The 10 best tools for collaborating online

The 10 best tools for online collaboration

These days design teams are often collaborating from remote points around the globe, and there are many useful tools to facilitate this virtual meeting style. Below we list some of the best tools out there right now, to get your design projects done efficiently, professionally and creatively.


Slack

Slack is an excellent option for communicating with ease among your team. Stay on-task in one comprehensive place with this venue that allows everyone to communicate in real time, and reduces confusion and clutter created by excess emails and conflicting meeting times.

Trello
Trello is a free project management tool that creates custom sharable lists in the form of digital post-it notes. The notes, or “cards”, can be arranged any way you like, and it offers organization for project timelines as well as appointments and deadlines.

MindMeister
The mind-mapping tool MindMeister is equipped with a collaboration function, so it’s useful for designers who are generating new ideas. While this approach may be unorthodox, it can provide an interesting alternative that might be useful for thinking outside the normal brainstorming-box.

InVision
InVision was created with designers in mind, and offers interactive prototypes with options for feedback, comments, and dynamic to-do lists. The first project is free and after that it’s $15 per month.

Google Keep
Google Keep is a simple option that is very user friendly. You can maintain ideas and tasks to share or keep for yourself, and the application integrates seamlessly with your Google account (there’s also an app for iOS as well as Android). This simple tool is great for beginners or those looking for a simple solution without a lot of extra learning involved.

appear.in
Appear.in is a tool that is centered around video collaboration, and accommodates up to 8 chat room participants. No downloads, logins or fees required–it’s free and simple to use. Plus it allows you to engage with your team in person, rather than just with notes and text.

Yammer
Yammer is a social media-like network that supports team collaboration with chats (open or private), shared documents, and status updates. It is owned by Microsoft and integrates with SharePoint. Access is gained by logging in under a company email address, and the platform is available on desktop as well as mobile.

Red Pen
Red Pen allows designers to get feedback from colleagues, clients and others by placing projects into an interactive dashboard. Viewers can then add their critiques or ideas to the designs, creating new drafts while saving all previous copies, so no versions get lost in the process.

Mural
Mural is basically a large mood board where you can drag and drop files in collaboration with others. You can invite anyone to collaborate, and it’s iPad-optimized as well. This is a good beginner’s option because it’s straightforward and user-friendly.

GoVisually
GoVisually is free and functional, yet easy to use. Collaborators can create their own versions of a project, and these versions can be navigated between each others easily–just click on an alternate “layer” to view a fellow brainstormer’s ideas. It also has many handy detailed functions that allow you to pinpoint notes and feedback with ease, reducing the need for email clutter and time-consuming written correspondence.

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