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Collaboration tools for startup teams

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Alright, now you have a team and you start to work on your startup-project: everybody knows what he is responsible for, everybody has tasks and you know what you want to achieve in a month, quarter, year. However, most likely that even at the beginning of work you will face with the fact that even messengers with all their possibilities are not the best tool for a collective work: necessary files are lost somewhere, team chat does not allow you to track the task processes and the overall team performance.

So there is a question of choosing a tool for effective collaboration. In this article, I managed to collect a top of best applications for task management, and in addition, I have viewed tools, which will help to track team performance, time spent on tasks, and set up fruitful communication.

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How to choose a service that suits your team

Applications and services for the collective work are different and sharpen for various aims: from assigning and tracking tasks to the team performance analysis and creation of project documentation. Before choosing the tool, which you and your team are going to use, analyze the needs which the soft has to cover.

For example, if you have a lot of tasks on the project, you need the application to demonstrably show the status of each of the key tasks, whether there is no situation when the performance of the key task can be blocked because of other subtasks.

If the process of communication is in the first place (the possibility to maintain video-conferences with the team, discussing the tasks in real-time), then the application has to be sharpened for communication: chats have to be as convenient in usage as possible and they should not lag or freeze.

If you need a specialized application for time-tracking, creation of the specialized documents, then you should pay attention, particularly to these functions.


Task managemnt tools

Best tools for task management

There are many tools of this kind and each of them has its pros and cons. To use the majority of them, you are to pay for a subscription with a trial version for the period from few days to a month to test the functionality,. At the same time, if your budget is still limited, you can find a service, which you can be used for free, but be ready, that the capabilities of the free version will be significantly limited, and the access is usually limited to a little number of team members.


The majority of large companies use this particular service for work. It allows to build up interactions in the team using a flexible methodology (Kanban, Scrum), to plan backlogs, to set the tasks and to track their execution, to make releases and to do the reporting. It is a flexible tool with a wide range of functions: there are so many of them, that some companies have an expert who preeminently adjusts and adapts Jira for the needs of the company.


  • comprehensive functionality — from the customisable kanban- and Scrum-dashboards for setting the tasks to the adjustable processes and filters, feasibility to create roadmaps and forecasts, and setting up the links between the tasks.

  • a possibility to customize the service and processes for the needs of your team;

  • project roadmap creation;

  • there are more than 3000 features, that every team can choose according to the specificity of the project;

  • data import from the range of programs (Asana, Trello, MS Project, Confluence and etc.), data export;

  • a flexible payment system which depends on the quantity of people in a team: if there are less than 10 people in a team, you can use the application for free.


  • it is difficult to puzzle out the customization because of the great functionality.



The service was launched in 2004, in 2019 it already has 3 million registered accounts. This application offers entrepreneurs to solve the pain points which are connected with a fact that the important for the team documents are stored in different places: google-docs, mails, messengers. Basecamp offers a solution to this problem.

The service gives a possibility to set and track the tasks, view the information about the clients, upload files, track the time spent on the task execution, leave comments to the tasks.


  • great functionality: from setting the tasks, dashboards for the announcements and updates for the chat-rooms for a quick discussion with teams to deadline planning in diagrams;

  • a simple system of project management;

  • work can be managed not only with the team but also with clients and partners;

  • can be integrated in Google Docs.


  • expensiveness — 99$ a month per team, there is also a limited trial version, but it is accessible for the teachers, students freelancers and families;

  • service users notice regular freezes;

  • a mobile version is unstable.



This application allows you to build up and track the main business processes, save the documentation, it also combines functions of project management, corporate communication system and CRM. The advantage of this soft is that it gives the possibility to invite to Podio not only the team members but also clients, freelancers and other participants of external processes. Administration features allow controlling the access to various workspaces.


  • a great functionality;

  • data visualization feature;

  • detailed access;

  • built-in chat;

  • if there are less than 5 people in your team, you can use the service for free, but still with limited functionality.


  • if there are more than 5 people in your team, you pay 9$ for the simple package;

  • some users note that the interface is rather uncomfortable.



This application is suitable for managing business processes in small teams. Primarily, Asana is a task manager, that helps to organize the work of both one person and several people. Each team can create a workspace, each workspace can maintain many projects, each project — many tasks.

With the help of this app, it is possible to create and appoint tasks, define deadlines, add descriptions, links and files, leave comments to tasks.


  • simple and understandable interface with a variety of functions;

  • the basic package of the application is available for free;

  • the possibility to work on several projects online.


  • the functionality is not that wide in the simple package, for a premium you will have to pay 13,49$ per month;

  • sometimes it is slow.



This application allows to manage, combine and automate business processes. It offers a whole of three packages of systems for сustomer relationship management (CRM), integrates with 1C, so you do not need to assign a client in a database twice.

It is a convenient application if your product is connected to sales — besides the mentioned above, service offers 15 utilities, which will help sales and marketing departments. Among them — SalesIQ (a live chat for customer support), Social (a tool for brand management in social media), Survey (a utility for creating quick surveys), Contactmanager (an online application for managing contacts), Motivator (gathers data from the sales manager profile and visualizes the current situation with sales in real-time).

The service also includes 5 tools for the accounting reports, 15 tools for the work optimization of e-mails and team inner communications, and also HR tools.


