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Best Collaboration Tools for Remote Teams [Tested in 2024]

Andrés Gánem Andrés GánemProject Manager @WebsitePlanet May 31, 2024
May 31, 2024
Choosing the right collaboration tool for your remote team is crucial for streamlining teamwork and improving communication. Without a proper platform, remote work can become chaotic and inefficient, making it hard to keep everyone on the same page.

Though “collaboration” is a broad term, I’ll be focusing mostly on project management software. This is because a good project management tool can integrate the best parts of other collaborative tools like file sharing, team-wide communication, and project tracking.

I’ve worked with several remote teams over the years and I also have a fair bit of experience with project management tools. After testing many different platforms, I’ve identified six standout project management software that genuinely optimize team productivity.

Due to its intuitive interface and powerful integrations with other software, monday.com stood out as the top choice for me. It has a ton of native collaboration tools, too. However, it’s not the only option out there, so keep reading to discover the other top tools that could revolutionize the way your team collaborates.

Short on Time? These Are the Best Collaboration Tools for Remote Teams in 2024

  1. monday.com1 – Highly customizable platform offering a wide array of workflow templates.
  2. ClickUp1 – Exceptionally versatile with customization options to fit any team size.
  3. Teamwork1 – Streamlines remote work with advanced information management features.

See 3 More Great Options | Comparison Table

What We Look For in the Best Collaboration Tools for Remote Teams

When it comes to managing remote teams, I prioritized tools that enhance communication and project management effectively.
  • Intuitive tools for communication. You’ll want a platform that makes connecting with your team a seamless process, whether through chat, video calls, or shared documents. My top picks put this front and center – these features are straightforward to use and highly accessible.
  • Project tracking. Effective project tracking tools are crucial for keeping remote teams aligned on their tasks and deadlines. My recommendations provide clear, real-time updates on project status to minimize confusion and maximize productivity.
  • Ease of use. The best collaboration tools don’t require a steep learning curve. I value platforms that anyone can start using immediately, which is especially important when adding new team members or working with diverse skill sets.
  • Integrations with third-party software. For a cohesive workflow, the tool should integrate well with the software your team already uses. This connectivity is vital for maintaining consistent progress across platforms.
  • Support for diverse team dynamics. It’s important that collaboration tools accommodate various working styles and roles within a team. I made sure to look for tools that support asynchronous communication and flexible work hours.

1. monday.com: The Best Collaboration Tools for Flexible Remote Teams1

monday.com remote teams features
monday.com offers a wide range of tools to support all types of teams
Thanks to its wide variety of extensions and templates, as well as a user-friendly interface, monday.com is great for different work styles and workflows. Its no-code/low-code framework allows you to tailor workflows quickly to meet the specific needs of various team functions, from marketing to R&D. I find this customization essential for maintaining smooth operations across different team dynamics and projects​.

The platform includes automated notifications and task management features for optimal communication. This makes it particularly beneficial for remote teams that thrive on timely updates and integrated tool ecosystems.

There are powerful integrations, too. Though monday.com is certainly not the only software to offer third-party integrations, I’ve found its integrations to be far more thorough. For example, while almost every project management software offers tracking notifications with Slack, monday.com actually allows you to change project and task features directly through Slack.

Monday.com’s approach to performance monitoring through customizable dashboards offers a practical solution for tracking key performance indicators. This means remote teams can make data-driven decisions1 and maintain oversight of their projects’ health and progress, which I’ve found invaluable for managing remote teams.

Features

  • Over 200 high-quality templates. Monday.com offers a diverse range of templates tailored to various remote team needs, making it easy to set up specific projects quickly.
  • Versatile project views. This feature enables remote teams to toggle between Kanban, Gantt, timeline, and calendar views, optimizing project management and visibility according to personal preferences.
  • Automate tasks. Monday.com’s automations help reduce repetitive tasks. You can set up triggers for emails, notifications, or task assignments, increasing overall team efficiency.
  • Customizable reports. Teams can generate detailed custom reports with monday.com to track project progress, ensuring all team members are aligned and informed.
Read our expert monday.com review for more about its productivity suite.

