Top Tools for Communicating with Freelance and Contract Hires

Being productive in the 21st Century means working and communicating with team members who may never set foot in your building. Freelance and contract hires are valuable members of your team, and just because they work from remote locations does not mean that they need to feel isolated or out of the loop in any way. But, knowing that communicating with these team members is one thing: actually having the right tools to communicate with them is another.

Sometimes, you may need to communicate through chat or video conferencing. Other times, you may need to sync calendars and make sure everyone’s projects are on track. But, most often, communicating with freelance and contract hires requires more than those capabilities; often, you need to be able to visualize projects, share screens, and edit files and videos together.

We have searched for the most innovative and intuitive tools available for communicating and collaborating with freelance and contract hires. Our selections includes those that are scalable, easy to use and implement, offer integration services, full of useful features and more. Our top 50 choices are below, listed in no particular order.

1. Hall
@hall

Hall

When communicating with freelance and contract hires, you want a tool that your entire team can use. With Hall, you get real-time chat and text that fits your teams’ needs, whether members are using Mac, Windows, the Web, Android, or iPhone.

Key Features:

  • Group & Private Chat
  • Secure communication
  • Works in real time across all devices
  • Integrate with other services, including Dropbox, Gitub, Zapier, and more
  • Get all of your notifications in one place

Cost:

  • Teams: FREE – unlimited users, unlimited groups, unlimited integrations
  • Departments: $8/user/month – all Teams features, plus user management and data export
  • Enterprise: Contact for a quote – all Departments features, plus advanced analytics, data retention policy, active directory sync, single sign on, and more

 

2. Zintro
@Zintro

Zintro500px

Not only does Zintro put thousands of subject-matter experts at your fingertips, but facilitates communication between clients and prospective freelance consultants, both at the inquiry phase and throughout project lifespans. Find qualified experts, initiate discussions through one-on-one communications, pinpoint the most qualified candidates for your projects, and conduct business with them using the Zintro platform. Whether you’re seeking expertise for a short-term project or are seeking a subject-matter expert for ongoing consultation, Zintro is a useful tool for facilitating communication and coordinating projects.

Key Features: 

  • Post inquiries related to your project needs
  • Browse hundreds to thousands of subject-matter experts
  • Initiate discussions to vet candidates through private messaging
  • Get direct responses to your inquiries from qualified experts
  • Conduct ongoing business with your candidates of choice

Cost: 

  • Zintro is free for both Clients and Experts
  • Premium plans offer full features:
    • Unlimited responses
    • Highlighted profile and inquiries
    • Contact any Expert directly
    • Expedited customer support
  • Connection fee: 15% of fees paid to Experts (minimum of $99.95 waived if Client or Expert is Premium)

3. AgreeDo
@AgreeDo

Agreedo

One aspect of working with freelancers and contract hires is making sure they are on the same page with your organization. With AgreeDo, you have the ability to create and share meeting agendas and track meeting results, so that everyone has the same communication, every time.

Key Features:

  • Prepare for meetings with an agenda and send it to all participants, either with Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes or allow AgreeDo to send the invitations for you
  • Your agenda turns into your meeting’s minutes
  • Put down all important issues with a mouse click, take down your tasks and schedule and assign them, highlight important decisions, and more while you run your meetings
  • Use meeting results to track tasks, search for information from previous meetings, and forward the AgreeDo task link to team members via email

Cost:

  • AgreeDo: FREE
  • On-Site hosting: Contact for a quote

4. Calliflower
@Calliflower

Calliflower

Calliflower is a tool that enhances web meetings and international audio conferencing. When your freelancers and contract hires are scattered around the country, or even internationally, Calliflower allows them to connect with your organization from anywhere, all in one conference.

Key Features:

  • Call in from your browser, phone, or Skype
  • Call recordings, document storage and sharing, chat, phone keypad commands
  • Three Levels of Security
  • Global list of local dial-in numbers
  • Intuitive “who’s talking” visualization for callers

Cost: FREE 14 Day Trial

  • Calli-Go: $0/month – 4.5¢/min worldwide calling, 6.9¢/min Tool Free, manage your usage
  • Call500: $9.99/month – occasional conferences, quick meetings, 500 worldwide minutes
  • Call2000: $29.95/month – more calls, more callers, premium service, 2000 worldwide minutes
  • Call5000: $59.95/month – host large calls, manage large teams, 5000 worldwide minutes
  • Calliflower for Business: Contact for a quote – admin controls, advanced reporting, dedicated support, and more

5. HipChat
@HipChat

HipChat

Sharing information and files is a large part of communicating with freelance and contract hires, and HipChat aims to make those tasks simple for teams. And, because HipChat “runs on just about everything,” you don’t have to worry about your off-site team members not being able to use it.

Key Features:

  • Persistent Rooms and 1-to-1 Chat
  • Real-time video chat and screen sharing
  • Complete chat history
  • Drag-and-drop file sharing
  • Instant notifications
  • Private, safe, and secure, including secure guest access
  • API & Integrations: JIRA + Confluence, Bitbucket and GitHub, Zendesk, and more

Cost: FREE 30 Day Trial of HipChat Plus for signing up today

  • HipChat Basic: $0/user/month – unlimited users and free forever
  • HipChat Plus: $2/user/month – video chat, screensharing, and more

6. Campfire
@37signals

Campfire

When you need to communicate with team members, freelancers, and contract hires instantly, Campfire is a tool that can help. Designed exclusively for groups, Campfire allows you to share texts, files, and code in real time, plus you can save transcripts so you never have to worry about forgetting something.