  • a set of various utilities;

  • a perfect application for the teams, that work with CRM systems;

  • a simple and easy-to-understand interface.


  • a free trial period is 15 days, and after that you will have to pay 12$ a month to use.



If it’s important for you to simply keep track of tasks, then the transition to Trello is a great solution. In the application, you can lead several board projects for free at the same time. Each task is a card that will follow from column to column. In such a way, way you will see how many of the tasks are currently being performed, which of them are ready for verification, and how many tasks are completed.

If you buy a business account ($10 per user for a month), you will get a possibility to connect an unlimited number of different components to the dashboards, which help to add into cards with tasks new fields and capabilities, provide data exchange between Trello and other services, automize a range of routine processes. For example, you can make tasks that have not been updated for a long time turn yellow, so they will immediately catch your eye; You can configure additional fields and, if necessary, upload data to Google sheets; you can add a countdown counter to the card, you can display cards in the form of a calendar schedule. If you wish, you can even make copies for those tasks that you repeat after a certain period.


  • a convenient and easy-to-understand functionality;

  • customization of task notification;

  • different administrative permissions;

  • tracking the task progress;

  • the available free version of the application.


  • does not synchronize with all kinds of services;

  • absent a range of tools, which can be useful for project management, for example, Gantt chart.



A service for managing tasks which can be placed in projects, sorted by filters and exported. The app allows you not only to set goals and to track the performance but also to see the team members’ productivity. There is also a so-called Karma, which analyzes and visualizes the performance of each user: 5 levels depending on the amount of points gained by a user (Noobie, Amateur, Expert, Master and Guru).


  • convenient functionality for setting and tracking tasks;

  • data safety and assurance that it will be safe — the system prevents unauthorized access and supports continuous monitoring of potential vulnerabilities, all user data is transmitted using the best traffic protection method;

  • tracking the performance of every member in a team.


  • the price — you can use the application for free only for 14 days, and after the trial period it will cost $28,99 a year for one user;

  • sometimes it works slowly.



A service for managing projects in real-time. Tasks are monitored on a Kanban dashboard mode and an interactive Gantt chart. There are mobile versions for Android and iOS.

The app guarantees the teamwork transparency: it is possible to check the statuses in real-time and receive messages about the project; it helps with planning; has a platform for corporate communications.

The soft helps to manage the work of teams with different work directions: from development, marketing, design to product management and professional services.


  • simplicity;
  • the app is convenient for organising work of different teams.


  • system flaws — occur problems with uploading links, sometimes freezes;

  • the price of Wrike Professional is 9,80$ per month for a user (for the teams of 5, 10, 15 people), however, if your team has less than 5 people, you can use a Wrike Free version.



A Russian service for business management. Its main advantages are described in their motto: “Free. Unlimited. Online.”. However, as in the majority of suchlike tools, the free version is very limited.

The service has the CRM system for sales management and customer communication, a contact centre, also, there are possibilities to set the goals and to create projects, a website and internet-shops designer. Bitrix24 is also called a social network for companies, as there is a range of tools for communication inside of the company and for communication with customers.


  • a free version;

  • a great functionality.


  • poor connection quality;

  • an inconvenient interface.



A tool for setting goals and improving teamwork performance. The incoming tasks can be prioritized and delegated. You can work both in web-format and in a mobile application. The service is synchronized with a range of applications: Evernote, Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox.


  • convenience;

  • a free version;

  • reliability.


  • does not synchronize with all range of services for managing and creating documents.


Comparison of the tools

In this table, you can see a more concise comparison of all the mentioned above services for setting and tracking tasks.

task management tools comparison


What applications will be also useful for your team

If setting the tasks and project management are not essential at this stage, or if you are used to working just by dividing the project into spheres of influence, still there are a few tools, which may be useful for you.

For chats and video-conferences:

  1. HipChat. You can create group and individual chats, share your work screen with a person, you are speaking, and share files.

  2. Sgwiggle. A video-chat, an application takes a new photo of a participant every matter of seconds, so you can see whom you can contact at the moment.

  3. GoToMeeting. Helps to hold video-conferences and to show online-presentations. Also, there is a function of the remote desktop view.

  4. Slack. A service for communication and file sharing can be integrated almost in all of the mentioned above tools for setting goals. Provides channel customization, threads of comments in chats (you can leave a comment to a particular message). There is a possibility of search by a word or its part, customize the notifications for particular channels, video, photo, and file sharing.

For setting up a productive work process:

  1. Toggle — a service, that counts how much time a team spends on executing tasks, keeps the time record of individual and collective projects.

  2. Hackpad — an application for collective work on documents, helps to create and to edit files. For each part of a document, it automatically specifies the author.



The services for teamwork organization and management are very different. So to choose something suitable for you personally, you have to analyze the team needs, a product and a budget, and then choose the best option. The majority of applications have a limited free version, while the functionality of the paid version is worth the money you have to pay for it, especially, if we are talking about the CRM-systems.

Choosing a tool for collective work, it is important to take into consideration the time, which you are ready to spend to master a new soft.

If your product is yet not that big, but in a long-term perspective, it has to grow significantly, then it is reasonable to choose software with a maximally wide range of functions. Perhaps, it is enough to have a chat and a Kanban dashboard for now, but with time, you will gain a database of customers, suppliers and partners, and thus, a perfect tool for collaboration has to have functions of a CRM-system


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