The phrase “team chat ” has become synonymous with the phrase “team collaboration.” As new communication tools are being developed, so are collaboration features. As we know it, 2020 is the year where team chats are breaking boundaries.

Many companies are developing the “do-it-all” chat software. Ideally, the “do-it-all” chat software should combine collaboration features that allow work to be done with minimal effort. In other words, have all the business essentials in one place. That way you minimize the extra tabs and workspace. 

In this blog post, we are going to share our list of groundbreaking team chat tools of 2020. Each tool’s description will have the features and functions, pricing, and the pros and cons to them. Without further ado, let’s dive into the 25 best team chat tools of 2020.

Table of Contents

  1. AirSend
  2. Chanty
  3. Microsoft Teams
  4. MatterMost
  5. Slack
  6. Flock
  7. Rocket.Chat
  8. Telegram
  9. Facebook Workplace
  10. Ryver
  11. Glip
  12. Fleep
  13. Jostle
  14. Gitter.im
  15. Wire
  16. SquidHub
  17. Jitsi
  18. IMO
  19. Discord
  20. Twist
  21. Asana
  22. Typetalk 
  23. Zulip
  24. Troop Messenger
  25. Flowdock

AirSend

Capture of AirSend’s homepage

It would be weird if we didn’t believe AirSend was the lead groundbreaking tool for team chat and collaboration. One of the great features with AirSend is that it carries the ideal collaboration tools needed to get work done. Tools, such as task-management, premium built-in file storage, and personalized notebooks made for each channel. 

Most importantly, AirSend’s productivity train is continuously chugging, which means that we are constantly delivering new updates and features. New updates and features mean new ways for efficient communication and collaboration. 

Pricing

If you sign up now, you can get AirSend Pro free for one year! In the picture below are the features that come with AirSend Pro.

Image of AirSend’s Pricing

Pros to AirSend

Compared to other team chat tools in which both parties need an account, AirSend only needs one person to sign up to have a conversation. This feature is called email-to-channel. To learn more about this feature, read our blog post. Rather than switching between many communication tools, you can now keep all your conversations from one place. 

Cons to AirSend

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.

Chanty

Chanty is a simple AI-powered tool with an easy-to-use interface. One of the big selling points to Chanty is that they keep a balance between features and usability, hence the simple and easy-to-use design. They also come with built-in task management and unlimited messages.

Pricing

Chanty is free! They also carry a Business plan which runs about $3 user/month. The only difference between the free and business plan is that business carries audio and video calls. 

Pros to Chanty

Like AirSend, Chanty is constantly developing. As of right now, they are in the process of developing audio and video calls. Additionally, collaboration with Chanty is endless.

Cons to Chanty

While Chanty is a great team chat and collaboration tool, they are not ideal for large teams. In their free plan, there is a limit of 10 users and 10 GB of storage per team. 

Microsoft Teams

Image 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. 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. If you use Office 365 daily, Teams might be worth considering. 

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.

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.

MatterMost targets large enterprises. They also implement 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 priced on the higher end, 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 great if your organization is large enough to have or require self-hosted team messaging.

Cons to MatterMost

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.

Slack

Capture of Slack logo

The way we see it, Slack is the king of integrations. Additionally, Slack’s goal is to replace email. That being said, they provide all the tools that you would get with email into Slack.

Pricing

Here is an image of Slack’s current pricing. Some key things to note is that with the free plan, there is a limit to integrations and search history.

Capture of Slack’s latest pricing

Pros to Slack

Slack is built as a communication tool, so it offers a variety of options when it comes to conversations. Conversations happen in public or private channels and can further be separated into threads. Slack also allows audio and video calling.

Cons to Slack

According to several use cases, Slack’s UI design can be a bit overwhelming. Slack’s noise-to-signal ratio is also really high, making it hard to be productive. Further, they carry steep prices that may not be in peoples’ interest at the moment. Finally, Slack only offers third party file storage and task management.

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

Flock offers 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 or Slack, 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.

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.

Telegram

Image 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. Telegram is also free.

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

Though Telegram carries a lot of features, they lack the features and functions for team collaboration. Like WhatsApp, Telegram is made for casual conversation with friends and family.

Facebook Workplace

Facebook Workplace

Introduced in 2016. Facebook Workplace is a team chat tool that prioritizes connection through broadcast and announcements. With the same layout as your personal Facebook account, Facebook Workplace allows you to connect with employees and have everyone on the same page.

Pricing

Facebook Workplace carries three tiers of pricing. We will list the top features that come with each plan. 

Free: 

  • Up to 50 teams
  • Group video calls
  • 5 GB storage per person
  • Auto-translate
  • Live-video sharing
  • Available on mobile apps

Advanced: $4 per user, per month

  • Unlimited teams
  • Group video calls
  • 1 TB storage per person
  • Organization chart
  • Surveys
  • Safety check

Enterprise: $8 per user, per month

  • Everything included. 

