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7 Best Team Chat Apps to Improve Internal Communication

The Flow TeamLast Updated: January 21, 2021

Team collaboration requires that the entire group is able to easily and effectively communicate through flexible means. Whether it’s through chat, shared calendars, emails, or video calls, information needs to reliably reach the right people. If your team is having problems exchanging information in any way, your project will suffer enormous setbacks. A team chat app, in particular, can empower your entire group, facilitate the free flow of ideas, and ultimately keep everyone in the loop and on track.

Whether large or small, all businesses have different and unique requirements. For project management applications, there may also be a demand for specific project management tools, to-do lists, and other integrations that basic chat apps simply can not provide. Although chat apps continue to evolve as a means for instant communication among project management teams, when the app is not integrated properly into the system you are working on, it can be time-consuming and frustrating to go back and forth between multiple programs.

When introducing chat as a part of daily project management, eliminating the frustration of using multiple tools and switching from one app to another will be the first step to an efficient solution. Let’s evaluate the best team chat apps for simplifying project management and improving internal communication among project teams.  

Evaluating Team Chat Apps for Internal Communication

Some chat apps are used for nothing more than basic communication. Others offer integration to enable collaboration with team members and project status updates. 

There are also more powerful chat apps that are part of a robust internal communication hub. A centralized dashboard offers multiple methods of communication while keeping various tools all in one place.

From more flexible industry options like Slack, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Teams to simpler chat apps like Discord, Glip, and Zoho Cliq, and even to a feature-rich project and chat app solution like Flow, you’ll need to take into account the pros and cons of your options to determine which will best suit your team’s needs.

Slack

Instant messaging platform supporting private and group chat, as well as public chat channels

Pros
– Individual or group messaging
– Ability to have smaller subgroups
– G-Suite integration
– Can share channels with external users and companies
– Voice and video calling capabilities
Cons
– Separate tasks and chat channels can be inconvenient
– No ability to store large files
– Project timeline views are not clearly presented
– Lack of workflow management tools

Google Hangouts

Google’s team messaging platform available if you buy G-Suite

Pros
– Conversations occur on G-Suite with no need for threading
– Solid integration with other G Suite programs and apps
– Helpful addition when purchasing G-Suite
Cons
– Only available with G-Suite business package
– No free trial
– Minimal notification settings
– Limited integrations

Microsoft Teams

Provides multiple team messaging features for Microsoft users

Pros
– Customizable program
– Chat, voice, and video calls
– Closely-integrated with other Microsoft Office programs
– Part of the Office 365 business account package
Cons
– Convenient for Microsoft Office business users but not as flexible for those using other systems
– Very formal with a compartmentalized design

Discord

Messaging apps geared toward gamers; enables the ability to create groups and organize discussion threads

Pros
– Text and voice chat
– Send invitation links to servers for contacts
Cons
– Although Discord is free, there’s a required $9.99/month Nitro subscription for any premium features like custom emojis or animated avatars
– Upload limits placed on photos and files

Glip

Simple, minimally-featured business messaging app from RingCentral

Pros
– Includes some PDF markup and collaborative document editing tools
– Team calendar
– Team and channel admin options
Cons
– Only one account per email address
– No threaded conversations
– Users have experienced being locked out of the program on a regular basis
– Users have also experienced delayed notifications for up to one hour, making real-time communication unreliable.

Zoho Cliq

Similar features to Slack and the ability to display more than one chat at a time

Pros
– Options to view multiple channels in one window 
– Ability to build branches of discussions
– Voice and video calls
– Third-Party integration
– Drag and drop functionality
Cons
– No “do not disturb” options
– Users report communication delays and slow-to-load files
– Confusing dashboard

Flow

Integrated platform with a feature-rich built-in chat tool

Pros
– Work together on projects without leaving your common dashboard
– Task management capabilities
– Calendar integration
– Mute notifications and chat channels when you need to focus
– Basic and advanced tool integrations
– Simple learning curve that is easy for teams of all technical abilities to navigate 
– Custom statuses to let your teammates know when you’re active, focused or away
Cons
– If you only want to use chat and do not need other project management tools, then collaborative features may not be necessary

Most of the tools mentioned above are primarily chat tools, but Flow is an all-in-one productivity app that helps you get your team aligned and up to date in real-time. With Flow, you can visualize all of your work in one place for a more streamlined workflow, improving internal communications. Other key options include:

  • Setting recurring and prioritized tasks
  • Filtering and sorting project tasks
  • Incorporating tasks via email
  • Setting reminders for projects
  • Secure file and document sharing

So, while instant messaging has rapidly become a part of our workflow and internal communications, there are other tools that work well together to increase overall teamwork and productivity.

Debriefing Chat Options

Sure, Slack is one of the most popular chat app tools on the market today, and we’ve all heard of Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams. These programs work well for chat-only purposes, as do some of the other programs we’ve mentioned above.

But, when you need deeper levels of internal communication, the best team chat app will also integrate a powerful dashboard so all of your collaboration can be accomplished in one place. While Slack and some of these other apps are great options for chat-specific applications, they simply do not offer the full functionality for effective project management.

When managing workflows for your distributed team, you also need a feature-rich, team chat app that offers collaborative tools. With virtual task, resource, and calendar management and powerful integrations with your most productive communication tools, selecting an app that can keep you better organized is essential.

Choosing the Right Chat App

Just as chat apps are evolving, so is your team evolving and growing, and it’s critical to choose an internal team communication and messaging platform that achieves a common goal: working together within one convenient system.

Whether your team is in-house, partially or fully remote, you will elevate your team’s productivity with a built-in chat program that enables you to do it all from one system. 

With task creation, resource management, easy internal communication, and a versatile team chat app all built into one convenient place, you can guide project plans to a successful conclusion with Flow.

Flow provides a built-in team chat app as a part of a simple, interactive interface for your team’s successful workflow. Sign up for a free trial today.