Many are calling 2020 the year of working from home. That being the case, it’s essential that you have the right remote collaboration tools. We’ve taken the liberty of listing out 15 of the best tools that you can use when collaborating remotely.
We would’ve made this a list of 30-50 tools but we know that you don’t have the time to read a 5,000-word long article. While the coverage may not be as wide as a 50-tool roundup, we’re confident that the solutions featured here will be of great use to our readers.
The tools on the list are a compilation of tools that we use personally as well as some suggestions from our readers. If you feel like we missed any, then be sure to tweet at us and share some of your favorite online tools with the hashtag #RemoteCollab.
Without further, let’s get right into it!
Monday.com is one of the top project management solutions currently on the market. Despite being newer than some legacy platforms, it has quickly become a favorite for those who work remotely due to its rich feature pool and overall versatility.
It’s worth noting that Monday isn’t the cheapest project management software, but what it lacks in affordability it makes up for in function. If your team isn’t too large then the pricing should still be within reach. A team of five will pay $49/month on the basic plan.
Despite the fact that Monday.com is arguably the best project management in terms of features, there are some businesses that are too large to afford such prices. This is where a solution like ProofHub would be ideal.
ProofHub charges a flat subscription fee for the whole team. Once you’ve paid it, you can add as many users as you want. The essential plan will cost you $50/month while the ultimate control plan will run you twice as much at $99/month.
Tip: you can get a 10% discount on the monthly price if you let ProofHub bill annually.
Not everyone needs a full-scale project management suite. In fact, feature overload can even make the learning curve steeper for more users. If you’re looking for a user-friendly Gantt chart solution then Instagantt is the software for you.It comes with essential features such as timelines, subtasks, and version tracking.
Instagantt even lets you add clients to the chart in a read-only fashion so that they can keep track of the progress without accidentally editing any important information.
Of course, no remote collaboration list would be complete without Trello — the king of Kanban boards. Trello is one of the simplest ways to collaborate and keep track of who’s doing what in a specific project. Teams that don’t need bells and whistles tend to favor its minimalistic style.
One reason why Trello is so popular is that it’s free to use and doesn’t put non-paying users under strict limitations. In fact, those on the free plan will be able to create as many boards as they want without committing to a paid subscription.
Chanty is a popular pick for those who want a team chat solution that’s both simple and intuitive. A neat feature that you’ll find when chatting is that you have the ability to turn any message into a task and assign it to an individual in the group.
Developers also tend to favor the platform since it supports code snippets. This saves a lot of time since devs who are using the tool will be able to share their latest scripts directly through the team chat without having to upload it to a third-party platform beforehand.
Todoist is another great tool that focuses on simplicity and user-friendliness. Our favorite thing about Todoist is the fact that you can use it on virtually any platform. Your account syncs automatically across devices, enabling worry-free usage regardless of what platform you’re on.
Personally, we use the Chrome extension and the Android widget. The fact that Todoist is never more than a couple of clicks or taps away makes it very convenient to use. The business plan only costs $5/month for each user and lets you add up to 50 people to a single project.
Ever since working from home became the new norm, Zoom has seen a giant spike in its user growth. That’s not to say that it wasn’t popular before the societal shift since it’s been an industry leader in the video conferencing space for years.
The free plan of Zoom is pretty forgiving of users who don’t want to upgrade — with the only main limitation being a 40-minute time limit on group meetings. One-on-one meetings have no such time limit though, regardless of which plan you’re on.
Tip: Zoom’s enterprise plan only costs $1/month for each host if you have 1,999 hosts or more.
Speaking of online communication, let’s take a detour over to the VoIP space. Collaborating really comes down to being able to stay in touch with coworkers — but this can be tricky when working remotely.
For only $22/month you can use the Nextiva mobile app to make unlimited calls to anyone in the US and Canada. You can also have audio conference calls that will help you run group projects from the comfort of your own home.
Collaboration is far easier when everything is on a single platform. That’s why we recommend HelpCrunch for remote teams who want to communicate with their customers on all platforms. This saves you from having to hop between half a dozen different apps just to reply to tickets.
Prices start at $15/month for each team member that you add. That being said, we’d recommend that you go for the premium plan at $25/month since it lets you add your own custom branding to the platform. Teams with 20 or more users can take the enterprise route.
If we’re talking about raw functionality in the context of remote collaboration then nothing beats G Suite. Whether you’re using Docs, Sheets, or Forms, it will be significantly more convenient to collaborate with those on your team if G Suite is the center of operations.
You can even use G Suite to set up company email addresses that end with your web domain. This will boost your credibility when emailing prospects. At only $6/month for each user, G Suite is an absolute steal.
Getting legally binding digital signatures is no easy task, and without it, clients could run out on you after the work is completed. Fortunately, Better Proposals offers a robust and affordable solution for companies of all sizes.
There are three plans but we’d recommend the premium tier since it only costs $49/month. Those on the premium plan can add up to three users and send 50 proposals per month to their clients. Those who send proposals en masse may want to consider the enterprise plan.
Tip: those on the premium plan can add project management integrations to Better Proposals.
Roadmaps can help you take your remote collaboration to the next level. Airfocus lets you create roadmaps in Kanban and timeline styles. It also makes sharing super easy and even lets you choose which areas of the board you want the recipient to see.
You can add an unlimited number of viewers to your roadmaps which is why this solution is so ideal for companies with a large client base. Prices start at $29/month but you can also get in touch with the Airfocus sales team if you want to explore their enterprise options.
Tip: install the Airfocus Chrome extension to add items in just a couple of clicks.
Time tracking tends to be trickier when you’re not physically in the office. Luckily, software like Toggl removes that obstacle so that you can seamlessly collaborate with your coworkers while still keeping track of your billable hours.
You can create a different timer for each project so that you know how much each client owes you and which projects you spent the most time on. We’d advise creating an extra timer to track how much time you spend working out since exercise can stave off heart and lung diseases.
Tip: getting the premium plan will make setup easier since Toggl will send you a consultant.
GitLab prides itself on being an all-in-one DevOps platform that provides essentially every feature that developers need. Those using a free subscription will get a monthly allowance of 2,000 CI pipeline minutes per group which is enough for most teams.
If all you’re looking for is a solid project issues board then you won’t really need to upgrade beyond the free plan. However, those looking for extended functionality such as roadmaps, merge approvals, pipeline graphs, and container scanning should consider an upgrade.
The last tool that we have on this list is Mailtrap. What exactly is Mailtrap, you ask? It’s a fake SMTP testing server that lets you put your emails through a trial run before sending it out to real customers.
It also uses its algorithm to rank your emails and give them a spam score. A lower spam score means your emails are less likely to get caught by spam filters. If your email has a high spam score then Mailtrap will advise you on how to improve it. Lastly, it has an eternal free plan.
As you can see, there’s a wide variety of remote collaboration tools that you can choose from. Working from home is easier than ever been before thanks to the valiant efforts of the software community. We hope that this list has benefited you in some capacity.
There are still countless collaboration tools out there that we’re yet to cover so be sure to let us know if you’d like to see a sequel article. If you ended up using one of the tools on this list then be sure to share the piece with a friend or two and pay the help forward.
Collaborating will be far more efficient for everyone once they have the right solutions for the job. That’s all for now but we hope you have a great experience while working remotely and use your newfound free time in productive — not to mention healthy — ways.