The 11 best collaboration tools for remote teams
Does your company or team have the tools it needs to make remote work streamlined and stress-free? Here are 11 of the best collaboration tools for remote teams.
By Darcy Hogendorn in
Sixty-three percent of high-growth businesses have adopted the “productivity from anywhere” model, which puts less pressure on where work is done and greater importance on how it gets done. But working from home doesn’t come without its struggles.
With remote teams working in different places, it can be difficult to connect with one another. Dropping by someone’s desk to ask a question or tackle a project together isn’t an option, and leaving offline messages for a team member in another time zone can feel clunky and inefficient: You’ll probably spend more time waiting for replies than focusing on hands-on work.
To keep things running smoothly, managers have to turn to digital tools to help their teams collaborate instead. The good news is that organizations have their pick of collaborative tools designed to help team members feel more connected, efficient, and engaged while working apart.
But some collaboration tools are better than others, which begs the question: How do you know which will work best for your team, its members, and its goals? We’ve got you covered with this handy roundup of our favorite remote team collaboration tools.
Whether you’re looking for something to help you organize your growing video library, streamline onboarding and training, schedule meetings, or serve as a single source of truth for your community members, you’ll find it here on our list of the best tools for team collaboration.
What is the best way to collaborate effectively on a remote team?
No two teams are the same, which means there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for team collaboration. Rather, there are a variety of tools and strategies available to help make remote collaboration more effective. Depending on the specific needs and goals of your organization and team, some tools — or a combination of tools — may be more beneficial than others.
Additionally, collaboration tools offer different functionalities. As such, we can break them into buckets based on their functions. The 11 tools featured in this blog fall into the following five categories:
- Project management tools
- Video content management systems
- Knowledge management software
- Team communication apps
- Collaborative documentation tools
Here’s a closer look at our picks for the best collaboration tools in each type.
Project management tools
Task and project management is hard enough under ideal circumstances. Factor in the additional challenges of remote work, and planning, tracking, and managing team projects becomes even more challenging. This is where project management tools come in.
Project management tools help teams organize, collaborate, and communicate in order to effectively and efficiently move projects toward their goals. Rather than wasting time trying to figure out the status of a project or task, project management tools make information instantly and easily available for all team members, stakeholders, and any other involved individuals — without having to ask.
Asana is a cloud-based workplace management dashboard that supports streamlined communication across teams and companies. Asana ensures that every team member is in the loop regarding who’s doing what and by when. It facilitates real-time communication with a user-friendly user interface incorporating multiple work views. Use cases include organizational management, product management, marketing, and IT project management.
- Native mobile app
- Customizable dashboards
- Task management
- Company-wide workflows
- Extended capability
- Automated updates
- Dynamic reporting
- Workflow automation
Asana offers a range of plans, including a Basic (free), Premium ($10.99/month), and Business ($24.99/month). There’s also an Enterprise option.
Teamwork is a complete project management software solution for businesses of all sizes working on client projects. This central platform lets users manage multiple complex projects easily and to scale. Teamwork offers task management, file storage, time tracking, reporting, and more — all with a convenient visualization focus.
- Ready-to-use project templates
- Gantt charts
- Workflow automation
- Support for agile methodology
- Multiple work views
- Team management
- Time tracking
- Resource management
- Integrated chat
- Document editing and management
- Invoicing and billing
Teamwork offers yearly and monthly price plans, including Free Forever (free), Deliver ($9.99/month), and Grow ($17.99). There’s also a Scale enterprise offering, as well as a free trial.
3) Monday Work OS
A highly visual project management tool, Monday offers a customizable workspace for team members across the organization to stay updated about progress, timelines, and budgets. In centralizing all work, tools, processes, and files while also letting users easily share files, Monday creates a single go-to source of truth for all users.
- Task and project management
- Board and columns
- Built-in time tracking
- Multiple views
- Project visualization with Gantt charts
- Mobile app
Monday offers five monthly price plans, including Individual (free for up to two “seats”), Basic ($8/seat), Standard ($10/seat), Pro ($16/seat), and Enterprise.
