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Texting and emailing have been two preferred methods of communication over the last decade. However, as a business owner or manager, we’re betting that you’ve run into some organizational issues using these and other platforms. Between work messages and personal messages for both managers and employees, it can be tough to remember who reached out to you on which platform.

SMS messaging and emailing can be effective for one-on-one communication, but have become…well…messy for managing teams. For instance, it’s not uncommon for managers to get stuck in a flurry of back-and-forth messages with employees seeking clarification or approvals. Similarly, if employees have questions about the weekly schedule, you may receive an email, or even a Facebook chat. You might even have to answer the same question multiple times for different members of your team. All of this amounts to a breeding ground for confusion, disorganization, and overwhelm when trying to run a business.

Team chat apps are a great solution to the madness. They act as a portal to centralize all important communications, such as business-related messages, progress on projects, status updates, and more. Basically, a good team chat app will eliminate much of the “noise” associated with SMS messaging and back-and forth emails, streamline all communication pertaining to business, and encourage productivity and collaboration among your staff. Selecting the right team chat app for your business will also increase accountability within your team, and ultimately save a lot of time and energy by keeping everything in one convenient location.

Who Can Benefit from Team Chat Apps?

Team chat apps are pretty universal, and can be used across industries to increase organization. From an office culture, to shift work (i.e. restaurants, retail, and more), to operations and facilities, any business can benefit from using a team chat tool. Such apps are a simple solution for ensuring nothing slips through the cracks.

Those who work in fast-paced environments will ultimately benefit most from using a team chat app.

How to Select the Best Team Chat App

When considering which team chat app might be most beneficial for your business, think about your team’s specific needs. Most team chat apps provide not only a centralized portal for communication, but also act as a storage hub for schedules, user manuals, to-do lists, and more. In a sense, the most important factor of a great team chat app is versatility; thus, we’ve deemed the following elements to be essential when deciding on a communication app:

1) Easily Accessible

Your team should be able to access the app, and its communication features, wherever they are. Whether they’re on the go or at their desks, it should never be difficult or inconvenient for employees to chat with their team members. A team chat app should be available on mobile and desktop.

2) Organization

Your business should be able to easily create chat groups based on specific topics, teams, or other similar categories. This organization leads to less “clutter” and confusion, ensuring that only relevant employees are kept in the loop (rather than involving the entire business).

3) Search functionality

Your team should be able to search for messages containing certain information quickly, ideally with the use of a search bar. This eliminates wasted time scrolling through correspondence, manually searching for messages.

4) Easy of use

A team chat app should be easy to use and navigate. The UI (user interface) should be simple and straightforward, and there shouldn’t be a big learning curve when onboarding new employees.

5) Notifications

When employees are tagged in a message, or assigned to a task or schedule, the app should notify them—they shouldn’t have to play “catch up” scrolling through a conversation for context. Reminders are also a great tool to ensure that staff meet their deadlines, or complete assigned work.

6) Accountability

A team chat app should enable easy follow-up on tasks (with task lists should come the ability to mark them “in progress” or “complete”). This way, team members can collaborate or check the status of a project, rather than simply chatting about it in their messages.

The 12 Best Team Chat Apps

1. Coast

Best team chat app for small businesses, and businesses with deskless workers.


Coast is a great choice for communicating easily and effectively with your entire staff. With Coast, you’ll have the option to contact employees one-on-one, or select certain employees for chat groups based on project or task discussions. The app simplifies essential business communications by offering a streamlined platform for tracking tasks, projects, and more, rather than using multiple apps. Coast is available for both mobile and desktop use, and offers a free basic plan.

Key Features:

  • Quickly communicate with every member of your team, either individually or in chat groups;
  • Know who has seen and who has not seen your messages;
  • Create, track, and update tasks within a chat group;
  • Share calendars in each chat group;
  • Search for messages and important information quickly using the “search” tool.

Pros:

  • User-friendly UI—no learning curve necessary;
  • Onboarding process is quick and easy for new team members;
  • “Seen by” feature improves team accountability;
  • Accessible from any device (mobile and desktop);
  • Ability to track and update tasks and projects directly within the app, without the need for multiple apps.

