As a virtual assistant or freelancer who just got recently hired, ventured into another job category, and even those with more experience, it is important to know or be familiar with some team collaboration tools.
Since we Filipinos are very hardworking, we tend to multitask a lot, and that means— handling more than one client.
Since that is usually the case, sometimes we find ourselves forgetting to update ourselves constantly.
Even we know some of it already but there are some tools sometimes we don’t know or not familiar with especially if you are new to home-based work.
Here are some of the common team collaboration tools that most of us usually use.
10 Team Collaboration Tools
This is so far the most common collaboration tool you will usually use or encounter besides Asana, Basecamp, and Google Docs. It’s easy to use, and you can just send your message to any team member like any messenger app but with more features fit for work.
In Slack, you can create channels for specific actions to better organize the workflow for your workmates. Below channels, you can send direct messages to any team member.
For the free account, you are only limited to 10,000 messages, one on one video call, and 10 app integrations. In standard ($6.67) which I’m currently on, you have the ability to do group calls, do an unlimited search, and unlimited app integration. For Plus, I’m not familiar with it, but in my opinion, the standard subscription is already enough.
It can be connected (app integration) to Asana, Jiren, and Zendesk. This includes assigning a task to Asana, creating tickets in Zendesk (I’m sure most of you heard this app when you are working mostly on e-commerce sites), and Jira when you want to comment on an ongoing project.
Asana works hand in hand with Slack. You can see the tasks/projects assigned to you. Its features are similar to basecamp, Trello, and Jira.
I forgot to add above that you can assign a specific task to team members and even add a due date for it.
For the specific boxes where you can assign your leads, prospect or whatever it is, you can add tags for easier identification and neatly organize them.
Trello is one of the fastest-growing project management tools designed to fit all business needs from start-up to large-scale enterprises. This efficient collaboration tool features the concept of “Board and Card” which represents a specific project and its corresponding list of tasks.
Every card contains a set of assignments to be completed, and all VAs have the ability to categorize each task or monitor the project as time moves on.
Trello is offered free as a start, but there are monthly and annual subscription plans available to help your clients/employers business get the most out of this amazing software.
As a project collaboration tool, Trello enables all team members to coordinate with one another real-time whether members are working in a remote location or not.
Trello utilizes a perfect communication system that keeps everyone informed regarding any project development through email notifications, progress reports, and daily activity logs.
A team member is usually added to the board to discuss the project with fellow members or report directly to the team leader. Furthermore, Trello is fully accessible in all commonly-used browsers through various platforms like PCs, smartphones, and tablets.
The Functions of Trello
Trello is not difficult to use, and its drag-and-drop functionality seems helpful for ease of navigation. For every project, the card system will contain all the necessary details you need to get started including project deadline and special instructions from project managers.
Trello keeps everything neat and organized, and you can keep track of every accomplished task done by others. Card contents can be customized, allowing you to make specific amendments during the project implementation.
Collaboration with other team members happens in real-time, so everyone will not miss any single detail while performing his or her responsibilities.
All team members will receive notifications and changes will always appear on screen while everyone is working. When you open the card, you can upload a file, make comments or even add labels to keep the contents neat.
Email alerts will notify you if there are new tasks to be done or if your work has been re-assigned.
Trello is available on web-based, iOS and Android platforms so you can monitor the status of your project anywhere.
4. Google Docs
Google Docs is a free web-based app that complements your project management needs in different ways. Using this versatile tool, you can create documents, visual presentations and spreadsheets while staying connected with the rest of your team members wherever you are.
File documents are all created, collaborated, stored and modified online, but you can also do the work offline if necessary. As long as you’re connected to the internet, files can be accessed from any smartphone or computer using a feature-packed browser.
Google Docs belongs to a growing list of comprehensive online apps designed for various business models.
To get started, you need a valid Google account by signing up, and you can create one for free.
Google Docs enables users to create new documents and spreadsheets or upload an existing one directly to the application. Apart from this, this unique software supports different formats from Microsoft Office, HTML, OpenDocument text, Rich Text and text files.
Google Docs enables team members to collaborate together either on a specific task or multiple projects at the same time. They can create a new file, edit an existing one or leave a comment for revisions. From this special tool, you can also attach files and send them straight to other email addresses on your contact list. You can perform document formatting on both personal and imported files while monitoring the work of other collaborators.
Google Docs automatically converts the attached documents into HTML format and stores them in your Google account.
You can organize the files by creating main folders and sub-folders arranged in alphabetical order or edit history. While Google Docs makes it easy for you to create and edit documents, you may also benefit a lot from its allocated storage space.
