by Gabbi Hall, NCET’s VP of Blog Content
We’re all facing a new reality where working from home isn’t just the hot new trend or a great perk. It’s an essential way for us to keep businesses moving, and it’s not as simple as having an internet connection. The right tools make all the difference in your team’s success. Here are a few of the best free collaboration tools to make remote work easier.
If you’re not on the Google Drive train, it’s time to get on board. Not only does it act as a cloud-based storage hub to share and store files, the docs, spreadsheets, presentations and forms provide real-time document collaboration. You can comment within files to share feedback, easily change permissions so only the people you want to edit can edit, and export the files as PDFs, Microsoft and a variety of other formats.
With 15GB of storage free with you open your Google account, it can open a whole new world for your team working together, but apart. Learn more about Google Drive.
Remember AIM? Slack is AIM all grown up for the professionals. It’s free with plenty of integrations to tie in tools like Google Drive or my personal favorite, Giphy. You can divide conversations into channels—by client, project or any other topic. Channels are a great way to build company culture. Create channels for sharing pet photos, TV show recommendations, dad jokes, travel tips and more.
Slack also offers free 1-on-1 video chats, so you can connect with co-workers in a flash without creating a special meeting link. Their homepage says, “Slack replaces email inside your company.” I don’t buy into that entirely, but it will save your email from being flooded with quick questions and internet memes. Learn more about Slack.
Trello is an easy-to-adopt task management tool. If you’re trying to manage all your team’s to-dos with a free tool, this allows you to create Kanban boards where you can easily drag-and-drop tasks as they go through your processes. You can label tasks by custom themes, attach files, leave comments to track status, assign tasks and reassign them, and even change the background color because you should do you. You can also set up triggers to add a little automation to your workflows. Learn more about Trello.
When you need more than the 1-on-1 video chats offered by Slack, Zoom offers free group calls (up to 100 people) for up to 40 minutes, and there’s no limit on the number of meetings. You can share screens from computers, tablets and phones, record meetings and even play around with fun virtual backgrounds. You can even virtually whiteboard to share all your ideas. Yup, all of that is free. Learn more about Zoom.
Gabbi Hall is senior copywriter at Noble Studios (NobleStudios.com) and NCET’s VP of Blog Content. NCET is a member-supported non-profit that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology. (www.NCET.org)