Cons:

  • No ability for video conferencing or phone conversations;
  • Limited integrations with other software/apps;
  • No ability to create threaded messages within a chat group;
  • No dark mode.

What People Think About Managing Communications with Coast:

  • Capterra – 5/5
  • G2 – 5/5
  • Google Play Store – 4.4/5
  • Apple App Store – 4.7/5

Pricing:

Free Plan: Yes — includes unlimited messaging, scheduling, and task history, plus file storage up to 5 GB. Try Coast for free now to streamline your team communications!

Paid Plans: Several.

  • The Starter plan is available for $4 a user per month.
  • The Plus plan is available for $8 a user per month.
  • The price of the Professional plan (for larger teams) is undisclosed on the Coast website, but a demo of the software may be requested.

2. Twist

Best team chat app for organized conversations.

Twist

Twist helps teams to better manage their business discussions. Communication among staff remains visible and organized, reducing the need to search for information buried in long email chains or separate conversations. All of Twist’s features are available for desktop and mobile functionality.

Key Features:

  • Keeps conversations organized, accessible, and on-topic;
  • Clearly-titled threads are searchable, even months (or years) later;
  • Chat threads ensure visibility for all chat members without constant text alerts;
  • Convenient replacement for all internal emails and group messages;
  • Select who receives notifications in a thread to eliminate unnecessary noise and alerts.

Pros:

  • Focuses primarily on organizing business discussions;
  • Ability to start and manage highly-focused conversations;
  • Ability to select which chat members are notified when sending a message;
  • Clean and clear design on both mobile and desktop versions.

Cons:

  • Restrictive free plan;
  • Limited integration ability;
  • Threaded conversations are an adjustment;
  • Non-intrusive chats (ability to limit notifications) means that some important messages are missed.

What People Think About Managing Communications with Twist:

  • Capterra – 4.3/5
  • G2 – 3.9/5
  • Google Play Store – 4.2/5
  • Apple App Store – 4.7/5

Pricing:

Free Plan: Yes — includes unlimited users, access to one month of messages, 5 GB of storage, and up to 5 integrations.

Paid Plans: One.

  • The Unlimited plan is available for $5 a user per month.

3. ProofHub

Best team chat app with project-tracking tools.

Proofhub

ProofHub makes it easy for teams to collaborate, keeping everyone in the loop in the process. The program stands out for its project-tracking abilities with tailored charts and reports. The ProofHub mobile app makes it easy to access essential business communications, task lists, and more while you’re on the go.

Key Features:

  • Create discussion topics for streamlined project management;
  • Share ideas, photos, and attachments within discussion boards;
  • Add comments and feedback to messages;
  • Assign tasks to one or more team members, prioritize deadlines, and set recurring tasks;
  • Divide tasks and designate users for each project to encourage employee self-management.

Pros:

  • Accessible through mobile app and desktop;
  • Enables organization of discussion and tasks based on topics;
  • Encourages streamlined collaboration, with the ability to attach files to conversations;
  • Sends automatic reminders for tasks, project deadlines, and more.

Cons:

  • UI is fast, but can feel overwhelming (some program tools aren’t easy to use);
  • Limited integrations with other software programs;
  • Mobile app is not user-friendly;
  • Not suitable for larger teams, or more complex projects.

What People Think About Managing Communications with ProofHub:

  • Capterra – 4.3/5
  • G2 – 4.4/5
  • Google Play Store – 4.2/5
  • Apple App Store – 3.2/5

Pricing:

Free Plan: Yes — A 14 free trial with all features is available.

Paid Plans: Several.

  • The Essential plan is available for $45 per month.
  • The Ultimate Control plan is available for $89 per month.

4. Slack

Best team chat app for integrations.

Slack

Slack focuses its efforts on replacing emails and other messy forms of communication. Its convenient integration with other software makes it easier to find information and share information. Slack offers unlimited access to a free plan, and is accessible through mobile and desktop mediums.

Key Features:

  • Stay in the loop with centralized conversations, files, tools, and team members;
  • Slack Connect enables Slack communication with other businesses;
  • Voice and video call functionality;
  • Send messages to employees one-on-one or in group chats;
  • Connect with remote team members.

