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.

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.

Email is the John Wick of communication tools. No matter how many new apps—chat, forums, Slack, IM, Microsoft Teams—come along to kill it, email always survives. In fact, email use in the office went up in 2019, as workers spent more than three hours a day inside their inboxes.

Email persists despite having the worst qualities for office collaboration. It’s closed, meaning new team members don’t see old email discussions, and it’s ephemeral. Think about it: How many times a day do you search your inbox? Those conversations get lost in the stream of daily communications just as easily as a hallway conversation. Ninety-nine percent of the information there won’t be useful unless you track it somewhere else.

Given that email is a waste of time and doesn’t work well as a collaborative medium, it makes sense to add other tools into the company repertoire. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Your mix of tools will vary based on factors like the size of your team, the demands of your industry and whether your organization is mostly local or remote.

Communication vs. Knowledge-Sharing

But there are approaches you can take to determine the right tools for your business. First, you should recognize that there’s a significant difference in communication software and knowledge-sharing software. Just as using a screwdriver as a hammer is a recipe for a trip to the ER, using email to manage a project is equally doomed to fail.

It’s almost impossible to track tasks and to-do lists in an email string and just as hard to figure out when items should begin and end. Email is also a distracting medium, so if you’re focusing on managing a project, you’ll inevitably be distracted by the pinging of your inbox.

Synchronous vs. Asynchronous

It’s also vital that everyone has the same expectations on how these tools work. For communications, there’s synchronous and asynchronous. A conversation (or even an online chat) is synchronous and calls for real-time responses. Emails and discussion forums are asynchronous and don’t require immediate answers.

Tackling synchronous work with email results in missed communications. You’re responding while the other person is reading or responding, and messages pass each other like ships in the night.

Don’t Dismiss Maintenance

When it comes to knowledge-sharing products like wikis, file repositories or project management software, maintenance is everything. Without a vigilant organizing hand, information can overwhelm the best of these tools. And beyond a certain point, finding relevant information becomes a bigger drain than the effort to organize it. Just as there can be too little written information, there also can be too much information. Both are dysfunctional for companies.

As good as email search tools are, they’re never quite up to the task of finding specific pieces of information in a sea of documents. There’s a small chance you’ll recall the correct phrase that leads to the nugget of data you had in mind, but it’s more likely that you’ll turn up a pile of unnecessary messages.

Everyone Must Join In

Finally, these tools only work when everyone on the team uses them. It’s also critical that colleagues understand when to use each piece of software. It doesn’t happen automatically; it has to be intentional.

If you don’t get everyone on board with your new tools, they’ll default back to their trusted email system, and your original problems won’t be solved.

There’s going to be some trial and error before you find your right match. Don’t try to force-fit tools into your business. Find what works for your style and use it.

As a side note, here are the tools we use every day: AirSend for chat/file sharing, Zoom for audio/video calls, Bookstack for wikis, Discourse for discussion forums, Trello for task management and YouTrack for bug tracking.

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.

Do you ever wish to communicate with like-minded people who have synonymous interests, hobbies, theories, or ideas?? Do you also wish to have conversations in which you can opt-in a private only intimate setting? We have your solution. AirSend. In today’s blog post, we will give you the step-by-step process of how to create a secure channel to have the best conversations of your life.

How to Create a Community

We believe communication should be the focal point between every relationship built. To do so we needed to create a platform that allows for an intimate setting. One, where unlike others, you can solely chat with others on the specified interest. In the video below we present a how-to scenario on how to create a Community.

With so many people in a group, the noise-to-signal ratio is high. Put another way, the hundreds of notifications (noise) you receive from Facebook Groups are usually irrelevant messages that do not pertain to you.

With AirSend it is the opposite. Anything you send in the channel is relevant to what you want it to be. AirSend is perfect for creating deep and meaningful conversations in a close-knit community. A community that is involved in their interest/hobbies, and who wish to spread their passion to other like-minded individuals.

Through tight security measures, you have the pleasure of sending invites to those you want in your community. Additionally, you can customize your built-in wiki, assign actions, and assign files. In other words, AirSend is a platform that builds communities through invite-only. Whereas with Facebook Groups or Discord, for example, there are thousands of people who join groups.

Our Purpose

We want our communities to feel inspired when they use AirSend. Compared to Discord and Facebook Groups, where they too have invite-only, they also have hundreds of members in their specified community. How is one supposed to feel a part of their community when there are endless threads of conversations happening, and you aren’t sure where to jump in??

