Collaboration Tools

Top Rated Collaboration Products

TrustRadius Top Rated for 2021

These products won a Top Rated award for having excellent customer satisfaction ratings. The list is based purely on reviews; there is no paid placement, and analyst opinions do not influence the rankings. Read more about the Top Rated criteria.

Collaboration Tools TrustMap

TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on trScore and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 50 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap.

Collaboration Tools Overview

What are Collaboration Tools?

Online collaboration software makes working together on professional projects easier and faster. It reduces bottlenecks in feedback and approval processes and allows for real-time communication. The three core areas of functionality for collaboration tools are:


  • Communication

  • Project & task management

  • File sharing & management

Some products stress one feature set over another. These take a best-of-breed approach, and work well if they offer integrations. For example, Slack is an online team collaboration app focused on messaging and file sharing. It also includes audio and video conferencing capabilities. For everything else, it integrates with other software tools.


Because they each have slightly different specialties, many of the tools above are not perfectly comparable. Depending on your business needs, you may want to invest in a few different types of collaboration tools. For example, many teams use a messaging application like Slack for casual communication and also use web conferencing software to host online meetings.


Online collaboration tools are closely related to a number of other types of software, including:


All of these platforms include collaboration features, though most are limited to a specific channel or type of interaction.


Sometimes collaboration tools can replace these more traditional solutions, but it is more common to integrate collaboration tools with existing communication and workflow structure. Often collaboration tools bring interactions that would otherwise be handled by separate platforms into a convenient central location.


Collaboration Tools Features & Capabilities

Communication

Some collaboration tools have communication capabilities at their core. Examples of online communication tools that specialize in this are include:



Other collaboration features are available but may have a limited scope. Communication features across collaboration tools include:


  • Options for integrated messaging. Live chat, comments within a file and private/group messages are all common
  • Privacy and access settings
  • Conference calling
  • Video chats with screen sharing
  • Project-based conversations

Project & Task Management

Another class of online collaboration tools have underlying project and task management capabilities at their core. These tools may not be as advanced as traditional project management platforms. However, they can be incredibly useful for online team collaboration and communication.


Examples of collaboration tools noted for significant project & task management features include:


Some products walk the line of collaboration and project management. For example, Wrike has many robust project management features, but it’s designed like a social network to make engaging with team members easy.


Access to advanced project management capabilities is usually more important for larger or interdepartmental teams. Collaboration features related to project & task management can include:


  • Workflow automation

  • Tracking location and changes to a file

  • Brainstorming tools/pinboards

  • Task lists and assignments. These are complete with due dates, sub-tasks and file attachment

  • Scheduling, calendar integration, reminders and alerts

  • Gantt charts

File Sharing & Management

Other online collaboration tools focus on document storage, sharing, and management. Examples of these products include:

They also offer significant opportunities for collaboration. Collaboration features central to file sharing include:

  • Security

  • Support for different file types

  • Comments and notes attached to files

  • Track changes and versioning

  • Editing permissions and access control

  • Shared folders

Online Collaboration Tools

Locally hosted collaboration solutions (like Redbooth Private Cloud) are less common than online SaaS collaboration tools. Online solutions are more abundant and often more convenient for end-users. They work particularly well for remote teams and employees who need to collaborate on common tasks.

They come in many forms, from mobile apps to browser extensions.

Some tools are industry and use case-specific. For example, Mural.ly and ConceptBoard are tools for graphic designers. On the other hand, Microsoft Yammer is more like a social network for corporate enterprises, regardless of department or industry. Other use cases for collaboration software include:

  • Creating an internal knowledge base for employees with a product like Confluence

  • Creating flow charts or mapping out ideas visually with a product like MindMeister

  • Creating group to-do lists with a product like Trello

Adoption

Adoption is key to success with collaboration software. It is only effective if everyone on the team is on board with the software.

It is important to choose a collaboration tool that is easy to use. The tool should also fit your team’s culture and goals. There are dozens of collaboration products on the market -- and it’s ever-growing!

To help you find a good fit, consider these questions:

  • What types of projects will you collaborate on?

