Somewhere in 2006, I was doing my math homework while being on the phone with my classmate, we were checking and comparing our results, and we were struggling with one specific problem. Then I called a few more kids from my class to see if they managed to solve that particular math problem.
A few hours later, one of my friends made a group composed of our classmates on MSN. Instantly we were sharing answers, methods, and results among each other. I was amazed by how one easy to use a piece of technology has improved our performance, shortened the time it takes us to do our homework, and boosted communication between us.
I was unaware at the time, but I have experienced the impact of software on productivity and teamwork for the first time.
This blog post is all about that, so here are some of the best tools to help your remote team(s) collaborate productively, creatively, and seamlessly.
Successful remote teams know how to communicate effectively. The apps on this list will help you stay in touch with your colleagues and employees.
Communication is a cornerstone of every team!
Slack– An incredibly popular communication tool that combines text, audio, and video chat features into one convenient package. Conversations can be organized into channels based on team members, projects, or anything else that’s relevant to your organization. Team members can leave or join said channels at any time, unlike lengthy email chains.
Slack is a powerful communication tool worthy of the constant praise it gets, and at Agency04, we absolutely love it.
Workplace by Facebook– Facebook launched this team collaboration platform that includes messaging, voice and video calling, and newsfeed features to help teams work together more efficiently. A user-friendly interface, variety of options, and tools make this software an excellent choice for remote teams. Although I hadn’t a chance to try it out, I’ll surely give it a chance in the future
Skype– Traditional and commonly used professional chatting and instant messaging applications. It is widely used by small and large businesses all over the world for effective communication with their employees in-office and remote via video chat, instant messaging, voice calling, and more.
Microsoft Teams– Part of premium Office 365 subscriptions, which is a full-service collaboration and communication suite for Windows users. You can make video and VOIP calls within Teams, direct and group message other users, and share work from other 365 apps, such as PowerPoint and Excel.
Video Chat and Meeting
The visual part of any communication is crucial, and it’s the same withleading a remote team or having a talk with your client. These set of tools will help you set up video calls or meetings.
Google Hangouts– Widely known default tool of choice for video meetings. Easy to use and intuitive go-to piece of software for video calls with clients or co-workers. It even integrates with Slack for your convenience.
Zoom– Trendy group calling app with a fantastic quality of the video. It is easy to use, most affordable, and straightforward pricing. During remote Meetings & Video Chat, you can record any call with a full-length video. You can share your screen with teams for combined discussions. Keep in mind that the free version limits the duration of your calls to 40 minutes.
Youtube Live– Quick and easy way to live stream video content for small and large audiences. It has a variety of features that might come in handy such as highlight clipping, scheduled streams, dark mode, etc.
Dedicated Team Extension
Every good project manager needs to have its own set of tools to help him manage their team. Some are easy to use, and some are more complicated, but surely all of them can help you and your team with project management.
Asana– Project and task management abound in Asana, which I’ve used for the last few years, and I found it works particularly well for remote teams because of all the options available to manage and track tasks.
Float– An excellent tool for team resources and project tracking. It’s simple to use and customizable depending on your client’s billing structure. Great for smaller teams!
JIRA– Our devs use JIRA heavily, managing work sprints across dev and marketing teams alike. JIRA is a pretty robust project and issue tracker. Great tool for bigger groups and projects.
Pivotal Tracker– Simple to use an agile sprint tracker that makes it easy to manage projects with clients. It has a lot of useful features to keep track of your team’s progress and assignments.
Trello– One of the most popular tools of its kind. A friendly interface, combined with its possibilities, makes it an excellent solution for project management. It has a great mobile app too!
Quality of life
Some of these tools will help you with your productivity or day to day remote work, and we find them essential for remote work efforts.
Todoist– My personal favorite to-do list app, Todoist manages to balance the fine line between simple enough to use quickly while still boasting a ton of customizable options.
iDoneThis– iDoneThis is an exciting tool for remote teams who want to keep tabs on each others’ progress.
GitHub– This is the ultimate tool for developers to host their code online. And if you are not a developer, GitHub is also the site of choice for many company wikis.
Skitch– This app by Evernote allows remote teams to annotate, markup, and quickly sketch out ideas. It lets you express ideas and thoughts in an efficient and fun way.
Google Drive– Store and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more all with your Google Account. I think this is an essential Google service for any team and company.
Dropbox– This is the cloud storage of choice for most design and dev teams. Easy to use and to navigate great for small and big teams. Dropbox also recently announced Paper, a separate app similar to Google Docs that lets you collaborate in real-time.
My final thought
It is always important to be well prepared for various challenges of remote work, and we hope some of these tools will help you cope with them. We encourage you to take your time and find the software, devices, and methods that suit you and your team’s preferences. Remote work can be gratifying if done correctly, keeping your team happy and well prepared will end up with on-time project delivery and satisfied clients!