Pros to Facebook Workplace

Facebook Workplace offers integrations of G Suite, Office 365 and Dropbox. And it’s like Facebook, but adapted for work. So anyone can start using it right away. This can also be seen as a negative, and here’s why.

Cons to Facebook Workplace

Because Facebook Workplace carries the same UI design as the normal Facebook, collaboration and communication can seem a bit unusual. If you are looking for a tool that has more of a professional layout, Facebook Workplace may not be the ideal solution. 

Ryver

Image of Ryver

Ryver is a team collaboration tool that makes managing your team simple and hassle-free. Similar to Slack, Ryver’s goal is to solve the world’s email problem and replace the outdated way many teams collaborate. 

Pricing

Ryver offers three plans: 

  • Starter: $49/monthly
    • Up to 12 users
    • Unlimited chat
    • Unlimted file sharing
    • Task management
    • Voice and video calls
  • Unlimited: $99/monthly. As of right now, they are currently offering the plan at $79/monthly
    • Everything included in the starter plan
    • Unlimited Users
    • Custom invite links
  • Enterprise: Originally $199/monthly, but right now it is being offered for $149/monthly
    • Everything included from the Unlimited plan
    • Single Sign-On (SSO)
    • Premium Support
    • Advanced team management
    • Testing Sandbox

Pros to Ryver

Essentially, Ryver is a combination of Slack and Trello. The selling point is that they surround their platform around a kanban based idea. They also include forums, teams, and one-on-one interaction.

Cons to Ryver

Aside from Ryver’s steep prices, they also require third-party integrations. Their biggest client for integrations is Zapier. This means that the majority of your integrations need to come from Zapier. This would be counterproductive for companies looking for a team chat that is easy-to-use and does not require a lot of strict integrations.

Glip

Image of Glip

Glip is a collaboration software that offers free messaging, real-time text, voice, and video, task management, screen sharing, shared calendars, and note tracking.

Pricing

Glip carries two plans: the free version and the $5 per user, per month. Between the two plans, almost everything is the same. The key differentiator is the shared minutes. In the free version, there is a limit of 500 minutes, and in the paid plan it is a limit of 1,000 minutes per user, per month.

Pros to Glip

Glip has quite a few built-in options. Users can create and assign tasks, schedule meetings, set deadlines in a shared calendar, and keep track of notes. There are also unlimited integrations.

Cons to Glip

After studying quite a few use cases, there are common themes mentioned that ultimately are cons to Glip. For starters, they have fairly working features, however, Glip doesn’t have any individual feature that excels.

Additionally, Glip forces you to download its proprietary app, RingCentral Meetings. You cannot integrate other video conferencing apps. Finally, the interface is messy, and there are problems with trying to integrate apps. If you are not tech-savvy Glip may not be ideal. 

Fleep

Image of Fleep interface

Fleep is a team communication tool that lets you chat with any other Fleep user out there. Similar to Skype, all it requires is an account and you can connect to anyone else who has an active Fleep account. 

Pricing

Fleep carries three pricing plans: 

  • Free
    • 10 GB File Storage
    • Native apps
    • Unlimited 1:1 conversation
  • Business: 5 Euros, per user, per month, billed annually
    • 100 GB File Storage
    • Teams
    • Organization Settings
    • Task Management
  • Enterprise: Must have a Quote
    • 100 GB Storage 
    • Includes features from the Business plan

Pros to Fleep

Fleep is an open network that allows you to connect with anyone in the app. There are also unlimited integrations. 

Cons to Fleep

Like Skype, Fleep is user-based and not team-based. This makes it hard to communicate with other people specific to your team. 

Jostle

Jostle basic UI look

Jostle is a cloud-based simple intranet solution. They offer communication, company culture building, internal bulletin board, and much more.

Pricing

Jostle is priced on the number of employees your company has. To give an overview, we went with the minimum required. However, the higher the employee count is, the cheaper the prices are. 

15 minimum User: 

  • Silver Plan: $9.33 per user, billed annually
    • Core Intranet
    • Integrations
    • 2 powerups
  • Gold Plan: $13.33 per user, billed annually
    • Core Intranet
    • Integrations
    • Single Sign-On (SSO)
    • 5 power-ups
  • Platinum: $16.00 per user, billed annually
    • 8 power-ups
    • Features from Gold Plan

Pros to Jostle

As said before, Jostle carries features that help with company culture, productivity, and collaboration. Features, such as bulletin boards, news articles, calendar entries, and announcements.

Cons to Jostle

While the product is amazing for building company culture, it is not the ideal solution for communication. The UI design makes it hard for users and teams to communicate effectively.

Gitter.im

Image of Gitter.im homepage

Gitter.im is a chat and networking platform that helps to manage, grow, and connect communities through messaging, content, and discovery. Though it is made community building and targeted towards developers, it also works well as a team chat app. The best part, they are free.

