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slack vs x series
09 May 2020
Slack vs Zoom : Who is Losing the Momentum?
Since the nationwide lockdowns in wake of COVID-19, there haven't been too many stocks that have been spared from the share market massacre. Since February, the broader markets have lost more than a quarter of their value. But for virtual collaboration tools like Zoom and Slack, the scenario is completely opposite. Zoom’s download has skyrocketed. Just take a look at Zoom stock chart and see how COVID-19 changed the game for Zoom video Stock:   Zoom video stock has a strong RS line now. But considering the last few days, there has been a significant loss in the momentum: So, what happened? Why did Zoom lose the momentum? Why did Zoom Stock fall? For the answer, we turn to the pages of today's The Washington Post, which reports "some school districts around the country have started to ban the use of Zoom for online learning from home." These bans come in response to an FBI warning about the phenomenon of "Zoom-bombing" -- malefactors hijacking Zoom teleconferences and inserting themselves into the meetings. Now, this doesn’t mean Zoom is out of the game. Zoom Video stock is trading at a staggering 1,300 times trailing earnings -which suggests that the shares were priced for perfection. Much like Zoom, Slack also benefited from coronavirus lockdowns. Investors started to realize its full potential as a revolutionary product and this happened: But, unfortunately, it is not all sunshine and rainbows at Slack either. There is a massive elephant in the room - Microsoft Teams. Apart from the competition with Microsoft, Slack’s lack of growth still remains a principal concern among investors. And, eventually, Slack too lost the momentum:   Now, if these ups and downs in the Slack stock chart and Zoom stock chart confuse you, and you can’t decide between either of these, this article can help. Slack vs Zoom 1. Slack and Zoom: Key Background 2. How COVID-19 has Impacted Zoom & Slack’s Growth 3. Slack Gained Momentum amid COVID-19 4. Zoom’s growth amid COVID-19 5. Who is Growing Faster 6. Who’s Losing the Momentum 7. Want to Buy Slack Stock or Zoom Stock 8. Verdict   In this article, I’ll share everything you need to know about buying zoom stock or slack stock - starting from the key differences between these tools, current market changes in wake of COVID-19, the overall growth and profitability, and much more. By the end of the article, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about slack and zoom stock. Let’s start with an overview of both these tools: Slack and Zoom: Key Background Slack as business communication and collaboration tool: Slack as a pioneer communication platform connects the teams with communication and collaboration features. Founded in 2013, Slack became one of the fastest-growing SaaS startups in just five short years. Slack offers a free plan with basic features. The paid plan offers more perks like unlimited apps integration, guest accounts, unlimited message archive, and dedicated customer support team. Slack paid plan starts:  at $6.67 per user per month when billed annually. For larger companies, Slack offers an enterprise plan that costs $12.5 per user per month. Zoom as a Video and Web Conferencing Tool: Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars. Zoom has evolved from an already-successful IPO to a stock market juggernaut worth more than Uber and Lyft combined. Its mobile app has skyrocketed 728% since March 2, 2020. Zoom is designed for larger group meetings. Its free tier allows users to host meetings for 40-minutes. The participant limit in the free plan is 100 people. Zoom’s paid plan costs: $14.99 to $19.99 per host per month. Paid users gain access to more cloud storage and larger group meetings and many more interesting features like auto-transcription and virtual backgrounds. How COVID-19 has Impacted Zoom & Slack’s Growth With the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdowns, millions of workers have no option but to work from home. And Suddenly, it’s time for remote collaboration tools like Zoom ZM, +2.51%, and Slack WORK, -1.16% to shine. Amidst the bloodbath in the stock market, business collaboration and communication tools are on a roll — Both Slack stock and Zoom video communications stock have actually been rising. There’s a sudden increase in Google searches for Slack stock and Zoom Stock. Take a look: Since the pandemic lockdowns, the query for slack stock forecast has been on a consistent rise:        And the results are even more fascinating for Zoom. Take a look at Google Trend result for Zoom Video Communications Stock:       In all, both Slack Technologies and Zoom Video Communications are weathering the COVID-19 pandemic better than any other business in the market. Since 2020, Slack's stock has increased by roughly 25% And for Zoom, the numbers are jaw-dropping. Zoom Stock has surged more than 120%. Simply put, Slack and Zoom are gaining significant benefits because of the worldwide stay-at-home guidelines issued by the government. All employers and workers now rely on virtual collaboration tools - that explains why these tools are gaining momentum with mainstream and enterprise users. Let's review Let’s take a took at both Slack’s and Zoom’s growth: Slack Gained Momentum amid COVID-19 Slack’s growth rate, as shared in its quarterly report, looks solid. Here’s what Slack’s Chief financial officer said after it’s post-earnings plunge:   “We finished the year with 110,000 paid customers and 893 customers spending more than $100,000 annually with Slack,” said Allen Shim, Chief Financial Officer at Slack. While we invest in innovation and delivering more value to our customers, we also are showing significant leverage and remain on track to hit our growth phase target of free cash flow positive.”Slack quarterly reports.   Slack’s Fourth Quarter & Fiscal Year 2020 Highlights: Total revenue was $181.9 million, an increase of 49% year-over-year. Calculated Billings was $254.7 million, an increase of 47% year-over-year. Total revenue was $630.4 million, an increase of 57% year-over-year. Calculated Billings was $765.3 million, an increase of 48% year-over-year. Over 110,000 Paid Customers, up 25% year-over-year. Over 32,000 Paid Customers using shared channels, up from over 26,000 at the end of last quarter. Slack’s CEO Steward Butterfield shared his delight about the sudden increase in Slack’s usage. He shared these pictures on twitter. We could see in these charts the newly created Slack teams. The first chart is from March 12th, the second is from March 16th, and the third IS from March 23rd. Take a look:         Overall, Slack is winning not just as against the status quo but also against its competitors.   Zoom’s growth amid COVID-19 Slack sure has witnessed a spike in sales and usage. But Zoom generated more traffic, downloads, and sales than Slack in the last few months. Unlike Slack, Zoom didn’t disclose it’s exact number of paid users last quarter. But Zoom announced that its total number of users rose to 86% with over $100,000 annual revenue. Zoom also stated that the number of customers grew 61% to 81,900. According to Apptopic, Zoom saw about 600,000 new downloads last Sunday - which is the highest ever download in a single day. “Zoom sits atop Apple’s rankings of the most popular free apps in dozens of countries, according to data from analytics company App Annie. Investors love it, at least for the moment. The Zoom Technologies stock sells for 58 times revenue, compared to a price-to-sales ratio of 8 for Microsoft, and it’s gained 26% since Feb. 19, while the S&P 500 has plunged 32% over that stretch.”Jordan Nover, CNBC Zoom Usage Highlights: During the Covid-19 pandemic, Zoom witnessed an increase of 67% between Jan and mid-March 2020 (Apptopia) During the Covid-19 outbreak, Zoom was used by 90,000 schools in 20 countries to teach remotely (Zoom) March 30, 2020, saw 4.84 daily mobile US users (a 151% increase year-on-year) (Apptopia via Reuters) Over the 2020 financial year (2019), 641 Zoom business customers were worth $100,000 or more, up to 86% (Apptopia) Zoom expects a revenue rise of 63% to 65% in the next quarter, which clearly beats their expectations for 53% growth. Who is Growing Faster: Zoom Stock vs Slack Stock It’s clear both Zoom and Slack are having a gala time. But as the trends show, Zoom is way ahead when compared with Slack’s growth. Take a look: Revenue Growth of Zoom and Slack:   Revenue Growth (YOY) Q1 2020 Q2 2020 Q3 2020 Q4 2020 Slack Technologies  47% 52% 47% 49% Zoom Video  103% 96% 85% 78% Source: Slack and Zoom Quarterly Reports It’s clear. Zoom is leading - leaving behind many of its competitors. Let’s have a few more statistical insight on Zoom’s growth over the last few months.   Which one is more profitable: Zoom Stock vs. Slack Stock? As the table depicts, Zoom is trading like a cult stock. So If you’re weighing options between Zoom technologies stock and slack stock, you’ve to see these statistics: Zoom daily downloads: January 2020 56,000 February 2020 1.7 million March 2020 2.13 million (Source: Apptopia via The Guardian and The Economic Times)   Zoom Revenue as of FY 2019: Q1 2019 $121.5 million Q2 2019 $60.1 million Q3 2019 $74.5 million Q4 2019 $90.1 million FY 2019 $105.8 million (Sources: Zoom and AlphaStreet) Zoom Revenue Forecast Q1 2020 $122 million Q2 2020 $145.8 million Q3 2020 $166.6 million Q4 2020 $188.3 million FY 2020 $622 million (Sources: Zoom and AlphaStreet)     Zoom Market Cap and Valuation: 1 July 2019 $23.6 billion 1 October 2019 $20.7 billion 3 January 2020 $16.1 billion 30 March 2020 $40.5 billion (Source: Macrotrends)   Zoom Technologies Stock Price: 1 July 2019 $86.86 1 October 2019 $75.81 3 January 2020 $68.72 30 March 2020 $146.12 (Source: Macrotrends and TechCrunch) Keeping these numbers in mind, one can see how Zoom’s net profit and usage has surged over the months. On a non-GAAP basis, Zoom’s net revenue increased more than six times to $101.3 million. Zoom is also expecting its non-GAAP EPS to rise 20%-29% in 2021 and it trades at 42 times its revenue forecast. Who’s Losing the Momentum? Slack Stock or Zoom Stock When you look at Slack in context to Zoom’s growth, Slack definitely seems to be losing the grip. If you’re considering buying slack’s stock, you have to know it’s not as profitable. We are saying that considering the cost of hosting, expanding, and promoting its servers continually offset its revenue from the paid customers. As you can see from their quarterly report, its net loss increased from $140.7 million in 2019 to $571.1 million in 2020. On the non-GAAP basis that excludes its one-time expenses and the stock-based compensation, Slack’s total loss narrowed very slightly from $115.8 million to $113.4 million. In simple terms, Slack expects to remain an unprofitable business despite the COVID-19 pandemic. When you compare Slack stock price with Zoom stock price, you can see Slack trades at 16 times the total revenue estimate for 2021. On the contrary, Zoom is trading at 42 times the revenue forecast. Slack’s Stock Forecast Slack is subject to the forces wreaking havoc across the economy. Slack’s Stock has tumbled 20% in extended trading. In the current quarter, revenue will be $185 million to $188 million. The Analysts projected $188.4 million. Excluding some items, the loss will be 6 cents to 7 cents a share. Analysts, on average, estimated 8 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Want to Buy Slack Stock or Zoom Stock: Consider These Points First Sure, both Slack and Zoom’s growth has surged amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Even before the lockdowns, these tools were taking the market by storm. But there’s another side of the coin that you’ve to consider before buying zoom or slack stock. So far you know who’s growing by what margin and which stock may be profitable. Now, let’s have a quick overview of why you should think twice before buying any of these stocks: Things to Consider when buying Slack’s Stock: Slack is fending competition with bigger rivals like Microsoft Teams -that witnessed even her surge in usage rates throughout the COVID-10 Pandemic. Slack’s net loss widened from $140.7 million in 2019 to $571.1 million in 2020. Slack's net loss only narrowed slightly from $115.8 million to $113.4 million. Analyst’s projected loss of 6 cents to 7 cents a share, and Slack reported an adjusted loss of 4 cents a share Things to Consider when buying Zoom’s Stock: A series of Zoom security blunders in the last two months sparked questions about its ability to help the security-conscious organization - that caused several customers to ban the app and go against its rivals. A report claimed that over 500,000 Zoom accounts have been hacked and are being sold on the dark web. In short, Zoom is still vulnerable to hacking attempts. Verdict: Wait for a Deeper Pullback Before Buying Zoom Stocks There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 crisis has lit a fire under team collaboration and communication tools like Zoom and Slack, but Slack still is far away from narrowing its losses. It’s also trying to fend off the competition with Microsoft and other Slack alternatives in the market. On the other hand, Zoom is trading like a cult stock. If you’re considering making an investment in either of these tools, Zoom may sound like a safe choice but Zoom’s vulnerability to hacking attempts has become a growing pain. It has caused so many businesses to ban the platform. Zoom needs to resolve it’s security issues before the hackers permanently trash its accountability and reputation. If Zoom can address such issues, it is definitely a better buy than Slack. But If you were to make a decision now, the best would be to wait for a deeper pullback before getting any shares.
