Team Collaboration Tools To Support Better Telecommuting

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The contemporary workplace is hectic. Employees work across different cultures, sometimes across time zones, and even across different workplaces to get a job done. Although every employee would harbour the thought of lesser workloads, the situation is never going to happen. Much less ideal. Yet, what employees should wish for is something like Bruce Lee said; “Do not wish for an easy life. Wish for the strength to endure a difficult one.” It is the strength, or some sort of tool that could provide this strength. Hence, our subject today is Team Collaboration Tools.

Image Source: Twitter

Team Collaboration Tools provides the kind of connection required between employees and employees. It has features that support team communication, document sharing, task assignment, project management, video calling among others. Nonetheless, team collaboration tools only works wonder when used with heart. That said; companies need to commit efforts and empower their employees into using it. Or forget about using it at all! For, the prospect of becoming an ‘white elephant’ is very real.

The world wide web is huge, and yet you had stumbled on my site looking for something. I hope you find it as we had taken huge efforts to create them. Best of all, its FREE! Hence, some of our content may include affiliate links (i.e. whenever you click on the links and purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra costs to you!). No worries! Some of these links may look like phishing, but I assure you they are not! Lastly, the affiliation does not affect my reviews towards them. Enjoy!

Team Collaboration Tools

There are lots of team collaboration tools in the market. Tread carefully and we hope that this article goes a long way in your workplace collaboration and productivity efforts!

  1. Chanty
  2. Hive
  3. Start Infinity
  4. Monday.com
  5. Nifty
  6. nTask
  7. Wrike
  8. Zoho Connect

1. Chanty

Team Collaboration Tool: Chanty
Image Source: Chanty

Chanty calls themselves the free Slack alternative, and they are certainly FREE! Actually, freemium that is, and they have a paid plan for the heavier users. Chanty is built to be simple to use yet useful for any collaboration work. For the serious users, they can always look to integrate with Chanty’s third-party partners for more advanced features to support their project management work. Currently, Chanty integrates with nearly 20 over apps. Some of these includes Zapier, Mailchimp, Giphy and others.

Key Features

  • Team Communications
  • Storage for Team File Sharing
  • Task Management
  • Voice and Video Call
  • Mobile App Version Available

Buy Factor:

  • Easily communicate and find your colleagues and project members all within a single hub called Teambook. Pin important messages and share documents and files across with them. Set roles to determine which member can post messages, make setting changes, remove members etc. Simple to use and very useful!
  • Within Teambook, teams can store and share their files over the cloud. It is accessible anywhere as long as there is internet and the files can be retrieved easily without concern of viruses from external medium.
  • Create tasks and set deadlines. Then assign them to a team member. If need, discuss them over Teambook! Track all the tasks via a Kanban board view to quickly understand current statuses and follow up where required. This support team productivity with minimal investment in own time!
  • Team members not responding to messages? Try calling them with the in-built voice call feature. Prefer to see them face-to-face? Try video call. You can also leave voice messages if it is more effective to talk than put in texts. Whatever form of communication it is, Chanty is right here to support!
  • App version supporting both Android and Apple devices are available to support work on-the-go! Don’t wait till you get home because home is for resting! If you could, do it with the portable app during your ride home, or whenever you could sneak one reply out. It helps to not let work stack up. I am sure you agree!

Things to Note:

  • Making call in Chanty is limited to team members in Chanty only. Does not support calling out to essential work colleagues such as vendors, suppliers, partners and sponsors etc. unless they are registered in that team.
  • Group voice and video call is available in the paid plans only.
  • Lacks advanced project management tools such as charts, surveys, calendar etc. although third-party integrations such as with Trello and Asana may provide it.

Pricing (annual basis)

  • Free – Unlimited conversations, one-to-one voice calls and voice messages. Task Management, up to 10 integrations and 20GB team storage.
  • Business (US$ 3/user per mth) – Everything in Free plus Unlimited integrations, 20GB storage per team member, unlimited group voice calls, one-to-one calls, video calls and dedicated support.
  • Nonprofit organisations get a 50% discount via customer support contact.
chanty

2. Hive

Team Collaboration Tool: Hive
Image Source: Hive

Hive is a relatively new team collaboration tools having launched in 2016 in United States. It was founded by two founders over their obsessions with workplace collaboration. Hive has quickly grown to be more than a collaboration tool with its various project management features. Some of Hive’s enterprise users are Starbucks, Dell, and The Economist among others.

