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The 9 Best-Rated Team Communication Tools to Use in 2021

12 minutes
We've curated a list of the 9 best apps and services for team communication. Read this detailed guide to find out how they can work for your team.

Flexible teams need flexible team communication. Whether you work remotely, in a hybrid setup or go into an office space daily, adapting the way you communicate to the way you work will improve collaboration and set your team up for success.

We’ve been working remotely for a while now, and communication and collaboration are our secrets to a productive, happy workplace. Here we've curated a list of the best team communication tools out there. Keep reading to find out what they are and why these tools can bring you and your team closer together.

Our top 9 team communication software picks

1. Slite

We're all about team communication at Slite

We’ll be honest: the whole reason we’re writing this article is because at Slite, we’re trying to build a special kind of team communication tool. In Slite, you can create channels and documents to share ideas, host discussions, and manage projects together from a single workspace. We’re definitely biased, but we think it’s the best way to keep your team in the loop and on the same page. 

Best for

Collaborating on any kind of document. Whether you're building a wiki or knowledge base, putting together an employee handbook, developing your onboarding process or just working on a project, Slite is here for you.

Features

  • Fast and flexible document composer
  • Tons of elements to add into your documents like smart tables, mentions, galleries, files, embeds, code snippets, and more
  • Wide variety of templates to help you get started
  • Clear, channel-based organization system
  • Fast and reliable search functionalities
  • Ready-to-use integrations like Slack, Github, and Asana

Pros

  • Ideal for remote teams
  • Straightforward, easy-to-use interface
  • Extremely easy to adopt for the whole team
  • Robust free plan
  • Excellent for asynchronous communication
  • Great built-in communication mechanisms
  • Tons of exciting new features still to come

Cons

  • Best suited for private communication in a private wiki or internal knowledge base, rather than public-facing.

Pricing

We want your team to love using Slite. That's why we offer a free plan. All you have to do is sign up for an account and you can start on your documentation right away.

If you want to take advantage of our full range of features, our paid plans cost $8 USD per member per month. Even better, you only pay for what you use (members active within the last 3o days). We've also got Enterprise plans available upon consultation.

2. Slack

Source: Slack

Slack works hard as one of the most popular chat apps for teams. It's a great solution for all brief, synchronous professional communications and is your email inbox’s best friend. 

Best for

Instantaneous messaging with colleagues and outside contributors. Slack is an excellent platform for you if you're looking to get to Inbox Zero and streamline your professional communications. Its social UX encourages casual conversation.

Features

  • Tidy, user-friendly, channel-based organization system
  • Invite other teams and companies into chats with Slack Connect
  • Easy-to-use messaging
  • Voice and video calls
  • Great accessibility features
  • Tons of integrations, like Zoom, Google Drive, and Dropbox

Pros

  • Easy for all team members to use
  • High customizable according to your needs
  • Integrates with lots of other popular team communication tools
  • Can be used on-the-go across different devices

Cons

  • Slack is not ideal for meetings or conferences. Their video chat feature is fairly limited and audio call quality can be spotty, so you'll probably have to integrate other communication tools for your video conferencing needs.
  • Slack can be too convenient, to the point of distraction
  • Conversations can quickly get lost in channels, before you get the chance to follow up

Pricing

Slack is a very reasonably priced team communication tool. They've got a free plan you can use if you want to try it out and see how you like it.

If you decide that Slack is the communication app for you, their paid plans range between $8 USD and $15 USD per active user per month. They're also got custom Enterprise plans available, but you'll have to contact their sales team for a quote.

3. Zoom

Source: Zoom

You're probably already familiar with Zoom. It's one of the most popular video conferencing tools out there. At this point, video calling isn't only for the remote team anymore. It's a fundamental part of every business, so let's dive into what makes Zoom such a great solution for all your video conferencing needs.

Best for

Video meetings of all sizes, whether they're being used for internal chats, client meetings, webinars or large-scale conferences.

Features

  • HD video and audio
  • Host videos for up to 1000 participants with 49 videos displayed on-screen
  • Video recording functionalities
  • Screen sharing functionalities
  • Easy to share meeting invitations and integrate them with calendars
  • One-on-one, group, and large group video chat abilities
  • Built-in collaboration tools

Pros

  • Very little onboarding required - can use right away
  • Ability to join meetings anywhere, from any device
  • High-level security with encryption, password protection, and waiting rooms
  • Fosters engagement with features like breakout rooms, chat, reactions, and polls

Cons

  • You'll need to upgrade to a paid plan if you want to make video calls with 3 people or more for more than 40 minutes.
  • The mobile app has more limited features that the desktop app
  • The chat feature is fairly limited

Pricing

One of the reasons why Zoom has become so popular is because it has a free plan available that's incredibly handy. You can make unlimited one-on-one video calls as well as group meetings for up to 40 minutes.

If you want to use Zoom for larger scale meetings and video conferences, their paid plans range between $149.90 and $240 USD per year per license, depending on the features you want to use.