Pros to Gitter.im

Gitter.im allows for private and public communities. It is also incredibly easy to use, and there is unlimited integration. Finally, the UI is visually appealing.

Cons to Gitter.im

As said before, Gitter.im is originally marketed towards creating communities. So the features and functionalities are community-based. However, if this is not a problem, Gitter.im would be worth a shot. Finally, Gitter.im carries a design similar to Reddit.

Wire

Capture of Wire

Wire is a modern-day collaboration tool that meets advanced security and user experience. 

Pricing

Wire carries three price plans: Wire Pro: 4 Euro, Wire Enterprise: 8 Euro, and Wire Enterprise Technology. To see their features, click here.

Pros to Wire

Wire carries all things needed for collaboration. They carry personal and group chats, conference calls, screen and file sharing, availability status, mentions, and message reactions. Best of all, Wire has a guest room feature, in which you can talk with clients or even conduct job interviews.

Cons to Wire

One of the downsides to Wire is that they do not carry built-in task management. They also lack project management tools. Having a lack of these tools may make it hard for teams to collaborate and get work done. 

Jitsi

Capture of Jitsi

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

The big pro is that Jitsi is free to use. Arguably the second biggest pro to Jitsi is that it is open-source, and you can make your own servers. Jitsi also does not require accounts. Users have the option to create accounts for the purpose of attaining transcripts and meeting history. 

Cons to Jitsi

Compared to other video conferencing software, Jitsi does 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

Image of Discord

Discord is known for its all-in-one voice and text chat. While Discord is originally meant for gamers, they offer a lot of features for a free communication tool. Discord also offers channel organization, only placed in a more complex UI design. 

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. 

Image 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. 

Flowdock

Flowdock is a real-time team chat software that brings all of your workplace conversations, work items, and tools in one place. With Flowdock, you can prioritize work, solve problems, search and organize across teams, locations, and timezones.

Pricing

Flowdock carries three plans: 

  • Free- up to 30 days with Standalone features
  • Standalone: $3 per user, per month
    • Unlimited flows
    • Endless history
    • Infinite integrations
  • Enterprise: $9 per user, per month
    • SSO
    • Integration-auto removal
    • Data-encryption
    • API 
    • Administration 
    • Custom Data Retention policies. 

Pros to Flowdock

Some pros are having organized conversations, message tags, bots, file-sharing, integrations, custom emojis, and gifs. 

Cons to Flowdock

One of the main cons to Flowdock is that the organization leaves to be desired. The main feature of Flowdock is its shared inbox, where project management tools, customer feedback, and version control systems are stored. Though the threads help with organizing conversations, there is not much else for users to custom organize their workspace. 

SquidHub

Image of SquidHub interface

SquidHub is a collaboration app for people who want clarity, simplicity, a bit of fun, and a great way of working together. 

Pricing

There are three plans:

  • Basic: Free
    • 2 groups
    • 1000 MB Storage
    • Unlimited search history
  • Premium: $4.99 per user, per month
    • Unlimited:
      • Groups
      • Storage
      • Search 
    • Copy groups
    • Organizational view
    • Permission control
    • Disable message board
  • Enterprise: Must have Quote

Pros to SquidHub

Aside from its fun name, SquidHub makes it easy to find files, optimize communication, share a task list, have a built-in calendar, and many more. Best of all, SquidHub’s design is like that of a kanban, leaving the organization at its finest. Finally, SquidHub’s UI design makes it easy-to-use.

Cons to SquidHUb

Like Slack, SquidHub does not offer built-in file storage, rather you have to integrate third-party file storage platforms. If file-integration is not a concern for you, then SquidHub is definitely worth a shot.

Convo

Convo

Convo is a team communication app that brings all business essentials into one place. Essentially, you can use this tool as a central place for having discussions, collaboration, and making faster decisions in real-time.

Pricing

There are three plans: Free, Pro, and Enterprise. For the Pro and Enterprise version, it is custom pricing. To see what each plan has to offer, click here

Pros to Convo

One of the things Convo likes to preach is fewer meetings, better collaboration. Ideally, this would mean having real-time chat and file sharing. Further, you can customize your notifications. Finally, a nice touch is that they offer acknowledgment posts, that way your message is heard loud and clear. 

Cons to Convo

A downside to convo is that the UI design is a bit overwhelming. They have multiple ways in which you can carry a conversation via instant chat, group chat- private and public, and email integration. They carry a lot of neat features, but the communication is being sacrificed at the hands of collaboration features and integrations. 

Proofhub

ProofHub is a team communication software that brings all your project communications together in one place.

Pricing

They carry two plans

  • Essential: $45 monthly, billed annually
    • 40 projects
    • Unlimited users
    • 15 GB Storage
    • Core features
  • Ultimate: $89 monthly, billed annually
    • Unlimited projects and users
    • 100 GB storage. 
    • Core features
    • Advanced custom roles
    • Custom workflow

Pros to ProofHub

Some highlights to Proofhub is that they have 1:1 chats, group chats, and tagging. They also carry a similar Kanban design to help with visual appeal.