Key Features

  • Built-in Email Inbox
  • 10+ Templates to Build Workflows
  • Supports Approval Cycle
  • Project Analytics
  • Desktop and Mobile App Version Available

Buy Factor:

  • Using Hive comes with its built-in email inbox. There is no need to purchase one from your web host. The email inbox is able to integrate with Gmail or Outlook to sync emails with it, which reduces the hassle of opening and checking different inboxes.
  • Hive is slightly more advanced compared with Chanty in terms of its project management tools. It has a library of ready-to-use templates for users to support them in quickly setting the layout for a certain workflow for customisation. Some of these templates include Marketing Plan, Content Calendar, PR Campaign and so forth. The newly created template can be saved for future use.
  • Projects include multiple tasks and tasks often require a series of approvals. Hive makes assigning approval possible while providing allowing feedback easily. The automated cycle of approval only requires a small commitment of setup but would cut down on the possibly huge load of emails/exchanges for approvals. This is a huge plus!
  • Interactive dashboards from Hive Analytics which is powered by AI offer actionable insights into team productivity and efficiency. Users can see which employees or projects require attention, which employees had completed the most tasks, costs spent on current tasks among many others.
  • Hive really takes the notch all the way up with its Desktop and Mobile App version. While the desktop app does not require internet to access, its functionalities are limited. Still, the desktop version will prove invaluable in times of need, especially when a client is asking for information and you are in an area without telecommunication reception.

Things to Note:

  • The features of the mobile version are limited compared to the desktop app.
  • Useful features which make this software stands out such as Approvals and Analytics are separate add-ons and at additional costs. As such, costs can add up quickly.
  • No file sharing and storage features in-built although this could likely be made possible with its 1000+ integrations via Zapier and other third-party software.

Pricing (annual basis)

  • Basic (US$ 12/user per mth) – Group and Individual Chats, Email, Custom Project Layouts, and Automated Workflows.
  • Enterprise (custom) – Everything in Basic plus all Add-ons.
  • Add-Ons available – Approvals (US$ 4/user per mth), Resource Allocation (US$ 4/user per mth), Timesheets (US$ 4/user per mth), External Users (US$ 4/user per mth), Enterprise Security (US$ 4/user per mth), and Analytics (US$ 6/user per mth).
  • 14-Day Free Trial Available.
  • Nonprofit organisations get a discount via customer support contact.

3. Start Infinity

Team Collaboration Tool: Start Infinity
Image Source: Start Infinity

Start Infinity is more a project management than a team collaboration tools. Its unique selling point is in its highly customisable interface which allow users to build their ideal ‘workspace’ that supports their productivity. All users need to Start Infinity is load a ready template, then begin adding collaborators and set permissions. The next step with customisation are a work in progress. It prices itself on lifetime deals instead of monthly or annual payments which is really nice for the loyal users. Last but not least, it continually improves with new features while supporting a number of nice third-party integrations.

Key Features

  • 50+ Templates to Fit Any Organisation
  • Highly Customisable Interface
  • Activity Logs Allow Audit Trail
  • Mobile App Available

Buy Factor:

  • Start Infinity provides over 50+ templates to help users set things up quickly for usage. Whatever templates you might need; from marketing, HR, sales, product development etc., the templates fit almost every jobscope in any organisation. Choose one, then customise your own to fit your ideal virtual workspace!
  • That said, almost every bit of the workspace can be customised. Set your most inspiring colour as the theme. Remove or re-order the information so that you get to see only the most relevant ones you need to see! If they are messy, group them up into columns or list. If you don’t like the view, change it to a Table form, Gantt view or Calendar. Afterall, a likeable workspace definitely makes work all the more interesting!
  • Audit Trail capabilities via Activity Logs help users quickly identify and ‘undo’ mistakes. For the multi-tasking users, this function is clearly a ‘heaven sent’!
  • Supports work on-the-go, and basically anywhere with the Mobile App Version.