Pros:

  • Straightforward UI for instant use;
  • Connects remote teams and employees;
  • Offers informal environment to chat;
  • Keeps archived message repository;
  • Free version.

Cons:

  • Too many message alerts are distracting to users;
  • Messages in larger chat groups become disorganized;
  • Video and voice meeting functions need improvement.

What People Think About Managing Communications with Slack:

  • Capterra – 4.6/5
  • G2 – 4.5/5
  • Google Play Store – 4.1/5
  • Apple App Store – 4.1/5

Pricing:

Free Plan: Yes — includes unlimited private and public channels, 10,000 searchable messages, up to 10 integrations, and unlimited users.

Paid Plans: Several

  • The Standard plan is available for $6.67 a user per month.
  • The Plus plan is available for $12.50 a user per month.
  • The Enterprise plan is undisclosed.

5. Microsoft Teams

Best enterprise team chat app.

Teams

Microsoft Teams is used by large corporations and small businesses alike to keep teams connected. Instant messaging, video calls, and screen-sharing enable quick and effective collaboration among workers. The program offers a free plan, and is available to download for mobile and desktop.

Key Features:

  • Customize instant messages with text formatting, tags, and emojis;
  • “Search” function makes it easy to find messages containing important information;
  • Hide or mute chats to reduce distraction;
  • “Filter” feature allows you to search for certain types of messages (i.e. unread, mentions, replies, and more);
  • Easily host video conferencing and live events from anywhere.

Pros:

  • Easy to use;
  • Customizable messages make communicating fun and personal;
  • Great integration with other tools;
  • Easy to share files, screens, and more with team members;
  • Meeting rooms accommodate up to 49 employees.

Cons:

  • Very limited free features;
  • More accommodating for larger businesses;
  • UI is extremely limited (only one window open at a time within the program).

What People Think About Managing Communications with Microsoft Teams:

  • Capterra – 4.6/5
  • G2 – 4.5/5
  • Google Play Store – 4.1/5
  • Apple App Store – 4.1/5

Pricing:

Free Plan: Yes — includes unlimited users, unlimited chat, up to 10 GB of storage, and video calls up to 60 minutes.

Paid Plans: Several

  • The Microsoft 365 Business Basic plan is available for $5 a user per month.
  • The Microsoft 365 Business Standard plan is available for $12.50 a user per month.
  • The Office 365 E3 is available for $20 a user per month.

6. WhatsApp

Best simple team chat app.

Whatsapp Web

WhatsApp is a solid chat option for sharing photos, videos, and more with up to 265 people at once. Organize your chat groups by naming them, mute or customize your message notifications, and sync chats to your computer. WhatsApp is free to download on both mobile and desktop, and offers a WhatsApp Business option for small businesses to stay connected.

Key Features:

  • Create group chats or send one-on-one messages;
  • Uses your phone’s internet connection to send messages to avoid SMS fees;
  • Sync all chats to your computer or mobile phone;
  • Enjoy free video calls;
  • Instantly share PDFs, documents, spreadsheets, and other important material.

Pros:

  • Easy and straightforward UI;
  • Great for keeping small businesses connected;
  • Free download;
  • Encrypted messages ensure all communication is private.

Cons:

  • UI is not very visually appealing;
  • Some discrepancies between mobile and desktop functionality (mobile is much stronger);
  • Notifications can be overwhelming until muted;
  • Frequent updates required for optimal user experience.

What People Think About Managing Communications with WhatsApp:

  • Capterra – 4.7/5
  • G2 – N/A
  • Google Play Store – 4.3/5
  • Apple App Store – 4.7/5

Pricing:

Free Plan: Yes — includes unlimited users, unlimited chat, send files up too 100 MB, and voice messages.

Paid Plans: None.

7. Flock

Flock

Flock enables easy communication with a variety of messaging features. They offer customized chat organization, real-time collaboration, and a free version of their software that’s great for small teams. Download Flock for your desktop, or for mobile use.

