Collaboration Tools

Best Collaboration Tools include:

Slack, Google Drive, monday.com, Trello, Asana, 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 274) Sorted by Most Reviews

Hibox
Hibox is chat app for business users that combines team messaging, AI-powered task management and video calls and is designed to help teams collaborate in new ways. According to the vendor, Hibox is an out-of-the-box solution that is designed to handle the three most critical pain points in collabor…
Magentrix Employee Collaboration
Magentrix Employee Collaboration is a community intranet solution that enables teams to manage information, organize resources, communicate and collaborate. Features are focused on increasing productivity - e.g., file sharing, blogs, ideas, comments and CRM integration. According to the vendor, user…
HotGloo
HotGloo is an online wireframing and prototyping tool. This solution has been designed for all those engaged in the concept, design and development of web or app projects: project managers, information architects, usability experts, freelancers, concept people, digital agencies, web companies, publi…
BluDrive
BluDrive enables employees to securely transfer files of any size and type with colleagues, customers and partners. The vendor’s value proposition is that BluDrive’s flexibility to quickly transfer and share files ensures better collaboration resulting in higher efficiency and productivity. …
JungleBell
JungleBell is a SharePoint alerting and reminder tool. According to the vendor, JungleBell’s interface allows SharePoint users to intuitively set up customized email alerts with only a few clicks and without using any coding or workflows.
Simoona Social Intranet
Simoona App is a social intranet designed to promote employee engagement. It is an HR solution made for effective communication, empowerment, acknowledgement and social networking of your company employees. Simoona includes a social media wall, a gamification system, event planning, and office map/d…
Loopa Community Software
Loopa is an online community platform for communication and collaboration. According to the vendor, Loopa is like Facebook's Workplace, but offers front-end customisation, seamless compatibility with your existing website, and is significantly cheaper. Loopa aims to answer the question, "How do you…
VIPole
VIPole is a cross-platform secure communications and data storage solution. It allows users to send encrypted messages, conduct multiuser conferences, and manage files.
Connecteam Mobile App Launch Pad
Connecteam offers companies an easy, fast, and comprehensive way to manage deskless employees successfully for free. Connecteam offers managers a unique mobile app Launch Pad that is desktop based. The Launch Pad lets managers create a fully branded employee app in 15 minutes and share it with the…
Futuramo Visual Tickets
Futuramo Visual Tickets is a cloud-based web app for project communication: ticketing, bug tracking, request management, feedback gathering and ideation. Futuramo Visual Tickets lets teams, collaborators and business partners exchange ideas, opinions, and requests. Intuitive features to create, ed…
Cerri Enterprise Apps
Cerri Enterprise Apps is a project collaboration solution. The vendor says features like email to task and calendar synchronization help users adapt the system to their team’s habits and allow them to work in their preferred environments. Designed for team collaboration in the enterprise space, Cerr…
Egress Secure Workspace
Switch Secure Workspace is a collaboration platform that is designed to allow users to work at their desk or on the go whilst maintaining compliance in an encrypted environment.According to the vendor, key business benefits include: From the cloud: Switch Secure Workspace enables users to store, sha…
HackerEarth Sprint
HackerEarth is an innovation management solution that is designed to help companies efficiently manage ideation.With HackerEarth Sprint companies can: Crowdsource/ Capture ideasValidateShortlistDevelop proof of conceptSprint enables companies to engage with employees, partners, vendors, and customer…
Wooqer
STORE OPERATIONS Store visit reports, Daily store checklists, Periodic reports, Snag reporting. Operations teams support and control stores across chain through a single window.VISUAL MERCHANDISINGRoll out, Implementation Review, Scorecard, Training, Best practices. VM teams drive One look across st…
Simpplr
Simpplr is a social intranet built on the Salesforce platform. It is designed to facilitate collaboration between employees in different departments and locations. Simpplr includes an employee directory, personal profiles, and an activity feed, as well as company news updates, an events calendar, ph…
Hygger
Hygger (formerly Atlaz) is a complete project management platform for Agile teams.It integrates all processes and projects under one solution and enables task planning, issue and progress tracking, time tracking with reports, resource management, transparent team communication and much more.Accordin…
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 reports allow com…
OfficeAmp
OfficeAmp is an extension to Slack (a Slackbot) from Indian company Anaek that supports task prioritization and completion, and is meant to amplify Slack's capabilities.
Twist
Twist is a collaboration application offered by Doist, suggested to teams as a calmer topically organized conversation tracker to better manage multiple streams of conversation and idea sharing. Discounts are offered for non-profits and student users.
Kopano Groupware
According to the vendor, Kopano Groupware Core provides the solid foundation for groupware messaging enabling rich clients such as Kopano WebApp, Kopano DeskApp, mobile and sync clients. With its modular architecture, Kopano Groupware Core hereby enables the possibility for a variety of setup scenar…
Viima
The vendor presents Viima as the best way to collect and develop ideas. Their SaaS offering is free for up to 50 users and can be taken into use in minutes. Viima is designed to make innovation management more transparent, easy and effortless for everyone involved. Viima supports all kinds of differ…
Netpresenter
Netpresenter is employee communications software used by organizations like Johnson & Johnson, TNT, George Washington University Hospital, Volkswagen and Neutrogena. The platform promises to enable organizations to improve their employee communications as well as their employee safety. Over 5 mi…
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 see a 10% increase i…
AirStack
Lenovo offers AirStack, a platform for sharing information about enterprise applications to support tracking, planning, and business use optimization, as well as onboarding by familiarizing app users with the technology stack.
AirClass
Lenovo offers, AirClass, an online collaboration and meetings platform featuring shareable whiteboard, chat, engagement tracking, and other features.

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.