Key Features:

  • Web based group chat with password-protected chat rooms
  • Link to a room on your intranet for internal communications
  • Does not require any downloads, installation, or configuration
  • Campfire app for the iPhone with a streamlined user interface, live image previews within the chat room, and more
  • Works with Internet Explorer 7 and higher, Firefox 3 and higher, Safari 4 and higher, and Chrome 4 and higher

Cost: FREE 30 day trial on all accounts

  • FREE – 4 chatters, 10 MB storage
  • Plus: $24/month – 25 chatters, 3GB storage, 500 conference call minutes, enhanced security
  • Premium: $49/month (for big groups) – 60 chatters, 10 GB storage, 750 conference call minutes, enhanced security
  • Max: $99/month (top-of-the-line) – 100 chatters, 25 GB storage, 1000 conference call minutes, enhanced security

7. Trello
@trello

Trello

With projects being spread amongst internal people and freelancers and contract hires, your organization more than likely needs a way to actually be organized. Trello is the organization tool made to help you “organize anything with anyone.”

Key Features:

  • Easy and visual way to organize your important information
  • Fill the Trello board with cards, named and organized according to your needs
  • Drag and drop cards

Cost:

  • Trello Standard: FREE
  • Trello Gold: $5/month or $45/year – upload files up to 250 MB in size, access to nine premium backgrounds with the ability to upload your own backgrounds, access to extra, premium sticker packs
  • Trello Business Class: $5/user/month or $45/user/year for each organization – Business-grade administrative controls and security, ability to see all of your organization’s boards, everyone on team gets Trello Gold features

8. mIRC
@khaledmb

mIRC

An Internet Relay Chat client for Windows, mIRC allows team members to communicate, share, work, and more with others on IRC networks from anywhere around the globe. mIRC allows for multi-user group conferences or one-to-one private discussions, so you have various channels for communicating with your freelance and contract hires.

Key Features:

  • Clean, practical, highly configurable interface
  • Supports buddy lists, file transfers, multi-server connections, IPv6, SSL encryption, spoken messages, tray notifications, message logging, and more
  • Powerful scripting language useful for automating mIRC and creating applications

Cost: FREE

9. Huddle
@huddle

Huddle

Huddle is a secure, user-friendly solution for collaborating with teams and partners, regardless of their location. Huddle also includes features that take productivity to the next level, even when you are working with freelancers and contract hires on with multiple files and projects.

Key Features:

  • File sharing, sync, and management with anyone inside or outside your organization
  • Seamless collaboration that includes secure workspaces and the ability to engage in conversations before submitting for approval
  • Organize, manage, and track complex projects from a desktop or mobile devices, from assigning tasks to your team to receiving automatic reminders as deadlines near
  • Intelligent dashboard manages tasks, projects, and files and helps you complete your to-do list
  • Reap the benefits of custom branding within Huddle
  • Integrate your existing productivity tools painlessly

Cost: FREE trial available for Workgroup and Enterprise editions

  • Donated Huddle Packages are available for selected nonprofit organizations, based on eligibility criteria – contact to apply
  • Workgroup: $20/user/month (collaboration for your team) – 100+ collaboration features, starts with 25 users
  • Enterprise: $40/user/month (collaboration for all your teams) – all Workgroup features, plus reporting & management suite, success services & advanced security, starts at 100 users
  • Unlimited: Contact for a quote (collaboration across your entire organization) – all Enterprise features, plus unlimited storage, unlimited users, and unlimited support

10. Basecamp
@37signals

Basecamp

Basecamp is “the world’s #1 project management for tools,” and it is known for its business-leading customer service, ease of use, and reliability. Basecamp is perfect for companies that rely on freelancers and contract hires, because it works on Mac, PC, iPhone/iPad, Android, and email; plus, is runs in the cloud on secure servers. Communicate with your freelance and contract hires effortlessly with Basecamp.

Key Features:

  • Create templates for recurring projects
  • Upload original files to the Files section and then upload file revisions as comments on the original files, along with notes, so you have the original and the latest version
  • Calendar can begin on the day you choose

Cost: FREE, unlimited-use 60 day trial for all customers

  • Monthly Packages – all include unlimited users plus customer service
    o   $20 – 10 projects, 3GB space
    o   $50 – 40 projects, 15 GB space
    o   $100 – 100 projects, 40 GB space
    o   $150 – unlimited projects, 100 GB space
  • Annual Package
    o   $3000 – unlimited users, unlimited projects, 500 GB space, priority support

11. Teamwork
@teamwork

Teamwork

If your organization constantly is scheduling conferences and meetings and attempting to communicate with freelancers and contract hires, you need a way to get organized so that you can be more productive. Teamwork is practical software intended to help you regain control so you can spend more time working and less time meeting.

Key Features:

  • Online project management tool to keep everyone working together
  • Get a quick overview of your projects with Teamwork’s dashboard so you can stay up to date with all recent project activity
  • Projects lists allows for easy navigation, along with the Switch Project feature
  • Activity stream allows you to remain up to date with the progress of your project
  • Smart tabs show you the most pertinent information
  • Quickly and easily visualize your project with Teamwork.com Gantt charts

Cost: FREE 30 day trial

  • Personal: $12/month – 5 projects, 1 GB storage
  • Business 1: $24/month – 15 projects, 5 GB storage, Google Drive integration
  • Business 2: $49/month – 35 projects, 20 GB storage, Google Drive, Box.com, Dropbox Integration, and Custom Domain
  • Corporate: $99/month – 100 projects, 32 GB storage, plus all Business 2 features
  • Enterprise: $149/month – unlimited projects, 80 GB storage, plus all Corporate features
  • Enterprise Plus: $250/month – 160 GB storage, plus all Enterprise features

*All plans feature unlimited users & companies, 256-bit SSL security, and all key features

12. Screencast
@TechSmith

Screencast

Communicating with freelance and contract hires is one thing, but being able to collect and share feedback on your organization’s projects is another. With Screencast, know that your videos, images, and documents are being uploaded as you intended and that you have complete control over who views your teams’ content.