Templates 200+
Communication tools @mentions, team
dashboard and calendar,
file sharing, notifications
Mobile app
Starting price $17.00

2. ClickUp: Best for Established Teams Going Remote1

ClickUp remote teams features
ClickUp can adapt to a wide variety of pre-existing workflows
ClickUp’s customizable environment is perfect for established teams shifting to remote work1. Whether you’re used to brainstorming on a whiteboard or planning projects on a comprehensive calendar, ClickUp can adapt to your team’s existing workflows. This customization ensures that teams can operate in the manner that suits them best – even when going remote​.

Its integrated time-tracking tools are also extremely convenient. These tools provide transparency on how team members are spending their work hours, making it easier to manage projects and deadlines effectively. Built-in time-tracking tools help project managers or team leaders easily identify bottlenecks within the teams’ workflow and measure the effectiveness of different solutions.

Additionally, ClickUp can create multiple customized dashboards so different teams can have tailored views that best suit their needs. This adaptability helps maintain an organized overview of tasks and projects, enhances collaboration, and harmonizes management across various team segments.

Features

  • Various filtering tools. ClickUp offers extensive filtering options that allow remote teams to efficiently sort tasks by priority, deadline, team member, and more, enhancing task management and focus.
  • Collaborate on Docs. ClickUp’s fully featured word processor lets you tag team members, add comments, and provide suggestions in real time. And because it’s built in, you don’t need to incorporate third-party software into your workflow.
  • Bulk actions. ClickUp’s bulk action capability enables remote teams to apply changes to multiple tasks at once, such as status updates or reassignments, saving valuable time and effort.
  • ClickUp whiteboards. This tool allows teams to visually brainstorm, plan, and map out projects collaboratively in real time, fostering creativity and alignment among remote workers.
For more on ClickUp, read our in-depth review.

Templates 500+
Communication tools @mentions, chat widgets, document annotation, notifications, task
comments
Mobile app
Starting price $7.00

Smartsheet remote work templates
Smartsheet offers templates specifically made for remote teams
Due to its advanced database functions, Smartsheet is a powerful tool for managing complex projects. Though its data management functions and use of formulas can be complex, it can easily handle large amounts of information. If your team has a dedicated project manager, SmartSheet can help them access all the information they need to keep an eye on the bigger picture.

Smartsheet also offers plenty of tools to collate information from various documents1, making it easier for teams to access and analyze data from multiple sources. This feature is especially beneficial for projects that require extensive documentation and record-keeping, like large financial or data-driven projects.

However, your team will only get the most out of Smartsheet if there’s at least one person whose sole job is to manage the project. Smartsheet involves a steep learning curve and smaller teams might not need something this elaborate. But if you have a dedicated project manager, there’s probably no other tool as powerful as Smartsheet.

Features

  • Advanced automations. Smartsheet supports complicated conditional formatting for automated workflows. You’ll be able to set up rules with multiple conditions to ensure processes are both efficient and scalable.
  • Built-in file proofing. This feature enables team members to review, comment, and approve documents directly within the platform, significantly enhancing collaboration and reducing turnaround times.
  • Custom form builder. Remote teams can create customized forms to collect data, gather feedback, or request updates efficiently, making data collection a customized and easy process.
  • Automatically updated dashboards. Smartsheet dashboards update in real time, providing teams with instant insights into project metrics and status, which helps with informed decision-making and alignment.
To learn more about its functions, see our expert Smartsheet review.

Templates 400+
Communication tools @mentions on individual cells, files, and projects, advanced proofing tools, announcements
Mobile app
Starting price $7.00

Jira project management features
Jira’s support for Agile workflows makes it ideal for software projects
Jira is an all-around good project management tool – and one of the best for software development teams, thanks to its optimized support for Agile workflows. I’ve come to appreciate its extensive customization options that cater to project management methodologies such as Scrum and Kanban, as these are sometimes overlooked.

The platform stands out because of its vast array of integrations, boasting thousands of apps that enhance its functionality. While it’s not as extensive as monday.com’s integrations, Jira’s apps – which span from CRMs to design tools and shared workflows – still significantly expand its utility within tech ecosystems​.

Jira also offers robust user permissions management, allowing detailed control over who can view or edit different parts of projects. This flexibility is crucial for maintaining the integrity and security of project data and for customizing workflow access according to team member roles and responsibilities​​.

Features

  • Thousands of integrations. Jira offers a vast array of integrations with other tools and apps, helping teams work more effectively across various platforms.
  • Dedicated code repositories. Tailored for development teams, Jira provides integrated code repositories that support version control and collaborative coding, which enhances efficiency in software projects.
  • Intuitive “your work” section. This personalized dashboard organizes and highlights tasks, notifications, and updates relevant to each team member, making it easier to manage the day-to-day team operations.
  • No file size limit. With no restrictions on file upload sizes, Jira allows teams to share large files, ensuring all necessary resources are readily accessible.
Our expert Jira review has more on collaboration tools.

