Managing distributed teams has never been a cakewalk. A manager faces scores of concern on a day-to-day basis to ensure uninterrupted operations. Be it communication, project management or CRM, distributed team management has been a challenge for all and always.
If we find any source to connect with our remote team, have face-to-face conversations, discuss our deals and work details, share work and responsibilities and also track tasks and their output. We are always keen towards such tools. We love to share about those tools and their capabilities.
We are sharing with you 50+ tools to help you manage your distributed teams. All these tools can facilitate team augmentation and let you focus on strategic concerns rather than operational ones. Find here the new toolbox supporting various stages of your workflow!
Start selecting tools by finding your challenges below:
Which tools can improve distributed team communication?
The online medium for one-to-one communication is always great. We are using many such tools which helps us to manage team communication. Internal communication tools also keeps us away from misunderstandings, decreases project failure rate and keep everyone updated.
We’ve compiled some of the tools we use in our teams to help employees communicate and work efficiently.
1. Slack - Where Work Happens
If you want all your communication at one place, Slack is the perfect option for you. Whatever work means for you, Slack brings all your work and people together to get the things done. It seamlessly integrates 280 platforms and tools with a messaging and file-sharing add-on.
2. Skype - Keeps The World Talking, For Free
Who doesn’t know Skype?! We have all used it one time or another. We have loved it and hated it all our lives. Even then Skype is being used excessively at all levels of the organization for real-time communication. With multiple video chat & multiple screen share, it is giving every other conferencing platform a run for their money.
3. Google Hangouts - Get Started By Calling Or Messaging Your Friend
If you are a Google Fanboy, you would love it because of its flawless integration with all the other awesome toolsets Google provides. Google Hangout offers instant messaging, video chat, SMS, and VOIP features. It enables you to easily communicate with your team. Even if you just want to hang out and chat with your team, go for Google Hangouts.
4. GoToMeeting - Lets Your Best Work Shine Through
If you want to make a professional impression, by conducting meetings on your own budget. You need GoToMeeting. It is a free software for a meeting, with video conferencing, screen sharing, and conference call features.
5. Anymeeting - Everything You Need To Hold Webinars
When you need to connect with numerous colleagues, prospects, and clients on the same platform, Anymeeting is always beneficial. It connects around 50 members in a team. You can share video, presentations, materials and record minutes of your meetings. You can also organize webinars covering 50 to 2000 attendees.
6. Yammer - Work Smarter, Work Together
Want single destination for all your messages, files, and updates? It is Yammer, where everyone has a view of what's going on in the team. It enables you to organize all your team communication in one place. It is more like Slack minus the desktop version.
7. Chatter - Take Action At The Speed Of Social
If you want your employees to join company network without any knowledge or permission. Go social with Chatter. It is quite similar to Yammer tool. You can also integrate Google docs and gadgets. It allows users to set up "customer account" and project pages as well as standard groups.
8. Jive - Help People Work Better Together
Jive connects your distributed team at one enterprise social platform. What differentiates it with Chatter and Yammer is they both have a limited amount of integration with internal systems as compared to Jive. jive have acquired a company which enables you to integrate with your office suite of tools through which your employees can look at colleagues social activities on Facebook, Twitter etc.
9. VoxOx - Transforming Business Communications
If you want a cost effective solution. Go for VoxOx business communication tool. It has the ability to include up to 20 people on a conference call and combines video messaging, voice calls, instant messages, SMS, and fax. Calls between VoxOx users are free and for non-users, it costs one cent per minute for U.S. and rates vary for other countries.
10. Talky - Truly Simple Video Chat & Screen Sharing For Groups
A video calling service which does not require any sign-up or installation. You can also run the messaging service on your private server with the option of Talky On-Premises. Participants can also share their screens with the rest of the groups.
11. WeChat - Support For Video Calls Within Group Chats
It is desktop and mobile phone application, which offers free messaging service with phone calls, video calling, conference calls, instant messages, voice and text messages. Features like "Look Around" help you find other users through geo-location.
12. Viber - Connect People From Every Corner
Viber is used on smartphones and tablets it enables calls, video chats, texts, image sharing. It supports group calling up to 40 participants. The service is free for Viber users, but Viber charges you for domestic and international lines outside the app.
