Using the right online collaboration tools can make teams stronger and more productive, also it helps teams communicate more efficiently. They can look back on old discussions and work history, to help them learn from previous tasks. Collaboration tools can eliminate the back-and-forth nature of email communication.

The term collaboration software has a variety of meanings. It is a broad category of apps and services. Enterprises have very different communication needs than small start-ups. Collaborating brings hundreds of people across many offices to a place in a single space. Some organisations choose to use online collaboration and communication tools instead of using email.

For example, a small team may be highly focused on what’s happening in the moment, whereas a large organisation may make it a priority to preserve past conversations so that new employees can quickly get familiar with what has happened to date.

Communication & Collaboration:

Scoro

Scoro is the most wide-ranging project management tool out there. It has features for everything from project planning to collaboration to billing your clients for completed work. But there’s more to Scoro – it serves as all-in-one business management software where you can manage all your tasks, projects, client base, and finances.

Top features:

  • Project & Task management
  • To-do lists, notifications, and reminders
  • Assigning and delegating tasks
  • Reporting on work, sales performance, budgets, etc.
  • Invoice templates and automated monthly billing
  • Time tracking and billing

Scoro is the perfect remote employee management software, combining team collaboration tools with efficient project management and billing, making it easy to manage your entire company in one place.

Pricing: Plus – £15 user/month, Premium – £23 user/month, Ultimate – £39 user/month.

Slack

Slack is the perfect collaboration tool for teams who need to be in constant communication. By creating Slack channels and setting up notifications, you’ll boost your team’s productivity and get a better overview of all your tasks and projects.

Top features:

  • Team communication and chat
  • Integrate with Google Drive, Box or Dropbox to share files
  • Set up reminders
  • Highlight words to be notified as they appear in conversations
  • Use @everyone tag to send a message to the entire team
  • Use Slackbots

In addition to popular chatting features, Slack has many shortcuts and hacks that help to increase the productivity levels of your team collaboration.

Pricing: Free Basics, Standard plan £5.25 user/month, Plus plan £9.75 user/month

Fleep

Fleep is next generation messenger built for ultimate project collaboration: chatting with team members and scheduling lightweight tasks. If you’re tired of countless email conversations that take hours to conduct, you should try Fleep.

Top features:

  • Chatting with team members and partners
  • Email compatibility – non-users receive ordinary emails
  • Pin important messages to the side of each conversation
  • Sharing files and images
  • Integration with Google Hangouts

Fleep delivers a channel for seamless collaboration via Fleep itself, email, Google Hangouts, so you never need to leave the tool to get your messages across to other people.

Pricing: Free, Business €5 user/month

Notion

If you’re looking for a completely new team management experience, you need to try Notion. This tool helps to plan and discuss projects, share everything with the team, and keep track of all ideas. If you like to use Slack, you can integrate it with Notion for a faster and streamlined communication.

Top features:

  • To-do lists
  • Weekly planner
  • Taking notes + sharing files
  • Commenting on anything
  • Planning projects
  • Personal weekly checklist
  • Serves as a shared whiteboard

What’s special about this tool: “Notion is like the LEGO set for collaboration software (or Minecraft, if you are from a younger generation). It lets you assemble workflows that work best for your team, as easy as using a text editor.” – Ivan Zhao, Co-founder of Notion

Pricing: Free up to 5 users, Pro Plan $8 user/month

 

Others:

Evernote Business

Evernote Business is similar to the note-taking app Evernote, only that it makes it possible to share your ideas with a large team. This team collaboration tool resembles a huge virtual whiteboard that lets everyone contribute their ideas and knowledge.

Pricing: £10 user/month

ProofHub

ProofHub makes it easier to share and discuss ideas across the entire team. Moreover, it serves as a simple business management software with task management features

Pricing:  Essential £45/month or Unlimited control $135/month

Deekit

If other collaboration tools make it easier to chat with team members, Deekit takes a huge step towards visual communication. You can create online whiteboards with drawings, graphs, and texts, and collaborate with all your team members.

Pricing: Free, Solo – $5/month, Teams $7/month or Enterprise 50+ members.

appear.in

Similar to Skype group chats, Appear.in lets, you create online meeting rooms for video calls. It’s a great tool for teams that already use a chat collaboration tool but also need a tool for online video calls.

