If you run an online search for “remote team collaboration apps” you’re going to find lots of posts talking about a huge variety of options- so many options that you might get overwhelmed. At Yamteq, we’re all about keeping things simple, so the goal of this post is to tell you:
1) about 3 very popular, reliable ones and
2) why you should use a remote team app if you’re not already, and ways it can streamline your work and reduce the amount of actual paper you use.
If you want to get to the point and read about the apps right now, go here.
No matter where your team members are, you need an effective way to collaborate on projects and fun remotely. In/Out bins and interoffice mail are like, so 15 years ago. Even at large corporate offices, the need for them has decreased by over 90%, although some still refuse to let go of them.
Change can take a long time to implement at larger or older companies. But not wanting to change can hurt the business. Many companies that were once successful have fizzled with their dying words being, “We’ve always done it this way!” The only good reasons for taking a little longer to change are the systems selection process followed by roll-out, training, then allowing the staff to adapt, which needs time. Even at small companies, good planning is needed to make transitions to new technology more fluid.
This can seem like a pain but it’s always worth it. Changing processes and implementing programs that reduce the need for physical documents can help you and your company save time, money, and trees. So find the right program, and do it!
On the other hand, if you work with a modern organization like many of today’s startups, you may have never had a physical inbox in your office or enjoyed daily deliveries from the company mail room. For you, this article is not meant to change your mind but to suggest a few of the best tools to help your business. If you want, you can skip to the section that talks about the specific products that might suit your needs.
When it comes to facilitating remote teamwork and doing business virtually, companies today have minimal reason to store documents printed on paper. So much can now be done electronically:
- E-delivery of legal documents is now accepted by many courts of law
- So are electronic signatures, especially when completed with specialized software
- Scanned official copies can be archived and reviewed on cloud databases
- Samples, drawings, pictures, and works in progress can be simultaneously accessed by different people in different locations
Slack – This app has been around since 2014 and has over 9 million active users, according to the company site. I’ve personally used Slack and like its easy to use, visually appealing user interface. It’s much more stable than Skype and has more features than Google Hangouts– it feels more like you’re actually “at work” when you use it because it was truly built for business. You can also video and voice chat through it. I like its distinctive notification sound when someone messages you; it makes you feel like someone’s knocking at your door or tapping you on your shoulder. Slack offers 3 plans ranging from free to $12.50 per user per month. They also have a great mobile app.
Trello – Recommended to me by a friend, Trello is a cheerful looking app that can be used to manage virtually any project, work-related or not. It looks uplifting and colorful while at the same time providing lots of views that help organize and analyze information about your projects and their progress. It may be a little overwhelming at first for the user that just wants to message and exchange files, but if you’re the kind of person that likes lots of details and data, it could be just perfect for you. Trello has three product levels starting with free, ending with an enterprise product that’s “up to” just under $21.00 per month. To me, that may mean the price is negotiable or can be customized to your business’ needs, but you’d have to call them and ask.
Basecamp – Priced at $99.00 per month, Basecamp is meant for established companies with a decent number of team members. I’m talking about price first because there’s no free option. However, $99.00 pays for unlimited users to have features like scheduling, document storage, to-do lists, and integration with various applications to increase it’s functionality. Basecamp is an interesting company – they pioneered remote work 20 years ago when most of us still had barely figured out what the internet was ,and have employees in 35+ countries worldwide. They also offer a free version to teachers and students, which is an excellent way to give back. While many users report that the customer service is great and the app being very easy to use, it’s also reported that it beyond task management. it doesn’t offer much else. It also has a reputation for not being very attractive or not having an inviting look.
Taking a look at these 3 apps, you should get a pretty good idea of what’s available in the remote team app marketplace. You may still decide to shop around, but will likely find that most are similar in pricing and features. If there are other apps you love and feel are worth mentioning, please share in the comments. Finally do subscribe so we can drop you a note next time we publish a post about your favorite topic -remote work!