- 1. Connecteam — A dedicated app for task management and task-specific communication
- 2. Ziflow — Best remote collaboration software for creative teams
- 3. MediaValet — Best for collaborating on digital assets and files
- 4. Height — Best for collaborating within a project management software
- 5. Lucidspark — Best for communication around charts, documents, and diagrams
- 6. Miro — Online whiteboard tool for team collaboration
- 7. OnBoard — Collaborative tool to make running board meetings a breeze
- 8. Quantive Results — Best for aligning remote and hybrid teams on goals and strategic direction
- 9. Creately — Data-connected visual workspace
- 10. Redbooth — Kanban boards for remote collaboration
In a world where the hybrid work model has become the norm, you’ll want to use the best remote collaboration software to stay in touch with your remote team. It’s much easier to have things lost in the shuffle or email purgatory, but with the right tools this shouldn’t be a worry.
There are many remote collaboration tools on the market to support distributed teams. These range from all-in-one project management tools, to virtual whiteboards, to simple task tracking systems.
In this article, I’ll highlight some of the best remote collaboration software on the market that you can use to make remote working easier.
Wondering what I look for when selecting the best remote collaboration software for this list? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- Usability: I look for collaboration tools that are powerful, with features that are easy to learn. The last thing I want you doing is spending precious time learning the ins and outs of yet another tool.
- Integrations: I look for collaboration tools that play nicely with other tools in regards to integrations. A collaboration tool without integrations to common tools (think Google Workspace, Microsoft Teams or Microsoft Office) isn’t overly helpful.
- Value for $ and Ease of Free Trials: Just like taking a few cars out for a spin before deciding on what to buy, you may want to play around with a few of the tools out on the market before making a decision. A number of the tools listed below have a “free forever” version for a reduced amount of features and users, and some offer a free trial period of their paid plans to get a feel for them.
Remote Collaboration Software: Key Features
In regards to the main features of remote collaboration tools, here are the key features that I look for:
- Ease of Integrations: As your organization will have all sorts of data spread across a number of different apps, you’ll want a remote collaboration tool that pulls from these automatically instead of dealing with the pains of importing and exporting data manually.
- Project Management: All these tools in this list have some sort of project management aspect. Some are highly customizable with a steeper learning curve, while others take a simpler approach with less customization.
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Connecteam is a comprehensive employee management app that's designed to help businesses manage their remote or hybrid teams. It's a one-stop shop for everything from communication and scheduling to operations and task management.
Their app helps remote or field-based teams collaborate on specific tasks through customizable digital forms and checklists, individual task assignments, and task-specific communication streams. Managers can easily assign tasks with due dates to individual employees, and attach supporting materials, such as images or external documents, as needed. If employees need additional clarification, they can communicate directly within the instant messaging chat channel and tag colleagues using @mentions.
Other useful collaboration features include the ability to add sub-tasks, send push reminders, and track real-time updates on tasks as they're completed. You can also use Connecteam to create mobile-friendly training materials, track time and attendance, and create custom forms for things like daily reports, incident reports, and more.
Integrations include Google Calendar, Gusto, QuickBooks Payroll, and others.
Connecteam costs from $29/month for 30 users (paid annually) and offers a 14-day free trial + free plan.
Ziflow is a cloud-based collaboration platform specifically designed to support creative teams. Their review and approval workflows enable creative teams of project managers, designers, developers, copywriters, photographers, artists, and other professionals to collaborate across multiple time zones, file formats, and media types.
Ziflow eliminates the need for unnecessary meetings or back-and-forth emails, saving both time and money while providing an efficient way to track project progress from start to finish. Users can manage and assign tasks, track project progress, and review feedback. You can also easily see which tasks have been completed or are still pending completion.
Their platform provides real-time analytics that summarize how much time each task took and how many people were involved in each task's completion process. This feature helps managers get a better understanding of their team's workflow process so they can optimize it for maximum efficiency over time. Ziflow also offers workflow automation tools that make it easier for teams to manage their processes. Users can create custom approval workflows that speed up decision-making and help ensure consistency across the organization.
Ziflow allows users to create digital asset libraries to store and manage their files. This makes it easy for users to access their files anytime without searching through multiple folders or drives. Additionally, its library system includes customizable tags and filters so users can quickly find what they’re looking for without having to wade through long lists of assets.
