productivity, online collaboration, team management, project management, free tools

Chapter 7: Free Productivity, Online Collaboration, Team & Project Management Tools


With so many tasks on hand, building your brand and marketplace can seem daunting. The key here is project management. List all the tasks, prioritize and organize them, then put them in a timeline so you can see exactly when you need to work on each objective. And in case you get too caught up in one specific task and need to go back and look at the big picture and works that are in the pipeline, there are tools that can help keep you on track.

There are also free tools that can help you focus on your tasks on a day-to-day basis. When distractions abound, you find that you may need a combination of different tools, or perhaps just one to help your mind visualize the overall strategy of your business or marketplace.

Project Management


Trello enables you to divide projects up by tasks and organize them by month or any way you like. You add and edit cards by adding photos, descriptions, labels, checklists, and more. Boards and cards can be shared in real-time with people on your team. It also has a progress meter to help you keep track of how much has been completed. Use the colored labels to indicate priority or type of task.

Trello is free for unlimited projects and users. Similar free apps include Podio and Asana.

Photo credit: Trello.

Realtime Board

From managing your daily tasks to collaborating with clients and colleagues, Realtime Board has different templates for you to choose from, including one that looks like a board of Post-it notes. Its intuitive design allows you to create mockup, schemes, or just even jot down ideas and feedback and turn all that into a presentation. Realtime Board is integrated with Slack, Dropbox, Office365, and Google Drive.

This tool is free for up to 3 team members.

Photo credit: Realtime Board.

Collaboration Tools

Google Drive

If you’re not already aware of Google’s Microsoft Office-like array of tools, Google Drive, you’re missing out. This cloud-based storage app comes with Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides, which makes it easy for your team to share and edit files. It even comes with a built-in chat and comment system.

Drive offers up to 15GB free online storage and is compatible with many file types.


A favorite for cloud storage, Dropbox allows you to upload any kind of file directly to its website or through its desktop app. The desktop app allows you to easily move files from your computer to the cloud and vice versa  as they are automatically synced across your team’s Dropbox.

You get 2GB free storage when you sign up and another 250MB when you complete the tutorial. There are other ways you can get up to 16GB free storage, such as referring your friends.

Communication Tools


If you hate long email chains, Slack is for you. Slack works like a chat or real-time message board that can be divided by teams, tasks, locations, or whatever you need. Your team members can have a transparent view of all the open channels, direct message each other, and even do a private or group call. Files can be shared on the channels and all the conversations are searchable. Another upside of using Slack is that it allows you to integrate notifications from other apps and tools so the team can respond to it promptly.

Slack on mobile. Photo credit: Mobile Marketing Magazine.


Skype allows you to make free audio and video calls and share screens while you’re at it. If you’re working with team members who work remotely, you can create a group call or chat. Google Hangouts is similar to Skype but requires you to use or create a Google account to participate.

Personal Reminders

Google Keep

Initially developed as a note-taking service, Google Keep is available on web and mobile app. It allows you to upload photos, make checklists, upload audio, and set reminders. Notes can be pinned, color-coded and labeled and also shared with others, just like Google Docs. Keep is great for making to-do lists and reminding your team members of the tasks at hand.

Photo credit: Google Keep.


Taco enables you to see your tasks from over 40 different applications on a single screen. The apps include Asana, Basecamp, Evernote, Todoist, Zendesk, Gmail, RSS, and Trello, showing you a comprehensive to-do list. This app is especially useful if you’ve had to go to different channels to look at the week’s tasks.

Photo credit: TacoApp.