Video content management systems
Video conferencing and asynchronous video communications took off during the pandemic, but continue to grow with a number of use cases:
- Helping teams connect remotely
- Sharing internal updates
- Onboarding new team members
With Zoom now being a household name and organizations churning out video content at record speeds for everything from sales pitches to employee onboarding, a new need has emerged: video content management. Video content management systems are designed to help organizations and their stakeholders centralize, organize, deliver, and securely access all of their video assets. Here are some of the tools that do it the best.
This collaborative video hub allows users to share, organize, and search video meetings and other company videos. Ideal for everything from all-hands meetings to team insights, Rewatch includes auto-capture, transcription, and search for easy browsability.
- @mentions and tagging
- Access controls/permissions
- Activity dashboard
- Closed captions
- Content library
- Customizable branding
- Privacy option
- Real-time analytics
- Reporting and statistic
- Video creation
Rewatch offers plans for every team — tailored to your individual needs for the greatest functionality at the best value. Request pricing here.
Knowledge management software
Data is only useful when it’s accessible. And yet, in today’s era of Big Data, organizations also find themselves drowning in it. Enter knowledge management software, which not only assists with data storage and acquisition for everything from customer information to internal business documents but also organizes all of that knowledge and data so it’s easy to search, access, and update.
Knowledge management software facilitates a single and unified information pool by assisting with the identification, creation, distribution, and organization of all company knowledge. Let's look at two tools that can keep your team's information organized and accessible.
A powerful and user-friendly cloud-based software, Helpjuice assists organizations in scaling customer support and collaborating better. Its applications support both internal and external knowledge bases and are suitable for businesses of all sizes and across all industries.
- Easy and unlimited authoring and content formatting
- Extensive customization
- Multiple integrations with other popular tech tools
- Intelligent analytics
- Instant “Google-like” search
- Customer support
- Localization/multiple languages
- Privacy and Security
Helpjuice offers monthly pricing plans from $120 to $499, with free 14-day trials available for each option.
Trainual seamlessly facilitates onboarding, training, knowledge, standard operating procedures, documenting and delegating, and processes — all in one handy app. The equivalent of a “searchable, trackable employee handbook,” Trainual helps organizations centralize all need-to-know documents and rules into one guided digital training manual that lets employers track and test who knows what.
- Responsive web application + responsive mobile interface
- Fully customizable
- Easy integrations
- Hundreds of templates
- Performance management
- Powerful search
- Real-time changes
- Industry compliance
- GIF and stock photo libraries
- Roles and responsibilities builder
- Built-in screen recording
- Assign content owners
- Public subject sharing
- Customized setup support
Trainual offers a range of monthly and yearly plans, including Build ($61/month/5 seats), Train ($124/month/10 seats), and Scale ($249/month/20 seats). It also lets you try any for free — no credit card required.
Team communication apps
Communication is paramount for business success and happy employees, yet the shift to remote work transformed how we do it. Team communication apps save time, improve efficiency, and enhance morale by making it easy for team members to connect. The following three tools top the list for the best team communication apps for remote teams.
A “digital HQ,” this messaging app for organizations helps people work together as one unified team by connecting them with the information they need. Slack drives conversations while supporting asynchronous instant messaging and other work across functions and time zones by providing dedicated spaces called Channels for particular people and information. Information is searchable and shareable for optimal team alignment and inclusivity.
- Chat workspace
- Voice and video calls
- Slackbot, a default bot
- Customization options and API
- Customer support
Choose from a range of monthly plans, including Free, Pro ($7.25/month), Business+ ($12.50/month), and Enterprise Grid.
“The ultimate messaging app” for organizations, this chat-based online workspace supports real-time communication and collaboration, virtual meetings, file sharing, app sharing, and more. Straightforward and user-friendly with minimal setup, Teams has applications for projects, productions, and many other business elements.
