Are you and your team suffering from the black hole of email? Do you receive more emails than you can manage? Is your inbox overwhelming despite trying new strategies for email management? If this sounds like you, it’s time to start using a communication app. This way, all of the communication styles that play out in the workplace will be easier.
In the age of remote work, investing in a communication or chat app is a no-brainer. These apps enable teams to collaborate through messaging, file sharing and other tools in one place whether you’re in the office, working from home or are on the go. Plus, they’re designed to decrease the number of emails you receive.
There are a ton of communication apps available with different features and at all prices points. Your goal is to find the tool that will improve your team’s communication and productivity without breaking the budget. Start by researching these 10 communication apps, which PCMag calls the “Best Business Messaging Apps of 2018”.
Slack was the first mover in the single workplace app market. 500,000 organizations use Slack to collaborate. The Slack App Directory offers 1,000+ tools you can integrate into Slack, including Dropbox, Google Drive, Salesforce and more essentials.
You can try Slack for free for a limited time, although the standard plan gives you access to the tool’s full array of features for $8 per user per month. Here's more on how to use Slack.
Microsoft Teams is similar to Slack, but it’s only for organizations that use Office 365. This is the app to try if you’re immersed in the Microsoft Ecosystem as Microsoft Teams integrates with other tools you’re probably using, such as SharePoint, OneNote and Yammer.
The app is included in the Office 365 Business Premium plan, which costs $12.50 per user per month. So, Microsoft Teams is the budget-friendly option if you’re subscribed to this plan.
Forty-four percent of Glip by RingCentral users say “they didn’t collaborate enough” before using the app. Its notable features are collaborative document editing, a team calendar and task management tools.
Like Microsoft Teams, companies that subscribe to RingCentral Office’s VoIP service are already paying for Glip. Although, Glip is available to any company starting for free. For $5 per user per month, the standard plan offers 24/7 support, advanced administration controls, data retention, compliance reports and additional video chat minutes. It turns employees into more effective communicators.
“Less emails, faster communication, easier project coordination,” pretty much sums up Flock. Testimonials on Flock’s website demonstrate how communication apps like this one are time savers by reducing “emails by 40%” and “in-person meetings by 60%”.
Flock is free for small teams that don’t need more than 5GB of file storage. Larger teams can purchase the service for a steal at just $3 per user per month.
Like Flock, Zoho Cliq is affordable and is great for small teams.
The free plan is pretty expansive in terms of features and allows an unlimited number of users. Though, the unlimited plan, which starts at $3 per user per month, can support multiple teams and has infinite integrations.
Unlike its competitors, Ryver has a charitable component in its revenue model. 1% of all revenues are donated to Kids at Hope, which is a non-profit that organizes programs that empower children ages 3 to 18.
It’s pricing structure is also unique. Teams up to six users use Ryver for free. For all other team sizes, the cost is $99 per month, which could be attractive for large corporations.
Does your team work across multiple time zones? Do you find it harder to communicate and build relationships with coworkers who are out of the office? Twist is an app that was built for international companies in mind. Companies that use Twist say it’s calmer and more organized than the other apps they’ve tried.
The pricing options are a forever free plan, and an unlimited plan starting at $5 per user per month that includes two free months.
For teams that love Facebook, Workplace by Facebook has a recognizable look and feel for group chats, video calls and other messaging tools.
The standard plan is free. The premium plan starts at $3 per user per month and goes down (not up) when you add more users.
Stride by Atlassian is one of the newer communication apps. It replaces the company’s previous collaborative app, Hipchat Cloud.
The free plan provides a lot of services compared to others. The standard plan is cost-competitive starting at $3 per user per month.
In today’s age, every technology company needs to make security a priority. Though, SpiderOak Semaphor is the only app in this group with a “No Knowledge” policy. The “No Knowledge” policy means the company doesn’t have access to your encrypted data.
Semaphor is pricey, starting at $10 per user per month. The first five users are free.
Communication apps are not meant to completely replace email, but they will help your team communicate more efficiently.
Kristen Farrell is a professional communicator who previously worked in human resources. She shares career lessons and everyday experiences on her blog: kristen-farrell.com. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her running, crafting, or spending time with her husband, Jonathan and cat, Trotsky.