The best apps for team collaboration are the ones that help you do your job better, faster, and easier.
If you’re like a lot of people, you’re not just looking for a way to work with your team—you’re looking for a way to work FOR your team. You want to make sure that everyone is on the same page and working together toward the same goals. You want to make sure that everyone is running at full efficiency. And most importantly, you want to make sure that everyone has access to the information they need in order to do their job well.
Well, we have good news! There are plenty of tools out there that can help you do this (and more). So what are some of our favorites? Let’s find out!
Best Apps For Team Collaboration
Collaboration apps are a dime a dozen. Probably not the right choice of words, but there are so many that it’s hard to choose the right one for your business. And when you’re a small business that runs a tight ship, you want to find the best collaboration app for your team and pay as little as possible, right?
giphyUnless you have a money tree… Source: Giphy
Luckily, some of the most popular team collaboration tools in the market offer a free plan, and we did some digging to find ones that give you the most bang for no bucks at all!
Here are the 7 best free collaboration apps for your small business.
With Flock, team members can exchange messages, share files, host video conferences, manage to-dos, and set up calendar events all from one easy-to-use app. Flock integrates with popular business tools such as Google Calendar, Google Drive, Asana, MailChimp, and Twitter, making it easier for team members to stay on top of things without juggling a dozen different apps.
Flock’s free plan gives your team:
Unlimited team members and one-to-one messages
10 public channels for group conversations
Unlimited 1:1 video calls
5GB storage for file sharing and 10K message history for quick search
Built-in productivity apps such as shared notes, polls, and reminders
Unlimited integrations for third-party services, such as Asana, Jira, or Google Drive
Need more room? Flock PRO unlocks enhanced admin controls, group video conferencing, unlimited channels, guest accounts, more file storage, and access to priority support. At just $4.50 per user per month, we think it’s a steal, but our free plan is pretty generous and well, free. It’s your call.
Get more done. Take teamwork to the next level with Flock’s Guide to Workplace Collaboration Software. Get your team working together.
If you’ve heard of team chat, you’ve probably heard of them. IM, channels, video calls, integrations and bots for hundreds of third-party tools; Slack has it all. But the free plan limits you to 10 service integrations, so choose wisely.
Mac-Slack-client-for-media-kit.en-GB 2xImage: Slack
Slack’s free plan
Unlimited users, messages, and channels
Unlimited one-to-one voice and video calls
5GB storage for file sharing and 10K message history
Up to 10 apps or service integrations
For video conferencing (up to 15 participants) and guest accounts, you’ll need to upgrade to a Standard plan that costs $6.67 per user per month. There’s also a Plus plan that adds more features at $12.50 a user per month.
- Microsoft Teams
Initially an exclusive for businesses with Office 365 subscriptions, Microsoft Teams has since launched a free plan for small businesses. We love its innovative features such as inline translation for messages and the ability to record meetings with automatic transcriptions. Also a plus, its deep integrations with OneDrive and Office 365 services.
Microsoft Team’s free plan
Up to 300 users
Unlimited messages, channels, and search
Unlimited audio and video meetings with up to 250 participants
10GB of team file storage + 2GB per user
140+ apps and service integrations
For advanced collaboration features such as meeting recordings and automatic transcriptions, you’ll need to pony up for an Office 365 subscription. Office 365 Business Essentials costs $5 a user per month and the full-featured Office 365 Business Premium will set you back $12.50 a user per month.
Made by the folks behind Todoist, Twist makes it easy to organize and keep track of discussions with threads. Their message board-like interface is easy to use, though using threads and the inbox (they work more like email threads, not Slack threads) takes some getting used to. The upside? Fewer notifications!
Screenshot of TwistApp.com in Chrome desktop browserImage: TechRepublic
Twist’s free plan
Unlimited users, guests, messages, channels, and threads
Access to 1 month of conversations
5GB storage for file sharing
5 service integrations
Twist doesn’t bother with audio/video conferencing or screen sharing features, they have a Wherein integration instead. For $5 a user per month, Twist Unlimited offers unlimited conversation history, file storage, service integrations, and priority support.
Discord bills itself as an all-in-one voice and text chat for gamers, and it’s clear why. In addition to the usual private and group DMs, Discord offers a new way of collaborating in real-time: Voice channels. Think of them as always-on radio channels to talk to your team. Loved by gamers, voice channels can also be an easier, less stressful way to collaborate remotely on shared documents. More importantly, Discord offers unlimited voice, video, and text chat—all for free!
Image: Hacker Noon
Discord’s free plan
Unlimited users, messages, text and voice channels, and file sharing (individual file size < 8MB)
Unlimited video conferences with up to 10 participants + screen sharing
A cool Text-to-Speech function that reads out what you type!
Discord Nitro Classic lets you upload a GIF avatar, use custom emojis everywhere, and ups that pesky file size limit to 50MB – for $4.99 per user per month.
- Zoho Cliq
Zoho Cliq lets you view multiple conversations—each in its own column—so you don’t have to shuffle back and forth between a channel discussion and a private chat with a colleague. Also, host video conferences with up to 100 participants on the free plan.
Unsurprisingly, Cliq integrates smoothly with other Zoho apps, but there are also integrations for third-party services such as Asana, Wrike, and Zapier.
Cliq’s free plan
Unlimited users, messages, and channels (up to 100 members in each)
Video conferencing with up to 100 participants + screen sharing
100GB storage for file sharing and 10K message history
10 third-party app integrations
For $3 a user per month, Cliq Unlimited offers unlimited message search, ups file storage, and lets you connect up to 100 third-party integrations. It also unlocks the PrimeTime Assembly feature, so you can stream live video to as many as 10,000 participants.