Key Features:

  • Convenient sharing options include links, MediaRoll widgets, RSS feeds, or embedding your images and video
  • Maintain the rights to your own content: Screencast does not take ownership or keep anything you delete
  • Hosts video in nearly any format including Flash, WMV, Quicktime, and more
  • Original quality remains in tact – nothing is compressed or re-encoded
  • Control who views your content through public folders, hiding folders, protecting with passwords, or authorizing viewers
  • Upload from any TechSmith product seamlessly

Cost:

  • FREE Account – 2 GB storage, 2 GB monthly bandwidth
  • Pro Account: $9.95/month or $99.95/year – 25 GB storage, 200 GB monthly bandwidth, add or edit video captions, create uniquely branded background templates, customize appearance in the View Page

13. ChatGrape
@chatgrapecom

ChatGrape

ChatGrape is known for its efficient automatic chat that increases team productivity. With its deep service integrations, conversation summaries, and open API, ChatGrape makes it easy and fast to communicate with your freelance and contract hires.

Key Features:

  • Reference your data as you type and enjoy the autocomplete that “knows your business”
  • Integrate with Github, Google Calendar, Google Drive, and more services
  • Browse decisions, questions, tasks, and more with one click as ChatGrape analyzes your conversations and labels critical information in real time
  • 256-bit SSL protocol, automatic backups, and OTR in the making

Cost:

  • FREE during the Early Access Phases – contact for more information
  • Starter: $10/month (or $5/month for a half-year commitment if you sign up before Sept. 1, 2014) – 10 service integrations, 500,000 messages, max. 24 hour mail response time
  • Gold: $20/month (or $10/month for a half-year commitment if you sign up before Sept. 1, 2014) – unlimited service integrations, unlimited message history, max. 12 hour mail response time
  • Big Business: Contact for a quote (huge price reductions on all deals before Sept. 1, 2014)- custom service integrations, max. 6 hour mail response time, personal support

14. Drum
@thisisdrum

Drum

Sometimes, you just need to talk to your freelancers and contract hires, and it’s difficult to find a tool that allows for an actual conversation with voices instead of virtual chatting. Drum combines voice delivery with the web, to give you an easy and effective way of doing business.

Key Features:

  • Meet and collaborate with team members regardless of their location
  • Create meetings, share documents, take notes, assign tasks, keep all meetings in one central location
  • Meeting management features allow every web meeting to be focused and productive
  • An enterprise web conferencing service that’s highly reliable and proven in carrier networks
  • High-quality document sharing and live chat functions
  • Option to become a web meeting service provider

Cost: FREE Drum beta trial, under condition of giving feedback on your Drum meeting experience

15. Docs9

Docs9

Keep up to date with all of your freelance and contract hires’ projects with Docs9, by uploading and sharing online, interactive presentations. With its features that allow for interactive sharing and online collaboration, Docs9 is the solution your organization has been seeking.

Key Features:

  • Live audio conferencing
  • Completely interactive: discussions, sharing, brainstorming, and more happen all within your browser
  • No attachments, desktop sharing, or installation required
  • Easy access: view a browser on any device, including Desktop PC, Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Tablet, Android device
  • Handles Microsoft Office, Apache OpenOffice, and Google Docs and allows you to upload or choose an online document so you are ready to present

Cost:

  • FREE – presentations only, up to 5 participants, upload up to 25 MB size files, unlimited/secure presentations, limited-time offer of live audio conferencing, no storage, generated material removed after 24 hours
  • Personal: $0.99/month – presentations, documents, spreadsheets, up to 10 participants, upload up to 50 MB size files, live video conferencing, plus all FREE features
  • Enterprise: $9.99/month – all Personal Features, plus projects, diagrams, up to 50 participants, upload up to 100 MB size files, unlimited, secure presentations $0.99/session every hour, $0.99/participant every hour, 10 GB storage, separate console to manage generated materials

16. Microsoft SharePoint
@SharePoint

SharePoint

Microsoft SharePoint allows its users to connect with employees across the organization. Share, organize, discover, build, and manage with SharePoint so that your freelance and contract hires are just as in the loop as your on-site, regular employees.

Key Features:

  • Share with OneDrive for Business, one place to store all documents and collaborate in real time, social feeds, groups and communities, and mobile devices
  • Organize with a single location for content, task management for personal and team tasks that integrates with Outlook and Project, and a site mailbox to manage email and documents in a single place
  • Discover with SharePoint’s Bing-like search, personalized results, connections with experts, data from multiple sources using PowerPivot, and dashboards and interactive reports using Power View
  • Build with apps you can download and customize to extend your SharePoint sites, websites you can design and publish with familiar tools, and adaptive site experiences for every visitor to your website
  • Manage with a multi-step up grade process, optimized performance, and a single place to perform eDiscovery

Cost:

  • FREE SharePoint Server 180 Day Evaluation Period
  • SharePoint Online Plan 1: $3/user/month – make the power of the cloud work for your business
  • SharePoint Online Plan 2: $7/user/month – Plan 1 Features, plus e-discovery, business intelligence
  • Contact for plan options that include other Microsoft products, including OneDrive for Business with Office Online or Office 365

17. Helleo
@Helleo_Official

Helleo

For teams who need highly frequent communication, Helleo offers a solution. And, sometimes, phone and video communication are not convenient enough for communicating with multiple team members at a time; Helleo provides the solution for highly frequent meetings.

