With a recent increase in remote work, many companies look for the “do-it-all” free communication tool. A team chat that is compatible with remote work in which you can take care of all your business needs in one place. Essentially, team chats that can do more with less work.

Now, not everyone wants to pay for team chats. Some people say that by not paying you miss out on better features. This is not always the case. While it is true that paying for certain team chats will give you more and perhaps better features, not all of them are needed. Additionally, there are free team chats that deliver equal or better quality than paid versions.

We realized that not everyone wants to pay for team chats. And because of this, we realized that there is a market for team chats that are free, simple, easy-to-use, and versatile.

AirSend is a perfect free team chat app that not only allows you to have seamless conversations, but also to share/organize files, track your to-do’s, and keep notes. 

Capture of AirSend

Though we like to think we are the best, we also take the time to acknowledge our competitors who also deliver. Here is a list of our top five free communication tools for remote work: 

  1. AirSend
  2. Jitsi
  3. Discord
  4. Telegram
  5. Pidgin

In this blog post, we will discuss specific features, functions, and the pros and cons of each platform. Without further ado, let’s dive into the top five free communication tools for remote work. 

AirSend

Capture of AirSend’s Homepage

Of course, AirSend is at the top of the list. It would be weird if we didn’t believe that our product was the best free communication tool. 

So, what does AirSend have that other team chats do not? One of the selling points to AirSend is its seamless communication. This feature is designed to make your life easier. We do that by allowing you to switch from channel to channel without ever having to leave your current tab. Having seamless conversations also allows you and your clients to continuously stay in the loop. 

AirSend also comes with the necessary features to get work done. We offer built-in task management, premium file organization, and a built-in wiki. AirSend combines the attributes of our competitors with a clean and simple UI design. We replace Slack, Microsoft Teams, GDrive, Todoist, and Trello all together.

AirSend is also continuously updating to deliver the maximum productivity needed for business chats, so you can always expect the latest and greatest features.

Pros to AirSend

Compared to other free communication tools in which both parties need an account, AirSend only needs one person to sign up to have a conversation. AirSend is beneficial to those who carry conversations through various platforms (email, Whatsapp, SMS, Discord, etc). Rather than switching between many communication tools, you can now keep all your conversations from one place.

Your clients can continuously communicate with you through their email. Anything sent from email to a channel email address will magically appear in the AirSend channel. Leaving you to manage all your communications, business, and clients from one place. To see our email to channel feature, read our blog post. We have also just released a new feature to AirSend called Public Channels! For more information, click here.

Cons to AirSend

As said before AirSend allows for easy seamless communications. And while we offer all the tools necessary to help have a seamless conversation, we also do not currently offer audio or video calls.

However, with our built-in wiki tool, which can be used as a place to keep notes, you can paste your Zoom meeting link for easy in-app audio and video conferencing.

Jitsi

Image of Jitsi Meet

Jitsi is a free open source video conference software. Jitsi thrives on their new form of communication, video conferencing. In other words, all communication happens over video. The selling point to Jitsi is that they are one of the few video conferencing software that offers encryption-based calls.

Pros to Jitsi

Depending on perspective, Jitsi does not require accounts. Users have the option to create accounts for the purpose of attaining transcripts and meeting history. Further, users can join meetings with a URL, share screens, and edit documents with Etherpad. Jitsi is also incredibly easy to use.

Cons to Jitsi

Compared to other video conferencing software, Jitsi doe not support Saas, iPhone, iPad, and Android. They are also very limited in integrations and features. Further, Jitsi does not carry On-demand webcasting, record&playback ability, nor whiteboard.

Discord

Capture of a Discord Channel

While Discord is originally meant for gamers, they offer a lot of features for a free communication tool. Like AirSend, Discord offers channel organization, only placed in a more complex UI design. Though we think Discord is a fabulous tool, we also believe that their UI lacks a professional theme needed for more business chats. For more information on Discord and its alternatives, read our blog post.

Pros to Discord

Discord enables all-in-one voice and text chat. Discord also gives you full control over your created server. Best of all, aside from being free, like AirSend, Discord allows users to seamlessly switch between private and public channels.

Cons to Discord

As said before, Discord is great for a free communication tool. They also offer communities in which people can join with a click of a button. However, the downside to being a part of a Discord community, or even a small chat channel (10 max) is that the noise-to-signal ratio is extremely high, leaving information that could be important, buried. Lastly, their UI can be overwhelming to users who are looking for a basic team chat.

Telegram

Capture of Telegram

Telegram is a cloud-based mobile and desktop messaging app with a focus on security and speed. The selling point to Telegram is that it is available on many of the most widely used platforms. 

Pros to Telegram

With Telegram, you can send messages, photos, and videos to people who have Telegram, and to those who are in your phone contacts. You can also create groups for up to 200,000 people or channels.

They also have cool features like bots, secret chats, self-destructing messages, and support large files. If you are looking for a free communication tool that carries a lot of features, Telegram may be worth considering.

Cons to Telegram

Telegram lacks the features and functions for team collaboration. Like WhatsApp, Telegram is made for casual conversation with friends and family.

Pidgin

Capture of Pidgin Logo

Like Riot.im, Pidgin is a chat program that builds bridges to other chat programs. The biggest selling point to Pidgin is that they are compatible with almost every plugin and software out there.

Pros to Pidgin

As said before, Pidgin is incredible for connecting all team chats and plugins into one central area. They are also incredible for supporting almost every platfrom, such as Windows, Linux. To give an idea of what team chats they support, we will list the top five. 