13. Line - Free Messaging Whenever, Wherever
What if you find an option to move your team to the funny mode using Japanese animations? Use Line tool. With free calls & messages, Line tool has an inbuilt feature to add Japanese animations in your chat. It has exciting features to jazz up your chat. You can follow your favorite celebrities, brands, and TV shows for exclusive news, promotions, and more.
14. Fleep - A Messenger For All Your Teams & Projects
Fleep is built on three core principles - first, open platform for any user, second, to manage projects, third, it is email compatible - means if one is not active on Fleep will receive the mail of your message. Fleep says that is the only messenger that works in perfect synergy with email. Add anyone to a Fleep team or conversation with their email address - and they will receive all messages as normal emails until they sign up to Fleep.
15. Flowdock - One Place To Talk & Stay Up-To-Date
Flowdock has free 30 days trial. It is an app for desktop, mobile, and web which allow chat, inbox, and team collaboration. You can keep your inbox clutter-free. The team inbox displays messages and emails from customer support, project management, and source control.
16. Hipchat - Team Chat That’s Actually Built For Business
Hipchat is actually built for businesses. It is persistent, searchable, and loaded with goodies. Hipchat enhances real-time communication with file sharing, screen sharing, and chat rooms. It is a hosted group chat and video chat platform for teams. File sharing feature is what defines Hipchat.
17. Jell - Daily Standups For Effective Teams
If you want a tool for managing team’s daily standups, team check-ins, and goals & OKRs. You can find all these functions in Jell. Keeping your long-term goals in the preview alongside the daily conversations, Jell keeps your team aligned with the bigger picture. One platform for your team members where you can share daily plans, accomplishments, challenges and long-term goals.
18. Zoom - One Consistent Enterprise Experience For All Use Cases
With stiff competition from GoToMeeting & AnyMeeting, Zoom has flourished with its latest updates to the platform. One easy-to-use platform Zoom unifies cloud video conferencing, cross-platform group chat and simple online meetings into one easy-to-use platform.
19. WebEx - Work Where You Are
You want to meet employees across your company, hold events or webinars, offer online training or courses, provide remote support and get expert when you need it. The one solution for all this is WebEx. You can make cool together and make things happen with WebEx. WebEx brought online meetings to regular people. Now it powers 20 million reliable meetings per month, more than all the knockoffs combined.
20. Join.me - Wherever You Go There We Are
You can start your meeting with one touch from any device. It connects with all the SaaS platforms to help you schedule and start your meeting, all from within the app. Collaborate instantly with free screen sharing, unlimited audio, and simple video conferencing.
Which tools can help you manage projects for distributed staff?
You can manage tasks, projects, and schedule time and date for their completion by tracking day-to-day work and task insights. We use some project management tools to deal with this. Want to know more about project management tools? Here’s a deeper look at some tools used in managing projects.
21. Trello - Lets You Work More Collaboratively & Get More Done
We love the Kanban style here at RTCWeb and Trello has played an integral part in our success. Trello helps you manage your project on its user-friendly dashboard, you can create boards to manage your projects with different subtasks and thread within. You can keep check and record of the task assigned and completed by the teams. Leading giants, like Paypal, Adobe, and Tumblr use Trello.
22. Jira - Choose A Workflow, Or Make Your Own
This Atlassian tool has come a long way since its inception. Jira Software is built for every member of your team to plan, track and release software. Using Jira software you can create user stories, plan sprints, and distribute tasks across your software team. Its intuitive dashboard can help you improve real-time team performance, discuss and prioritize your teamwork. It has an out-of-the-box workflow. You can also create one suits you or the way your team work.
23. Asana - Move Work Forward
With its latest addition of Kanban boards, Asana is planning a coup on Trello majority. We use it to track our team tasks from start to finish and get results. You can also track your team's work and get due results on time. You can cover the entire team progress in one tool. From companies with off-the-charts growth to local businesses and nonprofits, teams love Asana.
24. Confluence - Ideas Made Better By Working Together
If you want a single source, a better way to work for every team. Confluence fits your need. Project Management in distributed teams never felt so transparent and Confluence has played a bit part in achieving transparency to project management. It gives your entire team access to the ideas, designs, customer insights, requirements and documentation needed to execute your project. It has an extensive set of features that will let your team hit the mark.