Cons to ProofHub

Unfortunately, the majority of Proofhub relies on third-party integration. While it is nice to have a built-in Kanban, it is hard to make up for the lack of other built-in features. For those who are opposed to integrations, or do not feel comfortable connecting personal tools to work, Proofhub may not be the ideal choice. Finally, they carry features that can appear overwhelming and not needed. 

Asana

Capture of Asana Interface

Asana lets you work anytime, anywhere. With Asana, keep remote and distributed teams, and your entire organization focused on their goals, projects, and tasks. 

Pricing

Image of Asana’s current pricing

For a list of features each plan carries, click here

Pros to Asana

Some of the many pros to Asana is its color-coded tasks, email integration, google drive integration, and time tracking through integration with EverHour.

Cons to Asana

Though Kanban-style is great, a downfall to Asana, which inhibits the use of Kanban, is that tasks can only be assigned to one member per team. Further sub-tasks are difficult to work with, and the interface can sometimes feel overwhelming with the graphics. Finally, some users have reported that Asana sends too many emails of tasks being due. This can be sometimes annoying. 

Twist

Image of Twist

Twist is a chat platform built by an internationally distributed team at Doist. Ideally, Twist makes it much easier to keep track of a conversation and refer back to it later. They also target remote teamwork, making it suitable for an organized communication hub, share updates, and keep track of messages after several years. 

Pricing

There are two plans for Twist

  • Free
    • Access to 1 month of comments/messages
    • Up to 5 integrations
    • 5GB file storage
    • Unlimited guests
  • Unlimited: $5 per user/per month
    • Unlimited everything

Pros to Twist

Some highlights to Twist is the organization of threads to keep discussions in order. This is helpful for companies that have a lot of employees. Unlike most other chat platforms, Twist lets you disconnect to focus on your work. It is similar to a “do not disturb” mode that you would find on your phone. 

Cons to Twist

A con to Twist is that in their free package they do not offer as much compared to other team chats. Twist gets the basic job done, but if you are looking for more usage in a free tool, Twist may not be ideal. 

Bonus: to see what are the latest free communication tools for remote work, read our blog post

Troop Messenger

Image of Troop Messenger

According to Troop Messenger, their chat software integrates multiple features and functionalities on a single interface offering ease of use and heightened user experience. Troop Messenger comes with all the basic functionalities needed for group chats: voice-video calls, screen sharing, file sharing, and filtering content.

Pricing

Troop Messenger comes with three price plans:

  • Premium: $1 per user/ per month
    • 7-day free trial of enterprise
    • 150 GB of storage
  • Enterprise: $5 per user/per month
    • 1 TB storage
  • Self Hosting: $5+ per user/per month

To see their feature and function list, click here

Pros to Troop Messenger

Troop Messenger allows users to send messages or attachments to multiple users. Troop Messenger also features an unread message filter, which helps for looking at missed messages. Finally, a big plus is that they carry self-hosting and API delivery options. This is beneficial for large companies.

Cons to Troop Messenger

At its core, Troop Messenger is a chat app, and its collaboration is second. Troop Messenger carries little-to-no integrations. The lack of integration compromises for the overwhelming features that come with the platform.

Zulip

Capture of Zulip

Zulip combines the immediacy of real-time chat with an email threading model. With Zulip, you can catch up on important conversations while ignoring irrelevant ones. Zulip is an emerging leader of business collaboration tools.

Pricing

Below is a capture of their latest image pricing

Capture of Zulip’s current pricing

Pros to Zulip

The selling point to Zulip is that they are arguably the best at handling synchronous and asynchronous communication. Zulip carries a lot of features and integrations. They also have a nice design for the messaging itself. With its amazing email threading model, Zulip allows users to catch up on important notifications/conversations while muting the irrelevant ones.

Cons to Zulip

Functions and features aside, the UI design of the whole platform is not desirable. True, the messaging is visually appealing, but the overall design leaves the feeling of a “senior-citizen” aesthetic. Personally, the brand colors remind me of my grandmother’s bathroom who had the same color scheme.

Conclusion

These are what we believe are the latest 2020 groundbreaking team chat tools, however, this list barely scratches the surface. There are many amazing team chat tools out there. We look forward to seeing our future competition and hope that each team chat tool rises to the challenge. 

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.

When it comes to building a successful online community, it often takes a lot of hard work. We forget that communities are hard work because we often look towards the more well-known communities. Celebrity communities to be exact. But, celebrity communities, such as Loren Gray, Ariana Grande, and even PewDiePie, take a lot of hard work to create.

However, if you have the motivation and passion, creating a community will feel like a breeze. In this blog post, we are going to give you 10 secrets on how to build a successful community.

