Whether you are running a business out of one office, or from all around the globe, we can all agree that maintaining communication and organization is essential to success. This might sound difficult if half of a company’s employees are located across the world or even in the next office. Yet here are now many great ways to increase communication and enhance the levels of collaboration for employees that are situated in different locations. If you think this sounds too good to be true, and you’re wondering about the costs involved, we’re happy to report that many of the best business collaboration tools have free membership options.
10 Free Collaboration Tools for Business
All of the tools featured on the list below were created to support a cohesive business unit. While all start out for free, some have added the option to purchase upgrades or more features. It’s up to you to decide what level of service you need, and whether a tool is actually worth some type of fee for your business. These tools will help you run a successful business despite differences in time zones and location barriers for your employees.
- Skype: The first program is all about maintaining communication. Nine people can communicate simultaneously through Skype’s interface. This program allows video, voice and text chat all for free.
- Google Docs: You and your team can now create, edit and collaborate all during real-time with the help of Google Docs. This type of office suite created by Google, allows individuals to use programs such as word processors, spreadsheets and presentation programs to stay connected.
- Co-op: This simple interface runs closely to Twitter. It allows team members to post updates, ask questions, exchange links and record time. This is an easy way to track activity and keep the team on schedule.
- Obayoo: This unique program allows groups and team members to stay connected at all hours of the day. With unlimited space to create groups, this program is all about connectivity and file sharing.
- Present.ly: Large organizations and established IT infrastructures should flock to this tool. Present.ly is a private and secure collaborative program. The best feature about Prensent.ly is its ability to function on several devices (Desktop, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile and Sharepoint).
- Snipia: While Google Docs is a great program for file sharing, Snipia is another option to consider. It combines some of the features of Co-op with Google Docs to provide an extremely efficient user experience.
- BusyFlow: This is the ultimate project and task management tool. This program combines everything from Snipia, but allows sharing across different platforms. These platforms work together to combine programs like Google Docs, Dropbox, Calendar and much more, under one interface.
- YouSendIt/Hightail: While the previous program may be called the pinnacle of file sharing, YouSendIt is very capable of getting the job done as well. This interface uses the cloud to keep all documents stored and sharable. It even allows document signing!
- Advanseez: This collaboration tool is all about getting the job finished. It allows teams to solve a problem, set goals and complete the project from any country. This is perfect for maintaining structure and autonomy within a team project.
- Pivotal Tracker: While this program requires you to select a payment plan after 30 days, it is by far a no brainer for improving task and project management. This interface allows collaboration between team members, as well as stakeholders! It is a great tool for keeping an entire project or even an organization, well connected and efficient!
All of these tools are similar and often overlap with each other. When selecting a great collaboration tool like the ones mentioned above, the decision may seem difficult. Keep in mind the goals, progress and structure that your organization would like to achieve. Some programs may offer packages to improve your experience. Using technology to keep your organization focused and on track is much easier when you take advantage of one or many of these programs.