Communication tools make our business lives easier, faster, and more adaptable. Knowing their benefits and how to use them will help you grow your work, create a safe and fun work environment, and make your team more productive.
This article will cover some of the top communication tools for you, your team and your business in 2023.
Here is a list of communication tools that have proved themselves by helping thousands of teams work and perform more productively.
Let’s get to know them.
Team Messaging Tools
Slack was launched in 2013, and it was developed by Slack Technologies, an American software company. It was primarily designed for professional and organizational communication. However, it has been improved as a community platform over time and did a splendid job replacing social media groups and message boards in the workspace.
Slack is one of the best tools for a business to communicate and centralize teamwork; it’s perfectly designed for use in the workplace; it’s both available for desktop and mobile and can also be used through its website.
It provides its user with public channels that enable the team members to have conversations without emails or group texting. There are also private channels and direct messages for the user’s preference.
Slack is a freemium product; it offers a free plan in which the user does not have to pay but is limited to free features only. Slack offers two paid plans called Pro ($8 per person per month) and Business+ ($15 per person) for those who want to access all features.
It offers a discount for paying annually and only charges you for your active members.
Slack has mobile apps for both iOS and Android and their web browser for macOS, Windows, and Linux.
It’s also available for the Apple Watch; the users can reply to messages, see their mentions and send direct messages.
2. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is a workspace developed by Microsoft, where you and your team can securely edit files, see mentions, likes, and replies. It’s ideal for teamwork in that it allows your team members to customize the platform by adding notes, websites, and apps.
It’s a tool that helps you pull together your team and work together chatting instead of sending emails. You can customize your alerts, have voice/video conferences, join group chats, send private messages, send animated GIFs, and instantly see your frequently used documents.
Whether or not you have a Teams account, you can join a Teams meeting anywhere, anytime from any device. It is mostly used for setting appointments with large groups, and it is wildly common among students as well, in that it is a put and easy to understand communication tool.
Microsoft Teams Pricing
Microsoft Teams comes included in most Microsoft 365/ Office 365 plans. It also offers a freemium version in which you can create Teams, have basic collaboration, and set up meetings. You can have meetings with up to 100 participants, but you can’t get meeting recordings.
You have access to most chat and collaboration features, but not productivity apps, services, or security features. This is what you’d want to use if you want basic communication and collaboration features.
However, if you want to start utilizing Teams for more than that, you might want to have some additional features turned on.
Microsoft Teams offers different paid plans for additional features:
Microsoft 365 Business Basic: $5.00 per user a month
This one allows you to have meetings with up to 300 participants. But again, no productivity apps, services, or security are available.
Microsoft 365 Business Standard: $12.50 per user a month
With this one, you get the productivity apps and services, including personal file storage, desktop versions, and Microsoft Bookings.
Office 365 E3: $20.00 per user a month
This one allows you to have meetings with up to 10.000 members, and you can have near 500.000 users. This is usually what the large enterprises will choose in that they need a high level of functionality and support.
Microsoft Teams is supported on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux.
3. Google Chat
Google Chat is one of the most popular business communication tools. It’s primarily designed for business communications within the Google Workspace environment.
With the help of Google Chat, your teams can unite via texting, building chat rooms, sharing documents, delivering presentations and web conferences.
The platform also offers important features such as video and audio conferencing, read receipts, image sharing, team chat channels, larger video chat capacities, and Google Meet integration, allowing the user to tag Google Meet with the attendees when they want to create a calendar appointment.
Google Chat Pricing
If you use Gmail with a company email address, you are already a paid Google Workspace user, which means you can use Google Chat. However, paid accounts for organizations start at $6 per person per month.
Google Chats is available for Android and iOS smartphones and mobile devices. It’s also available on Windows and Mac desktop and laptop computers.
Discord was created by Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy, it’s a home for communities of any size but is commonly used among small groups of gamers and other people who want to talk regularly about anything ranging from schoolwork and study groups, mental health support, art projects, you name it.
The majority of servers are private, invite-only spaces for friend groups and communities to stay in touch. It also hosts larger communities that are generally centered around specific topics such as popular video games.
It’s wildly used and loved because it’s a place where people can share ideas and interests with others; all you need to do is decide what to talk about and have fun while doing it.
Discord comes free to use with your messages, your servers, history, and communities. However, there are, of course, paid subscriptions for specific perks and bonuses.
Users can sign up for Discord Nitro to have access to free games in Discord’s store and some customization settings such as avatars and emojis.
This subscription costs $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year.
Discord is able to run on Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, Linux and web browsers.
