Top 25 Tools and Apps for Better Remote Collaboration
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Remote work is at its peak since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. According to Huffington Post, when asked what style of work they’d prefer, 38% of workers responded that they’d like a mix of remote and office work, with 27% saying they’d want to be fully remote . That’s why finding the right remote collaboration tools is so critical.
Because of this work shift, companies are discovering new resources that allow their employees to optimize productivity and efficiency while working from the comfort of their own homes. Below, we’ve put together a list of some of the best remote collaboration tools for work-from-home teams.
If you collaborate with others or attend meetings of any kind, you’ll need to rely on Zoom . Zoom offers free and paid video conferencing, including meeting rooms, integrations with other apps, chat, and a cloud phone system.
Zoom can easily be a free remote collaboration tool. The free tier allows you to host up to 100 participants, have unlimited 1-on-1 meetings, and host group calls for up to 40 minutes. Paid tiers expand the number of participants you can add to large meetings and allow for add-ons like transcripts, company branding, and international calling.
Schedule and launch virtual meetings or webinars with GoToMeeting , where users can call or log in to hear only the hosts talk. You can record these meetings and send them to team members later on.
Join.me is a tool facilitating easy and fast screen-share meetings. Not only can you schedule and launch quick virtual meetings with a screen-share function, you can also generate a shareable URL for your own personal meeting room so that people can log on whenever they’d like to meet with you.
Krisp helps remote workers stay more productive and focused by muting background noise on both sides of a call, allowing for noise-free meetings anywhere. You can use it with any communication software, such as Zoom, Skype, or Slack.
Project management tools
Designed to help teams manage and track their work, Asana is a cloud-based software that allows you to map out each detail of different projects within an organization. Asana is a comprehensive tool that will enable you to set timelines, tasks, and expectations, generate detailed progress reports and explore the project’s history.
Web-based tool Trello is jam-packed with powerful project-managing features. Users especially appreciate Trello’s function for visualizing project tasks. Trello offers boards, lists, and cards to let your team prioritize and organize your projects and visually track all of their components. There is also an easy-to-use mobile app that is ideal for a remote worker on the go.
Browser-based project management and issue tracking platform YouTrack is designed for agile teams and developers. The platform allows users to plan releases and sprints, track tasks and bugs, and generate workflow. YouTrack can be customized, unlike other issue trackers, so that your issues suit your project’s specific needs.
Assembla’s niche is project management for web developers, although the app can be used for project management for all kinds of freelancing. Assembla produces reports, tracks time and tickets, and streamlines bug-fixing and product releases. Users report that Assembla is much simpler to set up than Jira.
Basecamp is a project management software that helps you set meeting schedules, arrange your calendars, track assignments, and store documents. It offers a digestible birds-eye-view of all project activity, as all project management happens on one organized dashboard.
Web task management platform Monday.com is designed for agencies and businesses, offering similar features to Trello and Asana like tracking the progress of tasks on a dashboard and assigning projects to team members. It has the additional function of letting marketing teams plan tasks with their budget in mind.
One capstone piece to any workplace is a whiteboard, but traditional ones can’t be used remotely. With Vibe, you can collaborate on a digital whiteboard across different devices and easily send whiteboards to your coworkers.
Vibe combines smart software and an interactive digital whiteboard to offer a comprehensive collaboration solution. Specifically designed for team collaboration, Vibe lets users pair their favorite applications with an infinite writing canvas to level up client presentations, brainstorming sessions , and virtual training. Vibe’s high-quality touchscreen display helps you complete team projects with ease.
Google Workspace (formerly G Suite)
Google Workspace is an affordable platform that lets your teams collaborate on Google Sheets, Google Docs, and Google Slide, among other easy-to-use tools. You can even share a team calendar and generate work emails.
One of the most important features of Google Workspace is Google Drive. Google Drive has it all, from documents to slide shows to spreadsheets. All of these documents are securely stored in the cloud and can be shared internally and externally, allowing people to edit, comment, or simply view your work.
Google Drive also includes Google Meet, a secure, enterprise-grade form of video conferencing. It allows up to 150 participants per call, and you can record video conferences for those who can’t make it .
This free remote collaboration tool integrates with Microsoft Office, enables offline access, and allows team members to work from any device. There are also paid tiers depending on your business needs.
Notion is an all-in-one workspace bringing everything together in one place that employees need for managing their projects. This workspace offers a diverse array of tools: a calendar, a task board with a flexible drag-and-drop editor, a knowledge base, a personal weekly checklist, and a tool for taking notes. All of these tools can be used to discuss and plan projects, keep track of all your ideas, and efficiently share information with colleagues.
