Collaboration Tools

Top Rated Collaboration Products

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

(1-25 of 313) Sorted by Most Reviews

Nextcloud

Nextcloud offers their open source, self-hosted Content Collaboration Platform, combining what they describe as an easy user interface for consumer-grade cloud solutions with the security and compliance measures enterprises need. Nextcloud brings together universal access to…

GatherContent

GatherContent headquartered in London offers their content operations, collaboration and governance platform for enterprises.

O3Spaces Composer

O3Spaces is a optional cloud-based or local-hosted document creation and collaboration service. O3Spaces is written in Java, and based on the Tomcat server with a PostgreSQL backend (other databases are also supported).

Drinkle

Drinkle is a project management solution that helps businesses organize projects, manage teams, and assign tasks. Some key features include: Task Management, Leads Management, and Team Activities.

Datapolis Process System

Datapolis Process System is a process management platform for Microsoft SharePoint 2013. Some key features include: Graphic Workflow Designer, Automated Activities Designer, and Workflow History.

Muut

Muut is an embedded community platform providing both embedded comments (e.g. blog comments, reviews on product pages etc.) and a full blown forum system that is embeddable onto a website on any platform.

Boardwalk Communicator

Boardwalk Communicator

Starting Price $10

Boardwalk Communicator lets business teams share spreadsheet data and consolidates changes without emailing attachments or dealing with the check-in/check-out complexities of intranets or the upload/download processes of file servers and file sharing services. The user interface,…

Pyrus

Pyrus is a collaboration platform that supports workplace exchanges, transparently manages responsibility for every unit of work, and streamlines workflows. The Pyrus platform is available as a web service as well as a native app for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows Phone. This…

Traction TeamPage

Traction TeamPage started life as a blog and wiki platform. The product is relatively simple with a strong UI.

Casual

Casual is a visual project management tool. Teams can use Casual to plan and execute the workflows of their projects.

Convo

Convo

Starting Price $9

Convo is a collaboration tool built around a social network with integrations into third-applications like Google Drive, Twitter, and Dropbox.

ThinkTank 5

Our suite of agenda design, crowdsourcing, crowd computing, and group dynamics management tools improves outcomes for workgroups, projects, strategic initiatives, and organizational processes. ThinkTank's uniquely structured, patented collaboration software suite enables people to…

Glasscubes

UK company Glasscubes offers their eponymous collaboration platform, featuring document management, file sharing and synchronization, and other project management tools.

GoVisually

GoVisually is a collaboration tool that aims to allow graphic designers to quickly get feedback from their peers. It allows collaborators to leave annotations and comments. It also has some features for managing projects and revisions.

Slenke

Slenke is a virtual workspace that allows users to manage their company from anywhere. Through intuitive and easy to use features it allows businesses to manage project portfolios, individual projects, tasks, internal communication, time tracking, invoicing and file sharing.

Campfire

Campfire

0 reviews
Starting Price $12

Campfire is a group chat and team collaboration tool, that has now been integrated into Basecamp 3. It allows users to create a shared space where members can collaborate by group texting. While Campfire is supported for users who had originally acquired it standalone, Basecamp…

Attensa Streamserver

Attensa Streamserver is a cloud-based knowledge management collaboration software from Attensa Software.

Sideways 6

Sideways 6 is an employee ideas platform that connects to Yammer to source, analyse and manage ideas without requiring employees to learn new software. The vendor takes this approach because they've found that it can be difficult to get employees to take up 'yet another app'. According…

Gtdagenda

Gtdagenda

Starting Price $9

Gtdagenda is a web-based project and task management application based on David Allen's GTD. Its features include Projects, Contexts, Next Actions, Goals and Checklists. It integrates with Evernote and Google calendar. It is also available as iPhone and Android mobile apps.

DynaDo

DynaDo is a project management and collaboration solution. It includes tools such as Email, Project Management, Customer Support, File Storage, Discussion Forums, Calendar, Chat, and CRM.

Zello for Work

Zello for Work is designed to turn any smartphone into a user-friendly push-to-talk (PTT) device on any network. This can be done with the user’s existing smartphones or ruggedized devices. Zello users can speak in groups or to direct contacts, decreasing nonessential noise in the…

OpenText Brava!

OpenText Brava! offers secure viewing and collaboration, balancing accessibility to content with the need to secure and control that content. Brava! aims to provide in-house employees and remote, mobile users with access to content while ensuring that it never leaves the repository.…

Workgroups DaVinci

Workgroups DaVinici is a project management software solution dedicated to automating and providing transparency to the entire creative production process for creative and marketing teams. According to the vendor, it combines multi-tiered project management, workflow scheduling &…

Mithi SkyConnect

Mithi SkyConnect is a cloud based collaboration suite offering Cloud Email, Instant Messaging, Calendar, Document Collaboration and more. According to the vendor, the product offers near-zero server downtime and reliable multi-layered security. The collaboration apps are accessible…

Nomadesk

Nomadesk is a business file sharing and synchronization platform. It allows employees at enterprises to access secure data remotely, while complying with corporate IT requirements. Nomadesk file security features are a main differentiator from free cloud storage solutions. Security…

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.