9 must-have team communication tools for your small business

team communication tools

If you care about how your company communicates, you’re probably in constant search for the perfect app for your team. There are lots of good apps out there, and each of them has its benefits and drawbacks. Chances are your team needs a combination of tools, depending on the communication problem you’re trying to solve. So how do you decide which apps will help your team communicate easier, rather than burden their workflow?

That’s where this list of tools comes in handy! These are some of the most innovative team communication tools out there, with a great potential to improve your team’s trusted communication system. So here we go:

1. Kato

When it comes to instant messaging for the office, Kato definitely is one of the best apps out there. Kato allows you to unify your conversations in one window, allowing team members to communicate freely without sacrificing screen real estate. You can share and see media and files right within the context of your conversations, and Kato also integrates with a number of third party CRM and support apps that keep your team members connected to your customers.

This app will definitely help to reduce email overload in your company. And for remote teams, you can enable Kato Roll to take a snapshot of each team member every 60 seconds so you can see if they’re there or not.

Web app, iOS app; free for teams under 10 and non-profits; $5/month per user.

 

2. Sqwiggle

sqwiggle

If your team spends a significant amount of time working remotely, you might want to check out Sqwiggle. As one Sqwiggle user put it, it’s the virtual equivalent of popping your head into the cubicle next to you to ask a quick question. Sqwiggle keeps your team passively connected to each other throughout the day, making remote work feel as if you were in the same room.

It accesses the computer’s webcam and updates a still image of each team member a few times per minute. And with just a click, you can ‘pop your head’ into any team member’s ‘cubicle’, skipping the calling and accepting. Because team members are constantly connected, it really helps build a culture for your remote team.

Web, Mac; free for teams of 3 or less; 14 day free trial; $9/month per user.

 

3. Airmail

airmailLet’s face it: as much as we try to reduce email usage, email is here to stay. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – email is a great business tool for you and your team. If you or your team members have more than one email account (and who doesn’t?!), then Airmail will definitely help you stay on top of your inbox. It allows you to see your emails from several accounts in one single inbox. Who knows, maybe you’ll even achieve the Holy Grail of inbox zero!

Mac, $1.99 one time payment

 

4. Silent Circle

silent circleIf you take your business’ privacy seriously, you should check out Silent Circle. It encrypts phone calls and texts so that not even the NSA can snoop in on you. Silent Circle supports encrypted texts, phone calls, video calls and even file transfers from your mobile device.

iOS and Android; $139.95/year for Silent Circle Enterprise

 

5. LogMeIn Pro

log me in logoLogMeIn Pro allows you to connect remotely to your computer while you’re away, even from your mobile devices. This app can definitely help you and your team collaborate on the go. You can also share files to team members by sending them an auto-generated link that allows them to download the file from your computer.

Web, Desktop, iOS and Android; starting at $99/year for 2 team members

 

6. TribeHR

tribe hrEverybody knows that a small business owner is usually also the company’s HR department. TribeHR is an HR information management system that totally simplifies HR for you. With a company directory, staff social profiles and employee self service, this app is packed with features that make maintaining the accuracy of basic personal information a breeze. You can also integrate a corporate calendar that keeps track of time off requests, company milestones, employee anniversaries and more.

To top it all off, TribeHR helps your team members to expand their potential by setting and tracking personal, career and skills-development goals within their personal dashboard.

Web, iOS; starting at $5/team member per month

 

7. Good Notes/Lecture Notes

goodnotes appHave you ever been in a meeting, took notes on a piece of paper, only to be left scrambling for that piece of paper later in the day? Well, if you’re a fan of taking notes by handwriting, these note taking apps might save you the embarrassment of having to borrow notes. You can also import existing PDF files and scribble on them, or export your notes to PDF files for convenient sharing.

Good Notes: iOS; $5.99 one time payment; Lecture Notes: Android; 4.99 one time payment.

 

8. GoToMeeting

go to meeting logoGoToMeeting seems to be a favourite web conferencing software for many small business owners, so it’s definitely worth a mention. One of its strong points is the one-click screen share, as well as the ability to record meeting sessions. The GoToMeeting team also makes GoToWebinar (for company events/marketing presentations) and GoToTraining (for training and employee education).

Mac, Windows, iOS and Android; starting at $49/month.

 

9. iDoneThis

idonethisiDoneThis allows your team members to always stay connected to each other’s progress. Every team member receives an email at the end of their day asking them what their accomplishments are. They reply to the email, and the next day everyone gets a digest with what each team member has accomplished.

It’s really awesome to share both your professional and personal wins with the team. It fosters a culture of gratitude and brings your team members together. It also allows you to track your team’s performance and evaluate team productivity.

Web; $5/month per user.

Although all of these team communication tools have the potential to benefit how your team communicates, remember that tools are just tools. If there are already communication breakdowns in your team, even the best tool will simply be a band-aid solution to the problem. Begin by addressing your team’s underlying problems, if any, before introducing new apps. After all, you want to lighten the workflow, not burden and frustrate your team members.




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Photo Credit:  Josep Ma. Rosell

Alina Vrabie

Alina Vrabie is a content creator at Sandglaz, where she writes about productivity, collaboration and work culture for small business and startup owners. Sandglaz is an online task management that's helping high-performance teams worldwide to collaborate and manage tasks more efficiently. Find her on Twitter and Google+.

Comments

  1. Online Communication Tools are great way to engage your employees while leveraging your company’s knowledge. With a little training, the benefits of team collaboration software can permeate throughout your organization.

    5 Following things should be considered while going for Online Communication Tools.

    Connectivity and Security

    Redundancy

    Standardization

    Disaster Recovery

    Growth

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