Following these steps will ensure that you start in the right direction for building your future community. 

Learn from who you admire

946.7k Likes, 24.4k Comments - Loren Gray (@loren) on Instagram ...
Image of Loren Gray from Pinterest

Taking your admiration of influencers will inspire you to create the perfect niche community. For example, Loren Gray, who is currently the number one influencer on TikTok. Gray has built herself an online community doing what she loves best, singing.

Though singing isn’t quite a niche community, Gray also posts other videos that are unique to her. Essentially, take what you admire/inspire from and run with it. 

Choosing your Niche

find your niche concept on blackboard

Taking from step one, choosing your niche is a great way to develop your community. Especially when it is something that is not quite well-known.

Some niche communities are, GoodreadsArtFire, and Behance. Your niche must align with what you are passionate about. If it doesn’t, chances are your community will not flourish. 

Choosing the Right Platform

Capture of Community tools

It is important that you choose a platform that you can see your community growing with. It also helps to choose a platform that is great for effective communication, easy to use, and visually appealing. 

State your Dream

Kylie Jenner
Image of Kylie Jenner

Speak from the heart. Find your own message and hone it. This essentially will be the foundation of your community. What do you want to share with your community? To give an example, think of Kylie Jenner. Being only 22-years-old, Kylie Jenner has made a name for herself in the cosmetics industry. Some would argue that it was Kylie Jenner’s dream to run her own make-up line, and here she is now. She has created a massive community that had originally begun with a dream.

Putting it all together

Putting puzzle pieces together

Once you have your idea, the right platform, and you have stated your dream, it is now time to put it all together. Ideally, this is where you want to design your community to be user and visually friendly. Make it easy and fun to use.

Also implementing channel organization and leadership roles, are great ways of designing your community. 

A word of advice, it is okay for your community blueprint to not be perfect. There will be many times when you will have to go back to the drawing board to figure out what design is perfect for you.

Take your time with it. Building the ideal perfect community does not always happen overnight.

Find Early Adopters

Portrait of group of friends, one smiling at camera

The first people that join are usually the most important ones. That being said, it is ideal to look for people that will be a great fit for your community.

Looking at various communities and interviews, the common theme for finding early and dedicated people are co-workers and friends. Having those close to you join your community will help produce a consistent conversation. 

Be Consistent

Image of community on Discord

Consistency is key to growing a community. Being consistent will let your members know that you are present and that you care for the community. It is also suggested to be consistent in different and creative ways.

An example is from a community called, “Philosophize this!” Host and creator, Steve, has made various channels in which all members have an outlet.

Additionally, one of Steve’s qualities is that he is always participating in his community. This makes his members feel cherished. It is also a great way to give thanks. 

Give Thanks and Spread Kindness

A thank you card with the hashtag words Giving Tuesday

As said earlier, a great way to thank your members is to be consistent with participation and content. Let your members know that you value them.

Another way to give thanks is to support your members with likes, comments, retweets, shout-outs, and tags.

Spreading kindness, such as thanking your members for being a part of your community, is also a great way to value your community and its members. 

Encourage Diversity and Interaction

Top view image of people standing together

It would be boring if everyone in your community thought the same. There would be no need for interaction. Encouraging diversity and interaction among your members is a good method for effective communication. After all, a community cannot thrive without enticing conversations. 

Have fun

Finally, have fun with it. If you cannot have fun in building your community, what is the point of going forward? It takes an immense amount of work to build a community, but with the right drive, passion, and motivation, creating your own community will feel like a breeze. 

  • Private collaboration channels combine the best of chat, email, to-do lists, and file sharing
  • Allows remote collaboration for all types of professionals to work with their clients
  • Insight into remote work and file-sharing behavior led to a new product with a seamless workflow across internal and external teams

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)– CodeLathe, the company behind a widely used enterprise file services platform used by millions of customers around the world, today announced AirSend, a new product that allows people-centric collaboration with customers, clients, and teams.

AirSend is free for one year to all SMBs and professional service firms to help with their remote collaboration and communication needs. AirSend’s solution puts all the information for a client or project—messaging, files, tasks—on a single screen, reducing the need to switch from one app to another.

“When we started building AirSend five months ago, we never thought remote work would become a global phenomenon,” said Venkataragavan Ramasamy, COO of CodeLathe. “We just wanted to make a good collaboration product that would work for remote teams like us.”

As a geographically distributed, remote-first company, CodeLathe has team members in 14 countries and five continents in addition to its Austin headquarters. AirSend incorporates the ideas and concepts learned from leading an international remote-working team.

Other collaboration tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams require users to integrate the software with other products like Google Drive for file management or Trello for task management. AirSend is contextual: each channel provides a dashboard view of all the necessary information within the context of a single client or project.

