The Best Collaboration Tools for Virtual Teams

Oct 31, 2013

Teamwork is not only a significant skill but also the basic requirement of today's business.

We are lucky to live in times when technologies allow us to fulfill complicated tasks working as a team in the office as well as to manage a remote team feeling no inconvenience. Emails, instant messaging, video calls, sending large files in seconds as well as different bug trackers and remote databases are claimed to facilitate work process and to deliver best results with less efforts. Many collaboration software is used for complicated tasks while there are some that are the most popular and everyone should know how to use them. So let’s have a brief overview:

Google Docs - Google Drive

Those who can not imagine their life without Microsoft Office will be greatly surprised working with Google docs. Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Tables, Forms, and even Drawings and Scripts are now available in your Google account. Google Docs is a powerful web-based collaboration software 90 percent similar to Microsoft Office but allowing you to forget what is to loose, accidentally erase or have your files damaged by viruses. You can create and edit the listed file types directly in your browser and they are automatically saved on a server. In addition you may upload and download files in different extensions. For example you can download your document as Microsoft Word 97-2010 (.doc), Open Document Format (.odt), Rich Text Document (.rtf), PDF Document (.pdf), Plain Text (.txt) and as a web page. The same is with other file types. Recent updates allow to manage folders (collections) and to track file versions. The Google docs service is being regularly updated and you will enjoy new and new features.

Skype

Eye and voice contact has always been significant in any conversation. Earlier people spent time, money and efforts getting on business meetings or just to talk with a cup of coffee, now you can switch on Skype and enjoy video conversation in any place where Internet connection is available. Multiple conversations, instant messaging, file transfer, conversation history and other functions make this product popular all over the world. You just need to install application, register an account and enjoy these features for free. With little investment you will enjoy phone calls and SMS service in any country. Giving Skype ID in business communication became as popular and normal as to give a phone number or email, so be sure to be familiar with this tool.

Dropbox

File sharing and exchange is another thing that became common in our life. This need is also accompanied by some obstacles. Hard drive crashes, viruses or other technical reasons my cause file damage or data loss. You may also forget to copy files or just to forget your flash drive at home. These simple reasons may cause serious problems. Dropbox, Inc solved this problem. They have created a cloud based file hosting service. Now you can create special folders on several computers and synchronize them with Dropbox online service. The only things you need is to install the application and to have stable Internet connection. If you put files to one folder they become accessible in others. In addition, there are private settings and you can share files with others just giving them a special link. This convenient service is one more tool that makes your life easier.

Teamviewer

Teamviewer is among the leading collaboration tools for remote team management and is more business oriented. It is free for private usage. Online meetings, desktop sharing, file transfer and web conferencing are the basic functions and a great variety of settings and adjustments make this product outstanding in its class. With this tool, you will enjoy remote cursor and reboot functions, screen resolution and scaling adjustments, video and audio settings. A great variety of functions will bring presence effect to all members when managing a remote team.

The listed tools are the most popular but only few out of the great variety of similar applications. Technologies market is overwhelmed with different solutions and collaboration software is not exception. Basically, everything is available to bring your remote team management to really a high level and many of these tools and services are free. You may use desktop applications such as Spicebird to conduct your collaboration or enjoy online services like Thinkature or Vyew. Some services like Mindquarry include both online and desktop versions. You may also use paid solutions that may include more advanced features. Learn more, try different apps and soon you will find the one or several that will satisfy all your needs.

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