One of the most feature-rich document collaboration tools on the market, Bit.ai allows you to generate documents, quick notes, wikis, projects, knowledge bases, and training guides while simultaneously integrating other tools you use. Bit.ai lets you share any kind of media, such as SoundCloud playlists, Youtube videos, Pinterest boards, Tweets, and GIFs. Essentially, Bit.ai enables you to share anything on the web with a link and turn it into visual content.
LastPass for password security
While we no longer write down passwords in a notebook for anyone to uncover, password management within the team can be challenging. A typical team or organization still maintains many different passwords across different sites. How do you keep them organized?
LastPass is a secure password vault that allows you to access passwords across different sites from one location. Create a single master password to access all your information.
You can also store credit card or other sensitive information in LastPass with peace of mind.
Chat and quick communication
This remote working tool offers a solution for teams with members around the world. See which of your teammates are available for a quick chat through the app, and directly click and call them without checking if they are available.
Slack for team chats
Slack is a communication tool that allows members of your company to stay connected. Teammates can chat with each other across channels, so ideas and projects remain organized. Additionally, you can reply to messages within threads to notify only those who need to stay in the loop. If needed, you can also use Slack for video and voice calls.
If you work with other companies or vendors , you can share specific channels with them rather than giving access to your entire conversations. Keep private information private.
Slack can be a free collaboration tool and also has paid tiers depending on your needs.
If you’re looking for an open-source Slack alternative, Rocket.Chat allows users to integrate and modify it with various tools like Gmail, Trello, Google Docs, Freshdesk, and Dropbox. You can also host a chat room for your colleagues on your server through Rocket.Chat, which offers additional security but calls for some technical skills and a bit more investment in the setup.
Suppose your team is remote or globally dispersed or regularly communicates with international prospects or clients. In that case, WhatsApp can be a good communication platform to send messages, create group chats, make voice calls for free, or host multiple-person video calls. All you need is Wi-Fi.
Remote collaboration tools for planning and tracking
Clockify is a timesheet app and time tracker that tracks work hours across projects. Use a stopwatch to track time, mark time as billable, or enter your hours manually. Clockify features a user-friendly dashboard that lets you see what your team is working on and where you spend time.
Zapier for streamlined workflows
One of the biggest time sucks is needing to transfer information across apps. You get an email, but that needs to go to Dropbox, then that needs to be sent out via Slack…soon you’ve wasted an hour.
Zapier integrates your apps and does this for you. You can create a workflow from any app and tell Zapier which apps to Zap to. Zapier integrates with over 3,000 apps, including Google Drive, Slack, Trello, Zoom, QuickBooks, Facebook Lead Ads, and more.
Toggl for planning, hiring, and more
Toggl includes three products: Plan, Track, and Hire.
Need a seamless project planner? Toggl Plan allows teams to visually see who’s working on what. It helps teams be aware of what’s coming down the pipeline. Used by Netflix, Amazon, Spotify, and other major tech companies, Toggl streamlines project planning.
Toggl Track is remote collaboration software that helps you keep track of minutes to know where you’re spending your time. The tracking, custom reports, and billable hours keep anyone organized, from freelancers to large enterprises.
To save time when screening candidates, use Toggl Hire. It reduces time to hire by 80% and allows you to create tests that filter candidates based on the most relevant skills.
Toggl Plan and Hire are better suited for large companies with more demanding projects and hiring needs. Track can be used by just about anyone in any industry who wants to maximize their time.
Time Doctor for time tracking
For client productivity or billing purposes, you may need to keep an eye on how your team is spending their time. Time Doctor is a tool to create projects and start a clock when you and your team begin a new task. Time Doctor’s dashboard displays a report of the number of hours your team member has worked throughout the day and the projects they’ve spent the most time on.
Visual aid assistance
Canva is similar to Adobe but designed to offer easy use for beginner designers. You can create team accounts to share design assets and templates remotely with your team members. The collaborative aspect makes sure you can edit and access any brand imagery or design files necessary while working from home.
Communicating a team announcement is often better done verbally. Use Loom to record a presentation or even just your voice to give your team a play-by-play or statement. You can generate a link to share the recording and circulate it across your organization’s communication channels.
Boost productivity and communication
Everybody works a little differently, and everybody faces their own unique set of challenges. To increase productivity and facilitate collaboration between all remote employees, the best tools are essential. Working with a combination of remote collaboration tools can help to address these challenges and make your team a work-from-home success story.
[Editor’s note: this post was originally published January 26, 2021 and updated August 5, 2021.]
Vibe offers a collaborative solution combining an interactive digital whiteboard and innovative smart software. Increase engagement and efficiency at your brainstorming sessions, virtual training, and classroom sessions by integrating your favorite applications with video conferencing and an infinite, mess-free writing canvas. Collaborate today with Vibe.
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