Since the nationwide lockdowns in wake of COVID-19, there haven't been too many stocks that have bee...
content marketing
20 Jan 2020
SaaS Content Marketing : The Guide You’d Need to Kick-Start your Content Marketing journey!
I'm sure you know why content marketing is important, it's time to figure out the best strategies that may help you win your customers and take charge!   Content Marketing costs 62% less than any outbound or traditional marketing method, and yet it generates approximately 3 times as many leads as conventional marketing.   It’s cheaper and more efficient.   Do you still need more reasons to trust content marketing over any other marketing strategy?   I know it’s not easy to convince you unless I talk facts. So, here are some benefits of content marketing : Conversion rates are 6 times higher for companies that adopt content marketing strategies. 86% of SaaS organizations have specific departments or someone in charge of checking over their content marketing strategy. 58% of marketers believe ‘original’ written content outdoes videos and visuals   The vast majority of SaaS marketers are now embracing content marketing strategy. A good SaaS marketer knows that content marketing can aid their company to achieve brand visibility, lead generation, and nurturing the leads simultaneously.   I am not asking you to abandon traditional marketing, but if you are into the SaaS business, you must pay attention to create a  high-quality, experience-based, top-notch content.   At Troop Messenger, we tried over a dozen of content marketing strategies. There were times we failed at generating desired results. Our blog posts won’t appear in the search results, let alone appearing on the front page.   We failed to stay ahead of CM trends. It was challenging because there are hundreds of things, trends, and strategies to watch over every week.   It took us a while to understand the 3 Cs of SaaS Content Marketing: Consistency, Consistency, and Consistency.   It took us a while to understand that we needed to be directly involved in content creation. Gradually, we resorted to creating content that encouraged visitors to click on our site link, visit the homepage, and subscribe.   Keeping in mind all of our failure stories, the lessons we learned, and the different strategies we employed, I have created this guide for you. It’s the only SaaS content marketing guide you’d need!   How to create a content marketing strategy? Let’s find out here   A. We Leveraged the Power of Google by Mastering Keyword Research There has been an ongoing debate on the usability of Keyword Research Planners. Some say it is dead. Others argue it's the best thing. I say it’s Google is smart, and all the algorithms are designed in a way it enhances as a reader’s readability and helps them with the article with search results that carry ‘phrases’ and ‘keywords’ a person adds in the search bars.   Keyword Research Might not be the almighty thing but it is an important factor. There are tools like Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer that can help you rank your article by using selective keywords. Such tools allow a thorough keyword analysis and backlinking as well.   Step 1: Check the Search Volume SV (Search Volume) represents the number of times people have types a specific keyword into Google. SV is important as long as you do not wish to create a content strategy with keywords nobody is looking for.   It’s simple as selling a product in a market. You’d sell a product only if it is in demand, right? So, with SV, you know about the demand. When it comes to keyword search volume, there are two primary factors to take into consideration: volume and competitiveness. Keywords with higher volumes mean more potential exposure (or impression share), but will likely be much more competitive. This, in turn, makes it harder to rank for these terms as you’ll probably be going up against popular and well-established sites. If you’re a new website, you may want to begin by targeting low-volume (or medium), low-competition keywords as a starting point to establish some domain authority. if you’re a well-established site, you can delve into the more competitive territory (medium to high SV) to maintain your edge.   In the image below, we did SV for the term ‘flock vs Slack,’ using Ahrefs’ Keyword Planner. This Keyword is super easy to rank and the user intent is high too. SV for ‘Flock Vs Slack’ is 250 with 306 Clicks and 91% Organic Clicks. Hence it’d be easy to use this phrase.     Using the Ahrefs Keyword Planner, we also analyzed SERP position history to find our competitors who are targeting the same phrase and the articles they’ve curated around it.     Step 2: Check for Keyword Difficulty Level Finding the SV is only half the battle. It takes you to popular keywords with insane competition. Hence, at this point, you can use other keyword software like Ahrefs or SemRush. Keyword Difficulty Level, abbreviated as KD, is an important metric since it shows how difficult it's going to be for a blog to have a top-ranking using a particular keyword. KD metric takes into account the amount of backlink that points to the URLs in the top 10 search engines. Hence, At Troop Messenger, we use Ahrefs to check KD for the popular keywords we pick in Step-1. Ahrefs KD helps find the ‘low-hanging fruit’ by giving us an estimate of how hard it will be for us to rank among the top-ranking pages. We did KD search for the term ‘Flock Vs. Slack,’ which has KD of 2, 250 SV, and we’d need to create about 3 websites backlinks to rank in top 10 for this keyword. Since Flock & Slack are already popular, we used these keywords to rank our application Troop Messenger. The term ‘Flock Vs. Slack’ is super easy to rank and the user intent is also very high. Don’t believe us? Google Search the term ‘Flock Vs. Slack’, and you’ll find us there: Step 3: Check for the Intent To understand Intent, you need to have an understanding of user behavior. An intent represents a user’s intent (purpose) for the search. It shows what a user is most likely to do when they are searching Google with a particular phase. For SaaS, keyword intent reflects ‘How ready a user is from buying their products/services?’   To be specific, it’s a guessing game since you cannot be sure. Hence, this is the part where you have to apply common sense as well.   For instance, the search intent behind ‘cost-effective office collaboration tools’ shows that the buyer already knows about Slack and Flock, and they are looking for a more efficient and cost-effective tool. It’s easy to convert this specific audience since we are offering just what they want. When we search for keywords for our Troop Messenger blog, we come across different keywords to find user intent. People looking for office chat application like ours usually search with phrases like ‘Slack,’ ‘Team Chat Apps,’ ‘Slack Alternatives. Search Intent for ‘Slack’ represents the user intent of those who are mainly interested in Slack and would neglect the other's name on the list. Hence, for us, user intent is low here. People searching with ‘Slack Alternative’ means they are looking for something other than that. With our blog, we show them what benefits they get by using us as a Slack Alternative (keyword intent is high here).   B. Leverage the Power of Google & Google Tools Can you create any content marketing strategy without abiding by ‘Google’s and it’s an algorithm? I bet not.   If you want your content to rank high and your SaaS products/services to appear in the top search results, you’ve to distribute your content thoroughly. It starts with spending at least 50% of your resources.   Google should be the ultimate content distribution channel where you create and publish content relevant to your product and the niche.   Let’s take Groove for example. They created content for an exhaustive list of marketing keywords and brought them to the top of search results. Groove promoted its content through Facebook and other Social Media Channels, but it’s Google where they first created a base. From creating customer-oriented how-to-articles to tutorials, Groove did it all.   At Troop Messenger, we leverage the power of content distribution via Google and we make thorough use of Google tools. We know Google results can either make or break our business.   1. Google Analytics: I’m sure you must have set some goals for your content marketing strategies, and with google analytics, you can take a step to reassess your situation. At Troop Messenger, we’ve been using Google Analytics to get a snapshot of our performance over time. Here’s what you can analyze with this tool: Audience engagement Active Users User explorer based on demographics, interest, behavior, mobile, and technology Average time on page Bounce Rate Page Views Unique Page Views   All of this will give you a clear idea of what’s working and what is not, in regards to your type of content, topic selection, etc.   2. Google Trends We all find it difficult to continually come up with a fresh set of ideas and topics. This is why we have made a habit of checking the trends alongside brainstorming new ideas. Here’s what you can do with Google Trends: Explore a new topic Browse what’s trending using time filters Realtime Search Trends for Web, YouTube, Image Search.  You don’t need a specific action plan for using this tool. Just type in the category and see what Google pulls out from trending topics in your niche.   3. Create Blog Posts that Won’t Put Readers to Sleep When you are curating any type of content, remember that the attention span of a human is only about 12 seconds. Hence you’ve to grab their attention right with the first few lines.   You cannot take a risk by creating something that has nothing unique. People do not have enough patience to read an article that is crowded, has long sentences, is boring.   So, before anything else, you must create content that your prospects truly want to read. Here’s a five-step strategy to create the kind of content which makes you closer to the SaaS marketing goals.   Step 1: Research. Research. Research. Every single SaaS content marketing strategy must start with thorough research. Don’t think your imagination can be the only source of ideas. You might be creative, but you still have to find what others are looking for. For the research, Google’s Suggest Feature can be highly useful. Start by searching for a phrase (office chat software) related to your product. Now Scroll to page bottom. Here you’ll see similar searches that are based on user data. Try to understand the intent behind these searches   At Troop Messenger, we further narrow topic research by reviewing our competitor’s content via BuzzSumo. This tool helps us find the content that is performing best in our field.   You can also use BuzzSumo for content insights, to generate ideas, perform the influencers, monitor your performance, and create high-performing content.   Steps to reviewing the content of your competitors:   In the Content Analysis Search Bar, Enter your competitor's name:  When you hit enter, BuzzSumo will display an analysis of all content published on that domain. You can review the topics that got your competitor's maximum engagement.   In the image below we did blog content analysis for our competitor Flock.   Review the formats and Networks that are working Apart from topics, you can use BuzzSumo for digging into the social networks and see where your competitors’ content is gaining traction. See which social media platform has driven the most engagement.   In Flock’s case, it’s twitter chiefly.   Review the content by Backlinks You can also sort your search by the ‘number of backlinks’ and find the articles that have driven most links.   Research who is linking and sharing your competitor’s content Social engagements always amplify content. More the engagement, wider will be the audience reach. With BuzzSumo, you can review the people who shared content on social media from a competitor’s site. This can be done by narrowing search results for ‘Influencers’ and choosing ‘Search Content Shared.’   Use these search results to create and curate high-quality content on the same topic, and target a similar audience. Step 2: Curate Content for Every Phase of The Buyer’s Journey The content or blog post you create should be curated around each phase of your buyer’s journey. Since the goal of SaaS content marketing is to provide the target audience with valuable information, use your blog for the sales funnels. Help your customers understand why your product or services can be helpful at each stage.   