Of course I use Upwork messenger, but in my opinion it leaves a lot to be desired.
Once the clients are actually clients these are the tools that I help me greatly….
When you’re traveling around the world, using different sim cards, and needing to easily send files, get alerts, be in touch… everything… nothing comes close to skype.
I’ve tried other communication things like ichat, WhatsApp, etc… but when it comes to work…. you can’t touch Skype. It’s just better.
I keep all of my individual client projects and my own personal life projects on trello boards.
I usually set these up as scrum boards and they help me collaborate and stay organized.
More on that here.
One of the first things I usually do for clients is create a mind map so we know what’s going on within the organization. This helps me take all of the things in my client’s brain and my own brain and make it visually appealing vs. a web of chaos. This is more for communicating thoughts vs communicating words.
For the same reasons I like iThoughts, is the same reason I love Lucid Chart. Again, it allows me to communicate brain functions.
Once we’re in the grips of a project, and if there’s a big team, I’m a big fan of slack. While I don’t think it’s as good as Skype if you want to just simply go back and forth like a phone conversation, it’s great when there’s 3 or more people involved with a project. Combining this with Trello is very powerful.
I’ll add more as I think of more but those are definitely my favorite.