This collection of tools is specific for remote workers. This is by no means a complete list… but rather, these are the tools that are being used in the Collaboration Superpowers network of remote working fans. Our favorites are highlighted! If you decide to give something a try, tell ’em Collaboration Superpowers sent you!
- Supercards – virtual meeting cards that help you communicate visually during your video calls. A Collaboration Superpowers product!
- Zoom.us – a Collaboration Superpowers favorite. Simply one of the best video conferencing tools out there. You can see all your colleagues on one screen, share screens and annotate together, breakout into smaller groups, and record the whole thing. Throw Skype For Business out the window and hop on Zoom. Seriously.
- BlueJeans – “interactive, two-way video for teams of any size”. Works great.
- appear.in – an easy, instant way to have a video call. Someone creates a link to a room and sends it to others. No registration needed. And yes, you can also share screens.
- Meeting Owl – “Intelligent 360°All-in-One Video Conferencing Device.”
- Catch – send quick video messages that expire after 24 hours.
- Shindigs – large-scale video chat events that allow you to present to an online audience of up to 1000. You can also take questions from the audience, provide audience with chat, and stream to YouTube or Facebook Live.
- Amazon Chime – NEW! On the list to be tried. Let us know about your experiences.
- Loom – Chrome extension that allows you to record and share your screen and webcam.
- Hangouts Meet – Google Hangouts had a reputation of being unreliable – but they have revamped into “Hangouts Meet” and people claim it’s better.
- UberConference – “stress-free conference call. No PINs required.” Editors note: unimpressive. Use it if nothing else works.
- Join.me – “Free screen sharing, online meetings, and web conferencing.”
- Odro – “One click online video meetings.”
- jitsi – free, open source video conferencing tool (“WebRTC video conference powered by the Jitsi Videobridge”)
- Zeen – “video conferencing that provides the insights and tools to help your teams be effective.”
- Slack – team conversations in open or private channels.
- HipChat – “team group chat, video chat, and screensharing.”
- Adium – “open source multi-protocol instant messaging client.”
- Front – “the inbox for teams.”
- Upside Down – “Turns your books, websites, and content into interactive chatbots.”
- Stride (by Atlassian) – “A new way for teams to talk, meet, decide and do.”
- Twist (by Doist) – “Mindful team communication.”
Virtual office / coworking spaces
- Sococo – a Collaboration Superpowers favorite (check out the interview). Sococo is an actual virtual office where you can meet and work with your remote colleagues online. The intro video is worth watching and it’s easy to try out.
- PukkaTeam – “realtime team presence through automated, regular webcam selfies and one-click video calling.”
- Bisner – “A social work environment where coworkers meet, interact and connect.”
- Walkabout Workplace – online workplace (i.e., virtual office) connecting remote teams.
- Complice – virtual coworking rooms
- Kubi – a Collaboration Superpowers favorite (check out the interview). The Revolve Robotics Kubi allows you to beam in and move yourself from side-to-side and up-and-down.
- Beam Pro – another Collaboration Superpowers favorite (check out the interview). With the Beam Pro you can beam in and drive yourself around using the arrow keys on your keyboard.
- Personify – yes, another Collaboration Superpowers favorite (check out the interview). A 3D webcam projects your image onto your monitor. If you’re giving webinars, online presentations or trainings, this is a MUST HAVE.
- Ohmni – “be there in one click. From anywhere in the world.”
Online meeting managers and accessories
- Lucid Meetings – helps you schedule times, send calendar reminders, agree on an agenda, log action items, gather user feedback, and use or create your own meeting templates. This is a Collaboration Superpowers favorite.
- Meetopia – “always present virtual meeting facilitator”. It makes it easy to add agenda items and vote on their order.
- sli.do – “live Q&A, polls and slides for your meetings and events.”
- Online meeting facilitation techniques
- Meeting for Good – “the best meeting coordination app.”
- Lean Coffee Table – structured, but agenda-less meetings.
- Instant Agenda – “Helps you collaboratively create agendas, track action items, record decisions, poll attendees, including 1-on-1 conversations with direct reports, Lean Coffee(TM) meetings, and traditional meeting types”
- Roti.express – “Get instant feedback from your meetings.”