  1. XMPP/Jabber
  2. IRC Chats
  3. Slack
  4. Hangouts
  5. MatterMost

For more information on their plugins, click here.  Lastly, they also carry over 50+ languages.

Cons to Pidgin

Pidgin is a universal chat client that builds bridges to chat servers. What this means is that Pidgin itself does not carry its own chat servers. Instead, it serves as a client for other chat servers to connect. This can become inefficient in some use cases and would make it hard for team collaboration.

Results

Our goal with AirSend is to do less with more. Our mission is to be the #1 team chat tool. 

We want to deliver a communication tool that allows you to take care of all your business needs in one place. A platform that delivers maximum productivity.

We use AirSend as our digital workspace for our marketing team. Even though AirSend is our product, we sincerely believe that AirSend can help your team too. Give us a try and let us know what you think!

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.

Capture of AirSend Public Channel

So let’s say you and your friend want to venture out and connect with a small group of people who carry the same interests as you. How do you take the first step in building your own community?

One of the more popular answers is online communities. Having online communities through real-time chat programs are an effective way to form online connections with other people.

Sometimes, we don’t always have the tools needed to build a community. That is why we made AirSend. With AirSend’s new feature of public channels, the possibilities are endless with your community

The latest and greatest feature to AirSend allows anyone to build their favorite communities.

AirSend’s public channels add all the features needed to help seamlessly run your community. Features, such as built-in actions, premium file organization, built-in wiki, and office integrations.

AirSend also offers a clean UI design, which makes the usability is incredibly easy.

The question is then, “How do I best set up my AirSend community?” In this blog post, we are going to show you how to make an AirSend public channel in five easy steps. Let’s dive in. 

Create your Snazzy Channel

Before we can dive into the exciting part, we first need to get through the basics. This is the first and probably most important step before doing anything else.

This is a vital step because not only is it the gateway to creating your community, but this is also where you show your fellow members what your community is about. 

As you can see from our lovely gif, creating a public channel is as easy as that! Here is also a mini-step guide for creating your public channel. 

  1. Click on the large box that says, “Create a Channel”
  2. Make your Community name and description
  3. Checkmark the “make channel public.”

Now let’s get to the exciting parts. 

Customize your Community!

Customize your community however you want! Build your own wiki, change the background, and even change the logo. This is a great feature because when users set up their community with AirSend, they do not have overwhelming options for customizations.

Communities lie in connections being made. Having aesthetic features are extra steps to help you get there.

Capture of Customized AirSend Public Channel

Copy Channel URL

That’s it! All you have to do is copy the public link (invite URL) found in your channel settings. Your channel settings is located at the top of the screen. After you have copied your link, send it to everyone you know. Anyone who has your public link can send it to other people as well.

The cool thing with AirSend public channels is that users will be able to see their community grow. Start connecting with people over AirSend. Take control of who you want in your community, and most importantly have fun with it. This next step will be for new members joining an AirSend community. 

Explore your Future Community

For potential members, users will receive a public link address. Clicking on the public link address gives you a read-only view and the ability to download files. After exploring the contents, all you have to do is create an AirSend account and join your public channel. 

Interact

Great! Now you have a complete step-by-step guide on how to make a community with AirSend. Get inspired and build connections. 

For a full tutorial video look below!

Our goal with AirSend is to do less with more. Our mission is to be the #1 team chat tool for communities, professionals, and innovators. AirSend is a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.

To see the latest updates to AirSend, read our blog post.

Source: unDraw

As an auditor, you deal with many PBC list requests on a daily basis. And depending on client size, your audit teams can range from one person to 20 plus. With so many moving parts and people involved, the audit process can quickly become a complicated mess if not properly organized. Here are some simple tips to staying organized and streamlined while compiling an audit PBC list.

Audit PBC List Tip #1: Use the Right Tools

One of the first and most important aspects of the process is deciding what tools you are going to use to collect and track PBC list documents. Do you want the documents in hard copy form, emailed, or uploaded to a secure portal? How are you going to track which documents have been receive and which haven’t? The answers to those two questions and choosing the right tools to help you with the process will greatly determine how easy or hard it is for you to manage your client audit PBC lists.

Audit PBC List Tip #2: Set Realistic Deadlines

Work with your clients to set deadlines that are realistic. PBC lists are long and take time to prepare, so be flexible and communicate clearly so that you choose a date that works for everyone. Setting a realistic deadline will reduce the stress of the situation, making the audit process smoother overall. It’s also good to do occassional check-ins to ensure that progress is being made in a timely manner.

Audit PBC List Tip #3: Prioritize Your PBC List

To make the audit process even easier for you and your clients, break your PBC list down into sections and prioritize the items in those sections so that it’s clear which items need to be compiled first. This organization further helps everyone stay on the same page when it comes to the audit PBC list.

Audits can be complex with many moving parts, but following the above tips for auditors and how to handle PBC lists can help make sure the process is as easy as possible.

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace for accountants to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you as your business grows here.

Image of Workchats

Recently, there has been an emphasis on Discord alternatives. Especially voice and text chat. We can thank companies who do remote work and teleworkers for this. With the emphasis of team chats, however, a lot of platforms have been forgetting the purpose of team chat software. That is effective efficiency.

