Best Collaboration Tools For Working With Remote Teams

Image via Scott Ableman.

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.

1. Communication


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

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

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

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?

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  • Paul

    For project management also look at Psoda:

  • BarryBerry

    Maybe you can also take this one into account:

  • David Roger

    Great list of tools. Another option is RHUB online collaboration and web conferencing appliances. It can be used for conducting web conferences, online meetings, online presentations etc.

  • Dave Nevogt is also good. and

  • Dave Nevogt

    And – I have not seen busyflow. Will check that out now

  • Jesus

    For Visual Studio software development collaboration also look at VSAnywhere

  • Leslie Scott

    How can you miss out task management tools from Replicon? If talking about remote places, then task management tools from Replicon – should come at the first as that has cloud based feature, which is the best cloud solution for task management.

  • chrispa

    something simple like is a good candidate as well. Fits in with the regular day to day email routine, and helps enforce a nice discipline to updating the team on what got done every day

  • Anais Lemarchal

    I use a tool called proofhub ( ) which combines project management with time tracking and proofing tool, which actually works great for me because I don’t have to pay for more tools.

  • Christophe HERVÉ

    In my past as a manager in the industry I have been able to assess the lacks in regards of the collaborative productivity tools. That is why today we offer Advanseez.

    ADVANSEEZ is a new collaborative web platform composed of two modules: one for decision and one for action.

    The decision module enable teams to structure there ideas to solve a problem or establish goals to achieve a project. The application provides a workspace to collect data (facts) of all team members and semi-automatically arrange them in a SWOT matrix. It is then easy to draw objectives to reach the main goal or setup the project plan.

    The action module is made to help people plan their actions or projects in a structured manner without the hassle of classic project management tools but more structured than “get things done” lists. (Free with limited features and paid plans)


    Have a look at Email centric team task management

  • James

    Awesome article. I think too should be included in this list to make it more useful.

  • Denis Duvauchelle

    Skype can be really frustrating at times, so we use a lot as well. You might also like to try something we’re building, to solve the same problems of using too many tools: – organize everything and anything with hashtags!

  • Kinjal

    For me gmail, trello, google hangout and works great!

  • Johannes is great tool for remote teams. Think if it like a team dashboard.

  • PeterBoshka

    Where’s Bitrix24 and other specialized remote team management solutions that have everything from collaboration to files to video to project management?

  • Denis A.

    In the “Communication” tools category, our team use to see who is available at any time and start talking instantly – worth a look!

  • Docs9 Administrator

    Exhaustive, but useful list.Most often, the file share for purposes
    of discussions may actually never need file share. What if there could
    be a simple way to simply share without the overhead of sending large

    The answer is Docs9 –

    Docs9 is your online space to put your documents, and instantly begin live,
    interactive sharing with others. Docs9 makes it easier for you to setup
    your presentation live without any install or configuration. Whether
    your presentations are Microsoft Office, Open Office, Google Documents –
    Docs9 can handle all of your presentations. Simply upload or choose an
    online document from your Dropbox, Google Drive or Microsoft’s SkyDrive.
    The people you share with too can choose the most convenient way to
    view your live presentations in the same way. They can view your live
    presentation over any Internet-enabled device which supports a browser.
    It could be a Desktop PC, Mac, Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, an Android
    tablet or a phone! Begin sharing your presentations using Docs9 now.
    Give it a try, and we certainly know you’ll love it!

  • Regina Ritter

    Microsoft’s SharePoint is one of the best online collaboration tools in the market. SharePoint offers many good features for online meetings, online calendar sharing, managing wiki, document management, task management, blogging, team management and more.You can try it for free with

  • Laurence H Chandler

    Hey guys, come really good tools being described there. Some which I have never seen my self so I will try them out.

    We have been using a combination here at CIM. We use Google Docs to store all out important stuff. But we use a cloud WebRTC tool called Drum Web Meeting ( We combine the two to collaborate in real time and store documents in one central location. Drum allows us to conference call and host web meetings whilst viewing the same document in real time. And its currently free!

  • Olivia Jennifer

    PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP) ®
    credential is the most important industry-recognized certification for project
    managers. Recently I went for a
    PMP prep course
    by the training provider mentioned above, the
    instructor was too good and I passed with relative ease. Looking forwards to
    apply what I learned in PMP
    in my company.

  • Daniel Friedson

    Don’t forget! They’re a new communication tool that has only launched like a month ago (we were among the first early adopters) and it integrates with all your files and issues in a much smarter way, than all the others do! For instance – it autocompletes all your files and issues, right as you type! It’s like when tagging a friend on Facebook, only that its about the files you work with. Anyways, my team loves it, even though their iOS apps aren’t available yet, which sucks, hehe

  • bilbao

    For remote teams there is Beesy. me that is pretty effective. Its real-time collaborative features enable collaboration and project management with remote teams in a real-time fashion and limiting the unneccesary duplication of information. Along with the communication tools (Skype works fine), the conference calls can be way more productive with toosl like Beesy. More info here:

  • Karen

    Here’s another great collaboration tool to consider that I use called Dooster. Check them out at​

  • Michael Jung

    Good remote communication involves not a chat service like HipChat or Skype, but also a place for non-realtime discussion, such as email distribution lists or private forums. I work for a fully remote team (never met the founders in person) and we’ve built our own service for this (Ginger, We think it’s better than email lists or Google Groups, but regardless of what you go with, an asynchronous discussion tool is critical. Hope you can write more about this in the future!

