7 Collaboration Apps You Need to Foster Teamwork
Whether your answer is yes, no or “huh?,” collaboration apps are the solution you need to foster teamwork and company-wide growth.
One characteristic shared by successful local and remote teams is a culture of collaboration, both within and across departments. By actively working together, you eliminate harmful silos that can inhibit your efficiency and success.
Ready to master teamwork? Read below to learn about the best collaboration tools tested by us and our founder, Jenny Poon.
Jenny’s top collaboration apps
When Jenny isn’t working from our Phoenix location, she always has places to be. Regardless of where our team is working from, she’s able to stay connected with us by using five key apps — all of which offer free plans. Here’s what Jenny has to say about her favorite collaboration tools:
“I’m a fan of Slack, Asana and the whole G Suite toolkit. I love how we can collaborate in real time on documents and spreadsheets.
As a graphic designer, I also really appreciate Canva. It has allowed me to set up creative direction and hand off to non-design teams.
I’m also really impressed with Zoom and its many hidden features that I keep discovering, including breakout rooms, registration capabilities and more.”
How her favorite apps work
So now that you have a hint of how Jenny’s favorite collaboration apps can benefit you, you need to know what exactly they can do for your team. We’ll explain each tool more thoroughly below.
Slack is one of the most popular business messaging platforms out there today, and there’s good reason why teams everywhere are choosing it.
Using Slack, your team can easily collaborate in dedicated channels for each department or for company-wide updates. When one-on-one communication is needed, direct messages are supported — as are file sharing, basic video calls and GIFs.
And who can’t appreciate the ability to add custom reaction emojis and automated Slackbot responses?
If you’ve never heard us talk about Asana, you’re about to be looped in.
Asana is our go-to task management system that can be accessed from just about any device. On this platform, your team members can create and assign tasks, set deadlines and update each other or follow up on specific projects.
Asana, like popular project management platforms Trello and JIRA, also offers a Kanban board view, so you can drag along a project as you complete key steps in a set process. Beyond that, you can also use list views, calendar views and more to keep yourself organized in the way that’s best suited for the project at hand.
Another perk? Unicorns and yetis will shoot across your screen when you click “Mark Complete” on any task.
3. G Suite
When you upgrade to at least a Basic business plan for just $6 per user per month, your team can share any file on shared cloud storage and easily share calendars, too.
As Jenny mentioned, one of the best features of G Suite is always the ability to collaborate on documents — including spreadsheets and slideshows — in real time.
Design doesn’t have to be complicated. When you just need a quick graphic for social media or beautiful slides for your pitch, Canva is the free drag-and-drop ‘Photoshop’ you need.
This app and website offers free templates, icons, fonts and more that you can use to create great designs without ever starting from scratch. Need a GIF of your favorite drink waving at you for your social graphic? Canva’s got your back.
Every design is saved right on your account, so when collaboration is needed, one team member can easily save their progress and hand off the project to the next.
When you upgrade to a Canva Pro plan (starting at $9.95 per month), you can even upload brand guidelines to keep every team member’s work consistent.
If your team is always jumping on calls, Zoom will quickly become your go-to collaboration tool. While most video conferencing apps are primarily focused on providing excellent audio and video quality, Zoom is built for business use.
Like Jenny mentioned, Zoom has many special features. In addition to offering breakout rooms, the free plan lets your team collectively add annotations to a shared screen or whiteboard. When you’re inviting a larger group, you can keep video calls orderly by using Zoom’s “Raise Hand” tool and messaging feature.
Zoom also lets you add whatever backgrounds you want, so if you want to pretend like you’re on vacation or giving updates from an evil lair, you can make it happen on your call.
2 more collaboration tools you can use
With our founder’s suggestions, you have four of the best collaboration apps to try for yourself. If you want to boost your teamwork even further (when is that ever a bad thing?), add these tools to your list:
Like Google Drive, Dropbox is a cloud storage app that’s used by millions around the world. However, Dropbox stands out because it syncs file changes significantly faster than on competing apps.
Beyond this perk, Dropbox is great for handling sensitive files. It allows you to lock files with passwords and even set access expiration dates for shared files. Now all your diabolical plans can remain top secret until you have time for world domination.
InVision is a must-have collaboration tool for anyone involved in product design. It’s perhaps the most advanced platform for planning everything from mobile app designs to navigation flows together.
As changes are made, team members can be notified and add whiteboard notes as needed.
InVision can even sync with Slack, to tie your collaboration apps together.
Work Together With Ease
Encouraging collaboration is an easy task when you equip your team with the right tools to connect. No matter where in your process your team needs to communicate and support each other, there’s probably an app for you.
When you need a physical space to collaborate together — even if it’s just for an hour — we’ve got your back. Learn about the meeting rooms we have to offer in our creative workspace, as well as all the amenities they come with.