Discord is one of those platforms that to a certain extent forgot. Discord is known for its all-in-one voice and text chat. Originally marketed towards gamers, Discord has seen an increased outreach to other fields. To see how Discord fares in comparison to Slack, read our blog post

Due to Discord’s massive popularity, there has been a tremendous amount of formed communities. Because of this, the noise-to-signal ratio is incredibly high. With a high noise-to-signal ratio, distractions can happen and important information can get buried among the chatter.

While we still believe that Discord is, in fact, an amazing communication tool, we also know Discord is not the best utilization for team chat software.

And because of this, we realized that there is a market for team chats that are more simple, easy-to-use, and versatile.

That is why we made AirSend. AirSend is a perfect team chat app that not only allows you to have seamless conversations, but also to share/organize files, tracks your to-do’s, and keep notes.

Capture of AirSend

Though we like to think we are the best, we also take the time to acknowledge our competitors who also deliver. Here is a list of our seven best alternatives to Discord:

  1. AirSend
  2. Mumble
  3. TeamSpeak 
  4. Flock
  5. Skype
  6. Riot.im
  7. Tox

In this blog post, we will discuss specific features and functions, pricing tiers, and the pros and cons of each platform. Without further ado, let’s dive into the seven best alternatives to Discord. 

AirSend

Capture of AirSend’s Homepage

Of course, AirSend is at the top of the list. It would be weird if we didn’t believe that our product was the best alternative to Discord.

One of the selling points to AirSend is its seamless communication. This feature is designed to make your life easier. We do that by allowing you to switch from channel to channel without ever having to leave your current tab.

Having seamless conversations also allows you and your clients to continuously stay in the loop. Though Discord offers the same feature, the complex UI design makes it hard for users to navigate between servers-to-channels and channel-to-channel. 

Pros to AirSend

As said before, AirSend allows for easy seamless communication. Further, unlike Discord, AirSend carries built-in task management and a built-in wiki.

With Discord, you have to make a separate “about” channel in your server that represents the wiki. 

AirSend removes abstractions of servers by eliminating the barriers. If you are starting from point A, you now can go to point C without having the confusion of context switching.

AirSend allows client-to-client or B2B relationships within one space. Best of all, AirSend is currently free!

Cons to AirSend

AirSend does not currently offer built-in audio or video calls. However, with our built-in wiki tool, which can be used as a place to keep notes, you can paste your Zoom meeting link for easy in-app audio and video conferencing.

Mumble

Capture of Mumble Interface

The cool thing about Mumble is that it is an open-source VoIP platform (Voice over Internet Protocol). They are also great for low latency, high-quality voice chats. However, the selling point to Mumble is its security. 

Pricing

Mumble is set up as a subscription service. The way Mumble charges are on the number of slots (users) you have.

To give a general overview of pricing we will include the minimum number of slots and their pricing.

For the minimum of 15 slots: 

  • 1 month: $7.50
  • 3 months 10% off: $20.25
  • 6 months 20% off: $36.00
  • 12 months 40% off: $54.00
  • 24 months 50% off: $90.00

For more on their pricing plan, click here

Pros to Mumble

As said before, the great alternative to Discord that Mumble has is security. Mumble offers encryption of chats and an authentication feature, which prevents random people from dropping into your chat room.

Finally, Mumble only uses 20 kbps of your bandwidth to function normally.

Having these security functions are great for businesses and/or clients who routinely deal with sensitive information.

Cons to Mumble

The main negative of Mumble is that they do not include browser support. This also makes the user experience a little difficult to maneuver through.

Lastly, Discord is free, whereas Mumble is not. When trying to figure out which platform is best for you, it is best to ask yourself how much does security mean to you. If security is a priority when looking for team chat software, then Mumble may be the better option. 

TeamSpeak

Capture of TeamSpeak

When it comes to online gaming, TeamSpeak is the number one choice for VoIP communications. Based on our research of recent case studies, TeamSpeak also carries lag-free communication, military-grade security, and customizations. 

Pricing

TeamSpeak’s prices are broken down by the number of users joining. Below is a picture of the latest prices they are offering.

Capture of TeamSpeak Pricing

Pros to TeamSpeak

Aside from the benefits already mentioned, TeamSpeak also offers unlimited file transfers, unlimited sub-channels, hosting your own private servers, and advanced permission controls.

These features would be great for those who are looking for a team chat that offers top-notch security, user/owner control, and offline functionality.

Cons to TeamSpeak

While TeamSpeak is certainly great and a strong alternative to Discord, the prices are a bit hard to swallow.

Further, TeamSpeak offers features that are targeted more towards gamers than professional team chat software.

This is not to say that TeamSpeak could help with business team chats, but with the somewhat complex UI, it would be a hard buy.

Great features, but it may be more than what the average team chats for business needs.

Flock

Capture of Flock

Flock is one of the more promising team chat software. Flock is incredibly easy to use, and with integrations from Google Suite, and a built-in shared to-do list, productivity seems promising.

They also carry other features, such as guest accounts, one-way announcement channels, and a five-column interface. They also support video and audio calls. 

Pricing

With Flock, there are three pricing plans: 

  1. Free
    • Unlimited messaging
    • 10,000 searchable messages
    • 10 public channels
    • 5GB total per team
    • Single team admin
    • 1-1 Video calls
  2. Pro Plan: $4.50 monthly
    • Unlimited search history and messaging
    • Unlimited private and public channels
    • 10 GB per team member
    • Multiple team admins
    • Group video calls
    • Screen sharing 
    • 24/7 priority support
  3. Enterprise Plan: $8 monthly
    • Includes everything plus 20 GB per team member

Pros to Flock

While the features seem promising, there is still room for improvement. In an alternative to Discord, it is great. You have available built-in tools, such as app integration, polls, to-do lists, the ability to create public and private channels, reminders, and many more.