Pricing: Free up to 8 people, Premium $12/month per room

 

Project Management:

Trello

Trello is a multifunctional kanban-style dashboard for organising your thoughts and keeping track of project progress.

Top features:

  • Task and idea management board
  • Organising lists by dates or priority
  • Commenting and collaboration
  • Creating multiple task boards
  • Attaching pictures and files

Trello lets you drag-and-drop tasks and ideas between different statuses, making daily task management fun and intuitive. It is a great project management tool for small teams with simple projects.

Pricing: Free, Business Class – $9.99, Enterprise – $20.83

 

Basecamp

Basecamp is used by thousands of project teams around the world. It makes it easy to manage the project while sharing them with clients for quick feedback on small changes and updates.

Top features:

  • Reporting on project performance
  • Separate dashboards for client collaboration
  • Message boards for discussing projects and ideas
  • Email and desktop notifications
  • Projects with multiple users and tasks
  • In-app team collaboration and commenting

Basecamp takes only 10 minutes to set up and is easy-to-use. It provides the minimal amount of features needed for efficient project management.

Pricing: Free for students and teachers, 50% off for non-profits & charities or $99/month for unlimited projects.

 

Skype

Skype is the best-known collaboration tool that facilitates online video calls. What makes Skype so popular is its useful combination of video chat and messaging. And it’s fairly inexpensive compared to other communication tools.

Top features:

  • Video chat
  • Messaging
  • Conference calls
  • Chat groups for various teams
  • Notifications based on mentions

Skype enables video calls with up to 250 people. If you work as a small team of fewer than 25 people, conducting video calls is even simpler (and free).

Pricing: Free (Up to 25 people on group audio calls), Skype for Business from €1.7 user/month

Float

Float makes it easier to keep track of everyone’s schedule while bringing more clarity to project management.

Top features:

  • Task scheduling and project planning
  • Planning on a visual interface
  • Setting individual availabilities
  • Simple reporting on work

While Float is a perfect tool for anyone who needs to keep track of the team’s schedule. Individual availability tracking makes it easier to notice when someone’s out of work and needs new tasks assigned to them.

Pricing: Free up to 5 people, up to 10 people $49/month, up to 30 people $99/month, up to 100 people $249/month.

 

 

Others:

Brightpod

Brightpod is a project management tool with features that allow users to create projects, called Pods, which are complemented with tasks and milestones.

Pricing: Professional (up to 15 projects)l $29/month, Studio (up to 45 projects) $69/month, Agency (unlimited projects) $129/month, Agency Plus $199

FunctionFox

FunctionFox has many helpful project management features, such as milestone tracking and budget comparison. It also has a nice user interface, making it pleasant to use.

Pricing: Classic plan $5 user/month ($35/m for 1st user), Premier plan (advanced project management) $10 user/month, In-House plan for creative teams $15 user/month

Nutcache 

If you’re a small project team that bills clients based on time worked, Nutcache might be your next go-to tool. In addition to project management, you can also bill clients with this tool.

Pricing: Free up to 20 users (limited features), $5 user/month for Pro, $12 user/month for unlimited features

Wrike

Wrike combines simple design with efficient project management tools to empower teams all over the world. It is a powerful tool for managing and collaborating on projects.

Pricing: Free up to 5 users, Professional plan 5, 10 or 15 users: $9.80/user/month, Business up to 200 users: $24.80/user/month, Marketers for unlimited users: $34.60/user/month.

 

Time Tracking Tools

Toggl

Toggl is a no-hassle time tracking software that integrates with tens of different project management tools. It is perfect for companies with many different departments and teams and makes the project manager’s life a lot easier.

Top features:

  • Unlimited projects and clients
  • Instant overview of your billable time and team progress
  • Professional reports delivered directly to customers or team managers
  • Real-time time entries and collaboration
  • Offline time tracking & mobile functionalities
  • Integration with your favourite productivity tools

Toggl is completely focused on time tracking, which means that they’re really good at it.

