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Best Collaboration Tools
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Collaboration Tools Overview
What are Collaboration Tools?Collaboration software makes working together on professional projects easier and faster. It reduces bottlenecks in feedback and approval processes. The three core areas of functionality for collaboration tools are:
- Project & task management
- File sharing & management
Collaboration tools are closely related to a number of other types of software, including:
- Business communications (e.g. email, phone, web conferencing)
- Community platforms
- Cloud storage
- Project management software
- Online office suites (such as G Suite and Microsoft Office 365)
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
CommunicationSome collaboration tools have communication capabilities at their core. Examples include Skype, Google Hangouts, and HipChat. 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 screensharing
- Project-based conversations
Project & Task Management
Project management features are usually more important to larger teams. They also work for interdepartmental teams or teams within larger organizations. Collaboration features related to project & task management can include:
Tracking location and changes to a file
Task lists and assignments. These are complete with due dates, sub-tasks and file attachment
Scheduling, calendar integration, reminders and alerts
File Sharing & Management
Support for different file types
Comments and notes attached to files
Track changes and versioning
Editing permissions and access control
Online Collaboration Tools
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
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?
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.
Listings (126-150 of 250)
Slenke’s mission is to help create a connected workplace and give people working in it a simpler way to get work done. Slenke is a workplace collaboration software to manage your company from anywhere. Through intuitive and easy to use features it allows businesses to manage project portfolios,...
UK company Glasscubes offers their eponymous collaboration platform, featuring document management, file sharing and synchronization, and other project management tools.
GoVisually provides a collaboration tool of the same name for graphic designers. The company was founded by Kiran S. Kumar and is headquartered in Sydney.
Attensa Streamserver is a cloud-based knowledge management collaboration software from Attensa Software.
Campfire is really a group chat / team collaboration platform. It allows users to create a shared space where members can collaborate by group texting.
Sideways 6 provides innovation management solutions.
ConceptShare provides solutions for the creative operations management market. The company's customers include: Macy’s, Sony and Microsoft. Founded in 2006, ConceptShare is based in Ontario Canada.
Zello Inc provides an enterprise solution that enables organizations to create secure, private and managed networks that are designed to exceed their 2-way radio needs. Their solution spans multiple industries and includes freight and trucking, cell phone carriers, security and government, air an...
MetaCommunications develops workflow and collaborative productivity solutions that help marketing and creative teams around the world be more productive. Meta's flagship product, Workgroups DaVinci™, is the only software solution to combine project management, online co...
Mithi exists to provide the collaboration advantage to businesses & help enterprises manage & secure email data The world is getting more specialized, complex and fast. You need to work with diverse apps, services, and people to develop designs, build products, deliver services & get ...
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.
iManage Share (formerly HP Linksite) is a document sharing and collaboration tool from iManage, a company divested from Hewlett-Packard in 2015.
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.
FoxyTasks is a web-based marketing project management solution. Some key features include: Project Planning, Budget Management, Clients Collaboration and Real-Time Document Collaboration.
Nutcache is a free, online invoicing and time management application targeted at freelancers and small businesses. Nutcache allows users to bill their clients, manage their expenses and keep track of their hours on each project. Through reporting, users can stay up-to-date on their business’ prog...
iMeet Central by PGi (formerly the application was known as "Central Desktop") is a collaboration and project management solution. Key features include file-sharing and collaboration with internal and external team members, project and task management, workflows and databases for process automati...
4th Office is collaboration software with built-in chat capability, an intelligent personal assistant, and a card-based user interface.
BusinessHub is a collaboration tool currently in private beta; it will be available to the public in fall 2015.
Conceptboard is a collaboration software built for teams of any size. Its primary features are project management, team whiteboards, integration into business workflows, and real-time collaboration.
Ekoapp is a collaboration tool built primarily around mobile communication at the enterprise level.
Grove is a collaboration platform built around an internet relay chat (IRC) server. The key features include workflow automation, private messaging, and third-party integrations with tools like GitHub and Heroku.
Red e App is a collaboration tool focused on employee communication through mobile devices. Red e App includes additional functionalities such as document management and data-driven analytics.
Sitrion Social Intranet is a unified social workplace for Microsoft SharePoint.
TrackMemo is a collaboration tool focused on providing a streamlined activity feed to notify users of anything relevant, from changes to a Google Doc to just messaging.