4. Google Workspace

Source: Google

Google Workspace, previously known as G Suite, refers to an umbrella of team communication tools. They're all tried-and-tested as Google offers some of the most popular and well-known team communication software out there. They're incredibly effective in helping all kinds of professional teams work together better.

Here are the different tools we're going to be reviewing under the framework of Google Workspace:

  • Gmail
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Drive
  • Google Meet
  • Google Docs

Best for

If you want a catch-all solution for team communication, Google Workspace is a great solution for you. It's also handy if you're already familiar with Google tools.

Features

  • Gmail: Your basic email platform with a relatively large amount of free storage, an effective search function, and an easy-to-use interface.
  • Google Calendar: An interactive calendar tool that's easy to integrate with your browser, email, and other apps.
  • Google Drive: A cloud storage solution that allows users to store and share files, documents, and other data. Comes with 15GB of free storage.
  • Google Meet:  A video conferencing platform that's perfect for everything from video meetings to casual chats.
  • Google Docs: Collaborate on documents, make edits, provide feedback, and share your files with ease. 

Pros

  • Pretty much everyone is familiar with Google Workspace tools, so very little onboarding is required
  • A whole suite of communication tools in one place
  • Great for remote or in-person terms of any size
  • Useful for internal or external purposes
  • Ease to use and implement

Cons

  • Because they offer so many different tools, some of them are better than others
  • If you have different accounts, it can be difficult to switch between them
  • Some layouts and functionalities can be a bit clunky
  • Google Meet is not the best solution for voice and video calls
  • Limited customer support and troubleshooting 

Pricing

The Google Workspace team communication tools can be used on their own for free if you only need limited features. However, they've also got affordable paid plans if you want to take advantage of their full range of tools and features.

First of all, you can try a Google Workspace plan for free for 14 days. After that, their paid plans start at $6 USD per user per month and go up to $18 USD per user per month. They've also got Enterprise plans available, so you can contact their sales team for more information about those.

5. Skype

Source: Skype

Skype is another well-known team communication tool. It was one of the first video conferencing platforms to become popular and was initially often used for personal calls. Nowadays it's popular for both personal and professional uses. Let's dive into why it's still a competitive force in the video calling world.

Best for

Personal or professional voice and video calls. Many people also use it for international audio calls because you can use the platform to purchase a unique Skype phone number for many different countries in the world.

Features

  • One-on-one and group video calling features
  • Crystal clear audio and HD video
  • Call recording and live subtitling
  • The ability to call phone lines
  • Inbound phone numbers available
  • A chat function complete with smart messaging
  • Screen sharing
  • Works across a variety of devices

Pros

  • Many free features
  • Reliable connection
  • Good sound and image quality
  • Possibility to set up inbound phone numbers
  • Calls can last for up to 24 hours
  • No sign ups or downloads

Cons

  • Clunky, somewhat confusing interface
  • Complicated to leave customer feedback
  • Limited customer support
  • Confusing pricing system

Pricing

In most cases, Skype is free to use. That means that when you're making calls to other Skype numbers or accounts, you won't have to pay for a thing. This is a big driving force behind Skype's popularity.

Things get a little more complicated if you want to start calling phone numbers. You can either buy a monthly subscription depending on what kind of calls you want to make, or you can buy pay-as-you-go credit and top up as needed.

6. Microsoft Teams

Source: Microsoft

Microsoft Teams is another communication tool centered mostly around chat. It's especially popular with teams already using other Microsoft apps - the compatibility with tools like PowerPoint and Microsoft Word comes in handy.

Best for

Group communication via chats, calls, and video conferences.

Features

  • Instant messaging
  • A chat feature with both individual and group chat functions
  • Video calls with up to 10 000 people
  • Audio calls complete with advanced features like group calling, cloud voicemail, and call transfers
  • Real-time document collaboration capabilities

Pros

  • Easy to customize
  • Good for remote 
  • Works across different devices and platforms
  • Good value for money
  • Lots of integrations available
  • Consistently making improvements

Cons

  • Big learning curve due to clumsy interface
  • Sometimes operates slowly
  • Might experience low camera quality

Pricing

If you want to explore Microsoft Teams, you can do so for free. They have a free plan you can use for as long as you want without any commitment. After that, their paid plans range between $5 USD and $12.50 USD per user per month (billed yearly).

If you go with their more expensive paid plan, it comes with the entire suite of Microsoft apps like Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.

7. Twist

Source: Twist

Twist is a relatively new communication tool that's one of Slack's biggest competitors. They've branded themselves as an alternative for teams that want to prioritize clear, calm communication. Instead of acting as a real-time, synchronous communication solution, Twist is an asynchronous team communication app.

Best for

Teams who need a professional communication tool without the distractions. Also, Slack users who are looking for a more asynchronous solution.