25. Basecamp - It’s The Saner, Calmer, Organized Way To Manage Projects
One of the least punishing Project Management tools when your team grows to a higher number. Just like Jason Fried, the user-interface of Basecamp is simple & intuitive. Instant chat feature and forum-style messaging enable you to discuss projects and share files. You can share team tasks with to-do list features, and with every task, you can create to-do series and assign a task to every team member.
26. GitHub - A Better Way To Work Together
It is mainly built for developers. Join the millions of developers already using GitHub to share their code, work together, and build amazing things. Developers can use it to host and review code, manage projects, and build software alongside millions of other developers. With its latest introduction of Project Management, Github has moved from one of the major version controls to a swiss-knife combination for project management. From project management perspective it has several workflow tracking components. It is mainly used for a project and open source code management by the distributed development team. The development team can use this tool to discuss features, review each other's code, and push updates on regular basis.
27. Redbooth - Get More Done
Redbooth is a project management tool for modern teams. If you want both a project management tool as well as a real-time communication platform. Redbooth is great. There's a global chat feature enabling long distance video and voice call recordings. The owner can create tasks and deadlines for the projects then augment staff and distribute projects. With Redbooth you can stay focused on important work, delegate and assign tasks, start projects instantly, create visual project timelines, turn emails into action items, integrate with your favorite apps and work anywhere with mobile apps.
28. Pivotal Tracker - Changing How Teams Build Software
Pivotal Tracker simplifies constructive communication, makes priorities clear, and allows the projects to adapt as the project evolves. It is specifically meant for the software projects with shifting priorities and automatically updating the team members. They are transforming how companies—from small startups to expansive enterprises—build software. They help your teams evolve collaboration and development so that you can deliver quality software.
29. ZenHub - Agile Github Project Management
With the advent of Github’s project management feature, Zenhub has lost its shine with people moving to Github. But with Github project management still buggy Zenhub has a chance to create a mark of its own and come out of Github’s shadow. ZenHub facilitates agile project management that also goes beyond GitHub issue management and is fueled by codebase. ZenHub is also powered by GitHub, where you can trust about always accurate data, providing total visibility into your projects.
Which tools can you use to improve your team’s file sharing?
Are you still stuck in e-mails to share your files? I’m sure you’re not. You must be using any file sharing tool. We’re here with few tools which can improve your file sharing process and facilitate you to incorporate some more things to it.
30. Google Drive - A Safe Place For All Your Files
Dropbox’s cousin but with stellar segmentation of products that the team can use. Google Drive is the most convenient option for file sharing with distributed teams. You can share up to 15GB free storage. Automatic saving makes it safe to use, with revision history visible to all users. It comes with four applications enabling live collaboration with more than 50 teammates. Its real-time collaboration feature is just an icing on top of all the feature Google Drive can provide.
Google Docs - Create Persuasive, Impactful, And Meaningful Documents
In Google Docs, you can edit, create and access your docs from wherever you go, with any device. Each doc enables multiple user edits at the same time. Sprint meetings can be structured using Google Docs where each employee can include their portions beforehand. It can also be integrated with WordPress, exported as a Word Doc.
Google Sheets - Create Complex, Useful, And Powerful Spreadsheets
With its IMPORTXMLs, IMPORTRANGEs & the integration of App Scripts, it feels like Microsoft Excel on steroids. You can use it just the way you use spreadsheet wherein you can create, edit and share spreadsheets online. It simplifies common spreadsheet tasks like pivot tables, and enable conditional formatting which cut down the user time. All for free. You can import and export between Google sheets and excel.
Google Slides - Create Beautiful, Impactful, And Inspiring Presentations
No more font and bullet point exports to your client’s proposal. A hassle-free presentation platform for all your remote presentation needs. You can use Google slides to upload your powerpoint docs and export them too!
Google Form - Create Beautiful, Effortless, And Polished Forms
When getting information from your teammates, there is a risk; everyone might not be on the same page and collecting and using that information has always been a pain. Google Forms easily integrate with other platforms that can help you organize the data collected from the surveys or feedback forms. At times you can use them, as forms support something sheets can't. It is the fantastic means for organizing and analyzing information from your teammates.