AirSend relieves this pressure, by allowing you to control the channel the way you want to, and to have the perfect conversation with a few other people. We want you to have innovation. We wish for you to feel the excitement of having an amazing conversation through a technological medium.

Much like Discord and Facebook Groups, AirSend strives to build communities. BUT the difference that sets us apart is innovation. AirSend strives to create close-knit communities. This allows for ease of communication and 24-hour exchanges of ideas, theories, comments, interests, likes and dislikes, everything.

The Essence of AirSend

We believe that having a great conversation should include efficient and, if possible, limited context switching. In other words, creating a micro-networking environment.

What is micro-networking you might ask? Well, as the name implies, micro-networking involves networking in a small secure environment through one platform. I.e. Micro. We are the first-ever platform to deliver innovation through micro-networking.

With a clean UI design, micro-networking has never been clearer. Unlike Discord where the visuality is overwhelming, AirSend has a clear cut design, made for accessible and visually appealing clicking. With AirSend you can feel comfortable having the conversations you love.

AirSend allows you to customize your built-in community using our wiki. Further, we give you the efficiency of context switching and uploading and sharing files. Best of all there are several designated locations to see your files uploaded. In your specified channel, and in your profile center where you can see ALL the files from your various communities.

We strive for our clients to feel inspired to innovate when they converse with their community. Building your own micro-network is the new medium to innovate. AirSend is the new medium.

AirSend helps with community building by creating a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.

In today’s blog post we are going to give a primer to communication. Put simply, the core and tendrils of communication.

Communication has developed, formed, and transformed our society for centuries. Without the development of communication, we most likely wouldn’t be where we are today. In essence, communication is one of the foundations of creation.

Communication

At its core, communication is the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium. Communication is when the receiver conveys or shares the ideas and feelings behind the message.

According to Skills You Need, there are complexities to communication. Often, messages can have different interpretations depending on how they are perceived. This leads to different feelings than the intended meaning of the message. Conversations come from the idea of interpretation and the intended meaning of messages. This leads to four categories of communication.

Categories of Communication

When it comes to categories of communication there are four main types: Spoken or Verbal Communication, Non-Verbal Communication, Written Communication, and Visualizations. 

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication is the transfer of information through speaking or sign language. Additionally, verbal communication is seen in face-to-face conversations, video conferences, and phone calls. Verbal communication is the most common type of communication because it is the most efficient.

Non-Verbal Communication

Non-verbal is the use of body language, gestures, and facial expressions to convey information to others. This category is most helpful when trying to understand others’ thoughts and feelings. The idea of using non-verbal communication comes from the concept of using communication intentionally and unintentionally. Such as smiling unintentionally when hearing a nice song. 

Written Communication

Written communication is the act of writing, typing, or printing symbols to convey information. Note here that the difference between non-verbal and written communication is that non-verbal dives into body language to communicate.

Much like the Cuneiform script seen in the Sumerian city of Uruk. Common forms of written communication can be seen in the workplace. Sending emails and instant messaging results in a simpler form of communication.

Because of the results written communication has brought, it has now become the preferred form of communication in corporate and self-made businesses. 

Visual Communication

Visual communication is the act of using photographs, art, drawing, sketches, charts, and graphs to convey information. Visuals are often used to aid presentations and provide helpful context alongside written and verbal communication. 

Further, categories of communication are used every day, and because they are the most common types, tendrils have sprouted. In other words, categories lead to the next advanced form. An advanced form in which we use the categories and transform them into types of communication.

Summation

In this blog post, we discussed the core of communication and what it means, which is the base level. Additionally, we discussed the categories which form the second tiers to communication. In the next part, we will discuss the types and styles of communication.

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

Do you want to learn how to effectively use your communication skills for your business? Click here to read our book corner blog on Verbal Judo.

Have you ever been misunderstood? Chances are the answer is yes, whether you’re aware of it or not.

The frustration of saying one thing only to have your words misconstrued by the listener is something we all experience at one time or another. In our personal lives, misunderstanding causes unexpected hilarity and unnecessary arguments. In our professional lives, the consequences can be more serious.

If a potential client misunderstands what you say, you may lose the opportunity to work with them. And misunderstandings between business partners or between managers and their employees can have a negative impact on productivity and overall business success.

Effective Communication = Success

Source: unDraw

While it isn’t always your fault, practicing effective communication can go a long way in preventing misunderstandings before they begin. Effective communication is the key to success in business not only because it mitigates the negative effects of misunderstandings but also because it is the foundation for excellence in sales, marketing, management, and collaboration — all central aspects of running a business.