Store 5000+ documents and 1000+ spreadsheets in one account and more storage space will be provided when you utilize Google’s cloud storage services.
Airtable is somewhat similar to Basecamp, Trello, and Asana but differs in style. You can assign task or projects to other team members here on the company’s workspace.
You don’t have to worry in regards to familiarization as guides are available located on the left side.
For a specific base shown below, you can communicate with your co-VA in the comments sections. This is an example showing you some of the projects or task you are assigned or assigning projects to your co-VA.
Basecamp is a popular cloud-based project management tool, suitable for small-scale business models where constant communication is important.
Project managers can set up the project and monitor all the tasks undertaken by his or her team. Basecamp features an easy-to-learn interface in which users can coordinate the accomplished projects and manage exchanges of information with others efficiently.
A project manager can add more people to the team, re-assign a specific work and evaluate the working capability of his or her team members according to work progress.
The interface of Basecamp is highly intuitive, making it easy for users to collaborate on projects and complete them ahead of schedule.
A free version for 60 days is available, but you can acquire a paid version for added convenience and storage options.
Basecamp features the “Everyone” tab which allows you to see the people who are working with you at the time you go online. Also, there’s the “Everything” tab included if you want your team members to view the project details and progress in full view.
While you’re working, all documents are automatically saved and archived to the system. If you wish to retrieve deleted documents, this handy project management tool will help you recover them within 30 days. Basecamp delivers a broad range of effective file security features which include data encryptions, automatic file backup, and firewalls to protect your password and files from any unauthorized access.
What to expect from Basecamp
Each time you create a project from Basecamp, a blank sheet is provided where you can start writing to the team members and their respective tasks. You can create a checklist of things to accomplish as well as their expected deadlines.
Once the tasks are assigned to the team members, they will automatically receive an email notification informing them of their primary responsibilities. You can see that on “See what’s on my plate.”
The project manager can also utilize the message board where he or she can upload files, leave comments and discuss the project details with other members on the loop. Double check what you have been doing at “See what I’ve been up to.”
Zoho is an affordable online CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software developed to analyze customer needs and attract potential clients to your business.
It functionality focuses on lead generation, purchase control and contact management which greatly help VAs and project managers perform their duties effectively. Imagine what this amazing customer management tool can provide for your business when you need to analyze client prospects and business growth. Its primary navigation panel enables users to search client profiles faster, but you can always modify the interface to make it more accessible.
Zoho functionality and features
Zoho CRM works perfectly on any business scale without making things complicated for you. This software automates your day-by-day business operations, provides a clean look on your sales records and helps you engage with more customers via internet calls or social media.
Zoho also comes out with a mobile version so you can stay connected with your customers and co-VAs anytime. Moreover, the CRM tool allows full integration with different third-party apps such as Google App, Microsoft Outlook, MailChimp and various cloud-based apps.
Zoho automates your essential business operations by converting web visitors into leads and sales. With this awesome management tool, you can create webinars, marketing campaigns, product presentations and trade shows simple yet effective.
Zoho helps your team manage multiple customer accounts through a shared database. You can track purchase records and customer reviews to create more selling opportunities and sales forecast in the future.
Zoho CRM provides easy access to information in real time particularly sales trends and contact history, allowing you to target specific clients. It possesses the best ability to determine customer behaviors from different social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and convert them to buyers soon.
It also provides individual mobile versions for iOS and Android devices to help you stay connected with customers.
By using your mobile device, you can keep track of your customer flow, monitor sales records or even send an invitation to give your products and services a closer look.
Zoom is a comprehensive business communication software that ensures smooth collaboration with your clients, business partners, and staffs. It’s an effective video conferencing system that enhances interaction among people in their respective remote locations.
Aside from video conferencing, Zoom offers document sharing, web content sharing and virtual conference meetings all included in a single platform. This is why Zoom is considered an ultimate business solution that answers the immediate needs of a modern-day business environment.
Breaking communication barriers with Zoom
Zoom is an awesome software-based project collaboration tool that connects major industries through a video conference. It’s somewhat similar to Skype when you do monthly team calls.
You can communicate with different employees simultaneously using multiple screens, adjust or modify the voice or video quality to make the virtual conversation more interesting, and at the same time, Zoom is fully compatible with all operating systems on both computers and mobile devices.
It’s totally accessible on any browser whether Chrome, IE or Safari.
It also allows easy integration with other third-party applications, social media platform, and various cloud-based apps.
