Free Tools to Manage Remote Teams

SEO Specialist Job Description
SEO Specialist Job Description

Managing teams off-site comes with its own set of challenges. Cloud-based services, global mobility and accessibility, and clear communication channels become imperative to ensure alignment and productivity across the entire team. Luckily, there are plenty of web-based tools to help make your remote team management as effective as possible.

Project Management

Use cases for project management tools vary, from product and software development to team communications and file-sharing. For more basic project organization and online team collaborations, free tools like Asana, Meistertask, Pivotal Tracker, and Trello may suffice. Plus, they all have premium subscription options based on what features you may want to expand as your team grows.

Asana. Project timeline, calendars, conversations, progress trackers, file-sharing, team collaborations. Free basic plan for up to 15 team members.

Meistertask. Clean and intuitive dashboard, integrations, team collaborations. Free basic plan, without limitations on number of team members.

Pivotal Tracker. Emergent iterations, side-by-side project displays, analytics. Free small team plans for up to three members and two projects.

Trello. Simple interface with many customization abilities, document-sharing integrations. Free basic plan with unlimited members.

Premium tools with more features: Apollo, Backlog, Basecamp, JIRA, Float, IDoneThis, Pipefy, ProdPad, Workamajig.


Most team communications tools include integrations with project management systems, so it’s worth considering all of your tools as a bundle. Tools like Flock, Slack, and Workplace by Facebook offer a multitude of communications and collaborations features, while chats like Google Hangouts and conference tools like have more singular purposes.

Flock. To-do lists, integrations, chat organizer. Free plan with limited administrative controls.

Google Hangouts and Skype. Video, phone, and messaging. Free except for some voice calling options., UberConference, and Zoom. Video and audio conference calls. Free for personal meetings with limitations.

Slack. Integrations, channels, file-sharing. Free for basic plan with limited features.

Workplace by Facebook. Video chats, collaborations, News Feed. Free for unlimited members and storage.

Premium tools with more features: GoToMeeting, Jell, PukkaTeam, Quip.

Time Management

Time management tools like Hubstaff, Paymo, and Harvest are primarily used for single users, especially the freelance market. When I Work allows for more advanced features intended for teams, with included functionalities like group messaging and schedule building.

Harvest. Integrations, time tracking, project organization. Free for single user and two projects.

Hubstaff. Time tracking, online timesheets, scheduling and invoicing. Free for single user.

Paymo. To-do-lists, time tracking, invoicing and reporting. Free for single user.

When I Work. Schedule builder, employee time clock, group messaging. Free for up to 75 employees.

Premium tools with more features: Freckle, FunctionFox, Teambook.

Document-Sharing & Security

Cloud-based storage is easy to come by, but free accounts tend to be limited in storage. Also consider a secure tool to share account passwords among your team, which will usually cost a few bucks per month per member.

Box and Dropbox. Shared folders and links, file synching. Free for individual accounts with limited storage.

GoogleDrive. Real-time editing, online and offline access. Free for personal accounts up to 15GB of storage.

Vault. Secure password manager, offline access. Free for individuals.

Premium tools with more features: 1Password, Huddle, LastPass, One Hub.

Finding the right tools for your team requires some experimentation, especially as your team and projects evolve. Depending on your scale, many tools and features aren’t free; luckily, free trial periods are worth exploring as you narrow down the best tools for your team.