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 278) Sorted by Most Reviews

Fugu
Fugu is an all-purpose team chat software that enables employees to communicate and collaborate from a single platform. Users can share ideas, discuss projects, and manage attendance with Fugu. The product easily integrates with the third party tools for effective management, and is available to use…
BoardMaps
Boardmaps, from Governance and Executive Systems (dba Boardmaps) headquartered in Austin, offers their eponymous board portal and board meeting management system.
Ment by Epistema
Epistema, headquartered in Tel-Aviv, offers Ment, an AI-driven BI tool designed to integrate with a company's collaboration app (e.g. Slack) to provide better peer understanding and improve workplace decisions.
Zvolv
The Zvolv Platform automates and adds structure to chaotic people/data-centric collaboration processes, helping drive organizational efficiency and faster time to market. Whether it's opening new outlets/stores, launching new products, distributed data collection and business intelligence, or machin…
Trimble Connect
Trimble Connect supplies collaboration, tasking, and project management features to Trimble's design and construction projects, as well as provide a platform for integrating third-party built or organized architectural or building projects as well.
Kipwise
Kipwise is a smart company knowledge management tool that integrates seamlessly with Slack, Google Drive and more. It aims to allow users to save and retrieve important team knowledge easily, wherever it is needed.
Followme
FollowMe is a collaboration tool for the finance and investment sectors. The vendor describes it as a cross-platform social trading network and says FollowMe provides the following: Trading communication environmentOnline Forex account-opening guidesAbility to demo trading softwareForex market trend…
Stormboard
According to the vendor, companies can transform their meetings company-wide with Stormboard's innovative digital workspace. Users can set up meetings beforehand, capture, organize, and discuss ideas in real-time, and then assign tasks and monitor progress in a digital workspace that you can return…
Movavi Screen Recorder
Movavi Screen Recorder lets the user grab any screen video, audio, system sounds and web-cam from a computer with a single button click. Capture webinars, live streams, Skype chats, and anything else. The user can create GIFs from movie scenes and share them with collegues. Carry Out App Reviews an…
Design Room Live!
HCL Technologies headquartered in India offers Design Room Live!, a web-based collaboration tool providing a simple graphical interface for sharing simple designs.
WEEEK
WEEEK is described by the vendor as a fast and functional app for running personal and team projects designed with users in-mind, to ensure all the main features are the best fit for individual working process specifics. They report on everything achieved in the WEEEK weekly patch notes (on Medium).…
Akumina
The Akumina modern Intranet, from the company of the same name in Nashua, is part of an employee experience platform (EXP) that provides a bridge to the content and the tools critical to productive and engaged teams.
Hugo
Hugo is a connected meeting note-taking, management and sharing app from the company of the same name in San Francisco.
Everbridge CareConverge
CareConverge from Everbridge allows users to begin working with a patient before they even arrive at the hospital. By using voice, text, images and video, clinical stakeholders can diagnosis the patient, share lab results, and treat the patient. With it the user can send code alerts, coordinate care…
GoProof
GoProof brings all creative media collaboration into one central place so you don't have to use a ton of different systems and workflows just to get approval, with collaboration tools for document and video creative work, all managed in what is offered by the vendor as a user-friendly proof dashboar…
Nifty
Nifty consolidates projects, work, and communications in one place. Nifty simplifies and automates the tracking of project milestones, communications with teammates and clients, collaborative document creation, and more in a centralized workspace! Nifty enables organizational oversight across projec…
Involv Intranet
Involv is a ready-to-go intranet presented by the vendor as easy to use, easy to install and easy to update, combining the most-requested intranet features and presents them in a visually appealing design. It is built on Office 365 and SharePoint modern experience and integrates the users' preferred…
Samesurf
Samesurf provides co-browsing - a real time visual engagement technology that’s specifically designed for sales, support and instant collaboration. Protected by a patent portfolio that dates back to 2010, the Samesurf platform enables multiple remote users to interact with one another on any form of…
Vuforia Chalk
Scale problem-solving guidance, support and expertise to factory operations & service teams with augmented reality. Vuforia Chalk is a collaboration and communication tool for the organization’s experts to provide real-time assistance to technicians facing complex or unfamiliar challenges. Vu…
Wickr
Wickr headquartered in San Francisco provides secure ephemeral collaboration tools for businesses and end-users to ensure that no sensitive conversation remains accessible beyond its useful life and intended audience.
InventHub
InventHub is a git-based visual version control, enabling collaboration for electronics product engineering teams. The vendors states that InventHub is all about cutting the electronics design time and cost, so teams can effectively collaborate & track design revisions, and, with community driv…
PAZO
PAZO assists businesses in ensuring that their daily routine activities are carried out, to invest time saved on other business processes. The cloud-based app automates pen and paper-based processes of checklists filing and issues/snags management. With a user dashboard, businesses can avail of a ho…
TelebuPing
TelebuPing is a team communication tool that helps users Text, Call, Broadcast within the organization or with external stakeholders any time, and from anywhere. The vendor provides its advantages as: FeaturesOne-on-One or Group Chats Engage your workforce with one-on-one conversations or create a g…
Space
Space is an integrated team environment that combines instant communication, effective collaboration, software development processes, and team and project management in a single solution. It includes chats, teams, permissions, blogs, knowledge base, calendars, version control, code review, CI/CD pip…

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.