Today’s remote-first and hybrid workforces rely on tools like Zoom, Slack, and Google Drive every day for team collaboration. However, sharing expertise between team members can be challenging when they're spread across time zones or even continents.
It’s a problem with a price tag: According to research from Panopto, a business with 1,000 employees loses $2.7M annually in lost productivity because of inefficient knowledge sharing. (For businesses with 5,000 employees, that number jumps to over $13M.)
Fortunately, new software designed to facilitate hybrid team collaboration is emerging all the time. Here are 10 genius knowledge-sharing tools that can help your hybrid team work together more effectively.
Visual collaboration tools
Visual collaboration software is taking the place of office whiteboards as a way for hybrid teams to brainstorm, problem-solve, and work together on group projects.
MURAL is a shared digital canvas where team members can collaborate in real-time or asynchronously. Users can draw, add sticky notes, images, icons, and GIFs to their virtual whiteboard, and share their “Murals” with collaborators using a hyperlink. Teammates can leave comments, text chat, or start a voice call within the platform for an impromptu working session.
Promising user review: “MURAL is my go-to for sense-making — both of my own thoughts and those of a group. It's a perfect, no-frills, low-risk way to get ideas down on paper and analyze, refine, synthesize. It moves my work forward tremendously.”
Check out MURAL here.
Collaborate with your remote team members in real-time with Lucidchart, a virtual diagramming tool. Users can drag and drop shapes onto an infinite canvas for brainstorming, mapping out processes, and visualizing data from anywhere. Document creators can give colleagues edit access or a read-only view to their workspace and @mention their teammates to get their questions answered and ideas approved quickly. Lucidchart integrates with Google, Microsoft, GitHub, Slack, and more for effective knowledge-sharing.
Promising user review: “It was very easy to get up and running with Lucidchart — the enormous collection of starter templates meant that I was able to find a similar chart to the one I needed to create and get the right objects loaded up straight away.”
Check out Lucidchart here.
Wiki and knowledge-base tools
Wikis long ago took the place of bulky company handbooks and early intranets, and are a powerful tool when maintained correctly. These tools are a promising solution to the challenge of keeping an up-to-date knowledge base.
Guru is a browser extension that makes it easy for team members to access or add to your company’s knowledge base without disrupting their workflows — or even switching tabs. Users can import and format existing content from anywhere — a website, a Scribe, or a Slack message, for example — or create entries from scratch. Guru uses AI to suggest information users might need based on the contents of their screen and to identify subject matter experts within your teams to verify information as it’s added. Users can also receive “knowledge alerts” that let them know which content is being consumed.
Promising user review: “My favorite part of Guru is that when I'm like 'I need to document this!' I can just click the extension button and quickly create a resource. Additionally, the search is so intuitive, I can type in a few words and find the resource I need.”
Check out Guru here.
Bloomfire is a cloud-based “knowledge engagement” application that democratizes team insights. Employees across the organization can upload content in different formats (PDFs, videos, slide decks, etc.) or create new content within the platform. Bloomfire uses AI to index every word of every entry (even the ones spoken in videos) and automatically tag content for a robust search function. Users can even curate their own feeds to follow the topics and contributors most relevant to them. Analytics help identify search trends and knowledge gaps to improve user experience.
Promising user review: “Bloomfire makes my work life easy. We keep helpful tips for agents organized in Bloomfire. The search function makes finding specific topics quick and easy.”
Check out Bloomfire here.
Document collaboration tools
Document collaboration platforms enable remote team members to work simultaneously on a project without having to send attachments back and forth. The new generation of tools goes beyond Google Docs, with robust features and integrations that make them suitable for a wide range of use cases and teams.
Notion is a customizable “unified workspace” remote teams can leverage collectively and individually in seemingly unlimited ways, from note-taking to project management. Users can start from one of thousands of modifiable templates or build a workspace from scratch, embed different types of content (videos, Scribes, social media posts, Google maps, and more), and loop in their teammates by tagging them or sharing a link to the document.
Promising user review: “The entry barrier to signing up on Notion is literally nothing... Notion acts as a superb tool for your personal notes as well as sharing of documentation within your professional spaces.”
Check out Notion here.