Key Features:

  • See when a team member is present or away, as each person is shown as a real-time, blurry video bubble
  • Push or click bubbles to talk, eliminating the need for calls, ringtones, and waiting
  • A much more natural and intuitive way to communicate; with a quick glance, know who is communicating and join a conversation without asking permission first
  • Stay focused on work while communicating with a Google Chrome extension
  • Based on the WebRTC technology initiated by Google, so it works in the latest Chrome browser and soon in Firefox and Opera: Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android platforms are supported

Cost:

  • FREE for personal use – use Helleo with your friends and family and have access to all features with a free team
  • Helleo Pro: 9 €/month or 99 €/year – offer Helleo to your professional team, all features, private team with authentication required, and priority support by email
  • Helleo OnPremise: Contact for a quote – a dedicated Helleo server on your company network, all features, secured team with authentication required, and support by phone and email

18. Teamgum
@TeamgumHQ

Teamgum

No matter the work your freelance and contract hires do for your organization, Teamgum allows you all to share anything on the web with one another. Because Teamgum is on the web, team members can add a free extension to Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari to communicate quickly and easily with one another.

Key Features:

  • Share articles, discoveries and research, inspirations, images, and videos
  • Sidebar allows you to share and view feeds on the same page, so you don’t have to switch tabs anymore
  • On-page collaboration results in more effective discussion and results
  • Integrate with social networks and bookmarking tools

Cost:

  • FREE – unlimited gums for up to 10 members
  • $30/month – 10 members
  • $90/month – 30 members
  • $250/month – 50 members
  • Contact for more than 50 members

19. Twoodo
@Twoodo

Twoodo

Twoodo is a simple teamwork and organizational tool that allows you to think and organize using #hashtags and @mentions. An all-in-one solution for organizing teams, Twoodo will help your freelance and contract hires engage in more meaningful conversations with their team members.

Key Features:

  • Discuss, organize, and execute
  • Clearer communication (discuss, organize, execute)
  • Self-organized messages (organize as you type)
  • Generate to-do lists, organized notes, votes, and more directly from team conversations
  • Share and track team progress

Cost:

  • FREE for beta users – create an account and get started

20. Kanban Tool
@kanbantool

kanban-board-online

 

One of the challenges of working with freelance and contract hires is visualizing projects. With Kanban, a visual project management tool, you can feel better about your teams’ performance through Kanban’s board for business with “seamless time tracking.”

Key Features:

  • Online Kanban Boards offer real-time visibility to see what people are working on
  • Insightful analytics to ensure full project control
  • Visual project management to organize your work into projects and share and collaborate by inviting people and building project teams
  • Organize, share, and collaborate in real-time with online documents: link to Dropbox, Box, and OneDrive files or collaborate on Google Drive in real time
  • Time tracking provides seamless tracking and time reports

Cost: FREE 14 day trial

  • FREE – 2 boards, 2 users, no time tracking, and no attachments
  • Team: $5/user/month – unlimited boards, unlimited file attachments
  • Enterprise: $9/user/month – all Team features, plus time tracking and reporting
  • Kanban Tool On-site: Contact for a quote – Enterprise solution installed on your server, available for 15+ users, annual billing

21. Sqwiggle
@sqwiggle

Sqwiggle

If you are looking for the ability to collaborate as though you are in the same room with your freelance and contract hires, Sqwiggle is the solution for you. With Sqwiggle, you are “passively connected” to your team as it updates a still image of your everyone several times a minute, allowing you to see their faces and know they’re avabilable.

Key Features:

  • Foster a team environment with the fun and engagement that comes naturally from being able to see everyone
  • Instantly connect with one click to have instant video conversations
  • Work together all day without needing to call or accept invitations

Cost: FREE 14 day trail for teams of 3 or less

  • FREE for 3 users – small teams can use Sqwiggle as much as you’d like, for free
  • $9/user/month – intended for teams with 4-100 members
  • For more than 100 users, contact for a quote

22. Slack
@SlackHQ

Slack

Slack is a platform solution for team communication. Team members, including freelance and contract hires, have access to everything in one place, and it is instantly searchable, no matter where you go.

Key Features:

  • Integrates with dozens of external services, so chances are, Slack works with services already used by your team
  • Create open channels for projects, topics, and other things that your whole team shares
  • Search whole conversations, rather than individual messages, so you can find what you’re looking for
  • Support for both Apple & Google emoji styles
  • Configurable notifications for desktop, mobile push, and email to remain informed as you choose
  • Everything is in sync as you move between your desktop, iPhone, iPad, or Android device

Cost: FREE for as long as you want to use it, with an unlimited number of people

23. 15Five
@15Five

15Five

15Five aims to help people and organizations reach their highest potential, so they created Simple-Software-as-a-Service (S2aaS) to help teams overcome the challenges of communication. The premise behind 15Five is that employees spend 15 minutes per week writing a report that takes their manager no more than 5 minutes to read. 15Five transforms the reports into conversations so that managers are more able to get a handle on “important problems, insights, ideas, and success stories.”

Key Features:

  • Employees can contribute their thoughts, base on their skills, ability, and perspectives
  • Managers save time in gathering and ranking feedback from the team
  • Get a weekly snapshot of your team without any effort
  • Conversations allow people to stay in the loop and don’t get lost in email

Cost:

  • $49/month for first 10 people
  • $5/month for each additional person
  • Volume discounts are available – contact for a quote

24. Screenhero
@screenhero

Screenhero

For a truly collaborative experience, Screenhero features collaborative screen sharing, multiple mouse cursors, and voice chat. What better way to communicate with your freelance and contract hires than use a solution that puts everybody on the same page – literally.

