Across the board, companies report that communication and collaboration among remote team members is an ongoing challenge. There are many shiny tools out there for communications and project management. There are lots of new ones, many good ones and some flash-in-the-pan ones. At Global Marketing Solutions, we are drawn to the effective ones. Here’s our list of essential tools for efficiency and effectiveness among our remote team and our clients.

Google Drive for Filing

Proposals, timelines, client documents, resource materials and so much more are accessed every day by an active team. We use Google Drive as a cloud-based filing cabinet for all of it. But it is much more than that. Google Drive offers real-time collaboration and syncing, is easily searchable, and has a generous free space option with a Google account.

Dropbox for File Sharing

For online file sharing, Dropbox is an excellent resource. It is easily accessible from a variety of devices, and files and folders are easily sharable with team members. A free storage option and the Dropbox API allows many other apps to use it as a foundation. Dropbox also allows auto-sharing of images to Facebook.

Slack for Communication

Slack offers an easy and effective way to communicate. It works as a powerful collaboration tool because of its customizable notifications. For a team like ours, this is extremely valuable for event coverage and social media monitoring. While it doesn’t replace email, it is certainly a more efficient method of communicating in many instances. Slack also supports video calls and other collaboration, inspiration and task management apps.

Smartsheet for Project Management

This is a powerful project management application that can be used for tasks from budgeting and reporting to resource management and task tracking. With the tools of both a spreadsheet and a project manager, it allows the creation of hybrid documents. Sheets can be shared with collaborators with varying permission levels, or collaborators can be added to workspaces, in which they can edit and comment.

Skype for Meetings

Skype is as easy as a phone call, and nearly everyone already has it. This makes not only team but also client meetings easy to schedule and facilitate. It allows both video calling and calls to standard phones, along with rich texting through chat. Skype has consistently provided quality communication across nearly every available platform.