Knowing that you are part of a team wherever you are


Instant Messaging (IM) tools allow you to have a sense of other colleagues being around wherever you are physically located. They are useful for quick exchanges of ideas and conversation and may develop into a meeting in the same way a conversation might in the office. This of course brings opportunities and challenges.

In this guide:

Getting Started

  1. Invite your collaborators to use the Instant Messaging tool you choose (check if they have one already or your organisation uses one)
  2. Agree on the way you will use the tool (e.g. how quickly will you respond, what statuses you will use, etc...
  3. Have a go


All the tools listed are really useful

Built in:

Skype and yuuguu have built in IM tools and link well in terms of being used in meetings. I particularly recommend Skype if being used as your main meeting tool.

How instant is Instant Messaging?

The instant part is a little bit debatable. It is certainly less instant than a phone call and more instant than an e-mail, in terms of expected response. My own experience is that the need to respond to an IM is not so immediate and therefore it is less disruptive. It is important to build a shared understanding with your collaborators about how you will use it in terms of response times and establishing your own netiquette or policy.

Real Example of IM

Further Information

This site is run by Jason Reed. I am committed to providing impartial advice about online collaboration. I will suggest tools that I believe are really useful, there are lots of tools out there the key to success is having a go.

I blog my on going online collaboration experiences at:

I have developed a course that is available for others to teach and can be found at:

For more information about me, my profile is available at:

I've hopefully kept things simple by picking out some useful tools that you can get going with. The intention is to develop valuable content but not overload with information. 

Please contact me If you have any questions or suggestions or if you require consultancy, coaching or training to develop online collaboration for you, your team or organisation. I am also available to facilitate online collaboration.