Features

  • Team chats that are organized into topic-based threads
  • Can further organize threads into channels
  • Direct messaging capabilities for one-on-one conversations
  • Robust search functionalities
  • Full control over notifications (including a time off setting)
  • Integrates with tools like Asana, Calendly, GitHub, Trello, and Zoom

Pros

  • Simple, easy-to-use interface
  • Created for asynchronous work
  • Limited interruptions and notifications
  • Ability to invite external parties into channels

Cons

  • Limited regular chat channel options
  • Less features than their competitors
  • Some features to be developed
  • Integrations needed to make audio and video calls

Pricing

Twist is a very affordable communication tool. If you want to try it out and see how you like it, they've got a free forever plan with limited features. Their unlimited paid plan is only $5 USD per user per month.

8. Discord

Source: Discord

Discord is a discussion-based communication tool that's popular with all kinds of different groups. It's used by online communities, hobby groups, friends and acquaintances, student groups, and more. Even though it's not a typical team communication tool for professionals, it does have some interesting use cases for the workplace.

Best for

Online and offline communities or groups looking for a way to interact and spend time together in the digital sphere.

Features

  • Invite-only Discord servers for your community members
  • Chats organized into topic-based channels
  • Audio chats in voice channels
  • Moderation tools
  • Custom member access
  • Adjustable privacy settings

Pros

  • Little to no learning curve; easy to install and set up for all ages
  • Easy simultaneous communication, even with a lot of people
  • Simple to monitor and moderate conversations
  • The ability to join unlimited channels
  • The free plan is sufficient for most people's needs

Cons

  • Occasional bugs when adding users into servers
  • Notifications do not always work well
  • Some problems on mobile
  • Not really a work-oriented tool

Pricing

Discord is a free communication tool that you can download here. However, you'll need to be invited into Discord channels in order to access them.

If you want to use Discord's premium features, you'll have to upgrade to a Discord Nitro plan. They cost between $4.99 USD and $9.99 USD per month and give you access to things like a personal profile, HD video, bigger uploads, profile badges, better emojis, and more.

9. RingCentral

Source: RingCentral

RingCentral is a comprehensive team communication tool. It sets itself apart from the competition because it features robust internal communication tools and external customer service solutions. Basically, it centralizes all businesses' communication needs.

Best for

Any team that's looking for team communication software that can also be used as a customer service solution.

Features

RingCentral has three different categories of plans that all have slightly different features. They are as follows:

  • RingCentral MVP: An all-in-one business communication solution. Includes messaging, video calls, and audio calls in one workspace.
  • RingCentral Video: A very efficient and effective video conferencing solution. It's free, and it also includes messaging.
  • RingCentral Contact Center: An excellent customer service solution that helps companies build and maintain better relationships with their customers. Includes omnichannel contact center solutions.

Pros

  • Great customer support by live chat and phone
  • Simple to implement and easy to use in general
  • Cloud-based communication solution
  • Good quality voice and video communication
  • Works well across different devices, platforms, and browsers
  • Reliable and consistent

Cons

  • Group chat and group calling features could be improved
  • Some bugs need fixing
  • Complicated paid plans 

Pricing

RingCentral has a wide variety of different plans to choose from and you can try all of them for free. They include:

  1. RingCentral MVP: Plans range between $29.99 USD and $59.99 USD per user per month.
  2. RingCentral Video: They have a free plan and a paid plan priced at $14.99 USD per user per month.
  3. RingCentral Contact Center: They have three different plans and you can contact their sales team for more information about them. 

How to choose the best team communication tool

Slite's Discussion feature allows for lively conversations within documents

If you're reading this article, you're probably looking for the best team communication you can find. In order to identify the best team communication tools to address your needs, we've come up with a series of questions you can ask yourself. Once you've done so, you'll be able to determine the team communication tool for you in no time!

 

  1. Is this communication tool easy to set up and use? Would all my team members be able to use it?
  2. Does this communication tool integrate with other apps that we're currently using? Does it integrate with a good variety of popular apps in general?
  3. Does this tool include the communication features we know we need?
  4. Will this communication tool be dedicated to professional purposes? Will it help improve communication in the workplace?
  5. Is this communication tool safe and secure? Will our privacy and sensitive information be protected?
  6. Is this communication tool cloud based?
  7. Does this communication work quickly? Does it lag or have obvious bugs that impede workflows?

 

By now, you're probably well aware of the right communication tool for you and your team.

Like we mentioned at the beginning of this guide, Slite is truly a fantastic communication tool. We might be biased, but we've seen the way our software helps remote teams share ideas, save knowledge, and work together. It ultimately brings team members together, allows them to harness the power of working asynchronously, and maximizes their collaborative power. 

Get started if you’d like to see for yourself.


Written by

Marc Cinanni is a creative writer who's fascinated by the emergence of remote as a new way of life. His pieces are punchy, absurd, and often personal. He writes for remote teams, managers, and people interested in feeling better about the way they work. Follow him @marccinanni.