Everyone has their personal preferences when it comes to mobile devices, laptops, desktops, and operating systems, which can sometimes make it complicated to keep teams connected.
Your teammates should be able to work on whichever device they feel suits their work style, so it’s up to you to find team communication apps and productivity apps that work on all the different devices and operating systems that your team uses. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there to keep your team connected across devices — from email and chat apps to project management software and file-sharing platforms.
Below, you’ll find some of the best free email clients for all OS, as well as other apps and tools to help keep your team connected and collaborating efficiently, no matter what devices they are using.
3 Ways To Keep Your Team Connected on Different Devices for Free (or Cheap)
Have you ever wished reading and responding to emails was more like using an instant messaging platform? In comes Spike, the conversational email app that lets you turn email threads into real-time chat conversations.
Why is this so great for staying connected with your team, you ask? Take a second to think about your inbox (or multiple inboxes). It’s full of old emails, and unimportant emails, not to mention each email thread can get long and repetitive with all the back and forth. In other words, your inbox is cluttered. Spike helps eliminate this clutter, so you and your team can focus on what’s most important. The app’s priority inbox feature filters out unimportant stuff like newsletters and promotions, and your long threads look like a chat window that only shows the new content of each message (i.e., no repeating subject lines or content).
Not only that, but Spike turns your inboxes into a centralized workspace. You can create collaborative notes, to-do lists, tasks, and groups so your team stays more connected and works more efficiently together. Spike also has built-in voice messages and video conferencing for when text-based chat isn’t enough. Spike is available for all major operating systems and devices, so there are no limitations to who can use it. It’s free to create a personal account and costs as little as $7 a month for five or more business accounts. Enterprise plans are also available for extensive teams.
Google apps are some of the most accessible and easy to use for teams that use different devices. It’s totally free to create a personal Gmail account, and business plans can go as low as $6 per month per user.
What’s so great about Google? Well, Gmail is just a clean, intuitive email client that anyone can pick up right away. It might not offer as many options for customization as some other third-party email clients, but it certainly gets the job done. But the best thing about using Google’s apps to keep your team connected on different devices is the access you get to Google Workspace. Google Workspace is basically the equivalent of Microsoft Office but totally based in the cloud.
Teams can collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more. And, if you’re already familiar with programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, it’s an absolute breeze to use their Google counterparts.
As of 2021, Microsoft Teams is now available for Windows, macOS, and Linux users. It’s also available for all the mobile equivalents of these operating systems. Microsoft Teams is a workplace chat app that also offers video/audio conferencing, file sharing, screen sharing, and lots of other useful features for keeping teams connected across devices.
Large organizations with very segmented teams will find Microsoft Teams particularly useful because of the ability to break teams down in the same way an organizational chart does. You can also include people from outside your organization, which is great if you want to communicate with high-value clients or vendors easily.
Microsoft offers a free version of Teams for those who want to get started quickly, and the basic business plan costs just $5 a month for each user. If you choose the standard business plan, which costs $12.50 per user per month, you also get access to the entire Microsoft Office Suite of programs.
Teams used to have to choose between Mac and PC or iPhones and Androids, but that’s no longer the case. So many apps are cross-compatible that everyone on your team can use the device of their choice and still stay fully connected.
There are way more cross-compatible platforms out there than we’ve covered in this article. Still, the three cross-compatible tools mentioned above are a great place to start when looking for ways to keep your team collaborating from different devices.