Whether your team is all working together in one office, partially remote, or spread out all over the world, there’s one thing that is crucial to the success of your career: collaboration.
Your teams need the best online collaboration tools so everyone can stay on the same page when working on a project. These tools will help each team member understand who has which responsibilities, monitor progress, communicate with one another, and do all of that in a way that’s quick and efficient.
Let’s face it: communicating through email and clicking between different programs is exhausting.
Screen sharing isn’t always the best method to communicate information either.There’s too much information in different places and too many opportunities to make mistakes.
Now that companies around the world are embracing remote work, it’s never been more important for leaders to implement team collaboration tools that will help everyone stay productive while being as efficient as possible.
In order to help you make the best decision, we’ve compiled a list of the best collaboration tools for teams! But first, let’s talk about what to consider when choosing the best collaboration software for your team.
5 Things to Consider when Choosing Team Collaboration Tools
It would help to sit down and write a list of all the features your idea collaboration tool has. This will help guide your decision and pick the best for your team. For example, some collaboration tools are mainly for communication while others have scheduling, goal monitoring, communication, and social media integrations. The best collaboration tool for your team will depend on what you need.
You might find a collaboration tool that has every feature you could ever want, but if it’s too complex for your team to learn quickly you might find that you become less efficient. Take advantage of free demos and try it out for yourself or with a couple team members before introducing it to everyone.
If you don’t want everyone on your team to have access to the same information, you may want to implement security features on certain conversations or features. Look into privacy options before you choose the best collaboration tool for your team.
Cloud-based collaboration tools are the best for teams that are remote and teams that work together in an office. They allow everyone to make changes together, see edits and activity, and access information from any location.
Even if you find the very best collaboration tool, you’re likely still going to have to use other tools and programs. Make sure your chosen tool can connect with your other tools so you can have everything in one place.
The 10 Best Collaboration Tools for Teams
Now that you know what to keep in mind when choosing the best team collaboration tools, it’s time to dive into the options!
Slack is one of the most popular collaboration tools for teams all over the world. One of the things that people seem to like the most about Slack is the fact that it has a user-friendly interface for both desktop and mobile devices, so it can easily be used on the go.
Slack allows teams to share instant messages with each other one-on-one, in a group chat, or in separate groups, depending on who needs to be in on a conversation. There is also a video chat feature in Slack so you can get your virtual meetings in without having to branch off to another app like Zoom.
Slack doesn’t have its own cloud storage system, but it is does support file sharing and is compatible with Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box so your team can easily drag, drop, and share documents with one another. Slack has a free version, but you can upgrade your account to access more storage capability.
2. The Escape Game
Here’s a bit of a non-traditional collaboration tool for teams: escape games! The Escape Game created an online version of their iconic escape rooms so teams around the world can practice teamwork, communication, collaboration, and problem solving – all while having a ton of fun.
The Escape Game is a virtual team building tool that supports an unlimited number of players, no matter where in the world they are located, via video calling. Each game runs for 60-90 minutes (or less if you solve the puzzles quickly!) and your team will have a game guide to help you navigate the virtual world and provide clues along the way.
Teams that regularly participate in team building exercises are proven to be more creative, better at collaborating, and better at solving problems. A virtual escape game might be the best collaboration tool for your team that you never expected!
Asana is one of the best collaboration project management tool for teams that have large projects and need to keep things organized. This collaboration tool has features that include allowing teams to assign roles and tasks, track progress, create to-do lists, set reminders for deadlines, send work requests, and more. Team members are also able to comment on things within the app if they have questions or would like to suggest changes.
Asana is a great project management software that can increase viability across your team and projects. It’s easy to see who’s doing what and when so you can monitor what is getting done and make sure no one is too overwhelmed with their workload. It also has a mobile app version so you can track projects even when you’re away from your desk.
Once you finish a project in Asana, you can move on to the next without losing the information. There is a search feature within Asana that makes it easy to find specific things that you’re looking for in both past and current projects.