Usually, content marketers mainly create content to create awareness and generate traffic. But that is not the right approach. Content should be used in the entire marketing funnel. Like other SaaS companies, Troop Messenger also needs a full-funnel strategy for executing a thorough marketing plan.   Awareness: In this stage, we created content to target all top keywords related to the office collaboration tools and promoted engaging, entertaining, and informative content to attract the target audience. Goal: The goal of this phase was to help people discover how Troop Messenger can solve their problems of office collaboration and virtual workplace management.   Lead Generation: Once we made the customers aware of our existence, we generated leads by providing them gated, high value, and free content. Brands that are good at lead nurturing, easily generate over 50% more sales, and that too at 33% lower cost.   Hence, at this phase, we continued educating our customers, solving their problems with ‘How To’ content. We delivered facts and data to help prospects overcome their concerns.   For Lead Generation, we also highlighted our USPs so the prospects see why we are the best Slack Alternative.   Goal: Get prospects to engage with our brands and trust our services more and more.   Trial Sign-ups: Since we offer a free trial for 30-days, this stage helped us attract the customers into availing the freebies. It’s a crucial step, and we also highlighted this as a testing phase since the customer’s feedback after the trial helps us further improve the product.   Goal: Trial Sign-ups aimed to encourage our users to install the application, try the software, and decide for themselves.   Conversion to Paid Customers: We continued creating content around the special features of premium plans, the benefits, testimonials of clients and businesses who’ve been using the paid plan and what changed for them.   We deliver high-quality content either through newsletters or blogs and continue educating and engaging about the more valuable features within our software.   Goal: After the trial period ends, it’s all about convincing them to opt for a paid subscription.   Customer Retention: Customer Retention is an important step to retain customers. We do this by constantly providing the value we promised to our customers in the initial phase of their journey.   We created content that further educates each of the customers about all the functionalities. At our blog, we provide guides and step-by-step tutorials targeted at guiding customers on ‘how to get the most of our SaaS product.’   Goal: Continue helping customers to be successful at using the different features of Troop Messenger and avail benefits.   Step 3: Create Something Unique Like I said before, it’s all about uniqueness. A thousand words can earn you traffic for a while, but if your content is not unique, why will people turn up to read?   There’s no shortcut. You have to put in maximum work if you wish to achieve better visibility. If you wish to earn a great response, you must create content that offers something unique. Even a lengthy post cannot guarantee that top spot you desire.   Go big or go home.   For SaaS business, I suggest writing a high-quality and experience-based article. Here are some of the ideas that worked for us: Comparison Articles of alternatives: pros and cons of our competitors or rival’s product alternatives. Feedback articles: It’s where our team members shared their feedback after using a couple of office chat alternatives Vote/Score article: We make our team members vote for the alternative they like using the most. Verdict articles: It’s where we compare different features of different tools and tell the readers who won in terms of a specific feature. Screenshots article: After thoroughly using an alternative, we make screenshots of features/things we like or dislike while using the tool. Step 4: Repurpose Your Blog Posts There are different ways in which content is shared. Some SaaS businesses still prefer sharing information through written content, others rely more on video tutorials. At Troop Messenger, we leverage the benefits through brief posts that focus on special tasks. We have repurposed our blogs into start-to-finish guides. As a content creator, you can further repurpose content for different audiences. Your audience might be willing to listen, watch, or read the content. Different formats are good as long as they engagingly provide information. Here are different ways to repurposing your blog posts: Creating a presentation. Designing an infographic. Creating a Pinterest or Instagram instructographic. Republish old posts. Repost to social media handles as tweets or Facebook posts. Repost on Quora as an answer to questions. Use as newsletters Reuse blog posts as an email series (for example, 11 days projects) Create an Ebook Create a podcast Create a video series Host a Webinar Reuse blog posts as Reddit Answers  D. We use our blog posts as a conversion machine If you have a blog dedicated to promoting your SaaS startup, and yet there is no medium to convert blog post readers into paid customers, you need to review your content marketing strategies.   Most of the blogs fail at conversing the readers into customers because there’s no dedicated place where they can turn into a customer unless they scroll down to the very end. It’s important to write articles that convert. We did the same thing at Troop Messenger. We change the position of a few things:   Call to Action: CTA’s are the most integral part of a SaaS business. Hence, don’t make your CTA stubbed in a corner of the page, or somewhere far in a crowded place. It has to be visible.   The best practice is to put CTA as a fixed menu. It has to be visible enough to catch attention. At Troop Messenger, we have implemented a fixed menu with our call to action button, which encourages the readers to try our office chat application.   Sign-Up prompts: While your readers are reading the content your team has drafted, remind them that they can get all the benefits by signing up. Sign-up prompts are a good way to convert customers. By implementing sign-up prompts, not only did we grew our email list, but we also succeeded in increasing the opt-in rates.   E. Here’s How We Get Our Blog Posts Rank Higher in Search Results: For any content to rank high in google, quality backlinks act as a backbone. Often called Inbound Links, these are the links directed towards your website.   More the number of quality backlinks, more important will your content be in google algorithm’s consideration.   Google considers such a website more important and gives better credit by showing them first in the result page after a query.   At Troop, we follow the backlink mantra religiously, and frequently create content relevant to our niche (SaaS products) and generate backlinks with the same process.   1. Guest Blogging to create backlinks: You have to understand the importance of guest blogging. It lets you share your expertise and at the same time, build your authority too. With the backlinks, you can also boost your SERP rankings.   Since we have started Troop Messenger from scratch, we resorted to guest blogging to get our monthly traffic. From ‘Top Office Messenger Applications,’ to ‘Growth Hacking strategies, and ‘Startup Funding Ideas’, we’ve created guest blogs on a vast range of topics.   We use the staircase blogging strategy: With this strategy in mind, we create high-quality content for websites (third-party blogs) that have a decent number of traffic. We pitched guest blogging ideas to reasonably popular blogs We continued writing for these sites where the competition wasn’t too intense, and following the same approach, we built for us a great writing portfolio.   At Troop Messenger, we didn’t guest post only for the sake of backlinking, but also to showcase our expertise and to present our product to a bigger audience.   2. Blogger Email Outreach Strategy : What Should be the Next Step After Guest Blogging?   If you are one of those entrepreneurs who want to scale your posts and reach a wider audience, Blogger Outreach should be the answer.   Sounds Alien?   Let me explain.   Blogger outreach is a method of putting your content across relevant industrialists, bloggers and experts from your niche, by sending them a personalized email.   The objective of these emails is to convince these experts with a larger audience to talk about your content. Give you a shout out!   Blogger Email Outreach = Broadcasting.   Two things you need to keep in mind when trying the blogger outreach strategy: Choose your target very carefully Use Content Explorer to reach people linked to articles from the same niche and topic Craft your pitch to evoke curiosity with the subject line Make sure to send them a highly personalized email Explain why you’re contacting them Avoid Fake Flattery Always End with a clear CTA Example of Some of the best outreach subject lines:   3. High-Quality-Captioned Visuals: We create our images for every blog post. By designing great visuals, featured images, and infographics, we manage to grab your reader’s attention. But the trick here is to optimize the image. Don’t leave it uncaptioned. Add the link. Your images should be easily available online. Choose the right alt tag. Add the best keyword that fits with your image and put it with the alt text. I suggest using a long-tail phrase/keyword as an alt tag.   4. Reddit Marketing Reddit has about 1 million communities and 51 million unique users. It has proven to be the most intimidating social network for us. At Troop Messenger, We frequently post in relevant subreddit and get engaged with the users in the subreddit. Subreddits: There are subreddits (categories) for almost anything you can think of. Each is identified by https://reddit.com/r/subreddit With a helpful search feature, you can search for a subreddit of your choice using keywords. Once you find a handful of relevant subreddits, start using Reddit for real.   Reddit sure looks like the early 2000’s message board, but it has a reputation many other social media platforms still fail to match. It’s a huge aggregator. Here’s what you can do with Reddit:   Submit links (repurpose your blog posts) that are relevant to a specific community. You can also submit self-posts, which are posted as original contributions by the users. Text posts enable a user to submit original content, which helps drive quality traffic. Redditors can either downvote and upvote your submission, which generates a karma score. This Karma score works wonders for Reddit's credibility. Hence, avoid getting downvotes as less as possible. The only way to have a good karma score is a submission of valuable content. In our subreddit, we also host AMA (Ask Me Anything) where Redditors ask questions, we answer, which helps us establish a relationship.   5. Quora Marketing Quora has 300 Million Users. Unbelievable, right?   When we launched Troop Messenger, we were looking for ways to confirm authority in our niche, create brand awareness, and increase organic traffic. We did it all via Quora.   Through Quora, we searched for specific topics related to our business. We targeted questions that appeared in google search. We also created a few questions to collaborate with many industry influences. We answered questions with authority and passion and added links to our website for those who wanted to read more. Paid Advertisement, where we targeted users topic-wise, further helped us increase the conversions and clicks.   With Quora, we succeeded in highlighting our position as an industry leader, built valuable relationships, and drove traffic to our website.   Conclusion There’s no denying the fact that content marketing has evolved into an integral element of marketing for pretty much all types of business. Especially for SaaS, content marketing has become one of the standard practices.   Want to escalate your SaaS business to new heights? You cannot do it without strategic content marketing tactics.   Sharing Educational and Informative content with the target audience is important, which is why ‘content’ is a crucial tool for SaaS products and its marketing.   With content marketing, not only can a company effectively educate its customers on how their product works, but also encourage them towards giving it a try to avail of the benefits.    
I'm sure you know why content marketing is important, it's time to figure out the best strategies th...
