Great pieces of creative content are usually the product of a team of people: writers, strategists, designers and more who all work together. And nowadays – with the rise of flexible working and the digital nomad – this team of people is spread out all over the globe. Your copywriter could be in Peru, your illustrator could be in Scotland and your client could be in Kansas City, so how do you foster productive digital collaboration?

Rather than resigning yourself to an endless chain of emails, try these online tools designed to help clarify feedback and keep projects organised.

Trello

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This project management tool is a godsend when it comes to organising and tracking progress on a piece of work. The Trello layout is essentially a bunch of shared, digital to-do lists made up of little cards that can be dragged, dropped and customised to your liking. You can see who’s working on what, how far along they are and categorise tasks according to importance. And one of the best parts about Trello is that it’s free.

Sign up on their website to get started.

Video Conferencing

There are few things more irritating when working on a project than getting bogged down with vague edits or non-constructive feedback. Rather than starting a long-winded back and forth about ‘wait what do you mean by this exactly?’, sit down and talk through your edits face-to-face. Or, if your team is spread out across continents, turn to the power of the webcam. It’s almost as good as a face-to-face chat, and you can take advantage of the screen sharing feature (included on various video conferencing software like GoToMeeting, for example) to demonstrate your points more effectively.

Flatsies

Sending rough drafts and mock images via email can be tricky: before you know it you’ve got nine different versions of the same document and you aren’t sure which one is client-approved. In comes Flatsies, the simple yet effective tool for designers to share their work with clients. This tool lays out your work clearly, so it’s easier to picture it in a finished context. Flatsies is free to use, and works well on mobile devices, so you can use it pretty much anywhere.

Red Pen

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This feedback tool offers designers a fast and easy way to get feedback on their creations. With simple drag-and-drop uploads and the ability to add comments throughout the image, you can talk through your thought process more clearly. You can also see who has the page open (with an unlimited number of collaborators) so it’s more like a direct conversation. Try it out free for 14 days here.

Murally

In some ways, this tool is similar to Trello – it’s another drag-and-drop organisational board, but it relies more on visuals. You can add files, links, documents, videos and images onto a big ‘drawing board’, which is a great way to digitally brainstorm ideas remotely. All changes are saved in real time and you can collaborate with a bunch of people at once. Start a free 30-day trial on their website

If you already have these tools or are interested in testing out more, this Mashable article has some great recommendations and so does this article on Creative Bloq.

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