Now if you wish to review some specific portions of the meeting, later on, this versatile software will create a high-quality recording in Mp3 or Mp4 formats, perfect for documentation purposes. With this convenient tool, it becomes easier to make an appointment or initiate an instant meeting with a client.
Note: Sometimes it’s tiring as you need to take a bath and dress properly for the meeting. You don’t want your co-VA to see your bed look (chuckle).
Zoom is fully equipped with HD video quality where everyone can enjoy excellent web-based conferencing regardless of room size and a number of participants.
Documents and recordings are secured through firewalls and SSL encryptions, thus preventing security breach in the process. What’s making Zoom even more functional is the fact that this software allows you to create web videos, documents, and presentations the fastest way.
Definitely, Zoom will enhance marketing in full HD so that you can get your participants connected to you rather than just presenting them some slides.
Flowdock is an accessible working platform for team collaboration that delivers a wide range of instant messaging and inbox features intended for business use. The system can be integrated with more than 30 communication platforms, allowing the companies to expand business productivity and customer engagement.
Flowdock features an advanced communication system that allows team members to discuss certain project details while monitoring the project and creating documents simultaneously. Also, this useful software has the capacity to work as a project management tool to complement your daily sales operations and customer management.
Flowdock key benefits
As a trusted project management tool, Flowdock combines team collaboration and communication features together in one platform. Its interface is made simple, allowing users to respond quickly to clients through emails, instant messages, audio calls and social media feeds. Project information is always kept secured by means of firewalls and data encryptions, leaving no risks for any data loss. This will definitely reduce the incidents of misunderstanding between company employees and customers.
Flowdock is offered free for 30 days, and its paid subscription only costs $3.00/head/month. There’s no limitation to software access since Flowdock is supported by common operating systems such as Windows, iOS, Android, and Mac. Flowdock is advantageous from all business aspects because you can create files, exchange information, monitor project status and create backup files safely.
Flowdock functions as an effective communication platform which enables users to chat with fellow team members, send emails and maintain an updated list of contacts. As a start, the project manager can set up a new project then add the team members and their specific tasks. All team members can send file attachments, create notes, edit documents or make comments if they wish to. In addition to this, a multiple chat box is provided to help users keep a record of their threaded conversations with clients.
GoToMeeting is an advanced video conferencing software that connects several participants situated in different remote locations. It’s an ideal option for many companies to conduct international meetings without the need to spend hundreds of dollars on expensive airfares and hotel accommodations. This competent software features an intuitive interface which enables you to set up the meeting in an instant or create a separate appointment date quickly.
Pricing schemes range from the free version to paid versions amounting between $19.00 and $49.00, making it more business-specific. It works in all popular browsers and operating systems without experiencing computer breakdown.
The real deal of GoToMeeting
While popular web conference providers such as Hangouts, Facetime or Skype can’t bear the heavy usage, GoToMeeting provides all the most flexible solutions to accommodate a considerable number of participants in a single conference room.
This powerful web conferencing tool will surely work on different computers, tablets, and smartphones, giving you more opportunities to participate.
Even though there are many web conferencing systems offered out there, clients keep coming back to GoToMeeting because of its comprehensive features at an affordable price. Straight from its interface, anyone can arrange a meeting and provide the necessary URL of the conference room to the target audience.
GoToMeeting becomes a primary choice for international business communities today. Before anyone can join the meeting, a PIN code is usually provided, complementing the security features of this awesome web-based platform.
It provides all the needed information as a jump start which includes training videos, software guide, and live training sessions. This is why it is a perfect appointment setting tool that greatly enhances interaction among clients and presenters.
Reviewing what you have discussed
GoToMeeting combines the functions of the video-sharing tool, document creator and video recording in a single, versatile application. This reliable web conferencing system will automatically record the meeting once you joined in so you can monitor a specific topic or review the video contents later on.
Participants can join the conference room either from desktop PCs or mobile devices as long as the PIN has been registered. Apart from living chat and emails, you can invite participants using the “Call Me” options and provide them the required URL.
In the end, all I can say..
Hope this post helps you in some way to be familiar with some team collaboration tools online. For me, it is better to be familiar with these tools before officially starting to work, this way you can be more efficient and get a lot of work done at the same time.
If you like this kind of post let me know in the comments so that I can write on them.
Dale Basilla is a content writer for various niches, SEO (Off-page & On-Page), and lives in a location where there are lots of beaches in the Philippines. He loves to watch anime, TV series (mystery and solving crimes), and movies. In his spare time, he plays chess, plays the guitar, and spend time with his ever busy girlfriend.