Best Collaboration Tools
- Top Rated Collaboration Tools include: Google Drive, Slack, Trello, Dropbox Business, Asana, Jabber, Evernote, Confluence, and Basecamp.
- Other Collaboration Tools on the TrustMap include: Skype for Business, Workplace, Podio, MS SharePoint, Jive, 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.
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.
Neudesic Pulse is a collaboration platform centered around dynamic knowledge sharing accessible across devices. Neudesic Pulse includes task management capabilities along with integration with key Microsoft products, like SharePoint, Dynamics, and Outlook.
OpenText Tempo Social is a social media marketing solution.
Stream is a collaboration tool built as an intranet / extranet solution that uses dashboards to streamline communications and workspaces.
ThoughtFarmer is OpenRoad's intranet collaboration platform. It is available through either cloud or self-hosted deployment.
The WaterCooler is a collaboration solution that is directly integrated and compatible with Salesforce workflows. Some key features include: Company Calendar, Chatterfee, and Employee Directory.
Canadian company Readyportal offers their collaboration / corporate intranet platform for enterprises.
Alcatel-Lucent offers OpenTouch TeamShare, a collaboration platform for enterprises designed to assist sharing and collaboration with those outside the company.
SAP Jam is a social network collaboration tool with integrated collaborative processes for knowledge, learning, and HR management. SAP Jam also includes capabilities for the entire sales, marketing, and customer service lifecycles.
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 colla...
Jostle is intranet software for collaboration. Jostle is designed to make it easier to inform and connect employees to get work done. Users can share news, align teams, recognize contributions and invite participation from others. According to the vendor, Jostle can help improve employee engageme...
Clear Analytics is a business intelligence solution that enables non technical end users to perform analytics by leveraging existing knowledge of Excel coupled with a built in query builder. Some key features include: Dynamic Data Refresh, Data Share and In-Excel Collaboration.
Magentrix Social Intranet 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, users ca...
Mikogo is a free screen sharing solution with built-in VoIP for online meetings, web presentations, web conferencing and sales demos.
Cisco Business Edition 7000 is a collaboration and universal communication, VOIP / telephony, conferencing and messaging platform for enterprises of 1000 to 5000 employees, pre-configured (or configurable) to meet the needs of enterprises in many different verticals.
Lua is a mobile-first enterprise communication solution. It powers messaging that is built for business: instant, secure, and keeps everyone accountable. Some key features include: Real-time Secure Messaging, Two-touch Conference Calling, and an Analytics Dashboard.
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, pu...
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 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 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 ma...
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 ...
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 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 ...