  • Shalin Siriwaradhana

    In the project section under diagramming and design, Creately is the best tool for collaboration for diagramming and design.

  • Sahil Parikh

    Oh, I didn’t see on the list!

  • Jannet Sparts

    Comindware Project – – is another good option for managing tasks and collaboration with remote teams. Check it out.

  • Maggie

    There is a new tool available for video conferencing
    online at It allows you to have online video calls from anywhere as
    long as you have internet access. Also it does not require installation or any
    additional equipment. The test version is available for free in March.

  • Joan

    Being a project manager i always find ways to improve the productivity of remote employees..i find more easier and convenient to use.

  • François Lamontagne

    We use Alioth ( Very simple to use and it works very well for our needs.

  • hugomesser

    It’s hard to find the right tools for remote collaboration from the MASSIVE amount offered in the market. you’ve identified quite a few that I had never heard of Dan.

    I’ve recently finished my last book on managing remote teams. The book about communication contains a couple of chapters on tools, might be interesting for you:

    We’ve also recently launched a marketplace for software teams where companies can hire remote teams (as opposed to hiring remote freelancers on sites like Odesk): I believe that for companies it’s best to have a full ‘up and running’ remote team in 1 office, since you can indeed build a culture. If you have management around that team, it helps you to manage them more easily, there is local (HR/project) support which gives you ‘eyes’ to what the team and the inidividuals are up to.

    If anyone has a great remote team collaboration tool and could write a guest blog post on our Ekipa blog, please drop me an email!

  • Alok Bansal

    We use to work with some of above mentioned tools, but it was like one tool for one work. But which addresses functions of most of all the above mentioned tools made us feel “One tool for ALL works”. I suggest you to give a try and you’ll love using it. Happy Collaborating!

  • nishit

    While this is a great list of tools for online collaboration one should take a look
    at, but talking about real time collaboration and working with teams on remote we also need a tool which help in reducing the TAT with less to and fro

    Real time collaboration with remote teams would typically have sync’d views, live annotation systems and no loading times whatsoever while viewing work. If these functions are in place then the workflow itself becomes very systematic and the approval process is simpler and faster.

    I strongly feel this is where the world is heading. Its more natural for people
    to talk like this and this is the road collaboration will take.

    Disclaimer : I work with the company which has developed a tool for online collaboration. It has been featured in Mashable, Techcrunch, The Guardian etc. for its feature called table top sync, true realtime sync’d sessions on any file type.

  • epetre

    We just love Pivotal Tracker, in fact, we love it so much that we built a startup to enhance it. is an agile Dashboard for Pivotal Tracker that helps stakeholders see your projects. It helps the team improve their process, save money and ship faster with agile analytics.

  • netguru

    That’s a really cool list, I’m sure it will help a lot of project managers and product owners working with remote teams! In fact, we know this from our own experience – and here is a list of tools we work with, or the ones we like for their features and usability. Enjoy!

  • Roman

    According to me teamviewer is the best for remote system. but I want to thanks for this list. website development company

  • Benjamin Mestrallet

    I would also recommend the Open Source Social Collaboration Platform

  • John Stokman

    If you are looking for a screen recording tool I highly recommend
    ilos allows you to record, and store your videos on the cloud with your team.

  • Ana S

    Awesome list! I agree with the ideas being discussed on best collaboration tools for working with remote teams; it will surely uplift how managing and building of remote team should be correctly implemented. Also, it will give online companies and businesses a better perspective on how to get things work and what are essentials to make it successful. But it looks like your list is half-baked as there are more new strategies and tactics on how to successfully create an online presence.

    And there’s a good alternative I can suggest and hope will also help you by any means, “How to Build And Manage Remote Teams” (
    that combines functionalities and solutions which will surely address to the
    problems on building and managing remote teams. Not trying to belittle your
    list but giving you new viewpoints about the topic. Good luck to all of us!

  • Elen Veenpere

    work in Teleport, which is a distributed team as well – we’ve got team
    members in 5 countries around the world and do most of our work
    remotely. We’ve also written a blog post about the tools we use and find
    most awesome for remote work which you can have a look at – some of them overlap with yours as well.

    We’ve also got a few products of our own that are specifically targeted
    towards remote teams – Teleport Sundial helps you keep on top of your
    remote team’s locations and timezones – – and Teleport Flock helps quickly discover and arrange team meetups – – hope it helps someone!

  • James Loan

    Great post!
    Thanks for sharing this information.

    for live professional video chat you can also use services of

  • william

    To work efficiently with remote team the best choice is to opt for a team chat app that keeps you connected among the team. This choice could help the remote team to stay within a loop wherever they travel and they can have a official conversations now and then. Building that real-time chat app using an instant messaging solution Contus Fly would be most advisable since you can build your own secured team chat app using real-time chat app technologies.

