The best asynchronous communication tools by category
Below you’ll find 15 excellent asynchronous collaboration tool recommendations broken down into a few different categories, including tools for meetings, tools for developers, tools for project management, and tools for documents.
Async communication tools for check-ins and effective meetings
Holding productive meetings can be challenging in an asynchronous setting, but these platforms can help get it done (even for team co-workers across different time zones) with features like video calls, messaging apps, and more.
If you're already using slack to maximize productivity among your remote workers, Standuply is another tool to explore. This Slack bot allows your team to run stand-up meetings and retrospective meetings in a convenient text format. This tool is great for teams working across different time zones because it allows them to stay in touch without interfering with "normal" work hours.
Internal Q&A system to spend less time on repeated questions and answers
Team polls and recurring surveys
Data integrations from JIRA, GitHub, and others
Highly customizable interface
Saves time by automating questions and other functions
Easy to implement with Slack and other platforms
Can get pricey, especially with larger teams
Text-only communication may not work for every team
Can take some time to get comfortable with using all the features
3. Status Hero
Another tool that can help your distributed team improve focus and productivity is Status Hero, a practical communication tool that's great not only for asynchronous stand-up meetings, but insightful reporting as well. Plus, this communication app integrates with many of the most popular project management solutions out there to help you get the most of every feature.
Easy standups via the channel of each team member's choice (email, SMS, chat, etc.)
Real-time activity stream lets you observe team events as they occur
Time Zone Aware keeps everybody in the loop, regardless of location
Ability to tag team members using @mentions improves communication and engagement
Helps project team managers get a better feel for what team members are working on
Improves time tracking and productivity
Provide valuable insights for teams with detailed reports
Some report that there are too many updates
Corporate plan can get costly with larger teams
Text-only communication may get stale for some team members
If you rely on Slack or Microsoft Teams for project management, Geekbot can be an excellent supplement to boost productivity and improve team communication.
This tool is designed to help remote teams run async stand-ups, retrospective meetings, and even one-on-one discussions using an automated bot.
Programmable and automated daily stand-ups and team retrospectives
Private one-on-one meetings
Survey creation (including anonymous surveys) and distribution across your desired channel
Saves time by running asynchronous meetings on autopilot
Respects team members in different time zones and promotes healthy work-life balance
Makes it easy to measure engagement, productivity, and other metrics
Free version maxes out at 10 users
No way to remind users to respond to anonymous survey questions
Lack of JIRA integration as of June 2022
Async tools for developers and engineers
Remote software development teams face some unique challenges that the following tools can help to alleviate.
Linear is an issue-tracking tool that can help software teams fix bugs and work more efficiently. With a streamlined interface that's easy to navigate, Linear makes it easy to flag bugs, assign tasks to specific users, add labels to tasks, and much more.
Meanwhile, team leaders can easily set milestones and deadlines to keep projects on-schedule and focus on the big picture.
Co-pilot feature offers suggestions directly inside the code editor itself
Pull requests allow contributors to request coding changes for approval
Discussions offer dedicated space for questions, answers, troubleshooting, and conversation
Version control keeps track of changes made by users
Free to start with paid plans available
Markdown files supported
File size restrictions may be an issue for some projects
Learning to use the platform can be challenging for first-time users
Occasional server downtime may create issues for teams
Looking for a DevOps platform your entire organization can benefit from? GitLab is known for its collaboration tools that encourage productivity every step of the way. GitLab has a lot to offer, with solutions designed to help your remote teams develop and deliver software faster while staying secure and compliant.
Team planning, portfolio management, and quality management
Trackable title changes for issues, merge requests, and more
Threaded discussions to encourage group collaboration
Integration with JIRA and other platforms
Extensive free version available with plenty of features
Easy to manage multiple projects in one centralized location
Intuitive user interface
Paid plans can get costly for larger teams
Reported issues with resolving merge conflicts
Challenging to integrate some third-party apps
The right automation tools can help your teams get more done — and Jenkins is the industry's leading open source automation server. With hundreds of plugins designed to support just about any project, there's a lot to love about this CI/CD tool.
