Today people are relying more and more on mobility, performing lots of tasks on their smartphones, tablets or computers. The phenomenon of remote working has also been growing, causing creative teams to not be bound to a physical office anymore. In fact, a lot of work is now done remotely with workers being in their homes, a coffee shop they like or the public library at the end of the street. The location is not important as long as teams have reliable mediums to communicate.
With the advent of mobile and remote working, many web services were also created and introduced in order to ease communication between teams. Such services allow for workers to stay connected, discuss several matters, share files and even communicate directly through chat or video conferences. There are many services for teams working remotely, but we are choosing the top six to narrow down the options for you. Also, be sure to check our previous article, Top 6 Free Collaboration Tools for Freelancers.
With Asana, you can manage your tasks and milestones in a very simple document-like format. This platform is easy to use, so teams get the gist of it very quickly. If you find your actual project management system to be overly complicated, then ditch it for Asana. It also has iOS and Android apps available, so you can take the work on the go.
2. Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts has come a long way in providing top notch video and voice quality. In fact, it has come so far that it is considered to be better than Skype. It can hold conferences for up to ten people and also has a chatting platform. Hangouts is the best way to stay connected with your team even while on the go.
Even though Dropbox is already a widely popular service, it had to be a part of this list. If you have some files to share, simply drop them in a folder and share them with everyone. Make Tech Easier is full of handy tips related to Dropbox, so be sure to take a look.
Framebench allows you to collaborate on the files you share. Directly draw on top or leave some comments for everyone to discuss. When users are online, the team can hold a real time meeting on the service itself or have threaded discussions asynchronously. Framebench also allows the playback of media within the service, which is very handy for art-related teams.
If you have a deadline and really want to keep track of how much you’re spending on each task, Harvest can be your best simple solution. Harvest also lets you manage your invoices so that your finances are always organized. It has apps for iOS, Android, Windows and Mac, while also integrating with other services such as Google Apps.
Hipchat is the ultimate glue that holds everything together. You can contact everyone in your team and stay in touch regularly through a beautifully designed and functional chat platform. An interesting feature provided by this service is the possibility to configure bots in order to help everyone with repetitive tasks.
It Looks Good, But How To Use Them All?
So now you are probably wondering how to get all these tools to play along well. I have good news: all of them mostly connect with each other to make a very seamless workflow for you. For example: get your team on Hipchat and keep it open throughout the process. Drop the files you want to share on Dropbox, and whenever you want to discuss them, just pull them from Dropbox into Framebench and hold a realtime session. There is an app for Framebench inside Hangouts so that you can do voice and video within the same platform. Once you are done, export the action points to Asana and assign people to them. These tasks can be time tracked on Harvest and updated on Asana.
Another thing that is probably bugging you is the fact that some of these services are not free. There probably are free alternatives, but I highly doubt they will provide the same results as these apps will. Sometimes quality does not come for free, and this is the case.
What do you think about these suggestions? Let us know in the comments.