Things to Note:

  • No Voice or Video Call Option. Need third-party integrations perhaps with Twilio and Zoom via Zapier.
  • Chat with team members is available via the ‘Comment’ only.

Pricing (lifetime deal)

  • Team (US$ 149) – 1 Workspace, 10 Collaborators, 50 GB Storage, and all features.
  • Startup (US$ 299) – 3 Workspaces, 25 Collaborators, 150 GB Storage, and all features.
  • Business (US$ 499) – 8 Workspaces, 50 Collaborators, 500 GB Storage, and all features.

4. Monday.com

Team Collaboration Tool: Monday.com
Image Source: Monday.com

Monday.com is an award-winning digital software for project management and teamworking. Since its founding in 2012, it has constantly offered customers a feature-packed tool, comprising features such as workflow automations, Kanban board, real-time notifications, team chat, file storage, calendar, forms and many others. It is currently used by over 100k organisations worldwide, supported by its 650+ employees in 6 cities. Monday.com is a highly developed product with a library of ready online resources to support users, both new and current.

Key Features

  • 200+ Templates to Fit Any Organisation
  • Huge List of Built-In Integrations
  • Fast Customer Support
  • Enterprise-Grade Security
  • Mobile App Supported

Buy Factor:

  • If we say Monday.com is the industry leader, we are definitely not joking here. It boasts more than 200 ready templates with very niche jobscopes such as construction schedule, recruitment tracker, CRM, and Supply Orders. By the way, they even have Work from Home and COVID-19 management templates! Monday.com have surely gained their user’s trust by moving with time!
  • The list of functions that Monday.com can do is almost limitless because it readily integrates with a list of top third-party tools. In fact, it comes built-in with many of these (Standard Plan and above)! Whatever users wish to do to up their team collaboration or productivity, they can do it. The only concern is having too much features. Yes, its true! Work only with what you need!
  • While Monday.com make no promise on its customer support response time, their statistics showed that they had an average support response time of not more than 60 minutes! This is insane from a software that is so widely used. It only shows their commitment towards their customer’s success and proved them worthy for any level of users! Besides, users can always obtain self-service ‘first-aid’ with their knowledge base resources, video tutorials, webinars, and a peer -powered forum. Oh, did we forget to mention their customer support is 24/7?
  • Users control file and administrative access via permission setting. On top of, Monday.com holds a number of ISO certifications and AICPA SOC for their information security systems. Besides, they are also HIPAA and GDPR compliant, so users can rest assured knowing their data is protected while they focus on maximising their work productivity.
  • No desktop version for this top software, but it does come with its Mobile App version.

Things to Note:

  • The Basic Plan is very limited in what it can do for collaboration without integrations, and automation. Also, Storage is only 5 GB shared between all users in that team.
  • Due to its huge list of in-built integrations, new users and users new to collaboration suite can find a steep learning curve to use.
  • Useful performance analytics features are available for Enterprise Plan only. Hence, costs can add up quickly as users upgrade plans.

Pricing (based on 3 seats on annual payment)

  • Basic (US$ 24/mth) – Unlimited Boards, 200+ Templates, Shareable Forms, 5 GB Storage, and 24/7 customer support.
  • Standard (US$ 30/mth) – Everything in Basic plus 250 automations/mth, Zoom integrations, 6-month Activity Log, and 20 GB Storage.
  • Pro (US$ 48/mth) – Everything in Standard with 25k automations/mth, Unlimited Guests Access, Time Tracking, 1-year Activity Log, and 100 GB Storage.
  • Enterprise (via contact) – Everything in Pro with 250k automations/mth, 5-years Activity Log, 1000 GB Storage, Performance Analytics and Dedicated Account Manager.
  • 14-Day Free Trial Available.
  • Nonprofits discounts available via completion of online form.

