Top 10 Online Collaboration Tools to Increase Productivity
The COVID-19 outbreak has been declared as a Public Health Emergency by the World Health Organization, meaning infection is accelerating in multiple countries concurrently. And because of this all schools, colleges, and companies have shut their doors. Big Giants like Google, Microsoft, TCS are mandating their staff to adopt a work-from-home policy. Even small companies and schools are also forced to implement this trend.
To keep the business moving dependency on online collaboration tools is increasing. But today so many such tools are available that sometimes it becomes difficult to choose. If you're being asked to work remotely - here are the top 10 collaboration tools that will keep your team connected on any device, enabling you to keep work moving from anywhere.
Team Online Collaboration Tools
1. A Hub for teamwork: Microsoft Teams
This one is the best fit for today’s scenario where employees can easily share their screens with others. So, if you are working in teams and need to share your work with others then these tools are the right pick for you. It is a persistent chat-based collaboration platform with features like document sharing, online meetings, calling, and Instant Messaging. Moreover, this software makes communication with one another much easier, especially if a team has many remote employees.
- Document storage: Files shared across conversations will be saved in the library.
- Video calling and Screen sharing: Seamless and fast video calls to employees within your business or clients outside your business. Also, quick desktop sharing for technical help and multi-user real-time collaboration is available.
- Online meetings: This feature helps to schedule company-wide meetings and training. It can host up to 10,000 users. That’s a big number so now you can collaborate without compromising privacy and security.
- Audio conferencing: Anyone can join an online meeting via dial-in number. Even users that are on the go can take part with no internet required.
2. Superpower in one tool: Proofhub
Do meeting deadlines keep you awake? If yes, then this cloud-hosted team collaboration tool can help you stay on top of your deliverables and deadlines.
It has all the features that your team might need. Starting from planning, collaborating, organizing, to delivering projects on time. So, you can stay at the top of your schedule with recurring tasks, automatic reminders. It helps your teams to work together with the help of all the right features put under one roof.
- Proofing: Along with reviewing the file you can prove them, collaborate with your team members, take their inputs, and approve them at the same time.
- Custom Roles: You can choose whom you want to give access to according to your organizational workflow
- Time Tracking: With the help of one time management software you can do wonders. Starting from adding timesheets, set time estimates, track time to export timesheets.
- Calendar: Stay on top of your schedule with automatic reminders for events and milestones. See all calendar data across all projects in one place using one project calendar.
3. Showcase Powerful Virtual Events: Webex
“Teamwork makes the dreamwork” and with Cisco WebEx, you can reach out to your goals. It is an online collaboration tool for video conferencing, online meetings, screen share, webinars, web conferencing, and cloud call. You can also have personalized video meeting rooms where you host and join meetings. People can use WebEx for team collaboration, webinars, training, and customer support.
- Video Conferencing: High-quality video meetings that make you feel like you’re in the room.
- Webinars: If you are into B2C business then this feature is right for you. It helps in scheduling webinars for up to 3000 participants.
- Online Training: Deliver engaging and interactive online training for your virtual learners.
- Video Support: A dynamic platform for real-time technical support, accessible from anywhere
- Cognitive Collaboration: With the help of Webex Assistant you can do all the basic steps. So, you just have to use your voice to start and join meetings, share your screen. Also, when you enter a room where a meeting is scheduled, the AI Assistant will prompt you to join—simply say yes.
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4. Team Messaging App for Work: Flock
Are you tired of the endless emails pouring in your inbox? Does your team’s communication is scattered across emails, ad hoc messages, and multiple tools? Then you should try Flock, the best team communication app. It is an online collaboration platform that comes with team messaging and project management features which allows you to create different channels for different projects, and departments.
- Guest User: You can invite clients or stakeholders to join and work on projects. It is the best way to get feedback and perspective from the outside world.
- Integrated Search: With a large chunk of emails, sometimes the important ones get sidelined or missed. But with its powerful integrated search feature, you can find what you need right when you need it.
- Voice Notes: Do you want error-free work and expect your employee to deliver as per your expectations and vision. If yes, then don't forget to use this feature “ Voice Note”. You can give word to work instructions that you might think is needed to complete a task and at the same time, it will ensure that your team and your expectations are on the same page. Sometimes saying it makes more sense than typing it.
- File-Sharing: Share files with team members in direct messages. Also, its powerful search filters help you find exactly the file you're looking for.
- Reminders: Set a reminder against any message in chat and never miss another deadline. You can also assign other team members to your reminder. Set a reminder for one time or make it recurring.