So how do you communicate effectively?

Here are five keys to effective communication from George J. Thompson’s book Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion. The first three are positive actions, or things we should do to communicate effectively, and the last two are negative actions, or things we should not do under any circumstances.

Key #1: Know what you represent.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.

— Plato

Whenever you talk to someone in a professional setting, whether that person is a customer, employee, or business partner, you are representing something other than yourself. You might be representing your company, a product, or your department.

It is important that you know what it is you represent and the reason why you are communicating at all times. Before you open your mouth, think about these questions:

  1. For whom am I speaking?
  2. Why am I speaking?

Key #2: Move your audience.

Audiences are made, not found.

— Aristotle

The second step after you know what you represent is that you must communicate in a way that generates compliance, cooperation, or collaboration.

Your overarching objective as an effective communicator in business is to bring your audience into harmony with your goals. If you’re talking to a potential customer, that means convincing them to try your product or service. If you’re talking to a business partner, that means helping them see your perspective.

No matter what your audience’s starting point is in terms of knowledge and opinion (Point A), you need to move them to where you want them to go (Point B).

Getting your audience from Point A to Point B is moving your audience.

Key #3: Disappear personally.

Source: unDraw

In the process of moving your audience, you must disappear personally. Remember that you are representing something other than yourself whenever you communicate in a professional setting. You are not you — you are your company, product, or department.

That means you leave everything that is irrelevant at the door. Had the worst day of your life yesterday? Is that relevant to the objective and what you are representing? If not, then keep it to yourself when you’re talking to your new client or having a meeting with your employees.

The more you can disappear personally in front of others, the greater power you will have. Power that you can use to make your business successful.

Key #4: Don’t lose your temper.

Source: unDraw

The previous point — disappearing personally — will help with this. In his book, Thompson describes a state called Mushin, which translates to “no mind.” It is a state of being with no ego — no biases. A person in this state is calm and centered. No matter what is happening, she remains undisturbed.

You must practice Mushin at all times. No matter what is happening, never show anger. The moment you lose your temper is the moment you lose all hope of effective communication.

Key #5: Never insult.

Source: unDraw

Along the same lines of not losing your temper — don’t insult others. Remember that your goal as an effective communicator in business is to bring your audience into harmony with your objectives. If you insult people in any way, they are much less likely to want to comply, cooperate, or collaborate with you.

Insulting others also builds ground for them to stand on that they didn’t have before. Now the main focus becomes your attitude and what you are actually trying to communicate fades into the background.

Practice = Improvement

Like most difficult yet worthy endeavors, effective communication in business is something that you may never perfect. However, practicing the five keys above can lead to improvements that will help you achieve the success you’ve been working towards.

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

Social Intelligence (SI) is one of the complex forms of knowledge. There are a variety of definitions, however, all maintain one commonality: sociability cooperation. Wasn’t it obvious by the title? In this blog post, we will discuss the theory of SI,  key element: S.P.A.C.E., the ways to increase your SI, refresher course, and several book recommendations that discusses the essence of social intelligence (whoops sneak peek). Alright, time to blow some minds away…with knowledge! 

Theory of Social Intelligence

According to Karl Albrecht, Social Intelligence (SI) is the ability to get along well with others and to get them to cooperate with you. Sometimes referred to as “people skills,” SI includes an awareness of situations and the social dynamics that govern them, and a knowledge of interaction styles and strategies that can help a person achieve his or her objectives in cooperating with others. Additionally, SI also involves a certain amount of self-insight and a consciousness of one’s own perceptions and reaction patterns.

Several theorists in the past decade have expanded on Albrecht’s theory of social intelligence in relation to emotional intelligence and intelligence quotient (IQ). Before diving into Albrecht’s theory, we will briefly pay homage to one particular theorist that has imparted his findings in relation to SI.

Harvard Professor Howard Gardner, he presented the idea that human intelligence is more than a single trait or intelligence quotient (IQ). Gardner’s claim led to his “MI” theory, (multiple intelligence), in which there are eight different forms of intelligence. These eight different levels adhere to at least one of the human potentials.

Many researchers now accept Gardner’s proposition that intelligence is multidimensional, and many believe that each of the key dimensions of intelligence can continue to increase throughout one’s life, given the appropriate experiences, challenges and growth opportunities. However, Gardner’s theory, though complete in itself, is actually incomplete on a much larger scale.