  • What are the steps of a typical project?

  • How does your team handle communication and workflow?

  • Where do you store project files?

  • How many people will be collaborating? How many departments?

  • Will project managers or team members be collaborating? Both?

  • What other platforms and apps does your team use? How does the tool handle integration?

  • How formal or informal will collaboration be? Will all discussions be related to work on specific projects, or will some be social?

  • Will all conversations be archived?


Collaboration Tools Comparison

To help you more easily compare different types of collaboration tools, consider these 3 key factors:


  1. What’s the main purpose this tool will serve? For example, are you looking for an easy to use team instant messaging app? Or do you need a web conferencing tool that will be easy for employees and clients to use? Or maybe you’re looking for a new company intranet, or file and document sharing solution. Figuring out what business need(s) the tool will serve will help you identify which set of collaboration tools to evaluate.

  2. Ease of use, which helps determine how widely adopted the software will be, is highly important. If you invest in a collaboration tool that has a steep learning curve, it’s less likely to be adopted by the rest of your team. Look for tools that have high ‘usability’ ratings on the product scorecard tab on TrustRadius to help narrow down the list of products you’re considering.

  3. What does your budget for collaboration and communication software look like? This will likely depend on whether you are self-employed, a contract worker, an SMB, or an enterprise business. Many collaboration tools in this category have either free versions or free trials for your team to test out. However, if your business needs a very budget-friendly solution, look for tools that have a ‘forever free’ option.


Pricing Information

Collaboration software is usually priced by user on a monthly subscription.

Most vendors offer a free tier for up to a certain number of users. The free tiers usually have a more limited set of features and capabilities. There are many basic free online collaboration options, including GoVisually, Trello, Podio and Google Drive for example.

For paid plans, pure collaboration tools focused on notes, tasks, and chat start around $8/mo. per user. For collaboration tools that include cloud storage, pricing starts at around $10/mo. per user, and goes up from there based on storage size.

Collaboration Products

(101-125 of 332) Sorted by Most Reviews

Creately

Creately

Starting Price $6.95

Creately aims to provide powerful diagramming features at a very affordable price. The product boasts an intuitive interface so users can quickly and easily come up with professional diagrams. Users can draw flowcharts, organizational charts, wire-frames, SWOT diagrams, Venn diagrams,…

MURAL (formerly Mural.ly)

MURAL (formerly Mural.ly) from Tactivos (DBA MURAL) in San Francisco is described by the vendor as a digital workspace and visual collaboration tool, designed for creative teams to make the process of design more efficient for distributed teams, working remotely.

Thomson Reuters HighQ

HighQ Collaborate, now from Thomson Reuters (acquired 2019) is a cloud-based enterprise collaboration platform, featuring secure file sharing but also means for sharing documents with users outside the enterprise, as well as a user-interface optimized for mobile devices and intuitive…

Project Insight

Project Insight is a web-based project and portfolio management software. Project teams can access, edit and update their projects information anytime, anywhere, with any supported browser, tablet and mobile device. Features for experienced project managers include: MS Project import/…

Output Time

Output Time is a collaboration tool that bundles Project management, Time tracking, Invoicing, Team Collaboration and Expenses Management etc. It is available as Online and Self-Hosted Project Management versions.

SocialPort

SocialPort is a social communication management system that allows organizations share content on social platforms, enabling them to grow relationships and exhibit thought leadership in their industry. rFactr also provides social content training that prepares each individual in…

Innovation Cloud

Innovation Cloud

Starting Price $0

Innovation Cloud is a free web-based tool for idea management. It enables users to submit, codevelop and execute ideas.

GroupTweet

GroupTweet

Starting Price $7

GroupTweet allows any number of contributors to Tweet from a single Twitter account without the need to share the organization's Twitter password. GroupTweet allows authorized contributors to Tweet directly from their own personal Twitter accounts (if desired) using any Twitter app…

fileplan

fileplan is simple document management in the cloud that enables consistent, planned filing with document control and collaboration. The vendor (Radix Software) says fileplan helps teams apply simple, common sense principles to organize and control their documents since the software…

Bolste

Bolste

Starting Price $0

Bolste™ is a complete business operating system, designed to simplify work-life and help businesses grow by streamlining communication and collaboration. The system brings together separate applications – email, chat, tasks, file-sharing, calendars, and more – into a single, simple…

Crowdbase (discontinued)

Crowdbase was collaboration software from the company of the same name in Quebec. The company has ceased operations and the product is no longer available.