team collaboration
06 Mar 2019
10+ Online Collaboration Tools for Managing Remote Teams
Switching to remote work is a trend that dominates. The latest reports indicate doubling the number of remote workers in the recent 10 years. And despite the famous Yahoo ban in 2015 that forced the employees to return to the offices, the trend for remote job opportunities keeps on expanding globally. Among driving forces facilitating this growth, there are new managerial practices and innovative tech solutions that enable top companies to increase hiring remote teams.   Lack of effective tools, however, might hinder the productivity of your team so making the right choice in terms of software that would empower the team collaboration, will save you from facing numerous challenges.   Below there is a list of 10 ultimate tools you will find useful when working with a remote team.   Online Collaboration Tools   1.  Troop Messenger 2.  Document360 3.  GoToMeeting 4.  ProProfs 5.  TMetric 6.  BlogIn 7.  Usernap 8.  JotForm 9.  SmartTask 10.  Tameday  11.  Wrike  12.  ClickUp 13.  Parabol 14.  I Done This 15.  Monday 16.  Clarizen 17. Quip 18. Teamwork 19. LeadGen 20. Helpjuice 21. Soapbox 22. Mockplus   Troop Messenger  When searching for more interactive team collaboration, Troop Messenger comes as a leader. It will satisfy any team’s needs due to the simplicity of its implementation in an entrepreneurial environment.      Working as a fully-fledged business communication platform, Troop Messenger gives you instant access to unlocking a great number of functions:  Instant messaging Making video calls Conducting video conferences Sharing files Desktop sharing Creating complex schedules. Arranging the work schedule within Troop Messenger will let you keep project info fully organized and, thus, secure all the project performance data.   Document360 Document360 is a SaaS-based knowledge management software designed to helps your team create, collaborate, and publish a self-service knowledge base for your software with ease. It’s one of the most popular tools in the knowledge management industry. It comes with an AI-based real-time search so users can access the document with a fraction of second and keep track of all your team interactions using team analytics. Document360 that allow internal collaboration and help to create a productive environment and it is easy to maintain a synchronous workflow especially when the employees working remotely. Some of the key features are   With a click of a button, you can convert your knowledge base into a complete private knowledge base making it secure. It allows employees to comment on internal articles so that authors can clarify any doubts.  You can create a separate portal for Readers Advanced security access at category levels  The team analytics features give some important metrics at the individual employee level. Search analytics is another important metric to maintain a healthy internal knowledge base An easy-to-use interface that supports markdown editor for efficient and structured writing. It supports international languages and a wide range of third-party Integrations.   GoToMeeting  It is optimal in case you need a tool for arranging online meetings. It works both ways, with customers and team members. The tool provides a high-quality connection and ranges as the most reliable software. With support assisting you 24/7 and instant availability of joining or hosting the meeting options, you can start a meetup, webinar, or a regular call hassle-free.   GoToMeeting is an ultimate communication choice for remote teams. A click on the link across any device will be a signal for activating various options:    Sharing the screen Making notes over the images Recording the conversations Settings for adjusting the visibility of participants’ faces     ProProfs ProProfs Project is not an over the top project management software but has made its name in the market for it's easy to use UI and simple features.   From startups to enterprises, anyone can use this robust project management tool to streamline workflow, boost team communication, and improve team productivity.   ProProfs Project helps you to: Create & track projects on one dashboard Track time spent on tasks by each team member Collaborate with your teams anytime, anywhere Create insightful reports in seconds Bill your clients automatically   TMetric When you have to arrange the effective collaboration of your remote team, the first issue you need to address is means of providing accuracy of time calculations.  TMetric is an effective time tracking tool as it not only enables recording data on your work time in a single-click from any gadget but also has additional functions coming handy for remote work mode:   Creating an invoice Generating various reports (including the ones that will summarize your team performance on the project) Setting various pay rates for billable hours Offline time tracking Tagging projects for facilitating the workflow Available on Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android and iOS Integrating with 100+ apps remote teams use in their work.   This Timesheet software help allocate tasks to employees, track time spent, keep track of billable time to charge customers, calculate payroll, create invoices and keep track of expenses. Here's a quick list of 10 different timesheet software solutions and how they can help you manage your team better.    BlogIn  BlogIn is a beautifully simple internal blog and knowledge-sharing platform for teams of all sizes. The internal blog acts as a central information hub or a ‘virtual bulletin board’ for the company, allowing all employees to stay in the loop with what’s going on in and around the office.   At the same time, the blog opens a new, transparent, two-way communication channel inside an organization, where everyone can ask a question and get the information they need to make faster and smarter decisions.   The internal blog is intuitive and easy to use, so everyone can quickly get on board, which is one of the reasons why it works so well as the internal communication tool.   Share internal news and knowledge Improve internal communication Share files Boost company culture Enables transparent, two-way communication   Usernap  "Show, don't tell" - use screenshots and illustrations to communicate issues accurately and quickly. Usersnap's widget can be easily installed on your staging website or use the browser extension to capture anything you see and want to share.   Microsoft, Facebook and many web companies employ Usersnap for issue reporting, QA, user acceptance testing and customer feedback. Visual bug reports and feedback saves you time and makes remote working so easy.   Browser screen capture and annotations Tickets include metadata (screen size, browser version, URL and console logs) Assign, label, track and close tickets easily Integrates with 30+ tools such as Jira and Asana Live commenting Unlimited guest access   JotForm JotForm is an extremely versatile online form builder which is suited for a team of any size. It doesn’t require any development skills as it’s essentially a drag-and-drop form builder. So, your entire team can benefit from it. It has a surprising amount of use cases which you can apply to your business or use it to manage your team. You can use it to clock in the work hours of your employees, collect feedback, assign tasks, open bug reports and the list goes on, it’s all up to how creative you can get with it. The best part is that you have a wide variety of customization options for the forms you create. You can prevent things from getting boring for your team and have a sustainable remote team. As there are way too many templates and customization options you can check a form design guide they have prepared. Easy to use and implement Makes collaboration seamless Loads of customization options Wide range of use cases    SmartTask SmartTask is a simple yet powerful task and project management tool, which will help your team be more effective and efficient than ever before. It brings the organization's tasks at one place thus everyone in a team has a clear overview of the team's progress, who's responsible and has clarity on the deadlines. The tool enables you with the following features:   Tasks, Projects and CRM in one tool Custom Fields to customize your tasks Multiple Projects in one single view with Portfolio feature Real-time communication and notifications Available on Desktop, Android and IOS   Tameday  Tameday is the all-in-one workspace for teams and small businesses that are struggling to manage their projects and workloads with various separate tools and email- Bringing everything into one place   Tameday helps you to:   Get rid of using email for internal communication by using Tameday's built-in chat feature. Keep your work and to-dos in one place within Projects, Communicate and share files with your team who are working remotely. Keep in contact with your clients by allowing them to see how projects are progressing, Keep you on track with to-dos, discussions, project due dates and your own personal calendar.   Wrike Wrike is a perfectly illustrative example of how to integrate a favorite task management tool with time tracking software so that it could enhance your remote team productivity.   Wrike helps prioritize projects easily due to its intuitive design. It keeps all the info on tasks you perform. Additionally, when applying integrations in Wrike, you can:   Estimate the project resources with precision, Adjust timelines for specific tasks, Reassign tasks to accommodate urgent requests Tailor your tasks to projects goals.    ClickUp  It is a productivity platform that helps you create tasks and plan your projects. While implementing ClickUp, you have the unique opportunity to organize the scattered tasks into the unbroken workflow.  With ClickUp, you get the abundance of options pertaining to:   commenting on tasks, advanced task storing, agenda creating keeping your data as secure as you choose by regulating privacy settings.   Parabol Parabol is software not bloated with extra functions as its primary goal is to provide your team with ‘free online retrospectives’. This part of project management practice is crucial for further planning and better estimation of the coming projects. This tool provides transparency of team priorities and accountability for task performance.   It is a perfect tool for remote work enabling cross-functional cooperation within a team by synching tasks in a dashboard on a daily basis. With Parabol, you can:    plan the day/week, mark the milestones upon a task completion (for monitoring the team progress), edit org charts send retrospectives (‘summary of a meeting’) email to your team   I Done This  It is a tool suitable for remote teams of any size. It is of particular interest to managers who can monitor top team accomplishments in real-time, and, hence, save tons of time on holding meetings.    Applying this software, your team gets access inside the app to:   commenting on their tasks, generating word clouds marking the most frequent task components, notifications of a reminder email (‘What have you done today?’) for sharing the daily accomplishments "visuals," which breakdown accomplished tasks with color coding   Monday  Suitable for any team size, it is a tool that will let you plan your tasks on a timeline so that nothing will fall between slots, point assignees and, thus, enhance accountability, and collaborate instantly for increased business productivity.  The featured Monday options that you will surely like include the opportunity:   to update the status on the task, to choose a customizable template for your sprints from the impressively big selection, Email notifications – get notified by email   Clarizen  It is a team management solution designed to facilitate remote team collaboration. The software provides instrumental features to unite resources for more productive planning.   Implementing this tool means that your team can apply:   reporting templates, creating their own dashboards, tracking tasks of various kinds in real-time adjusting the time and resource allocation to current business goals in terms of project profitability   Quip  It is a productivity suite that unites spreadsheets and documents into the shared folders.   It is perfect in terms of goal settings for your remote team. It facilitates collaboration by sending reminders and instant sharing documents from one place. Your team will not have to dig deep to retrieve the documents.   Quip is accessible across any device so that you and your team can work from any place. Applying Quip, you can create:   Project plans Territory plans Checklists Meeting notes Documentation   You can work over multiple projects: the sidebar is available from any screen in Quip so you can easily access your work, your favorites, and your teammates.   Teamwork Teamwork Projects is an intuitive, feature-rich project management tool that lets your team reduce the complexity of collaboration. It allows you to work together with context, transparency, and accountability — and with increased visibility and improved communication, you can keep collaboration at the core of everything you do.   Most Exciting Features  Collaborative workspace Flexible and feature-rich Instant messaging with Embedded Chat Portfolio feature to help you oversee multiple projects Resource management   LeadGen  LeadGen App is a lead capture form-builder tool for digital marketers. It helps marketers build custom lead form and test them for best conversion rates. LeadGen App works via form embed code that works on all major landing pages and website editor platforms and via direct link sharing as well. The forms can be integrated to marketing software like CRM and email campaign tools.   LeadGen App also provides an analytics dashboard to check and improve the performance of the forms. Run AB tests to compare conversion rates of different form variations on a single landing page. Maximize your lead generation potential by testing & iterating your forms.   Helpjuice  No matter where employees are working from, they need to be able to access the information required to do their jobs. Furthermore, simple tasks like keeping on top of the latest company updates or working on a document collaboratively can be difficult for employees working remotely. This is where Helpjuice’s knowledge base software can help as it allows you to capture, store, and share company knowledge with ease regardless of where your employees are located. Your knowledge base can include HR procedures, training courses, team forums, webinars, and more – all of which ensures your remote team is able to effectively do their jobs. In terms of document collaboration, Helpjuice offers a clean and simple interface that lets employees quickly create documents and co-edit them while keeping track of previous versions and authors. Additionally, Helpjuice’s commenting feature helps facilitate additional collaboration as it allows authors to select any text within a document and leave a note with any questions or thoughts. Highlights: Create an easy-to-use internal knowledge base with best practices, tips, and onboarding documents Allow multiple authors to work on a single article and have each revision recorded. Commenting features that include the ability to comment on any text within an article and have those comments emailed to all author collaborators. Advanced analytics provides article insights as well as the performance of users/groups to help you better understand what employees are looking for and the most common questions. Google-like search helps employees find information quickly SaaS-based software so that employees can access information regardless of location or device   Soapbox Imagine if every team meeting had a shared goal, agenda, notes, and follow-up? Soapbox's shared one-on-one and team meeting agenda software makes it easy to have productive and collaborative meetings. Some key features include: Collaborate on shared online agendas Meetings notes are integrated with your agenda Real-time commenting Suggested meeting questions Assign and track next-steps Post-meeting surveys to rate and track meeting effectiveness Integrates with Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google, mobile, Asana, Todoist and more! Mockplus It is a powerful digital product design collaboration tool where product managers, designers and developers can work together. Product managers can conduct better product management and plan for faster product release. Designers will be able to handoff designs with accurate specs, assets, code snippets, and interactive prototypes to developers faster and easier. The designs Mockplus supported include Photoshop, Adobe XD, Axure and Sketch. Why Mockplus is suited as the best Project Management Software Tool of 2019: Incorporate task management early on by planning, prioritizing, testing, tracking and reporting tasks in one location. Powerful product document. It is easy to edit, iterate and share functional PRD online. Showcase design flows logically and clearly with the bird-eye-view Storyboard and Canva. There are three specs modes available in Mockplus. You can hover any layers and select a single or multiple layers. View duplicate design elements like text, color, margin, and width, which will help you improve work efficiency. Generate accurate specs, assets and code snippets automatically from your designs. Collect and organize your team's projects and resources automatically. Components, colors, text styles, Transform your static design files into working prototypes with just a single click. Impressive team management features to organize team members, settings and project tasks. Pro: Export designs in one click from Sketch, XD, PS and Axure Generate accurate specs, assets, code snippets automatically Show design tasks and workflow in a full-view storyboard Comment right on designs to give instant feedback Hi-fi interactive prototypes with real design files Various comment styles Manage history revision of specs Cons:The mobile app has limited features than on the web Rating: 4/5 Wrapping it up: A trend for global cooperation and delivering your service internationally are motivating factors for many companies to increase remote hiring. With the tech tools presented in our list, remote team collaboration is unlimited due to enabling uninterrupted workflow, effective communication and full accountability of the work result metrics.
