Is this you? Your phone’s ringing, Skype message’s bobbing, HipChat’s chirping, calendar reminder’s beeping and text message’s sending. You’re in-app typing, adding a card to Trello and replying to a comment on Basecamp all at the same time, across 5 different time zones. Most likely, you and your team are reaching this level.
It’s more common to see workers grabbing their laptops and taking the subway to a coffee shop than to an office. With the rise of virtual offices, there is a need for better tools to help manage teams of remote workers.
Below we list the top tools for working with remote teams. We’ve broken it up into three categories: Communication, Project/Task Management and File Management/Sharing.
Hall allows teams to connect with private group chat, file sharing and multiple notification features. In your free War Room, your team can easily talk face-to-face, create and share notes, and share key files. You’ll always be connected in one place.
Calliflower is a conference calling, web sharing service loaded with added features. From iPhone capabilities to document sharing, Calliflower makes staying in touch simple. The first 30 days are free, but the following months will cost at least $13.95.
HipChat has features similar to Skype, but specifically caters to the business community. You’ll communicate and share files on a private network, where you can collaborate on major projects. The first 30 days are free, but the following months will cost $2/person.
Campfire is a web-based group chat that lets teams share files, jump on video conference calls, create chat rooms and even integrate their Basecamp data. The first 30 days are free, but the following months will cost at least $12, depending on your size.
mIRC is a client that connects you with the Internet Relay Chat networks around the world. Thousands of companies use the minimalist tool to share and stay connected. Whether you want to chat one-on-one or with a big group, this free client can help.
Google Hangouts allows anyone with a Google+ account to quickly and easily connect with co-workers throughout the day. You can video chat with up to 9 different people at once, much like Skype. It’s free, making it a good choice for small, social teams.
Between video, voice and text chat, Skype keeps you connected with the entire team for free. Group calling puts you in touch with up to 9 other people at once. With credits or a subscription, you can even forward calls to your phone and call phones directly.
2. Project/Task Management
BusyFlow simplifies cloud-based apps for busy teams. Instead of working across multiple apps, you can bring everything under one roof. BusyFlow works with Dropbox, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Pivotal Tracker, Basecamp and more. You can try it free, depending on your size.
Nozbe makes scheduling and task management easy for remote workers who seem to be juggling a million things at once. They can upload their tasks, organize those tasks however they want, integrate their email, schedule appointments and more for just $9.95/month.
Pivotal Tracker takes project management a step further with customer feedback and intelligent estimation features. Review and accept or reject customer suggestions quickly and easily. Review task completion estimates based on previous performance. Plans start at $7/month.
Huddle aims to bring teams and their priorities together in one place. File sharing and management, document and project collaboration, task management – you name it and Huddle can help. You can get a 14-day free trial, but the following months will cost you.
Yammer is a private social network for your team. Think of it as a cross between Facebook and Twitter that’s specifically designed to make businesses more productive. Share files, collaborate with co-workers, and connect with customers and partners. Try it for free or upgrade for $5/person each month.
Trello breaks everything down into project boards. Keeping track of project leaders and project completion is easy with the tag and card features. Public-facing board capabilities let you update your clients too. Best of all? It’s free to signup.
Basecamp keeps everything together in one place for you. Add projects, assign tasks, join discussions and more. You’ll always be connected to the people, projects and files that matter. The first 45 days are free, but the following months will be at least $20.
3. File Management/Sharing
NomaDesk is an easy and secure way to collaborate on and backup critical files from any location. Great for small to large teams, NomaDesk has unlimited backup space, saves document versions as far back as 14 days (in case you accidentally delete something), and allows you to track and access files from wherever you happen to be.
YouSendIt allows you to sync and share your most important files in the cloud. Sending files, sharing folders and signing documents has never been easier. Send files without the limits, share folders with your team and sign key documents all for free (depending on your requirements).
ReaddleDocs is the solution for remote teams that are always on the go. It’s designed specifically for the iPhone and iPod Touch. You can save, read and manage documents from any source with this app. You can buy it in the App Store for just $4.99.
GlassCubes lets you collaborate on projects, manage people and their assigned tasks, and organize and share files in an instant. It covers most, if not all, of the elements required to successfully coordinate a remote team. The basic package is even free!
MediaFire lets you share, track, store and backup, and access files with the cloud. You can even drag and drop files from your computer to the cloud. Known for its ease of use and friendly interface, MediaFire allows you to share as much as you want for free.
Box allows teams to upload, share and collaborate on files. Your co-workers can leave comments on recent updates, assign tasks to you, sync files to their computers and more. It even integrates with Salesforce and Google Docs. You can get a 14-day free trial, but then it will cost $15/user each month.
Dropbox is one of the most popular ways to manage your files. Whether you want to keep your personal files in one place or share files with your global team, this is your solution. Your key photos, documents and videos are always with you – for free.
Google Docs organizes all of your team’s documents, spreadsheets and other files in one place. Instead of sifting through emails CC’d to your entire team for attached files, you’re scrolling through an organized list of key documents. Google Docs is completely free.
What other tools are you using to manage your remote team?Tags: collaboration tools