If you’ve ever felt frustrated by a lack of visibility into projects, or a lack of input when it comes to decisions, you’re not alone. Collaboration across teams, especially those with remote colleagues, can be challenging no matter the size of the company.

The AppExchange has hundreds of collaboration apps that help foster productivity, save time, and increase satisfaction for customers and employees alike. Below are four ways your organization can collaborate faster and more effectively. Now working smarter together could be as simple as downloading a new app – or four.

1. Expand your definition of project management

Many project management apps handle little more than task assignments and notifications. But projects run more smoothly when everyone is on the same page - and when you have total visibility into everything from individual tasks to timelines and budgets. Multi-functional project management apps like FinancialForce Professional Services Automation can help by putting sales, service delivery, and finance all in one place. This app also features automated processes, social integration, mobile apps and more, for increased productivity and communication.

2. Take decision making online

Today, most business communication takes place online; however, big decisions are often made in boardrooms, with input from a few people. Apps like Fingertip change that by taking the decision-making process online and opening it up to more feedback and data. Fingertip users can loop multiple departments — from marketing to IT — into any decision, and even incorporate customer feedback. Opinions and questions can be communicated faster and more effectively. The result? Better, smarter decisions that will hold up in the long run.

3. Collaborate in real time

Gone are the days when collaboration on documents and files took place on paper — today, you can receive and respond to edits and updates in just minutes. Smart apps like Apttus X-Author for Chatter take it a step further, enabling dynamic collaboration on Microsoft Office documents. Any activity in a Word, PowerPoint, or Excel document is automatically recorded and transmitted to a structured database such as Salesforce. Users can also view activity and access Chatter feeds from within the document, enabling real-time communication and collaboration.

4. Offer meetings at global scale

Many of today's businesses are global and mobile, with offices and employees in multiple locations. That means traditional meeting formats no longer suffice. Sure, you can have people dial in on a conference call. But audio- and web-conferencing apps like ReadyTalk allow you to do a lot more. No matter where you are in the world, you can demo a product to potential clients, or host a training session for new employees. No downloads are required to join meetings, and the app automatically creates contacts and leads for participants. That means smarter meetings — and more effective follow up.

Could you be working smarter and faster, just by downloading a collaboration app? Head over to the Salesforce AppExchange to find out.