Best Collaboration Tools123Collaboration platforms applications are software tools that adds broad social networking capabilities to work processes. Collaboration tools differ from community platforms in that they are focused on making internal teams more productive by enabling document sharing, workflow, social collaboration, etc.GanttPRO1https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/FH/mb/NDJF6IN9OFBD-180x180.PNGJive2https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/IB/1H/T65EXQPQ8BOI-180x180.PNGCitrix Podio3https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/Am/QX/THTUERUPWEX0-180x180.PNGClickUp4https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/hm/Fc/6RXFEQ8X9VN1-180x180.JPEGEgnyte5https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/vt/Di/TTB34GGPC1ML-180x180.JPEGDialpad6https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/rc/7B/S2U09DBACACR-180x180.JPEGWorkflowMax7https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/4c/9b/B6CROJA5Z2L1-180x180.JPEGHighfive8https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/D0/bE/TSUMPUQMDRAN-180x180.PNGQuip9https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/SA/FY/M4B63U583EM5-180x180.PNGPolycom RealPresence Group Series10https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/Hy/Zs/JSX6PCU6FFG9-180x180.pngHCL Connections (formerly from IBM)11https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/z0/so/OW6ZG3V2HUG9-180x180.JPEGeXo Platform12https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/6t/oR/M48NDC8QAWKI-180x180.PNGZeplin13https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/FA/y6/823RVK5QRHEG-180x180.JPEGAmazon Chime14https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/LY/YM/1TDXH4LPI5BH-180x180.JPEGHCL Notes (formerly from IBM)15https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/z0/so/OW6ZG3V2HUG9-180x180.JPEGWorkzone16https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/V6/Gd/TQIBQO8S56SH-180x180.JPEGBitrix2417https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/XE/Ee/J3WK09MSMWI4.pngGlip18https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/f4/PY/TD7Q013W5TH1-180x180.JPEGBloomfire19https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/hz/lP/NIIVZTGS02S1-180x180.PNGMindMeister20https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/c3/oc/NSHPQXP58RGT-180x180.PNGLiquidPlanner21https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/8v/0A/1C8JNHWOH1HN-180x180.PNGBlizz by TeamViewer22https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/Xo/Ty/3JL0H7XWMIQO-180x180.PNGGoogle Keep23https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/C5/mO/TE1ZNND1S4OD-180x180.PNGClickMeeting24https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/SX/gX/TR8ZPK3B14O0-180x180.PNGMattermost25https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/S9/YB/TNV0ZSSUPT8W-180x180.JPEG

Best Collaboration Tools

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.

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

Listings (26-50 of 262)

GanttPRO

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42 Ratings

GanttPRO is a project planning tool based on a Gantt chart approach. It visualizes all tasks along a timeline, and it supports resource management, collaboration within teams, and importing and exporting projects onto 3rd party programs.

93 Ratings

Jive Software, part of the Aurea family of customer experience solutions, provides the gateway to an organization's most important assets – its knowledge and people. Jive's interactive intranet solution promises to connect people, information and ideas to help businesses outpace their competitors. T…

97 Ratings

Podio is a cloud-based platform for organizing team communication, business processes, and reporting in project management workspaces; also it may be used as a light CRM platform. It enables workflow automation and integrations. It includes a free version and paid packages with additional features.

ClickUp

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50 Ratings

ClickUp aims to be a simple and intuitive platform for managing every project imaginable. ClickUp's core purpose is to remove the frustrations, inefficiencies, and disconnect caused by the current project management ecosystem. ClickUp is built for teams of all sizes and industries, and offers full…

55 Ratings

Egnyte provides a cloud computing infrastructure product for online file storage, file sharing and computer backup for small, medium, and large business enterprises.

