1. Work messenger: Telegram
Despite the lock, Telegram remains one of the most popular instant messengers in Russia. It is actively used both for everyday communication, and for business communication between employees.
Telegram is fast, convenient and simple. The service does not support video conferencing and some other useful features available in corporate messengers like Slack, but it can be used absolutely free.
2. Office suite: Google Sheets, Docs, and Presentations
Google offers a cross-platform, functional and free set of services for working with popular office file formats. With it, you can create and edit text documents, tables and presentations – both independently and jointly with colleagues.
Each user has 15 GB of storage space for storing files on Google servers. To get extra volume, you can get a paid subscription G Suite. It also includes round-the-clock support services, a corporate mail service and additional data protection features. Tariffs start at $ 6 per month per person.
3. Service for notes: OneNote
Google Docs and similar services are not suitable for working with small notes. The latter are more convenient to store in cloud notebooks like OneNote. This Microsoft product has an intuitive interface that resembles a real notebook. A simple and clear structure of the service will allow you and your colleagues to quickly find the necessary notes among hundreds of others.
Among other advantages of OneNote – ample opportunities for editing text and support for all kinds of attachments: from audio commentary to video. In addition, the service can be used for free. In this case, OneNote provides each user with 5 GB for storing notes in the cloud. When you get a paid Office 365 Business corporate subscription, the entire team gets 1 TB of shared space for OneNote and other Microsoft services.
4. Task Manager: Todoist
To effectively manage a remote team, the manager needs a convenient tool for delegating tasks. Todoist is one of the best in this category. It allows you to quickly add cases, organize them according to lists and priority, assign time and attach performers.
Thanks to tags and filters in a large number of tasks it is easy to navigate. And the history of activities helps the leader carefully monitor the progress of work.
In the free mode, you can add up to 80 projects and up to 5 employees to each of them. To remove restrictions, as well as unlock notifications, tags, and other advanced features, you have to apply for a paid subscription. The cost starts at 229 rubles per month per person.
5. Project Manager: Asana
Task managers are good for quick assignments, but not always suitable for managing complex workflows. For a more strategic approach to business, use project managers like Asana. This service allows you to plan and structure your workflow in a variety of ways. Each employee clearly sees their tasks and deadlines. And the leader can easily track progress and observe the overall picture of the project.
The free version of Asana is designed for teams whose size does not exceed 15 people, and lacks some features. For example, the “Timeline” view and advanced task search are not available in it. The cost of a paid subscription starts at $ 11 per month per user. The more expensive the selected plan, the more features it provides.
6. Kanban boards: Trello
Kanban is a popular project management methodology. Each task in it goes through certain stages: for example, “In plans”, “In progress” and “Completed”. Usually they are depicted in the form of boards between which the task cards are moved. It turns out a very clear display of the workflow, which is why many services for project management to one degree or another use elements of kanban.
Perhaps the best way to implement this methodology is at Trello. The developers have elevated simplicity and clarity to absolute, so the service may not be functional enough for complex projects. But the stream of tasks in it looks so minimalistic that the child will figure it out.
In addition, the free version of Trello has no hard limits. You will have to pay only if you need additional design options, more than 10 boards for the team, as well as tools for automated work with tasks. The subscription price starts at $ 10 per month per person.
7. Mental map editor: MindMeister
A mental map is a schematic representation of processes or ideas that simplifies the perception of information. In this form, you can imagine anything: from a project development strategy to the results of a brainstorming session. For collective work with mental maps, you need a special editor.
A good choice would be the MindMeister service. It offers tons of templates and handy tools for visualizing data. With it, you can quickly draw mental cards of any complexity.
In free mode, MindMeister allows you to store up to three mental cards. By connecting the PRO tariff, you can work with an unlimited number of cards, save them in popular office formats, and also get functions for managing the team. Cost – $ 8.25 per user per month.
8. Cloud Storage: Google Drive
It is difficult to imagine remote work in a team without a cloud to store shared data. There are dozens of such services at your service, but one of the best can safely be called Google Drive. It offers a generous supply of free space – 15 GB, is integrated with other Google products and is available in a convenient interface.
To expand the volume, you can subscribe to the G Suite subscription mentioned above or subscribe only to the paid “Google Drive” tariff: for 139 rubles a month the company provides the user with 100 GB of cloud space.
9. Service for video conferencing: Zoom
Hangouts create not only close emotional contact between employees, but also effective communication conditions. Seeing and hearing your colleagues, you can interact with them as productively as if you were at the same table. Not surprisingly, video conferencing services are so popular.
One of the market leaders is Zoom. It not only organizes a secure video connection, but also allows you to demonstrate the screen to the conference participants, transfer files and save recordings of conversations.
In the free version, you can invite up to 100 people to a video call, and its duration will be limited to 40 minutes. To remove the restrictions, you need to issue a paid subscription – from $ 15 per month from the organizer.
10. Screenshot Manager: LightShot
During remote work, one screenshot can replace a thousand words. Therefore, a convenient tool for creating screenshots does not hurt you. The Lightshot cloud service is suitable for this description. It is available for free and allows you to take pictures of a selected area of the display in two clicks.
Having created the image, you can immediately send it to your colleagues via the link through the Lightshot server or using any messenger.
11. Time Tracker: Timely
Time trackers help you keep track of how much time your team spends on specific tasks. Timely does it automatically. First, you need to connect to the services in which employees work. It can be the same Trello, Asana or Todoist. After integration, Timely will begin to analyze actions with tasks and show the results of colleagues on the timeline.
The service works by subscription from $ 49 per month.
12. World Clock: World Time Buddy
When employees work in different time zones, services such as World Time Buddy simplify the situation. This is a convenient watch that shows on one screen the time in all selected settlements.
You can add up to four locations for free. For more, the service asks you to subscribe for $ 3 per month.
13. Service for working with PDF: Acrobat Pro DC
If your team often deals with PDF, a collaboration editor can save you a ton of time and effort. Acrobat Pro DC is great for this role. This is a cloud-based tool that allows you to view and comment on PDF documents to all users who have access to the file.
Acrobat Pro DC service is paid. The subscription cost is 1 610 rubles per month or 11 592 rubles per year.
14. Password Manager: LastPass
A work team can use dozens of different services. Ideally, everyone needs a strong, unique password. Fortunately, to make it convenient for users to create and store such passwords, special tools exist.
One of the most famous is the LastPass service. It generates complex passwords, stores them in a reliable cloud safe and automatically enters them when entering the corresponding accounts. By installing LastPass applications on their devices, all team members will have access to shared passwords. At the same time, the manager can choose exactly which credentials each user sees.
To use LastPass for a team, you need to purchase a license. The cost depends on the number of participants.
15. Automation Service: Zapier
The Zapier platform helps automate routine operations. It connects to the services that you use to work, and allows you to configure various scenarios of their interaction. For example, you can connect Gmail and Trello so that the system automatically turns incoming emails into new tasks.
Zapier supports thousands of services and offers a huge number of automation scenarios. They can significantly optimize your work, therefore, the tariffs are not the lowest. Subscription fees for teams start at $ 299 per month.
This material was first published in December 2014. In March 2020, we updated the text.