5. Nifty

Team Collaboration Tool: Nifty
Image Source: Nifty

Nifty is a crowd favourite in G2, having won some awards relating to its ease-of-use for small businesses, and best for product management and project management. In fact, it has helped organisations like IBM to achieve 75% increase in team productivity and two-times higher team efficiency for IQM. It has a full suite of project management and collaboration features much like the others in our list. Its features can be further enhanced via third-party integrations with Zapier that connects to over 1000 plus apps. We say, take this crowd favourite seriously!

Key Features

  • Create Task from Discussion with Few Clicks
  • Document and File Sharing
  • Project Milestones
  • Time Tracking and Reporting
  • Desktop and Mobile App Version

Buy Factor:

  • Team can discuss freely on their project. Once ready, they can create task born from their discussion via well-placed button in the interface with a few clicks. Team members can then work on that task through to completion. This is what it means to have a productive meeting!
  • Users can store files and documents in the secured Cloud. Then, set permissions and leave comments for the other users all without hassle. No need to attach in email anymore!
  • With Nifty, teams are enabled to their deliverables with project milestones. The neat feature provides a clear view of all tasks whether outstanding or not in real-time and updated automatically. Routine work can be set to recur again after completion of a milestone to ensure the essential routine gets constant attention. Where required, the milestones can be customised to add in more data to support their work. Such as the person in-charge contact details so that users can conveniently contact them upon completion of the milestone.
  • Want to know which team member is working on what and how much time they had spent on it? Get insights into team workings with Nifty’s time tracking and reporting feature. This feature is very useful especially when the team members involve freelancers or other employees billed by the hour. This support efficiency while providing a way for company to record employee work hours. If required, this feature also allow export to PDF or CSV format.
  • All top team collaboration tools must have a mobile app version. Nifty takes it one level above others with their desktop app which can be accessed offline.

Things to Note:

  • No in-built call or video conference features. Require third-party integrations or just stick with using personal mobile phone or external apps.
  • The interface template is generic and require personal customisation. Does not make use of ready templates to support specific jobscopes.

Pricing (annual basis, receive two months free)

  • Starter (US$ 39/mth) – 1 to 10 members, 100 GB Storage, 40 Active Projects, All Core Features, Reporting, and Budget Tracking.
  • Pro (US$ 79/mth) – Up to 20 members, 500 GB Storage, Unlimited Projects, All Core Features, Reporting, and Cross-Project Overviews.
  • Business (US$ 124/mth) – Up to 50 members, 1 TB Storage, Unlimited Projects, All Core Features, Reporting, Budget Tracking, Cross-Project Overviews, Team Workloads and Priority Support.
  • Enterprise (custom) – All Features Possible with Dedicated Account Manager.
  • 14-Day Free Trial.
  • Nonprofits and Educational Institutions receive 50% discount via online form.

niftypm

6. nTask

Team Collaboration Tool: nTask
Image Source: nTask

nTask is a Freemium software that approaches collaboration from the perspective of project management. It aims to empower users with features that are effective and support their users to meet their everyday deadlines. It is used by 150,000 companies in 155 countries. Because of their different approach, they have more features compared to the other team collaboration tools in our list. What are these features? Read on.

Key Features

  • Meeting Management
  • Risk Management Tool
  • Issue Tracking Tool
  • Custom Alerts and Notifications
  • Mobile App

Buy Factor:

  • The exclusive meeting management feature from nTask takes collaboration a notch up. When it is better to meet, then meet. This tool helps setup meetings easily and enables an effective one. Users can set meeting objectives and key discussion points so that all members could prepare in advance. After the meeting, users can create tasks with deliverables’ deadline to set members to work. No more separate note-taking as users can attend the meeting, jot notes and convert into tasks with nTask straight away!
  • nTask takes the lead with their special Risk Management feature that complements project management. Every project has risks, and risks need to be managed! This feature identifies risk prior to project, and quickly assign users their tasks in it. The in-built risk matrix provides easy overview of all risks, such as level of risks and probability of occurrence. Team members can search and see all these risks. At the same time, sharing files and communicating within nTask to see projects to the end! Lesser risks, lesser costs, and higher rewards!
  • nTask know how any WorkTech can be problematic at times, especially after an OS update. Their issue tracking feature enable users to record any technical issues faced in nTask. Their in-house IT team or nTask Experts can then resolve it. Exceptionally useful, because users really need to enable themselves by enabling their tools. Afterall, the objective here is in being more productive and effective! Enable your tools!
  • All tasks need to be completed, but they call for different urgency. Set your own deadlines with notifications, either via in-app (including mobile app), or email. Set them one day before, or anytime you think will best fit your working style. Never miss a deadline again!
  • Mobile version lend additional depth to this tool’s effectiveness in meeting deadlines. 

