has nice appointment slots for Exchange users.

Google Calendar - share availability view with a multiple calendar view 

Google Calendar - share availability view and automate signup via YouCanBook.Me, even if people signing up don’t have google calendar.

        Adam Bray’s YouCanBook.Me

Collaborative Meetings

Collaborative Meeting Notes (Google Docs or HackPad)

        Attendees collaboratively add agenda items before the meeting

        One person is a meeting “leader” who guides the flow and takes notes.

        During the meeting, each topic is gone through, and notes are taken by the group.

        STC Layout has 3 columns: topic, topic leader, and notes/followup

Time Tracking

Toggl is a great time tracking app which you can use like a stopwatch (or input manually). It remembers the different things you often work on, so you can just click a button to start timing or add an entry.

Knowledge Management

Balance between two forces:

1. Free Editing - Empower employees to edit. They know what’s most needed.

2. Controlled Editing - Knowledge requires freshness & quality, and this is best maintained via structure from ‘above’.

STC allows and encourages all employees to edit the wiki (empowering). STC also has weekly working-meetings with a subset of employees (maintains freshness). Significant changes are reviewed by one other person before being “stamped” as approved on that month (maintain quality). We allow anyone to create whatever article they want, but not all are reviewed and “stamped” (empowering). These together create a great, self-sustaining ecosystem.

Free, Require Server

        MediaWiki, Confluence Wiki, Drupal Site

Free Cloud Options

Hackpad, Wordpress, Google Site        

Project Management

Trello (free, project board style)

Basecamp (pay, more features. Yale ITS has this, contact Susan West for details)

Podio (pay, more features)

Collaborative Annotation

Crocodoc is a tool for (near) real time collaboration on documents (pdfs, docs, ppts, etc). It’s based on “comment bubbles”. Lecture Notes Example:

Box allows you to comment on uploaded files using their web interface. Box allows for one conversation thread per document.

Javascript Extensions

These examples are Chrome Extensions, but the same code could be used for other browsers as well. Search the Chrome Webstore for extensions by “casey.s.watts”.

Source Code for Service Now Tweaks

Source Code for Service Now Linker

Javascript Bookmarklets

Parameters => Forms (via spreadsheet).

Related Projects

Collaboration in the Classroom Presentation (Sep 2012)

YaleWiki -

More Service Now tricks at this blog: