Family and friends may be spread all over the world but being connected these days is quite easy thanks to the Internet.

So that means that many times the only method of coming together for event planning like vacations and celebrations is to connect online.

A lot of this effort might involve working on documents, spreadsheets or PowerPoint presentations but before today that joint effort might only be possible through annotations on those documents or disconnected chats.

Microsoft has now released an update for its Office Online and OneDrive services that will allow you to collaborate via chat right on the same screen and in the same browser window in which the document is being worked on. A huge benefit of this new feature is that the chat is persistent on the document so the next time you open it up to work all of the discussion history is right there.

Word Online Collaboration

This same capability has been added to OneDrive so that you can have that side by side discussion while viewing or editing the items you have stored in the cloud throughout your storage folders.

In addition, the improved Skype integration with Outlook.com has also been rolled out for all users on Outlook.com and now gives all users this same capability that was launched in a limited roll out last year.

How do you use collaboration tools like these in your daily life?

But, wait...there's probably more so be sure to follow me on Twitter and Google+.