Voice/Video Conferencing Tools
5. Google Meet
Google Meet is a videoconferencing and videophone platform developed by Alphabet company and Google. With Google Chat, it was designed as a replacement for Google Hangouts.
It’s built to allow dozens of people to join the same virtual meeting from anywhere with internet access, speak and share or have conferences. Anyone with a Google Account can create and host online meetings with up to 100 participants and make it last for 60 mins max.
It’s preferred by many business owners, college professors, and even couples going through long-distance relationships. *tears*
Google Meet Pricing
Google Meet pricing for additional features starts at $6.00 per feature per month. These features include adding international dial-in numbers, recording the sessions, live streaming, and administrative controls.
Google Meet supports Apple macOS, Microsoft Windows, Chrome OS, Ubuntu, and other Linux distributions. It also comes as a Chrome extension and can be used across all devices.
It also works with mobile operating systems such as Android 5.0 and above and iOS 12.0 and above.
We’ve been exposed to Zoom meetings maybe more than ever in the last couple of years. Because of he-who-shall-not-be-named. (Yup. Covid.)
Zoom is a cloud-based videoconference platform that uses end-to-end encryption and was developed by Zoom Video Communications.
In 2020, it became one of the leading video conferencing software apps. Since in-person meetings haven’t been possible, Zoom allowed its users to virtually interact with co-workers, classmates, teachers, loved ones worldwide.
Zoom lets you have one-to-one chat sessions or group calls, training sessions and webinars, video meetings with up to 1,000 participants. And it allows you to make fun customizations with your background, your avatar and have video recordings.
The free version allows unlimited one-on-one meetings but restricts group sessions to 40 minutes and 100 participants. Paid plans start at $15 per month per person.
Zoom’s desktop is available for Windows and macOS, and the mobile app is available for Android and iOS.
Skype is a software that enables communication and phone/video calls over the internet. It uses VoIP technology.
This software provides the opportunity to talk to millions of people worldwide on the internet or the phone.
It was first launched in August 2003, and its popularity has increased with the proliferation of smartphones and advanced computers. Millions of individuals and businesses use Skype to make free video calls, send messages, and share files.
It’s easy to use and download; you can use Skype on whatever works best for you; your laptop, phone, or tablet. To increase your Skype call quality, you can try more advanced speakers or cameras.
As long as you have a stable internet connection, Skype will provide you with a good experience with your video calls.
Skype is most of the time free. However, if you agree to pay a small amount, there’s more you can do with it. For example, you can call cell phones, landlines, or SMS if you use a subscription that starts at $2.99 a month.
Skype is available on the browser for:
- Internet Explorer 11
- Safari (Skype for Business Web App only)
The mobile app is available for Android and iOS.
Around is not your average video call tool. It’s an app for video calls primarily designed to help hybrid-remote teams create, share and communicate together. It’s a different and unique approach to video chats. Businesses and groups mostly use it. It comes integrated with Slack, so any link, meeting note, or shared files sent over Slack are accessible.
It provides an equal environment for all the chat participants; everyone is heard and seen clearly, inside of floating circles.
Remember, even in literature, a circle refers to equality, being equal in an environment. So, ”no one steals the spotlight” during a meeting. This kind of attitude is essential in a workspace since when your team members feel like they are equally involved in a meeting, they are more likely to take part, be consistent, work better, and be happy with you.
One more advantage of these bubbles is that you no more have to worry about your background details, and they certainly won’t distract any of your colleagues.
Around is free for now. However, it is stated that the pricing for Teams will be announced later this year.
Around is available in macOS, Windows, and Linux as well as iOS and Android. And Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox for web browsing.
Real-time Document Collaboration Tools
9. Office 365
Office 365 is one of the best document collaboration tools; it’s a productivity cloud specifically designed to help you manage your team and get work done smoothly.
It’s a service that combines several traditional Microsoft apps with new ones, and they are all enabled over the cloud. Its main goal is to ensure that the user always has the most up-to-date Office apps from Microsoft.
In addition to those familiar tools such as Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, Office 365 offers robust cloud services, device management, and security.
It helps you:
- Reach customers and co-workers via email and calendars.
- Access, share, and store files with 1 TB of online storage per person.
- Stay connected with your team with group chats, online meetings, and calling in Microsoft Teams.
- Protect your data, your employees, and your user information.
Office 365 Pricing
All Office 365 plans are subscription-based, paid for either monthly or annually. There are options that you can choose from, though.
Microsoft 365 Personal is for one person, and it’s $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year.
Microsoft 365 Family is for up to six people, and it’s $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year.