Templates 4
Communication tools @mentions, project details files, notifications
Mobile app
Starting price $7.75

5. HubSpot: Best for Customer Management1

HubSpot software suite
HubSpot offers powerful customer relationship management
Renowned for its comprehensive customer management capabilities, HubSpot is suitable for businesses focused on client and business management. It’s not a project management tool in the traditional sense. However, it offers outstanding client tracking, providing robust tools that help create and maintain detailed records of customer interactions and activities so your team can stay up to date on what’s important.

Additionally, HubSpot makes it very easy for remote teams to collaborate. You can access the collaboration toolbar from virtually any section within HubSpot. The toolbar gives you the option to comment on documents and files across departments, manage approvals, see your assigned tasks, and review a shared calendar.

HubSpot can be daunting for new users. The platform requires a period of learning if you want to use it effectively. Once mastered, HubSpot becomes a powerful asset for managing various business aspects, including marketing, sales, and customer service. It’s a worthwhile investment for remote teams looking to enhance their client relationships.

Features

  • Sales and marketing pipelines. HubSpot provides free robust tools for creating and managing sales and marketing pipelines. You can also take advantage of its default sales pipeline, which includes 7 deal stages that you can edit and customize.
  • App marketplace. The extensive app marketplace allows integration with numerous third-party services, enhancing HubSpot’s functionality and flexibility for diverse team needs.
  • Automatic data sync. HubSpot syncs all pertinent information, including customer data and interactions, across devices. This keeps remote teams in sales and customer service updated and aligned in real time.
  • AI features. New AI features from HubSpot can really boost your team’s productivity and simplify daily tasks. With these free AI tools, you’ll be able to generate content, write emails, and craft outlines in minutes. HubSpot’s chat assistant can also help add contents to your CRM and create custom reports.
To learn more about AI features, check out our expert HubSpot review.

Templates No pre-created templates, up to five user-created ones
Communication tools @mentions, team dashboards, internal conversations, and more
Mobile app
Starting price $20.00

Teamwork communication features
Teamwork’s free plan includes effective communication tools for your remote team
Teamwork is a standout choice for its robust free plan, ideal for small teams or projects. The platform is user-friendly, simplifying project management so that even those new to these tools can quickly become proficient. This ease of use ensures that teams can focus more on productive work rather than spending time learning complex software​​.

Teams can use Teamwork’s Kanban boards to keep track of tasks and get a high-level overview of project objectives. Notably, Teamwork also offers its own chat app for paid plans, which allows you to share files, turn chats into tasks, and get up to speed with searchable chat history.

The free plan supports up to five users. However, it’s worth noting that it does come with limitations. You don’t get access to all the available project views and it lacks inter-team communication tools. If your team requires more advanced features, you might be better off exploring upgraded plans or even different software.

Features

  • Custom template creation. Teamwork allows remote teams to design and use custom templates for projects and tasks, ensuring consistency across workflows.
  • Data filtering. Effective data filtering features enable teams to quickly navigate and manage large volumes of information, improving focus and efficiency on relevant tasks.
  • Assign tasks to more than one team member. By assigning a task to multiple users, you can facilitate collaborative efforts and clearly distribute responsibilities, which promotes transparency across teams.
  • A wide range of smart shortcuts. Teamwork’s smart shortcuts expedite daily operations, reducing time spent on routine actions and enhancing overall productivity for remote teams.
Read our expert Teamwork review to see if it’s right for your team.

Templates 20
Communication tools @mentions, built-in messaging, team spaces, activity feeds
Mobile app (one for project management and one for chat)
Starting price $5.99

Other Useful Tools for Remote Teams

While most of the tools above integrate a wide range of functionalities, I’d be remiss not to mention some other tools that might be important for different kinds of remote teams. These tools are way more specialized in purpose, but they can fill a gap in a function that your project management software might lack, or maybe you’re just looking for something dedicated to a single purpose.

Whatever the case, the following could be beneficial for all sorts of remote teams.