Albrecht’s social intelligence theory expands the multiple-intelligence concept (Gardner’s theory) to include another valuable way to observe the multiple forms of intelligence. From his expanded idea comes the key elements of SI, which inevitably leads to finding success at work, home, and beyond.

Key Element: S.P.A.C.E.

Albrecht breaks down SI into five different levels: S.P.A.C.E. From the five levels comes various succeeding effects. Let us first begin discussing the five levels. According to Albrecht S.P.A.C.E. stands for:

Situational Awareness: This is the ability to read situations and to interpret the behaviors of people in those situations.

Presence: This includes a whole range of verbal and nonverbal behaviors that define you in the minds of others.

Authenticity:  This comprises the behaviors that cause others to judge you as honest, open, and “real.”

Clarity: This is the ability to explain your ideas and articulate your views

Empathy: This is the ability to “connect” with others. (2006).

From S.P.A.C.E. comes the positive effects as noted by the professor of Leadership and Organizational Psychology, Ronald Riggio. If one were to follow the five steps that comprise social intelligence, they would develop effective listening skills, knowledge of social roles, rules, and scripts, verbal fluency and conversational skills, social efficacy, and impression management skills.

In summation, the key concept to S.I. is essentially being in-tuned with your surroundings, attentive to others, and becoming social through easy communication. Of course, gaining the effects of S.I is easy, however, developing or increasing our SI is not that easy.

Ways to Increase your SI

“Social intelligence isn’t easy to master—if it were, there wouldn’t ever be another awkward conversation at a party,” (Morin 2019). According to Amy Morin, psychotherapist and best-selling author, there are people who find social intelligence easy to master, while other people may find it quite the opposite.

Sometimes we may enter a socially awkward situation, internally confused and panicky, trying to mentally blow through a list of possibilities on how to abort the mission. Or sometimes we may be a wallflower who yearns to become social but lack the resources to become one.

Well, fear no more! After some thorough research, we have created a small but effective tactical plan to helo increase your SI. The best part is that you do not have to immediately jump to become the “queen of the ball.” Here are our tactics:

  1. Pay close attention to your surroundings. According to Morin, “socially intelligent people are observant and pay attention to subtle social cues from those around them,” (2019).
  2. Practice Active Listening. Active listening is where you reflect back what you believe the speaker said in order to ensure a clear understanding. Further, take the time to think about what the other person is saying. Doing so will encourage more thought on your answer, which will surely impress the other person. 
  3. Increase your Emotional Intelligence. Emotional Intelligence is the ability to control emotions in social situations. For example, a person who does not have emotional intelligence would usually express the wrong kind of emotion at the wrong time. For instance, a person laughing at a funeral. Not good. Through the practice of Emotional Intelligence, comes the result of empathy. 

These are our tactics to help you take the first steps in learning social intelligence. Whether at home or at work social intelligence proves to be a healthy practice to mentality, the self, and the emotions.

Bringing it all together

We realized we threw a mouthful of information at you, but it’s alright! You’ll be feeling more knowledgeable than your next-door-neighbor. Just kidding. But you will definitely feel knowledgeable. Let us do a refresher course. 

What is Social Intelligence? SI is a theory proposed by Karl Albrecht, which is the ability to get along well with others and to get them to cooperate with you. Often referred to as “people skills.”

Key Concept: S.P.A.C.E. Learning the acronym results in amazing effects, and therefore becoming a better person socially. 

Tactics. Pay attention to your surroundings and the people around you. They serve as your social cues. Practice active listening. Increase your Emotional Intelligence. Emotional Intelligence results in empathy.

Book Recommendations

Here are some book recommendations we highly suggest reading. They not only prove to increase your knowledge of what we discuss, but they also prove insightful. 

Social Intelligence: The New Science of Success

Written by: Karl Albrecht

Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships

Written by: Daniel Goleman

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ

Written by: Daniel Goleman

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success

Written by: Amy Morin

Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons in Theory and Practice

Written by: Howard Gardner

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

“The ins and outs of having the right social media for the right business.”

When it comes to marketing, it is important to create and maintain an online presence through social media. It is 2019, almost 2020, and society is continuously progressing towards an era of digital transformation. According to Salesforce, “Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new- or modify existing – business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and marketing requirements.” 

One of the leading forms of digital transformation is social media. According to Google, the term social media means “websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.” Social media is the essence of customer interactivity, communication, building relationships, and diversified culture. Let’s begin with LinkedIn.

