Best of Document Management Software 2021

January 6th, 2021 34 min read

Document Management Systems (DMS) provide enterprises with the capability to digitally capture and convert documents and files. Features of document management software may also extend to document storage, search and retrieval, and sharing. DMS reduces enterprise dependence upon space-consuming document printing hardware, printed paper, and file drawers.

At TrustRadius, we are recognizing the best of Document Management Systems in the following categories: Best Support, Best Usability, and Best Feature Set. As filing cabinets are becoming a thing of the past, moving documents onto the cloud allows for easy sharing capabilities both internally and externally. However, this does open up opportunities in weak systems for security and privacy threats. 

It’s important to consider the quality of security as a top feature of your DMS. Also, if upgrading systems, you’ll want easy to use software so your employees can easily get their virtual workspace up and running. And in the rare case when things go awry, having a support team on your side to quickly solve issues is extremely important. 

For 2021, here are the top awarded Document Management Systems:

Contract Analysis
Kira Systems, Feature Set, 1st Place

Document Management

PowerDMS, Customer Support, 1st Place

Adobe Acrobat DC, Customer Support, 2nd Place

PowerDMS, Feature Set, 1st Place

Adobe Acrobat DC, Feature Set, 2nd Place

Electronic Signature

Adobe Sign, Customer Support, 1st Place

Adobe Sign, Feature Set, 1st Place

Office Suites

Windows Server, Customer Support, 1st Place

Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365), Feature Set, 1st Place

PDF Editors

Kofax Power PDF, Customer Support, 1st Place

Kofax Power PDF, Feature Set, 1st Place

Text Editors

Microsoft Visual Studio Code, Customer Support, 1st Place

Atom, Customer Support, 2nd Place

Microsoft Visual Studio Code, Feature Set, 1st Place

Atom, Feature Set, 2nd Place

Writing and Proof-Reading Tools

Grammarly, Customer Support, 1st Place

Grammarly, Feature Set, 1st Place

Best Contract Analysis Feature Set

When it comes to contracts, there is no room for error. Large corporations and small businesses alike rely on contract analysis to make sure that contracts are accurate, fully understood, and accessible. There is no replacement for high-quality analysis software like what is offered by Kira systems. 

Kira, 1st Place

Kira Systems goes above and beyond in the features that it offers to its users as a Contract Analysis solution. Kira can be trained to read contracts in a variety of languages and can assign tasks to multiple resources. It also uses a highly rated export/import format for important documents and information.

“We use Kira as a core tool in our offering to clients for reviewing contracts and documents at volume. It makes us more efficient and greater capacity. The tool is very reliable and is capable of being trained and adapted to ours and our client needs.” 

Stephen A. | Innovation & Digital | Innovation Technologies

Best Document Management Customer Support

When forms and pdfs are a major part of your daily business, security and ease of use are typically top of mind. But when selecting a new document management system, having a customer support team on your side is the difference between setting a business up for success. From having a large resource library for self-guided troubleshooting to escalations being handled by a responsive representative, quality customer support can make or break your experience.

PowerDMS, 1st Place

PowerDMS trScore

Support Rating, 8.8

PowerDMS is a document management system focused on compliance and industry policy regulations. It is commonly used by Law Enforcement, Healthcare, Fire/EMS, and Corrections organizations. Users have access to PowerDMS University, their knowledge base, which is largely appreciated by anyone that can quickly resolve issues on their own. It allows access to hundreds of documentation in a well-organized library and when issues need additional help, customer support is easy to access and eager to help. With different levels of staff, you are guaranteed to find the help that you need quickly and efficiently. 

“PowerDMS support is fantastic. Many times one can get the needed question answered by using the Success Community. If not, one can call or email PowerDMS and get prompt, courteous, English speaking assistance. They know everyone has different learning curves and never make one feel like a dumb question was asked. If it’s more of a technical glitch, then there is a constant and quick follow-up on the issue.”