Key Features:

  • Separate your messages into channels for streamlined communication;
  • Make your messages private or public—share your ideas with the whole business, or just one or two co-workers;
  • Create new channels to encourage engagement and collaboration;
  • Retrieve information from messages with Flock’s search function;
  • Bookmark and pin important messages.

Pros:

  • Great for internal organization;
  • User-friendly;
  • Audio and video call functionality when messages don’t cut it;
  • Clean and appealing UI;
  • Syncs with other apps (i.e. Dropbox).

Cons:

  • Can’t direct message multiple people;
  • Not as many integrations as other comparable apps;
  • Flock’s paid plans are not as robust as competitor apps;
  • Notifications are overkill (i.e. unread messages).

What People Think About Managing Communications with Flock:

  • Capterra – 4.8/5
  • G2 – 4.4/5
  • Google Play Store – 4/5
  • Apple App Store – 4/5

Pricing:

Free Plan: Yes — includes unlimited messages, 10,000 searchable messages, 10 public channels, and 5 GB storage.

Paid Plans: Two

  • The Pro plan is available for $4.5 a user per month.
  • The Enterprise plan is available for $8 a user per month.

8. Teamwork

Teamwork

Teamwork provides a collaborative platform to keep team communication open. With instant temporary chat channels and video functionality, it’s a good option for keeping small business workers in the loop. Customize messages and notifications using a variety of Teamwork chat features. Access the software on your mobile phone or desktop.

Key Features:

  • Create channels for departments, teams, or projects;
  • Public channels enable business-wide discussion;
  • Start a 1:1 chat or group conversation;
  • Set deadlines and reminders for task completion;
  • Searchable chat history enables quick access to past messages.

Pros:

  • Easy to use and navigate;
  • Tasks and messages are easy to find;
  • Minimal learning curve to get started;
  • Follow-up on messages and tasks is simple.

Cons:

  • Free tier is less generous than comparable software;
  • Mobile app is not user-friendly compared to desktop app
  • No offline accessibility;
  • Could improve or add integrations.

What People Think About Managing Communications with Teamwork:

  • Capterra – 4.5/5
  • G2 – 4.4/5
  • Google Play Store – 3/5
  • Apple App Store – 2.7/5

Pricing:

Free Plan: Yes — includes 5 users and 100 MB storage.

Paid Plans: Two

  • The Pro plan is available for $4 a user per month.
  • The Enterprise plan is undisclosed.

9. Chanty

Chanty

Chanty offers easy onboarding across devices and platforms, so your team can connect instantly. Customize your messaging experience by naming conversations, leaving chats, designating chat participants, and more. Chanty is available for desktop and mobile, and has a permanent free plan that offers unlimited messaging.

Key Features:

  • Teambook allows you to organize messages, tasks, and content;
  • Set tailored messaging preferences for your chat experience;
  • Tag coworkers in comments or messages for a quicker response;
  • Assign and filter tasks by status, dates, and people;
  • Optimize workflow with board view.

Pros:

  • Easy to create chat rooms and invite team members;
  • Ability to send voice messages;
  • Intuitive UI;
  • Tasks feature saves time and improves workflow.

Cons:

  • Limited integrations;
  • Unable to mute channels;
  • Unable to see whether a user is typing, or what their availability is.

What People Think About Managing Communications with Chanty:

  • Capterra – 4.9/5
  • G2 – 4.6/5
  • Google Play Store – 4.4/5
  • Apple App Store – 4.7/5

Pricing:

Free Plan: Yes — includes unlimited messages, searchable history, and voice messages. However you are limited to 10 users.

Paid Plans: One

  • The Business plan is available for $3 a user per month.

10. Beekeeper

Beekeeper

 

Beekeeper is a mobile-first platform that works well for business communication and task management. With Beekeeper, you can schedule your messages, segment your audience, and track analytics in real-time.

Key Features:

  • Exchange information and ideas with one-on-one or group messaging;
  • Task management platform improves workflow for shift workers;
  • Collaborate via voice messages;
  • Comments, chat messages, and surveys are all translatable to recipient’s language;
  • Set reminders and follow-ups.

