There is a growing trend to ditch needless meetings in favor of other ways to update your team members. Asynchronous (or “async”) meetings are productive and waste less time, especially with these free async video and voice message apps for work.
Async meetings, in a nutshell, are like instant messaging or social media. But instead of a text message, you record a quick voice message or a video (of yourself or your screen) and share it with your team. You can improve productivity by using asynchronous communication in common work tasks like daily standup meetings, team check-ins, and project updates.
1. Beseda (Web): Free Asynchronous Video, Screen-Sharing, and Voice Messages
Beseda is an asynchronous chat tool that lets teams communicate via video and screen recordings, voice messages, text messages, or a combination of these. You’ll need to create an account to start, but it’s free to use and doesn’t seem to have any restrictions or paywalled features yet.
Your dashboard shows all the chatrooms you have created or joined in Beseda. A second tab is for unread messages in any of your chats, so you can quickly see updates.
Each chatroom has a name and a short description to state its purpose. For example, the daily standup meeting has four points that participants will address in their daily update. You can send the room link to anyone to join, and all they need is an account.
When posting a message, you’ll get a three-second buffer before the recording begins. Video messages can be webcam-only, screen recording only, or a combination of screen with your webcam in a bubble at the bottom-left of the screen. Voice and video messages have a maximum limit of five minutes, while text messages don’t seem to have any limit. When you record voice or video, Beseda will try to auto-transcribe the recording but doesn’t do a good job of it in our opinion.
2. Yac (Web): Async Meetings Anyone Can Join, With Voice and Screen Recordings
There are some excellent free video calling apps where you can quickly create a room and send the link to others. Yac is a similar free app to create a custom meeting or chatroom which anyone can join when you share the link. But instead of video calling, you share voice messages and screen recordings.
Once you create a meeting, you can also set a deadline for it, as well as invite people directly through the app. You need to register for Yac to create or join a meeting, creating your own user profile and sending direct messages to colleagues. You can also start “channels” for different recurring meetings.
Within your private Yac room, you can post a message as a voice recording or a screen recording. Participants can then reply to this message, creating a thread that stays on topic. Recipients can play back messages at 1x, 1.5x, and 2x speed, skip 10 seconds forward or back, and react with an emoji.
Yac also auto-transcribes all voice messages with an AI tool. In our tests, this didn’t work particularly well, although that might be a result of accents.
3. Threadit (Web, Chrome): Longest Asynchronous Video Messages and Clip Stitching
Threadit is one of the coolest new Google-made apps you should check out. You can use it as the web app on any browser, and there’s a Chrome extension that works as a shortcut to quickly launch a new Threadit status update.
There are two great reasons to choose Threadit over other async video message apps. First is the message time limit. Currently, Threadit allows you to record messages up to 70 minutes, which is easily the longest video recording available for free plans in async apps.
The second reason is that it allows you to record clips, and automatically stitches it together. When you start recording through the webcam, you can pause your message at any time to create a “clip”. You can delete clips or re-record them if you messed up, and Threadit will use Google’s video AI software to stitch together your clips into one seamless and cohesive message.
A recorded Threadit message can be shared with anyone, allowing them to view it even if they don’t have an account. You can also download your Threadit videos to use them in other places.
Download: Threadit for Chrome (Free)
4. Weet (Web): Organized Chatrooms for Async Work Videos
Weet is another asynchronous video app for workplaces with a focus on organizing chatrooms. With a free account, you can create a “workspace” and invite people to it. You can also set up multiple channels within that workspace. So, for example, you could make one team as a workspace, and assign different channels within it for daily standup meetings, demos, onboarding, and so on.
A video in Weet can be up to eight minutes in length and feature your webcam, screen-sharing, or a combination of both. You can add filters and virtual backgrounds to your webcam recording. You can also pause your recording to create clips, which you can delete or re-order in the video.
Weet features robust video editing features, making it excellent for demos and presentations. You can trim your video, add chapters and captions, and make GIF thumbnails.
Some features are paywalled for the premium account. In the free account, you can view the last 10 videos in any workspace, and record in 720p quality. That’s a good enough restriction to see if Weet will work for your team, before buying the premium package.
5. PingPong (Web): Slack Alternative for Async Work Messages and Meetings
Slack is the preferred messenger app for most workplaces, focusing on real-time text chat. If you want the same features but in an asynchronous communication style, PingPong is a great free alternative.
The app looks and behaves a lot like Slack, letting you create channels for different topics or workspaces and add people to it. But within each channel, you can’t just send a new message to create a chronological list of messages. Instead, in each channel, you create a new thread, and send messages in that thread.
The message can be text, audio, or video, where video also allows for screen-sharing for demos. PingPong will also auto-transcribe your video and voice messages, but doesn’t do a great job of it. Other participants can reply to the thread, or react to your message.
PingPong also features “Pings”, which is a personal task list. You can add any message to your own pings, thus keeping a list of your to-do items within the app.
Async Work Style Helps Beat Burnout
With such a range of free asynchronous communication apps for teams, you can choose exactly what fits your work needs. And it’s best to do it soon if your workers or you are fatigued from Zoom calls and Slack chats.
There’s a real fear of burnout in the “always-on” work culture that has built around working remotely. A major reason for that is instant communication fostered by messenger and video calling apps. But by opting to see and reply to messages when you’re in the right mindset, you can break these bad work habits and become more productive.
The Always-On Culture of Work Is Hurting Your Productivity: Here’s How to Fix It
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