Michael H. | Police Officer/Accreditation Officer | City of Cedar Rapids

Adobe Acrobat DC, 2nd Place

Adobe Acrobat trScore

Support Rating, 8.7

Adobe Acrobat DC is the current version of the well-established document / PDF management solution, part of the Adobe Document Cloud. Similar to PowerDMS, Adobe Acrobat DC has a large library of self-guided help FAQs and videos in addition to active community-based online support. With lots of praise for having a product that is intuitive and easy to use, most users report rarely having to call on support. In the event a major issue occurs, users report having a very responsive support team that can provide personalized assistance in various languages. 

“I gave it a 10, but I’ve never contacted support in my many years of using it. I’ve never run into a problem where contacting support was required. I’ve dealt with Adobe support in general and have had a great experience. It was really easy to get my issue resolved. I don’t know if the support would be different, but overall it was a good experience.”

Heather R. | Marketing Manager | Conexlink

Best Document Management Feature Set

When it comes to seeking Document Management Systems, users need to consider a product that offers up the features they need for their use case. Winners in this category offer feature sets that best satisfies users’ needs and meets their expectations. This can include both the breadth and depth of capabilities, depending on what matters most to users of particular software. Top features for this category include ease of document conversion, easy to set up forms, compatibility, clean formatting, and small file size. 

PowerDMS, 1st Place

PowerDMS trScore

PowerDMS is a document management system focused on compliance and industry policy regulations. It is commonly used by Law Enforcement, Healthcare, Fire/EMS, and Corrections organizations. Users report liking the course certification feature and a training module for seamless internal training. 

“My organization utilizes PowerDMS to manage different documents in the organization. The primary use is to manage our department policies. Staff members can access/review/sign off on policies in the program, and PowerDMS provides reporting tools for management to track these actions. PowerDMS is also used to provide the same policies to members of our community through the public-facing documents module as an add-on to the software. We also utilize PowerDMS to manage other documents, including but not limited to training bulletins, memos, forms, user guides, and releases.”

Aaron C. | Chief of Police | Shorewood Hills Police Department

Adobe Acrobat DC, 2nd Place

Adobe Acrobat trScore

Adobe Acrobat DC is the current version of the well-established document / PDF management solution, part of the Adobe Document Cloud. When it comes to features, users report that PowerDMS excels at document organization and the ability to have multiple types of documents. Also, it’s a product that is great for tracking training and managing accreditation documents. 

“We use Adobe Acrobat DC for many things: getting e-signatures from clients, enhancing scans to become text searchable, editing PDFs, combining PDFs, reorganizing the pages of a PDF, adding bookmarks, redacting documents, etc. Given it has a wide range of tools, Adobe Acrobat DC is best suited for our office needs for the price. Individually, those tools would cost us much more through other software programs.”

Melanie A. | Associate |Cummins & Holmes

Best of Electronic Signature (eSignature)

Electronic signature or e-signature software allows a contract to be signed digitally with a formal signature. The goal is to speed up contractual processes that legally require a signature.

The signature can be created using a mouse, a touchpad, or a tablet. E-signatures do away with paper forms. Paper forms are replaced with easily tracked and audited digital documents.

E-signing is especially important for contracts involving remote parties. In those cases, in-person signatures would be a significant roadblock. Therefore, most vendors offer features related to integration, file sharing, compliance, and approval workflows.

Best Electronic Signature Customer Support

Nothing makes business transactions easier or faster than eSignature software. Pending on the sensitive material being signed, the software being used must be both secure and easy to use. While ease of use prevents customer support intervention, having the ability to reach someone on the phone or responsive emails are top concerns for users in this area. And most importantly, little to no downtime to fix issues so business continues as normal.

Adobe Sign, 1st Place

Support Rating, 7.5

Adobe Sign lets users send, sign, manage, and store documents and forms with trusted, legal electronic signatures. It keeps business moving from anywhere, with the signing of documents, requesting signatures, and process tracking from the web and mobile devices as well as inside applications used every day. Users report appreciating its intuitive platform and use of use – resulting in a few issues needing customer support. But when issues have come into place, their chat option is the best way users report getting live assistance to quickly resolve their issues. 