Pricing: Enterprise plan: $49 user/month, Premium plan $18 user/month, Starter plan $9 user/month

Harvest 

Harvest is one of the best-known time billing software on the market. Your team will get up to speed fast and can track their time, however (and wherever) they want—on their laptop, iPhone, Android, or even on the Apple Watch. Simple and quick time entry means there’s no excuse not to track, and you’ll have the data you need to bill accurately and budget wisely.

Top features:

  • Time tracking from any browser, computer, or mobile
  • Creating estimates and invoices based on the time worked
  • Real-time reports on time spent
  • Expense logging

Harvest is an excellent tool for teams thanks to its timesheet approval function that lets team managers view and approve team’s time and expenses.

Pricing: Free plan, Solo plan (Unlimited Projects) $12 /month, Team plan (Unlimted people) $12 user/month

FreshBooks

FreshBooks wants to make your accounting job easier and less intimidating, providing you with the tools for invoicing, expense tracking, and time management. You can automate most of your billing activities and have more time for projects and meetings.

Top features:

  • Time tracking and billing for work
  • Automatically importing and categorising expenses from bank accounts and credit cards
  • Upload and share files
  • Track spending with expense reports
  • Reports on received payments and billing history
  • Keep tabs on project progress and get feedback from your team

FreshBooks is one of the leading cloud accounting systems for small businesses.

Pricing: Lite $15/month, Plus plan $25/month and Premium plan $50/month

Paymo

If you’re looking for a simple yet powerful time tracking tool, Paymo might have the answer. The tool brings project management, work reporting, and time billing under one roof, making it easier to get an overview of your team’s performance.

Top features:

  • Tracking the time spent on tasks and projects
  • Thorough work reports
  • Dashboard to see your team’s performance
  • Billing customers for completed tasks
  • Integrated project accounting

With Paymo Plus, you can automate the time tracking completely. All you need to do is download the desktop app, set it up, and at the end of each day, categorise all your time entries.

Pricing: $14.95/user per month

 

Other:

Freckle’s 

Freckle’s mission is to make time tracking fast, easy, and almost fun so that your team would do it with pleasure. Freckle uses tags to track projects and to navigate between billable and non-billable tasks. This makes adding time entries a quick and easy process.

Pricing: Team plan starts with 5 users $49/month, Organization plan starts with 25 users $199/month, Enterprise $499 per month.

WorkflowMax

WorkflowMax tops time tracking features with extensive work management, billing, sales, and productivity. It’s a great collaboration tool for creative teams. WorkflowMax has a range of online collaboration tools helping you to work together with clients, staff, and contractors.

Pricing: 1 user – £15/month, 2-3 users £29/month, 4-10 users £60/month, 11-20 users £80/month, 21-50 users £120/month.

Hubstaff

Hubstaff helps to track the time spent on work as well as your team’s leisure time. It’s a great option for organisations looking to track all the time spent at work (not just the time spent on tasks).

Pricing: Free, Basic plan $5/Month, Premium plan $9/ Month

BillQuick

BillQuick has built a tool that’s easy to use even when you’re not around your computer. In addition to time tracking, it provides a comprehensive set of time management features such as invoices and an overview of all expenses.

Pricing: Professional plan $19.95 user/month, Enterprise plan $24.95 user/month.

When the time comes to invest in some collaboration tools, you should get an all-in-one system, which might be a company intranet or work management platform. Make sure the system you buy, has chat and video calling included as it’s important for your team.

Price Matters

A company or organisation’s investment in collaboration tools doesn’t necessarily require a huge upfront cost. There are plenty of collaboration systems that offer a free level of service. Free versions of collaboration tools, like most other software, typically have some limitations. The package might only support, for example, two projects, or it might have a file storage limit. Still, these free versions usually let you and your team test them out for a while to see how well they work for you before you commit to fully purchasing them.

Culture Is Key

One important point about all collaboration tools is that they must have a company culture behind them. Throwing a new tool at a bunch of people and telling them to use it instead of email doesn’t normally work. To start using a collaboration tool successfully, all the key players on the team need to buy into it. It has to be part of a day to day routine. When this happens, you can expect to see a much greater sense of teamwork. Keep in mind that collaboration tools work best when people enjoy using them.