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Best group-messaging apps for business

Best group-messaging apps for business

Group messages are a great alternative to chaotic email threads with everyone hitting Reply-All. That's why messaging is an increasingly popular platform for taking care of business. Our top three group messengers for work help you convert email to texts, stay focused on tasks, and collaborate more efficiently.

Apps in this guide

MailTime ( Android, iOS)

Espresso Chat ( iOS)

Band ( Android, iOS)

For managing email and assigning tasks: MailTime (Android, iOS)

MailTime turns all those messy work email threads into conversational, easy-to-follow chat bubbles, so you can get through them more quickly.

This messenger supports Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, AOL, and more. But your recipients don't have to download MailTime to message back and forth with you -- they'll see your chats as standard email.

MailTime also filters your messages: Important for email sent by humans; All Mails for newsletters.

One of our favorite features: You can assign tasks without leaving chat. In this case, your colleague must have MailTime. Simply type @ and their name and tell them what you need them to do. They will see this message in Recent Mentions.

For staying on task: Espresso Chat (iOS)

It's easy for group messages to go off the rails, whether they're on email or chat. Espresso Chat is a messaging app built on topics, kind of like a forum, so you stand a better chance of keeping the conversation focused.

Register for an account with your phone number and work email. Then name a topic and invite coworkers to join -- just input their phone numbers and they'll get a download link.

Once the conversation has begun, track important details with one-tap highlighting. If the chat turns to a subtopic that doesn't apply to everyone, just start a new topic with new invitees, so only the necessary parties are involved and everyone else can get back to work.

For reaching consensus: Band (Android, iOS)

The hardest part of collaboration can be coming to a consensus. With Band, you can open a conversation and share an invite URL with your coworkers. There you can discuss topics, share files (photos, PDFs, videos, and Dropbox and Google Drive files), and create and share calendar invites.

Need a quick decision? Create a poll by tapping Post on your Band homepage and then Poll on the bottom rail. Title your poll with a question and add as many response options as you need. If you want to make poll responses anonymous, scroll down to "Allow secret voting field" and toggle it on. Tap Attach and Done.

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Joshua Rotter is a copy editor for Download.com and covers iOS.