The 6 Best Free Online Meeting Tools to Collaborate With Your Team

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free online meeting toolsThe focus of web applications on collaborative efforts has been stronger than ever. You can hardly find a web-based application that won’t let you share a link to a public document or image, much less if it’s a productivity app. There are lots of productivity applications, particularly on the desktop, that seem to offer more and more collaboration features, but with the advent of web-friendly OSes, such as Google Chrome OS, Jolicloud and the like; there’s bound to be increased interest in web-based, collaboration-centric apps.

This round-up is a collection of incredible free online meeting tools that don’t skimp on features even when they are browser-based. Instead, they offer pretty fully featured suites for collaboration even to users with free accounts, but of course, most have additional paid offerings as well. Let’s take a look at the best free collaboration tools so far.

Free Project Collaboration Portal: TeamLab

free online meeting tools

TeamLab is a project management platform that allows users to import data from Basecamp, build teams and departments, assign tasks, schedule milestones, lead discussions, track time spent on project tasks, generate reports and backup data. TeamLab also utilizes social tools to keep colleagues connected with corporate instant messenger, forums, blogs, and Wiki pages, as well as bookmark, photo and file sharing (uploaded files can’t exceed 25MB). While there’s no indication of the limit of users or projects, the source code is available for deployment if your team wants to host it on your own servers, restore backups and have more general control. TeamLab’s current features are said to remain free, while future offerings, such as document editing and e-mail management, may be available for certain fees.

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While TeamLab seems to have the best offerings, there are lots of similar services, including UbiDesk, Huddle and TeamBox, though they all seem to come with more limitations for the free accounts in user or project count.

Document Collaboration Tools: Sync.in & Twiddla

online meeting

Sync.in is a web-based word processor for people who need to collaborate on the same public document in real-time. It allows users to co-edit notes for brainstorming sessions, planning projects, creating outlines, etc, as well as chat in real-time, identify each others’ color-coded edits, undo unlimited saves, replay edits using an in-document time-slider, and mark versions as important. Sync.in also has a cross-platform launcher for users who want to create new Sync.in notes from their desktop. No sign-up process is required. Users aching for more features, such as selective public access, own team site at “yourTeamName.sync.in” and bulk export, can check out Sync.in Pro.

online meeting

Twiddla is a neat space for guests to markup webpages, documents and images. It can also serve as a collaborative whiteboard, text editor and chat service. While it also allows voice-conference, I couldn’t find the voice chat feature anywhere on the site. For storage, guests will need to buy accounts, but for general brainstorming and idea exchange, Twiddla has quite a bit of features.

Web-Conferencing Services: Tokbox VideoChat, [NO LONGER WORKS] DimDim, Vyew

online meeting

While Tokbox has evolved into a business-friendly solution for web-based, video-conferencing, it still offers free, casual video calls for up to 20 users at a time. It also allows users to send video messages, text chat, share YouTube videos in-line, invite friends from Facebook, Gmail, Yahoo, Windows Live, AIM, or via email, as well as embed video chat and recorder widgets. Tokbox offers a very user-friendly interface with virtually no learning curve.

group meeting online

If you’re itching for additional features, check out [NO LONGER WORKS] DimDim which offers public web meetings with a shared whiteboard, annotation tools, live document-sharing, as well as screen-sharing (via a downloadable plugin) and text chatting with up to 10 users (although only one user webcam can be enabled during a meeting).

free online meeting tools

Vyew is another great web-conference service that offers private rooms, webcam and voice chat for up to 10 users, a conference number you can call to join the private conversation, a whiteboard, screen-sharing (via Java authorization), and ability to leave voice notes in addition to text and annotations on workspace. Free accounts have an ad-supported interface, but I didn’t find any ads while testing in my session.

For desktop-based tools that allow video-conferencing for two or more users, check out the open-source OpenMeetings.

What free online meeting tools would you recommend to work with colleagues? Share your preferred applications in the comments!

Photo credit: deviantdark

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28 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Alex

Finding a good platform to work on is important for any team. In my opinion Google Docs is great, and I would even consider it as an online meeting tool. The team at EpicLaunch.com compiled our own list of resources we use to collaborate: http://epiclaunch.com/toolbox/#collaboration

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Alex

Finding a good platform to work on is important for any team. In my opinion Google Docs is great, and I would even consider it as an online meeting tool. The team at EpicLaunch.com compiled our own list of resources we use to collaborate: http://epiclaunch.com/toolbox/

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Anonymous

Microsoft SharedView is free and works well too…

Jessica Cam W.

It’s a program you need to download though. This list compiles web-based tools only. :)

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Jay

You should had Huddle to that list. Great for enterprise customers and you can also try their free account.

Nice list still.