Cons to Flock

With recent reviews and case studies, a major con to Flock is its five-column interface. Having a busy interface can make users feel overwhelmed.

Much like Discord, having a complex UI design can leave the user experience lacking.

Furthermore, specific features designed for team collaboration is nice, but some of them feel unnecessary. 

Skype

Capture of Skype

Skype is a great alternative to Discord if all you are looking for is a simple audio and video chat software. Skype also has a built-in screen share feature. With basic functionalities, Skype is incredibly easy to use.

Pricing

Skype bases its pricing on calls. Especially international calls. While the text platform is free to use, to make international calls requires payment. For calls only in the U.S., it is $2.99 monthly. In India, it is $7.99 monthly with 800 minutes. 

Pros to Skype

Again, with the basic functions of audio, video, and text communication, Skype is great for team chats.

Unlike Discord, their simple UI design allows for easy usability.

If you are looking for something simple that is also supported on various platforms, Skype may be a good choice for you.

Cons to Skype

Though Skype is easy to use and it is also free, there are limited capabilities. With Discord, you can go further with its features, such as customization, and making specific channels oriented to productivity.

If you are looking for a team chat platform to do more, such as channel organization, Discord may be the better option.

Riot.im

Capture of Riot.im

Though Discord is a great team chat app, it doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption. In other words, if you are an accounting business that handles sensitive information routinely, Riot.im may be the better option for secure messaging.

Riot.im has the capability to build bridges with users who use other team chat apps. They are currently running on Web, iOS, and Android.

Pricing

IT’S FREE! Riot.im is currently free, with future plans to have paid, hosted accounts

Pros to Riot.im

Riot.im also supports text and voice chats. Additionally, with Riot.im you can archive your files, like messages, quick drag-and-drop for fast sharing, and join or drop ongoing calls in a room without disturbing others. Most importantly you can connect to other team chat software.

Cons to Riot.im

Riot.im lacks other tools needed to make a successful team chat software. While the feature of building bridges to other team chat software is certainly a game-changer, Riot.im lacks the ability to have integrated and/or built-in task management and built-in notes. Alternatively, Discord supports integrations. 

Tox

Capture of Tox

Tox is a great alternative to Discord if you have been doing things other than gaming. Tox features encryptions and is fairly easy to use. Additionally, Tox supports text, voice, and video chat. They also support screen sharing. Like Discord, Tox also has file sharing.

Pros to Tox

One of the main selling points to Tox is that it has zero central servers. The entirety of Tox’s network is comprised of the users. This also means no server outages that could disrupt workflow. Tox is also free

Cons to Tox

Because Tox is fairly new, there may be some bugs leftover. Further, Tox’s UI is lacking compared to Discord. 

Results

As you can see, each platform carries its pros and cons. It is all a matter of what you feel would be the perfect team chat software.

Our goal with AirSend is to do less with more. Our mission is to be the #1 team chat tool.  We want to deliver a team chat platform that allows you to take care of all your business needs in one place. A platform that delivers maximum productivity.

We use AirSend as our digital workspace for our marketing team. Even though AirSend is our product, we sincerely believe that AirSend can help your team too. Give us a try and let us know what you think! 

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.

Image of Workchats

Recently, there has been an emphasis on Slack alternatives for team communication. The reason is that team chats, like Slack, forget that “less is more.”

Slack is known for its top-notch functionality and versatility, however, with a continuous path of innovation, Slack can seem a bit overwhelming. Aside from the neverending features of Slack, the monthly cost to have an account also builds up. For Slack Standard, it is $6.67 monthly, and for the Plus version, it is $12.50 monthly. Further, Slack only offers third party file storage and task management. With AirSend, we have a built-in file-storage and task management. To see how AirSend is an alternative to Slack, read our blog post.

We realized that Slack is not for everyone. And because of this, we realized that there is a market for team chats that are more affordable, simple, easy-to-use, and versatile. That is why we made AirSend.

AirSend is a perfect team chat app that not only allows you to have seamless conversations, but also to share/organize files, track your to-do’s, and keep notes. 

Capture of AirSend

Though we like to think we are the best, we also take the time to acknowledge our competitors who also deliver. Here is a list of our seven best alternatives to Slack:

  1. AirSend
  2. Discord
  3. Microsoft Teams
  4. MatterMost
  5. Zulip
  6. Riot.im
  7. Rocket.Chat

In this blog post, we will discuss specific features and functions, pricing tiers, and the pros and cons of each platform. Without further ado, let’s dive into the seven best alternatives to Slack. 

AirSend

Capture of AirSend’s Homepage

Of course, AirSend is at the top of the list. It would be weird if we didn’t believe that our product was the best alternative to Slack.

One of the selling points to AirSend is its seamless communication. This feature is designed to make your life easier. We do that by allowing you to switch from channel to channel without ever having to leave your current tab.

Having seamless conversations also allows you and your clients to continuously stay in the loop. Whereas with Slack, you need to have an account for each team you are in, AirSend is an open network. In other words, AirSend requires only one sign-up. You can now also sign up with your Google account.

Pros to AirSend

As said before, AirSend allows for easy seamless communication. Compared to Slack which only allows 10,000 of your team’s most recent messages, AirSend’s message history is unlimited.

