Over a quarter of America’s workforce is now able to work remotely and recent studies are showing that this has resulted in an increase in productivity. This has only been possible because of the creation of remote work tools that allow for real-time collaboration between colleagues. Visual collaboration tools are a kind of online canvas, to which all team members can contribute. They allow tasks to be completed both remotely and collaboratively so that everyone can see, comment on, and contribute to the final result.

If you’re looking to improve the smoothness of collaboration within your remote team, then here are eight of our favorite visual collaboration tools.

Whimsical

With a tagline of “where great ideas take shape”, it’s clear why Whimsical exists. It’s designed as a place to brainstorm and develop ideas. It’s an intuitive tool to use and visually exciting, utilizing flowcharts, mindmaps, and more. Anyone in a team can create or contribute to a brainstorming chart and Whimsical makes it easy to do so.

This particular visual collaboration tool boasts a series of high-level users, including companies like Deliveroo, Freelancer, and Webflow. It’s quickly becoming a favorite among fans of remote work. There’s a free starter edition that’s suitable for most remote workers but you can upgrade to a Pro or Organization account to access more features. Most crucially, these paid accounts allow larger teams to use the software.

Tweakr

This particular remote work tool is all about generating visual feedback. That means that whenever you work on a new project, other team members can leave comments and suggest potential improvements. Tweakr is particularly popular among design teams who need to be able to suggest changes visually, rather than through words.

Tweakr’s clever ad uses Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam painting to explain the concept. If you just asked the artist to “change the finger”, there would be constant back and forth messaging to clear up the confusion. On Tweakr, users can visually highlight exactly what needs changing. It’s a simple but effective file-sharing platform.

Figma

Figma is a fantastic collaboration tool for remote teams when it comes to building digital products. It allows designers, developers, and other team members to edit, comment, and review designs and code together. Our team uses Figma for web and app design, as it makes things really easy for stakeholders to quickly weigh in on design iterations. It was incredibly helpful during our recent UI/UX revamp, which was a big project and required buy-in from the whole team.

Heurio

If you’re a website designer, then Heurio might be the right tool for you. It can be difficult to design websites remotely, with collaborators struggling to communicate their vision effectively. Heurio makes this easier, claiming to speed up the website review process by ten times. Simple notes can be dotted around a website to show specifically which element the comment is referring to.

There’s a free version of this product if you just want to try it out. This version limits how many projects you can work on but gives you a feel for how it works. There are also paid versions for professionals and organizations but you’ll need to contact the company to find out how much these will set you back. Overall, users seem to agree that Heurio is a real time-saver when it comes to building websites.

TeamSuccess

The name speaks for itself but TeamSuccess is a platform designed to help remote teams achieve their goals. It’s a highly flexible piece of software that revolves around the uniqueness of different teams and their projects. It gives you full control over your projects and attempts to make collaboration as seamless as possible.

The mission behind TeamSuccess is to help teams spot their problems and achieve continual improvement. By using it, you’ll define your team’s values and purpose, empower members, track performance, reward successes, build morale, and foster better communication. It’s an all-in-one tool for clarifying the goals of your team and helping everyone work together to perform as a unified entity.

Klaxoon

Hybrid working means conducting workshops both in-person and online. Klaxoon is a platform that helps organize the latter. It’s a way to build training exercises that employees can attend to build skills from programming to HR. The software provides templates, ideas boards, editing studios, and even customized branding.

It’s important to note that all these features aren’t available for all customers. You have to choose a package that suits your needs as a remote company. There’s a free version for testing out the software but you can move onto premium options called Workshop Lite, Workshop Suite, and Enterprise. The Enterprise option is the most exclusive and you’ll need to contact the company directly to discuss your aims before they offer a price for this service. 

Canvanizer

This tool was designed for entrepreneurs looking to create a business model. It helps you present it in a visual format, which helps investors and potential partners understand it better. That’s also a good way to spot gaps and make sure you’ve got all the bases covered. Canvanizer is essentially a blank canvas onto which you can brainstorm your business ideas.

As with all visual communication tools, this canvas is seamlessly shared across the team. That allows everyone to add their own ideas and develop them as a team. Once finished, these canvases can then be exported in a read-only format for the public to view. This is a beautiful collaboration tool and best of all, it’s completely free.

Bubbles

Have you ever tried to present an idea via a video call by sharing your screen? This can cause problems because people don’t always know where to look while you’re talking. Bubbles is a simple tool that allows you to drop a bubble in the relevant place and leave a text or audio comment. Anyone can leave a comment if they’re confused about anything.

Once you’re done recording your screen and adding the bubbles, you’ll get a secret link to share with your team. That allows team members to watch the presentation in their own time without having to make an account or log in. Bubbles is a remote-first company itself and the developers of this product understand the problems remote teams face. This tool is an attempt to find simple and effective solutions.

Visual collaboration tools can help to improve the efficiency with which your remote teams plan and execute products. This can lead to better results and a greater sense of belonging among team members. There are many out there but the eight visual collaboration tools listed above cover a broad range of options. Give some of them a go and see whether it enhances the level of teamwork within your remote workforce.


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Author

Born in Oxford, UK, Thom has been a digital nomad since graduating from the University of Sheffield in 2016. He’s a freelance writer and founder of Thom Brown Travel. Thom specializes in minimalist, ethical, and meaningful travel writing.

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