Integrations are available with Asana, Basecamp, ClickUp, DropBox, Google Drive, Jira, Microsoft Teams, monday.com, Oracle Netsuite, Slack, Trello, and Zapier. In addition, Ziflow has plug-ins for all your Adobe Creative Cloud apps (After Effects, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, etc.), plus their Webhook Zibots, which can integrate with other software systems that offer an API.
Ziflow starts at $40/user/month, billed annually. They also offer a 14-day free trial, and a free forever plan for personal use.
MediaValet is a digital asset management (DAM) software that can facilitate remote collaboration on files and documents stored in the system. It has tools to help you keep your digital assets organized and searchable. You can use it to store and manage your documents, images, videos, and other assets.
This is a helpful collaboration tool for teams who rely on digital assets to do their work. Design, content, marketing, and other creative teams can rely on the platform as a central repository for all their creative assets. You can create libraries of specific types of media and have peace of mind knowing the system is SOC 2 compliant and encrypted.
One thing that's particularly impressive about this software is its AI capabilities. It can automate asset tagging so your team won't have to do it manually. But not only that, it can also make your assets highly searchable using color, face, and text recognition. It can also transcribe video and audio content, making it searchable, too.
Pricing and a free demo of the platform are available upon request.
Height is a project management software that distributed teams can use to collaborate virtually on their tasks and projects. Projects can be planned, managed, and tracked through the software, and teams can opt for a Gantt chart, Kanban board, or calendar or spreadsheet view of their work. Tasks can be assigned to specific team members and infinite nesting is available for subtasks. Every user has an inbox with notifications they can customize about their projects and tasks.
Teams can communicate within the context of their tasks and projects. The software has live chat functionality with tagging, replies, and emoji reactions. Video, image, and GIF messaging are all supported to create a more dynamic communication environment. Read receipts and typing indicators help team members keep up with what messages have been seen and when their coworkers are sharing information. Code highlighting is also available, keeping code snippets separated in chats.
The software integrates with other common workplace tools like Discord, Fivetran, GitHub & GitLab, Google Sheets, Notion, Sentry, Slab, Slack, and Zendesk. Additional integrations can also be unlocked with a paid Zapier account. Paid plans start from $8.50/user/month, and a 30-day free trial is available.
Lucidspark is a digital whiteboard that's designed to help remote teams collaborate in real time. It's a cloud-based tool that lets you brainstorm, plan, and visualize ideas together, no matter where your team members are located. It's like having a physical whiteboard in your office, but one that everyone can access and contribute to from their own devices.
Lucidchart surpasses the typical collaborative editing capabilities found in many tools. While some platforms enable simultaneous document editing, Lucidchart takes this a step further by introducing real-time cursor tracking and integrated chat. The incorporation of chat within the diagram's context further simplifies communication, enabling collaborators to discuss changes, clarify ideas, and share insights without switching to an external messaging platform.
Something special about Lucidchart as a communications-based visualization tool is that it offers advanced data linking and visualization capabilities. This empowers users to connect their diagrams with external data sources like spreadsheets and databases, resulting in dynamic visuals seamlessly integrated with data. This innovation is particularly beneficial for complex diagrams such as organizational charts, process flows, and mind maps that require frequent updates tied to evolving data. Pulling data from one source and updating automatically is a form of passive communication that can't be understated in today's fast-paced project management world.
Integrations include everything from Slack, Google Workspace, Asana, Atlassian, and Office365, to more industry-specific applications like Salesforce, AWS, Azure, and BambooHR. Lucidchart has a free plan available for individual users.
Lucidchart costs from $7.95/user/month and comes with a 7-day free trial. Lucidchart is free for 3 editable documents, 60 shapes, 100 templates, and basic feedback/communications features.
Unlike other similar remote collaboration tools, Miro does not limit their plans by users, so it’s easy to share a Miro board with someone while avoiding the hassle of signing up for an account just to be able to contribute to it.
Miro’s calendar block allows you to show when you’re online, offline, or busy to help ease the pressure of feeling like you need to respond right away. Miro has a Miroverse, which allows you to share and use project templates provided by the community.
Some of Miro’s integrations include Confluence, Jira, Slack, and Trello.
Miro starts at $8 USD per user/month. There is a free version for unlimited team members but with limited features (such as 3 editable boards).
Focused specifically on board meetings, OnBoard is a useful collaborative tool to create actionable insights and help with coordinating board tasks. The tool provides a simple to use agenda and meeting minutes builder.
OnBoard includes a built-in Zoom integration and a secure messenger that allows you to focus on the meeting as opposed to things getting lost in email purgatory.