31. Dropbox - Reinventing Teamwork
Aha! The true file sharing platform of all times. If you are thinking of file sharing, you are thinking Dropbox. Dropbox is a great way to share files and folders. The majority of companies prefer Dropbox for sharing and storing files, with its awesome enterprise flexible plans. Big giants like News Corp, Yahoo and Under Armour use Dropbox. It is considered as the most secured platform for file sharing and storing.
32. Box - Simple, Secure File Sharing And Collaboration From Anywhere
If you’re looking for a file sharing system that can connect with all your apps. Go for Box. it has thousands of apps integrated with it and you can access and work on your files from the apps you already know and use. Box simplifies online file storage system it connects teams in the online workspace and replaces FTP. It is a paid tool used for file sharing services which focus more on security. They assure you for the encryption for documents and revoke user permissions at your discretion.
33. Evernote - Remember Everything
Finding a way to capture, nurture and share your ideas across any device? You will find Evernote doing this. In the paperless world, creating project to-do list is easier with Evernote. It provides a reminder to jot down the information you are looking into. You can make a note for anything you want it to be with this tool. It is accessible wherever you go. You can share it with anyone in the team or the organization using the same tool.
34. Onehub - Securely Store And Share Your Business Files In The Cloud
One Hub proudly declares themselves - "better way to securely store, sync, and share your business files".
With this tool, one needs to drag and drop files directly into your browser and share multiple files. One Hub can be integrated with Google drive this means you can create and edit your Google files from inside One Hub, simultaneously collaborating with your teammates.
Which tools can manage CRM within the distributed team?
Looking to build better customer relationships? Want to sell, market, and service? You need customer relationship management tools to attain this. We also use CRM software to manage our clients and their data. Find below few CRM tools that can help you out with this.
35. Salesforce - Sell, Market, And Service
Salesforce is also considered as the father of all CRMs with Salesforce’s aggressive buying strategy of other complementary platforms to make it “The One & Only”. Salesforce strives to deliver the best and a complete set of tools for your CRM. A customer success platform that adds up to your office space. It is the revolutionary business app served from the cloud & enabling you to generate & manage leads, get new customers, close deals faster, and sell, service and market smarter. The pricing though is on the higher side, so if your sales team is moving in the bank, we wouldn’t recommend them.
36. Zendesk - Software For Better Customer Relationships
Using Zendesk could be a beginning of a beautiful relationship with your clients.
Zendesk proudly says - Use us and “ Make your service stand out, act with intelligence, and grow without growing pains”.
Zendesk is a communication tool as well as can be the replacement for your CRM. You can have multiple services with Zendesk features - chat, message, support, help center, talk, connect and explore.
37. Olark - Copy.Paste.Chat in Minutes
It fits in your support funnel and integrates with the software you love. Talk to your customer in real-time with Olark. Olark works with the same software you use and superpowers your CRM. It also reveals who visited your website and what user did. You can copy, paste your chat with no attached text and history.
38. Agile CRM - Sell & Market Like Fortune 500
It is all-in-one, affordable and next generation CRM; you can sell and market with it. It has multiple features which help you in multiple tasks like - Marketing Automation, Helpdesk, Social Media Integration, Web Engagement, Mobile Marketing, Telephony and Email Campaigns. It is trusted by over 8000 + businesses.
39. Intercom - It’s Simple, Personal, And Fun For Everyone
If you are looking to make your user or team member onboarding intuitive, Intercom is the tool for you. An inexpensive way to do predictive communication with your users. Intercom helps you to make customer messaging products for sales, marketing, and support, connected on one platform. From live chat to help & sell, it gives you onboarding & retention as well as customer support.
40. ProsperWorks - A CRM For G Suite Users
It is so simple to use. If you know how to use Gmail, you’ll use ProsperWorks in one go. This is the only CRM made for Google apps. It is made with the vision to eliminate painful data entry and automate time-consuming tasks. It collaborates with all your distributed team and even keeps check on their tasks. ProsperWorks helps you follow simple yet powerful practices that will grow your business in no time. Follow up on every lead, organize your sales data and establish a repeatable process.