Bit is a “new-age document collaboration platform” for internal and client-facing communications. Users can loop in their teammates with @mentions, leave inline comments, and collaborate within a workspace in real-time. And with the platform’s extensive list of integrations, users can embed different types of rich content, such as video, code, music, charts, prototypes, and presentations. Unlimited version history helps prevent important context from being eliminated, and built-in document tracking provides real-time insights about how users are interacting with each piece of content.
Promising user review: “Bit.ai is super easy to use. I am able to create and share new documents quickly and the template designs make project creation a breeze.”
Check out Bit here.
Asynchronous communication tools
These tools help keep geographically dispersed team members looped in and connected and prevent important messages, updates, and tasks from getting lost in the shuffle.
Threads is a digital forum for focused discussions that replaces recurring meetings and helps teams keep all communication about a project in one place. One-off answers don’t get lost in Slack or email, and the best knowledge is accessible to the entire team to help facilitate decision-making. The platform integrates with Slack, Jira, Basecamp, and more for easy file sharing to keep all conversations on the topic connected.
Promising user review: “We use Threads to bookmark key decisions for our teams and stakeholders. We are increasing communication while decreasing the time spent on recurring and redundant meetings. Threads allows smoother and seamless communication across cross-functional teams.”
Check out Threads here.
Daily standups are challenging for teams that are so widely dispersed that some teammates’ working hours may not overlap at all. Range replaces standups with async daily check-ins: status updates that share what everyone is doing, what they need help with, and how they’re feeling. Users can connect files from Figma, Google Drive, Dropbox, and more into their status updates and use emojis and colors (green, yellow, or red) to indicate their mood. Range keeps managers up to date on their team’s progress and improves company culture by enabling individual contributors to connect with their colleagues on a personal level.
Promising user review: “I like that the check-ins are structured and simple to complete. Compared to other asynchronous stand-up or check-in tools, these check-ins feel quick and fun. I also really like the weekly themes and check-in questions. They allow us to continue to build safety and belonging in our team even through these small interactions.”
Check out Range here.
Clickup is a project management tool that allows teams to plan, organize and collaborate their projects and roadmaps. It often allows teams to condense their software stack, offering features such as tasks, documents, chat, goals, and more.
Clickup also works well with your existing technology. It has more than 1,000 integrations including Slack, GitHub, Google Drive, and Intercom.
Promising user review: While we had already been using ClickUp, we started implementing an agile approach and using sprints for our team. ClickUp has been invaluable in this regard! We are more productive, have better oversight regarding what everyone is busy with, more transparency and are better able to communicate with the rest of the company regarding expected completion dates."
Procedural knowledge-sharing tools
Instead of scheduling a Zoom meeting to walk their teammates through a process or painfully creating how-to docs, employees can use video and screen-recording tools to asynchronously share their digital processes.
With Loom, employees can record their voice, their screen, and their face to create explainer and how-to videos to share with their teammates. Available as a Chrome extension or desktop or mobile app, Loom enables users to quickly generate and share videos and even add calls to action and links for reference. It integrates with tools like Asana, JIRA, Salesforce, and more to share information where and when your teams need it.
Promising user review: “With Loom, I'm able to screen record things that are difficult to explain with words. This is essential given my team works in offices across the country. It allows my teammates to explain complicated software bugs to me so that I can easily reproduce and verify them.”
Check out Loom here.
Scribe is a Chrome extension that makes it easy to capture the know-how of your subject matter experts. They simply hit “record” at the beginning of a process, and when they stop, Scribe auto-generates step-by-step instructions with words and screenshots so you can disseminate best practices across your team. Users can then edit their “Scribes” before sharing them with a link, via email, or within the Scribe repository. They can also embed them into hundreds of tools — from knowledge management systems to blogs — including WordPress, Guru, and Notion.
Promising user review: “Scribe has been a game changer by making it simple to create visual and informative materials so my team is always up to speed on the latest process or system update.”
Learn more about Scribe here.
Increase productivity and job satisfaction
These knowledge-sharing tools make it easy for veteran workers to share what they know and for new employees to find the right knowledge at the right time. Adding them to your tech stack can eliminate information silos, improve employee engagement, and reduce distractions and frustration among your remote teams. This will not only increase productivity but job satisfaction for your current and future teams.