LinkedIn

I am sure everyone knows what LinkedIn is, however, for those who do not know, LinkedIn is an American business and employment-oriented service that operates via websites and mobile apps- mainly used for professional networking. With LinkedIn you can make business connections, share resumes, and find jobs. Essentially it is the combination of Facebook and Indeed. Several of their mottos are, “Welcome to your professional community,” “Learn the skills you need to succeed,” and “Join your colleagues, classmates, and friend on LinkedIn.” So, what businesses are great for LinkedIn, and how can LinkedIn bring more traffic to your business?

The real power behind LinkedIn: Word of Mouth (WOM). The ability to tap into existing connections and grow your brand. Remember when I said LinkedIn is like Facebook and Indeed mashed together? I mean precisely that. Take realtors, for example. LinkedIn would be one of the perfect platforms to spread business and personality. Realtors can continuously update their feed with pictures of homes that are on the market or sold, have a complete “bio” page, like and comment on other clients’ feeds, and remain in contact with their clients.

Of course, LinkedIn is not entirely like facebook in the sense that LinkedIn is not centered on memes or what your cat is doing. Instead, it is a platform for professionals, businesses, and business to business relationships (B2B) to interact with other aspiring professionals, building a client base, and accumulate referrals. In summation, LinkedIn is the platform where you would want to grow your business in a professional setting( more business-like). Nothing like Twitter, where you tweet every Monday you wish it was Friday. But, Twitter is not all that bad for business, and here’s why. 

Twitter

Twitter’s call to action is pure genius: see what’s happening in the world right now. “Why is it pure genius, Miss AirSend, writer?” I’m glad you asked. The ability to keep up with what’s happening in the world is something like, “The Neverending Story.” The ability to search the world with trending hashtags, which are usually comprised of one word, and then receive thousands of posts related to that word, is honestly, something that is far beyond my imagination. Twitter is a gold mine for marketing and rhetoric. We have crossed the threshold of what we originally thought was rhetoric into a new form of rhetoric: 280 characters or less. It’s genius! Pardon the rant, let me go ahead and explain to you why Twitter is excellent for growing business. 

  1. Follow your Interests
  2. Here what people are talking about 
  3. Join in the conversation 

These three steps are on the homepage of Twitter, and subsequently, the key to growing your business through an online presence. Unlike LinkedIn, where a professional presence is the hallmark to success, Twitter actually cares about what your cat is doing. Or what you had for breakfast. Think of Twitter as your personality platform.

For marketing consultants, life coaches, and even mentors, Twitter is a great source of advertising. Or software company, realtors, public figures, etc. When viewers see your personality through your feed, it can lead to potential clients. Potential clients also use WOM to their followers to check out your business/twitter. Twitter is also great for interaction with followers. Customers and clients want to see personality when they research businesses. Twitter is one of the most versatile diversified platforms. Looking for more of a visual appeal for your business, try out Instagram!

Instagram

Whereas life coaches and realtors would find Twitter to be a great place to relay information in 280 characters or less, designers or make-up artists, for example, would find Instagram to be more advantageous. Why? Again, it is for visual appeal. With Instagram, there is the ability to create 24-hour stories, Instagram TV, upload videos and photos, and also explore like-minded creators. Much like Twitter and LinkedIn, Professionals can also keep in contact with potential clients, reply to comments, and maintain an active presence, which, thanks to the user interface (UI), is incredibly easy.


Further, Instagram is marketed towards creators,i.e. artists, who post captivating photos. Designers and make-up artists have a massive presence to the Instagram community, because, again, there is a personal connection between professional and client, and visual appeal in their market. Of course, Instagram is a place for foodies as well. Having photogenic food posted all over your feed is also a plus to freelance food writers (yes, other writers as well).

Instagram is a social media art haven. It is a platform that caters to the idea of portfolios. Of course, realtors, life coaches, and other professionals can have an Instagram as well; however, it is more beneficial for them to apply their rhetoric through words rather than pictures. 

Facebook Pages

Facebook made from concrete alphabet top view on green grass

“Create a beautiful online home for your business.” This is the motto for Facebook Pages. The benefit to facebook pages is that anyone can have one. It is a platform dedicated to a variety of content. Pictures, pictures with words, or words themselves. Creators, innovators, analyzers, and other professionals, can create an online presence with their business/portfolio. Facebook pages are great for building a community, promoting events, sharing offers, and selling things on Facebook Marketplace.