Alma Suite

Alma Suite

Starting Price $5

Alma Suite is a private social network for companies, that includes a task management tool, a private wikipedia for knowledge management, an idea manager, a game for training, professional profiles, discussion groups, news, instant messages, and postings. The vendor’s value proposition…

Staffbase

Staffbase is the employee communication platform for communicators in large, distributed organizations. Using a mobile first approach, it allows internal communicators to reach every employee through various channels like news, mobile magazine, chat rooms and surveys. Analytics and…

WorkRooms

WorkRooms blends agile task management with file organization. Users get a visual overview of projects, reviews and approvals and can share files with anyone. Built with a content-centric approach, WorkRooms focuses on the production, management and approval of content such as photos…

Speakap

Speakap is the award-winning secure and private platform enabling organizations of all sizes to engage with their non-desk and customer-facing employees, improving customer experience and business value. Sharing campaigns, best practices and results across locations, our clients…

MakeStoryBoard

MakeStoryBoard is a solution designed to help users to visualize a story. Users can: Add images or sketches and descriptions to communicate ideas in a dynamic format.Invite team members or collaborators to work together on the storyboards.Keep things private with project-by-project…

OnSolve Critical Event Management & Mass Notification

The OnSolve Critical Event Management & Mass Notification is the eponymous software-based communication, notification, and collaboration suite from the company created by the merge of MIR3, ECN, and Send Word Now. Their product suite contains alerting tools and cloud-based collaboration…

Lumen Unified Communications & Collaboration (formerly CenturyLink)

Lumen Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) (formerly CenturyLink) combine adaptive networking with a portfolio of technologies on a secure global network with end-to-end support. The UC&C portfolio includes cloud, hosted, and fully managed services built on best-…

HyperOffice Enterprise Collaboration Suite

HyperOffice delivers a collaboration software built around functionalities such as document and database management, a social network platform, and online collaborative calendars

MangoApps

MangoApps

Starting Price $3

MangoApps offers digital workplace solutions that combine intranet, collaboration, messaging, learning & 50+ built-in integrations for your business. MangoApps serves organizations with 50-50,000 employees in a broad range of industries from retail, healthcare, manufacturing,…

inMotion

inMotion is a work management solution designed for enterprise creative and marketing teams. The vendor says that unlike other solutions, inMotion combines creative brief management, project management, online proofing, and reporting into a single solution that is designed to help…

TIBCO Tibbr

Enterprise collaboration platform.

Lua

Lua

Starting Price $0

Lua is a mobile-first enterprise communication solution. It powers messaging that is built for business: instant, secure, and keeps everyone accountable. Some key features include: Real-time Secure Messaging, Two-touch Conference Calling, and an Analytics Dashboard.

Yamdu

Yamdu

Starting Price $7

Yamdu is a production management software for visual content. It combines individual tools for all departments and stages of a film, television or commercial production. Yamdu is designed to be the central platform for crew members and to provide information in a fast, simple, efficient…

Frequently Asked Questions

What are collaboration tools?

Collaboration tools help teams communicate, manage projects and tasks, and share and store files more efficiently. Not all online collaboration tools have the same set of capabilities, specific tools may specialize in one of the three areas above. Common use cases for collaboration software include:

  • Online meetings
  • Team messaging
  • Project & task management
  • File storage
  • Collaborative content creation

What are some free online collaboration tools?

Many collaboration software products have a free version available, though typically with more limited space or functionality. Popular free tools for small teams or SMBs include:


How much does collaboration software cost?

Along with free versions of the software, many collaboration tools range from $5 - $40 per user per month. Enterprise tier plans may cost more, depending on how many user licenses your business needs. Collaboration tools that provide cloud storage space may also increase based on the amount of space required.