As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rear its ugly head, businesses all around the world have to adapt to online tools to continue operations that previously used to be done in person.
In this post, you are going to learn what tools are available to drastically improve virtual collaboration with your team.
We have included:
- 8 Main Categories of Online Work Collaboration Tools
- 36 Specially Curated Tools to improve team collaboration online
So if you want to start improving your team efficiency with these collaboration tools with your business, you will love this post!
Let’s get it started.
Here are the 9 main types of tools that you will require in the daily running of your business:
- Business Group Chats
- Cloud Collaboration Softwares
- Online Conferencing Tools
- Appointment Booking Tools
- Project Management Tools
- Noise Cancellation Software
- Screen Recording Softwares
- Employee/Team Member Feedback
1.Business Group Chats
This is especially important to keep in contact with your colleagues. While it is tempting to use Whatsapp or Telegram to manage both your business and work contacts, career professionals often advice that work and personal life should be separate to boost productivity at work and quality time at home. Here are business chat tools to keep in touch with your team:
This popular platform offers you instant messaging functions, file transfers and the ability to create multiple groups. It is used by many companies to manage sprints across different teams and have nifty integrations with tools like Trello, Google Drive and others. They have a free version for small teams and scalable pricing plans.
With Skype set to be discontinued on 3 July 2021, Microsoft is pushing its focus on Microsoft Teams. You are able to have access to instant messaging to chat, online video conferences, file storage and even real-time collaboration with Office apps, including Word, Excel and Powerpoint. There is a free version as well as free trials for small and medium businesses under the Microsoft 365 Business Standard.
Twist prides themself as a distraction-free space where teams are able to focus on work paired with quality collaborative conversations.
The need for discussions over email and chat apps are made easier with channels for different teams, threads for long-form discussion and messages to teammates for urgent discussion without disrupting ongoing conversations. It can be seen as an alternative to Slack.
The free version of Google’s longest-running messaging and video chat service includes a direct messaging function for your contacts in your Google account.
This is probably a familiar tool for gamers where this free community platform serves players all over the world to improve real-time communications while in-game. If you are looking for real-time coordination over voice, video and text, Discord will be ideal to manage large group discussions easily via web browsers or a Windows software.
Flowdock allows you to bring your conversations, work files and tools in a single location.
It is ideal for team chats with threads by keeping topics organised and also have integrations for additional features with various software like Twitter, Asana and others.
2.Cloud Collaboration Softwares
Gone are the days where you have to synchronise sending your files for the latest copy! With these online collaboration tools, it is possible to work in real-time with your colleagues on documents, and share them with other teams or clients in just a few clicks!
The Google Suite of products is not new to everyone, with the personal versions readily available to anyone who has a free Google account.
The collection of productivity tools are easily available to use on various platforms and allows you to connect with your team, create documents that you need and control access to files.
A product from Tiktok’s parent company, Bytedance, this free collaborative software allows you to create documents, access to cloud storage (200GB Cloud Storage), calendar functions, video conferences and even instant messaging functions all in one software. You can access it through web browsers, computer applications for Windows and Mac and even through mobile phones.
3.Online Conferencing Tools
If there’s anything we have learnt in the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the importance of online conferencing tools. The advent of video conferencing as an online collaboration software is important for any business to keep in contact and has even progressed to functions like screen sharing, whiteboard functions and many others. Find out all the online conferencing tools that we have curated.
Zoom has been a mainstay with many companies and has gone even more popular in this pandemic. It offers HD video with screen-sharing, whiteboard controls and even local recordings for those who will miss out. It has a unique virtual background feature that many users are raving about and have plans that range from free to paid versions. Free functions allow unlimited 1 to 1 meeting and 40-minute group meetings with up to 100 interactive participants. Paid functions include “Breakout Rooms” where hosts can split the viewers into smaller groups in a seamless process.
The premium version of video meetings from Google has recently been made free and available for everyone. It has the functions of Google Hangouts but supports a lot more participants.