- Hugo.ai – “aligns teams through documenting, organizing and sharing meeting notes.”
Time zone tools
- PlayPrelude – another Collaboration Superpowers favorite (check out the interview) The Prelude Suite™ accelerates virtual team trust in three fun steps.
- Dr Clue’s treasure hunts – virtual (and in person) treasure hunts for teams. A Collaboration Superpowers favorite (check out the interview).
- Personal Maps – getting to know each other in a more well-rounded way.
- virtualicebreakers.com – exactly what it says in the name. Virtual icebreakers. (check out the interview)
- Lisette’s favorite icebreakers.
- Meeting Spicer – one-minute card activity to be played during meetings.
- CareerLark Icebreakers – “help your teams get to know each other by sharing fun facts with each other.”
- Icebreakers for virtual teams on the podcast
- Bridging Distance’s favorite icebreakers
Brainstorming and planning
- Linoit – “free sticky and canvas services that requires nothing but a Web browser.” A Collaboration Superpowers favorite.
- GroupZap – online whiteboard for brainstorming
- RealtimeBoard – “whiteboard. Finally in your browser.”
- Scribble – “Your whiteboard companion to any call!”
- Post-It Plus – capture notes, organize and share them with everyone.
- Mural – “online brainstorming, synthesis and collaboration.”
- Conceptboard – “visual online collaboration for creative and remote teams.”
- iObeya – “digital visual management for lean & agile companies.”
- IdeaBoardz – “brainstorm, retrospect, collaborate.”
- Team Canvas – “business model canvas for teamwork.”
- Cardboard – “Product planning app with collaborative story mapping, journeys, and slices.”
- aha.io – “product roadmap software.”
- Dropbox Paper – “a flexible workspace that brings people and ideas together.”
- Awwapp – “A web whiteboard”
- Huddlewall – A scalable display of collaboration boards (link to video)
- eBeam SmartMarker – “Write anywhere. Capture everything. Share around the world.”
- Noteapp – “Bring sticky notes to your team, in real time.”
- coggle – “the clear way to share complex information.”
- Popplet – “A tool for the iPad and web to capture and organize your ideas.”
- Stormboard – “Online brainstorming and collaboration”
- Edraw – “Visualization software to create diagrams of any kind for any user.”
- XMind – “The Most Popular Mind Mapping Tool on the Planet”
- MindMeister – “Collaborative mind mapping”
- MindNode – “Delightful Mind Mapping”
- Scapple – “… an easy-to-use tool for getting ideas down as quickly as possible and making connections between them.”
- Lighten – A mind mapping app for iPhone/iPad
- GroupMap – “real-time online collaborative brainstorming and decision making.”
- Ideaflip – turn thoughts into ideas, share and refine them – anywhere.
- WeThinQ – “idea management software” (check out the interview).
- Loomio – making good group decisions together.
- Workplace by facebook – “Connect your whole org with familiar tools, helping everyone in your business turn ideas into action”
- Yabbu – “helps your team to make decisions within 24 hours, about the time it would normally take to sync calendars for a face-to-face meeting.”
- Synthetron – “Synthetron helps clients (corporations, consulting firms and communications agencies) to listen to, and get insights from, large groups of people in an efficient and timely way.”
Document editing and wikis
- Google Docs, of course.
- Etherpad – open source, online document editor – collaborative editing in real-time.
- SmashDocs – “Collaborative authoring, reviewing, and producing of documents.”
- Tettra – “internal wiki built for Slack teams.”
- Guru – capture and access team’s knowledge in Slack.
- Draft – “Easy version control and collaboration for writers.”
Task and project management
There are too many to list. Check out this comparison of project management software on wikipedia
- Delegation Poker – A Collaboration Superpowers favorite. This is a way to clarify who’s responsible for what and to what level.
- Hibox.co – “task and project management, chat and video calls in a single app” (check out the interview).
- Nozbe – task management and productivity app (check out the interview).
- ScrumDo – a tool that supports online Scrum and Scrumban (check out the interview).
- Freeter – “the smartest way to work on multiple projects simultaneously.”
