Top 5 Apps to Create Collaboration within Remote Teams

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, remote working is the future. Of course, not all industries or roles are suited to off-site employees, but in time, more and more roles will transition into out-of-office, or indeed out-of-factory, work.

Whilst you’re preparing for the transition to a remote workplace, it’s important as a business owner, manager or leader, that you consider just how you are going to maintain team collaboration after the final leap is made. It’s a really difficult area to investigate and, truthfully, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. That would be too easy, right?

Team64 is made up of members who have held a range of different remote working positions, all of which used different applications. The apps used promised the most impressive #CollaborationGoals you could imagine. Very few, unfortunately, lived up to the hype.

There are five Apps though that our team nominated which we think are worth sharing because they each solve parts of problems that collaborating via remote working brings. The magic five that Team64 voted up are Slack, Google Drive, BaseCamp, Evernote and OneNote.

Without further ado, it’s time to look at these tools and why Team64 think they’re worth their weight in gold:

1. Slack

You may have seen that we’ve previously been quoted on the Slack topic in an impressive article written for the Telegraph for its ability to completely remove email clutter from team inboxes. The quote taken from 64TEQ founder, Bandish Nayee, reigns true today:

“Implementing a company Slack channel has helped our entirely remote workforce to collaborate better and be more efficient. The collaboration tool means that we can share company news quickly, but it also enables everyone to have their say in a less “formal” way than traditional email. It’s secure and simple to use, which means that new employees can be on-boarded quickly.

We used to use email to keep everyone in the loop, but it seemed impersonal and disjointed – we never really knew if an employee had received an important message or if it just got lost in the daily inbox traffic. That was concerning and stressful as a business owner, but Slack has relieved at least some of the communication problems that we have had in the past.”

For comms, shoutouts, video calls, company news and more, Slack is our go-to collaboration tool.

2. Google Drive

Of course, as Microsoft resellers, we use the full Office 365 suite including OneDrive, but there’s something about the G Suite Drive & Docs that make their use for remote teams that little bit better. For starters, everyone in Team64 uses Chrome as their browser of choice – we are all on iMacs or MacBooks, so Chrome is preferred over Safari – and we’re all hooked into the team Google Drive as standard.

Within the drives, we have specific folders set up for each individual team as well as larger company-wide folders for key information and resources. Each folder is broken down into subfolders which make finding documents when out and about a breeze.

Another benefit for us is that we can all be in one Google Doc, Sheet, Form or Drawing without worrying if everyone can see what we can see. It’s seamless, simple and efficient.

We suggest that during meetings held via video conferencing, the presenter should be logged into an open meeting document first before inviting the others to join on their own devices. In this way, the presenter can see who is where when they each join the file and can commence knowing everyone is in and ready to go. Perfect.

We won’t mention Hangouts, Calendar or Forms in this particular post, but they’re well worth a look if you’re on the hunt for alternatives to your current solution.

3. BaseCamp

A bit of an odd one to have on this list but it’s important nonetheless as Basecamp can be used as more of an anchor than a day-to-day collaboration system. If something is important and worth saving as a reference point, it goes into Basecamp.

Of course, Basecamp can be used in so many different ways. For example, you’ve got the option of adding to-do lists for individuals and teams inside each of the Projects, or you could add documents and notes for each member to return to.

As a simple solution, Basecamp is the perfect place for leaders to lay out briefs and important information for the rest of the team to refer to and update over time.

4. / 5. Evernote & OneNote

Ok, we know we can’t really put two in one place here, but bear with us. Let’s start with Evernote. If you haven’t seen the green elephant knocking around before, you’re missing out. Evernote is one of the best organisation applications that every team member should get stuck into.

“Organisation” is a broad term; Asana and Trello do that too in more of a to-do list format whereas Evernote works in a different way. It’s is brilliant for breaking big projects down into smaller chunks, storing meeting notes and references in easy-to-find “notebooks” and it’s extremely simple to use regardless of the device you’re using it on.

By breaking down everything into Notebooks, and then into notes, you can add images, voice memos, videos, PDFs, documents, tables and actual words to one single tab on one app that you can refer back to from this point onwards.

Want the best news? Evernote is free to get started on a base subscription where you can add and share notes and books with the team. It has a premium band which is incredibly affordable and it also has an additional team subscription, which makes everyone collaborating in one place even easier.

So what about OneNote?

Well, if you’ve ever used it, you’ll know that OneNote gives you the freedom to note, ideate and collaborate like nothing else. It’s not got the cross-device power that Evernote has, but it does a pretty great job everywhere else.

We’d suggest that if you have an Office subscription with OneNote included, and your team is already on that, use OneNote. If you don’t, try Evernote first and if you want more “noting freedom”, check out the Office subscriptions which contain this nifty little app instead.

Want more remote working tips and tricks? Check out the blog for our answers to the big questions that always come with remote teamwork.

Feel you’d be a perfect addition to Team64? Take a look at the current opportunities we have here.

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