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Assessment of Lark, a free collaboration & communication office platform


[This is a sponsored article with Lark.]

For the reason that pandemic hit, the significance of office collaboration instruments has by no means been better.

At Vulcan Publish, we’ve used our justifiable share of digital collaboration platforms however we migrated as a result of the earlier platforms modified to a paid subscription mannequin that we personally felt wasn’t value its worth.

We have been approached by Lark, who supplied us with a possibility to check and overview their collaboration platform. To get a full expertise of what Lark has to supply, we moved our crew onto the platform.

What’s Lark?

At first look, Lark Suite or Lark for brief, is much like different collaboration platforms we’ve used up to now. However the crew behind Lark defines it as ‘a device to vary the best way individuals work’. Whereas that’s an bold declare, the crew believes they’ll again it up.

On the Lark platform, customers have entry to Lark variations of Calendar, Docs, Messenger, Conferences, Cloud Storage, E mail and different options. Whereas these options are current in different platforms, Lark has many tips up its sleeves to face out from the remainder.

The primary Lark display

As a substitute of navigating out from the appliance and switching to a browser, for instance, Lark tries to get the whole lot built-in right into a single platform, without having to change apps or tabs.

Pricing-wise, you should utilize Lark’s enterprise model for free. The one benefit that paid enterprise customers get is entry to limitless storage and precedence assist. The free model of Lark nonetheless comes with limitless video conferencing minutes for as much as 350 contributors, a shared 200GB cloud storage and 500GB electronic mail storage between all the firm.

The app is extraordinarily practical and versatile. Nice design and intuitive consumer interface for many of the options. I like that my fundamental work communication, planning, and duties are all-in-one with the Lark app. – Sarah, Managing Director of GRVTY Media

At the moment the app doesn’t have Darkish mode obtainable, and I’m not the one one within the firm requesting this function. So we’ve escalated this request to the Lark crew they usually have included it of their inner product suggestions.

Lark may also be used on totally different gadgets. When you don’t want to obtain an app, you should utilize it through your desktop. Alternatively, Lark is accessible on each the Apple App Retailer and the Google Play Retailer. In our 2 weeks of testing, the platform remained intuitive and snappy, even for us who aren’t on the newest gadgets.

Lark Messenger

Built-in chat options

Whenever you launch Lark, the primary display you’ll be on is Lark Messenger. Right here, you’ll have entry to a myriad of instruments at your disposal. You’ll be able to arrange a gathering, examine a colleague’s calendar, spotlight and pin vital messages, set bulletins, search messages and extra.

You may have entry to Calendar, Pinned Gadgets, Search historical past and so forth from the fitting of the messenger

Lark video conferencing

By Lark, you can too host video conferences of as much as 350 contributors with limitless minutes. This may be helpful for many who need to host calls with exterior members or the neighborhood they handle with out having to pay additional.

Together with that, you even have entry to Magic Share, which permits for customers to collaborate on a single doc without having to exit out of the video convention.

By Magic Share, you possibly can select the doc you want to edit throughout the name, or create a brand new doc.

Extra privateness with secret chats

When making a chat along with your colleagues, you might have an choice to create a Secret Chat. This function will be helpful to ship one-time firm passwords or delicate firm paperwork. The timer on the messages will be set to a minute, an hour, sooner or later or one week to clear after studying.

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Screenshots with annotation

In chat, you might have entry to a screenshot device. It contains annotation options and even mosaic if you should blur out sure particulars. Screenshots include an computerized watermark device that can present who created it.

The screenshot device on Lark, you possibly can add arrows and even mosaic by way of it

Computerized speech to textual content

One of many options we discovered helpful was the flexibility to show voice notes into textual content robotically. After the consumer data the audio observe, they are going to be prompted with the choice to robotically translate your audio into textual content for the chat. Or, you possibly can choose this function from the beginning when recording the audio.

This helps if you’re glancing over the chat to see its contents, and the transcription can be searchable, which could be very helpful for groups who’ve the behavior of leaving lengthy voice notes to one another for work.

An instance of an audio observe despatched with computerized transcription

Auto-translation

In every chat, you possibly can allow a setting to auto-translate all incoming messages to your system language. This may be helpful to those that are working with worldwide colleagues. There are presently over 100+ languages obtainable, and the Lark crew is working so as to add extra. We typically solely use English in our firm, nevertheless it was humorous to see our colleagues attempt a few of their damaged Mandarin to check this function out.

An instance translated by way of the chat

Lark Docs

Lark Docs is much like most on-line phrase processors. You may have entry to docs, sheets and a just lately added Bitable. Bitable permits for simpler undertaking administration by way of options resembling Kanban and Gantt Charts. You could possibly use the predesigned templates to hurry up your doc creating course of as effectively.

An instance of a Bitable on Lark

Lark Docs affords one in every of our favorite collaboration options, which is the flexibility to edit a Lark Doc straight out of chat, with out going into a special tab.

When in a video assembly on Lark, you can too generate a gathering agenda immediately into the video name, and edit it reside utilizing Magic Share, whether or not on the cellular app or on the internet platform. The doc stays within the Lark chat even after the decision and it’s simple to entry once more with out switching platforms. The search operate within the chat may also be used to look Docs.

Third-party apps

Like most collaboration platforms, you can too add further instruments to enhance your workflow. In Lark, you possibly can join different apps resembling Asana, Trello, Google Drive and extra. If in case you have programming data, you can too create and code your individual app to fit your wants. We’ve added a GIPHY bot into our chat for GIF reactions, however I’m undecided if we’ll be utilizing it since we noticed this tweet.

When you use Trello for work or for private administration, you possibly can hyperlink Trello to Lark. It will can help you simply edit, create or add playing cards onto Trello with out going out of Lark. To this point, the third get together apps we’ve used built-in into Lark easily and didn’t overload the platform.

I can add a brand new card onto Trello proper from Lark

Calendar

Lark permits customers to sync up their Google Calendars into Lark. Since we primarily used Google Calendar to schedule our work, transferring our to-dos into Lark was pretty simple. We bumped into some syncing points due to the calendar permissions, however after altering among the settings, it labored high-quality.

Our Google Calendar linked into Lark, you possibly can see the G icon for agendas synced from Google

Video conferences set on Lark are accessible by way of the Calendar as effectively, and you may view the conferences notes right here too.

Verdict

This can be a quick video on the options which can be obtainable by way of Lark

Total, Lark is a strong collaboration platform that we imagine many will like. It’s quick and video chats are steady in our expertise too, even for colleagues with slower Wi-Fi connection.

We solely have just a few minor quibbles, chief being that there isn’t a devoted darkish mode for Lark but. Apart from that, there are smaller UI modifications we might request, resembling having a “presently typing” standing when somebody is writing out a message, and in addition having the ability to see our whole unread message depend on the internet and desktop app. However its advantages presently far outweigh the disadvantages.

There are a whole lot of options that we’ve but to probe for ourselves too. You’ll be able to even get skilled and authorized as a Lark consumer or administrator by way of SaaS College.

We will see a whole lot of firms, each SMEs and huge firms, having the ability to make the most of Lark—not solely to extend productiveness, but additionally make collaboration extra pleasurable, particularly as we proceed to work remotely. As for us, it appears our trial interval is sort of over, however we’re not going anyplace.

A convincing sure from a ballot within the chat for us to proceed utilizing Lark
  • For more information on Lark, click on right here.
  • When you want to use the Paid Enterprise Lark model for limitless storage, attain out to the Lark crew right here.





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