It has a nifty integration with Google Calendar for scheduling which might be a useful function that saves time.
The free version of Google’s longest-running messaging and video chat service includes video chat service for your contacts in your Google account.
You can even share a link which offers easy distribution for your contacts to join onboard.
Cisco’s WebEx provides video meeting rooms where users can to host and join meetings. You can enjoy the free features to host meetings, call-in for audio, file-sharing and whiteboard-sharing functions.
You can even opt for recordings which will be sent to you in a link on a secure link. There are free and paid functions available for teams of different sizes.
GoToMeeting has all the functions you expect in an online video conferencing software, from screen sharing, conference calling that saves time and money and HD video conferencing. They also support mobile conferencing, meeting recording and transcription software inbuilt.
4.Appointment Booking Tools
Whether you are a manager handling the team’s schedule or a client-facing business, appointment booking tools are the best collaboration software that saves time and efforts. By indicating your available timeslots and letting the other party choose the timings that suit them, appointment booking tools can help to reduce the correspondence needed and even send reminders to both parties when the meeting is happening. In addition, you can integrate it with online conferencing tools in one-click. Find out which appointment booking tools is best suited to be your team collaboration tool!
If you are looking for an appointment booking system that helps you schedule meetings without the need for email correspondence,Calendly is the tool! Let Calendly know your availability and share a link for your colleagues or customers to schedule at a time of their convenience.
Link up with Google Calendar, Outlook, Office 365 or iCloud calendar such that you will not double booked. The free version has the functions above and the paid version allows have access to more integrations like Zoom and more functions.
Doodle is the scheduling ally that allows you to discover who is available in one glance. They also have integrations with Google Calendar, Office 360 and iCal to avoid double bookings. The shareable link allows the calendar to be accessed, but also not compromising on security by allowing you to have control over the people you invite. Updates and reminders are also in place so that you do need to execute follow-ups.
If you have not heard of Google Calendar, you have to try out the easy to use functions and compatibility across all devices. With many integrations with other software and features, having Google Calendar as one of your productivity tools would be sure to make your life easier.
Acuity Scheduling takes out the hassle of back and forth communication and offers automated processes to make scheduling easier. Others are able to see your real-time availability, self-book their appointments, pay online and even reschedule at their convenience. There are also integrations with other software available. There are free and paid versions along with free trials to start off.
To support appointment scheduling for lead generation, Appointlet helps you to streamline your booking process and shorten your sales cycle. Their simple 3 step process makes it easy for you to customise your appointment schedule, share your personal booking page and your prospects can book an available time with you.
Setmore aims to help automate bookings and payments with their appointment software that begins with a free online booking page that can be added on websites.
You can access your appointments from various devices with your Setmore account, book 1-click meetings with callers, connect over video chat, integrate payments and automated alerts and notifications available.
Simplybook is an online booking system for all service-based industries. You can accept online bookings 24/7 via multiple channels, send reminders and avoid double bookings. Payment systems can be integrated and you can also gather client information during the booking process.
5.Project Management Tools
Whether you are a small business or large enterprise, there is a need for a project management tool that helps in online collaboration. From creating tasks to assigning them to relevant employees, a project management tool serves a beacon among the chaos for all employees to refer to. Managers can also gain real-time feedback on the progress of the tasks assigned without needing extra communications. Find out which project management tool can be adopted as your project collaboration tools!
Asana is one of the most well-known tools for project management. You can create to-do lists, keep track of tasks, leave comments, set reminders and send requests to colleagues.
Be it the founder or an employee, Monday.com allows you to streamline your data to what you need to see based on your “clearance”. You can also have visual feedback on the progress of projects and the status with the effective Kanban view while being highly customisable on a dashboard.
Trello offers a really simple interface that allows you to have a bird’s eye view of the progress of your project.
The system allows you to create cards that function as your to-do list and even tag your colleagues to notify them of any updates. That’s not all: Trello is completely free!