5. Meeting on the Go: GoToMeeting
It’s one of the most popular video tools with millions of users. GoToMeeting is an online collaboration tool that allows users to schedule meetings and share screens. From desktop sharing to online meetings, video conferencing to web conferencing all these features enables businesses to collaborate with customers, clients, or colleagues via the internet in real-time.
- Room Launcher: Forget to book your meeting slot? No worries, with the room launcher feature you can start your meeting directly.
- Voice Command: You can join the meeting or any audio conferencing session just with your voice command.
- Cloud Recording: Sometimes multitasking can be difficult especially when you are presenting. But with this feature, you don’t need to take notes as all the recording will be done automatically.
6. Lighten your Budget: Skype
Skype and its endless features are no longer hidden from anyone. From rear to masses, this online tool specializes in conducting an interview. Features like HD video calling, Blur background, Live Code environment, Screen Sharing makes it the ideal choice among recruiters.
- Screen Sharing: Share presentations, photos, or anything on your screen during a call.
- Call Recording and Live Subtitles: Record Skype calls to capture important information. And the best part is you can use live subtitles to read the words if missed.
- Connect: The best way to communicate with your colleagues with affordable international calling rates.
- Private Conservations: Keep your sensitive conversations private with industry-standard end to end encryption.
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7. Simple and Easy to Use: Google HANGOUTS
As the name suggests Google Hangouts is a platform where you can chat and share files with team members. The team can communicate through direct messaging.
Hangouts are part of the G Suite line of products and consists of two primary products. That is Google Meet and Google Chat.
- Meeting Space: Hangouts allow conversations between two or more users. It can access through Gmail or Google+ websites, or through apps available for Android and iOS.
- Tracker: A watermark is used to indicate how much of the chat you have read.
- Group Meeting: Users can also perform a group video chat with up to 25 users at a time.
- Automatically Saved Data: Chat histories are saved online, thus you don’t have to worry about your conservation or you don’t have to take notes.
8. Work Smarter with GOOGLE DOCS
There's no shortage of options for sharing documents but the one that is secured and reliable is Google Docs. It is a collaboration tool that can create, edit, and share documents online and accesses them from any computer with an internet connection. What sets Google Docs apart from its main desktop competitor, Microsoft Word, is its collaborative features.
Google docs are free for the average users but that is not the case with Microsoft. You have to pay for its usage. Also, it can handle large or more complex documents and users find it clunkier to work around these bugs. Whereas with google docs you just have to log in on your google account and can sync and manage your emails, chats, drive all in one place.
- Upload a Word document and convert it to a Google document.
- Add flair and formatting to your documents.
- Invite other people to collaborate on a document with you.
- Translate a document to a different language.
- Email your documents to other people as attachments
9. Keep your Files Protected: ONEDRIVE
Looking for a cloud-based solution that keeps you free from storage and security issues? Then OneDrive is the solution for you. It is Microsoft's storage platform that helps you to keep all your important files, documents, data, insurance documents safe and protected in your personal vault.
Now work seamlessly with tools you use every day to create, communicate, and collaborate effectively with your system.
- Anywhere Access: Get stuff done anywhere with your mobile device, tablet, or PC. Files will be updated on all of them.
- Offline access: Access selected files without being online. No connection, no problem.
- Protect your files: If you lose your device, you won’t lose your files and photos when they’re saved in OneDrive.
- Files on-demand: Access all your OneDrive files in Windows 10 without taking up space on your PC.
- Document scanning: Use your mobile device to scan and store documents, receipts, business cards, notes, and more in OneDrive.
- Personal Vault: Store important files and photos with an added layer of protection in OneDrive Personal Vault.
10. The Right Tool for the Job: GITHUB
Looking for a developer-friendly collaboration tool? Then try GitHub, it is a collaboration software which provides hosting for software development version control using Git.
- Easy Integration: It is compatible with some of the common platforms such as Amazon and Google Cloud, services such as Code Climate. So, you can track your feedback, suggestions, errors, and can highlight syntax in over 200 different programming languages.
- Track Changes: While working in a team one of the major problems that are faced is tracking. It’s hard to keep track of revisions—who changed what, when, and where those files are stored. But with Github, you can solve this mystery easily as it keeps track of all the changes that are pushed to the repository.
- Free for Open Source Project: GitHub is free for you if the project you're working on is open source. Not only this, but it also includes a wiki and issue tracker that makes it easy to get feedback about your project.
Apart from the above-mentioned tools, there are plenty of other collaboration tools worth your attention. It’s important to understand occasionally you will find tools that do one thing perfectly. This is where Integration plays a vital role. Opt for those tools that could easily integrate with other apps and software and at the same time are compatible with your team’s needs.