AirSend combines the attributes of our competitors with a clean and simple UI design. We replace Slack, Microsoft Teams, GDrive, Todoist, and Trello all together. Best of all, if you sign up now, you can get AirSend Pro free for one year!

Cons to AirSend

While we offer all the tools necessary to help have a seamless conversation, such as a built-in wiki, premium file organization, and task management, we do not currently offer audio or video calls.

However, with our built-in wiki tool, which can be used as a place to keep notes, you can paste your Zoom meeting link for easy in-app audio and video conferencing.

Discord

Capture of Discord Channel

Discord is a great platform that enables all-in-one voice and text chat. Slack and Discord carry almost the same UI design, so if you are looking for a “busy” design, Discord may be a good option for you. Further, the selling point to Discord is that they give you full control over your server.

Pricing

Another benefit is that Discord is free.

There is also a Discord Nitro in which you get more customizations than you would with the free version.

Customizations can range from animated emojis, and creating a unique tag for your profile. Annually, Discord Nitro is $99.99. Monthly it is $9.99.

Finally, there is Discord Nitro Classic, which has everything the Nitro plan has, except for a Server Boost. Annually it is $49.99, and monthly it is $4.99. 

Pricing aside, the great thing with Discord is that it does not carry the overwhelming functionalities of Slack. 

Capture of Discord Nitro

Pros to Discord

Like AirSend, users with Discord can seamlessly switch between private and public channels. Discord also does not offer integration with apps you might use for work.

But if your team only uses text, voice, or video conferencing, you should be fine. Lastly, Discord is the only chat in this list that offers push-to-talk features, along with an instant invite link. 

Cons to Discord

Discord is great for team communication. Additionally, with a busy UI design, you feel like you are doing more with less functionality. However, it is important to remember that Discord is specifically meant for gamers. So, the UI will be more complex than what the average business chat needs.

Lastly, like Slack,  the noise-to-signal ratio is extremely high with Discord. Because of this, distractions can happen and important information can get buried among the chatter. 

Microsoft Teams

Capture of Microsoft Teams

One of the biggest selling points to Microsoft Teams is the smooth integration of Office 365. This becomes useful if you depend on Office 365 for your daily tasks.  Furthermore, Microsoft Teams is great for keeping all your team’s chats, meetings, files, and other apps together in one place.

Pricing

When it comes down to pricing, Microsoft Teams can be a little daunting. The free version of Teams allows chat and collaborations. However, under the free plan, there are partially included essentials, such as:

  • meetings and calls
  • productivity apps and services
  • security and compliance. 
  • Limited storage: 2GB per user and a total of 10 GB is shared among your team. 

There is also a $5 monthly plan that is not much different from the free version, except an increase in storage (1 TB per user). Finally, there is the $12.50 monthly plan. This plan includes everything.

Pros to Microsoft Teams

As said before the great thing with Teams is that it allows for smooth integration of Office 365. The UI is very similar to Slack and they even offer the same functions and capabilities.

Users have the capability to edit, delete, and pin messages. Users can also create a new thread and share files, provided it fits with the limited storage. 

Cons to Microsoft Teams

There is plenty of room for Microsoft Teams to grow. After thorough research of use cases and reviews, there are many aspects where Microsoft Teams is still lacking. Some use cases have mentioned that setting up the app was not an easy task.

Additionally, users must set up a unique email for each user in their team. Microsoft Teams also does not support drag and drop functions.

Lastly, if you are wanting to look for a team chat platform with integrations, Slack would be the choice. But if integrations do not matter, and you use Office 365 daily, Microsoft Teams is the go-to choice. 

MatterMost

Capture of MatterMost

MatterMost is a wonderful communication tool to have that is specifically designed for having a  private cloud and an opened-sourced channel.

Like Slack, MatterMost targets large enterprises. However, unlike Slack, MatterMost implements self-hosting capabilities. With self-hosting capabilities, users can have greater control over privacy and security. 

Pricing

Luckily, before fully committing to MatterMost, there is a 30-day free trial. With the E10 edition (basic) and a minimum of 10 users, the price is $39 per user. Annually making it $390.

There is also an E20 edition, which is an advanced enterprise edition that roughly charges $8.50 monthly.

Because the E20 edition is made for larger corporations, you must get a quote from MatterMost before continuing to pay. To see what each plan offers, click here.

Pros to MatterMost

Though MatterMost is more expensive than Slack, MatterMost offers premium control over privacy and security.

Additionally, you can run the messaging platform behind your organization’s firewall.

The way we see it, MatterMost is a great alternative to Slack if your organization is large enough to have or require self-hosted team messaging. 

Cons to MatterMost

Now, with all the positives said, I am sure you are wondering why MatterMost is not above Microsoft Teams. Well, for the specific cons we are about to mention, Microsoft Teams has. 

MatterMost lacks video and audio conferencing, and users cannot share screens. With MatterMost’s almost overwhelming design, the UX becomes difficult to maneuver. After researching some alternatives MatterMost had to these cons, we believe that aside from AirSend’s built-in wiki capability, Microsoft Teams would be the better choice.

With team chat software there should be an emphasis on various mediums of communications. These mediums should offer text, audio, and video, or a greater alternative should one of these mediums be absent.

Hangouts Chat and Meet

Capture of Hangouts Chat

The selling point: Hangouts Chat offers virtual rooms that can hold up to 8,000 people. Further, like Slack, users can create threaded conversations, and bots that can integrate with G Suite and other third-party platforms.

