Collaboration software is an essential tool for office staff, management, and creative teams to reach their greatest remote working potential. A good program will empower a team to stay in touch over text or video, share ideas, and stay organized even when they can’t stay in the same office.
With the rise of remote working in the era of COVID, this sort of functionality is even more important. Help your teams so that they can help you; equip them with robust, reliable collaboration software.
Best Free Collaboration Software
When it comes to well-rounded collaboration software, Hibox is an excellent choice. It has powerful Enterprise and Pro options, but teams up to 10 users will enjoy the free version. Secure text, voice, and video chat for groups and individuals are standard, but Hibox improves on these with two major features. The first is an impressive task management system that will help you coordinate your team from abroad, and the second is an integrated support bot.
Modern AI systems track trends and patterns in your messages and can make suggestions such as creating a task or assigning it to a certain person, and if these suggestions are applicable the bot can execute them automatically. Finally, the app is remarkably flexible and easy to use, with browser, iOS, and Android functionality. You can create and assign tasks so quickly that it’s easy to do while waiting in line at the grocery store or taking the metro.
The free Cloud version of Kezmo is an excellent choice for any business with low demands from its collaboration software. You can add unlimited users and take advantage of Kezmo’s set of task management and communication tools, but file size and storage are rather limited unless you upgrade. Even with the free version, you’ll enjoy the ability to craft several dedicated workspaces for different teams where people can share ideas, problems, and solutions. Native content lists, checklists, and other features pair well with effective Google Calendars integration to make organizing collaborative work straightforward.
Consider the free version of Flock to power the collaboration efforts of your small teams. You’ll enjoy 10 public channels free of charge, and each team enjoys a considerable 5 GB of storage space. Flock also stores 10,000 searchable messages, much more than many other free options. The only major drawback is a lack of group video calls unless you upgrade, but Flock’s impressive set of productivity tools such as note sharing and automated reminders make up for that.
Miro is formerly known as Realtime Board, a name that indicated what the company provided — a digital whiteboard that updated in real-time. Visual processing is an important component to organizing, understanding, and internalizing information, a fact many collaboration software programs overlook. Instead of endless text and audio communication options, Miro offers these standbys as supporting elements while the central focus lays on the digital canvas. You can share ideas, schedules, and organize workflow and text chats in a completely unrestricted manner that suits yourself and your teams.
The digital canvas is effectively infinite in size and comes with a range of tools and templates to help make use intuitive. While there are paid versions that are excellent for larger operations, the free version is a remarkably good deal. One particularly important feature is that it allows infinite team members, so you won’t need to upgrade arbitrarily.
Discord is an unorthodox choice for professional teams. The main claim to fame that this app holds is real-time communication use for gamers, but it’s surprisingly robust, scalable, and free. Latency is quite low and a free Discord server can have up to 500,000 members, although only 25,000 may be online at once. However, it’s unlikely you’ll find that limit of 25,000 people terrible restrictive.
If quick, informal contact during working hours is something your organization values, you’ll appreciate the audio chat channels, Discord’s most innovative feature. Instead of actively running calls, you can group your employees into relevant audio chat channels and conveniently reach them as a group in a manner that resembles calling over a radio. This is a boon for serious communication as well as the friendly, casual conversation that’s often lost in remote working. Furthermore, you can choose to use Discord with or without downloading additional software.
Top Choices for Paid Collaboration Software
Hive is a remarkably powerful program that uses deep integrations with Gmail, Outlook, and many others to bill itself as an all-in-one communications solution. Once you’ve established a task or workflow, the program remembers it and you can instantly recreate it, saving time and streamlining the process. When it comes to task management, Hive is one of your best choices. Pricing is variable, and small operations are well-suited to using the basic package and purchasing add-ons as needed. Larger businesses can schedule a consultation for Hive Enterprise, which comes with all add-ons and scalable server size.
Jive Software provides your operation with a comprehensive intranet that uses machine learning to help automate work, saving you time and improving operational efficiency. Compared to other ambitious, paid projects, Jive is also remarkable in that it places an emphasis on building a social atmosphere from a remote setting. It uses a social media-style networking system that drives employee engagement far higher than most competitors. Furthermore, management can also use gamification tools to offer badges, prizes, or bonuses. You might set rewards for employees who are productive, but you can also encourage and reward helpful, social behavior.
Jive might be the best collaboration software program for any company that wants to maintain or foster a warm, social, collaborative atmosphere in the era of remote working.
Podio succeeds as a collaboration software program thanks to its layers of text-based communication and organization. Company-wide and team-oriented activity streams provide a quick, convenient way to send and receive information and updates that are relevant to large groups. From there, individual teams can utilize dedicated channels to share specific information. This simple solution makes disseminating new information and staying organized incredibly easy. Furthermore, members of the company can add comments to any content posted on Podio, which results in communication automatically filing and sub-filing itself where it’s relevant and easily accessible.
When it comes to feature-rich choices, Troop Messenger is one of the best options on the market. Essential features such as text, voice, and video chat are fast and highly functional, but your teams can also use effective screen sharing to work together. Instead of the relatively difficult task of guiding someone through a technical issue, one person can demonstrate to another how to solve their problem no matter where those employees are. Where other collaboration software options sell themselves on exciting, unique features, Troop Messenger focuses on providing the core communication features. It does so extremely well, and at a bargain price point compared to other enterprise options starting at $1–2.5 a month per user.
G Suite is an integrated set of Google tools delivered in a scalable form that’s friendly to Enterprise-level projects and small businesses alike. It takes advantage of Google’s first-rate, global architecture to provide fast, secure video calling and communication from around the world. Your teams can upload any files they might work on, and people can use Google Docs for business to work on a single document simultaneously. All of the components that make up the G Suite are excellent in their own right, and they’re a steal in this affordable, bundled form.
Bonus tool: actiTIME
Collaboration software goes a long way to improve team morale, communication, and productivity. Our innovative actiTIME time tracking software is a natural partner to it, as collaboration software supports operations and actiTIME enhances management. The core of actiTIME is modern, automated time tracking that works equally well for offices and remote work. It’s an infinitely scalable solution that removes bureaucracy and human fallibility from time tracking, with impressive features such as automated leave accrual, accounting, and cost control. What once took large, expensive administrative teams, you can accomplish on your own with actiTIME.