Today’s work environment is crippled by context switching as people move between separate apps for email, IM, documents and to-do lists. Studies by the American Psychological Association have found that the brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time. The problem of context switching increases with a remote workforce that is subjected to even more distractions.

“We see the negative impact of context switching from our FileCloud customers because we have an inside view on how people work and share files,” said Madhan Kanagavel, CEO of CodeLathe. “Imagine if AirSend helped reclaim just 15 minutes of productivity per day for 10 million people. That would be 625 million productive hours per year or $10.6 billion of additional productivity.”

At the heart of AirSend are its individual channels, which integrate chat conversations, track the next steps and organize large files with up to 100 GB free storage. Combining those actions into a single channel eliminates the need for managing individual email folders, separate client Slack channels and separate cloud storage apps. Each channel has all of the tools needed to get work done. Customers can:

  • Send messages: Have seamless conversations with clients in private channels. Messages also work with email, so clients don’t need to have an AirSend account.
  • Organize files: Securely share and organize files using AirSend’s powerful file management system.
  • Track open items: Assign actions to channel members to track and complete a to-do list quickly in one place.
  • Find everything fast: Find channels, messages, members, files and open items in seconds.
  • Create a guidebook: Share key information with clients like notes and links with a built-in wiki for easy reference.
  • Collaborate with anyone from anywhere: AirSend is built for teams that work across organizational boundaries and offers the possibility of unlimited shared channels for both internal team members and outside clients to collaborate.

Along with the free one-year term, CodeLathe is also providing free 30-minute consultations to SMB teams on remote work.

Sign up for AirSend now at airsend.io or in the Apple or Google app store.

About AirSend

AirSend is a communication platform that brings all your conversations, files, tasks and notes into one contextual workspace to get work done faster and better. AirSend is developed by CodeLathe Inc., a remote-first company. AirSend is targeted at professional firms, teams, and SMBs to offer powerful collaboration, communication, and work-sharing between team members and clients. The company offers two products, FileCloud—an award-winning enterprise file services platform and AirSend—the world’s first-ever contextual workspace built for remote work, used by millions of customers around the world. For more information, visit http://www.airsend.io/.

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.

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.

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

Source: unDraw

2020 has been a year defined by the Coronavirus outbreak.  With hundreds of thousands of cases worldwide, and over 3000 reported deaths, nothing has shaped the way we are living more than this epidemic. 

Much like the flu, COVID-19 is spread through human-to-human contact through respiratory droplets, most commonly transmitted through coughing.  Prevention methods such as using hand sanitizer and frequent hand washing help limit you and your team’s chances of getting the Coronavirus, but many businesses are also implementing remote working strategies to protect their employees in the midst of uncertainty about the disease.

You may be asked to work from home rather than spend time in an office where the Coronavirus is potentially spreading since an increasing numbers of countries are implementing quarantines and other lockdown measures. But how do you do so comfortably and productively?

A remote-first company, the AirSend team has members on every continent in addition to its Austin headquarters. In fact, AirSend itself was created by condensing our hands-on remote work experience into an all-in-one remote work tool. Here are some remote working tips from a remote team that will help you and your organization continue to be productive while working from home.

Tip #1: Have Core Working Hours

Source: unDraw

One of the benefits of remote working is that it allows you and your team to set your own hours. Everyone is different. Some are most productive in the morning while others do their best work in the evening – and that’s great. But balance must be achieved in order to keep things moving.

Establishing a window in which employees are required to be at their screens and ready to communicate, either by phone, screen-sharing, or video conferencing, will help promote teamwork and workplace structure. Core working hours cut down on time spent waiting for email replies or for someone to get back to a computer to verify something while maintaining some of the flexibility that would be less available in an in-office environment.

Tip #2: Promote Discipline

Source: unDraw

While the office is a space designed for working, you and your team’s homes may be somewhat less so. Leaving an office environment to work at home can invite all sorts of distractions if you and your team aren’t accustomed to it. Here’s a short checklist to implement to promote discipline while working remotely:

  • Set reasonable wake up hours and regiment your day
  • Have an appropriate workstation where you can work without sinking into the couch
  • Schedule your breaks so that you don’t end up taking too many breaks or breaks that are too long

In addition to encouraging your team to follow the tips above, you should also provide them with the equipment they need to set up a comfortable home office. This includes items like desks, chairs, computers, headphones, cameras, and helpful software such as a digital workspace.

Tip #3: Encourage Team Spirit

Source: unDraw

Employee morale is important, especially when a team is working remotely. By having team members regularly socialize like they would in an office environment, people working remotely will have a more positive outlook on their work and will be more productive. 

Organize weekly or bi-weekly functions through video conferencing where team members can let off some steam and talk casually with each other, and validate hard work though awards and incentives.  Acknowledging effort can be difficult if you aren’t face-to-face with someone, so find time to show recognition through video conferencing events.