Switching to remote work is a trend that dominates. The latest reports indicate doubling the number ...
productivity
09 Jan 2020
10 Online To-Do List Apps to Watch in 2020 (Free and Paid)
When was the last time you forgot to do an important task?   And, when was the last time you decided to create online to-do lists,   but never kept up to it-because obviously, who has the time to pull out a pen and paper to note everything down?   Well, you are not alone. It’s a human tendency to forget things, and later regret not being efficient at task management. Having a to-do-list app is not only about organizing the daily tasks but also keeping track of the progress, and completing them to meet goals.   Do we even need to explain why everyone should have to-do-list applications on their smartphones? There are over hundreds of to-do-list applications with a great many features and specifications. These applications have been around for a long time.   But, here’s something: Not all the applications fit the user requirement. Keeping track of tasks and daily work is an intensely personal thing, and users will switch off from any application that doesn’t meet their needs.   Let’s face it. Finding the right to-do-list application can be an overwhelming (and equally disappointing) task. That’s why we conducted exhaustive research on the top-rated applications reviewed each of them on the basis of their features, ease of use, pricing, and supported platform.   We have written this article after spending a lot of time during feature analysis and unbiased comparison. And finally, we present to you what we believe is the best to-do list apps for iPhone, Android, Windows, and macOS.     Best To-Do List App in 2019   1. Microsoft To-Do 2. Wunderlist 3. Todoist 4. TickTick 5. Things 6. Keep & Share 7. Any Do 8. Toodle Do 9. OmniFocus 10. Notion 11. Objektiv     Microsoft To-Do ( The Office user’s To-Do list app)     Supported Platforms: Android, Windows, and iOS   Pricing: Free   From office task management to daily life events, Microsoft To-Do can be your go-to application for recording everything you need to get done, every single day.   To-Do by Microsoft empowers the users to accomplish more by adding a new task, tracking the on-going work, removing the to-do once it is completed.   With access to your daily list, you can review tasks due, set reminders to complete them on time, streamline your activities, and eliminate all confusion.   Highlights: Microsoft To-Do has a very clean and user-friendly interface. The app assures great flexibility with the standard UI and UX. The deep integration with Microsoft tools is a standout feature. If you are using Outlook and wish to sync your task to your mobile phone, the Microsoft To-Do makes it possible with one-click. Adding to-dos has never been easier. For this application, Windows and iPhone users can also use voice command service. For example, if you are using Windows, you can ask Cortana to add a new task to your specific to-do list. It is cloud-based and so it can be integrated with Office 365.   What’s Missing: The tools lack task management and collaboration feature. MacOS version is still unavailable and hence Microsoft To-Do needs to work on the collaboration front.   Best Suited For: Both Personal and Professional needs. If you want a personal space to create and track your tasks, Microsoft To-do is the best. It’s not for those who want to work collaboratively with colleagues on the same project.   Recent Articles : Why Government Agencies Need Collaboration Software   Recent Articles : Microsoft Teams Free vs Microsoft Teams Paid, What’s the Difference?   Recent Articles : Slack Stock vs Zoom Stock: Who is Losing the Momentum?   Wunderlist (The daily planner To-Do list app)     Supported Platforms: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, Windows, Kindle Fire and the Web    Pricing: Free   With Wunderlist, you get the flexibility to get stuff done with ease.   Whether you have plans to meet a friend, deliver a project, contact a client, or plan a business party, Wunderlist is the perfect solution for ticking off all your professional and personal to-dos.   Highlights: The app makes it super easy to create, organize, and share the to-do on the go. You can also group the related list in one folder. It allows the users to assign to-dos and tasks irrespective of geographical locations, set reminders, and accomplish tasks within the due date. The tool allows users to work collaboratively. With Wunderlist, teamwork can be very flexible since you can share tasks and work together. It’s also a perfect app where you can host all communications together. With Wunderlist, you can print the to-do with one click.    What’s Missing: The application is not suitable for advanced task management.  It doesn’t support a native calendar view and built-in time tracking feature, which can be a hindrance for task management.   Best Suited For: Basic level task management. As long as you need standard task management features in a to-do list app, Wunderlist comes in really handy. For advanced task management, this online to-do list tool is not the best choice.    Todoist (The To-do task manager list app)    Supported Platforms: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, Windows, and the Web    Pricing: Free Version Available      Millions of people are using this application to streamline daily tasks and activities.   The tool lets the user keep track of all their tasks, and in that way, helps them enjoy peace of mind. With Todoist, you can efficiently add the tasks, set reminders, never worry about forgetting urgent things.   It works anywhere, anytime, and across all devices.   Highlights: It keeps all the tasks in one place and gives users confidence that all the activities and to-dos are well organized. Where ‘Quick add’ allows users to capture and manage tasks, the ‘Reminder feature’ helps them build habits and remember approaching deadlines. The prioritization feature facilitates prioritizing tasks, highlighting what’s more important, and mapping out project goals The application can be integrated with dozens of third-party applications like Dropbox, Zapier, IFTTT, AmazonAlexa, GoogleCalendar, and others.     What’s Missing: Built-in time management and tracking feature are missing.  Todoist lacks a dedicated module for meeting management.   Best Suited For: Todoist is best for those people who want to meet productivity goals.  The Todoist Karma points, streaks, and levels are some of the features they can use to see tangible progress of your project. This feature lets you measure the progress through beautiful visualization and graphs.     TickTick  (The Productive To-Do list app)    Supported Platforms: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, Windows, and the Web    Pricing: Free Version Available    Paid Plan Starts at : $2.4/month    As the name implies, this tool lets the user make checklists (to-do lists), organize them in the order of priority, and then tick them off after completing the tasks.   Millions of people use this to-do list template to capture, organize, and prioritize tasks and make the most of their working days.   Highlights: The in-built calendar facilitates reminder setting so you never miss an important meeting, a client’s project delivery, or an important phone call. The flexible calendar view helps a user check their schedule and manage it according to their convenience. Those who want to work collaboratively, can assign tasks, share the to-do list, check project progress, and stay productive together TickTick can be synced across multiple platforms. The tool supports voice input, Siri commands, and it can also convert emails into tasks. TickTick also has Pomo Timer, which is based on the Pomodoro Technique that helps the user to stay focused and play white noise in the background.     What’sMissing: TickTick doesn’t support integration with other project management apps, which hinders workflow.   Best Suited For: It’s perfect for everyone who wants to increase their daily productivity. The PomoTimer is a great feature that can be used to enhance focus and eliminate distraction. With TickTick, Organization is simple. You can organize tasks into lists, tasks, subtasks, and folders. Furthermore, all these can be sorted in accordance with priority, tags, and custom lists.   Latest Article : Why Government Agencies Need Collaboration Software   Things (The award-winning To-Do list app)    Supported Platforms: iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch    Pricing: 15-Day Free Trial Available    MacOS: $49.99    iPad: $19.99    iPhone & Apple Watch: $9.99    Things is an award-winning, and critically acclaimed personal task manager, specially designed for iPhone and Mac users.   It's got powerful features, all-new design, and a great many interactions. It has no shortage of functionalities, and yet all features are provided in a manner they never feel cluttered. Things are the best to-do list apps for the iPhone.   Highlights: Easy drag and drop UI that allows users to rearrange the task in order of priority. Headings feature for creating categories within the task and forming structure to streamline the workflow. Calendar view with start and end date of the task. Push notifications for reminders, advanced search filters, and focus mode for essential tasks. Visual aids like a pie chart that allows project tracking and progress monitoring over time.     What’s Missing: The tools lack collaboration feature. The lists cannot be shared with others and so, co-working through Things is not feasible. It's more of a personal task manager. The app is available only for Apple device users.   Best Suited For: Apple Device users who want to sync their to-dos across all the devices, and review, edit, and organize the personal tasks. Things are mainly recommended for personal use.     Keep & Share (The easiest To-Do list app)   Supported Platforms: iPhone, Android, and Windows.    Pricing: Free Plan for individual use is available with 500 calendar entries    Paid Plan: For personal use is available at $9 per month with 3000 calendar entries    Multi-User plan: starts at :$19 per month with 3000 calendar entries   Have you ever wanted to have a personalized calendar that marks all your important dates, meetings, schedules, and upcoming tasks? In short, your virtual time management assistant.   Keep & Share is one such application that offers a secure and customizable calendar that you can review, edit, and access anytime, anywhere.   These calendars are shareable, which makes office collaboration very simple and secure.   Highlights: As soon as an admin makes any changes in the schedules, all team members get instant chat notifications by text messages and emails. Keep & Share can be used to assign tasks, jobs, and schedule appointments with team members and also in their personal calendars. All the individual calendars can be grouped later to create a master calendar. The tool tagging and variant coloring options, which makes the organization very simple. Using the tags, you can filter the calendar to find just what you need. You can divide events between different team members, add extra details in grids, and compare schedules through the side-by-side view.   What’s Missing?  The tool lacks a dedicated subtask management feature and the time-tracking option.  One can share the calendar with team members, but cannot integrate it with other task management applications.   Best Suited For: Office and Team Work. If you want to manage a big project by keeping all the team members on the same page, Keep & Share is a perfect choice. The tool will keep all the employees on track of what's happening and what has been changed in the plan.     Any Do (The Freemium To-Do list app)    Supported Platforms: Android and Windows.    Pricing:  Free Plan with basic features is Available    Paid plan with advanced features starts at : $2.99 per month     Your busy life needs an application that can streamline all your tasks and help you become a more organized and productive person. Any-Do is one such application with extensive task management features. It is used by millions of people to get more things done.   Highlights: The tool’s basic functionality is organization. You can organize your lists, tasks, and events, and set reminders for each. The application seamlessly syncs with all types of devices and operating systems, which makes your to-dos accessible anytime, anywhere. With beautiful calendars and the turbo-charged features, the users can keep track of all their projects, save time, and make every day productive. The app has a one time, recurring, custom, and location-based reminder settings, which assures that you never miss out on what’s important.    What’s Missing:  Any Do doesn't support advanced task management for the free plan. For example, you cannot share the list or integrate it with third-party tools in the free version. The premium plan, however, offers both communication and collaboration features.   Best Suited For: Both personal and professional needs, especially users who want to complete tasks based on their geographical locations. The location-based notification features are a great way of getting things done just where you want.     Toodle Do (The multi-functional To-Do list app)    Supported Platforms: Android, iOS, Web browsers, and Windows.    Pricing: Free Plan with basic features is Available    Paid plan with advanced features starts at : $2.99 per month     With Toodle Do, Task management is easy, efficient, and productive. If you want a To-Do application with great many task management features, Toodle Do has to be the final pick.   It has got everything you need to streamline workflow, organize tasks, and boost productivity.   Highlights: It is a powerful application with features like Due Dates, Reminders, Schedule, and Folders management. You can quickly sort all the lists with the easy search, filter option, and tags. The Status features allow users to keep track of the tasks, and the Batch Edit can be used to make changes to the group. Prioritize the tasks and to-dos by adding stars, setting goals, and adding priority levels. The tool has a wide variety of options like exporting, importing, and data backup.   What’s Missing: The tool lacks a dedicated customer care support or issues management module. Both the collaboration and advanced task management features are missing in the free plan.   Best Suited For: Office teams on tight-schedules and deadlines. The collaboration features, tasks addition via an email client such as MAiltrim, full history, and priority support are some of the features that can make task management efficient for professionals.     OmniFocus (The feature-stack To-Do list app)    Supported Platforms: iPhone and Mac Computers   Pricing: 14-Day Free Trial Available   OmniFocus : 3 license is available at $49.99    This is a To-do list application with the most refreshing design. OmniFocus is built with a fresh design and interactive UI, which makes it an appealing platform to work on. With all the powerful features like Quick entry, forecast, view options, perspectives, syncing, and light and dark mode, you can take complete control of the daily tasks.   Highlights: You can add actions through Siri Voice Command, and the reminder setting to make sure you never forget anything important. The actions can be grouped into tasks, and then into projects. This way, you and your team can work collaboratively. For better search results, add tags, set priority, importance level, and location. There is a perspective feature that can be used for OmniFocus users to plan their day and do things on their lists. Online syncing assures that all your data are always up-to-date on all your devices. Mac users can opt for a pro plan where they use features like custom sidebar, focus mode, custom perspective, and apple script.   What’s Missing? The application is not available for Android and Windows users. For beginners, OmniFocus can be too complicated. Many options can be overwhelming to understand at first.   Best Suited For: iPhone mobile and Mac computer users who want to follow to-dos and streamline workflow in both personal and professional aspects of their lives. It's an excellent tool for users who follow the GTD approach as it has a dedicated functionality to help get everything done faster.     Notion (The All-in-one To-Do list app)      Supported Platforms: Web, Mobile, Mac, Windows    Pricing: Free Version is Available    Personal plan is available at : $4 per month    Team plan is available at  : $8 per month    Enterprise plan is available at : $8 per month     This new to-do list tool is designed for writing, collaborating, planning, and organizing purposes. With Notion, you get to do a lot more than setting up tasks and reminders. It's a one-in-all tool with a great many features.   Highlights: The application supports over 30 media types, and lets you have a simple and comfortable writing experience. It works like GiHubWiki by turning a user’s tribal information into the easy-to-look answers. You can add tasks, assign teams, and roles. You can create checklists and roadmaps to accomplish the assigned roles through Kanban board, list view, and Calendar. This tool lets you keep a record of all the critical information through spreadsheets and databases. It works offline too and syncs with your devices in real-time.   What’s Missing? It lacks communication features and real-time discussion with the team members The time tracking feature is not available.   Best Suited For: Notion is the perfect solution for ticking off all your professional to-dos and managing tasks at an advanced level. The project management is more accessible with Notion, but you'll have to use a separate application for communicating with the team members.   Objektiv Objektivapp is a habit and productivity app that helps you complete your tasks and form new habits using the best evidence based techniques from behavioral science. Combining SMART goals, commitment contracts, accountability buddies, and if-then goal planning techniques, Objektivapp gives you the best chance of achieving the goals you're aiming for. Objektivapp is available for both Android and iOS. Rather than creating vague, empty, promises that you won't stick to Objektivapp helps you create a contract with yourself that specifies exactly how you are going to achieve your goals. It motivates you to stick to the contact by allowing you to ask friends to monitor your progress and earning money by completing tasks.   Conclusion: Finding the best task management software system can be overwhelming. More the options, the more confusing it gets. Hence, we have done your homework and presented you with the top-rated tools to pick from.   If you are an android user, TickTick and Todoist can be a great pick. Windows users can easily rely on Microsoft To-Do, and Apple users can go with Things and OmniFocus. And if you want a tool that works across all platforms, Wuderlist, Toodle Do, and Keep & Share can be the safest (and the smartest) pick.   This marks the end of the best to-do list app available. What do you think will work best for your task management needs? Let us know in the comments below.     
