In the COVID-19 era, try these 11 virtual collaboration tools

More and more organizations are having their people work remotely, but meetings aren’t going away, and communication remains essential for projects’ success. Consider these online options.

12 collaboration tools

Consistent, cohesive collaboration is one of the most underrated keys to business success.

Especially in volatile, uncertain times such as these, it’s crucial for businesses to maintain communication continuity and streamlined teamwork. With teams scattered all over the world, that’s no easy task.

The good news is that there are plenty of online tools that can make working together with a breeze—no matter where in the world your colleagues are located. Try these 11 tools to maximize your productivity—even in this era of coronavirus chaos:

1. G Suite

Whether you’re using the free version or the paid G Suite option, this is arguably the best collaboration tool available. You can communicate with everyone via email, Hangouts or Duo. You can collaborate on Docs, Slides or Presentations. Also, you can share your calendars so that you can quickly see when people are away or available.

As if that weren’t enough, everyone can exchange their ideas with Keep. There’s even a virtual whiteboard called Jamboard for brainstorming sessions.

2. Nifty

Nifty is a project management tool that enables project members and stakeholders to have real-time conversations. It can also be used to set goals and expectations, collaborate on Kanban-style tasks and get automated real-time progress tracking.

This tool can handle everything from managing daily tasks to aligning everyone to focus on the big picture. If you’ve been using project management tools like Asana, Basecamp, Trello or Jira, you can quickly move your projects, users, tasks and files over to it.

3. Proofhub

Proofhub is another web-based project management and collaboration tool. Through its suite of collaboration and project management functions, you can organize files, plan projects and track progress. You can schedule tasks and communicate with others involved in a project.

There’s also a proofing tool that speeds up the approving and reviewing designs process.

4. Calendar

At some point, you’ll have to schedule a meeting with your team. It could be a brief one-on-one or a brainstorming session that requires all hands on deck. Instead of emailing everyone back and forth, trying to figure out the best time to meet, Calendar does it all for you.

With Calendar, you can send your team a smart scheduling link to find out the best time to meet. When you tag the invitees, it will notify you when they’re available. It not only eliminates lengthy email threads, but will also factor in considerations like time zones automatically. From there, you can add additional information, such as the link to the conference call number.

Also, because Calendar uses machine learning, it can learn your contacts, schedule and tasks. Eventually, Calendar can use this information to make smart suggestions on when to schedule future events.

5. Slack

Slack is a communication tool designed for remote teams. It’s an easy-to-use tool that provides real-time conversations without relying on email or meetings. Additionally, you can create different channels for various discussions. For example, you can have one-on-one conversations, a channel devoted to a specific project or just a general discussion forum.

You can also share documents and connect your calendar with Slack.

6. Backlog

Backlog handles the basics such as organizing, discussing and tracking project progress in one convenient location, but it can also break up projects into tasks or subtasks, milestones and due dates. You can create wikis and use emoji to enhance the experience.

7. Time Doctor

Time Doctor is a powerful time-tracking app, but what does this have to do with collaboration? Well, it allows you to see exactly how long it takes your team to complete tasks in real time. With this information, you’ll have a better idea about when a project will be completed and what has to be done for you to stay on track.

You can also use this data to find out where everyone is wasting time. For example, if someone is spending too much time on social media or distracting websites, then that person will receive alerts to stay off those sites. It also integrates with Asana, Basecamp, GitHub, Salesforce, Teamwork, Trello and Zendesk.

8. MindMeister

MindMeister is mindmapping software that helps your team to brainstorm. It can also be used daily for capturing ideas, planning projects and managing meetings.

MindMeister helps you create presentations and manage projects with ease. Because this tool is entirely web-based, you don’t have to download the software—meaning it can be accessed from anywhere.


Although relatively a new player, this collaboration and task management software won the 2019 Webby Award for the best productivity platform. It comes equipped with a customizable interface and contains features ranging from message boards to task management boards. There are also easy-to-read visualizations for when you check in on a project.

With, you can also assign deadlines, organize schedules and work together on uploaded files. It also integrates with Dropbox, Github, Slack, Jira and all your Google tools, such as Drive and Calendar.

10. Filestage

Tired of the lengthy approval process from your partners, employees, or clients?

Filestage streamlines the approval and review process, providing a space where you can receive feedback on images, videos and PDF documents.

11. GitHub

GitHub is open-source, meaning it’s free to use, share, and modify. It’s incredibly popular among users who are building projects together—especially software.

Each project comes with standard task management tools and wikis. That promotes collaboration, and it provides more in-depth information regarding your project.

John Hall is the co-founder of Calendar. A version of this post first appeared on the Calendar blog.


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