Virtual Teams Series: Online Collaboration Tools for Virtual Teams

August 17, 2011 | by Pepper

Online Collaboration Tools Virtual Assistants Pepper Philippines

An important aspect of effectively managing virtual teams is the collaboration that goes into the work. Many online tools are available for seamless communication and coordination so that the virtual team manager is always on top of every team member’s tasks, schedule, and work results.

Here are some of the useful online collaboration tools for virtual teams:

Basecamp –  Pepper uses Basecamp, an online collaboration tool which can be used to effectively manage projects, tasks lists and team communication. Less complicated than other collaboration tools, Basecamp is easy to use to optimize workflow and project management. For the virtual team manager, the dashboard feature of Basecamp is useful for tracking work progress, messages, file uploads, and work time logged by each member.

Skype – Another communication tool staple for Pepper is Skype. With its simple and easy to use features, not to mention, FREE features, it has now become the standard for voice calls over the Internet, as well as chat, video conferencing and file transfers. Skype is free to use for just about every operating system and mobile device. Skype can be used for training, client calls, daily meetings, and screen sharing.

Google Docs – If you have a Gmail/Google Account, you can make use of Google Docs for free online spreadsheets and document management. The spreadsheet feature is particularly useful when you need to have multiple people working on the same spreadsheet at the same time. It may not have all the features of Microsoft’s Excel, but it’s very useful for collaborative editing of documents (including text files). Work files that need collaborative work by multiple members such as domain management, financial reports, feature suggestions, performance appraisals, directory lists and online resources can be managed with Google Docs.

Dropbox – Dropbox is tool that allows online file sharing. Team members can create their own accounts and invite other members for file sharing. Whenever you add something to your Dropbox folder it will automatically update to the other people that you shared the folder with (or another computer that you might use at home). Sharing training materials, files and back up documents is made easy, and is readily accessible from multiple computers.

Jing Project – For collaboration that needs screen or video capture, Jing allows voice annotation that can help you easily explain something. All you have to do is upload the capture to and it will send a link for the members to view. Just like Skype, Jing is free to use except when you want to make use of advanced features. This online tool is perfect for graphic or design collaboration or any communication that needs visual and vocal instructions.

There are many other online collaboration tools and programs available for virtual team management, and you may choose to use tools other than the ones we’ve recommended here. What tools do you prefer, and why? Please share them with us in the comments.

Before we end this though, we’d like to remind you that there is another post in the series. We hinted at it in the last post, and now we’d like to introduce the next topic: The Pros and Cons of Working with a Virtual Team. Come back soon to learn more!

Check out the other posts in our Virtual Teams Series:

About Pepper Virtual Assistants

Pepper Virtual Assistant Services is a business solutions firm that specializes on administrative assistance, customer support, CRM, copywriting, and personal virtual assistance. We take pride in our reliable service and responsive client handling which embodies our team’s optimal performance.

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14 thoughts on “Virtual Teams Series: Online Collaboration Tools for Virtual Teams

  1. Alex Anthony Pee

    I am in awe once after reading the blog. As a person who is fond of social networking sites, having this kind of collaboration tools for virtual teams is amazing. The usage of new sources from the web can make the team become one and it can also help in making the work be done in a faster way. Skype for example is convenient application that can help in building trust with the client since two parties can see each other. I am glad that ipepper has done a major move in making virtual assitant move a lot further from other competitors.

  2. Amz

    Great Post!

    I am also a VA before and yes those are useful online collaboration tools especially Skype. I used Skype the whole time being a VA. And you are right Skype has simple and easy to use features, FREE features as you mention. This is a very helpful and informative post especially for the beginners.

    Thank you! Hope to see more!

  3. Angelo

    If I could add one more tool, I think time tracking software is also important. Installing this kinda software is a huge help for everyone in the company, even for the employees. While the managers would know where his staff’s time has gone; he could identify what areas that need improvement and monitor their productivity, for the staff; they’ll spend their time wisely and will be more focus on work.
    But choosing what software to use is the tricky part. You need to know that most web-based tools are problematic. There are lots of time tracking tools to choose from and you might expect great results from them but they might just disappoint you. You should know that picking what tool to use is just as important as hiring employees. It’s better if you’d read articles like this and do some research first before committing to a particular software.

  4. John Roland Salinas

    I would have to say that Skype and Google docs works well together. In my previous job in sales, having communication to clients halfway around the world is important to give updates and information to keep the business up tight. Using Google docs through gmail, we were able to send, organize, download, and send files to and from clients at the most convenience. Furthermore, Skype helps us keep in touch to our customers and do business presentations and proposal through conference which gives a lot advantage and convenience to the business and the clients as well. You can also send files and documents right at your conversation so you wouldn’t have to go to check your mail while having a call or conference. Not only that it gives convenience, it also helps company save money from going abroad all the time.

  5. Magdalena

    Little bit more specialized collaborative tool for designers and digital agencies: It lets you collaborate effectively while everyone knows what is going on with the particular assets and can access their most recent version without loosing time tracking it. It provides the whole ecosystem of the assets and their natural context, while FTP and e-mail makes the progress of the creative work hard to track.

  6. Mieszkania Suwalki

    I think what you said was very reasonable. But, what about this? suppose you typed a catchier post title? I am not saying your information isn’t good., but what if you added something that makes people desire more? I mean Virtual Teams Series: Online Collaboration Tools for Virtual Teams Pepper Virtual Assistants is kinda plain. You could glance at Yahoo’s home page and note how they create news titles to grab viewers interested. You might try adding a video or a related picture or two to get readers excited about everything’ve got to say. Just my opinion, it might bring your website a little livelier.

  7. Karen May Dy

    These are all the tools that I use when working with clients. I’m a virtual assistant too. I would also add using Team Viewer to the list of tools for online collaboration. I have used this tool with my client when I had to access her computer and assist her with some technical problems. It was a time-saver as she wasn’t very techie and I was able to fix the problem.

  8. James Roger

    One more very good online collaboration tool which you may try is: R-HUB web conferencing servers It is an on premise solution which provides 6 real time collaboration applications in one box.


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