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Jay

You should had Huddle to that list. Great for enterprise customers and you can also try their free account.

Nice list still.

Jessica Cam W.

I actually did find Huddle when I was researching for the article, but I didn’t find the limited functionalities for the free accounts very helpful. They do have some big companies as users so maybe I just haven’t seen how good the paid accounts are.

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ShowDocument

How about ShowDocument.com it;s an app-based document sharing and online meeting collaboration tool that has options for text, voice, and video chat. Plus, it is SaaS so requires no downloads.

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ShowDocument

How about ShowDocument.com it;s an app-based document sharing and online meeting collaboration tool that has options for text, voice, and video chat. Plus, it is SaaS so requires no downloads.

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ShowDocument

How about ShowDocument.com it is a great online collaboration tool that requires no downloads (its SaaS). It is an app-based document sharing and online meeting tool that has the options for text, voice, and video chat. Plus its free!!

Reply

Heckner

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Heckner

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jennip98

Hi Jessica
A free web conference tool that I have been using is WiZiQ (http://www.wiziq.com). I trialled Dim Dim, Vyew and Sclipo for use with my students (http://jennip.edublogs.org) but finally decided to use WiZiQ as I found it the easiest to use and the free version includes session recordings which was a vital feature as I was unable to attend all of the live training sessions my students gave.
Cheers Jenni

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jennip98

Hi Jessica
A free web conference tool that I have been using is WiZiQ (www.wiziq.com). I trialled Dim Dim, Vyew and Sclipo for use with my students (http://jennip.edublogs.org) but finally decided to use WiZiQ as I found it the easiest to use and the free version includes session recordings which was a vital feature as I was unable to attend all of the live training sessions my students gave.
Cheers Jenni

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ANDREI T

I tried dimidim a while ago and found it difficult to use. Now that i revisited, it “has been acquired by Salesforce.com” and accepts no registrations. I guess they improved…

Join.me is an extremely simple to use service, and quite reliable from what I have seen.

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ANDREI T

I tried dimidim a while ago and found it difficult to use. Now that i revisited, it “has been acquired by Salesforce.com” and accepts no registrations. I guess they improved…

Join.me is an extremely simple to use service, and quite reliable from what I have seen.

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Marie Bailay

For video conferencing / group video calls and simple video calling, I’d say http://www.faceflow.com is very good. It’s free and directly on the web, very quick to use.

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Marie Bailay

For video conferencing / group video calls and simple video calling, I’d say http://www.faceflow.com is very good. It’s free and directly on the web, very quick to use.

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TeamLab

Jessika, thanks for the great overview! We are glad you enjoy using TeamLab and share your experience with the community! Concerning the fees, we can assure you that the upcoming new TeamLab version will be provided free of charge.
So, you’ll be able to create and edit documents, use projects templates and many other fresh functionalities without any payments needed.

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TeamLab

Jessika, thanks for the great overview! We are glad you enjoy using TeamLab and share your experience with the community! Concerning the fees, we can assure you that the upcoming new TeamLab version will be provided free of charge.
So, you’ll be able to create and edit documents, use projects templates and many other fresh functionalities without any payments needed.

Jessica Cam W.

Thank you for checking in and telling us about the upcoming model! I was
honestly very impressed with the features you offer for free!

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Jessica Cam W.

Thank you for checking in and telling us about the upcoming model! I was
honestly very impressed with the features you offer for free!

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Groupboard

Also don’t forget Groupboard, which was recently featured here:

http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/g

We have since added new iPhone, iPad and Android app versions of Groupboard.

Reply

Groupboard

Also don’t forget Groupboard, which was recently featured here:

http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/groupboard-whiteboard-widget/

We have since added new iPhone, iPad and Android app versions of Groupboard.

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Greg

I have just tried DOXWOX – free downloadable application for web meetings. In my opinion it’s good for using while making conference calls – I shared Power Point slides and some JPEG images while making presentation to two remote colleagues. We used SKYPE for voice communication. It worked OK. http://doxwox.com

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Greg

I have just tried DOXWOX – free downloadable application for web meetings. In my opinion it’s good for using while making conference calls – I shared Power Point slides and some JPEG images while making presentation to two remote colleagues. We used SKYPE for voice communication. It worked OK. http://doxwox.com

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Mike

For web meetings I prefer http://www.321meet.com; not really that feature rich but no installation needed and screen sharing quality is superb. Also makes it possible to restrict sharing to certain windows or applications. of course teamviewer has also become quite popular recently…

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Mike

For web meetings I prefer http://www.321meet.com; not really that feature rich but no installation needed and screen sharing quality is superb. Also makes it possible to restrict sharing to certain windows or applications. of course teamviewer has also become quite popular recently…

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