- Teams and channels
- Conversations within channels
- Chat function
- Document storage in SharePoint
- Online video calling and screen sharing
- Online meetings
- Auto conferencing
- Full telephony
- Breakout rooms
- Live captions
- Microsoft Whiteboard
- Customized backgrounds
- Screen sharing
- Collaborative annotations
- Security and compliance
Pricing plans vary, starting with the free Microsoft Teams plan. Or, upgrade to Microsoft Teams Essentials ($4/user/month), Microsoft 36 Business Basics ($6/user/month), and Microsoft 365 Business Standard ($12.50/user/month).
This integrated communication tool helps organizations and people stay attuned to team goals and each other — both asynchronously and in real time. Purpose-built for distributed teams, it transcends work check-ins to acknowledge the “human stuff” so everyone feels engaged and valued.
- Meeting management
- Mood sharing and culture-building questions
- Unlimited integrations
- Slack and Microsoft teams
- Private meetings and guest users
- Team directory
- Goal tracking
- Advanced user management
- Custom invoicing options
In addition to a Free plan for up to 12 users, Range’s pricing plans include Pro ($8/month/team member) and custom enterprise plans.
Collaborative documentation tools
Today’s workflows are often intensely collaborative. Sending files back and forth can be frustrating, slow, and confusing. Collaborative documentation tools eliminate these issues by supporting real-time collaboration between multiple users. These convenient systems set up multiple team members across different locations to work together on a single document or files toward a single final version. They can also help with collaborative content optimization. To wrap up our list, let's look at two tried-and-true documentation tools that are unmatched when it comes to collaboration.
10) Google Docs
This easy-to-use web-based word processor — which is part of Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) — lets teams create, edit, share, and access documents on Google Drive from any computer with internet access. In addition to word processing, Google Docs integrates seamlessly with Google’s other products like Sheets, Slides, and Forms, giving users greater flexibility and control when creating dynamic documents.
- Document sharing for up to 200 people simultaneously
- Table of contents for document organization
- Assistive features like Smart Compose
- Cloud storage
- Group–based security policy controls
- Automatic updates and saving
- History tracking
- Voice typing
- Offline mode
- Keyboard shortcuts
- Import PDFs
- Shared team drives
- Gmail secure email
- Meet video and voice conferencing
- Meeting recordings saved to Drive
- Customer support
Choose from two Google Docs price plans: Personal (Free) and Business Standard ($12/user/month)
Notion is a collaborative wiki and knowledge base platform. Teams can store a wealth of information within Notion, from goal tracking to important project files (marketing logos, quarterly reports, etc.) to brainstorming notes and beyond. With Notion, businesses can build out a fully functioning intranet with all the information your employees need at their fingertips. Team members can make changes within Notion easily and their colleagues can see (and comment on) them in real time.
- @mention team member tagging
- Drag-and-drop functionality
- Following feature shows users a running list of changes on pages they follow
- Document embedding
- Real-time updates
- Wide range of free templates
Notion offers four pricing plans, including a free personal plan for individuals. Their Personal Pro plan is $4 per month, the Team plan is $5 per user per month, and the Enterprise plan is priced via quote only.
Improve remote collaboration for remote teams with Rewatch
The phrase “business as usual” means something very different today than it did four years ago. Indeed, the post-COVID world has changed in many ways, including how and where people work — and evidence suggests that remote work is here to stay. While flexible arrangements offer many advantages to employees and employers alike, they also come with their share of obstacles: keeping teams connected despite geographic separation, time zone differences, etc.
Luckily, organizations have a wealth of resources at their fingertips, including project management, video content management, knowledge management, team communication, and collaborative document collaboration tools. Each of these collaboration apps has its own unique functions, features, and benefits.
While all of these remote collaboration tools won’t be the right fit for every organization, strategically utilizing one or more of them can lead to powerful outcomes for remote workers, teams, and businesses.
Book a demo of Rewatch today to learn more about using video to collaborate with your remote team.
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