Key Features:

  • Works with your favorite IDE, so remote pair programming and debugging are effortless
  • Present without sending files, and iterate on designs together
  • Point to elements with your own cursor
  • Eliminates the need for scheduling meetings; team members can jump in and jump out when needed
  • Edit video, browse the web, work in any application, and more – together

Cost: FREE 14 day trial

  • Standard: $9.99/user/month – up to 10 users, HD screen sharing, multiple mouse cursors, voice calls, centralized billing, share with guests for free
  • Team: Contact for a quote – up to 100 users, all Standard features, plus team provisioning
  • Enterprise: Contact for a quote – unlimited users, all Team features, plus premium support

25. ScheduleOnce
@ScheduleOnce

ScheduleOnce

ScheduleOnce is scheduling software for individuals, service businesses, product businesses, and educational institutions that aims to “provide powerful, easy to use and affordable.” With the personal booking page, you can accept appointments yourself, share your booking page link, and easily fill your calendar with one-on-one meetings and appointments. When working with freelance and contract hires, scheduling can be a nightmare, but ScheduleOnce is a perfect solution.

Key Features:

  • All bookings can be automatic or with approval
  • Offer multiple meeting types, services, and locations
  • Manage scheduling for others
  • Accept bookings for rooms and resources
  • Calendar, website, CRM, and web conferencing integration

Cost: FREE 14 day trial

  • Plus: $5/user/month – 1 booking page/user, Google Calendar integration, booking with approval, reminders & follow-up
  • Premium: $9/user/month – 1 booking page/user, all Plus features, plus Automatic booking
  • Professional: $19/user/month – 2 booking pages/user, all Premium features, plus Outlook Calendar integration, master booking pages, website integration, and more
  • Enterprise: $49/user/month – 3 booking pages/user, all Professional features, plus pooled availability and conditional booking
  • Save 17% with annual billing
  • Add more booking pages at $7/page/month

26. Glasscubes
@Glasscubes

Glasscubes

If your organization is looking for a way to gain visibility for team members, what better tool to use than Glasscubes? Glasscubes’ mission is to give individuals and groups who feel isolated a way to be visible in the organization, and a way for everyone to connect through their work.

Key Features:

  • Organize and view all content online in a file and folder structure you’re familiar with, and control document versions
  • Track tasks and priorities in a way that is visible to the entire team
  • Powerful enterprise search engine to search document titles and contents with advanced search commands to filter results
  • Customizable dashboard and branding to make Glasscubes your own
  • Free conference calling
  • Collaborate without needing email
  • Mobile friendly
  • Simple online CRM
  • Data is backed up instantly, and access to service uses a 2048 bit encryption to ensure security

Cost:

  • Account Fee: £10/account/month
  • User Subscription Fee: £3/subscription/month (includes 500 MB per user)
  • User Subscription Fee for accounts with over 100 users – contact for a quote
  • Additional storage – contact for a quote
  • Annual prepayment discount of 15%

27. Doodle
@doodletweet
Doodle

Trying to coordinate multiple busy schedules to find a mutually convenient time to meet can take longer than the meeting itself, but Doodle lets you schedule meetings two times faster. Doodle simplifies the art of scheduling meetings with a simple interface that syncs with your calendar to easily pinpoint available timeslots and avoid the hassle of scheduling and re-scheduling.

Key Features:

  • Connect and sync your primary calendar
  • MeetMe interface shows contacts when you’re available
  • Group event polls with no registration required
  • Easily create polls to obtain availability from teams
  • Send invitations and reminders

Cost:

  • FREE: 1 user – Easy scheduling only
  • Private: $39/year – 1 premium user included, includes calendar sync, invitations and reminders
  • Business: $69/year and up – Unlimited users (cost based on # of users) – Custom design and subdomain, user management

28. MeetingBurner
@meetingburner
MeetingBurner

Host meetings virtually with MeetingBurner, with up to 10 participants, absolutely free. No installation is required to use MeetingBurner’s full set of features, including instant screen sharing, cross-platform compatibility (Mac and PC), meeting recordings, automated reminders, and much more. When you need to quickly host a meeting with screen-sharing functionality to demonstrate processes or visually illustrate project plans with freelance and contract hires, MeetingBurner is an excellent tool for your arsenal.

Key Features: 

  • Meeting recordings
  • Full VoIP
  • Custom registration forms
  • Aweber and PayPal Paywall integration
  • Automated email reminders
  • Instantly change presenters
  • Instant screen sharing

Cost: 

  • FREE – Up to 10 participants
  • Pro: $39.95/month – Up to 50 participants
  • Premier: $99.95/month – Up to 1,000 participants

29. Mural.ly
@mural
Mural.ly

Mural is a powerful team collaboration tool creating vast digital walls for thinking, imagining, and discussing ideas with freelance hires and consultants, remote teams, or external stakeholders. With Murally, you can quickly get your ideas documented visually, and then enhance them with multimedia from around the web, all in a collaborative platform where teams can freely communicate, add, edit, and fine-tune creative processes.

Key Features:

  • Comments and live conversations
  • Collaborative, visual workspace
  • Voting to streamline decision-making
  • Sticky notes, images, links, and videos
  • Youtube, Vimeo, Slideshare, Evernote and Google Drive friendly
  • Zoom in or out
  • Tracks changes – know who did what and when

Cost:

  • Starter: $29/month – Up to 3 users
  • Garage: $99/month – Up to 7 users
  • Studio: $299/month – Up to 15 users
  • Business: $1,099/month – Up to 50 users

30. Dashcube
@dashcubeapp
Dashcube

All the notes and plans in the world mean next to nothing without context, and that’s exactly what Dashcube aims to provide. Not only can you collaborate with freelance hires and plan projects, but you can communicate about it in the same place.