Tip #4: Track Team Progress With Clearly Communicated Goals

Source: unDraw

As mentioned before, when team members are left to their own devices, work can stagnate as a result of distraction and lack of structure.  Having consistent contact with your team through weekly briefings where goals and duties are assigned and deadlines are set can help.

You can also use team management apps with progress tracking, such as AirSend. AirSend lets you assign work to different members of a team with deadlines and reminders. This keeps everyone on track even without in-person meetings.

As a remote-first team, we use AirSend and OKRs to keep everyone moving in the right direction. OKR stands for “Objectives and Key Results,” and setting and communicating OKRs can help your team stay motivated and on track.

Tip #5: Hire the Right People

Source: unDraw

At the end of the day, the strength of your team boils down to the ability of each individual team member to work remotely with minimal supervision. This is why it is doubly important to hire motivated self-starters when facing a remote working situation.

Some people are naturally good at this or have prior experience, while others need to be trained. Since a newly implemented, experimental working environment is not the easiest place to train employees, be sure to hire people with past experience and success with remote working if you need to hire now.

Staying Safe During the Coronavirus Outbreak

In the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak, remote working may be the best option to minimize transmission. However, when we allow ourselves and our employees to work at home, some level of structure and office culture must be sustained to keep everyone at the top of their game. Using these tips, you should be better prepared to organize your workforce accordingly and help minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Source: unDraw

We recently had the opportunity to talk to Kristin, owner of Kosy Kasa, one of Austin’s trendiest new interior design services. During the interview, Kristin gave us an insider’s view of a day in the life of a solo entrepreneur and interior designer.

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

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

KRISTIN: I’m a solo designer. I run my own firm, which I’ve been doing for a couple of years on and off. But before I was always working for other design firms and did freelance projects on the side. Just this past couple months is when I’ve really gone full time, so I’m just getting started and diving into the Austin market.

ME: What would you say are some challenges with running your own business?

KRISTIN: It’s a lot of work. I have to do everything by myself, which I know how to do because I’ve been designing for so long. But it’s a lot of managing time and different clients all at once. Another challenge is figuring out more of the business end of things, whereas before I would only touch on it and the owner of the company or lead designer would handle that. So figuring out the best way to invoice, best forms of payment, what to charge, etc.

ME: Can you describe a typical work day for you?

KRISTIN: If I don’t have any meetings with clients, I like to block out a certain amount of hours per job per day. So this morning before our call, I was working on one of my clients. Super cool. She’s about my age, just a little bit younger. It’s her first house, and I’m calling it like her bachelorette pad. Right now, we’re putting together the living room. So I was pulling a couple items, like coffee tables and such, and putting them into a presentation for her to see how they all go together.

And then if I have design meetings, I’ll block out that time. And getting fabric samples or material samples as well before each meeting. It’s different every single day, honestly.

ME: How do you stay organized?

I organize in a way that works for me. If I had someone else working with me, though, it would be really confusing for them. One boss told me back in the day, “You need to make sure everything is organized in a way so that if you quit one day, the new person would be able to pick up right where you left off.” So I guess I should take that advice… But my current method works for my mind and my mind only.

ME: Where do you go to keep up with design trends?

KRISTIN: Instagram is probably the number one place. Designers are posting everything they’re doing there and tagging their sources, so I found a lot of cool furniture stores that way through Instagram. Number two would be design blogs. That used to be number one, but now with how big Instagram is – that’s just what people do.

To learn more about Kosy Kasa and Kristin, you can visit her website here: https://www.kozykasa.us/

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.

In the last decade, team chats have become more popular in the workplace. Employees working remotely and teleworking are influencing this change. As this form of communication becomes more common in the workplace, emphasis on chat etiquette is needed.

Chat etiquettes are important for maintaining professionalism while using this technology.

We asked our employees what their top 10 chat etiquettes are.

Use Appropriate Emojis

Emojis have been the on-going trend for efficient messaging. However, due to the efficiency of emojis, we often tend to overuse them. For instance, sending five smiley faces with two thumbs up is not needed.

Further, be conscious of the emojis you send. Often times, people don’t quite understand the meaning you are trying to say with an emoji, so keeping it simple will ease the confusion.

Chat Etiquette #1:Don’t overuse and be conscious. 😀

Be Polite

With companies that are continuously growing, it is always good to be aware of diversity. If you have to ask yourself whether sending a text/image is appropriate, it most likely isn’t.

Chat Etiquette #2:Be aware of diversity.

Tag Specific People

Much like other platforms, such as Slack, Facebook Groups, or Discord, the noise to signal is extremely high. To eliminate this issue, tag only the people necessary. Doing so will eliminate the hundreds of sitting notifications.

Further, use the tagging option judiciously and sparingly. The purpose of tagging someone is to not only decrease the noise-to-signal but to also symbolize notified importance.

Having a tagged one-on-one conversation in a channel with a multitude of people is not a notified importance. Rather, this just increases the noise-to-signal. To have deeper conversations, create a separate private channel, where you discuss freely.