  • Michael Dorsiak

    I would also add to the list, it’s getting pretty close to an allrounder app.

  • Jean

    We use the best we find ever, and we have tried a looot of them

  • PeterH

    Nice post. I’m using You should consider adding it to Your list.

  • Filippo Pavone

    I would include in this list a collaborative software. I am using it in within my group work, and we are very satisfied with the results, since it allows us to comment, organize, and share files. In addition, it has a chat in which is possible to take track of all the changes made by members, but the chat can also be used as a normal one. In the past we used Slack, but since does the same tasks for free, we have no regret in our choice 😉

    Hope you find it useful,

  • BJ Weir

    Hi, does anyone know if any of these apps (or others not on this list) that let your team share their availability online? This would Ideally be in the form of a calendar accessible to each member, where they could visually show their availability in order of time&day. I’m guessing it would be like an online spread sheet that could be updated by any member. It’s for a uni team project that takes place entirely online. I’m not so hot on the most useful apps out there, so any help would be great. Regards

  • nookienoq

    Hi guys, I would like to recommend for you to try!.

    It’s perfect as your personal task manager but also to keep track of your projects.

    What can easynote do for your team as team collobration tool:

    Activity feed – Keep track on what is happening within your project

    Track tasks – Status

    Assign tasks – Assign tasks to different team members

    Task activity and comments – Track everything that is happening within your tasks

    Add attachment’s to tasks. – Add documents (any type) as attachment to your tasks

    Meeting minutes – Keep track of your meeting by having meeting minutes

    And it’s FREE!

  • Shyamal Parikh

    Smart Tasks one of the MOST EASY yet POWERFUL collaboration software online:

  • John Papadopoulos

    Another great tool for remote teams is Geekbot. Geekbot is a tool that helps you set up asynchronous stand up meetings inside Slack. You can take a look here:

  • Krishna Bansod

    Thanks for sharing this. This list is really helpful. But one problem that I have been facing using these multiple apps is that it at times it becomes hectic to manage so many apps altogether. I have used this app called Zapty, it was really nice. It contains multiple features like project and task management, approvals, polls, discussions, easy communication, chatting, video calling all in one single app. Check out their blog here :

    • CAT Aspirant

      I would go through this blog once. Thanks for sharing!
      Appreciate your efforts!

  • Shannon D’souza

    Currently the basic work management apps are divided into 5 main groups- Task & project management tools, Chatting/messaging tools, Emails, Video calling,Document collaboration & storage. And it is very hard to get all the features most of these features in one app. And maintaining so many multiple apps also wastes lot of my time. I have been trying Zapty for quite a sometime now. it’s a way much better than any other platforms available today. Check out their special offer for the month over here:

    • Krishna Bansod

      Good one!

  • Krishna Bansod

    That was great read. There was everything one can expect from a collaboration and communication tool. Now recently I came across a tool called Zapty. It also has features like group chat, video calls etc. They are even running a special subscription for this month at just 29$. Its worth having a look at

    • Mike Roach

      Hey thanks for this! nice read

  • Paul Fewstones

    Hi, very good list! I would add Zenintranet is a collaborative tools that gather different features (CRM, file sharing, leave management, expenses management…). You can access this tools with a single login. And it’s completely FREE !

  • Yash Bodane

    From my point of view the greatest potential lays in tool discovery tailored to your needs (as a start-up, as a team member, as a professional). When done right, it saves you time, money and it gives the best options for you as individual. It helps you encounter tools you didn’t even know you’re looking for. Check out a detailed blog I have written on Collaboration Tools for Start-ups:

  • Elva Rivera

    Skype is best Collaboration Tools For Working With Remote Teams. I am also using it and do many things over their like Share my document, video calling, group meeting etc. I have collected some more tools for Managing a Remote Team which you can see here (

  • Jerad Wolfrum

    Solid list. Thanks for putting it together. In the communication section I would also add for a shared work log. Our team found that having a brief description of what each team member was working on each day helped us stay engaged with each other and share knowledge. As a manager its sometimes hard to know specifically what each team member is working on every day. Having a shared work log was helpful to give immediate feedback and course correct when necessary.

  • Sharon Thomson

    Thanks for the list. I’m currently using ProofHub to collaborate with my remote team. It’s a pretty good tool.

  • Disha Bhatia

    Great list. Being a free lancer myself, i always find ways to improve the my productivity as well as of my of remote team. I find proofhub a very easy, efficient and useful to use. Task tracking, time tracking, notes, discussions, proofing tool, gantt to track progress, it has it all!

  • Susan Pett

    BoostHQ is a newer one but also quite good.

  • Matt Lovato

    Our team is spread across the globe. We use Samepage – The whole platform operates in real time, integrates with tons of popular apps, and most of the core features are free.

  • Alex V

    In our team we use a task management software, for team collaboration and communication – Skype and for document sharing – Google Docs.

  • Alex Kistenev

    Slack is growing its bots ecosystem so that there are more great Slack bot these days. For example provides you with a dashboard of kudos in your team, organises to-do lists in Slack, tracks who has read your messages and runs daily standup meetings.