7 Best Collaboration Tools for Virtual Teams
WhetherAs members of virtual teams ourselves, we’ve used a number of different apps and services.
you work from home or with a team that’s on the move or in different
places, good collaboration tools should be a major part of your
Here are some of our favourites:
E-mail’s great for some conversations, but for managing a project
with a virtual team, it’s hard to beat a dedicated project management
app, like Basecamp. For one, it keeps
your inbox free of clutter, hosting focused discussions on a dedicated
project webpage that your whole team can see. You can track your team’s
progress towards a goal and manage to-do lists to help your team get
there on time. You can share calendars, files and collaborate on text
2. Google Drive
Google Drive is the new home
of Google Docs, which is Google’s answer to Microsoft Office. The real
benefit for virtual teams is the ability to collaborate on documents in
real time. You can leave comments on your team’s work or chat while you
When you collaborate in a virtual team, it’s sometimes easier to show rather than tell. Skitch
is the solution in this scenario. It let’s you quickly take a screen
grab of what you can see on your desktop or in your web browser and
annotate it with shapes, arrows, quick sketches and text.
Another app for show-don’t-tell scenarios, join.me
lets you share your screen with up to 10 other users, let them control
your computer, chat and swap files. It’s sort of magical how quick and
easy it is to do this – and it’s great for showing work in progress or
for helping out team members with technical difficulties that are hard
to explain over the phone or over e-mail.
For day-to-day communication with your team, Skype
is an essential app to have in your dock or taskbar. Not only does it
allow you to call and video call your team members for free, it’s a
really easy way to instant message one another and swap files directly.
We use it in our team for quick conversations and to let each other know
when we’re working and where we’re working, which just helps us feel
like we’re together, even if we’re miles apart!
software installed on your computer, and on the computers of your team
members, files are automatically updated, so everyone has the latest
version, and they’re backed up too, so you won’t have to worry about
losing your stuff.
It can be easy to feel, in between hearing from your team members,
that no work is being done. This is a crisis of faith that needs to be
overcome, but it does take some time – and, crucially, trust. In the
meantime, there’s iDoneThis
– a simple web app that’s more about celebrating your team’s
achievements than it is about spying on what’s been done. It sends an
evening email reminder that everyone on your team writes a quick reply
to saying what they did that day – just one line per task. The next day,
everyone gets a digest with what everyone else has been working on.
What are your favourite collaboration tools?
Do you collaborate with people who don’t share an office with you?
What tools do you use? Let us know in the comments below – and give this
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7 Best Collaboration Tools for Virtual Teams | Mobilizer