We are now in an era where technology has become our go-to marketing/business. With digital transformation, advertising has become more accessible than ever. There is now the ability to have user feedback, customer interaction, fast updates, and the innovation of marketing analysis, which ultimately improves business. The tricky part when facing technology is figuring out the right approach for the right business. In other words, the right social platform that conveys the right personality of your business.

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

Running a small business is tough. You don’t have a dedicated marketing team to get the word out, easy access to additional funding, or any of the other perks that come with size. Maybe that’s why 50% of small businesses fail within the first two years of opening according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

So how do you launch your small business from the trenches of struggle to the heights of success with limited resources?

Go viral.

Going viral means people are sharing your business with co-workers, friends, family — who are sharing it with their co-workers, friends, family — who are also sharing it.

Source: Pexels

And everyone is sharing it because they want to. Not because you’re spending thousands of dollars on ads or bribing them with freebies.

Going viral means exponential growth and exposure at no additional cost or effort from you.

If that sounds good, keep reading.

What do tribes have to do with it?

While not a fail-proof guide to breaking the Internet, Seth Godin’s Tribes contains some valuable tips on how to build a powerful brand — a key to viral success for any business, small or large. In the book, Godin reframes some basic marketing principles around the concept of tribes.

A tribe is a group of people with a shared interest and a way to communicate. Godin encourages people to make tribes and become leaders because the world needs tribes and leaders to encourage progress and enact change.

For a small business:

  • Leader = You
  • Tribe = Loyal Customers
  • Leader + Tribe = Viral Growth

So how do you attract and lead a group of loyal customers that are so excited about your business that they share it with everyone? Other than providing quality products or services, you need to tell a story.

Good stories make history.

Behind every powerful brand is a powerful brand story. Let’s look at how stories contributed to the success of two renowned brands: Apple (ranked by Interbrand as 2019’s most influential brand in the world) and Disney.

Apple

When Apple first entered the tech scene in the 1980’s, computers were seen as large, mysterious machines used only by governments, scientists, and corporations.

The company’s “1984” ad was not only a landmark moment in TV advertising but also a storytelling-as-branding masterpiece. In just one minute, Apple positions itself and its “personal computers” as the rebel — the little guy against giants like IBM and the “establishment” — who will save the world from an oppressive dystopia.

The computer itself isn’t even shown. But the point is clear, and the rest is history.

Disney

Disney as a brand epitomizes the power of great storytelling.

It does the opposite of most companies. Most companies create products, then spin stories around those products. Disney tells stories, then makes products to fit the stories.

First comes Mickey Mouse, then the figurines, mouse ear headbands and amusement parks. First comes Frozen, then the Elsa dresses, snowflake-shaped candy and skating shows.

It’s a unique approach that has led to great success and which exemplifies the possibilities that open up with great stories.

Source: GIPHY

In a world where attention spans are shrinking and people are bombarded with information from every direction, without a powerful brand you are nothing. And to create a powerful brand you need a powerful brand story.

Get Personal.

You might be thinking — I run a small business. What does Apple and Disney’s large-scale storytelling success have to do with me?

Branding is just as important for a small business as it is for a large one. But with a small business, you are the business. So it’s more about personal branding than anything else.

Personal branding is the practice of marketing yourself as a brand. You identify the skills, experiences, and passions that make you who you are as a professional and communicate that in a way that makes people want to work with you.

So how do you create an attractive personal brand? Same way Apple and Disney created industry-changing business brands — tell a good story.

What makes a good story?

Godin gives us two key points.

#1: Good Stories Upset People

Who are you upsetting? If the answer is no one — go back to the drawing board. Powerful stories take a strong stance, and strong stances almost always make someone uncomfortable.

Godin warns against trying to please everyone by diluting what you truly believe in. He stresses that opponents are GOOD. Their opposition strengthens your message and brand.

#2: Good Stories Are Authentic

Have you ever immediately disliked someone because you felt they were being fake? Or the opposite — clicked with a person because of their authenticity. The same goes for stories, brands, and businesses.

Make sure your brand story reflects your beliefs and values. Customers will be able to tell whether or not you’re being genuine, especially in a small business where you interact with them on a regular basis. And no one likes a fake.

It starts with one.

Building a small business can seem daunting, but remember it only takes 1,000 true fans to be successful and much less than 1,000 loyal customers to go viral.

In fact, it starts with one. One person who shares your business with co-workers, friends, family — who share it with their co-workers, friends, family — who also share it.

So tell your story. Create your tribe. What are you waiting for?

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.