Collaboration Tools

Best Collaboration Tools include:

Slack, Google Drive, Asana, monday.com, Trello, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex Teams, Cisco Jabber, Atlassian Confluence, Skype for Business (formerly Lync), and MS SharePoint.

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 278) Sorted by Most Reviews

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 features includ…
FoxyTasks
FoxyTasks is a web-based marketing project management solution. Some key features include: Project Planning, Budget Management, Clients Collaboration and Real-Time Document Collaboration.
BusinessHub
BusinessHub is a collaboration tool currently in private beta; it will be available to the public in fall 2015.
Biba
Biba is a communications platform that implements features such as online meetings, video conferencing, and business chat.
Just
Just is a collaboration tool built around an interactive activity stream, content, document and event management, and automated workflows.
Nutcache
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’ progres…
Conceptboard
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.
Grouputer
Grouputer is a collaboration and meeting management platform for both face-to-face and web meetings.
TallyFox Tallium
Swiss company TallyFox Social Technologies offers the TallyFox Tallium enterprise knowledge management, collaboration, and content management platform in the Tallium Communnity and Tallium Network editions, for sharing expert knowledge across disparate groups in an easily searched and reliable envir…
Output Messenger
Output Messenger is a leading secure and private instant messaging solution designed for all businesses. This solution provides real time chat on the user’s desktop and mobile through single user credentials. The solution also allows users to securely share ideas.
Hubgets
Hubgets is a collaboration tool that enables customers to connect with their teams and customers via voice, video and chat.
Codesk
Codesk provides online workspace and teamwork tools for small enterprises. Some key features include: Social Feeds, Discussions, and Task Lists.
Adoddle
Asite's Adoddle is cloud-deployed collaboration software at the corporate level, with features such as document management, project management, and information modeling.
KnoBis
KnoBis, by Bellurbis, calls itself a knowledge automation platform that aims to enable employees with the knowhow and skills needed to do better in their day-to-day jobs. Key Features Include: Automated Knowledge BuilderPrevent Information OverloadAutomated Content CuratingIdentify Knowledg…
FlightPath
FlightPath is a collaboration software solution positioned as a meeting management solution.
ServusConnect
ServusConnect is a service coordination and collaboration software application for web and mobile that provides property owners/managers and service professionals with a utility to request, recommend and track the status of services. According to the vendor, even if users have implemented a traditio…
Brazen
Brazen is a social collaboration software solution built to assist companies with recruiting and HR to engage with potential employees from anywhere.
Workhive
Workhive is a web based team communication and collaboration solution. Native apps for iPhone and Android are available.
Beagle by Podio
Beagle is a sales proposal automation solution from the makers of Podio, from Citrix.
Drum Web Meeting
Drum Web Meetings provides users with an instant meeting solution. Users can create and join meetings with a click of a button with no downloads or system requirements. Users are not restricted on features and can benefit from a true-to-life meeting experience. The meeting host can promote and demot…
POEditor
POEditor is an online localization management platform, designed to help localization teams increase productivity through collaboration and workflow automation. According to the vendor, compared to other localization tools available on the market, POEditor has a simple, yet versatile, interface for…
Qordoba - AI Writing Assistant for Businesses
Qordoba is an AI writing assistant for businesses. Its style guide platform is central to it, as this designed to enable users to customize writing guidelines to a unique brand, and helps everyone at the company write with the same style, terminology, and brand voice. Qordoba’s dynamic content guid…
BluSync
BluSync is an enteprise grade cloud storage and file sync & share option from Parablu headquartered in Burlingame, California.
Elucido CONNECT
Elucido CONNECT, from small Indian company Elucido Media Networks headquartered in Bangalore, is a collaboration platform with chat and some conferencing features.
CD Messenger
CD Messenger (or Corporate Digital Messenger) is a simple and secure solution for intra-office communication, from Live2Support headquartered in New York.

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.