When was the last time you forgot to do an important task?   And, when was the last time you de...
team communication
07 Jul 2020
11 Sophisticated Team Chat Apps & Software to end endless email Threads
If you’re still using emails to exchange work messages,   who better than you can understand the problem of endless email chains, annoying CC’s, and accidental Reply All’s?   While emails have a certain charm,   they’re not the best tool for internal communication.   If you use email for work chat, reviewing all the conversations about a single project requires sifting through multiple email chains.   However, in a dedicated team chat app, you’ll save time by seeing all the conversations and documents about a project in one place — a thread or a channel. What is Team chat Software As the name implies, Team Chat Software enables virtual or remote communication and collaboration between team members. It’s not always possible for employees or employers to be physically present and have face-to-face interaction all the time. These tools let you communicate, share ideas, messages, make video calls, and transfer files from remote places Here’s what Benjamin Sternsmith, Area Vice President of Sales, Lyft Business says about using Email for office messaging: “You can’t have a good conversation over email – it’s not quick enough. Coming together in a team chat app, channels or threads allows us to easily discuss day-to-day management topics. That’s invaluable.”   Team Chat Software's: Benefits & features   1. What Are The Benefits Of Team Chat Software? 2. What Makes a Great Team Chat App?   The choice is simple. You could get buried in endless email threads.   Or you could get work done in team chat apps (in real-time). While team chat software allows teams to enable seamless communication, the right tool and its smart use can really help them zoom past the competition.   Part of this is about higher efficiency and better productivity. With a centralized workspace, conversation and collaboration happen faster —Got a query while you’re at work? Type a short text, get an equally short response, and get back to work.   Team chat apps also assure that all team members can participate in, or at least, review relevant conversations, while also ignoring files or text that aren’t relevant to them.   Hence, more and more businesses today are looking for digital solutions for team communication and collaboration. Take a look at these numbers:  According to a Statista 2016 worldwide Survey, 53 percent of businesses, globally, had onboarded their employees on a common team collaboration tool. Since then, this number only increased A Gartner study predicted that the team chats app market will reach $4.9 billion by 2021 and by 2022, 70% of teams will rely on work chat apps to get their work done every day — and thanks to COVID-19, businesses have already moved to the technology frontier. According to Cisco’s cognitive collaboration study, “9 out of 10 workplaces are willing to adopt a cognitive collaboration solution “as soon as possible!”   Team Chat Software's: 2020 Tools   1. Troop Messenger 2. slack 3. Microsoft Teams 4. Mattermost 5. Samepage 6. Rocket Chat 7. Google-Chat 8. Ryver 9. Discord 10. Podium 11. Teamwork Chat   All in all, team messaging apps are no longer limited to organizing team conversations and searching topics but have become a way of life too. And I know you’ve learned that too, or why else would you still be here? Dozens of internal messaging applications are available, and they can cut down the overwhelm of email and also eliminate a lot of the headache. But with so many apps out there, it can be hard to know which one you should use. In this article, we’ll help you cut through the clutter and walk you through our picks for the best team chat software currently on the market. We reviewed and tested over twenty-eight team chat apps, and these eleven are the ones we'd recommend.   Team Chat Software's: How To Pick   1. How To Pick The Best Business Chat App For Your Team? 2. How Do You Use Team Chat Applications 3. Can Admin see The Team or WorkChat 4. Putting it All Together   But before we jump to the tools section, let’s answer some of the FAQs about office chat programs, their usage, features, and more. Q1. What Are The Benefits Of Team Chat Software? Well, we already know remote collaboration tools are crucial for businesses to operate remotely. But there’s more to business chat tools than meets the eyes. Below are some of the proven benefits of using chat room software for your business:   Improved Communication Between Team Members:  No points for explaining, the team chat software is designed to improve communication. With features such as instant messaging, calling, voice recording, file sharing, and screen sharing, communication between team members is never compromised. Internal messaging that combines different modes of communication and information exchange into one thread or channel, can that can easily be integrated with other office tools, is important for reducing the distraction of app-switch or task-switching. With these tools at hand, access to shared updates, information, and project links becomes faster as well. An ideal work chat app will be available across multiple OS and devices so that whether your teammates love Android or apple, they won’t be left out. Better Employee Management: Needless to say, best group chat apps are the ones that allow teams to monitor and track employee’s progress with visuals, graphs, and analytics. In this way, these tools increase employee engagement, and hence, boost an individual’s productivity too. Features such as effective internal communication, actionable feedback, and user generated solutions through idea boards and forums, and real-time access to information builds a more engaged, informed, and connected workforce — all the things a team needs to bridge the disconnect between remote employees and managers.   Streamlined Workflow: The whole point of using these tools is easing the work and organizing it. With workplace chat apps, team members can schedule meetings, discuss current tasks, ask for feedback, and plan ahead. In short, streamline it all. The ability to share files, add tasks, and integrate other apps also streamlines workflow by making everything accessible within one application. It also helps teams to share and redistribute workloads more effectively. Take, file sharing feature, for example that allows you to use file hosting, sharing, and storage services of your choice without leaving the app. The best team chat apps include dynamic filter and search functions and let teams refer to files, texts, and multimedia easily. Effective Project Management: Proper communication is directly proportional to effective project management. When teams communicate effectively, they not only reduce the chances of errors or confusion but also pave the way for timely project delivery. Quality team communication software has the best features to increase efficiency of project management. At any given time, you and your team can communicate with coworkers and create to-do lists for projects and request information on the status. With a good team communication software, your teams can make collaboration easier and streamline business processes. It cuts the need for constant meetings since users can ask questions and access the right information anytime, with a few clicks. Increase Accountability: When an admin has in-place a set of instructions and regulations for employees to review tasks, update managers on their progress, get reminders of the ETD, it all increases accountability and increases team member’s sense of responsibility. Q2. What Makes a Great Team Chat App? While instant messaging and calling are the selling points of most office chat apps, these features alone don’t make such tools great. The best team chat apps are the ones that have these following functionalities:   1. One-Stop Unified Communication Via Organised Channels: Keeping track of correspondence, third-party vendors, and company data is overwhelming when team communication is spread out across different platforms or modes — emails, phone calls, and text messages. An ideal team chat app centralizes all of the internal communication into one unified space for better employee experience. The best team chat apps unifies and organizes conversations in a way that enables easy access to information by the right people at the right time. Some messages or documents need to be seen by everyone in the team, and others need to happen at an individual or group level. A team chat app takes care of this — through features that allow admins to add or remove team members only in the threads, groups, or channels relevant to them. 2. Option to Collaborate with Vendors, Suppliers, & Freelancers: Besides the internal messaging features, a great team chat app allows you to securely connect with vendors, suppliers, clients, and freelancers without posing your company a threat of security breach and information misuse. Through this feature, you can limit the vendor/client’s access to specific contacts, features, and information. Take, for Example, Troop Messenger, it has an ‘Orange Member’ feature using which admins can invite anyone outside of their internal team. These orange members can be prospective clients, vendors, suppliers, or freelancers. Admins also have the privilege to set conditions for an orange member and decide the features, contacts, and information accessible to them.   3. Advanced Search with Filtering Features When it comes to managing communication and collaboration on team chat apps, I don’t think there’s anything that could be more frustrating than finding a particular text, document, or link that was shared months ago. When you have a team of, let’s say, 200 members, can you scan through all the conversations to find a document that was shared one month ago? Without appropriate filters, you’ll only end up overwhelmed with the amount of information that’s exchanged in the workplace chat app. With universal search or advanced filtering features, your team can quickly find past conversations for relevant information. Take, for example, Slack and Troop Messenger — both these interoffice messaging apps have advanced filters that make searching super easy. Where Slack allows you to use search modifiers for making searching easy, Troop Messenger has different types of filters to serve the same purpose — Filter by Image, Video, File, Link, Contact, Location, Read Receipt, Respond Later, and Flag.   4. Easy to Control and Navigate This is perhaps the basic one. But would you ever consider onboarding your team or employees on a work instant messenger that has a clunky interface or too steep a learning curve? I bet not. An office messenger that lacks good navigation is counterproductive and will probably result in frustration. Your members need to be able to navigate through the dashboard, conversations, integrations, and files easily. For this, the user interface must be neat, clean, and without unnecessary clutter. 5. Rich API directory or Integrations  Now this one is as important as others mentioned above, or perhaps more, if your team requires access to multiple apps to accomplish the projects. For example, you may need access to Google Drive or Dropbox where all your files are stored. Now, normally, if you’d be using a basic chat app, you’ll have to switch to Google Drive or Dropbox to access those files. But with an office messaging app, you can access, edit, or share the files from many more apps without switching between apps. 6. High Security & Privacy Chat With the constant data theft, system hacks, and security breaches that data-sensitive companies get subjected to, it’s important for employers to implement a highly-secure, E2E Encrypted team chat application. Most of the popular remote collaboration tools now offer a highly secure medium for teams to communicate and collaborate while meeting the ever-changing security and compliance needs. For example, Mattermost uses TLS encryption for both in-transit and at-rest data transmission. Another security feature that’s grabbing headlines is Troop Messenger’s Privacy Chat feature where two individuals can chat in an incognito window that expires after a stipulated time, and the data isn’t stored anywhere. These 11 team chat software, in our opinion, are the only tools in the market that offer the best balance of all these great features. 11 Team Chat Software for a Chat-Powered Workplace  Troop Messenger  - Feature Rich Team Chat App Supported Platform: Windows, Web, Android, Linux, Mac OS, and iOS. Highlights: Some of the features that make Troop Messenger a robust team chat app is custom administrative control, option to add guests (orange members), privacy chat in a confidential window, and Self-hosting options. Summary: With Troop Messenger, teams collaborate on a single interface through features such as — one-on-one conversations, group conversations, audio messaging, voice-video calls, screen sharing, forkout, and integrations. It is one of the strongest team chat apps in terms of features. You get access to all the chat app functionalities and also an option to compartmentalize collaboration through ‘forkout’ and ‘orange member’ features. Through Forkout, you can send messages to select groups or people, at once, by filtering out people who the text is not relevant for. And via, Orange member feature, you can add third party members/vendors/freelancers by allowing them restricted access to the app. Troop Messenger allows you to integrate with Google Drive, JIRA, GitHub, LDAP, Dropbox and if you want more, you can build automations with the APIs. Robust security, fingerprint access, End-to-End encryption add up to its list of features. The tool has a ‘privacy chat’ (Burnout) feature that allows users to chat confidentially in an incognito window where chat history gets deleted after the stipulated time. Also, Troop Messenger has a generous pricing plan for both the self-hosting and SaaS delivery models — starting as low as $1 per user/month. So Troop Messenger could be a great deal for budget-conscious organizations.    