Cloud Storage Tools1

IDrive Features
Storing and accessing different documents from the cloud is crucial for remote teams
While most of the project management tools above include storage space for your documents, bigger projects are more likely to need comprehensive, dedicated solutions that offer large amounts of storage for a smaller price.

Though Google Drive is the classic go-to option, I’d recommend IDrive instead. It offers more powerful backup tools, enhanced security, and team plans for up to 50 team members. If you’re interested, you can also check out our complete guide to the best cloud storage tools in 2024.

Communication Tools

Slack homepage
Timely communication between team members is a crucial part of a project’s success
If you need to communicate with your team immediately, there’s nothing wrong with the classics – that’s why I recommend Slack. While all of the project management tools above offer team communication in one way or another, instant chat messaging is still somewhat of a rarity.

Slack offers workspace-specific tools like team messaging, activity trackers, and automations. It’s also the industry standard, which means that new members are more likely to have previous experience with Slack, which makes the onboarding process quicker.

Video Conference Tools1

Around video conferencing interface
You might need to have a chat with your team from time to time
Video conferencing can be crucial for freely discussing ideas with your team. It also helps to keep track of overall morale and progress, as well as address any areas that need improvement.

My top recommendation is Around by Miro, which is just as easy to use as Zoom but offers automatic audio enhancements – no more echoes and distracting background noises. Designed to allow you to multitask as you talk, its interface turns the traditional box designs into floating circles. This can help you make real-time updates without distracting yourself from a conference call.

Time Tracking Tools

Clockify user interface
If you know how your team is spending time, you can know how to optimize it
If you need to track your team’s time per project for any number of reasons, a time-tracking tool can be incredibly useful. Though some of my top collaboration tools for remote teams have integrated time-tracking, you can also use an external application like Clockify.

Clockify offers a robust fully-free option with built-in reporting tools, which means that you don’t have to stretch your team’s budget to get effective time-tracking. It boasts an extremely user-friendly interface, which makes it an ideal tool for new team members to start using right away.

Unite Your Team With The Best Collaboration Tools for Remote Teams

Different teams will value different functionalities and features, so the best collaboration tool for your remote team will depend on your needs.

For flexible project management, consider monday.com1. Its customizable workflows with over 200 templates make collaboration so easy (and enjoyable). Automations save time by eliminating repetitive tasks.

ClickUp excels in versatility1, offering customizable views, task dependencies, and time tracking. It’s perfect for teams that need an adaptable tool.

For powerful information management, project managers should consider Smartsheet1. Its robust templates and inter-document information sharing tools make it ideal for data-driven teams.

Here’s a quick comparison of my top collaboration tools for remote teams.
Free Plan Best Feature Best For Starting
Price
monday.com Variety of
templates and
integrations
Teams that work in
various different
areas
$17.00
ClickUp High customization Established teams
going remote
$7.00
Smartsheet Powerful data
management
Teams with large
data requirements
and a dedicated
project manager
$7.00
Jira Support for Agile
and Scrum
methodologies
Teams working on
software or IT
projects
$7.75
HubSpot Complete
customer
relationship
management
Managing hundreds
of contacts in a sales
pipeline
$20.00
Teamwork Extensive free plan Teams with a
tight budget
$5.99

FAQ

What are the best collaboration tools for remote teams using Agile and Scrum methods?

Though there are many different tools that offer Agile and Scrum functionalities, my top choice would be Jira since it offers the most complete Agile and Scrum integrations. Jira also integrates with a number of productivity and collaboration tools, making it a powerful solution for these teams.

Which collaboration tools offer the best security for remote teams?

Though all the top project management tools offer robust security features, Smartsheet offers the greatest amount of data protection. Its cloud-based AWS storage frequently undergoes rigorous security checks. It’s also audited for ISO 27001/27701/27018 standards and it’s SOC 2/SOC 3 compliant, meeting the most current security standards.

What are the most cost-effective collaboration tools for remote work?

If you’re going for a budget-friendly but effective tool, then monday.com is a top-tier choice. However, if you’re part of a small team or on a tight budget, then Teamwork shines for its robust free plan. You can add up to 5 team members, use built-in time tracking tools, and integrate with essential apps like Slack and Zapier.

What should I look for in a collaboration tool for remote teams?

Depending on the goals of your team, how you prioritize different requirements will change drastically. That said, you should look for tools that are user-friendly for quick integration and offer a wide variety of support for different work styles. You should also consider effective tools for communication and collaboration. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our roundup of the best project management software in 2024.

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