Need better tools to collaborate with your team? These eight apps can help.
- With more employees working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, there has been an increased need for collaboration applications. These solutions allow teams to come together no matter where they are located.
- Slack is one of the best productivity apps for remote workers. Users can text, chat, and video call each other while working on projects.
- Other apps to consider while working remotely are G Suite, Uber Conference, Google Drive, Zoom, DropBox and more.
An increase in remote workers, and the decentralization of businesses in general, has forever altered the way business people collaborate. This has resulted in a growing demand for tools that make it easier to communicate, whether it's across town or across oceans. As a result, the market is currently flooded with solutions that make everything from conference calls and project planning to video chatting and managing the books simpler. The trick is narrowing the field to ones you'll actually use.
Slack is a video, text and audio chat tool that's beloved by established small business owners, major enterprises and newbie startups alike. Within Slack, users can set up different channels that other users have access to and even invite temporary workers (like freelancers or contractors) to join in the conversation. There's a free version of Slack you can try without obligation as well as a paid version that exists at two levels ($6.67 per user, per month and $12.50 per user, per month).
While it's not the powerhouse Microsoft Office is, the G Suite is a great option for small businesses that don't want to invest in more Microsoft products but still need to communicate and collaborate. Google Docs, Sheets, Drive, Calendar and email as well as Hangouts (for chatting via text or video) are powerful productivity and collaboration tools, especially when you consider that they're all free.
This collaboration tool isn't as well-known as some of its competitors, but it's worth noting because it offers unique functionality that's especially valuable for SMBs with international clients and partners. With UberConference, users can host conference calls without a required PIN and without internet access. This service may be used for free with up to 10 users at a time, but there's also a $10 per-month, per-user subscription that offers more robust functionality (like custom call-in numbers)
For file syncing, especially among a spread-out workforce that's not necessarily all using the same OS or software, Dropbox is a great tool. Rates begin at $10 a month for each terabyte of space. The minimalist design is easy to use, allows teams to access and share information together, review items, leave notes and stay organized.
If your business already uses the Microsoft Office Suite, then taking advantage of OneNote is a no brainer for collaboration. OneNote users can sync their notes across different devices, share notes and add to them, limit permissions on different notebooks, and even do some light project management, all using OneNote. Additionally, since it's a Microsoft product, it is fully compatible with the rest of the suite (including Excel).
Zoom has become the go-to application for video conferencing. The application is very user-friendly with simple controls that doesn't require a steep learning curve. Free options are available for those with small teams, but conference call times are limited. Paid options are low-cost with unlimited call times and can become a part of your daily team meetups. Zoom has surpassed the popularity of Skype for video work calls.
Collaborators on digital design projects can come together through InVision. Throughout the design process, team members can meet up and share progress through InVision. Feedback from team members can be tracked through the app along with providing remote access to a whiteboard tool. The whiteboard feature allows you to share plans in real-time and give design presentations to other members of the team.
Trello is one of the best project management tools available for remote collaborations. Trello boards can be customized to meet your specific team needs. You may create a board for a multi-person project or create a board for each department within your company. For instance, project boards could be Blog Planning and Project Launches or Customer Service Team and Marketing Staff. Within Trello, you assign tasks and monitor progress. Trello works as a virtual to-do list and keeps everyone on track for meeting company goals.
Google Drive and Docs
Google Drive has become an important resource for working on projects together remotely. If you have a large amount of shareable content, then Google Drive makes it easy to keep everyone in the loop by sharing file access. Google Drive is simple to use and accessible from anywhere. Google has even allowed for an offline mode that gives access to files when you’re not connected. Google Drive also provides seamlessly unlimited storage capacity. Users control access to files and share with team members who need to edit within Google Docs.
Dashlane has become a must-have app for remote workers who need to collaborate with team members. Storing passwords on an Excel spreadsheet is no longer considered safe for team projects. Dashlane acts as a password manager and allows you to save and share details to make it convenient and safe for your teams to gain access to the tools they need. Dashlane provides both free and paid versions of the service, depending on how much storage needed.