Plus, it's compatible not just with Windows and iOS machines, but Linux systems as well. This versatility makes it an ideal solution for the developers and programmers on your team.
Seamless integration with other development and testing tools
Support across multiple languages
Plug-ins for your team's everyday needs (with more being developed regularly)
Absolutely free to use
Easy installation and setup on most machines
User-friendly interface reduces the learning curve for teams
Dashboards can get cluttered with jobs or projects
Plug-ins required to carry out most tasks
Plug-ins aren't always properly maintained or updated
Async tools for project management and workflows
These tools can help your remote teams manage and complete projects asynchronously while saving time and hassle.
This project management tool makes it easy to assign tasks to individual team members within dedicated project boards and lists. Meanwhile, Asana supports file sharing, milestones, deadlines, and progress tracking to keep the whole team on the same page.
Customizable tasks make it easy to add deadlines, comments, and more
Instant messaging feature allows for real-time communication when needed
Task automation available through the platform's workflow bot
Easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface
Easy integration with DropBox, Slack, and other platforms
Kanban boards make it easy for team members to visualize projects and progress
Free version has a lot of limitations that may not work for some teams
Larger and more complex projects can be difficult to organize
Learning curve for new users
Another project management solution to consider for your remote team is Jira. This platform offers many of the integrations and features of the other solutions mentioned here, but with some added plug-ins and tools to foster more effective communication and productivity.
Kanban boards, scrum boards, and other visualization tools
Four different membership plans to choose from
Costly membership plans (especially on upper-tier options)
Mobile app not as functional as the web app
Many features restricted to administrators (which may be problematic for some team structures)
Async tools for documents, wikis, and forums
These tools are great ways to organize company information and share it within a streamlined format. Whether you want a collaborative platform to build out a complete knowledge base or you prefer a more simplistic storage tool, one of these options may do the trick.
12. Stack Overflow
The Stack Overflow website says it best. This solution is "a public platform building the definitive collection of coding questions and answers." For small and large teams alike, this platform provides a private knowledge-sharing solution to increase productivity and speed up time-to-market.
Four membership options to choose from, including a free version
Simple question-and-answer interface with upvoting
Seamless integrations with other platforms
Question and answer format saves teams time and helps with problem solving
Search feature makes it easy to find questions and answers
Upvoting feature helps users find the most widely accepted answers
Some integrations only available on paid plans
Some questions may not receive prompt answers
May take some training and encouragement to get team members to use it
Having a secure and centralized place to upload and store files and data is a must, especially when team members are working remotely. Dropbox provides affordable and secure storage with plans to suit any organization's needs and budget.
Password protection, download permissions, encryption, and other security safeguards
Files never deleted due to inactivity
Data backup allows for recovery for up to 30 days
Project management tools provided via Dropbox boards
Expensive storage plans for larger projects
Cumbersome desktop application
Time consuming file transfers
When it comes to affordable async communication tools, Notion is one of the best out there. This platform offers a professional package for as low as $8 per user per month (as of June 2022), which is very competitive. Meanwhile, even its free version is generously equipped.
Confluence serves as an open, shared workspace that can be used not just for document and file-sharing, but for ongoing collaboration and communication.
Pre-made templates for wiki pages, articles, and more
Version history and ability to revert to older versions as needed
Page analytics and data reporting
Four membership plans available
Templates encourage consistency while saving time on formatting
Web app makes it available from any device
Great user interface
Messy dashboard/navigation due to too many third-party integrations
Hit-or-miss search feature
Costly pricing for upper-tier membership
Modern communication is increasingly async — get started with Range
There are so many benefits of asynchronous communication, especially in today's world of remote work.
With Range, you can stay connected to your team with check-ins. Use tags to organize your work, and flags to raise important issues. You can also integrate more than 75 tools to help organize your work.
While there's certainly still a need for synchronous communication, your team will be well-served by having access to the best async collaboration and check-in tools.
Range is committed to improving teamwork for remote and hybrid teams across the globe.