Dialpad

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Top Rated
48 Ratings

Dialpad is a cloud communications UCaaS platform that provides users with integrated voice, video, and messaging capabilities from one unified interface. It integrates with the vendor's web conferencing product, UberConference, as well as with G Suite, Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, LinkedIn, Okt…

59 Ratings

WorkflowMax is a web-based project management solution.The platform offers end-to-end functionality standard to project management software, including time tracking, lead management, collaboration with external stakeholders, invoicing, integrations, and customizable reporting.

40 Ratings

Highfive is an integrated hardware and cloud-based software product for room-based video conferencing, wireless projection, and web conferencing. Highfive does not require any downloads, PIN codes, or passwords to use and features unlimited meetings and minutes.

Quip

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39 Ratings

Quip offers a suite of productivity/collaboration tools. The vendor says Quip combines documents, spreadsheets, checklists and chat into one interface.

The Polycom RealPresence Group Series is a video conferencing codec that connects to a standards-based video conferencing infrastructure to allow users to make video conference calls. There are three products in the series – RealPresence Group 300, RealPresence Group 500, and RealPresence Group 700.…

20 Ratings

eXo Platform is an open-source, social-collaboration software designed for enterprises. Some key features include: Enterprise Social Network, Enterprise Content Management and Social Collaboration.

Top Rated
27 Ratings

Zeplin, from the company of the same name, is a platform supporting collaboration in application development by engineers and designers by providing an API with popular collaboration, development and prototyping tools and creating a space where productions can be shared and reviewed.

26 Ratings

Amazon Chime is a communications service from Amazon Web Services with a built-in VoIP solution. Amazon Chime can be used for online meetings, video conferencing, and business calling, and features pay-as-you-go pricing.

27 Ratings

Workzone is a web-based tool for project management and collaboration from Workzone in Norristown, PA, that contains a full array of the features needed for project management. It's hub is the project dashboard, which provides a platform for team communication and tracking tasks over time as they pr…

37 Ratings

Bitrix24 is a local-hosted or cloud-based social intranet and project management platform that also contains core HR (HRMS) and CRM features. Bitrix24 also provides time management services and employee self-service.

28 Ratings

Glip is a conversation platform to plan, share and organize work. Glip is built with text and video chat at its core and includes file sharing, collaborative task management, shared calendars, automatic version control, all integrated into each conversation stream. Glip is the only business messagin…

20 Ratings

Bloomfire is a sales enablement tool that is designed to put answers, best practices and marketing materials at a sales team’s fingertips. This solution enables users to post and share content in a number of formats from any cloud-based drive such as Google Drive or Dropbox. The vendor’s value pro…

32 Ratings

MindMeister is an online mind mapping tool that lets users share maps with an unlimited number of users and collaborate with them in real-time. The vendor says more than 11 million people around the world use MindMeister to brainstorm ideas, plan projects, take meeting minutes, develop business stra…

19 Ratings

LiquidPlanner is a cloud based predictive project management solution. Some key features include: Dynamic Timeline View, Workload View, and Real-Time Activity Stream.

Blizz is a web conferencing software designed for global collaboration. It aides users in connecting with contacts and remote teams through video meetings, instant chat messaging, screen sharing, and conference recording on desktop and mobile from any location.

14 Ratings

ClickMeeting is a webinar solution formerly owned by GetResponse, an email marketing software company. ClickMeeting's online meeting and collaboration tools are designed to support the sales, marketing, e-learning, and training needs of business of all sizes.

11 Ratings

Mattermost from the company of the same name in Palo Alto is a messaging, collaboration and communication platform providing high security and compliance for the businesses that need it.

TrustRadius Top Rated for 2019

2019 Top Rated Collaboration Tools

There are plenty of options out there, but here's our shortlist of the best Collaboration Tools. These products won a Top Rated award for having excellent customer satisfaction ratings. The list is based purely on reviews; there is no paid placement, and analyst opinions do not influence the rankings. To qualify, a product must have 10 or more recent reviews and a trScore of 7.5 or higher, indicating above-average satisfaction for business technology. The products with the highest trScores appear first on the list. Read more about the Top Rated criteria.