Trello is another one of the best collaboration tools for teams because it has tons of features, yet it’s simple to use. This option has desktop and mobile versions so teams can stay connected even if someone must step away from their computer for the day.
Within Trello, you can organize your projects on ‘boards’ or ‘lists.’ Once you have everything organized, each team member can view the information, assign roles and tasks, create to-do lists, and communicate. There is even a ‘comment card’ feature to provide feedback.
Many online apps can be integrated with Trello including Slack, Google Drive, Evernote, and GitHub. Teams that have a lot of information in different places often find Trello to be one of the best collaboration tools because they can have everything that they need in one place.
Nectar is a great way for teams to collaborate with one another by recognizing achievements. It is kind of like a social media platform that is exclusive to members of your team. Within the platform, you can give out bonuses, create wellness challenges, award team members’ success, and more.
Nectar is a great collaboration tool that focuses on work, but in a way that is different from most collaboration tools. Nectar is all about keeping teams connected by boosting morale and activating your company’s core values.
You can make Nectar work even harder for your team by connecting it with other collaboration tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams.
6. Microsoft 365
Microsoft 365 is one of the best collaboration tools for teams that are larger and spread out all over the world. It’s a cloud-based program that has a variety of different tools within it that can all be connected to one another for ultimate efficiency and collaboration.
Teams that use Microsoft 365 can collaborate on Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and take advantage of Microsoft Teams, Microsoft’s powerful communication tool.
Microsoft Teams can connect up to 10,000 people no matter where in the world they are located. It can even support users with their web version, so downloading an app is not required. This can be a huge benefit to teams that use Microsoft Teams to communicate with clients or others that don’t use Microsoft 365 on a daily basis.
Nextiva is one of the best collaboration tools for teams that operate across different time zones. Working like a traditional phone system, Nextiva also provides viability into who is connected to the network, where they are located, and their local time.
Communicating with team members that operate on opposite schedules can be very challenging. Nextiva allows teams to communicate via phone, email, SMS, and chat. It also has the option to set up a cloud-based call center, which can be incredibly helpful for international teams that need someone to bridge that gap between operating times.
Flock is an excellent alternative to Slack. It has similar features, but many users find that Flock is easier to use and has faster load times. Teams can communicate as a whole, one-on-one, or create a group only with certain team members.
Another thing that users like about Flock is the fact that the entire tool is searchable. You can quickly and easily find past conversations, files, specific messages, and URLs by typing keywords into the search bar.
In addition to communication and search features, Flock also allows users to create surveys, set alerts, share notes, and assign roles and tasks.
Karbon is a collaboration tool that was designed for accounting firms and companies that offer other professional services. This tool makes it very easy for teams to streamline their individual and overall workflows to maximize efficiency and deliver top notch work.
Karbon puts everything you need to communicate with your team and clients in one place. Your email, internal discussions, tasks and deliverables, Gantt charts, and timelines will all be in one spot for everyone to access at any time. Karbon has many automation features built in, which help users save a ton of time. In fact, a recent survey reported that the average Karbon user saves about 10-hours per week.
10. Google Drive
The Google Drive suite is familiar to most people. This fact alone makes it one of the best collaboration tools for teams! Your team can save time when implementing the tool and when onboarding new team members in the future.
Google Drive has all the tools team members need to succeed: Sheets, Google Docs, Slides, Forms, contacts, calendar, photos, email, and more. Because Google Drive is cloud-based, your team can access and edit files at the same time, see activity and changes, and access all of Google Drive’s features from anywhere in the world – on desktop or mobile.
Not all team collaboration tools are equal. Someone you know may swear by one tool only for you to find that it doesn’t mesh well with your team. Before you download or purchase a subscription for a collaboration tool, visit their websites and take a deep dive into all their features. Once you find one that sounds like a good fit, give it a test run with the free demo version – that’s why they’re there!
And don’t forget that collaboration and productivity are about more than getting work done. It’s also about how well your team can work together. Make sure to throw in a few team building exercises every now and again to practice those skills that make good teams great!