Things to Note:

  • The very useful risk management tool is available in the ‘Business’ Plan only.
  • Video and Voice call features are not in-built and require third-party integrations.
  • Generic interface not tailored to jobscopes. Some jobscopes may require special project management tools such as pin boards for designers, social media marketing workplan for marketers etc. Third-party integrations would likely supplement this but may require separate costs.

Pricing (annual basis)

  • Free – 5 Members per Team, 100 MB Storage, Unlimited Workspaces, Unlimited Tasks, Meetings, Timesheets, and Issues Tracking.
  • Premium (US$ 1/user per month) – Everything in Free with 5 GB Storage, Gantt, Kanban Board, Bulk Actions, and Custom Filters.
  • Business (US$ 7.99/user per month) – Everything in Premium with 10 GB Storage, Risk Management, Custom Roles and Permissions, and Kanban Board Templates.
  • Enterprise (custom) – Everything in Business plus Custom On-boarding, Dedicated Account Manager, and Dedicated Cloud.
  • 14-Day Free Trial Available.

7. Wrike

Team Collaboration Tool: Wrike
Image Source: Wrike

Wrike is launched in 2006 and the first-to-market gantt chart. Its decade old service had seemed them won a couple of awards from being a leader in collaborative work management, to a top 50 project management tool. Not only that, it is also a Top Workplaces (by Bay Area News Group), and Best Places to Work (by San Diego Business Journal). So, it is little wonder that this company is well paved and going strong with offices in six countries. Wrike is trusted by 2.3 million users representing more than 20,000 companies. Is Wrike your tool? Check out below.

Key Features

  • Ready Customisable Templates
  • Real-Time Business Analytics
  • Built-In Proofing and Approvals
  • Enterprise-Grade Security
  • Mobile App Version

Buy Factor:

  • With Wrike, you know you are not wasting time with a specialist in project management. Like other tools in our list, Wrike makes use of ready-made templates to help new users setup the interface they need quickly. There are nearly 30 jobscope-specific templates comprising event management, business continuity, OKR, communication, job applicant tracking and others. Any more request, and the users can always customise it to their desire.
  • More serious users can always purchase add-ons (Wrike Analyse) that will provide them the essential business analytics. It will surely help with the team constantly having an eye on that project. Project status, progress, spending, project owner etc., basically all data keyed into the system could be reported. Users can use the ready templates or the report builder to quickly extract out these data for external analysis. For the business looking to inculcate a data-driven decision-making culture, this feature is perfect!
  • Wrike knows how lengthy approvals can hold back essential decisions. Their built-in proofing and approval feature notifies respective member of each stage, and cycles through the process automatically. At each stage, whether is it an approve or reject, members can add their comments and feedback for follow up action straight away. The result is a seamless process that will see a task to completion without giving up. Literally you get things done. Period.
  • Not only does Wrike’s infrastructure provides strong security, but they are also privacy-compliant to GDPR, CCPA & HIPAA, and is certified compliance to many international standards by AICPA and ISO. Have no fear that your data are protected to the strictest standards. Users needing extra layer of security could also opt for the add-on (Wrike Lock) for additional encryption protection.
  • Having a mobile app version like others show Wrike’s commitment to keeping to-date of its services to market demands.

Things to Note:

  • Can get expensive quickly as useful features such as Wrike Analyse and Lock are available via add-ons at additional fees.
  • Voice and video call are not in-built. Need third-party integrations.

