Six (free) tools for your next team project that make collaboration a breeze
With the trend towards team projects across time zones and continents, the need to collaborate is becoming an absolute necessity. Luckily for us there are some great cloud-based tools services to make collaborating as easy and tension-free as possible!
Here is a curated list of my six favorite tools as a student and web developer:
Trello - Organize your projects on a digital board
This nifty SaaS allows you to structure your project on a flexible Kanban Board, allowing you to group tasks in columns (“To do”, “Doing”, “Done”, etc.). Highlight tasks in different colors and assign them to your team mates. Invite others to your team’s board, discuss tasks via comments or use Power-Ups to integrate other cloud services directly into your board.
Slack - Your Hub for communication and memes
At this point Slack doesn’t need any more introductions. Organize your teams communication via channels, share files and connect other cloud services. With Microsoft Teams catching up in terms of features thats’s another option to consider (especially for a deep integration of Office products). Both products are available for free.
MindMeister - Capture and share ideas with your team
While it’s perfectly fine to scribble down a quick mind map on paper, there quickly comes the point where you want to make it digital and share it with your team. This is exactly where MindMeister comes in, allowing you to smoothly capture your ideas in a clean and structured way. Collaborate in your browser or on mobile and use the presentation mode to present your findings! Free users can create up to three mind maps and collaborate with their team. Students receive a heavily discounted pro licence.
Lucidchart - Diagrams Diagrams Diagrams
Downloading some ancient desktop program just to create some basic UML diagram is a thing of the past now. With LucidChart you can create every diagram type imaginable within your browser and share them with your team to collaborate. Free users get access to all templates yet can only have a limited amount of diagrams stored at once. Students with an educational email address receive free Educational accounts (equivalent of Pro features).
Figma - Design and prototype collaboratively
With both Invision and Adobe offering free plans for their design tools Invision Studio and Adobe Xd, the market for design software became highly competitive over the years. With Figma, there exists a tool especially focused on the collaborative aspect of design: offering both desktop and browser-based versions, Figma excels at enabling team members to modify, review and comment designs in real-time. Free users can create up to three projects with two editors and unlimited cloud storage. Figma is completely free for students aged 13+.
Jitsi - Multi-platform video conferencing
With skype getting dying a slow and painful death, the video conferencing market has been changing a lot over the years. With jitsi there is a free and open-source platform for video calls. Try it without an account simply by sharing a meet.jit.si link!
Bonus - Tools that didn’t make it into the article
Ever felt the need to quickly paste snippets, code or notes somewhere so that someone could easily access them? Check out GitHub Gists!
Want to put together a quick diagram? Check out draw.io for as a quick and simple LucidChart alternative.
Need an online editor to rapidly test or demo a simple web application? Check out CodeSandbox, share sample applications or even embed them in your own site.
Essential for student developers: Go grab the GitHub Student Developer Pack for tons of other goodies.