Hangouts Chat is much like Microsoft Teams in that Hangouts Chat is deeply integrated with the G Suite Package. The perks to this are being able to view files directly from Drive and Docs directly in conversations. 

Pricing

Because Hangouts Chat and Meet are integrated with GSuite, you have to pay for the GSuite Plans.

The basic plan is $6 monthly, per user, with the main limitation of 30 GB to your Google Drive.

The next plan is Business, which is $12 monthly, per user and an unlimited Google Drive Space.

Finally, there is the Enterprise plan, which is $25 monthly, per user.

Pros to Hangouts Chat and Meet

Like Slack, Hangouts Chat offers dedicated space for group conversations. Unlike Slack, each room in Hangouts Chat is private by default. This means that you have control over who you can invite to your room. 

There is also the smart reply feature like that of what you see in your Gmail. The biggest pro, however, is that Hangouts Chat is deeply integrated with GSuite.

There is also an app called Hangouts Meet. This app is made for video calls. The Hangout Meet offers a bot that integrates directly with your Google Calendar to schedule meetings for you.

 Cons to Hangouts Chat and Meet

Though Hangouts Chat supports integrations, they do not support the same amount of integrations that Slack has. Several users fear that Google will shut down apps that are often used. Due to this fear, users lack the assurance or trust in Google.

Furthermore, there are no notification settings specific to rooms. Though Hangouts Chat and Meet do not offer all the integrations that Slack has to offer, Hangouts Chat is easier to use. Lastly, Hangouts Chat and Meet are two separate apps, so when trying to find an all-in-one workspace, Hangouts Chat and Meet may not be suitable.

If you have GSuite, Hangouts Chat and Meet are perfect to use. 

Riot.im

Capture of Riot.im

The selling point for Riot.im is that they are an open-source, interoperable collaboration app. Don’t panic! There is nothing complicated about this. Matter of fact,  this just means that Riot.im has the capability to build bridges with users who use other team chat apps. They are currently running on Web, iOS, and Android. 

Pricing

IT’S FREE! Riot.im is currently free, with future plans to have paid, hosted accounts.

Pros to Riot.im

The major pro is that Riot.im can connect to other chat teams, such as Slack, Gitter, IRC, Twitter, and SMS. The other positive is that Riot.im gives you the option to host your own open-source servers

Cons to Riot.im

Riot.im lacks other tools needed to make a successful team chat software. While the feature of building bridges to other team chat software is certainly a game-changer, Riot.im lacks the ability to have integrated task management and built-in notes.

In terms of integrations and features, Slack has more to offer.

However, if you are looking for something simple and clean, then Riot.im is worth a shot.

Rocket.Chat

Image of Rocket.Chat

Rocket.Chat is an open-source team chat software.  With a similar Slack UI design, Rocket.Chat carries seamless conversations, along with a full range of customization. They also carry the similar function of making public and private channels. 

Pricing

Rocket.Chat has umbrella pricing. What we mean by this is that they carry two major plans, and underneath those plans are the subscribed plans.

The first plan we will go over is the Self-Managed plan, in which you can host your own channels. 

  • Self-Managed Plan
    • Community Version is Free
    • Pro Plan- $30, per user, annually; $3 per user, monthly
    • Enterprise Plan:  Quote

The next major plan is the SaaS plan, which is a cloud offering hosted by Rocket.Chat

  • SaaS Plan
    • Bronze Plan: $20 per user, annually; $2 per user, monthly
    • Silver Plan: $40 per user, annually; $4 per user, monthly
    • Gold Plan: Quote
    • Each plan requires a minimum of 10 users

Pros to Rocket.Chat

One of the cool things with Rocket.Chat is that you can easily migrate and export files.

There is also real-time automatic translation, end-to-end encryption, LiveChat, and endless customization.

Cons to Rocket.Chat

Though having an open server is great, the maintenance to one is not that easy. Having your own open server means you also have to manage your own backups, security, and knowing how to fix things in case of failure. And if you’re not that tech-savvy, Rocket.Chat may not be a good fit for you.

But there is no need to worry! If Rocket.Chat is not a good tool for you, there is six other alternative team chat software that would certainly able to adhere to your needs.

Results

Our goal with AirSend is to do less with more. Our mission is to be the #1 team chat tool. 

We want to deliver a team chat platform that allows you to take care of all your business needs in one place. A platform that delivers maximum productivity. 

We use AirSend as our digital workspace for our marketing team. Even though AirSend is our product, we sincerely believe that AirSend can help your team too. Give us a try and let us know what you think!

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.

Source: unDraw

Easy accountant to client communication is important for a number of reasons. As an accountant, you may not have access to the day-to-day operations of the businesses you help.  Furthermore, as a specialized professional you use a vocabulary that is unfamiliar for many people.

Let’s take a look at some communication apps that will make the process of helping your clients with their taxes or other accounting services a whole lot easier.

Accountant Communication App #1: Zoom

Source: unDraw

Part of the problem facing accountants communicating with their clients is the use of professional jargon.  There’s a lot of language surrounding the business of numbers that is bound to fly over your client’s head.  Some demystification may be necessary. 

Zoom offers video conference calling and screen sharing between users, which is useful if you need to break down a series of figures, or a page of information.  One party can establish screen-sharing mode making their computer screen visible to the other.  From there, you can navigate different pages, and allow amendments and drawings by the other. 

Zoom lets you have face-to-face meetings even if you live on opposite sides of the world.

