Whether your team is fully remote or has a few key players who work virtually, having reliable, easy-to-use collaboration tools is essential to your success. However, a lot of tools marketed toward remote teams are all frills and no substance — or they simply aren’t intuitive. Let’s look at the best team collaboration tools that help remote teams to be productive and on the same page.

We selected tools that are cloud-based for enhanced security and reliability, that are easy to onboard your team with, and that boost productivity in some way. 


Airtable is the ultimate cloud-based spreadsheet tool — but look under the hood and you’ll find that it’s much more than spreadsheets. You can expand and modify the fields in each data entry, link entries together, and in the paid version, set up Gantt charts and other project management systems.







Why We Love It:

  • Cloud-based: You can access Airtable from a browser or the mobile app. You and your team members can make edits to records in real-time and get instant notifications of new activity.
  • Easy to use: Airtable may seem daunting at first, but with its easily customized templates and intuitive interface, you’ll be a pro in no time
  • Productivity-boosting: You’ll find that Airtable helps your team get organized and on the same page, and that goes a long way toward productivity.


Asana is a well-known project management app, and for good reason: It’s attractive, easy-to-use, and offers a lot of features even in the free version. You can create projects, tasks, and subtasks within those projects, then use different project views to get either a bird’s eye perspective on what needs to be done or a granular, detailed look.










Why We Love It:

  • Cloud-based: Asana is web-based so that your project files and tasks are always in a safe place. 
  • Easy to use: Asana is extremely intuitive, with pleasant drag-and-drop interfaces and helpful templates.
  • Productivity-boosting: By keeping all your project files and conversations in one place, Asana helps your team to be more productive.


If your team is tired of playing detective and trying to figure out which version of an emailed file is the latest, you might find Bit.ai helpful. You can create, co-edit, and comment on documents in a shared bucket to which everyone on your team has access. You can also share documents with clients or stakeholders.







Why We Love It:

  • Cloud-based: Keeping important documents on your hard drive is a recipe for disaster. Ensure that your project files are always on hand and safe.
  • Easy to use: Bit.ai makes it easy to sort and create files right there in the app.
  • Productivity-boosting: Get back that time lost to searching your emails for documents. 


Speaking of email, let’s admit it: Email is a huge time-suck. You spend hours reading and responding to it, plus processing any to-dos that are buried in messages. Brief is a messaging and task management app that provides your team with a central place to get stuff done. You can turn messages into tasks and sort conversations by hubs, whether based on projects, teams, or whatever works for you.








Why We Love It:

  • Cloud-based: Brief is a web app that’s easily accessed in your browser or via the mobile app. 
  • Easy to use: While email apps and clients can be cluttered with features or technical snags, Brief is minimalist and streamlined so that you can focus on the message.
  • Productivity-boosting: Keeping it all in one place is great for your team’s productivity, as we mentioned. Plus, the ability to turn a message into a task is super cool.


Chanty is an AI-powered messaging service. If you wish that Gmail or LinkedIn’s predictive responses were available for your team’s conversation hub, Chanty is a great option. Chanty also allows you to review videos or code blocks right there in the app, which makes it great for collaboration among remote creative teams.









Why We Love It:

  • Cloud-based: Chanty makes it easy to quickly share files and get feedback, and stores it all in the cloud for you.
  • Easy to use: Chanty is not only intuitive, but its AI-powered typing will quickly have you wondering how you lived without it.
  • Productivity-boosting: Less time spent typing means more time spent getting things done!


Dropbox is a famous file storage app, but believe it or not, it’s also a collaboration tool. You can comment on shared files and use the Paper service to co-create documents and easily access them in the cloud. If your team swaps a lot of documents, Dropbox’s suite of options is a great choice for you.  






Why We Love It:

  • Cloud-based: Dropbox recently updated its desktop app, and it also offers a useful mobile app. And of course, it’s always available in the browser. Dropbox doubles as a backup solution for your files.
  • Easy to use: Dropbox makes it easy to upload and share files. Plus
  • Productivity-boosting: Being able to quickly get feedback on files helps your team get on the same page, while Dropbox also makes it easy to get signatures on files or quickly edit them in the app of your choice.


Like many apps on this list, Evernote started with a singular purpose and over time evolved into a robust collaboration tool. Evernote lets you take notes, as the name implies, but also share, link to, and export notes, plus embed links, documents, and images into notes. It also comes with a “Work Chat” option to help your team keep in touch. 