Office 365 is available for Windows 10 SAC, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2019 or Windows Server 2016 also for Windows Server 2019 or Windows Server 2016 through October 2025.
For macOS, the newest version of it and the previous two versions support Office 365.
10. Google Suite
Google Suite is a platform that offers secure collaboration and productivity applications that businesses of all sizes can benefit from. It provides Gmail accounts for everyone on your team and a complete suite of office products to make miracles with. It’s different from Gmail in that it is a paid service, especially for companies.
You can set a clear picture by thinking this way: G Suite is just like Microsoft Office, except it comes with everything included in the cloud and a company Gmail for your people.
G Suite dream team consists of:
- Google Docs
- Google Calendar
- Google Slides
- Google Sheets
- Google Drive
- Google Forms
- Google Meet
These are the collaborative productivity apps that offer your team email, shared calendars, online document editing, storage, video meetings, and more.
A survey held by nira.com showed that 79% of 249 people were using G Suite in their business, and it was the highest-rated set of document tools among them. It makes communication, organization, and collaboration easier, faster, and much more innovative.
Google Suite Pricing
G Suite is priced on a per user basis. The larger your team gets, the more expensive G Suite will become for you.
If it’s just you and you need G Suite for yourself, it’ll cost you $6/month.
But if you have a team of 50 people, your total bill would be $300/month.
G Suite is web-based, so it’s capable of working on web browsers on any operating system. Apps for Android and iOS are also provided by Google. Furthermore, Microsoft offers Office client apps for macOS, Windows, iOS and Android.
Notion is a game-changer for to-do freaks like me out there.
It’s a note-taking application that offers databases, kanban boards, reminders, and calendars. It allows its users to keep their notes in an organized way. The note pages can be strengthened or fixed in terms of visuals and usability with its features. It was launched in June 2018 developed by Notion Labs Inc.
Users can schedule tasks, save documents, manage files and data, set reminders, keep agendas, anything they need to stay organized. As a result, it’s wildly common among teachers and students as well as business teams that want to organize their workflow.
There’s no wonder why it’s one of the fastest-growing productivity applications in 2021.
It has a bunch of pre-made templates, but you can start from scratch and customize everything to fit your needs. Notion is incredibly versatile in that you can write in a beautiful clean space, build your tasks, set reading goals or use it for your liking.
Your template can look something like this:
Or like this:
Notion is free if you have a student email address.
Notion is a freemium product; it makes money from users who want access to the extra features. There are options that users can choose from. If you’re going to go Personal Pro, the price is $5 per month with unlimited guests and file uploads.
If you want to use Notion with your team, the price is $10 per month; this gives you unlimited team members, admin tools, and sharing permissions.
The app is available for Mac & Windows, iOS & Android, and can be accessed via most web browsers.
As a kid, I always loved how my teachers at school used our whiteboard. That board seemed like a giant empty field where I could write or draw anything. I always thought I had to become a teacher to use that whiteboard as they did.
That’s now possible with Miro. So everybody gets to have their very own whiteboards, and they can choose whatever they do with it.
Miro is an online whiteboard platform that allows different teams to work together, from brainstorming with digital notes to setting reminders, planning, voting, and managing workflows.
Miro mixes diagramming software, mind mapping apps, and video conferencing tools and creates an excellent collaboration app. It has a great feature set and is easy to use.
With Miro, you can have meetings and workshops using video chat, presentation, or sharing. It’s a hub for you and your team, where you can visualize your ideas and work on projects individually or with a team.
Learning how to create and customize whiteboards will help your team speed up your creation process. It’s high time you joined Miro’s 20 million users and became a part of creativity.
Miro has both free and premium plans starting at $10 per user per month. It also offers a free account with three editable boards and unlimited team members.
The desktop browsers supported by Miro are:
- Internet Explorer 11
- Edge version 14 or higher
- Yandex Browser version 19 or higher.
The Mobile browsers supported by Miro are:
- Chrome for Android
- Chrome for iOS
File – Sharing Tools
13. Google Drive
Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization platform created and developed by Google. This service enables users to store documents in the cloud, share files, and edit documents with their partners. It provides a storage solution that allows you to save files online and access them anywhere from any device.
Users can use Drive on their computers, smartphones, or tablets to securely upload and edit files online.
What makes Google Drive so popular is its integration with Google’s office suite of productivity apps, which will come in handy when you’re using both platforms to enhance your work performance.
It’s both suitable for individual and team use.
Google Drive Pricing
The first 15GB of storage remain free, but 100GB now costs just $1.99 per month instead of $4.99. Even more impressively, though, you can now get a terabyte of online storage for $9.99 a month, down from $49.99
Google Drive is compatible with Android smartphones and tablets running Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean” or later, and iPhones and iPads running iOS 8 or later.
