Top 6 Collaboration Tools for Ugandan Startups on a Lean Budget

Remote working is one of the fast growing trends among startups in Africa - Uganda included. This stems from a couple of backgrounds. What makes a startup opt to work remotely varies from startup to startup.

For example, some employ people from distant places or foreign countries while others can not afford money for renting an office where they can all work from at ago. For others, it is just a simple fact that some of the employees or co-founders are also doing an 8-5.

All in all, it is very difficult for - especially - a startup to do away with remote working. The question now remains which tools to use and whether your startup can afford them or not.

In our quest for answers to this, we decided to reach out to Ernesto Spruyt, Founder of Tunga. Tunga employs people from across Uganda, Kenya and Netherlands. All these are managed remotely.

Here are the recommendations Ernesto made,

1. Trello

Ernesto says that they use trello for work planning. Trello allows you to create boards for similar or related tasks and a team member creates a card for a task on the board. Look at it as a board for sticky notes which is divided into the various columns each representing a work stage.

For example, you can create various lists like brief, work in progress, rework, quality check and completed task. The card is moved to the next list in the sequence each time the work is finished for its present list.

For startups on a lean budget, Trello comes very much in handy. It has three packages. The first is a free package which gives them a luxury of unlimited boards, lists, cards, members, checklists, and attachments. It also has a Business package at $9.99 per user per month (when paid annually) and  $20.83 or less per user per month (when paid annually).

It is recommended for startups that do a lot of design works as it makes collaborating with the design team easier.

2. Slack

Here, Ernesto clearly states that he recommends Slack for team communication because, unlike Trello, Slack favors lengthy conversations. It has a couple of bots that make communication lively too.

One can only imagine what teams used to collaborate with before slack came into place. Again, it also comes in handy for startups that are operating on a lean budget as it offers a free package which includes 5GB total file storage for the team, two-person voice and video calls, searchable message archives which is upto 10k of your team’s most recent messages and so much more.

There are other packages offered which include standard and plus. For more details about Slack pricing, you can click here.

[caption id="attachment_1376" align="aligncenter" width="2000"] Trello and Slack are some of the most widely used collaboration tools[/caption]

3. Github

This one, Ernesto specifically recommended it for software development. Though it offers no free package, you find that its pricing is relatively affordable compared to other platforms like basecamp.

For a team that's planning to use Github, you should budget for around $9 per month per user. The package will include organization account, unlimited public repositories, unlimited private repositories as well as team and user permissions. For pricing details, check here.

4. E-mail

Ernesto strongly recommends the use of e-mail for external communication. He adds that they hardly ever use e-mail for internal communication. Of course this is because, as a startup you have a whole lot of tools for communication internally. From WhatsApp, Skype, Slack etc you find it hard to use e-mails.

Yet this isn't the case with outsiders. The other thing is that email allows you to keep track of communication through copying in your team members. It is also a universal mode of communication everywhere that exhibits professionalism. For example, you can't create a WhatsApp group to communicate with prospects yet an e-mail trail comes in handy.

Also read: Tunga Offers Opportunity to Uganda’s Freelance Developers

5. Google Suite

Enersto pointed out G-Suite and  recommended it for planning as well as storage. Google Suite is a product of google that offers freemium model services that very few startups take advantage of.

The services offered under G-suite are broken down under four categories which include communication, Storage, collaboration and management. From here, the focus is mainly on Google Calendar, Docs, Sheets, forms and Google drive.

[caption id="attachment_1385" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Google offers a variety of products that are mostly on freemium model[/caption]

Google calendar allows you to schedule meetings and appointments while as Docs, Sheets, forms and google drive allow you to contribute and store information in one place.

6. Skype

This comes in handy when you're making group calls. This we have added it from our experience using it to collaborate as a team. It is 100% free which means very highly recommended to startups that are running on a lean budget.

However much we have recommended these six tools, startups need to note that new tools keep coming out everyday, new features are added to the old ones as well as pricing keeps changing. Therefore, it is recommended that you're in a constant search for more effectiveness and also constantly experimenting with new tools and methods.

You might also want to check out here which is a very rich database of what startups use what kind of tools.

Digest Africa


Digest Africa Technologies Ltd
Ntinda Complex,
Block B, Level 3 Ntinda,
Kampala, Uganda

© Digest Africa Technologies Ltd 2023.
All Rights Reserved.