OnBoard integrates with ADP, Google Drive, Govenda, Zoom Meetings, and Microsoft 365, including Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint.
OnBoard offers customized pricing on request, as well as a free trial.
Quantive Results is a strategy execution platform that's built to help leadership teams plan their business strategy collaboratively. It also has tools to set and track team and company goals, helping to keep everyone aligned on their shared objectives.
Whiteboards can be used for mapping out your strategic planning. You can also use the retrospective templates included in the software to evaluate what went well in a past timeframe, and what needs improvement going forward. With your strategy in place, you can establish OKRs and KPIs in the system that can be interconnected, cascading, and assigned to specific teams.
Another helpful feature included in the software are OKR and task alignment, which helps connect specific projects and tasks with established business objectives. Some other key features include commenting on KPI dashboards, automated notifications, advanced access permissions, and reporting and analytics tools.
The software integrates with other workplace tools including Slack, Microsoft Teams, Asana, Miro, Jira, SurveySparrow, BambooHR, Workable, Humaans, and Rally, among others. You can also access additional integrations with a paid Zapier account.
Creately takes a more data-driven approach for its smart visual canvas. This canvas keeps everything in one place as opposed to spreading things across daily tasks, wikies, and other places.
The free-form canvas allows you to add data, notes, and tasks anywhere. Creately allows you to create workflows with rules and formulas, with no codes needed.
Creately integrates with Github, Office 365, Slack, and more.
Creately starts at $4/user/month, and offers a free plan with limited features.
Using customizable kanban boards, Redbooth makes it easy to sort, track and organize tasks across your organization. Redbooth features thorough productivity reports to see task status, and how time is spent. It also allows you to zoom in on one specific task, or review the entire project all in one view.
When assigning tasks, Redbooth will recommend the best person for the assigned task and due dates through their “Smart Redbooth” tool.
Redbooth integrates with tools like Dropbox, Gmail, Google Drive, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zapier, and more.
Redbooth starts at $12/user/month. Redbooth also offers a 14-day free trial with no credit card required.
Need expert help selecting the right tool?
We’ve joined up with Crozdesk.com to give all our readers (yes, you!) access to Crozdesk’s software advisors. Just use the form below to share your needs, and they will contact you at no cost or commitment. You will then be matched and connected to a shortlist of vendors that best fit your company, and you can access exclusive software discounts!
A dedicated app for task management and task-specific communication
14-day free trial + free plan available
|From $29/month for 30 users (paid annually)||Visit Website|
Best remote collaboration software for creative teams
14-day free trial + freemium plan available
|From $40/user/month||Visit Website|
Best for collaborating on digital assets and files
Free demo available
|Custom pricing available upon request||Visit Website|
Best for collaborating within a project management software
30-day free trial
|From $8.50/user/month||Visit Website|
Best for communication around charts, documents, and diagrams
7-day free trial + free plan available
|From $7.95/user/month||Visit Website|
Online whiteboard tool for team collaboration
Free plan available
|From $10/user/month||Visit Website|
Collaborative tool to make running board meetings a breeze
Free trial available
|Pricing upon request||Visit Website|
Best for aligning remote and hybrid teams on goals and strategic direction
Free plan + 14-day free trial available
|From $18/user/month||Visit Website|
Data-connected visual workspace
Free plan available
|From $4/user/month||Visit Website|
Kanban boards for remote collaboration
14-day free trial
|From $12/user/month||Visit Website|
All-in-one remote collaboration tool
All-in-one project management tool with excellent automation capabilities.
Collaborative tool for creative projects through visual boards
Collaborative space with emphasis on images
All-in-one productivity tool with over 50 automated actions.
Project management through user-friendly spreadsheets
All-in-one project management for marketers
Project management tool for professional services
- Troop Messenger
Powerful instant messaging app for team collaboration.
Simple project management tool perfect for remote, mid-sized businesses.
What Do You Think About This List?
This list is just a few of the many remote collaboration software systems that exist on the market to help you collaborate with your distributed team. Whether you’re a small organization working on small projects with a few remote workers, or a large enterprise with a remote team spread out across the world, at least one of these remote team collaboration tools will work for you.
As mentioned, many do feature a free forever version with limited users or features, along with free trials of paid plans (no credit card required), so if you need to get a better feel, you may want to play around with some of the tools available.
For more on hybrid working and best practices, check out our following articles:
- 6 Hard-Learned Lessons For Adapting To A Hybrid Working Model
- 27 Best Practices For Managing Remote Teams In 2023
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