Basecamp contains a whole suite of collaborative tools that includes lists, wiki-style documents, file sharing and messaging functions. It can function with iOS, Andriod and web browsers.
Notion has 3 main features: A project and task management system for Kanban boards, tables and lists; Notes and documents storage that rivals Google Docs and a Wiki system that files easy-to-find documents about the company for proper learnings. Integrations are also available and work across all the devices.
Looking for a work management tool that offers both collaboration AND project management functions?
Proofhub has all the tools a project collaborative software would bring and even more functions like Gantt charts, a proofing tool to make the process of approval and reviewing easier and many more. You can use it on iOS, Android and web browsers.
This award-winning resource management platform is offered as a premium add-on product from Smartsheet. It buys in from simple resource allocation in terms of scheduling, project planning features, time tracking, reporting functions and integration with Smartsheet.
Nozbe is a simple collaboration tool that is suitable for coordinating remote team projects.
Did you know that Nozbe operates without a central office but are already functioning for 13 years. You can set up your teams, create projects and add tasks and assign people to the tasks. Free plans and paid plans are available.
Toggl is a time tracking software to find out much time you are putting in each task. With a responsive reporting structure, you can see how much you are meeting the timelines and budgets. For freelancers, this is especially important to assign billable rates and ensure you are paid fairly.
Float is a resource planning and management software that helps teams plan their projects and schedule their team’s time.
The interactive software allows you to click and drag anywhere on the schedule and assign tasks to the relevant teammates. You can plan your projects by looking at the team’s real capacity and make rescheduling and reassigning tasks on the fly in real-time.
Redbooth is an easy-to-use online project management software to support high performing teams. Start off with organising your projects by adding and sorting assignees, due dates and start task allocation. Next, you can communicate on the tasks in threaded conversation and HD video meeting functions. Lastly, visualise your tasks in the form of a board, list or a timeline view based on your preferences.
6.Noise Cancellation Software
Ever find yourself in a noisy environment when you are on your video call? Krisp’s noise cancellation software that allows you to speak and listen without background noise with a single click.
It supports any device and apps used and the AI-powered noise-cancelling technology adapts to your voice for continual improvements. They have free and paid versions available.
7.Screen Recording Softwares
There may be times where you might need to give a demo to a client or pass instructions to employees. Screen recording software allows you to record what’s on your screen with narration to guide the listener through. Check out the following tools below that can be a potential group collaboration software for your business today!
Loom allows you to screen record quality videos (up to 4k for paid version) and have an online editor for trimming purposes.
You can then password protect these videos for security and even restrict views to specific email addresses.
The simple and intuitive tool from Screencast-O-Matic helps you to create videos via the screen recorder software that records your screen and voice. There is also a built-in editor to help edit the video and sharing functions to broadcast your recorded video.
The Apowersoft free online screen recorder starts unlimited recordings with just 1 click. The screen recorder is web-based which means you don’t need to download any extra software on your computer.
For Windows: Windows 10 built-in Game Bar
Windows 10 is packed with many exciting new features and one of them is a screen recorder. Simply search for Game Bar or press the “Window” and “G” button simultaneously.
A game bar will open up and simply select the capture function to show the screen record button in a circle icon. You can find more instructions here.
Apple has 2 ways for a video recording of your screen: Using the Shift-Command-5 for macOS Mojave and using QuickTime Players screen recording function (File > New Screen Recording).
8.Employee/Team Member Feedback
Officevibe is a simple platform that allows management of team by clearly setting team goals, schedule and invites employees to 1-on-1s chat, reduce prep time with suggested talking points provided and setting agendas together.
Teams can also answer surveys and provide anonymous feedback to managers, managers and respond to these feedback with in-built messaging functions and you can share reports with teams to work on discussions and improvements together.
What Do You Think?
Which one of the online work collaboration tools above can help you improve your team’s efficiency?
Did we miss out on any other team collaboration software?
Either way, let us know in the comments below!