“We typically reach out to support to get users unlocked if they had their account deactivated. Whenever we reach out we typically get a response within the hour and the issue is resolved in that same time span. I haven’t had an issue with support albeit we don’t reach out that much.”

Vincent C. | System Administrator | Zocdoc

Best Electronic Signature Feature Set

Electronic Signature (or e-Sign/E-Sign/eSign) has been growing steadily over the years recently as more businesses and customers choose to forgo dealing with hard copies of documents. For many, this is an environmental consideration, for others, simply ease-of-use. For a competitive Electronic Signature platform, users should look for programs that allow users to create editable documents in a form-based format, as well as provide users with pre-set versions of their electronic signature, or on-screen handwriting tools. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, Electronic Signature platforms need to have some of the most rigorous security standards in the software industry, given the sensitive nature of many business documents that use its technology.

Adobe Sign, 1st Place

Adobe Sign trScore

Adobe Sign’s key features are its automated signature request capabilities, one-click sign, and embedded payment tool. Users of Adobe Sign also enjoy its natural integration with other Adobe products, especially Adobe Acrobat Pro, which is a popular tool for professionals overseeing important documents at their organization.

“In Accounts Payable, we are required to have approvals for the payment of invoices. Having the ability to send those documents within seconds of receiving them to individuals off-site for a quick turn around is imperative. Having these signatures on the document instead of in an attachment makes it easy for the auditors to move on to the next task.”

Crystal S. | Accounts Payable Coordinator | Health, Wellness, and Fitness

Best Office Suites Customer Support

Office Suites Software refers to suites of personal productivity products for creating documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and other similar capabilities. The trend in this area in recent years has been to move away from installed, licensed software products towards online products that are accessed over the Internet and are paid via a monthly or annual subscription.

Beyond having a courteous support staff to assist users with any issues with their software or setup, users are looking for a robust knowledge base and FAQ section to help them quickly troubleshoot common issues. 

Windows Server, 1st Place

Windows Server trScore

Support Rating, 8.0

Perhaps the most well known, Windows Server is a staple in many businesses for their office suites. From secure document sharing to user management systems, users love Windows Server to house most of their company’s applications. Because they offer such an extensive library of documentation in their knowledge base, having dedicated support teams is an added expense. Users report support staff are excellent in customer service and always quick to assist. However, if additional fees for dedicated support are out of reach, most users report finding many unofficial active technical communities that offer up expert advice. 

“Thankfully, I haven’t had to use the support much as there’s an abundance of knowledge online and freely available, but on the occasions that we have had to contact support their response has been excellent and our issues resolved within a reasonable time.”

Verified User | Engineer in Information Technology | Accounting Company

Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365), Feature Set, 1st Place

365 trScore

Housing arguably the most popular products for office suites, Microsoft 356 is a powerhouse in this category.  Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, are just some of the most recognized tools. Easy to learn and endless tutorials and courses, there’s no question that Microsoft is a leader in the feature set category. With mobile apps for every product and seamless cloud solutions, workers can access their data from anywhere making it the perfect solution for remote workers.

“It works well in virtually every organization from small to medium to enterprise. Though several open-source equivalents work well and even handle MS Office files easily, MS Office is clearly the market leader (something like 90% of the email and authoring market according to a 2020 Gartner study) so generally the learning curve is not steep.”

Matthew M. | Principal Consultant/Foodservice Operations & Culinary Lead | Eby-Brown

“Office 365 is perfect for any organization. It makes managing of basic office products much easier and helps our users work from anywhere. Having the email hosted elsewhere took some initial getting used to but since has been perfect. We saved on infrastructure costs and in general have much less trouble than when we were managing things ourselves. Once you get over the initial hurdle/implementation it almost runs itself.”

Ben T. | Dynamics AX System Administrator | Kimball Midwest

Best PDF Editors Customer Support

PDF Editors allow the user to perform edits and capture information from .pdf files, enter data into fields, or convert PDFs into different file types. For a product that has a dedicated niche, users are looking for an easy to use editor system with tutorials and accessible documentation. When customer support is required, users are looking for short wait times to access live phone support and quick to resolve issues.