Key Features:

  • Each task has its own activity stream
  • Nestable, custom kanban-style boards
  • Everyone sees the data they need, the way they need to see it
  • Project Replays summarize activities since your last visit

Cost:

  • Currently in FREE public Beta
  • On launch: $9/user/month
  • Annual discount: $99/user/year

31. Ginger
Ginger

Improve discussion, debate, and decision-making with Ginger, designed for teams to collaborate in meaningful ways across time zones and continents. Ginger acts as a virtual board room and water cooler in-one, enabling your team to communicate and collaborate when it’s convenient, with no instant messaging, emails, conference calls, and other interruptions that disrupt the workflow and jeopardize productivity.

Key Features:

  • Easy to follow threads
  • Brainstorm ideas and get feedback
  • Streamlined communication across time zones
  • Collaborate and communicate on your schedule
  • Avoid workflow disruptions
  • Fork discussions to deep-dive into single ideas
  • Voting mechanism for quickly gaining consensus
  • Give feedback with a single click
  • Choose who sees discussions by sharing with specific teams

Cost:

  • Personal: $19/month – 10 teammates, 5 teams, 5 GB storage
  • Pro: $29/month – 30 teammates, 15 teams, 2 GB storage
  • Business: $49/month – 60 teammates, 30 teams, 5 GB storage
  • Enterprise: $129/month – 150 teammates, 75 teams, 15 GB storage

32. Yammer
@Yammer
Yammer

A private social network for teams, Yammer is a platform for creating your own enterprise social network for communicating with remote team members, freelance hires, and consultants with ease. Collaborate across departments, business apps, and locations, with individual profiles, the ability to create groups for project-based collaboration, and always up-to-date announcements and information to keep your freelance hires and in-house staff in the know, no matter where they’re located.

Key Features:

  • Create groups for team collaboration
  • Discover and join existing groups within your organization
  • Invite team members
  • Individual profiles with photos, expertise, and contact info
  • Communicate publicly and privately
  • Share files, take notes, and make content social
  • Personal inbox keeps each team member updated with relevant info

Cost:

  • Yammer Enterprise Standalone: $3/user/month
  • Office 365 For Business: Starts at $8/user/month
  • Office 365 For Education: Free and paid plans available – Contact for a quote

33. Chatter
@chatter
Chatter

Chatter, an enterprise social network for team collaboration, is built on the Salesforce1 Platform. With Chatter, you can access any app straight from a social feed, create custom actions, and deploy instantly to every team member. A central feed keeps your need-to-know information streamlined in a single location so you can easily collaborate on everything from marketing initiatives to budget planning.

Key Features: 

  • Keep up with projects, topics and teams
  • Central news feed for easy access to important details
  • Create instantly-mobile actions
  • Generate expense reports, support cases, orders, and more
  • Customize actions for your company’s needs
  • Integrate third-party apps
  • Secure, mobile file-sharing
  • Recommends relevant people, files, and information to follow
  • Search and track topics to find information and identify experts

Cost: 

  • Chatter Basic: FREE – With purchase of one CRM license
  • Chatter Plus: $15/user/app/month – Includes custom actions, third-party integrations, dashboards, reports, calendar, events, and more

34. Redbooth (formerly Teambox)
@RedboothHQ
Redbooth

A project management and collaboration platform, Redbooth is a useful tool for communicating with freelance hires and coordinating projects. Task creation, management, and reporting is combined with file-sharing and project-based discussions organized within the context of actual projects, so you can access the relevant feedback and information you need when you need it.

Key Features: 

  • HD video conferencing
  • Discussions organized by project
  • Easily convert discussions to tasks
  • Create and respond to discussions and tasks via email
  • Workload view to monitor overall progress
  • Streamlined Gantt charting
  • Milestone calendar
  • Integrates with Dropbox, Box, Google Drive for file sharing

Cost: 

  • Starter: $49/month – Up to 10 users
  • Pro: $99/month – Up to 20 users
  • Plus: $149/month – Up to 30 users
  • Enterprise: $199/month – Up to 50 users
  • Elite: Contact for a quote – 51+ users
  • On-Premise: Contact for a quote

35. Skitch 
@skitch
skitch

A picture is worth 1,000 words, and communication with freelance and contract hires, remote team members, and external stakeholders is no exception. With Evernote’s Skitch, you can take photos, annotate and mark them up, draw quick sketches, add shapes, arrows, and other elements, and much more to provide a visual illustration of essential concepts and enhance communications with your team. It’s a simple, easy-to-use and intuitive tool that’s free to use.

Key Features: 

  • Desktop, tablet, and phone compatible
  • Add shapes, arrows, and other elements
  • Draw quick sketches
  • Take or add photos or images
  • Annotate and markup

Cost: FREE

36. Jing
@JingTips
Jing

Capture simple video, animations, and images for sharing on the web with Jing. It’s a simple app for quickly taking screenshots and sharing them with team members in the field or located remotely. And, you can mark up screenshots and other images with arrows, text boxes, highlighting, and captions to further enhance your message and upload to Screencast.com for sharing via email, IM, social media, and more. Need to take a quick screencast to demonstrate a process to a freelance hire? Jing is your tool.

