Best Collaboration Tools
- Top Rated Collaboration Tools include: Slack, Google Drive, Trello, Asana, Dropbox Business, Jabber, Evernote, and Basecamp.
- Other Collaboration Tools on the TrustMap include: Confluence, Skype for Business, Workplace, Podio, Jive, MS SharePoint, HipChat, and Microsoft Yammer.
- A complete list of Collaboration Tools is available here.
TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on satisfaction ratings and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 50 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap, and those above the median line are considered Top Rated.
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.
Zoho Wiki provides an online portal for group collaboration and knowledge management.
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...
Beagle is a sales proposal automation solution that is provided by Citrix.
Workhive is a web based team communication and collaboration solution. Native apps for iPhone and Android are available.
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...
Brazen is a social collaboration software solution built to assist companies with recruiting and HR to engage with potential employees from anywhere.
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...
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...
Elucido CONNECT, from small Indian company Elucido Media Networks headquartered in Bangalore, is a collaboration platform with chat and some conferencing features.
BluSync is an enteprise grade cloud storage and file sync & share option from Parablu headquartered in Burlingame, California.
Tresorit is an encrypted file sync & sharing solution that uses end-to-end encryption to keep data safe in the cloud, and to help businesses avoid data breaches. Tresorit is specifically designed to share confidential data of business users. Encryption is performed before the data gets...
Beekeeper is a social collaboration software solution offered by Beekeeper AG.
Securesheet is a collaboration software solution offered by SecureSheet Technologies LLC. It is built to provide customers with secure, multi-user spreadsheets for businesses of any field or size.
theEMPLOYEEapp is a collaboration platform built specifically for internal employee communications offered by APPrise Mobile.
BetterCompany is a collaboration tool from the company of the same name in San Francisco, offering anonymous chat and forums for employees who wish to air ideas and thoughts off-record.
CD Messenger (or Corporate Digital Messenger) is a simple and secure solution for intra-office communication, from Live2Support headquartered in New York.
Idearium is business innovation software. Some key features include: Idea Management, Focused Innovation and Rewards Management.
ChatGrape is a business communication solution with deep service integration to make all data from an organization's cloud services available to thier team right as they type.
Patternry is a solution for building living UI pattern libraries. It provides a way for businesses to store their design and asset codes. This solution also provides tools to manage content and facilitate collaboration amongst team members and partners.
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 is quick to...
Clearvale gives users an enterprise social network with profiles, active streams, and a member directory. Clearvale also provides mobile applications, social analytics, and document management.
Haydle Enterprise Q&A is built to improve knowledge retention through question and answer throughout an organization streamlined with an advanced search engine. Haydle is built with third-party integration like SharePoint, Yammer, and Sitrion.
Honey is a collaboration solution designed around content management and a social networking platform. Along with integrations with Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and LinkedIn, Honey is available as both a browser-based solution and through mobile applications.
HyperOffice delivers a collaboration software built around functionalities such as document and database management, a social network platform, and online collaborative calendars
Invotra is a fully-hosted, cloud-deployed collaboration solution centered on content and document management, information architecture, data-driven analytics, and overall collaboration.