Kofax Power PDF, Customer Support, 1st Place

Kofax trScore

Support Rating, 9.9

Built for business users, Kofax Power PDF provides a solution to manage PDFs and fits into a corporate environment. It works like Office desktop products for fast learning and is designed so users can meet simple to complex needs with a single tool, plus strengthen security. Most users report never having to use customer support, simply because the product itself is so easy to use and the user documentation offers the self-help solution they need to answer their questions. For common issues like transferring licenses to new computers, users report being able to connect with support over the phone within minutes and friendly staff to assist them. 

“The simple answer is that whenever I have called Kofax Power PDF support, they have been very quick to resolve all of my issues. Most of my issues revolve around moving the software from an old computer to a new one. They have never failed to provide a quick response.”

Howard G. | Vice President | MacRitchie Engineering, Inc.

Best PDF Editors Feature Set

PDF Editors allow the user to perform edits and capture information from .pdf files, enter data into fields, or convert PDFs into different file types. When it comes to features for this software category, all users are looking for a program that offers ease of use and quick to edit solutions for their PDFs. Also, offering collaboration and security features are the top needs in this area. 

Kofax Power PDF, 1st Place

Kofax trScore

With another win, Kofax Power PDF leads the way in the feature set category. Build for business users, this product offers easy to use solutions for all PDF editing needs. Users love that it offers all the features of top brands at a fraction of the cost. Kofax Power PDF is easy to use with resizing and text features as well as a secure eSignature function. User report liking the collaboration functions as well as the watermark feature and combining several documents into one. 

“I am so happy I found Kofax Power PDF. It actually came with my all-in-one printer and I absolutely loved it, [so] when I purchased my next all-in-one, I continued to use this software. I love the ease of combining documents. This is so much easier to use and I have not run into any problems. I do not ever plan to go back to the competitor’s software. This has allowed us to save money on paper as well as time and has allowed the company to be more productive.”

Verified User | Executive in Corporate | Events Services Company

Best Text Editor Customer Support

Text editors, or source code editors, allow developers and others to generate and edit text used by programs. Text editors are lightweight, flexible, and contain features to ease writing and manipulating code. Users in this category are looking for software with frequent updates and vibrant online communities for help with solutions. It’s also important to have access to customer support around the clock and in various parts of the world.

Microsoft Visual Studio Code, 1st Place

Viz Studio trScore

Support Rating, 8.9

Microsoft offers Visual Studio Code, a text editor that supports code editing, debugging, IntelliSense syntax highlighting, and other features. Users report having access to well-maintained official documentation and a huge community of users that actively support one another. Others report appreciating the support that work hard to fix any issues and that they are very easy to connect with. 

“The support is excellent. Frequent updates are a super plus, which in itself makes a user feel confident in the software. If provided user documentation isn’t enough there is a vibrant community online that is ever ready to provide extra support as it is a widely used app.”

Verified User | Analyst in Quality Assurance | Computer Software Company

Atom, 2nd Place

Atom trScore

Support Rating, 8.3

Atom is a free and open-source text editor offering a range of packages and themes. With the popularity of this product, there is a vibrant community of users online that are consistently sharing resources. Although this product is free, users do have access to 24/7 support and a Slack channel. 

“It depends on your expectations. As a free product, you would not expect someone to be there 24/7 ready to answer any of your questions in a timely fashion. As a popular tool, you can easily search for the information you need online.”

Verified User | Analyst in Professional Services | Financial Services Company

Best Text Editor Feature Set

Text editors, or source code editors, allow developers and others to generate and edit text used by programs. Text editors are lightweight, flexible, and contain features to ease writing and manipulating code. From Intelligent Code Completion to vast plugin libraries, ratings are dependent on the multitude of features for this software category. Winners in this category are not only easy to use but report having Git integration and offer multi-languages.

Microsoft Visual Studio Code, 1st Place

Viz Studio trScore

Microsoft offers Visual Studio Code, a text editor that supports code editing, debugging, IntelliSense syntax highlighting, and other features. For many users, it’s the primary code editor for their whole organization. Users report enjoying features like low memory consumption, Git integration, and great UX. Most importantly, with Microsoft’s active development, expect to see this software a mainstay for years to come.