Slack - Powered Workplace Chat App Supported Platform: iOS, macOS, Linux, Android, Windows, and Web Highlights: Slack, popularly known as team messaging free app, covers your instant messaging basics while supporting seamless integrations, file sharing, and video calling. Summary: Launched in 2013, Slack is ahead in the team chat apps space. It has been praised for having over 2000 integration, a very powerful search capability, and intuitive UX. On Slack, each team has a general channel where they interact for group/mass communication. But, usually, the day-to-day conversations happen in specific channels created according to the project or task. Team members can dedicate any of the channels they want to be in and receive notifications from. Furthermore, Slack makes searching very convenient with the multiple search modifiers that team members can use to filter through the conversations and find what they need. Useful features like drag-and drop file sharing, clever design, one-click audio or video call, and emoji reactions make Slack a favourite team chat app. However, some users call their interaction with this chat app a love-hate relationship. It’s mainly because notifications aren’t as easy to handle. Bulks of channels mean bulk of notification, and that can both overwhelm and confuse the users. Furthermore, Slack’s biggest downside is its pricing — most competitors and users highlight that it doesn’t come as a part of a broader software bundle and yet, Slack charges more than a standalone app should. Take a look at the pricing:  Microsoft Teams - Popular Team Chat App Supported Platform: iOS, macOS, Linux, Android, Windows, and Web Highlights: Some of the best features of MS teams include online meeting and video calling, real-time collaboration with Office 365 apps, background blur, and screen sharing. Summary: MS Teams brings together all your team members in a shared workspace where they can chat, call, and collaborate on documents and apps. In MS teams, every team is divided into different channels. Discussions or conversations in these channels are further forced into threads — breaking chats down yet another level. In short, there’s hierarchy that helps maintain a tidy interface. Key features of Microsoft Teams are audio and video calls. Users can schedule meetings ahead and also hop on to spontaneous conferences or calls — and the best part, all these features are available in the freemium version. There’s also an option to record the meeting, however, this feature is only available for paid users. And needless to day, the key emphasis is tight integration with MS Office 365 Suit, using which all teams can collaborate on documents, appointments, notes, calendars, and more. At the same time, Microsoft Teams has a it’s own downfall. It’s tricky to set up. You’d need to hire a dedicated IT staff to implement it for your workplace chat, but considering the size of companies MS Teams is built for, that shouldn’t be much of a barrier. Mattermost -  Self-Hosted Team Chat Supported Platform: iOS, macOS, Linux, Android, Windows Highlights: What sets Mattermost apart from other competitors is multi-factor authentication, Enterprise grade security, custom branding, and threaded messaging. Summary: If you’re too conscious about your team’s conversations and can’t risk others spying on your chats by hosting them on a third-party server, I think you’d love mattermost. It’s an open source app, which means, team can install it on their own company’s servers. It’s one of the most feature-rich self-hosted team chat apps we came across. Mattermost’s basic features include One-to-one and group messaging, unlimited search history, and file sharing. In mattermost, conversations are segmented into different channels and threads break them further. Search feature, with multiple filters, is complete and useful. The interface looks somewhat like Slack — even the keyboard shortcuts, modifiers, and emoji reactions are essentially the same.  Samepage - Threaded Team Chat App Supported Platform: Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS   Highlights: Built for remote teams, Samepage allows co-workers to write, chat, call, collaborate, and manage projects via one centralised space. Summary: Samepage, as one of the most promising team communication apps, facilitates collaboration, chat, project management, running meetings, video conferencing, and real-time document collaboration. Businesses are using Samepage to participate in real time brainstorming sessions and collaborate via spreadsheets, diagrams, videos, images, text, task board. Samepage chat directly integrates with it’s collaborative canvas that keeps conversations and canvas together, prevents teams from losing track of discussions and work in real-time to produce better results. Apart from the team communication features, Samepage offers calendars and tasks to keep projects moving forward through kanban boards, sheets, mind maps, pages, and agendas. Tasks can be assigned to co-workers according to priority level, recurrences reminders, and with due dates.   Rocket Chat: Omnichannel Team Chat App Supported Platform: iOS, Linux, Android, Windows, and macOS Highlights: RocketChat highlights include automatic real-time message translation, admin transparent, and asynchronous team chat. Summary: RocketChat is one of the most popular open-source and free interoffice messaging apps in the market. It allows team members to collaborate via real-time file sharing, chatting, and audio or video conferencing. The app segments chats into public channels, private channels, and direct messages. It has standard instant messaging features like emoji, @mentions, file uploads or sharing, and GIFs. But the main factor that differentiates RocketChat from other team chat software like Slack or MS Teams is it is completely open source — which means if your team has software development skills, they can change the app and customize it however you prefer. Another exciting feature of RocketChat is it includes an impressive multilingual support and also lets you integrate the Google Translation API to facilitate real-time translation of texts. These translations are obviously not 100% correct but they still help a great deal for companies dealing with global clients.    Google Chat - For G-Suite Team Supported Platform: Android, iOS, macOS, and Web Highlights: Some highlights of Google Chat includes screen sharing, HD group conferencing calls, and custom administrative controls. Summary: Earlier named ‘Hangouts Chat,’ this collaboration app by Google is a free group chat app for business owners and entrepreneurs who want basic workplace chat features like texting, audio, and video calling, and file sharing. It’s offered to G Suite customers at no additional cost. In Google chat, conversations are broken into threads, that creates a clutter-free chat space. Teams are allowed to add as many rooms as they wish, and users can join or leave them whenever they wish. Where Google Chat really shines is the option to organize a meeting via Google Meet and scheduling it through Google Calendar. Search is also strong — there are a wide range of filters and results appear in real-time as you type. Google Chat’s only drawback as a team chat app is the interface. It could work more on design. Some simple tasks like reviewing lists of public rooms are buried behind multiple clicks. But it’s a solid choice if your team already has G-Suite.    Ryver - The project-focused Team Chat App Supported Platform: iOS, Windows, Mac, and Android   Highlights: Some of the highlights include screen-sharing, clear audio, and video, automated daily process, and the option to add details in tasks through tags, checklists, and assignments.   Summary: Ryver is an easy-to-use, intuitive team chat app that brings all your workplace communications in one place. It’s USP is the proprietary ART that eliminates slow, error-prone human response with AI-powered automated response. In Ryver, chats are organised into Teams, People Forums, which are indirectly Channels, direct messages, and group messages. Within each Ryver group, there are segments such as Chats, Tasks, and Topics — Chats, as we know is instant messaging, Topics means threads for different types of discussions, and tasks are kanban-style boards where teams can organize, create, and complete different tasks. In Ryver, you’ll find other essential features of a team chat app, but this app, mainly, is an attempt to integrate project management features within the team chat programme.  Discord: For Team Chat for Communities  Supported Platform: iOS, Windows, Mac, and Android Highlights: Discord, now also known as a team discussion app, is mainly developed for gamers. But with it’s outstanding screen sharing and video calling capabilities, it’s being used for different businesses for remote collaboration. Summary: Discord now has a lot of communication or collaboration specific features but it works as a team chat app for one solid reason: excellent audio and video quality. The app has text channels the same as app team chat apps but there’s no option to segment the conversations within channels. Discord USP is the voice channel or audio chats where users can go for on-phone calls and switch back to texting whenever needed. Discord’s audio quality makes it a great pick for teams that need to speak frequently over the phone call. The app also offers an option to opt-out of sound sharing during a video call or screen sharing. You can opt-in or opt-out of sound sharing by toggling the sound icon between Off and On. Furthermore, the screen sharing features with multiple participants make it even more suited for remote businesses. There’s an option to swap from screen share to video. At any time during the conversation, you can swap between the two. When swapping your computer screen, you can opt for which monitor screen to share. You can also opt for sharing only a specific application window.  Podium: Messaging Tool for Local Business Supported Platform: Windows, Android, Linux, and macOS Highlights: Podium is a convenient team chat and collaboration tool that facilities employee interaction and communication with features such as DMs, Group messaging, and file sharing. Summary: To keep the conversations organised, the podium uses threads. What sets it apart from other apps is that it lets you keep all your messages from Google, SMS, Facebook messenger into one central space — which means you can respond and manage each message from a single platform. While sending messages, users have an option to choose from ready-to-send options or choose their own templates. There’s also an option to send automated messages, assign conversations, and set permissions to give right people access to the right conversation or files. The video conferencing feature in Podium is implemented via a third-party service. The app has no freemium version, and there’s no pricing plan as such. You’ve to get in touch with them and share your teams’ requirements to get a pricing quote. Pricing: Custom plans as per business’s communication needs  Teamwork - Teamwork Chat App Supported Platform: Android, Windows, MacOS, iOS   Highlights: With Teamwork Chat, you can bring all your team members to one centralised space where they can collaborate through better group communication, discuss feedback and solve problems. Summary:  Teamwork chat lets you turn messages into tasks and turn communication into workflows across the organization. With one centralised space for team members to share ideas and receive feedback, teams on Teamwork can reach a consensus faster, and also make better decisions. The app has an intuitive layout and features for a team communication app. Speaking of pricing, Teamwork chat offers an affordable package, especially compared to other team chat apps available in the market. Teamwork Chat pays attention to user privacy and data security as well. Furthermore, you can also integrate Teamwork chat with other apps you love. What I love about Teamwork Chat is its DND feature — it allows users to remove all distractions by muting all the push, desktop notifications, and email so you won’t be interrupted Teamwork chat also has features such as dedicated project channels where teams can share ideas, resolve issues, and make informed decisions to keep the project moving forward. You can also star the channels to bookmark conversations for easy access.   Some More FAQs about Team Chat Software How To Pick The Best Business Chat App For Your Team? Well, there’s no button-solution for this one. At the end of the day, choosing the best team chat app depends on your team’s requirements and collaboration needs. Let’s say, Team A needs to integrate multiple apps to accomplish its projects. So, in this scenario, they’d need a tool that allows seamless integration with third party apps — hence, Slack should be their go-to tool. Similarly, if Team B requires to collaborate frequently with vendors or suppliers, but cannot risk making them a part of the internal team, then they’d need an app that allows the feature to add guest members — hence, Troop Messenger should be the choice. Now, if Team C requires basic instant messaging and file sharing features but cannot afford monthly or yearly cost, then they can opt for a free group chat app — Google Chat can be a safe option. All in all, the selection of the best business chat app depends on your needs. So, if you want to choose one that fits the bill, you follow the five-step approach: Make a list of essential features your team needs  Read about the features, pros, and cons of the best team chat app  Compare who’s offering what, and ask the service provider for a trial  Onboard your team on the selected app for a month, and seek feedback about the ease of use from everyone If all members find the app helpful and convenient, purchase the monthly/yearly subscription   How Do You Use Team Chat Applications Well, using a team chat app or onboarding teammates is pretty easy in most of the remote collaboration tools. Thankfully, all the eleven tools mentioned above have dedicated videos, guides, and tutorials that make onboarding easy and ‘learning how to use the app’ even easier. Just add the phrase ‘How to Use’ before your favorite team chat app, and browse Google, you’ll find guides and videos right away. For example, Troop Messenger has a rich directory of all the How-tos, FAQs, and Videos on using the app effectively. Similarly, if you want to learn about using Slack or Mattermost, you can find heaps of useful guides and videos online. Can Admin see The Team or WorkChat It depends from app to app. Where some team chats software allows admins to access all DMs exchanged between team members, others won’t. For example, in Slack, team owners can request access to the whole Slack message history, including the direct messages and private channels. Similarly, in Troop Messengers, admins can track and monitor message exchanges between employees by enabling TM Monitor for a specific time period.   Putting it All Together Some of the team communication apps out there are foundational -- things like instant messaging, audio or video conferencing, file sharing, and CRM. However, other group communication apps are more specialized, with features such as confidential chat windows, project management tools, vendor collaboration, time tracker, and more. I hope this article helped you differentiate between such apps and learn what’s good, better, or the best. The ultimate choice, obviously, depends on your company’s communication & collaboration requirements, your team's strength, and the budget.  
