Freelancing has allowed many people to work and earn a living without fixed schedules and the need to report to a physical office. And, even better, freelancers can improve the way they work with the help of online collaboration tools.
There are instances when freelancers have to work together to complete a project. Not every freelancing job can be completed by only one person. Some require more people because of the different skills or specializations needed.
On the other hand, collaboration can also happen between freelancers and their clients. They can take advantage of various features such as document sharing and shared schedules to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
The following are some of the best web-based collaboration tools that can help freelancers work with their clients or with other freelancers.
AND.CO is an online application designed to make it easy for freelancers to run their business efficiently. The app comes with customizable proposals and contracts as well as an invoicing and payment system. It also has a task manager, expense monitor, time tracker, and a comprehensive reporting function.
It comes with the ability to integrate with other apps including Zapier, MailChimp, Slack, Shopify, and PayPal. It works on Android, iOS, and Chrome. Additionally, since it is a cloud-based system, it can be accessed from anywhere.
With more than 300,000 businesses using it, AND.CO is one of the attractive tools to use for freelancers. It is designed to reduce the time it takes to do administrative work and get paid, so freelancers can focus more on bigger priorities.
Claiming to be the number one freelance product suite, Bonsai offers an all-in-one system for handling proposals, contracts, projects, time tracking, and tasks. It also features invoicing, accounting, and taxation functions. This business application aims to help businesses do more and optimize their limited resources with advanced features and automation.
Bonsai already has over 200 users including freelancers and businesses worldwide. Designed for businesses in different trades, it helps independent contractors and startups achieve the best outcomes for their business. It also comes with global technical support.
Google has one of the most dependable suites of online applications to help freelancers collaborate. It has Docs for creating, editing, and sharing documents. It also has Sheets to generate worksheets for assignments and schedules. When it comes to communication, Google has Gmail and Meet (previously Hangouts).
These Google web tools may not provide advanced features for collaboration, but they suffice for doing relatively simple projects. Google Meet serves as the anchor for doing collaborative work, as it allows video conferencing and provides a built-in screen sharing feature.
Another excellent option for online collaboration is the relatively new but highly popular Zoom. This cloud video conferencing is not only good for enabling video chat among a multitude of participants. It also supports group collaboration across different kinds of devices.
Zoom features group messaging, a sophisticated file sharing function, and simultaneous screen sharing. It also comes with group messaging and the ability to annotate and co-annotate documents or files. Additionally, it provides a virtual whiteboard function and the ability to control another participant’s keyboard and mouse.
A multi functional collaboration platform, Jell claims to offer all of the features necessary for managing a productive team. It features a powerful scheduling and monitoring tool called Daily Standups. It also provides the ability to generate customized check-ins for team members.
Additionally, Jell comes with a goal tracking feature that allows everyone to be updated with project progress and day-to-day activities through a simple but interactive visual report. This online tool can also be set to send mobile notifications and can integrate with other business tools such as GitHub and Slack.
Box is a cloud-based tool that emphasizes seamless collaboration, a simplified workflow, and guaranteed security. It provides a host of useful tools to enable agile collaboration including a document editor, file-sharing system, and automated workflows. All of which are protected by advanced security controls and smart threat detection.
Integration is a notable advantage for Box as it is compatible with over 1,400 apps, including Office 365, Slack, Salesforce, Workplace, and Docusign. This ability to integrate with other apps makes it possible to extend Box’s range of functions. Freelancers who need specific features not found in Box won’t run out of apps to use to augment the application.
For some, Dropbox may only be a file storage solution. However, it does more than keeping files on the cloud securely. It is also a popular content collaboration and document editing platform. It may not match the features of fully-fledged collaboration solutions, but it has enough functions to be useful in doing collaborative projects.
This online tool features Dropbox Paper, which serves as a unified space for sharing, annotating, and editing documents. Paper makes it possible to centralize actions with the creation of checklists, due dates, agenda, and a collection of contributed ideas. It can serve as a great tool for freelance programmers.
For those looking for a simple, no-frills collaboration web app, I Done This is a good option to consider. Designed for teams and personal users, it can convert information logs into reports automatically. It simplifies the process of tracking team progress.
I Done This can be configured to provide daily status updates, set goals and mark them for completion, and generate robust reports. It’s not a full-blown collaboration platform that includes screen and document sharing, but it does an excellent job of keeping team members in sync.
Available as a mobile or web-based tool, Asana is a feature-rich team and project management solution. It is designed to maintain organization and connection among team members so they can focus on their tasks and goals.
Asana features tabs for lists (tasks and assignments), timelines, schedules, and forms. It also has a neat task board that follows a Kanban-style list-making scheme. This board allows team members to create cards, which they can move into different columns depending on the task’s status (in-progress, complete, etc.).
Trello is similar to the task board of Asana, but it’s not a ripoff of it. This popular task management online tool makes it easy to organize a team of freelancers to work on a project together. It does not have a video conferencing component, but it allows participants to send messages to each other.
Trello is often used by software developers, accountants, web designers, game developers, as well as freelancers working in the legal field. It claims to have more than 35 million users worldwide.
Trying any of the web tools featured above should be a good idea for freelancers who want to pursue collaborative endeavors. These online tools facilitate coordination and better organization in undertaking tasks or projects. What’s important is to find the right tool that best suits the specific needs of a team or project.