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March 19, 2015

6 Top Collaborative Tools for Virtual Businesses

As the world becomes increasingly more connected on a daily basis through technological advancements like social media and smartphone devices, businesses are in greater need of digital tools to increase connectivity within and improve communications throughout the company. Steadfast commitment, tight partnership, and constant support are requirements to ensure forward movement and unbridled success.

Over the past decade, the collaborative services industry has been in constant evolution to become more powerful, efficient, and customizable in order to best suit consumer needs. Today, there are now a myriad of collaborative platforms for organizations of all sizes to choose from when establishing what is most suitable for the exchange of document and information for any given business model. Here are six of 2015’s top digital collaborative tools to keep teams on the same page, focused, and never out of the loop.


Used by millions across the globe, Basecamp is a project management application that makes communication and collaboration on projects simple as can be. In fact, Basecamp’s simplicity is so outstanding that 98% of customers who use this software would recommend it to others, although, as simplistic as the design is, there is still no shortage of features to be utilized.

Easily fill out to-do lists, message team members, and share files with others so that everyone is brought up to speed. Additionally, Basecamp can send daily emails to recap current project updates and statuses. Emails can also be sent directly to Basecamp in case there are any forgotten tasks to be added after the original task creation occurred. Lost files are no longer an issue either with Basecamp’s powerful search tool that can identify search terms buried deep down inside project files that would typically be quite challenging to locate.


Dropbox is one of the most streamlined and elegantly designed cloud-based file management systems on the market today. Dropbox offers users 2GB of space for free and is accessible on an extremely wide range of devices, meaning that you are never too far from any crucial documents. Grant others access to files and folders which allow for digital delegation and projects to be completed at a faster pace. Dropbox also features a mailbox application which can be synced to iCloud and Gmail accounts, which makes this a one stop destination for any and all file management needs. Best of all, account set up is extremely easy to accomplish and takes no time at all.


With the ability for private or group messaging, Slack is an unparalleled project communication and messaging tool with options designed to mirror many social media platforms. Slightly more restrictive in the number of usable features than some other platforms, Slack focuses the majority of its efforts on providing a superior communication medium for groups and organizations alike. Teams are created with ease so that links, documents, or any other pertinent information can be shared quickly and easily. Slack also files communications away into distinct channels, so all previous interactions are stored and completely searchable. Using Slack won’t break the bank either; it’s modestly priced at about $7.00 per month.

Atlassian Confluence

Atlassian Confluence is a clean and easy way to use wiki-style software for storing instructional type documents such as how-to’s and training manuals, although Confluence can also be used as a bulletin board for posting meeting information, project statuses, announcements, and related communications. This easy to read platform gives teams a single place to find, share, and collaborate on work for company projects and effectively keeps teams up to date with the latest information and status updates. Confluence also provides unlimited space so companies never need to worry about reaching capacity.


This easy yet powerful project management tool streamlines project work flow and clarifies priorities by automating task schedules. This eliminates loads of precious people hours spent on project coordination. Simply add tasks to a job and LiquidPlanner will take the reins from there. This multi-project scheduler also allows for Excel documents to be imported and rich reporting, analysis, and time-tracking data features add huge value and range to LiquidPlanner’s capabilities


HipChat is an instant messaging application built with businesses in mind. Already utilized by several notably successful organizations such as Expedia and Netflix, HipChat allows businesses to share files, documents, and images in real-time and is compatible with any device or operating system. Video-chat or instant messaging helps colleagues stay connected despite location while HipChat securely archives conversations for later reference. Screen sharing and drag and drop file sharing features make this platform’s usability second to none. Additionally, HipChat’s basic package is free of charge, so you can give it a test drive without any sort of risk.

Virtually connecting team members improves lines of communication and efficiency so that projects can be completed in a timely and effective manner. This is no longer an option, but a necessity for companies to implement in the digital age if they wish to see prosperity and teamwork.

Is your company already employing a collaborative software? In what ways has its implementation proven to be beneficial to the team or company?


Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach.  Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.