11 Online Collaboration Tools You Need to Try
Updated: Nov 7, 2021
Collaboration tools help teams work together in a way that makes communication efficient and easy while still remaining connected. At Digithy we try to maintain that relationship of collaboration and connection through the use of these tools to ensure we're all organized and aligned.
Online collaboration tools are ideal for teams who have some form of remote work in place. While not all teams are working online, remote work has become very popular in the modern workplace which is why these collaboration tools are a great way to stay in touch while being productive. These tools also work well for in-house teams that prefer not to have a constant barrage of emails to sift through! We compiled a list of our favourite tools that we believe improve online collaboration amongst teams.
Slack is a collaboration tool that allows you to message your co-workers: messages can be sent both as private or group messages. The great thing about slack is that you can divide conversations into specific channels, for example, you can have a channel where you discuss events or announcements. With the division of channels, conversations become streamlined and the team knows where to look for.
Slack also offers video and audio call features along with the chat features, and has several integrations with other collaboration tools such as Google Docs, Trello or Dropbox. This allows you to have access to your favorite productivity apps without having to exit the platform.
Slack is generally free, with paid plans offered to larger teams or those looking for more features.
Facebook's own collaboration tool, this website has a very similar user interface to Facebook, if you are familiar with Facebook's newsfeed and groups you will definitely feel at home using this. Workplace also allows you to chat with your coworkers via Workchat, and you can stay informed on certain updates including your coworker's birthdays! Workplace also contains a feature called the Knowledge Library which basically holds any static information that your team needs to know such as HR policies or any relevant information that teams should all be on the same page about.
Workplace features integration with other popular tools such as Trello, Google Docs, Office 365, SalesForce and Zoom.
Trello is a task management platform that allows you to streamline the workflow of your team. Each task is assigned a card that is placed in a column and when the task is completed it is moved to the next column to be either picked up by the next team member or to just be there for your reference. It is almost like a conveyor belt, the idea behind this platform is actually derived from a Japanese system called the Kanban Board. The board allows your team to see the process and progress of their work from start to finish, this visualisation of tasks helps ensure everyone knows how the work is getting done, and who's doing it.
Trello has a free and paid version as well with added features and integrations.
Togglplan is a project planning platform that also includes Gantt charts. This is a form of project management that allows you to assign tasks to team members on a timeline. And you don't have to worry if deadlines change, Togglplan gives you the versatility to shift the timeline. You have the addition of task boards as well. You also have the option to create milestones as a work incentive!
Togglplan has a free basic plan, with additional features on its paid plans.
Asana is a tool that allows you to visualize tasks for your team and chart and assign tasks. It gives you several options on how you want to display, the assigned tasks and deadlines and is probably the most versatile of project management tools, as it gives you several choices on how you want to group these tasks. The viewing modes are divided into: Boards, list, timeline and calendar, each with its own set of specific features.
Asana's basic plan is totally free with additional features on its paid plans, including its timeline feature.
Google's GSuite is a great platform for teams simply because it has everything, from Google Docs, Google Drive and GMail to name a few each designed to make collaboration a lot easier especially for those working remotely. GSuite applications allow co-workers to edit and work on documents in real time. Google Calendar also syncs events and meetings and everything is integrated in one place. It's definitely worth investing in for any business operating remotely because of its ability to keep necessary features all in one place.
GSuite is free to use for individual users for larger teams and cloud storage they have paid plans.
Airtable is like a collaboration spreadsheet, there's really no way to describe it but suffice to say it's your way of creating a database without having to worry about how to make one. It allows you to organize your data and even to edit your tables in a way that works for you, while also integrating project management software features such as a task board, or a calendar timeline.
8. Office 365
While GSuite is great, some times you want more editing control over your documents. Office 365 gives you all the features of Microsoft Office that you're familiar with in an online platform so you can collaborate with your team in real-time. Office 365 includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, one drive and outlook. It's a great option for your team if you want to ensure they're using the same programs especially since not everyone has Microsoft's desktop programs installed
Zoom rose in popularity during the 2020 lockdown as a video conferencing tool and it's clear why. The tool offers a lot of administrator controls for hosts of video meetings and it can also be integrated with Google Calendar. It also has additional features which allow you to chat or even react in the video meeting without disrupting the speaker. Zoom is available both on desktop and on Android and Smartphone making it a great conference tool that you can use on the go to schedule your meetings.
Markup allows you to create comments on websites in real-time, rather than have to exchange design comments through email, you can get your point across right at the source. This is especially for businesses constantly updating their website. With Markup you can let your team know the changes that need to be made all via review comments that display directly on the site. This visual aspect ensures you get the results you want every single time.
Markup is free to use, with additional live support on its paid plans
Spacetime is especially useful for those who have remote teams in varying time zones. You never have to worry about a time zone converter or people missing your meetings. Your whole team will be aligned because everyone will know not only when to schedule meetings but when to follow up and contact their coworkers. Spacetime also has integration with Google Calendar so you have your whole calendar at a glance. It also features integration with Slack.
These tools are our recommendations for your collaboration online but also for inhouse teams as well. With the right tools your team can work with more empathy and understanding which are the most important aspects of productivity.