Accountant Communication App #2: Skype

Source: unDraw

Although Skype’s star has slightly faded over recent years, the once go-to communication app still has several qualities that make it a contender today. 

When Microsoft bought out Skype, many saw it as the beginning of the end.  However, because of its connection to Microsoft, Skype now offers near flawless integration with their Teams software.  Where once it was a standalone app, Skype is now part and parcel of a larger network of work organization software, which greatly reduces the time and hassle of switching modes. 

Furthermore, Skype is free, giving it a bit of an edge on Zoom if you’re not willing to spend about $20 per month on a subscription.

Accountant Communication App #3: AirSend

Source: unDraw

Slack has held the top position in corporate communication for quite some time now, but the problem with Slack is that it was built for internal collaboration and not client communication. Slack’s workspaces make it clunky and difficult to use when handling multiple clients.

AirSend was built specifically for professionals who work with clients, so accountants can communicate seamlessly with clients across organization boundaries. In addition to easy messaging and file sharing that works with email, AirSend a great app for accountants because it has the ability to create actions and organize files.

Ready to get work done?

The ability to easily communicate with clients is important as an accountant. With these app suggestions, you should be able to better communicate and collaborate with clients to get work done.

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace for accountants to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you as your business grows here.

Source: unDraw

We recently had the opportunity to talk to Lydia, a member of the Austin-based band Ley Line (www.leylinesound.com). During the interview, Lydia talked about the band’s current activities, future plans, and worries about how the COVID-19 outbreak may affect upcoming festivals.

Here’s a transcript of our conversation (edited for clarity):

ME: Can you tell me a little bit about you and your work?

LYDIA: I’m one of four members in Ley Line. We actually just got a manager, but up until this point we’ve been self-managed. So until recently, we booked all of our own tours and communicated with venues ourselves. We still design and order our own merch, and all four of us are songwriters. We also co-produce everything that we record, so we work closely with engineers and producers.

ME: Awesome. So, what is in the works for you guys right now?

LYDIA: We are working on our second album. We just finished tracking, so we’re finishing mixing and working out the release plan. We have a big tour this summer. It’s kind of like three separate tours over the course of the summer. And we’re going to be pressing this album to vinyl. So we’re currently planning out exactly how we’re going to release and distribute — if we want to partner with a distribution company, how we want to get PR involved with the tour, and figuring out what to do now that SXSW is cancelled.

ME: Are you worried about the Corona virus, with touring and traveling?

LYDIA: My biggest worry is that festivals will get canceled. These festivals are more small scale than Coachella or ACL. But that would suck because the bulk of our money comes from touring and festivals.

ME: What would you say are your current challenges and priorities?

LYDIA: The priority is just making this a sustainable career path. So the challenge is that as we grow as a band, we have to take less gigs in Austin. Now most of our money from playing shows is from touring, and even though we can play bigger shows than we were and get paid more, we can’t play as often. So it kind of like evens out to what we were making before. So we’re figuring out innovative ways to bring in income, whether it’s through private events, sponsorships, or partnerships with different organizations. Basically other ways to make money with our music besides just playing shows.

ME: How hard is it to manage everything on a day-to-day basis?

LYDIA: Depends on the day. Sometimes there are communication errors, or we show up at a gig and it doesn’t go as planned. For example, we find out we don’t have the contact information for someone, or we didn’t realize that we wouldn’t have food provided for us. Those things happen, and then we talk about it and ask ourselves – how do we move forward next time? And add that into gig logistics and live and learn.

ME: What information sources do you go to to keep up with your industry?

LYDIA: Mostly, we get advice from professionals. For example, we just met with a lawyer who gave us really good advice. I think that speaking to someone in person is always better than 10 different people’s opinions on the internet.

ME: How do you keep up with what’s happening in the Austin music scene?

LYDIA: Instagram is the big one. Following people, asking friends on Instagram, and then because we are on Do512 and Spotify, we get updates.

If you want to learn more about Ley Line and listen to some amazing multilingual folk harmonies, you can visit their website here: www.leylinesound.com

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace for professionals to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you as your business grows here.

Source: unDraw

We recently had the opportunity to talk to Anthony, the mastermind behind Eye in the Sky Collective (www.eyeinthesky.org). Eye in the Sky Collective is an Austin-based business that provides everything from artist and producer management to music marketing and event production.

Here’s a transcript of our conversation (edited for clarity):

ME: Can you tell me a little bit about you and what you do?

ANTHONY: I am the owner and founder of Eye in the Sky Collective, which is a label services and artist management company. On the label services side, that involves coordinating teams around the release of, typically, music records. Sometimes we do events. We also work with the labels and the artists themselves on the creative direction of assets around that musical release. So video shoots, photo shoots, graphic design, and web design. And we do the promotional side of those assets once they’re made, like radio promotion, video promotion, publicity, or digital marketing — all those pieces of the puzzle.

Beyond that, I found some artists that I wanted to work with in the management capacity rather than having them pay us as a provider. I work with them as a partner to provide strategy and those services.

ME: What’s the difference between what you do and what a record label does?

ANTHONY: So the primary difference is that the record label funds those operations themselves and takes a stake in the copyright of the musical work. We don’t take any stake in the intellectual property of the artists or labels but get paid a flat fee upfront or a project or retainer fee to help coordinate all of that.

ME: How many people are you working with?

ANTHONY: It varies between three to five or six projects at a time, which it ends up being about 15 to 20 a year. And projects run from three to six months at a time.

ME: With all that’s going on, what would you say are your current work challenges and priorities?