If you’re still using emails to exchange work messages,   who better than you can underst...
instant messaging for business
10 May 2019
Instant Messaging software for Business (Free & Paid)
Email clients disappearing into an instant messaging The standard text messaging is now passé, especially with the explosion of messaging applications that give businesses a new way to connect with employees, team members, and all stakeholders.   For businesses, cloud-based instant messaging platforms are crucial for communication and project collaboration, especially when the employer is working with remote employees, freelancers, or on projects that require round-the-clock attention.   That's why the majority of companies are using instant messaging platforms.   Trending Article   What is Instant Messaging Programs? Put simply; instant messaging programs allow the users to exchange messages in real-time. Both small and large-scale businesses today are using IM to share information, collaborate with team members, and forge a virtual decision-making platform.   The primary purpose of using instant messaging for business is to ensure a customized workplace collaboration with secure and rapid communication between all stakeholders.   Knowing how Instant Messaging apps is the need of the hour, we evaluated the features of Fourteen favorite team messaging tools and reviewed them based on the functionality. Through this article, we'll share with you the business messenger applications your team can choose for external and internal communication.   Follow this article for an in-depth analysis of each of these applications.   Having powered up the external messaging requirements, your next initiative towards streamlining business communication should be to strengthen the communication and collaboration within the company.   This can be easily achieved through the internal instant messaging Programs as described below:     Table of Contents   1. Troop Messenger 2. Rocketbots 3. Skype 4. ProofHub 5. Slack 6. Brosix 7. Google Hangouts 8. Flock 9. Ryver 10. Wrike   Troop Messenger  (Best Instant Messenger for Business)    Free - Group Chats - limitation (5)    Paid - Unlimited ($1/user/month)    Of course, we’re biased, but hey — it is our blog. Here’s our #1  Instant messaging Software. If you are looking for an all-in-one business messaging app, Troop Messenger can be the perfect tool for your business requirements. Troop Messenger is popular with and caters to non-profits, security firms, and government teams.  Packed with contemporary features, this user-friendly office messaging application has interactive features like:    Unlimited Groups, Unlimited message history, and message retrieval are some of the best features which Whatsapp doesn't support   The tool allows screen sharing and face-to-face interaction over presentations and projects, To-Dos, and deadlines.   Admin can have complete control over users' accessible features. The dashboard feature allows for easy supervision.   Rocketbots ( A conversational messaging tool )      Free - Unlimited messages    Paid - Unlimited ($19 /user/month)    Rocketbot is an all-in-one messenger for business. It is a useful tool that lets you manage all the chats in one CRM with AI-powered messaging, broadcasts, and surveys. If you're looking for a WhatsApp Business Solution, Rocketbots is a great choice.   Rocketbot is a perfect medium for organising all the messaging apps in one place.   It functions with AI that supports over 15 languages and suggests AI smart replies during a conversation.   Target broadcast features and chat automation let users craft and deliver messages to the right people within the right time.    One can deploy Rocketbot on WeChat, Slack, Facebook Messenger, Kik, and other similar platforms.   The tool combines the personality of humans and the speed of computers to create a powerful messaging platform that facilitates communication in the most efficient way.   Skype ( Mature Instant chat messenger)        Skype is FREE for use by up to 25 people.    Starting from: $2.00/month   There’s a solid reason why hundreds of millions of employers use Skype to collaborate with their clients and employees. Skype is the ultimate solution for smooth communication. Audio and Video HD calling, smart messaging, Screen sharing, call recording, private conversations, Live subtitles, and phone calls- you can do it all with Skype.   Skype allows editing of sent messages or deletion of messaging all-together.   It is compatible with Phone, Tablet, Desktop, Web, Xbox, and Alexa too.   Some of the exclusive features of Skype include Skype call forwarding, Chat history back-up, location sharing, background blurring, Voicemail, and Skype call recording.   Skype also allows users to search specific texts within a conversation. This can be done by selecting a find button under the chat header or pressing Command + F on Mac, and Ctrl + F on Windows.   Skype for Business is a great way of hosting professional online meetings. With Office 365 in-built integration, the host can access and share all office apps including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, and Outlook.   Skype for Business has powerful features like Whiteboard, PowerPoint upload, Built-in IM, Screen Sharing, URL invites, and an unlimited number of meetings.   The Office 365 Business plan starts at $8.25 per user per month.   Update on skpye: Skype for Business won’t be a part of Office 365 Suite  and will discontinue end of July 2021 Microsoft, making this decision, to make sure that their users have a strong Skype for Business alternative, in the form of Microsoft Teams. Teams, actually, is the obvious way forward. It is both advanced and intuitively built with numerous easy-to-use features.   ProofHub (Group messaging with task management)   Free trial   Pro plan: $89 per month with no per-user fee If you are looking for more than just a team chat app, ProofHub is a great option. Packed with powerful task management and collaboration features, it replaces the many apps you use to plan, collaborate and keep your teams and work organized. It lets leaders and managers have ultimate control over their teams, tasks, projects, and communications.   Here’s why teams love using ProofHub: Multiple views - List view, Kanban board view, Gantt chart view (timeline view), and also Calendar view - for added flexibility. It has a powerful proofing tool to review, proof, and annotate files with markup tools. Group messaging with file sharing. Seamless integration with apps like FreshBooks Classic, FreshBooks, QuickBooks, Google Calendar, iCal, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and Outlook.   Slack ( Enterprise instant messaging App)      File Storage - 5GB per workspace    Message Visibility - 10K most recent messages   Slack is the ultimate tool for business communication and collaboration. Businesses all over the world rely on this tool to streamline work irrespective of the geographical locations of the team members. Use slack for business because:   Apart from direct messaging and threading features, Slack has an integration directory of over 1500 applications.   Slack supports two-factor authentication for additional security and data encryption features too.   Slack allows collaboration beyond colleagues by enabling users to share channels with clients, partners, and vendors.   With Slack, users can customize communication-based on topic, team members, projects, and other factors.   Slack is one of the highly secured communication tools, for it uses robust measures like SSO and 2FA to encrypt the data and protect it against cyber threats.   Brosix ( A thrive work instant messenger)        Pro Plan – $ 2.10 per user/m    Ultimate – $ 2.99 per user/m   With Brosix as an instant messenger, you get to do a lot more than texting and multimedia sharing. Using Brosix as a business messaging application, your company can gain complete control of a business network and have an encrypted communication channel.   Brosix has a complete range of collaboration features that facilitate business communication: offline messages, video and voice chat, whiteboard, file transfer, screen sharing, malware and virus protection, real-time monitoring.   Communication channels are fully-encrypted for additional security. Brosix uses the P2P file transfer to keep user’s data safe from being breached.   With unlimited file sharing, you are sure to witness efficient collaboration, productivity benefits, and easy project management.   Employers or team managers can have full control over users' accessible features, privileges, and contact list.   It is a perfect instant messaging tool for those who want a strong, secure, simple, cost-effective, and reliable business communication solution.     Google+ Hangouts (the free instant messaging for business)      Free 14 Day Trial    Basic - Professional office suite with 30GB storage   Given the reputation of Google Applications, you can safely rely on Hangouts for all your internal communication. Not only does this tool offers a user-friendly chat service, but it is also packed with some of the amazing features listed below:   Google Hangouts as an office messenger allow deep integration with G-suite application, which is a perfect way of supporting your business needs.   It is compatible with Android, Windows, Apple devices, and computers: which makes it the perfect tool for handling communication needs of corporate environments.   Hangouts’ integration with Gmail supports threaded messages and create bots with the app itself. It has no trouble integrating with major business applications and systems.   Hangout supports group conferencing for up to fifteen people, screen sharing options, and phone call.   For companies that require video broadcasting, Hangout on Air Feature is a great feature. It is an efficient way for businesses to conduct talk shows, live seminars, and stream video calls live through YouTube.   Flock ( corporate instant messenger)      Free Plan - Search up to 10K messages    Paid - Unlimited ($2.13 /user/month)    Flock is recommended for the companies that wish to make teamwork conversations effortless. With a significant number of collaborative features, Flock can be an integral part of your business network. The users get to stay on top of their project, create and share notes within the chat box. Other features include:   Integration with third-party apps your team needs. For example- GitHub, Google Drive, Jira, Trello, Google Calendar, Twitter, and many more.   Create polls, get feedback and opinion, and set reminders to enhance your team’s productivity.   With drag and drop features, communicate with your team through visual aids, and pin important files and messages, and access them whenever needed.   Flock also allows the users to build their own application via Flock API. From pop-ups and widgets to sidebar and slash commands, you can add distinctive features to these apps.   Flock has strict control over user rights and data through TLS 1.2 data encryption and Amazon Web Services hosting.   Ryver ( Group Messaging with Chat)       FREE 14-Day Trial    Paid - $49 /user/month upto 12 user/mo   Business Collaboration has never been easier. With Ryver, you can manage your team’s interaction in a simple, easy, and affordable manner.   Group messaging allows unlimited file sharing, unlimited chats, and infinite conversation searching.   With Ryver, you can avail unlimited free calling, crisp and clear audio and video call with shared screen space.   Task management feature includes unlimited personal and team task board, tags, checklists, and assignments.   Ryver employes Active Response Technology which reduces error-prone human response and eliminates slow reaction by replacing it with an automated and powerful response system.   Easy integration with other tools like Dropbox, Evernote, Gmail, Hangouts, and more.     Wrike ( online IM with task manager)      Free - 5 User    Paid - 5-20 User ($9.80/user/month)    For those of you who want a lot more than instant messaging, Wrike should be the ultimate pick. Bundled with great interactive features, Wrike lets you communicate with your team members, share updates, and work together on the projects. Here’s what makes Wrike interesting:   Consolidate to-dos, customize the dashboard, create gnat charts, set a timeline and manage daily work with ease.   Wrike has a collaborative proof tool that allows users to approve and review digital documents and eliminate all chances of miscommunication.   Share interactive, real-time reports, and edit, or review them regularly.    What do you think? Communication and collaboration play a crucial role in all facets of the business. Not only does regular communication helps build a capable team, but also contributes to the development of the company.   The reason businesses use these instant messaging tools is to generate leads, engage with employees and team members virtually, and manage tasks efficiently. But do keep one thing in mind, when choosing the appropriate instant messaging for business, it's essential to consider your company's culture, team size, and the project types.   Of all these nine tools, which one do you think works well for business communication? Do you have any suggestions for us to include on this list?
Email clients disappearing into an instant messaging The standard text messaging is now passé...
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