April 11, 2023

6 Free Online Tools That Make Collaboration Easy on a Budget

Want to know how to maximize your team’s collaboration potential? In this article, we highlight 6 free online tools that can save you up to 5% on communication costs!

6 Free Online Tools That Make Collaboration Easy on a Budget

You've probably noticed that things have been different in recent years. Because of the pandemic, we have seen a big shift towards remote work and online learning. While this has been a big adjustment for some people, it has also brought a lot of flexibility and convenience to our lives. Now, we have the ability to work and learn from anywhere, thanks to mobile offices and classrooms.  

It is exciting to see how things are transforming in the post-pandemic world due to some amazing advancements in technology. Generative AI has made collaboration easier and more efficient than ever. In this article, we will introduce 6 online collaboration platforms that will help you save time and work smarter.

What are the benefits of collaboration platforms?

We have all experienced the frustration of trying to communicate effectively when working or studying remotely. Luckily, a variety of collaboration tools have emerged to simplify things. These tools include note-editing softwares, voice transcription platforms, project management tools, online whiteboards, and collaborative design tools. These products were created for teams to work better and complete projects as quickly as possible.

Who are collaboration platforms for?

Remote/Hybrid Teams: Employees in these setups rely on collaboration platforms to improve communication efficiency and extract key points from numerous online meetings.

Startups: Collaboration platforms enable startups to work with agility and efficiency, fostering brainstorming and connections, streamlining project planning, and ensuring transparent team communication for rapid product and service iteration.  

Students: With the abundance of online courses, students need a better way to organize their learning. Collaboration platforms allow them to summarize online classes efficiently and track their progress in different subjects.

Media Professionals: Journalists, translators, and editors collaborate online to streamline their work, reduce time spent on transcribing interviews, and prioritize information breadth and real-time updates.  

Tech Communities: Tech communities use collaboration platforms to take collective notes and extract crucial information from lectures given by tech experts at meetups or online seminars.  

Marketing and Communication Professionals: Experts in these domains use collaborative tools to get immediate feedback from internal creative teams, website designers, and visual designers to design and execute marketing campaigns for their clients.  

Content Creators: With the growth of YouTubers, Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), Podcasters, and other content creators, collaboration platforms can be used to make communication with viewers and listeners easier when text is used as an auxiliary tool in video and audio programs.

How to choose a free online collaboration platform?  

There are plenty of collaboration platforms on the market. To save you from choice paralysis here are six top picks our teams use on a daily basis. Let's take a closer look and find the one that best suits your needs!

1. Notion

Notion is a free note-taking tool that goes beyond the usual note-taking apps. It has some neat features like customizable templates, creating a knowledge base, making spreadsheets, boards, calendars or AI writing assistant. You can use Notion to keep your personal documents organized, note down important points from your courses, manage report materials if you're a media professional, or handle project management tasks if you're working in a team.

2. Vocol

Looking for a tool to help with audio-to-text transcription? Meet Vocol. This AI voice transcription tool comes packed with multi-user collaboration features and powerful AI technology. Vocol instantly transcribes speech into text, makes summaries of lengthy transcripts, and supports online multi-user editing. It is especially handy for startups, remote work companies, and marketing firms, thanks to its Summary, Topics, and Speaker Identification features.

But that's not all, Vocol just launched a new translation feature that allows you to translate your voice files into 25 world languages. Vocol is a great fit for media professionals, students, content creators, and tech communities who need transcription in Chinese, English, and Japanese. If you register for a new Individual account, you'll receive 200 V-points for a free trial and gain access to a generous 3,000 minutes of media file storage.

3. Google Drive

Google Drive is like your own personal storage unit in the cloud! It's a free service that lets you save your files and work with others. You can create all kinds of documents using Google Docs, Sheets, Presentations, and Forms, and even make simple websites with Google Sites. Plus, you can invite others to view your work, make edits, and leave comments, which makes it super easy to collaborate with classmates, coworkers, or anyone else you need to work with. It's perfect for students, startups, and remote workers in businesses who want to stay organized and get things done!

4. Trello

Trello is a free and easy-to-use project management and collaboration platform that's perfect for startups, editing teams, marketing teams, design teams, and content creators. With Trello, teams can keep their project workflows and progress on track by using boards, timelines, tables, calendars, and dashboards. Team members can sync up tasks, list to-do items, and collaborate more efficiently than ever before.

5. Mural

Looking for a fun, interactive and a bit nostalgic way to collaborate with your team? Look no further than Mural! This free online whiteboard comes equipped with a wide variety of templates to meet your every need, from brainstorming to education to team-building activities. It's perfect for startups, product design teams, remote work companies, and anyone looking to add a little more creativity to their workday. With Mural, you will be able to work smarter, not harder.

6. Figma

Figma is an online design tool for graphic design, web design, prototyping, and system design. It is perfect for teams working on all kinds of design projects from wireframing to high fidelity prototypes. Figma provides designers with a wide variety of plugins, design tools, and resources, freeing up more time to focus on creating smooth user experiences.  

The best part of Figma is its multi-user collaboration feature that allows teams to work together seamlessly on the same platform. This means that teammates can easily discuss, brainstorm, design, and edit in real-time, ultimately increasing work productivity. Moreover, Figma simplifies communication between design agencies and their clients with its annotation feature, making it easier to pinpoint areas that need further refinement.

Trying every online collaboration platform out there would be a daunting task. The best approach is to choose a platform that fits your work style or job role. You can even map out a typical day using a collaboration tool based on your role. Whether you're working solo or in a team, using multiple collaboration tools can boost communication efficiency, help you manage work more efficiently, spur personal or company growth, and create highly productive teams.