Key Features: 

  • Screen capture and recording
  • Share via email, IM, social media, and more
  • Markup options including highlighting, text boxes, captioning, and more
  • Capture simple mouse movements or fully narrated tutorials
  • Screen recordings limited to five minutes

Cost: FREE

37. Blackboard Collaborate
@Blackboard
Blackboard

Create virtual classrooms, offices, and meeting spaces with Blackboard Collaborate, a versatile and comprehensive platform to streamline the onboarding process for freelance and contract hires, remote team members, and more. Web conferencing, instant messaging, voice authoring, and more, are all rolled into a streamlined platform as the answer to all your team collaboration needs.

Key Features: 

  • Ideal for learning and training needs
  • Web conferencing
  • Instant messaging
  • Voice authoring
  • Mobile collaboration
  • Interactive whiteboards
  • Application sharing
  • Breakout rooms
  • Powerful moderator tools

Cost: Contact for a quote

 38. Adobe Connect
@AdobeConnect
Adobe

A web conferencing platform for everything from virtual meetings to webinars and e-learning applications, Adobe Connect is a powerful collaboration tool for engaging in mobile-to-mobile communication. Hold meetings seamlessly with freelance and contract hires, with no desktop client downloads or other hassles getting in the way.

Key Features: 

  • Interactive, customizable, indexed recordings
  • Customized URL that’s always on for an always-available virtual meeting space
  • Host, present, and collaborate anytime, anywhere, from any device
  • No desktop client downloads for easy meeting access
  • Integrates with your existing systems

Cost: 

  • Pay-Per-Use Plan: $0.32/minute/user
  • Annual Plan: $45/month/host
  • Monthly Plan: $55/month/host

39. AnyMeeting
@AnyMeeting
anymeeting

AnyMeeting is a web-conferencing platform designed for small business, with video and audio conferencing, screen-sharing, chat, Facebook and Twitter integration, and more. If you’re looking for an affordable, yet feature-rich platform to hold meetings with freelance and contract hires, AnyMeeting is a comprehensive conferencing tool at a reasonable cost.

Key Features: 

  • Record your meetings
  • Custom meeting branding
  • Built-in conference calling
  • Play YouTube videos
  • Share PowerPoint presentations
  • Twitter and Facebook integration
  • Personal meeting URL
  • Mobile-friendly

Cost: 

  • FREE: Ad-supported – Up to 200 attendees
  • Pro 25: $18/month ($180/year) – Up to 25 attendees
  • Pro 200: $78/month ($780/year) – Up to 200 attendees

40. iMeet
@PGi
imeet

PGi’s iMeet will “change the way you think about web conferencing,” by letting you connect, communicate, and collaborate in a more engaging way with HD video chatting with up to 15 people. For quick communications with freelance and contract hires, iMeet provides a more personal level of interaction that nearly mimics the experience of talking face-to-face.

Key Features: 

  • HD video chat with up to 15 people
  • Consistent experience across all types of devices
  • Unique meeting URL with custom design
  • Social integration to learn more about other meeting attendees
  • Intuitive interface makes scheduling, hosting, and attending meetings easy
  • Schedule meetings straight from Outlook
  • PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad and Android apps
  • Single-click meeting start
  • Browser-based; no downloads necessary

Cost: 

  • Try it free for 30 days
  • Paid plans start at $9/month

41. Speek
@SpeekApp
speek

Hold better conference calls and virtual meetings with Speek. Get a free, personalized Speek link, and you’re on your way to hassle-free meetings. Easily see who has joined, who’s currently in the meeting, share files, chat during calls, and go back through it all with a full, recorded history so you’ll never miss a thing.

Key Features: 

  • See who’s joined and who’s on
  • Add, mute, and remove participants
  • Share files
  • Access complete call history, including dates of calls, participants, files shared, and more
  • Chat or take notes during calls
  • No dial-in numbers or PINs
  • No downloads required to participate
  • Your personal line is always open

Cost:

  • Basic: FREE – Up to 5 participants, unlimited calls
  • Pro Plus: $19/month – Up to 100 participants, file sharing, call recording
  • Business: $19/user/month and up – Custom branded interface, custom URL

42. Jabber
@CiscoJabberPtnr
jabber

Enable your freelance and contract hires to maintain their productivity anytime, anywhere, from any device with Jabber. Instant messaging, voice, video, voice messaging, desktop sharing, and conferencing are all at your fingertips for easy collaboration in the field or from office-to-office.

Key Features: 

  • Real-time presence information and instant messaging
  • View availability; chat with individuals or groups
  • HD video and desktop sharing capabilities
  • Powered by Cisco Unified Communications Manager call-control
  • Join telepresence meetings from any device, any location
  • Consistent mobile-to-desktop experience

Cost: Contact for a quote

43. Join.me
@joinme
joinme

Instant screen sharing with powerful meeting tools is at your fingertips with Join.me. Designed to make it easy to start, join, and manage meetings, Join.me is a simplified collaboration tool ideal for communicating with freelance and contract hires locally and across the globe with ease.

Key Features: 

  • Unlimited audio
  • Record meetings
  • One-click scheduling with Outlook plugin
  • Android and iOS compatibility
  • Host meetings from your iPad
  • Hold audio-only conferences from mobile phones
  • Up to 250 participants

Cost: 

  • Basic: FREE – Up to 10 participants
  • Pro: $149/year – Up to 250 participants
  • Enterprise: $19/month – Advanced meeting management

44. IBM Sametime
@IBMSametime
IBM

Integrated voice, data, and video communications put all the collaboration tools you need in a single platform. IBM Sametime lets you integrate communications into your business environment to put communications in context and boost productivity. Know who’s available, when, and communicate using any device, from any location.