Why We Love It:

  • Cloud-based: Evernote has an attractive web app, and it’s also available via desktop and mobile apps. It syncs your notes quickly so that your team always have access to the latest version.
  • Easy to use: Evernote makes it easy to create, organize, and share notes. Its no-clutter interface keeps the focus on your content rather than the features.
  • Productivity-boosting: Evernote offers handy browser extensions, menubar clipping tools, and shortcuts so that you can quickly take notes, thus saving you time and boosting your productivity. 

Facebook Workplace

If your team is fully remote, you might want to consider a virtual workplace. Facebook offers a robust option that includes all the power of Facebook groups, plus team-oriented options. For example, you can divide your collaborators into teams or project-based groups, send company-wide updates, and automate messages to your team members.






Why We Love It:

  • Cloud-based: Like regular Facebook, Workplace is always online via the browser or the mobile app. 
  • Easy to use: If you’re familiar with Facebook, you’ll be familiar with Workplace. If not, though, its sleek, minimalist design will help you get oriented in no time.
  • Productivity-boosting: You’ll find that Airtable helps your team get organized and on the same page, and that goes a long way toward productivity.


Like Brief and Chanty, Flock is first and foremost a messaging app, with a bit more of a project management approach. One neat feature is that you can sort shared files by type rather than having to sift through all the messages. If you work with clients, you can give them limited access so that they see only what they need to see.










Why We Love It:

  • Cloud-based: Like most of the apps on this list, there’s both a desktop and mobile app so that you can always be in touch with your team, even if they’re remote.
  • Easy to use: Flock is easily navigated, making it a robust yet intuitive collaboration tool.
  • Productivity-boosting: Stop searching across your hard drive and email messages and save time and energy by knowing that it’s safe in Flock

Google Docs

If your team sends files back and forth a lot, it might be time to re-think your approach. Google Docs is a cloud-based document creation app that’s part of the Google Suite. You can simultaneously edit documents and quickly import or export files. Plus, you can set permissions on files so that only team members who need to see the document have access. This also helps declutter your collaborators’ lives!







Why We Love It:

  • Cloud-based: Google Docs really takes “cloud-based” to heart, offering near-instant saving and simultaneous editing of files.
  • Easy to use: Google Docs isn’t a full-featured word processing app, but it comes close, and is much easier to use than Microsoft Word or the like. There’s also Google Slides and Google Sheets for your presentation and spreadsheet needs.
  • Productivity-boosting: You’ll save so much time by not having to keep track of multiple drafts or file versions.

Google Drive

Google Docs is part of the G Suite, as we mentioned. Google Drive is how you organize your docs, but fear not, it’s a great place to collect all your project files — even videos. It’s easy to create restricted-access files and share files and folders with people outside your team.







Why We Love It:

  • Cloud-based: Like all Google Suite apps, you can access Drive from anywhere. It’s a great backup solution as well.
  • Easy to use: You can get started simply by dragging files into the browser window. It’s also easy to create folders or star files for quick access.
  • Productivity-boosting: Google Drive gives you peace of mind that your files are safe — and that’s helpful to your overall productivity.

Google Keep

Not another notes app! Seriously, though,  Google Keep is worth looking at. It’s essentially a virtual form of sticky notes, but you can add links, images, and bullet points to them without the clutter on your physical desktop or computer monitor. Plus, you can export notes to Google Docs or quickly share them with collaborators.








Why We Love It:

  • Cloud-based: Yes, there’s a mobile app! Unlike physical sticky notes, your Google Keep notes are quickly accessible from your browser or your phone.
  • Easy to use: Airtable may seem daunting at first, but with its easily customized templates and intuitive interface, you’ll be a pro in no time
  • Productivity-boosting: You’ll find that Airtable helps your team get organized and on the same page, and that goes a long way toward productivity.


Nothing beats face-to-face conversation, but it’s not always easy — or possible! — with remote teams. However, a video conferencing tool can be a good compromise, and GoToMeeting is among the best. Not only does it work well for its main purpose, but it’s also a useful collaboration tool by allowing you to share your screen and even “draw” on it to direct your viewer’s attention. 







Why We Love It:

  • Cloud-based: GoToMeeting uses the power of the cloud to allow access from multiple platforms, including desktop and mobile. This helps remote teams connect no matter where they are or what device they’re on. 
  • Easy to use: A lot of videoconferencing apps are cumbersome or buggy. Not GoToMeeting! It lives up to its name. 
  • Productivity-boosting: Being able to meet in person is a great way to quell misunderstandings. Video conferencing is the next best thing.


