Innovative chat apps to boost your communication
In my previous blog post, I spoke about popular video conferencing tools. This week I’d like to continue with the communication theme and highlight popular chat apps. As our workplaces continue to evolve and transform, working remotely is on the rise. But working remotely means that the element of human interaction is sometimes lost. Those who work remotely often feel isolated and may miss having a colleague nearby to bounce ideas off. Luckily technology has stepped in to solve this quandary allowing the office environment to be mimicked in cyberspace. Today remote workers and collaborators’ have a plethora of chat apps to choose from to stay in touch. Here are some of the best chat apps available to boost your communication efforts.
Slack is a very popular communication tool! Its simplicity and ease of use has users hooked. Chat rooms can be organized by topic, files can be shared, and themes are used to customize each chat channel. Any previous conversations can easily be retrieved and searched. The app allows you to add fun emojis to your group chats. You can also send private messages within the chat app. The free version is available for an unlimited time span. The Standard plan costs $8 per month. Features on this version include video calls for up to 15 participants, search intelligence and 10GB of file storage per team member.
HipChat is a great communication tool for small businesses. It offers instant group chat as well as one-on-one chat, easy file sharing and transfer, and 5GB of storage. A fun feature is the inclusion of gif and media images. The Basic plan is free, the Plus plan costs $2 per month and includes video calling, screen sharing, and unlimited search history.
Another unique chat app is Flock. Flock allows for an instant group chat window in a sidebar next to messages or shared files. It includes features such as polling and shared to-do list. Flock is free for unlimited users and offers a searchable message history of 10k messages. The Pro plan is $6 per month per user for unlimited messages, history, and integrations.
Redbooth combines task tracking, project management, and team communication. Tasks are assigned to team members who collaborate within a chat room. Chatting within the task item ensures the team stays focused on the project. The free subscription can be used indefinitely. This plan offers 2GB of file storage and supports up to 2 workspaces. The Pro plan costs $9 per month per user.
Those who love multi-tasking will enjoy using Zoho Cliq as their communication tool. The distinguishing feature of Zoho Cliq is that it allows you to open multiple chat groups at the same time. You can also broadcast a video stream to anyone within a chat and you get 100GB of storage per user. The basic plan, for 0 to 10 users, costs $3 per month and a free trial version is also available.
Loom isn’t a chat app but is worth a mention here as it is a very useful communication tool. Why send a thousand words when you can send a video? Loom allows you to record a video via your webcam, microphone, and desktop. Loom is accessible via a Chrome extension and the video you record is saved as a URL. You then simply send the link of your video message to whomever needs to see it. And the great news is that Loom is for free! For an unlimited number of videos and for unlimited recording time.
The above chat apps and communication tools help remote workers, teams, and collaborators to stay in touch and to communicate effortlessly. Many project management applications such as Basecamp and Wrike also have chat room features included in their overall package. But we will get to those apps in another post!
Have you worked with any of the above-listed communication tools? Did it meet your expectations and help collaboration within your business? Have you tried others that might be useful? Please share your experience with us below.