- Glip – “real-time messaging with integrated task management, video conferencing, shared calendars and more.”
- Quip – “productivity suite that combines documents, spreadsheets, task lists, and team chat in one place”
- eylean – “Scrum and Kanban desktop softare that integrates well into the Office tools and TFS from Microsoft product family.”
- Asana – a way for teams to track their work. This tool is mentioned often in Collaboration Superpowers interviews.
- Bolste – “The all-in-one digital workplace with business messaging, file sharing, video conferencing, task management and more.”
- To-do bot – Your to-do list integrated with Slack
- talkSpirit – Collaborative digital platform
Feedback and retrospectives
- Retrium – online retrospectives made easy. A Collaboration Superpowers favorite! (check out the interview).
- Scatterspoke – online retrospectives. (check out the interview).
- Mindful.team – “monitor and improve the health of your company culture” (check out the interview).
- Remote Agile Tool – online board for remote team retrospectives.
- Retrotool – “real-time sticky notes” for remote retrospectives.
- RemoteRetro – “Hold better, more productive agile retrospective meetings… remotely!”
- Selleo – 360-degree peer-to-peer feedback based on Jurgen Appelo’s Merit Money system.
- Mentimeter – “interactive presentations, workshops and meetings”.
- officevibe – “the leading employee engagement software”.
- blogyourmood – “track your emotions”.
- Fun Retrospectives – “activities and ideas for making agile retrospectives more engaging.”
- Jim and Michele McCarthy check-in protocol. This method allows the speaker to say what he or she is feeling, e.g. “I feel one or more of mad, sad, glad, or afraid.” And then they give an explanation.
- Kudobox.co – an easy way to say thank you online. A Collaboration Superpowers favorite!
- Bonus.ly – “360 degree microbonuses”. A Collaboration Superpowers favorite!
- YouEarnedIt – peer to peer recognition software.
- Thanksbox.co – “provides a range of digital tools to maximise employee engagement in any organisation.”
- Agiletoolbox.io – Helps employees to show their accomplishment to the world and feel appreciated by others.
- Tinggly – “The world’s best experiences in one gift box.”
- HeyTaco! – another easy way to say thank you online.
- Snappy Gifts – “adding happiness and joy to employee recognition with personalized gifts.”
- RescueTime – “tracks time spent on applications and websites, giving you an accurate picture of your day.”
- Clockspot – “track employee time from anywhere.”
- Time doctor – “time tracking and productivity monitoring software for businesses and individuals.”
- Indivizo – automated video interview app. A Collaboration Superpowers favorite!
Standup meetings / status updates
- iDoneThis – “daily check-ins and powerful progress reports”. A Collaboration Superpowers favorite.
- Standup Bot – “running Slack’s fastest standup meetings” (check out the interview).
- Standuply – a bot that interviews your team and delivers answers to Slack, Trello and email.
- WorkingOn – team status reporting.
- Weekdone – “weekly planning + quarterly objectives.”
- ETEO board – digital touchscreen that incorporates video (check out the interview).
- Rentouch – digital touchscreen that incorporates video.
- Dicordapp – “all-in-one voice and text chat for gamers that’s free, secure, and works on both your desktop and phone.”
- VAIL – a way to respond to emails with voice messages.
- Voxer – “secure, mobile communication at the push of a button. One powerful walkie-talkie messenger.”
- LastPass – “remembers all your passwords, so you don’t have to.”
Live video broadcast
- Crowdcast – “Connect to your audience through live video.”
- Be Live – Engage your audience on Facebook live with live broadcast.
- Virtual Team Talk – a Slack group of people talking about remote teams and experimenting with new tools and ideas together. We virtually co-work together in virtual office, plan online conferences, and play a lot. Join us!
- Remote Workplace Leaders – “…the first Slack community connecting remote workplace leaders from around the globe.”
- Greenback Expat Tax Services – accountants that help US citizens abroad with their taxes. A Collaboration Superpowers favorite! (check out the interview).
- Remotive – Slack community (paid)
- Remote Work Think Tank – “Remote Work, Team Building, Company Culture” [Facebook group’]
Remote working retreats
- Rebel + Connect – “retreats for remote teams” (check out their interview).
