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.Amazon Chime1https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/LY/YM/1TDXH4LPI5BH-180x180.JPEGSocialcast2https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/TF/Uv/59TSKWZGPWJ2.JPEGFront3https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/jR/Q1/HA6X8VTC7KPL.PNGIgloo4https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/ZR/is/XQPVGJUKQ4OG-180x180.PNGZimbra5https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/yZ/D6/T7XOAQKGZVRA.PNGOracle Content Marketing (Compendium)6https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/f1/42/5DB1HU9OCFET.PNGVidyo7https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/6w/xZ/1JX08GQMRIWU.PNGOpal8https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/Hi/3o/E07RQXTWONIR.jpgClickMeeting9https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/FJ/Mq/TR8ZPK3B14O0.PNGKanban Tool10https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/oF/BY/9GLWET23KD1B.PNGMattermost11https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/S9/YB/TNV0ZSSUPT8W-180x180.JPEGMitel MiCollab12https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/qI/61/XTPUVMKJ8758-180x180.PNGHeyOrca13https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/zd/ai/0B7PL9DHTFMU.JPEGHuddle14https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/Pb/uJ/1P7CQL75H7JE-180x180.PNGAvaza15https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/XU/3G/27OLKT7QTPUN.PNGIBM B2B Cloud Services16https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/yf/sf/DNSXTG99HOK3-180x180.JPEGFlock17https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/gY/jO/EFD6NHE7PDS3-180x180.JPEGGinger18https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/le/i7/9HZ4V3JH6ZKH-180x180.PNGContactOffice19https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/eZ/uF/TADTJCO81ZDN-180x180.JPEGSococo20https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/8g/ct/9ETQIZK1GPR1-180x180.PNGFreeConferenceCall.com21https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/FX/xx/N1QV1PQCA74T.JPEGPersonify Community22https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/KV/id/4PCUAC3FR1HQ.PNGSamepage23https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/Pz/4X/NH7K3BSWOTGU-180x180.PNGStride24https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/kv/fA/TX4L34W3HKL7.JPEGFrame.io25https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/9E/KH/PTP7QIXOGTCK-180x180.JPEG

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.

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 (51-75 of 249)

16 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.

12 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 Mi...

10 Ratings

Front is a social collaboration platform designed around a collaborative, shared inbox. It has third-party integrations with Slack and Twitter along with workflow automation capability.

10 Ratings

Igloo Software is a social business software company that builds online communities for businesses of any size. It is a suite of content management, collaboration and knowledge sharing tools within one secure social networking platform. Online communities drive groups, teams and organizations to ...

11 Ratings

From Enghouse Systems, Vidyo is a web conferencing platform that features video calling and instant chat capabilities. The platform integrates with most environments, networks, and devices.

7 Ratings

Opal is a marketing collaboration platform that, according to the vendor tears down silos and enables teams with a dedicated environment to strategically plan, create, visualize, align and deploy campaigns across all marketing channels. The vendor’s value proposition is that Opal reduces unnecess...

10 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.

9 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.

7 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 spreadshee...

9 Ratings

Avaza is a software suite targeted for all business sizes. It includes modules for project management and collaboration, resource scheduling, time tracking, expense management, quoting and invoicing. Depending on their business needs, companies can use as many, or as few, of the modules as they n...

9 Ratings

Flock is a collaborative business messaging application developed by the small (but multinational) company of the same name, designed to compete with Slack. The company boasts that the app is a fast and reliable means of communication, and is available in a free edition.

5 Ratings

ContactOffice is a private label cloud collaboration suite including messaging, collaboration and mobility technologies. It is a suite of web applications (Mail, Docs, Calendar, Contacts) that are accessible anytime, anywhere and from any device.

8 Ratings

FreeConferenceCall.com is a free audio conferencing solution with features such as audio and video conferencing, screen-sharing, call recording, transcribed keywords, one-click web controls, transcribed keywords, instant messaging, and integrations with Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar.

4 Ratings

Small World Labs Community is a hosted collaboration and social networking platform with easy drag & drop modification capabilities. Small World Labs offers implementation and community engagement services, plus an open API for integration with other systems. Small World Labs has clients acr...

10 Ratings

Samepage is a collaboration solution focused on file management and communication. Its extensive list of third-party integrations include part of the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, Google Maps and Drive, and Microsoft Office.

4 Ratings

Frame.io in New York offers a video collaboration platform, supporting the video editing process by providing creative teams with time stamped comments, annotations and hashtags, and an accelerated sharing and approval process, as well as integrations with popularly used editing tools (e.g. Final...