In this era of virtual collaborative work, the tools you use can make a big difference at how successful your projects would turn out. As a freelancer, I've come across various tools that I've tried, some were recommended, while others were supplied by my clients and overall, these tools have not only made the distance seem irrelevant, the tools we've implemented made certain that projects are organized and productivity is increased. For the past 4 years that I've been tinkering with my computer day in and day out, I've made some great collection of collaboration tools that I do not only use on a daily basis, but I would certainly vouch for its benefit. So here they are:

1. Skype

I've used Skype as far as back as when I first started working as a freelancer. And it has been a consistent tool I use on a daily basis. Major use are for calling, instant messaging as well as occasional file transfer and screen sharing. If you want to extend the power of this already powerful tool, you can also add Pamela recorder. I have this installed as I sometimes miss some points on the conversation specially when there are distractions from the background and it's been a great choice. I also love the the fact that you can go back to your instant messages if you need to review previous conversations.

Aside from your desktop, you may also want to install Skype on your Android and Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPad for a total productivity experience, even when you're on the go.

2. Google Office Suite

Google's suite of productivity tools is probably one of the most well integrated system. And that's a good reason why it's one of the tools on top of this list. They have been making their tools more and more collaboration centric and highly accessible. The full set of Google suite which include Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Gmail and Google Hangout etc, are a highly recommended collaboration tool. Best of all, you get it for free and still get the full suite with all it's functionalities.

3. Dropbox

Dropbox is one of the many file sharing and cloud storage tools available today. But amongst the many choices available, Dropbox is still on top of my list. I'd say simplicity and user friendliness is what makes Dropbox a good choice for me. There's almost simultaneous sync capability across multiple devices and platforms. For a team, it eliminates need to send and resend files. You just have to have an access via sharing and you'll automatically get the latest version. And if for some reason, you accidentally delete a file, you still have the ability to restore the file which is a total lifesaver.

4. Hootsuite

When it comes working on various social media channels, Hootsuite stands out as one of the best, if not the best in its class. It offers you management ability of multiple accounts, from Facebook pages, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin etc.  Hootsuite makes life easier with it's centralized dashboard that makes every social network you have within easy reach. With Hootsuite, you have the option to schedule posts or even use their auto scheduling system. Available on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.

5. Teamwork PM

There are many project management tools you will find on the internet, but you will rarely find a tool as comprehensive and as affordable as Teamwork PM. From task management, messaging, billing, and cross platform synching, Sam Kidd's Team have created a certified freelancer's friend in this collaboration tool.

One of the features I love about TeamworkPM is the ability to sync cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox and Box.

Do you have other recommendations for collaboration tools? Let us know in the comments.