- Coworkation – “when work meets vacation” (check out their interview).
- TAP International – “Premier professional development travel program, designed for rising talent.”
- Wifi Cafes and Spaces – directory for anyone in any city to find work-friendly spots to work.
- CoWorking.Coffee – “best workplaces with coffee and wifi, curated by the community, all around the world.”
- Global Coworking map
- Desk Surfing – offer a desk at your office or find your favorite workspot.
- Workfrom – “share the best coffee shops with wifi and power, cafes, bars, coworking and other work-friendly spaces – wherever you roam.”
- CoNomads – “helps you meet and co-live together with other like-minded individuals.”
- ShareDesk – “book from thousands of unique work and meeting spaces.”
- Hoffice – “come and work at someone’s home”
- Chatlight – portable lighting.
- Sidecar – attach your tablet as a second monitor to your laptop.
- GeChic-2501H – 15.6″ portable monitor with HDMI, VGA inputs.
- Jabra Speak 410 – portable USB conference speakerphone
- Rocketbook – Intelligent, reusable notebook
- EverBlock Systems – “Life-Sized Modular Building Block That Allows You To Build Nearly Anything” (if they can block sound, it could be a great solution for loud open offices).
- Anti-fatigue mat – For your standing desk – “Cushioned terrain drives subconscious movement – unlike distracting treadmills & balance boards.”
Remote working guides and policies
- Fog Creek’s Ad Hoc Remote Work Policy
- Basecamp Employee Handbook
- Gitlab’s handbook for Spending Company Money
- Zapier’s Remote Work Survival Guide
- Buffer’s Remote Work Guide
- Trello’s How To Embrace Remote Work Guide
Health insurance, disability insurance, and life insurance for remote teams
- Zenefits – “all-in-one HR platform”
- Lumity – “A business solution with the perfect blend of innovative software and expert benefits consulting.”
- United Healthcare – “health insurance plans to meet the needs of individuals and employers.”
- MetLife – “life, auto & home, dental, vision and more.”
- TriNet – “HR Solutions for Small and Midsize Businesses.”
- Benify – “global provider of employee HR solutions”
Podcasts in the remote genre
- The Collaboration Superpowers podcast, of course! Subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher. Lisette Sutherland is interviewing people and companies doing great things… remotely! These interviews are packed with stories and tips for those whose business models depend upon successfully bridging distance to accomplish knowledge work.
- 21st Century Work-Life – The world of work is changing. Our attitudes to work are changing. The 21st Century Work Life podcast looks at different ways of earning a living, of using technology at work and of managing teams.
- Future of Work Podcast – A weekly show where Jacob has in-depth discussions with senior executives and business leaders around the world on the future of work.
- Rebel + Connect Radio – where we connect you with the ideas, people, products and services that you need to create a truly meaningful company culture on your remote team.
- The Remote Podcast – for anyone looking to become a digital nomad and join the location independent movement. The podcast features in-depth and unfiltered one-on-one interviews with digital nomads.
- Remote Works – A bi-weekly podcast discussing the opportunity, culture, experience, and community surrounding Remote Work with featured discussions and interviews.
- The Remote Dev Podcast – Hosted by Joe Birch & David González
Books and publications in the remote genre
- Stories of Remote Teams Doing Great Things by Lisette Sutherland, of course!
- Working Out Loud by John Stepper
- Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab
- A Manager’s Guide to Virtual Teams by Yael Zofi
- Better Remote Work: Do It Right, And Reap the Benefits by Jarkko Oksanen
- The Virtual Manager by Kevin Sheridan
- Virtual Freedom by Chris Ducker
- The Year Without Pants by Scott Berkun
- Influencing Virtual Teams by Hassan Osman (check out the interview)
- Remote: Office Not Required by Jason Fried
- Virtual Leadership by Ghislaine Caulat
- Building & Managing Virtual Teams by Chris Lema
- The Circle by Dave Eggers (a fiction book – but surprisingly accurate)
- 50 Digital Team-Building Games by John Chen
- Virtual Team Quick Guide by Nenad Maljkovic