If your team is remote but doing big graphic design or video work, it’s not as easy as saying, “Hey, come to my office and look at this.” You need a file sharing solution that can handle large files. Hightail is the fastest, according to our unofficial study. It also doubles as a file storage hub.











Why We Love It:

  • Cloud-based: Hightail makes it easy to share and store large files to obtain feedback or send for review. 
  • Easy to use: It’s literally as easy as drag-and-drop. 
  • Productivity-boosting: Save time from having to ship jump drives — or just wait hours for a regular file-sharing app to upload the file. Hightail is extremely fast.


InVision is a design tool that’s great for remote teams, because it allows you to create and comment on clickable prototypes and easily invite people to view them. It’s a beautiful, easy-to-use app for your designers, and all of the commenting and sharing features are intuitive. Plus, it’s completely free!





Why We Love It:

  • Cloud-based: InVision means that you don’t have to create mockups and email them. You can simply send a link and get feedback on a design.
  • Easy to use: InVision is painless and pleasant to use.
  • Productivity-boosting: Quickly get your team’s or client’s input so that you can spend less time interpreting email threads. InVision allows people to leave comments right there on the design.


If you’re remote, you don’t have access to the office whiteboard. MindMeister puts that whiteboard to shame. You can map out diagrams, project plans, or, of course, mind maps, and attach links or files. Plus, there’s a notes section right there in the map’s sidebar so that you can add context. You can even turn your map into a presentation!







Why We Love It:

  • Cloud-based: Make your project plans available to everyone who needs to see them and keep them safe in the cloud.
  • Easy to use: MindMeister is so intuitive and fun to use, you’ll be tempted to use it to map out your house!
  • Productivity-boosting: As we mentioned, getting organized goes a long way toward being productive.


Like Asana, Monday.com is a robust project management app, but geared a bit more towards time management. For remote teams who need to keep track of what their collaborators are doing, Monday.com offers both “My Tasks” and “Team Tasks” views, as well as the ability to estimate the time needed to complete to-dos.





Why We Love It:

  • Cloud-based: As the name suggests, Monday.com is a web-based app. However, there is a mobile app for people on the go.
  • Easy to use: Monday.com is easy and pleasant to use.
  • Productivity-boosting: Time management is crucial to productivity, and Monday.com empowers that through week-based task views, time estimates, and task priority setting.

Remember the Milk

If you really need help with task management, you need an app that lets you sort to-dos by project, assign collaborators, and set start dates and due dates as well as attach relevant files and tags. Look no further than Remember the Milk. It began as a grocery list -type app, as the name suggests, but it’s now a robust to-do app that empowers collaboration. 








Why We Love It:

  • Cloud-based: Remember the Milk is a web app. There is a mobile app, but it does require a paid upgrade.
  • Easy to use: Remember the Milk lets you manually add tasks, import from email, or integrate with Zapier to create tasks from other apps.
  • Productivity-boosting: The three basic principles of task management are to identify the time frame, context, and purpose of the task. Remember the Milk allows you to set all three, plus set custom views for tasks that meet certain criteria.


Slack is a messaging app that doubles as a file-sharing app. With the use of extensions and bots, it can be transformed into a project management system. While Slack doesn’t boast a lot of native features, it’s an excellent means of sharing large files and sorting discussions into different channels, which is helpful for eliminating detail.







Why We Love It:

  • Cloud-based: You can access Slack from a browser, desktop app, or mobile app. Your messages and files are all safely stored in the cloud.
  • Easy to use: Slack is super easy to set up and get started with messaging.
  • Productivity-boosting: Slack promises to reduce your email, and that it does. This saves you hours per day.


Trello is among the most customizable of all collaboration apps. It can be as simple as a board where your team organizes files or as complex as a full task management board with links, checklists, files, labels, and integrations with third-party apps. The beauty of Trello is that you can make it yours.







Why We Love It:

  • Cloud-based: Trello’s mobile app needs some work, but they recently released a full-powered desktop app with native notifications, and it’s always available in the browser.
  • Easy to use: Trello has an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, but if you really need help, the Trello community has your back with shareable templates to get you started.
  • Productivity-boosting: Trello can be your one-stop-shop for your team’s needs, saving you the time and energy of bouncing between apps.


No matter what your team needs or where they are, these apps can help you work together better and more efficiently. We selected apps that are: based in the cloud, so you don’t have to wonder whose hard drive that files is on; easy-to-use, so that you don’t have to waste time training or onboarding people; and that boost productivity by saving you time or energy by helping you get all your project files in one place. 

Author:  Olga Lashkevich