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.fileplan1https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/mo/Ml/VEI9T1VZEZLS-180x180.JPEGCisco Business Edition 70002https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/KP/BJ/EKH5RFTLCO4X-180x180.PNGClaromentis3https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/Au/WS/34SSW7QWRVJP-180x180.JPEGMiro4https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/Rc/eL/KGVQN32DUML1-180x180.PNGGoVisually5https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/Q8/ep/9IJUL072CVUM-180x180.PNGKlaxoon6https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/fW/BD/9BRMGBTLEGSZ-180x180.PNGChatGrape7https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/l1/Ed/FGVK1ZV0H3TS-180x180.PNGiMeet Central by PGi (Discontinued)8https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/VK/tK/KH35GK7QZWID-180x180.PNGHyperOffice Enterprise Collaboration Suite9https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/CT/fG/BWZC842TGZWG-180x180.PNGGoogle Hangouts Chat10https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/gy/O4/1S4F4DWNLZIT-180x180.PNGPriority Matrix11https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/9w/Sx/ZJ66KUK9G75K-180x180.PNGClear Analytics12https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/WA/4K/XDBGKT1SHC8A-180x180.PNG4thOffice13https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/ug/lq/AZ92BIHRNRUX-180x180.PNGGlasscubes14https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/dR/RG/HXDXXPWFLZQX-180x180.PNGJostle15https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/bS/hK/TXJCH9EJ6EX7-180x180.PNGCampfire16https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/E2/AO/483W6BA0XHUU-180x180.JPEGMural.ly17https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/1R/EH/3T84Q65T0NN4-180x180.PNGLotusLive Engage18https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/yf/sf/DNSXTG99HOK3-180x180.JPEGAccellion19https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/83/8y/X2B57A38LMWK-180x180.PNGZoho Workplace20https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/Tb/S3/GM6HDTKVEP4R-180x180.PNGAgora Digest21https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/F9/1a/DN2H2MJ3IZXM-180x180.JPEGIntel Unite22https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/Ew/IS/Q672JHANLJ3S-180x180.JPEG

Best Collaboration Tools

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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 (251-272 of 272)

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

fileplan is simple document management in the cloud that enables consistent, planned filing with document control and collaboration. The vendor (Radix Software) says fileplan helps teams apply simple, common sense principles to organize and control their documents since the software is quick to impl…

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.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

The vendor describes Claromentis as a feature-rich, beautifully designed intranet software gives staff a workplace to call home. An intranet software solution designed to be different, Claromentis provides organisations with a complete digital workplace for sharing information, boosting productivi…

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

Miro in San Francisco offers their eponymous visual collaboration tool, usable as a shareable whiteboard, mind mapping tool, or presentational aid, used for general idea sharing, UX research, and agile development.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

GoVisually is a collaboration tool that aims to allow graphic designers to quickly get feedback from their peers. It allows collaborators to leave annotations and comments. It also has some features for managing projects and revisions.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

Klaxoon is presented by the vendor as a one-stop shop for collaborative tools that improves teamwork efficiency when working remotely or on-site. Meetings, workshops, learning sessions, workshops… everyone connects to Klaxoon via a web link, from any digital device (computer, smartphone, tablet…) an…

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

ChatGrape is a business communication solution with deep service integration to make all data from an organization's cloud services available to thier team right as they type.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

iMeet Central by PGi (formerly the application was known as "Central Desktop") is a collaboration and project management solution. Key features include file-sharing and collaboration with internal and external team members, project and task management, workflows and databases for process automation,…

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

Google Chat, formerly Hangouts Chat, is a collaboration tool competing with Slack, designed to make it easy for teams to be able to get their work done in one place. From direct messages to group conversations, Chat helps teams collaborate, and with dedicated, virtual rooms to house projects over ti…

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

Priority Matrix is a prioritization, collaborative, task management software used by more than 2500 businesses worldwide and 85,000 paid customers. Priority Matrix is used by customers who need visibility and alignment in team priorities. Priority Matrix uses the 4-quadrants to help customers priori…

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.

5 Ratings

4th Office is collaboration software with built-in chat capability, an intelligent personal assistant, and a card-based user interface.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

UK company Glasscubes offers their eponymous collaboration platform, featuring document management, file sharing and synchronization, and other project management tools.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

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 engagement;…

11 Ratings

Campfire is a group chat and team collaboration tool, that has now been integrated into Basecamp 3. It allows users to create a shared space where members can collaborate by group texting. While Campfire is supported for users who had originally acquired it standalone, Basecamp no longer offers Cam…

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

Mural.ly is a collaboration tool designed for creative teams to make the process of remote design more efficient.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

LotusLive Engage is IBM's video conferencing and survey building platform with a dynamic dashboard and project management capabilities.

5 Ratings

Accellion in Palo Alto, California offers enterprise grade cloud storage, & file sync and sharing, with an emphasis on security and collaboration.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

Zoho Corporation offers their suite of collaboration and productivity apps, and messaging tools: Zoho Workplace.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

Agora is a daily digest that discovers and surfaces the most important ideas and insights on Slack.Agora is an intelligent bot that weeds out the noise in natural conversations. It offers a Slack digest when you want about the topics you care about - as well as tagging ideas, urgent items, problems,…

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

Intel Unite is a collaboration tool combining document sharing, visual collaboration, whiteboarding, and meeting space controls in a single platform.

TrustRadius Top Rated for 2020

2020 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.

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.