For desktop, Google Drive requires Windows 10 and up. Unfortunately, Windows Server editions are not supported.
For Mac, Google Drive File Stream requires OS X 10.11 El Capitan and up.
OneDrive is an online file storage and sharing service provided by Microsoft and was created in August 2007.
OneDrive aims to enable users to send files to OneDrive accounts which they can connect with their Microsoft Accounts using their browsers and connect from anywhere with internet access.
OneDrive helps you save documents, photos, and other files in the cloud, share them with friends and even collaborate with others.
It offers online personal storage that you get when you set up a Microsoft account to use Outlook.com.
It also provides students, professionals, and businesses with online viewing for Office documents, file storage, folder creation, sharing, tracking changes, desktop synchronization, anywhere access, data loss prevention management, collaboration tools, co-authoring, document review, and tracking.
With OneDrive, you can back up or share files stored on your cloud service through your linked Microsoft account.
Your company or school can provide OneDrive, so it’s sometimes called “OneDrive for work or school.”
It’s perfectly designed for storing, exchanging, and transferring data or files online. It makes it easier for teams to keep up with what’s going around and organize their shared files.
OneDrive is a storage solution offered by Microsoft that you can use for free or a subscription to Microsoft 365.
The paid plans are:
$ 1.99 per month for 100 GB
OneDrive for Business: $ 5.00/ month for 1000 GB
OneDrive for Business: $ 10.00/ month for unlimited GB
Web browsers, iOS and Android devices.
15. Dropbox Business
Dropbox Business offers powerful storage, sharing, and collaboration tools. It’s one of the earliest cloud storage services (launched in 2007), it is now owned by the American company Dropbox Incorporation.
It was developed by two students Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi. More than 400.000 teams now use the platform.
Dropbox Business’s Standard plan lets your team organize and stay focused with 5 TB of space and helpful collaboration tools.
Dropbox Business protects your team’s ideas, data, and shared items in a safe and secure location. All team members can store, share, and work on files in a work account that your company admin runs. The admin can organize users, team workflow, and all data in your company’s Dropbox Business accounts.
Dropbox Business helps your team collaborate, focus, and work more efficiently. Since it was specifically designed for businesses, it has team features and provides better admin controls and more advanced sharing settings.
Dropbox Business Pricing
The Standard Plan is $12.50 / user/month, starting with three users and 5 TB of space for secure storage.
Advanced Plan is $20 / user/month, starting with three users, unlimited space, and better security features.
It is available for all operating systems such as Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Kindle Fire, Blackberry, etc.
WeTransfer is an online data and file transfer service based in the Netherlands. The company was founded in 2009 in Amsterdam by Rinke Visser, Bas Beerens and Nalden.
It’s a cloud-based sharing platform ideal for sharing large files such as video recordings, high-quality pictures, etc. WeTransfer can be preferred over other alternatives because most storage options run out of space and require constant clean-up, unlike WeTransfer.
WeTransfer is a perfect option to share files without worrying about your storage space. It enables you to share files without even creating an account. You can use its basic version for free or upgrade it to the paid version, WeTransfer Pro.
In October 2018, WeTransfer relaunched its app with the name “Collect by WeTransfer.”
It’s elementary to use and understand and is increasingly popular, mainly because it lets you send very large or heavy files in a convenient, easy, and fast way.
WeTransfer Plus can be preferred if the user needs to send extra-large files or wants passwords to protect what they’re sending.
WeTransfer costs $10 per month.
WeTransfer has a mobile app for iOS and Android and works with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Microsoft Edge.
I hope this article brought an insight into the best communication tools that you and your team can use to enhance your work performance.
Stay safe and successful. 😊
Frequently Asked Questions
Which tool provides a way for teams to increase communication?
For your communication enhancement, there are plenty of options that you and your team can benefit from. You can use team messaging tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Chat and Discord. You might also want to use Voice/Video Conferencing tools like Google Meet, Zoom, Skype or Around. Or you can use File Sharing tools like Google Drive or Dropbox Business. What you choose must be suitable for your team’s purpose and it should bring a convenient solution to increase your communication.
What is good team communication?
If your team is good at listening to one another, has confidence, respect and an open mind, that means you have a safe and happy work environment to provide your co-workers with. A good team communication is essential since it can be told from the outside and it will make people feel like they’re a part of a happy and successful family that they can’t wait to join. And it will help you build better relationships within your team, it will also increase productivity, job satisfaction and trust.