Collaboration within the workforce is hardly a new phenomenon. In order for organizations to thrive—no matter their size—it is important that they have a solid, cohesive team sharing the same page every step of the way.
Depending on the nature of your business, it is important to select the best options for your team. More and more online collaboration tools appear each year, and existing platforms are continually improving their own features. Here are some of the best online tools for collaboration, broken into the following categories:
- Video Conferencing
- Project Management
- Time Management
- Document Management
- File Sharing
- Knowledge Management
Chat / Messaging Tools
This innovative and insightful tool leaps head and shoulders above competitors like Slack, checking off multiple organization and collaboration functions, but it is most closely aligned with keeping team members connected via a sleek messaging interface. Heycollab helps increase productivity by allowing team members to create a workspace—essentially, a group chat where instant messaging, project collaboration and file/media storage all occur in one convenient hub of activity.
Slack is a popular alternative for communicating with team members from every business size. Reminder settings, private and group chat channels and voice and video calling with screen sharing are key features; however, certain functions like searchable archives are not available to free users (Slack is one of the more expensive collaboration platforms, so you may want to reconsider if you’re budget is limited).
Flock is a great tool for communicative collaboration—particularly for teams that often work remotely. Flock offers private and open-channel messaging, voice and video conferencing and plenty of additional sharing and notification features to ensure that your team stays informed, wherever they are.
Keep in touch with your team by adopting this very user-friendly messaging tool that, as you can imagine, integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Office 365—among other third-party plug-ins. Communicate via chat in either private or public conversations modes, coordinate voice or video meetings, and share images and documents.
Video Conferencing Tools
Everybody knows about Skype. It’s even a verb. Skype has been at the forefront of audio/video conferencing for years, allowing users to connect with people from all over the world via free voice and video calling. It is THE tool for video conferencing collaboration.
A simple, functional video collaboration tool, appear.in allows users to create a video “room”, share the link via chat or email, and strike up a group conversation with up to eight people at once. No fuss.
Working remotely can be a challenge—but not with GoToMeeting. Video conferencing with GTM is simple, streamlined and chocked full of added features (like drawing tools for annotating during webinars) to maximize your collaborative communication.
Project Management Tools
One of the most powerful project management tools, Jira provides many useful features like reports with real-time analytics and insights, interactive task boards, and roadmaps for managing team activity and statuses.
Asana is a great tool for daily organization and collaboration, allowing teams to track every project and divide work amongst members. Asana alerts you of upcoming deadlines while monitoring tasks and project progress with interactive dashboards.
Basecamp is a versatile project management suite geared towards organizing employees, assigning projects, and monitoring progress. Create daily or weekly stand-ups online, chat with team members, and make to-do lists with ease.
A true originator, Workzone is one of the earlier project management platforms to hit the market. Its longevity in an age of hungry competition is a testament to its recognition as a safe and secure option for any sized business. Key features, like automated deadline notifications and templates for assigning projects, are just some of the reasons for Workzone’s staying power.
ProofHub is an advanced online task collaboration platform for managing all of your business projects. Proofhub makes it easy to collaborate with team members and clients, delivering top quality work on time.
Time Management Tools
Business transparency is great for both measurable growth and collaboration. With Hubstaff, you can manage the productivity of remote employees by placing time and spending limits on projects, while also scheduling attendance and monitoring general activity. Additionally, Hubstaff’s time-tracking functionality guarantees that payments to clients, freelancers or full-time staff are sent and received on time.
ClickTime is a dynamic and efficient platform for tracking working hours, department budgets, vacations, and project performance. It allows users to plan and record expenses associated with project development to ensure that teams do not overspend. Manage your time AND money effectively.
Users looking to maximize productivity for their small business should certainly consider FreshBooks. Capture expenses, generate financial insights, and track billing documents and invoices all in one.
Never lose sight of how employees spend their days. With TimeCamp, you can monitor ongoing projects, set long and short-term goals, track vacation days and holidays—but perhaps most intriguing, your employees can monitor themselves, managing their own productivity so that work seems less like…work.
Document Management Tools
With G-Suite (Google Docs, Sheets, Slides), users can edit and save files while collaborating across documents in real time. Stay connected with colleagues by chatting during the editing stage of your shared online projects. Obviously, G-Suite works seamlessly with Gmail accounts, which many team members are likely to have anyway.
A Microsoft Office 365 subscription is probably already available to members of your team, given the extreme popularity of Word, Excel and One Drive. But in case you still need convincing, Office is an invaluable tool for teamwork. Edit various file formats, collaborate on documents with colleagues—online or offline—track changes and organize all projects in one place.
This popular alternative tool for collaboration, Quip encourages multi-asset storage while simultaneously enabling users to work together on documents, checklists, notes, and task lists via its intuitive messaging functionality.
File Sharing Tools
As far as online file sharing goes, Dropbox is the most well-known service out there, with over 500 million users worldwide. With Dropbox, you are not just getting a recognizable name, but THE name in trusted, collaborative digital storage. Keep everything in one place, and share your documents with others; send links via email or chat, and access your account with ease, from any device.
An ever-popular tool of collaboration, Google Drive lets you safely store and share documents, videos, photos and more in the cloud, putting them within reach from your mobile and web platform. Perfect for teams working remotely, and especially for teams working with Gmail.
Knowledge Management Tools
Create, collaborate and store all of your work in one place. Confluence is an open and accessible workspace that allows you and your team to work together by creating powerful pages, meeting notes, project plans and sharing company information.
Collaboration is key! Use BoostHQ to effortlessly harness your team’s combined knowledge. Allow employees to contribute ideas, provide feedback and follow up with questions while sharing pertinent learning content, like brand guidelines, training materials, and handbooks. Store everything in a singular resource library for quick and easy reference.
Manage internal and external information from any device while gaining insights into how your knowledge base is working. Guru unifies your company’s collective knowledge, verifies its authenticity and emboldens your revenue teams to make insightful decisions. The more you use Guru, the smarter it gets, so don’t be afraid of oversharing.
Skore is an intriguing, cross-team knowledge platform that collects and organizes all of the important information your employees require. Upload documents of all types or use Skore’s text editor to track the activity of team members.