With different emerging trends in information technology, virtual tools are becoming more and more popular for businesses. This new business technology is slowly turning into workplace technology since it is being used on a daily basis.
Without further ado, here are the best virtual tools and technologies for business in 2020.
The Best Virtual Tools And Technologies For Business
1. Slack / Microsoft Teams
Because there are virtual tools for all different purposes, it's necessary to look at each category and identify the best tools to use. For communication purposes, for instance, there are two great tools that you will want to try: Slack and Microsoft Teams.
Slack is by far the most popular business messaging platform. It is available for both desktop and mobile for free, but you can upgrade to a premium plan for more functionality. Basically, the platform allows you to create various channels for your company to discuss different matters (e.g. for different departments or projects), but you can also message people privately. Within chats, you can also reply to a particular message without cluttering the whole chat.
Microsoft Teams is both a messaging and a video call application. It is also available for both desktop and mobile, but it only lets you use a demo that you must upgrade once the trial runs out. You can post news, messages, and so on for your team. Furthermore, video calls are available both for groups and for one-on-one calls.
2. Asana / Trello / Microsoft Project
Another category of virtual tools includes project management tools. The three most well-known at the moment are Asana, Trello, and Microsoft Project. While the latter is not free, Asana and Trello do have free versions that you can then upgrade to premium ones.
Asana is a project management tool for desktop and mobile that allows you to create a project for your team and then post tasks within that project adding details such as due dates, tags, comments, and so on. It’s very easy to use and has many great features that make the process of project management flow smoothly.
Trello is also a platform for managing projects, but its interface is somewhat different. You can also create tasks and most features are the same, but the dashboard looks like a board with tasks rather than a list with tasks, which is how it appears in Asana.
Microsoft Project has a very similar interface to that of Asana, but it also lets you make video calls and chat privately which makes it a combined platform both for communication and project management purposes.
3. Dropbox / Google Drive
File storage can be a bit complicated when you need to be able to share files quickly, which is why cloud storage is so popular both with businesses and with regular users. Obviously, the two most widely used storage tools are Dropbox and Google Drive.
There are not many differences between the two. Both are available for desktop and mobile, but Google Drive gives you more free space, though you can buy more space both for Drive and Dropbox. On the other hand, Dropbox is known for syncing faster than Drive. So, in the end, it comes down to your personal needs and preferences.
4. Zoom / Skype / Google Hangouts
Of course, communication is not only about messaging. It’s also about voice and video calls. If you are already using Slack for messaging, you could start using another platform for making calls such as Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts.
Zoom became very popular in 2020 thanks to its ease of use and simple interface. Google Hangouts is similar to Zoom, but it also allows you to use additional features when chatting such as stickers, GIFs, and so on. Skype is older and somewhat outdated. It is still used by professionals, but it is quickly being replaced by the other two because of its notoriously poor call quality at times.
Though Google Drive and Dropbox are great for sharing documents, you will probably want to have a tool to let you work on documents at the same time. This is why Google Docs is so useful – and it’s absolutely free! It’s also available both for desktop and mobile, and you can create documents similar to Word (Google Docs) and Excel (Google Sheets).
If you have a team working remotely or different members of your team going abroad for business trips but still having to work with you, Google Docs can be a lifesaver. Imagine having a Word document that a group of people can access from different devices and edit at the same time; that’s exactly what Google Docs is.
6. Calendly / HubSpot Scheduling
Though project management software can be helpful for managing your projects and tasks planned for the near future, you still need to have a tool for both long-term and short-term scheduling. There are two amazing options: Calendly and HubSpot Scheduling.
Calendly can be integrated with calendars and lets you choose your availability times. Then, you share your link and others pick when to schedule a meeting. HubSpot Scheduling, on the other hand, lets you easily schedule meetings with your team.
7. Google Forms
Last but not least, there are some virtual tools that will help you work easily both with your team and with your clients. Google Forms, for example, can be used to collect customer feedback and conduct surveys, but it can also be used to get feedback from your employees.
It is absolutely free and only requires you to have a Google account to set up a form. There are templates that you can choose from and questions of different types to select (e.g. multiple-choice vs open questions). Once you create the form, you can share the link and people can fill it out without registering. You then get an overview of the information you collected.
To sum up, all the big companies are already following the latest technology trends in business, so the question remains whether or not you will follow them too. By using the virtual communication tools in this article as a part of your collaborative software suite, you will be able to improve your business inside and out.
About the Author: Jamie Fry - Purposeful and promising author. At this moment he is working in such companies, as Pick the writer and Writing Judge and enhances his blogging skills. Confidently goes to his goal. He has a talent for writing original content. The main conviction in his life: «To be the best in the field in which you are developing». Always in search of fresh ideas.