Chat Etiquette #3:Use tags for notified importance and use them judiciously.

Quote Messages

Maintaining the context of a conversation is easier with quotes. Though tagging is efficient, tagging doesn’t give the context of a message, often making it confusing as to what context is for who. 

Chat Etiquette #4:Maintain context with quotes.

Use Appropriate Names

Use appropriate names when making a channel. Having a channel named #Sqaud would not be professional. As much as we love to customize our channels, remember that professionalism is key to being in a business/job setting. 

Chat Etiquette #5:Appropiate names.

Avoid Politics and Religion

Avoid controversial topics. Avoiding offensive topics shows mindfulness, respect, and cooperation. Working together is a high priority. Carrying offensive conversations disrupt workflow, relationships, and professionalism.

Chat Etiquette #6:Avoid controversial topics.

Post in Relevant Channels

Posting in relevant channels maintains communication traffic. Posting in relevant channels also maintains a consistent workflow.

Creating private channels to have deep and meaningful conversations. Posting in relevant channels decreases the noise-to-signal ratio.

Chat Etiquette #7:Post in relevant channels to maintain communication traffic.

Consider Using Video or Audio Calls for Deeper Discussion

Minimize extensive conversations with voice or video calls.

Having video or audio calls will increase ideas, innovation, and in the long run, productivity. With productivity comes efficiency. Consolidating messages = efficiency.

Chat Etiquette #8:Minimize extensive conversations with voice or video calls.  

Consolidate Messages

Short and straight-to-the-point messages are key to minimizing communication traffic. Sending paragraphs of messages takes time away from tasks that require greater priority.

Increase efficiency by getting the point across in as few words as possible. There is no need to send an odyssey of a message. 

Chat Etiquette #9:Consolidate messages leads to efficient communication.

Use Well-Known Acronyms 

According to research, sending acronyms is the number one way to efficient messaging. For example, using acronyms, such as “ttyl,” or “brb,” are acceptable.

If someone has to search the acronym it doesn’t work. Use acronyms that are well-known. Lastly, remember to be appropriate. For example, saying “lmao” most likely wouldn’t be wise. 

Chat Etiquette #10:Acronyms = efficiency.

Summation

In summation, team chats are slowly becoming the preferred mode of communication. With team chats, emphasis on chat etiquette is needed.

Chat etiquettes are a crucial element in maintaining professionalism, efficiency, and workflow productivity.

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

We recently had the opportunity to talk to Nacho Molero, freelance and soon to have a masters in Interior Design, and aspiring photographer. During the interview, Molero gave us an insider’s view of what it’s like to be an interior designer and photography. He also shed some light on the magic of it all.

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

Me: So why don’t you go ahead and tell me what about interior design and photography appeal to you?

Molero: So, I recently moved to Barcelona because I am doing a master’s program to specialize in interior design. I’ve always been extremely interested in interior design, and I like to think my interests started with architecture.

Most of my Instagram really is architecture. I find that when I walk around the cities I am not able to avoid taking photos after photos of just facade and coldness and beautiful places. 

Interior design has always been sort of on the sidelines and as the years went by, I sort of realized that this is absurd. I mean, clearly I really, really love doing this and everything related to this. Everything.

Especially regarding interior design, I mean it is literally where you live and everything that you feel when you are home. And I’m feeling truly calm and at peace and I’m surrounded by things that you really love. I’m not confused, you know.

I remember, when I lived by myself in Madrid, I had a chance to put my place up really nicely. I remembered that once I finished, I experienced peace, tranquility, and the general positive vibes. Interior design has really been this sort of obsession with the things that I’ve always really loved.

Me: Wonderful. What are some tools and applications you use to get by with your creative works?

Molero: I would say two things are very, very useful. One thing is to find and download a 3D design program. They have become very unique and being able to create the space and see it in 3D before you buy anything really helps so much because you may have an idea.

One thing that I myself have to come to terms with is that I may be good at some things regarding design, but I’m quite terrible at others, such as color matching. So, when it comes to color matching the tools I rely on are libraries, color systems, and things that I can find a line that I know for a fact work.

Design is not just creating from scratch. It’s also sufficiently having an educated eye to identify works and replications. 

Me: How neat. My last question for you is what would you recommend to someone starting out in your profession?

Molero: the first thing you should say to anyone that wants to pursue a creative career, is to consume as much of it as you can.

If you want to become a writer, go read; wish to become a photographer, watch movies and all the exhibitions. If you aspire to become a painter, go to a museum and educate your eyes. Most importantly have a passion for it. More than anything.

That’s the sort of thing you first have to taste to truly be sure that either you love it [design,] or just love to look at beautiful pictures. Which are two different things.

To see Mr. Molero’s portfolio, check out his twitter and Instagram

AirSend helps designers and creatives create a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. To see our latest interview, click here.