Key Features: 

  • Online presence indicators
  • Connect from anywhere, any device
  • Voice and video integration
  • Simple user interface
  • HD audio and video
  • File sharing

Cost: 

  • IBM Sametime Complete Authorized User License + SW Subscription & Support 12 Months: $124
  • IBM Sametime Complete Authorized User for zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension License + SW Subscription & Support 12 Months: $124
  • IBM Sametime Communicate Authorized User License + SW Subscription & Support 12 Months: $61.75
  • IBM Sametime Communicate Authorized User for zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension License + SW Subscription & Support 12 Months: $61.75
  • IBM Sametime Conference Authorized User License + SW Subscription & Support 12 Months: $82.50
  • IBM Sametime Conference Authorized User for zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension License + SW Subscription & Support 12 Months: $82.50

 45. Conceptboard
@ConceptboardApp
conceptboard

Faster iterations are a reality with in-context feedback and visual collaboration tools from Conceptboard. No software to download or install; you can access it straight from your browser and easily communicate on design and other visual project with freelancers and contract workers as though you’re in the same room.

Key Features: 

  • Feedback and whiteboard tools
  • No software to download or install
  • Chat and video communication
  • Keep a record of ideas and discussions
  • Communicate visually and in-context
  • Mention @teammates and assign tasks

Cost: 

  • Basic: FREE – Up to 50 sqm storage
  • Team: $8/user/month – Minimum 3 users
  • Enterprise: $49/user/month – Minimum 10 users

46. ScribLink
scriblink

A free whiteboard for online, visual collaboration in real-time, ScribLink takes the guesswork out of virtual brainstorming. Simply start scribbling, invite others via email or a URL, and visually brainstorm or plan in real-time with up to six people.

Key Features: 

  • Share via email or URL
  • Up to 6 users per board
  • Share completed whiteboards as a file
  • Encrypted with a digital signature for privacy
  • Chatbox and advanced editing tools
  • Upload images

Cost: FREE

47. Scribblar
@scribblar
scribblar

An online whiteboard for real-time visual communication, coupled with real-time audio, document upload, chatting in-context, and more, Scribblar is the perfect tool for pairing visual and voice, chat, or audio communication so you can see and demonstrate what you’re discussing in real-time.

Key Features: 

  • Ideal for online tutoring or on-boarding
  • Multi-user, real-time whiteboard
  • Upload documents and images
  • Text chat with user list
  • Unlimited sessions
  • Live audio

Cost: 

  • Basic: $9/month – 3 users/room
  • Starter: $14/month – 9 users/room
  • Standard: $24/month – 10 users/room
  • Premium: $39/month – 50 users/room

48. Jive
@JiveSoftware
Jive

A leading provider of modern communication and collaboration software for today’s businesses, Jive is a comprehensive solution for communicating with contractors and freelance hires, as well as coordinating the efforts of distributed and remote teams. With a next-generation portal to completely streamline and centralize your communications, you can enhance team productivity like never before.

Key Features: 

  • Company news, up-to-date content, and more in one place
  • Stay in touch via desktop or mobile
  • Liberated, top-down and bottom-up communication
  • Ask questions, give feedback, and translate ideas to action
  • Reinvented employee directory
  • Get instant feedback on actual reach of your messaging
  • Portal for every department
  • Tons of integrations and add-ons

Cost: $12/user/month (Minimum $300/month)

49. TimeBridge
@TimeBridge
TimeBridge

Stop playing schedule tag and coordinate meetings with ease, no matter where your remote team members are located. A single email is all it takes to pinpoint the most opportune time to hold a meeting, and automated email and SMS reminders ensure that everyone arrives on-time so you can get down to business. Then, you can make sure you stay on-target and don’t waste time by measuring your progress against your pre-planned agenda.

Key Features: 

  • Meeting countdown with automated email and SMS reminders
  • One email finds the best time to meet
  • Propose up to 5 meeting times with each invitation
  • Centralize documents, ideas, and details in a single Meeting Room
  • Share meeting agendas and monitor meeting progress against agendas to stay on-task
  • MeetWithMe pages show your availability

Cost: FREE

50.  Wrike
@Wrike
wrike

A real-time workspace that allows you and your team to focus on getting things done, Wrike is a simple, yet powerful collaboration and project planning tool. Get one clear, simplified view of projects and progress, manage resources and project timelines centrally to keep everyone on the same page, and much more with Wrike.

Key Features: 

  • Create tasks, attach files, and set due dates
  • Mention @teammates to start discussions and assign tasks
  • Integrates with Excel, Word, Google Drive, and more
  • Turn emails into tasks with a single click

Cost: 

  • FREE: Up to 5 users – 2 GB storage
  • Professional: $49/month – 5 users – 5 GB storage
  • Professional: $99/month – 15 users – 15 GB storage
  • Enterprise: Contact for a quote – Up to thousands of users

51. Meetin.gs
@meetin_gs
meetings

Meetings aren’t just about having discussions, but about taking what was discussed and translating those ideas into action. But it’s easy to forget specifics and tasks just minutes after ending a conference. Enter Meetin.gs, which not only simplifies scheduling meetings in the first place, but offers tools to ensure that everyone is on the same page before, during, and after meetings.

Key Features: 

  • Integrate your calendar and configure availability
  • Let others schedule meetings with you
  • Respond to requests and get notifications on your mobile device
  • Integrate your calendar and contacts
  • Skype conference calls, Google Hangouts and more
  • Track and manage meetings on a timeline
  • Collaborate on agendas and action points
  • Upload, view, and comment on meeting materials

Cost: 

  • 30-day free trial
  • Pro: $12/month/organizer
  • Pro – Yearly: $129/year/organizer

Zintro has experts in every industry sector, across every job function, in every geographic region. Recently, some of the following topics have seen inquiry activity:

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