Pricing (annual basis)

  • Free – Task Management, File Sharing, Basic Integrations, and 2 GB Cloud Storage.
  • Professional (US$ 9.80/user per mth) – Everything in Free plan with 5 GB Storage plus Gantt Chart, Advanced Integrations, Shareable Dashboards, and Collaborators.
  • Business (US$ 24.80/user per mth) – Everything in Professional plan with 50 GB Storage plus Workflows, Real-Time Reports, Calendars, Approvals, Time Tracking, and Permission Settings.
  • Enterprise (via contact) – Everything in Business plan with 100 GB Storage plus SSO, 2FA, Integration with Business Data Tools, and Advanced User Controls.
  • 14-Day Free Trial Available.
  • Various Add-Ons Available (Wrike Resource, Proof, Publish, Integrate, Analyse, Lock, and Two-Way Sync).

8. Zoho Connect

Team Collaboration Tool: Zoho Connect
Image Source: Zoho Connect

Some of you may know Zoho as the company taking on Google and Microsoft. And it might seem this way, because Zoho is a specialist in business software and cloud computing. Zoho has a rich history, having started as AdventNet, Inc. in 1996. It is an Indian MNC with 12 offices around the world. Its over forty applications empowering 60 million users worldwide, with Zoho Connect being one of the many applications. If you are an existing Zoho user, or keen to explore using business software for your organisation, Zoho is the one-stop shop to go!

Key Features

  • Comprehensive Communication Tools
  • Build Workflows with No-Code
  • Create Events with Calendar
  • Team Analytics
  • Mobile Apps

Buy Factor:

  • Zoho Connect is not named Connect without reason. Their communication features are comprehensive and not only team chats. It is basically an enterprise intranet that allows company users to communicate to each other as a whole, within their group, or within a subject. Users can also setup forums to have other users provide comments or assistance to their subject. They can also create Town Hall sessions to have everyone join in and discuss. This feature is a huge plus for large organisations’ communication efforts!
  • Build forms, approvals, lead capture and many other workflows with no-code. That is, Zoho Connect help users build workflows with drag-and-drop. There is almost zero learning curve in this and experienced users are expected to pick up quickly. New users will need to think through, and trial-and-error while improving along the way. A very useful feature that once setup, will benefit the respective departments for generations!
  • Events can be a meeting or even a task. Set them all up using the calendar to provide a quick overview of your day’s work. Set notifications as and where needed, invite members to RSVP to events and track the RSVP. No more using paper calendars which does not alert and totally out of touch!
  • Is any team member not using Zoho enough? Or not contributing to team discussions? An effective team is one that communicates! With Zoho Connect, users receive data insights into their team’s activity. From most active group to member, to most comments in posts, and other post-related analytics, companies can leverage on these insights to inform their business decisions. Such as setting the next KPI for the marketing team who is performing very well, and also for staff appraisals among many others.
  • Stay connected and engaged. Even on the move with Zoho Connect mobile apps.

Things to Note:

  • Voice and Video call is possible but one to one only.
  • The paid plans providing 2 GB per user per network is really little. Even a PPT with embedded video can easily takes up 200-300 MB.

Pricing (annual basis)

  • Free – Up to 25 Users, 3 Groups, 3 Apps, File Sharing, 3 Boards, and 10 GB Storage.
  • Up to 25 Users (US$ 250/year) – Everything in Free with Unlimited Groups, Unlimited Apps, Unlimited Boards, a 5 External Users/user and 2 GB per user.
  • 26-100 Users (US$ 10/user/year) – Same across all paid plans.
  • 100+ Users (use online calculator) – Same across all paid plans.

Our Advice

Team collaboration and project management go hand in hand. Team collaboration tools needs to have sufficient project management features in order to be useful. Then again, not all tools are the same. One thing to note is that use of such tools require a commitment. If you are looking to implement one software, you will need employee buy-in. So, involve them in the process of selection! Get their feedbacks! Take a trial before committing one! Lastly, think long-term. Good project management / team collaboration tools should have sufficient integrations while they constantly look to develop their products. Time to work!

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