“The inclusion of git is one of the most awesome features and scenarios I used daily allowing me to check for conflict, merges, and pushes to my different branches. It displays in a great way when there is some conflict after a pull. Microsoft Visual Studio Code replaced my git 3rd party application to solve conflicts and manage git branches.”

Verified User | Consultant in Research & Development | Computer Software Company

Atom, 2nd Place

Atom trScore

Atom is a free and open-source text editor offering a range of packages and themes. The best free editor of choice for most organizations, Atom comes in 2nd place for best feature set. Users report having features like Git integration, plugin ecosystem, and cross-platform support for Windows, Mac, and Linux. For a free platform, there is a huge community of support on various forums making it easy to find solutions in no time. 

“Atom is excellent for writing code in any of its supported languages, although for Java, C#, or Objective C, it would probably not be my first choice. The reason is that other more robust IDEs are made especially for those languages (e.g. Eclipse, Visual Studio, and Xcode). I use Atom for writing C++ but I also love it for web development. It’s great when you want to customize your development environment for your particular workflow and have time to spare digging into the nitty-gritty of configuration, as well as trying out a lot of different plugins and removing the ones that don’t work well. In general, it’s great when you have the time to set it upright, and not as good when you want to get moving quickly without a lot of configuration.”

Jonah D. | Web & Mobile Developer | Bluefire Productions

Best Writing & Proofreading Tools Customer Support

Proofreading and plagiarism checkers are used in brand and content marketing to ensure that content is original and brand consistent, and in education to verify that students’ work is not plagiarized from online sources. Also, writing tools are used to ensure language is grammatically correct and readable. The Best Customer Support Award celebrates the products with the best customer support, according to their users, in their category. As business software grows in technical complexity, a vendor’s ability to assist users with any number of problems or processes can make an immense difference in users’ experience with the software. 

Grammarly, 1st Place

Grammarly trScore

Support Rating, 9.1

Grammarly provides its grammar improvement and AI-driven writing assistance platform, available on free or paid premium and business plans. Growing in popularity, this commonly used program is super easy to use and perfect for content writers. As with most software solutions, when a program is so easy to use, support is rarely needed and this is what you get with Grammarly. Users report rarely need support since the FAQ documentation nearly solves all issues. When major issues arise, the support time is available and easy to work with. 

“I have not found a need to reach out to the customer support team. The tool itself has never crashed or caused additional problems. I believe that not needing to reach out to customer support is a positive indicator that their application works well!”

Verified User | Program Manager in Corporate | Professional Training & Coaching Company

Best Writing & Proofreading Tools Feature Set

From sending emails to clients to internal company communications, having a writing and proofreading tool is the key to creating the best readable content. These tools support brand consistency and ensure language is grammatically correct in addition to simple auto-correcting spelling. While nearly all document writing tools have simple auto-detection of spelling and simple grammar errors, adding a proofreading tool to your business takes your writing to the next level. Users are looking for plagiarism detection, feedback suggestions, and tone rating to ensure content is accurate and readable.

Grammarly, 1st Place

Grammarly trScore

With another win, Grammarly provides its grammar improvement and AI-driven writing assistance platform. With free or paid premium and business plans, it’s no wonder Grammarly is widely used. Users love the browser extensions and ease of use when writing on various writing platforms. With the autodetection of misspelled words and grammar errors, users love how easy it is to use. In addition, it picks up writing tones and learns the writer’s habits to keep the language consistent.

“Grammarly is best suited for people who are in the job of creating professional content, be it email, a blog, website copy. Using Grammarly’s editor they can quickly draft the content and fix issues with the help of inline prompts that Grammarly provides. Besides checking for typos and grammatical errors it can also check for things like tone, intent etc. Grammarly offers their solution as a third-party keyboard add-on to use in mobile devices. While it is good to have it is not very good when creating long-form content. Also, it may not be a useful tool when drafting contractual/ legal content.”

Arun G. | Chief Executive Officer | Recotap

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