If on-premise software is a must, look no further than Rocket.Chat’s open-source team collaboration app. Easily deployed to on-premise or cloud servers, Rocket.Chat is free with zero restrictions on core functionality. It’s your server! Just one caveat: If there’s trouble, you’re probably on your own – the free plan doesn’t come with any web, email, or phone support, so be prepared to hunt through pages of technical documentation for any fixes.
Sample integration of a Drones Fleet Management SystemImage: GitHub
Rocket.Chat’s free plan
Unlimited users, messages, channels, video calls, and file sharing
It’s open-source, customizable, and you own all your data (again, it’s your server)!
Inline message translations
Rocket.Chat offers cloud-based deployment plans with 24/7 email support at $2 a user per month.
Looking for more options? Check out our guide to the best collaboration tools for productive teams (includes both free tools and pricier options).
“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”
- Babe Ruth
In sports or business, teamwork is key to success, and choosing the right collaboration software can transform how your team works together. With the best business collaboration apps offering generous free plans, there really is no excuse to not get your team on-board anymore!
Do it now. 🙂
best collaboration apps for students
In many discussions about educational technology, the conversation usually revolves around teachers and their ability to interact with the latest technology. This tendency makes sense, especially since teachers are responsible for guiding and shaping the classroom learning experience. However, as important as it is for educators to be familiar with EdTech offerings, it may be even more important to ensure students are given access to digital collaboration tools that encourage them to become active participants in their education.
To say that today’s average student is familiar with technology would be an understatement. Whether they’re playing educational video games at home, conducting group study sessions on FaceTime, or sharing report research via Google Drive, the majority of school-age children view technology as the norm, not the exception. In many cases, the youngest people in the classroom are often the most technologically savvy.
While opinions vary widely when it comes to the advantages and disadvantages for children growing up in such a technology-reliant society, it’s safe to say that teachers who want to connect with their students will need to find ways to incorporate the latest technology into their lesson. If you’re a teacher wondering which online tools will help you create a collaborative classroom environment that engages your students’ minds and imaginations, we have a few suggestions to get you started.
10 of the Best Online Tools for Student Collaboration
With an intuitive, user-friendly interface designed by teachers for teachers, Edmodo operates as a communication portal for students, teachers, and parents. No more questions about assignments, quizzes, and grades. Edmodo creates a space where everyone can communicate confidently without the pressure of a group setting or the inconvenience of scheduling face-to-face conversations.
Rather than fighting the overwhelming popularity of video games, this app’s designers decided to use it to increase student participation in K-12 classrooms. Loosely based on popular role-playing games like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy, Classcraft “reframes student progress” by allowing students to create a personal avatar. Then, throughout the course of everyday class activities, students earn character upgrades through positive behaviors, regular attendance, academic achievement, and more.
Despite its potential pitfalls, social media is still a powerful tool for collaboration. But in a school setting, the open source platform of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be distracting for students. With its familiar, interactive design, Yammer allows customized groups to share ideas, information, and feedback, making it an ideal communication tool for teachers, students, and parents.
For teachers looking to expand their students’ worldview and understanding, PenPal Schools might be the ticket. The global PenPal community, which consists of more than 15,000 educators in 150 countries, is ideal for project-based learning in a variety of subjects. With a focus on security and safety, program access is open only to verified teachers and students, and teachers maintain the ability to monitor all messages.
Part mind mapping tool, part PowerPoint, Popplet gives students a clear, concise way to compile multiple ideas on a single topic and share them with each other. From brainstorming for a writing project to visualizing relationships between newly discovered images and information, this cooperative application lets users record their thoughts from a tablet or computer and display them for the rest of the class to see.
With the tagline “Make Math Social,” this engaging app uses classroom interaction to enhance problem-solving skills. When presented with math problems, students use CueThink to select a strategy and display their work. The app also gives classmates the ability to share positive critique and feedback. As students learn to solve problems, they also gain the ability to communicate their thought process to others.
Minecraft Education Edition
Minecraft is arguably one of the most popular video games in the world, and this academic version allows teachers to incorporate lessons into the open-world gaming environment. Minecraft Education Edition engages children in group exercises that, according to the game’s developers, “promote creativity, collaboration, and problem solving in an immersive environment where the only limit is your imagination.”
When it comes to exciting subject matter, most teachers will tell you that economics rarely tops the list. However, with web-based games that let students simulate real-world scenarios, Economics-Games.com weaves in a little friendly competition to make the subject come alive. Since there are no apps or software to download, students and teachers can access the games wherever there’s an internet connection.
This exciting educational tool puts the “active” in “interactive.” While GooseChase features an extensive game library that teachers can use to teach everything from physical education to basic grammar, the app also features scavenger hunt-style lessons that can also add an extra element of fun to field trips. As a bonus, GooseChase developers also incorporated staff training and professional development exercises.
By focusing on 3D design, Makers Empire gives students the opportunity to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills in an online collaborative environment. The designers of Makers Empire began with a desire to encourage STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) learning at the early stages of education. The popularity of this online tool suggests they accomplished their goal.
With so many online collaboration tools for students, it is helpful for classrooms to have interactive displays that can accommodate a wide array of apps and programs. Thanks to their software agnostic design, Clear Touch Interactive® panels do just that. Each panel features a crystal-clear, ultra HD picture, bundled software package, and intuitive multi-touch technology that encourage students to get actively involved with their education. To see a Clear Touch™ panels and software in action, schedule a Live Online Demo today.
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