Ben Nesvig

10 of the Best Collaboration Tools for Remote Teams

The internet is one giant connection machine. Thanks to several new tools and apps, projects that once required employees to be in the same room can now be completed with employees across the globe. Below I rounded up some of my favorite collaboration tools that will help your remote team get things done.

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TOOLS FOR COLLABORATING ON PROJECTS

 

trello logo

TRELLO

What it is:
Trello is a tool for visually organizing ideas and projects.

Benefits:
What makes Trello great is the ability to drag and drop “cards” between different boards, letting you see the status of projects at a glance, whether they’re in progress or completed. Also, being able to switch between list and calendar view makes it easy to see what’s coming up next.

Learn more about Trello.

GitHub logo

GITHUB

What it is:
Github is a tool for collaborating, reviewing and managing code.

Benefits:
Collaborating on code can quickly become a terrible game of figuring out what changed between two versions of the same file. Github solves that. With Github, it’s easy to see what changes were made to code and even comment on the code before pushing changes live.

Learn more about Github.

Dropbox logo

DROPBOX OR GOOGLE DRIVE

What it is:
Cloud-based file storage.

Benefits:
I really wanted to pick either Dropbox or Google Drive, but I couldn’t. Google Drive has the advantage of including Google Docs and Google Sheets, which make it easy to collaborate in the cloud. Dropbox has the advantage of being much faster when it comes to syncing files. I’ve joked that if the Titanic was made of Google Drive, it never would have synched (insert rimshot). Now that Dropbox includes collaboration within Microsoft Word and Excel files, it’s an even better choice for collaborative file sharing.

Learn more about Dropbox and Google Drive.

TOOLS FOR IMPROVING COMMUNICATION AND MEETINGS

slack logo

SLACK

What it is:
Slack as a tool for group communication and file sharing.

Benefits:
At this point, mentioning Slack as a tool for improving group communication feels like saying that Microsoft Word is a word processor—most people know. Slack is like a hybrid of an email and chat app that makes group communication easy.

Whereas email is contained to only those in the conversation, if a new employee joins your company, they can read past messages and see how decisions were made. Separating conversations into different “channels” within Slack makes it much easier to organize conversations compared to email.

Learn more about Slack.

meetoo logo

MEETOO

What it is:
Meetoo is a real-time polling and messaging app that makes meetings more engaging.

Benefits:
Meetings are difficult for many reasons. As the number of attendees increases, the less likely it is attendees will be able to share feedback. Meetoo makes it easy to engage every attendee at meetings, whether they’re in the room or in another country.

Meetoo provides presenters a platform to better understand their audience and capture their knowledge. With Meetoo, it’s easy for the presenter to measure comprehension and see knowledge gaps. Additionally, live polling lets you see how many people are participating during your meeting. For attendees, Meetoo provides an outlet to ask the presenter questions, give feedback to other attendees and share opinions through live polling.

Learn more about Meetoo.

skype logo

SKYPE

What it is:
Skype provides free audio and video calls as well as instant messaging.

Benefits:
Sometimes it’s easier to have a quick call over Skype instead of typing out an email. Thanks to the internet and Skype, you can avoid making international phone calls and the large bills that come with them.

If your company uses Google Apps for work, Google Hangouts is a great option for video calls. In group video calls, I love that Google Hangouts automatically shifts the main screen to the person who is currently talking.

Learn more about Skype.

time and date logo

TIME ZONE CONVERTER

What it is:
Time Zone Converter lets you quickly see what time it is in any city around the world.

Benefits:
Time zones are a moving target. Just when you think you have them figured out, daylight savings shakes everything up. Before scheduling meetings with attendees in other countries, Time Zone Converter will help you make sure no one will have to wake up in the middle of the night. For checking multiple time zones at once, World Clock is a helpful tool.

Learn more about Time Zone Converter.

idonethis logo

IDONETHIS

What it is:
iDoneThis makes it easy to keep a record of what you and your team accomplished.

Benefits:
It’s easy enough to forget what you’ve worked on in the past, let alone what your team members have worked on. iDoneThis helps you keep a log of what you’ve accomplished and share it with your team.

Learn more about iDoneThis.

UTILITIES I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT

1Password logo

1PASSWORD

What it is:
1Password is a password manager that lets you securely share passwords with others on your team.

Benefits:
How much of your life do you want to spend trying to remember your passwords? That’s a question I asked myself before buying 1Password. Not long ago, passwords used to give me a headache. A site would get hacked, and I’d have to scramble to change my passwords across dozens of sites. No more! Today, I have unique passwords for every site I use, and I only have to remember the password to my 1Password keychain.

If you want to avoid sharing passwords with remote employees over email or chat programs, 1Password lets you share a “vault” of logins that you can securely share with team members.

Learn more about 1Password.

dropmark logo

DROPMARK

What it is:
Dropmark is a tool for creating visual swipe files and mood boards.

Benefits:
Every new creation is a remix of things that already exist in the world. So when looking for inspiration, it helps to aggregate images, links, videos and anything else that inspires me into one place. Dropmark makes it very easy to create a swipe file that you can share or invite others to collaborate.

Learn more about Dropmark.

Flux logo

FLUX

What it is:
Flux adjusts the color of your monitor based on the time of day.

Benefits:
Technically this isn’t a collaboration tool, but if you stare at you screen a lot you’ll thank me after you download Flux. The tool adjusts your display throughout the day, making it dimmer in the early morning and late evening. Just remember to disable Flux when working in design programs like Photoshop that require seeing the exact color on the screen.

Learn more about Flux.

Have a favorite tool that wasn’t on the list? Let us know on Twitter. Also, sign up to get updates from the Lumi blog directly in your inbox.