7 Excellent Collaboration Tools for Remote Teams

A mobile user

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When you work remotely it’s the tools that can make or break a team. Choosing tools that aren’t right for all of you will cause friction, and eventually isolation for those that aren’t seeing value in the tools. Remote teams are already isolated physically; isolating them mentally by impeding their collaboration efforts is the ultimate killer of remote teams.

Let’s take a look at seven tools that are excellent for remote teams.

1. Agreedo for Productive Meetings

Meetings are time-consuming and often fruitless, because teams usually forget to set a clear agenda beforehand and keep track of decisions afterwards. Agreedo solves both of those issues. Ideas are turned into agendas, and then into meeting minutes after the online meeting has occurred.

Any decisions made during the meeting are converted into trackable tasks and assigned to the attendees; any that weren’t completed are carried over to the next meeting so that no stone is left unturned. Participants can attend the meeting via Mac, Windows, iOS or Android — very ideal for remote teams.

2. Wunderlist for Task Management

Wunderlist for remote task management

Wunderlist is insanely simple, which is why I think it’s brilliant for remote teams. Tracking tasks is so important if you want to maintain a healthy team, but it shouldn’t take up a horrendous amount of your time. Wunderlist lets you spend less time managing tasks and more time completing them. Here’s a few features to help you utilize the app well:

  1. “Star” tasks when you’re unable to advance with them
  2. List in order of importance to prioritize important tasks
  3. Break down tasks into subtasks — baby steps
  4. Don’t force yourself to set due dates if there’s no real deadline
  5. Delegate tasks by assigning team members to it
  6. Focus on the “Today” and “Assigned to Me” lists
  7. Integrate Wunderlist with Slack for better collaboration

3. Skitch for Annotating

Skitch for remote annotations

It’s hard to articulate exactly what you mean when you’re not standing face-to-face with somebody. Skitch helps you communicate visually in the easiest way imaginable: with annotations like arrows, text, shapes, highlights and stamps (approvals, rejections, etc).

What I love most about Skitch, aside from how easy it is to communicate ideas and opinions, is how quickly you can make screenshots (command+shift+6), send annotations via e-mail (command+shift+m) or export to an image file (command+e).

4. Draft for Document Collaboration

Draft is like a simplified version of GitHub for Markdown files, enabling teams to collaborate on documents together and merge the specific changes made by individuals. It’s especially useful for writing articles or crafting legal documents (for the web or otherwise), that are then ready to be exported to Markdown, DOCX, HTML or PDF.

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Source: Sitepoint