Pros:

  • Increases communication efficiency among staff;
  • Improves employee engagement;
  • Easy to use for all employees;
  • Ability to “like” messages allows employees to respond without typing a response.

Cons:

  • No calendar feature;
  • No call/video call feature;
  • Some features require integration of other platforms (with additional costs).

What People Think About Managing Communications with Beekeeper:

  • Capterra – 4.9/5
  • G2 – 4.6/5
  • Google Play Store – 4.4/5
  • Apple App Store – 4.7/5

Pricing:

Free Plan: Yes — a free 14 day trial is offered.messages.

Paid Plans: Several—four tiers in total. Pricing not disclosed on website.

11. Brosix

Brosix

Brosix centralizes workplace communications through both desktop and mobile versions. This software is all about privacy and control—chat through a secure network, manage your team’s permissions with administration features, set which features are available to certain employees, and more.

Key Features:

  • Administration focus allows creation of private team networks, management of team network activities, and more;
  • Delegate specific features to select employees;
  • Disable and enable desktop and mobile apps;
  • Control network chat rooms for more efficient collaboration;
  • Manage contacts in the team network by controlling who talks to whom.

Pros:

  • Easy to set up and navigate;
  • Secure platform for confidential messages and information;
  • Mobile and desktop accessibility;
  • Streamlined communication.

Cons:

  • Stringent administrator controls could create an atmosphere of distrust among employees;
  • Settings must be changed to log onto more than one device simultaneously;
  • Mobile app is lacking in features and not as easy to use compared to desktop;
  • Desktop and mobile conversation threads don’t always sync well on other devices.

What People Think About Managing Communications with Brosix:

  • Capterra – 4.6/5
  • G2 – 4.3/5
  • Google Play Store – 3.9/5
  • Apple App Store – 1/5

Pricing:

Free Plan: Yes — includes unlimited messaging, private team network, chat history, and up to 3 users.

Paid Plans: Two

  • The Business plan is available for $4 a user per month.
  • The Premium plan is available for $6 a user per month.

12. Pronto

Pronto

Pronto is an easily-accessible messaging app for all members of your team. From real-time chat, to file sharing and video calls, Pronto is a quick way for employees across the business to connect. The app is available for desktop and mobile use.

Key Features:

  • Real-time messaging replaces other platforms for streamlined communication;
  • Make announcements and send one-way communication to entire groups;
  • Live message translation gives employees of all backgrounds the ability to send messages in their native language;
  • Keep track of employee tasks and assignments with task management;
  • Onboarding is extremely easy and efficient.

Pros:

  • Easy to integrate;
  • Mobile app and desktop version are both simple to navigate;
  • Clean UI design;
  • Minimizes clutter by keeping all communication and tasks organized.

Cons:

  • No ability to filter or search for specific messages;
  • No ability to mention or tag specific users in chats;
  • Requires strong internet for all users to function optimally.

What People Think About Managing Communications with Pronto:

  • Capterra – 5/5
  • G2 – 4.6/5
  • Google Play Store – 3.8/5
  • Apple App Store – 4.8/5

Pricing:

Free Plan: Yes — a free trial is offered.

Paid Plans: Pricing is undisclosed.

What are the benefits of using a Team Chat App?

1. Streamlined communications

Team chat app eliminates your team’s need to spread discussions across email, texting, and phone calls. It keeps all your team’s conversations and discussions in one single place allowing for more efficient communications. It gives your team access to real-time communication with any teammate or team.

2. Saves hours of time

Emails are easily ignored and can be difficult to get a response right away. Unlike email, team chat apps makes it easy to grab someone’s attention with a notification when you need them to respond right away.

3. Keeps information accessible

Unlike emails and text messages, a team communication tool allows you to store document, links, and files that are all easily accessible by your team. Your employees will have all the information they need to get work done.

4. Increased productivity

A work messaging app provide more features than email and text messaging. It usually includes some form of task management tool that you can track the status of a project or task to ensure that work is being completed rather just being talked about.

5. Improves employee engagement

Messages in a team chat app do not have to be all work related. Conversations can easily be organized by topic, and you can give your employees an avenue to share personal updates and talk freely about non-work related things.

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