41. Pipedrive - Get Your Sales Organised
It is one of the leading sales management tool used by small-scale teams also the CRM and pipeline management software. Its task-based methodology keeps the sales team focused on the things which can be controlled and all the actions and habits that drive consistent sales. Another aspect, proven sales methodology allows you to keep focus and check on the close deals. It makes you work smarter while planning your activities, tracking tasks, and managing the deals.
42. Streak - CRM, Inside Gmail
Do you want to convert your Gmail Inbox to a powerful CRM? A Streak is a tool for you. The Streak has transformed from a simple email open tracking to one of the most versatile customer relationship management platforms for Gmail. Streak shares contacts, email, files and anything else needed to get the job done. You can manage your deals, support queue inside Gmail and replace multiple external systems with the streak.
Which tools can manage time zone differences of your distributed team?
Do you have concerns about time zone differences? You may have come across your employees fighting with unusual working hours due to time zone differences. We were also dealing with such issues, but now we don’t need to worry. We now use time zone tracking, converting and managing tools. We’ve compiled few good tools just have a look:
43. Every Time Zone - Track Time Accurately
This tool gives you a cross section of 14 zones. It has a bar indicating local time which can be moved across the threshold of time zones to display corresponding times. Members of the team may get confused sometimes, but this tool simplifies complicated chart formats.
44. The Time Zone Converter - Just In A Second
This tool enables you with one-to-one time conversions between cities. The 24-hour clock option saves time and a step when working with foreign nationals, who are very particular for military time.
45. The Time Now - What Time Is IT
You can figure out which times work for the scheduled meeting with this tool, by adding up to 5 locations by city. All the hours are indicated by different colors which show the date and time selected is current, or past, it is during working hours, non-working hours, sleeping hours etc.
46. World Time Buddy - A Time Zone Converter
This is the all in one package for those who have a lot of time issues with their remote or distributed team. It is the combination of a time zone converter and an online meeting scheduler.
47. 24 TimeZones - The World Time Clock & Map
It is world time clock and map which checks current local time around the world.
Which tools can keep track of the time of your distributed team?
Settle down all your issues of not managing time of your remote teams with the time tracking tools mentioned below. We have used some of them they are great and will surely help you.
48. Hivedesk - Manage Your Virtual Team Or Remote Workforce
You need a combination of project management tool and software to track your remote employee’s productivity? Here it is, get Hivedesk. Using this tool, your employees can choose their project and task with the estimated time on the program. And the tool keeps you automatically updating weekly time sheets, and take snapshots to check if the employees are truly on the same task.
49. Toggl - The Ultimate Timer. It's Insanely Simple.
This encourages proper time management and tracks time. The tool has unlimited project and client space, you can add as per your requirement. You can share time reports, form groups, add subgroups and color code each project you are working. The simplest time tracker to help you get things done quickly. Ideal for teams, freelancers & agencies.
50. Hubstaff - Know When & What Your Employees Working On
The primary vision of the tool is to manage multiple remote teams time, but it has some project management features too. Once the time is tracked you can invoice clients, pay employees, see in-depth reporting and much more. It helps employees to avoid going over budget with online/offline indicators, budgets and time limits used.
Over 8,000 remote teams use Hubstaff daily.
51. MyHours - Free Time Tracking For Your Projects & Tasks
MyHours is convenient for agile team oversight. It enables free time tracking for your projects and tasks. You can start or stop the timer with a single click, if you want to switch timings between tasks in seconds or, just as important, pause for a coffee break, you can use it. Give substance to your invoices and make them cha-ching! You are the boss. If you like to be thorough, you can choose to go over and approve each and every track.
52. iDoneThis - Your Team, In Sync
This software is mainly to track team progress, everybody in the team checks in daily either via app or browser. It keeps track on what's done, what's getting done and what's not completed. It is used by Reddit, Buffer, and TripAdvisor.
Leveraging technology for team management can help expand the vision and manage operations at a workplace. These tools can take transform the task of managing distributed employees to a constructive team building exercise.
Now reach out to those who are valued the most in your organization. Let your team know that you are sincerely thankful to them. After all, teams can make a huge difference to the business. I’m sure you’ll admit.
Yet to try the tools? Go ahead they’re worth it.
Published on: Nov 24, 2016
Updated on: May 18, 2017