It has officially been two months since South Africa went under lockdown and many people are still working from home. Remote work can be challenging for teams - especially in terms of communication, brainstorming, documentation management and sharing. Luckily there are numerous software products that address this need - here are our favourite collaboration tools to help remote employees and teams working on common projects or tasks.
This communication platform was built as a chat room for an entire company to provide clear, real-time communication. The workspace provides organised communication by channels for group discussions. It also allows for private messaging, where you can share files, images, videos, video calls and other assets. Slack is available as a desktop, web and mobile app. There is a free trial, however, afterwards you would have to pay under contract. Sign up for free here.
This communication tool is a hub for teams to collaborate and is available on desktop and mobile. You can message, send images, videos and create group chats, as well as share files, documents, links and images. Sign up for free to try out the 30-day trial period.
This amazing messaging and collaboration tool has data encryption to ensure the safety and integrity of any company information. Message, share files, video call, use an inbuilt search engine, create notes, set to do lists, share screens and integrate with other apps. Flock is a third party integration app and provides effortless communication with team members. You can sign up for a personalised demo with a customer sales expert.
Ideation and design collaboration tools
Milanote is a wonderful tool to develop and arrange ideas, solutions and projects into effective visual art boards. Simply drag, drop and arrange elements to your needs, including images, links and files. You can invite team members to view your art board and work remotely on design collaborations. Sign up for free.
Visme is a content creation tool for producing engaging infographics, professional presentations, documents and videos. It offers over 405 templates for presentations, infographics, charts and maps, documents, printables, website and social media graphics. Visme is recommended for HR, sales, marketing, communication and in-house training. Sign up for free.
InVision is a popular prototyping, collaboration and workflow tool that was especially created for designers. Create fully active and engaging prototypes with hovers, transitions and animations. Clients can give feedback and keep up to date with your progress. This site is free for first time users, but after a period of time a paid contract applies. Sign up for free.
Documentation management and file sharing
Hightail is an easy to use, intuitive collaboration cloud service tool. It's been around for more than a decade, helping creative professionals to share, track and store large files (up to 100 GB!) such as photographs, videos, artwork, designs, presentations and more. This is very useful because - let's face it - design project files can be massive and difficult to share or even store. Users can organise, digitally sign, synchronise and collaborate on files. Hightail is available on desktop and as a mobile app. It offers a free trial and a free version, but beyond that a monthly fee applies.
You can run your entire business on Zoho Office Suite. This online office suite contains spreadsheets, word processing, databases, presentations, web conferencing, note-taking, messaging, project management, customer relationship management, invoicing and many more applications. Employees can enjoy a seamless path of communication and improved productivity. Zoho is ideal for distribution, manufacturing, technology, construction, and SaaS industries. It is available as a desktop, web and mobile app. There is a free plan with limited features, while the full version is available for a monthly or annual fee. Sign up for free here.
This free web-based software office suite collaboration tool is the standard of document sharing services. It’s perfect for collaborating with people and teams: share and access documents such as spreadsheets, presentations, PDFs and more. If your company would like to harness the full power of Google Docs, Google offers G suite at a monthly fee. Sign up for free here.
Trello is a web-based project management tool and a subsidiary application for Atlassian. It makes projects more visually pleasing by using "cards" on a dashboard to display task lists and notes. Teams can share images and files and comment on items. It is available as a desktop, web and mobile app. There is a free version of Trello, with no limitations on the number of users you want to collaborate with. Sign up for free.
Scoro is an end-to-end project management tool that offers an all-inclusive solution for professional and creative services. It has a real-time KPI dashboard that combines project, time, and team management, billing, sales, invoicing, and some automation services. Businesses can manage team projects, tasks, contact management, quotes, and reporting. Scoro is great for facilitating communication between team members. As a cloud based platform it can be accessed via any web browsers. Teams of up to five people can use the project management tool for free. Beyond that, a monthly fee applies. Sign up for free.
Basecamp is used by thousands of companies to keep teams on the same page. Its interface has a social media feel, with desktop notifications and messaging boards, and the ability to manage multiple user projects and work and reports on project performance. A separate dashboard is provided for companies to show progress and work to clients. Basecamp works on any web browser, web app and a mobile app. It is free to use for freelancers, families, students or even personal projects, while a monthly fee applies for businesses. Sign up here for free.
Xtensio is a popular collaboration tool for freelancers, startups, small businesses, entrepreneurs, agencies, consultants and educators. It’s a web-based application that aids in communication, documentation, sharing and strategy planning. Users can create real-time interactive presentation compilations from a range of templates – such as reports, case studies, pitches, sales sheets, agendas and more – and share projects with team mates and stakeholders. A pin board-style dashboard and intuitive navigation makes it easy to use. Xtensio is free to sign up use for a limited time, after which you can choose a package for a monthly or yearly fee.