ANTHONY: I would say project management in the broadest sense. It’s always a challenge to keep all of these projects on time and in order. We use many different tools and each of these vendors have their preferred form of communication. There’s just a lot of communication and sharing that’s happening.

ME: What information sources do you go to to stay on top of your industry?

ANTHONY: Music Business Worldwide is a great resource. It kind of follows both the music industry at large but also gives granular artist marketing techniques and other information like that. I’m part of a Facebook group where artists and managers connect, which is a great resource as well. We’re more independent artists and managers, but also at the forefront of any piece of breaking news that’s relevant to us. There certainly has been a buzz about the SXSW cancellations and virus concerns.

ME: How is that by the way? Has the Corona virus been very impactful to you?

ANTHONY: It’s playing out down the calendar into the future, which is the concerning part. It’s been a crazy time just from initially the SXSW cancellations, then all these other cards falling — big stakeholders like Live Nation and AEG canceling things through March and possibly April.

I’m right in between the line of being upset that it’s messing up some things in the immediate future but also understanding the precautions that need to be taken. Everyone is bleeding across a lot of industries. It’s interesting because a housing market crash isn’t necessarily going to immediately impact the music industry, and there are things that affect the music industry that don’t impact the economy. So the virus is unique in that it’s hitting everything.

ME: It seems like a lot of artists, especially smaller bands and artists, are having lots of trouble right now.

ANTHONY: Yeah, it’s hitting everyone. My artists make a lot of money in live music, so it’s definitely going to be a hit. And we’re all essentially independent freelancers. We’re not employed by an employer that’s going to offer a severance package or PTO. So all that kind of stuff is concerning. We’re trying not to go into full panic mode about it but instead just balancing things. Keeping the coffers close to the chest, so to speak.

If you want to learn more about Eye in the Sky Collective, you can visit their website here: www.eyeinthesky.org

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace for professionals to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you as your business grows here.

Our latest update to Android is finally here! In this blog post, we will be discussing all the latest updates to the AirSend app in Android. A lot of you have been requesting some additional features to the Android apps, and we listened! Here are some of the latest updates with more to come!

Google Sign-In. 

AirSend can now support Google Sign-in 

Screenshot of AirSend’s login page from Android

Native Share in AirSend

Whether you are a researcher, content developer, creative, tax accountant, or even a realtor, you can now share files, documents, and pictures directly to the AirSend channel using the native share option. AirSend also has the option to native share links from your mobile chrome browser.

UPDATE TO ANDROID!!! Native Sharing

Having the native share option eliminates the extra click times of jumping from one app to another to share a file.  Talk about convenience. 

Viewing Office Files

If you are giving a presentation with your phone, but find it hard to pull up the required office app, you no longer have to feel frustrated. AirSend’s clean UI design allows for smooth viewing of files, such as docx., pptx., and xlsx. Even with multiple sheets.

NEW UPDATE!!! View Office Files from the Android App

This allows for easy usage of scrolling and switching between files. 

Media Player

You can now watch your media directly in AirSend. Have a recording you wish to share with your friends? Or perhaps a recorded business meeting you wanted to refer to. Well, now you can view your recordings, plus more!

The Latest Update to the AirSend App on Android

We now support mp4, m4a, fmp4, webm, mkv, mp3, ogg, wav, mpg, flv, aac, and amr. 

New “Open with” feature.

Having the new “open with” feature minimizes extra click time. Rather than having to download extra apps, or even downloading the file itself, to only open it in another app, AirSend offers the ability to open the file directly with another app. 

New Update to AirSend’s Android! “Open with” Feature

This makes for easier context switching, and most of all, time.

File and Folder Permissions

With the latest update, you can now add, move, delete, and download files in all channels that you are a part of.

Latest Android Update! File Permission

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.

We have recently launched an update that enables clients who do/do not have an AirSend account to email file attachments, images, and videos directly to their AirSend channel! We’ll give you a moment to digest this. We know, it is amazing too.

NO ACCOUNT NEEDED!!! How to Send a File from an Email to AirSend

What is Email to Channel Feature?

This new feature allows you and your clients to send a message via email directly to your channel. The beauty of it all is that it requires little-to-no effort to do. Say, for example, you are a real estate agent and you need a buyer representation agreement from your client. How do you let your client know you need the documents?

Well, now you have three options:

  • One, you can message your client directly from your AirSend channel.
  • Two, you can reply from your email using your unique channel email address.
  • Three, you can respond via email to an AirSend channel notification (see pictures below).

If your client does not have an AirSend account, no problem!

Here is what they do:

  • Hit reply from their AirSend channel notification
  • Attach the required documents needed
  • Hit send.

The documents will magically appear in the designated channel. Having this feature allows for easier organization of files. Did you also know that sending messages to your channel through email can act as a reminder for yourself?

Capture of AirSend Channel Notification
Capture of Unique Channel Address found in AirSend Channel Settings

Sharing Files Efficiently

Let’s give another example. Let’s say there is a channel designated for hiring. This channel has five members. Rather than having one email listed on your hiring page, you can now put your unique channel email address. By doing so, applicants’ resumes will be sent directly to the human resource channel, where everyone can view the resumes. This feature minimizes the time it takes for five separate members to view a resume in five separate emails. Additionally, this feature opens up many use cases, such as a shared inbox (i.e. channel) for hiring managers, or as an endpoint for a website contact form.

With AirSend, the possibilities are endless. For a continuous update on our non-stop productivity train, click here