Five best team chat apps (Guest blog)by Nikola Radojcin
Collaboration and communication are key to great teamwork. To facilitate communication and collaboration, you can turn to team chat apps designed to help teammates interact and work together with quality — no matter whether your team is remote, hybrid, or office-based.
The first direct benefit of using team chat apps is saved time. Namely, it takes much less time to write a message to an office-based teammate than go over to their desk to talk. Moreover, chat apps help remote and hybrid teams communicate in real-time better than emails — they also help such teams manage asynchronous communication with ease.
The second direct benefit of using team chat apps is improved communication. Namely, such apps are designed to make it easier to share ideas and find the information you need. As a result of such improved communication, teams get to enjoy other, indirect benefits, such as:
● better organization — teammates can track who is currently doing what and what needs to be done in the future;
● improved team relationships — teammates can better connect;
● increased creativity — teammates can make the most out of brainstorming sessions.
To help your team enjoy the above-listed benefits, you’ll need to use the right team chat app — here are the 5 best team chat apps you can rely on.
Microsoft Teams is a team chat app aimed mostly at enterprise businesses. It helps larger teams stay connected through direct messaging, file-sharing solutions, and channel-based conversations.
You can also enjoy deep integrations with other Microsoft Office tools — which makes this app a great choice for teams who already use MS tools on a daily basis.
Other highlights of Microsoft Teams include:
● customizing options for instant messages;
● the “search” function for filtering messages and finding the information you need;
● one-on-one and group messaging.
Microsoft Teams offers a free plan where you can add up to 300 users to a workspace and use limited file storage. The pricing starts at $5 per user, per month — the paid plans allow you to add unlimited users, enjoy larger storage for your shared files, as well as use other additional features.
Slack is a channel-based messaging platform that allows teams to communicate and collaborate with the help of customizable instant messaging basics.
The app allows you to ping individual teammates and groups directly, as well as organize conversations in threads and channels by topic.
Other highlights of Slack include:
● mentions in channels;
● file-sharing options;
● public and private channels.
Slack offers a free plan with the basic messaging features and certain limitations — the chat history is limited, so you can view and search only the most recent 10,000 messages. The pricing starts at $6.67 per user, per month, for unlimited access to the team chat history, priority support, and other useful extra features.
Pumble is a team chat app that serves as a free alternative to Slack and Microsoft Teams.
The app allows teams of all sizes to send direct messages to groups and individuals, participate in topic-based discussions in private and public channels, as well as organize conversations in threads.
You can also pin important messages and facilitate communication further by using keyboard shortcuts.
Other highlights of Pumble include:
● customizable web and mobile notifications;
● easy workplace administration;
● easy file sharing.
Pumble is free for an unlimited number of users, with unlimited chat history, and an unlimited number of channels you can create. There is also a paid option to host the app on your own servers — this self-hosted solution offers maximum security and privacy, as well as additional perks, such as phone and priority email support.
Twist is a team communication tool focused on facilitating asynchronous communication.
Once you open the app, you get an inbox-like interface where you can read team messages, comments, and updates like you would read emails — the difference is that these “emails” are organized in channels and threads.
Other highlights of Twist include:
● adding temporary team members such as independent contractors, agencies, and other third-party collaborators;
● file-sharing options;
● search/filtering options.
Like Slack, Twist also offers a free plan with limited access to the comments and messages the team shares while working — you’ll get to access 1-month worth of previous comments/messages. The pricing starts at $5 per user, per month — this plan gives you full access to your messaging history and offers other additional perks, such as unlimited file storage.
Convo is an office chat software meant to facilitate collaboration, discussions, and decision-making processes.
Your team will be able to share, organize, and archive information across channels, direct messages, and newsfeeds.
Other highlights of Convo include:
● easy user and group management;
● image and text polls;
● post sharing permissions.
Convo offers a free plan for up to 10 users and 200 viewable and searchable posts. The pricing starts at $6.67 per user, per month, for up to 1,000 users — within this plan, you get to view and search unlimited posts, as well as use other extra features, such as group chats with unlimited participants.
Ryver is a team communication app with project management features.
The conversations within this app are organized into People, Teams, and Forums. These features are similar to the direct messages, group messages, and channels you can find in other team chat apps — however, they are further subdivided into:
● Tasks, where you can manage tasks in a Kanban-style board;
● Chat, where you can manage instant messages;
● Topics, where you can organize discussions in a thread-like manner.
Other highlights of Ryver include:
● file-sharing options;
● task details, such as checklists, tags, and assignees;
● document management options.
Ryver offers a free 14-day trial (plus, some discounts for educational and non-profit organizations). The pricing starts at $49 per month for 12 users.
Flock is another team communication and collaboration platform that combines team messaging with project management.
Channels and direct messages are the backbone of this app — but, team communication is further enhanced with polls, pins, and file-sharing features.
Other highlights of Flock include:
● a built-in note-taking app;
● one-way announcement channels where only admins can post information;
● a searchable team directory.
Flock offers a free plan with 10,000 searchable messages and 10 public channels. The pricing starts at $4.50 per user, per month — the monthly fee lets you create unlimited public and private channels, access unlimited searchable messages, as well as enjoy other additional features.
Communicating and collaborating with teammates in a quality manner can be a challenge, regardless of the type of team you are operating in.
But, by using the right team chat app, you can save time, improve communication, and enjoy a range of benefits that improve the collaborative efforts of your team.
About the author:
Nikola always liked to keep things as organized as he could. That’s why he thrives on researching new time management and productivity techniques and sharing them with others.