Communication and collaboration is important in every virtual team. Whether it is for simple tasks or big scale projects, it is important to keep communication lines open and everyone aware of their respective tasks. And to make communication and collaboration possible, collaboration tools are used.

In outsourcing, collaboration tools are the mainstay. It is almost impossible for any team to excel in the industry without using at least two or more platforms. Collaboration tools are used before, during, and after working on a project. These tools create a virtual office-like atmosphere where everyone works together to achieve a certain goal.

A lot of collaboration tools usually require payment for customers to avail certain features. But there are some that are absolutely free and useful at the same time. Here are six popular free collaboration tools available online:

  1. Google Docs

Google Docs allows multiple users to work on a document at the same time. It enables users to create documents, sheets, forms, and slides while promoting collaboration through Smart Editing. It also offers templates for different types of documents and can be edited in any device.

  1. Skype

This tool allows users to connect online. Group calls allow you to add as many as 24 other people in a conversation. Users can choose to stick to chat through messages, or opt for voice and video calls. Skype also allows sharing of small files as well as free mobile and landline calls. It is easy to use, and can be very useful for when working with your virtual team.

  1. Dropbox

Dropbox takes file storing and sharing to a whole new level, all for free. Every account created in the website allows users to share and store up to 2GB of data online. Users can organize their files by creating folders and share them through email. It also immediately updates files that have been altered and ensures that all data are backed up.

  1. Trello

It is a free online platform mainly focused on collaboration through creating boards with customizable columns. It is a card-based system that allows card entries to be transferred and altered in any column. It is mostly used to manage tasks especially with its due date and attachment options.

  1. Basecamp

This platform is an online project management and collaboration tool that was created to allow virtual teams to work on projects simultaneously. Each Basecamp has a Campfire, To-dos, Message Board, Schedule, Automatic Check-ins, and Docs and File sections. It ensures that every member of the team is updated, and the project on the right track.

  1. ClockingIt

Time management is essential in outsourcing. ClockingIt understands this, and functions as an online application that allows users to keep track of the project’s time schedule. This allows the team and the employer to check if the project is moving at the right pace or if it is falling behind.

There are more other free popular collaboration tools online that anybody can use to get their desired output. For small businesses, freelancers, and/or virtual teams, using effective collaboration tools that are free is definitely the ideal way to go. However, going for other paid and useful tools is also an option.