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.Workplace by Facebook1https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/vendor-logos/u5/0J/IAUX15TCG2JT-180x180.PNGGenesys PureCloud2https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/2F/33/SUBPS3J2X7LM.JPEGeXo Platform3https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/vendor-logos/88/8l/ZELSE0NKFB51-180x180.PNGWorkzone4https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/RN/Az/TQIBQO8S56SH.JPEGXaitPorter5https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/2c/MQ/OF0UF2F4191X.JPEGBloomfire6https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/PG/25/NIIVZTGS02S1.PNGIBM Notes7https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/vendor-logos/yf/sf/DNSXTG99HOK3-180x180.JPEGBlizz8https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/P9/dd/S7X6GS0FLTVO.JPEGGlip9https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/vendor-logos/f4/PY/TD7Q013W5TH1-180x180.JPEGBitrix2410https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/vendor-logos/XE/Ee/J3WK09MSMWI4.pngLiquidPlanner11https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/jk/Or/6FSQB1BV5DT3.JPEGQuip12https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/i9/9E/M4B63U583EM5.PNGCommunifire by Axero Solutions13https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/tY/9X/E79TJX5L0SOT.JPEGMediaFire14https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/5K/wF/DF9PQ3FHDUKB.PNGScreenhero15https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/Et/0u/Q5CVT4SGJ287.PNGMicro Focus Vibe16https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/vendor-logos/Zm/IY/D5DAJSH3LPPI-180x180.GIFMindMeister17https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/5S/Qj/9J8243TLHL36.PNGSocialcast18https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/TF/Uv/59TSKWZGPWJ2.JPEGOracle Content Marketing (Compendium)19https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/f1/42/5DB1HU9OCFET.PNGVidyo20https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/6w/xZ/1JX08GQMRIWU.PNGClickMeeting21https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/FJ/Mq/TR8ZPK3B14O0.PNGProofHub22https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/7J/eU/7NIXT4OKOU19.PNGHeyOrca23https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/zd/ai/0B7PL9DHTFMU.JPEGKanban Tool24https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/oF/BY/9GLWET23KD1B.PNGSplashtop Business Access25https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/MN/pf/1UVRX9EVTDAU.PNG

Collaboration Tools

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, 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:

  • 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. For everything else, it integrates with other software tools.

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 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

Many online collaboration tools have basic project and task management capabilities. They are not usually as advanced as traditional project management platforms. Collaboration tools noted for significant project & task management features include:

Others walk the line of collaboration and project management. For example, Wrike features project management tools, but it’s designed like a social network to make engaging with team members easy.

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:

  • 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

Some tools focus on file sharing and management. These 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?

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 231)

Workplace by Facebook

174 Ratings

Facebook at Work allows users to interact with co-workers through the Facebook interface.

Genesys PureCloud

31 Ratings

PureCloud is the version of the Genesys Customer Experience Platform designed for small businesses.

eXo Platform

17 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.

Workzone

22 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...

XaitPorter

22 Ratings

XaitPorter is a cloud-based solution that is designed to help users create high quality documents. It enables multiple users to work on the same document, in real-time, whether in the office, at home, or on the other side of the world. The vendor’s value proposition is that with their solution,...

Bloomfire

15 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...

IBM Notes

63 Ratings

IBM Notes is a collaboration platform based on the Lotus platform.

Glip

23 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...

Bitrix24

21 Ratings

Bitrix24 is a local-hosted or cloud-based social intranet and project management platform from the the company of the same name, that also contains core HR (HRMS) and CRM features as well.

LiquidPlanner

16 Ratings

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

Quip

21 Ratings

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

Communifire by Axero Solutions

9 Ratings

Axero's Communifire is an Enterprise Social and Collaboration platform. Used internally, it connects employees, key customers and partners to pursue shared goals. Used to build an online community, it puts the emphasis on working together, not just meeting socially. The platform, designed to...

MediaFire

17 Ratings

MediaFire is a simple file sharing and storage platform. It allows users to store, share, and view media files within the MediaFire online, desktop, or mobile app interface. The vendor says MediaFire's file storage system is private and secure. In terms of collaboration, users can invite friends...

Screenhero

11 Ratings

Screenhero is a remote collaboration platform with features like multiple mouse cursors, voice chat, and high definition screen resolution.

Micro Focus Vibe

9 Ratings

Micro Focus Vibe is a web-based team collaboration platform developed by Novell, and was initially released by Novell in June 2008 under the name of Novell Teaming. Novell's acquisition by Micro Focus was completed in April 2015. Vibe is a versatile collaboration solution that can serve as a...

MindMeister

26 Ratings

MindMeister is a collaboration tool created by MeisterLabs. It is designed to combine traditional mind mapping capabilities of a brainstorming tool like MindManager with the shareability of a tool like GoogleDocs. MindMeister allows for real-time collaboration within the online platform, meaning...

Socialcast

11 Ratings

Socialcast is an enterprise social networking and collaboration platform by VMware. The VMware Socialcast platform allows an organization's employees to share information and documents with co-workers in real time through a Facebook- or Twitter-like news feed. It is designed to integrate with...

Oracle Content Marketing (Compendium)

29 Ratings

Oracle Content Marketing (part of the Oracle Marketing Cloud, and formerly known as Compendium) is a content marketing solution that is designed to make it easy to create and distribute compelling content across multiple channels to a targeted audience. This solution enables users to plan, produce,...

Vidyo

9 Ratings

Vidyo allows you to embed real-time video into digital communications. According to the vendor, millions of people around the world connect visually every day through Vidyo’s secure, scalable technology and cloud-based services. The platform integrates with virtually any application environment,...

ClickMeeting

10 Ratings

ClickMeeting brings the power of webinars to organizations of any size, from one-person firms to multinational enterprises. The vendor says their web-based solution is easy to use and covers the entire webinar process — from preparation to presentation, and from interaction to follow-up.Because the...

ProofHub

7 Ratings

ProofHub is a SaaS based project management software from ProofHub LLC in Walnut, CA. It is an online project management and collaboration tool that comes with integrated Group chat, quick Discussions on projects, Workflows and boards, Project reports, among other features. Document (e.g. Excel,...

HeyOrca

6 Ratings

HeyOrca is a solution that allows an agency’s clients to review and approve upcoming social media content. The vendor aims to help agencies save time by moving away from using spreadsheets and docs to communicate and obtain approvals from their clients. With this solution, no logins or spreadsheets...

Kanban Tool

6 Ratings

Kanban Tool is a visual project management application based on Kanban that helps companies visualize workflow, track project progress, analyze and improve business processes. Some key features include: time tracking and time reports, real-time collaboration and Kaban analytics.

Splashtop Business Access

18 Ratings

Splashtop Business Access is a remote desktop solution designed for business professionals and teams. The vendor’s value proposition is that this solution provides HD quality, sound, and fast connections. With this solution, users can remotely access their Windows and Mac computers from...