When starting to build ideas together in a team environment, you will need a secure means of communication to discuss those ideas and carry out your project, that’s why good chat tools are essential. The people you work with must therefore provide their own ideas in a space where they keep everyone on the same page. This is easy to achieve when working together in the same physical office space, but what if the user communicates or works with freelancers from all over the world?
We want to introduce you to some of the best tools for managing a team chat system. There are plenty of free products and even a few paid ones that can offer more than just instant messaging. But every communication tool is different and you need to find the one that best suits your needs.
Index of this article
Among many other online projects, Campfire has been an excellent choice among chat tools for companies that are present on the Internet. Its service allows managers to assign tasks, group notes, and file downloads. It’s a powerful way to organize any project online with any number of people.
That’s why Campfire can be a great solution. The interface is very similar to Basecamp and is also easy to learn with some practice. However, you will notice an increase in price.
2. Grove IRC
Grove is a private IRC host that manages chat rooms. IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat, which connects several popular instant messages. There are even free web-based IRC scripts for accessing different chat rooms (known as channels).
The plans for Grove are also quite expensive. Costs are over $250/year for a 10-user company. It’s a good system because you have access to a backend dashboard with chat rooms available right away. But if you need advanced features like file sharing or member profiles, then Grove is too simple to fill the void.
The web app allows any company with less than 5 users to run their account for free indefinitely, so it’s an excellent choice among chat tools. This comes with 5GB of personal storage, plus integration with Google Drive and Dropbox. Each account has a lot of features like tasks, notes, and obviously chats.
Conversations can include one or more people and can also be archived and stored in the account for free. Its entire backend interface is very elegant. Being able to use this for free is a great marketing option to keep people using the app. If you’ve never seen Redbooth’s website I recommend going over its features to see what’s possible.
Flowdock has some great features to make it work as a constant means of communication. It’s branded “Teams inbox with chat” and offers both mobile and desktop apps.
With less than 5 users, everyone on the team gets to use this app for free, but once the user limit is exceeded, all team members are charged $3 per month. This can still work very well for medium teams. It won’t be great for everyone, but I think Flowdock is useful and definitely worth some consideration.
Another really cool solution is called Podio, and it’s not just for chat tools: It is a complete backend management suite for projects that need to handle multiple users. Its subscription is free with less than 5 team members and you can try a large number of their apps using this free account. These apps range from doing tasks to calendars and chat rooms.
Signing up is very easy, as it has a direct connection to Google, Facebook, and even Windows Live. The free account works because you can try out all of its apps just to see if they can work for your company. Teams have different needs and I think Podio can fill the gap for some people. It’s free to sign up and try it out, so you don’t have much to lose!
If you are looking for a classic team chat solution among the options of chat tools, then Jaconda should be a fantastic choice. It is free for 30 days but has some costs associated with a paid account. However, its services include a number of chat rooms with support for very large teams, designed for medium to large companies.
Also, your account will come with 10+GB of storage space for file sharing in the cloud. It is also possible to integrate with other services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Box.net, and others. Even better is that you can access chat rooms through any common program like Google chat or Skype. Jaconda is very flexible and offers a powerful ultimate system for team communication.
Azendoo is yet another one of those free personal services where you can try an account without paying any money. It is a project management system that allows the management of individual projects. The chat system is very similar to Facebook where you can get notifications and private messages. Users can also leave comments on certain tasks based on group projects.
10GB storage is given for free along with Dropbox/Google Drive integration. It is also compatible with iOS and Android. Their premium plans give you more storage capacity (50GB and above) and better support. Azendoo is just one choice, along with many others for project collaboration. It might not be as useful as other tools, but if you have some time give it a look.
Did you like the chat tools?
There are so many tools available to help with communication and task management. But with a flooded market also comes a difficult decision: choosing exactly the right tool for your business. My hope is that this article can get you thinking about chat tools and move you in the right direction for successful team collaboration.