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.Mattermost1https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/S9/YB/TNV0ZSSUPT8W-180x180.JPEGMediaFire2https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/94/cr/DF9PQ3FHDUKB-180x180.PNGOpenText Hightail3https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/QL/Hr/59RE5ON7FC4N-180x180.PNGMicro Focus Vibe4https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/Zi/ju/TCH0JRTW622Q-180x180.JPEGCommunifire by Axero Solutions5https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/aT/4Z/E79TJX5L0SOT-180x180.JPEGVidyo6https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/6U/jM/1JX08GQMRIWU-180x180.PNGScreenhero (Discontinued)7https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/Vc/NN/VST6EURIFM23-180x180.PNGZimbra8https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/p0/xb/T7XOAQKGZVRA-180x180.PNGMitel MiCollab9https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/qI/61/XTPUVMKJ8758-180x180.PNGSocialcast10https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/Ei/U6/59TSKWZGPWJ2-180x180.JPEGIgloo11https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/ZR/is/XQPVGJUKQ4OG-180x180.PNGFlock12https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/gY/jO/EFD6NHE7PDS3-180x180.JPEGOracle Content Marketing (Compendium)13https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/e7/6G/F3JK0T3RS775-180x180.PNGKanban Tool14https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/5h/ao/9GLWET23KD1B-180x180.PNGOpal15https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/s8/Sw/E07RQXTWONIR-180x180.jpgHeyOrca16https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/zZ/WZ/0B7PL9DHTFMU-180x180.JPEGSococo17https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/8g/ct/9ETQIZK1GPR1-180x180.PNGIBM B2B Cloud Services18https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/yf/sf/DNSXTG99HOK3-180x180.JPEGFrame.io19https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/9E/KH/PTP7QIXOGTCK-180x180.JPEGHuddle20https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/Pb/uJ/1P7CQL75H7JE-180x180.PNGSamepage21https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/Pz/4X/NH7K3BSWOTGU-180x180.PNGAvaza22https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/zI/lG/27OLKT7QTPUN-180x180.PNGAvaya IX Workplace23https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/KL/QL/KWTPG30CTFLK-180x180.JPEGPersonify Community24https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/fT/Ke/4PCUAC3FR1HQ-180x180.PNGAbstract25https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/q2/pN/ID2VJP2MUS5V-180x180.PNG

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 (51-75 of 271)

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.

23 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 t…

OpenText Hightail is a cloud-based collaboration software for creative content reviews and approvals. With one place for teams to share large, multimedia files, collect precise feedback and approve content, Hightail streamlines the creative process and helps teams keep projects on schedule.

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 knowle…

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 encour…

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.

Screenhero was a remote collaboration platform with features like multiple mouse cursors, voice chat, and high definition screen resolution. It is now built into the Slack platform and a feature of that product.

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 Micro…

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 imp…

13 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.

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, …

12 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

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 unnecessary…

9 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 …

IBM B2B Cloud Services provide capabilities for streamlining on-boarding of trading partners. It also allows shared business process to be handled more effectively due to better visibility and control.

7 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 Cu…

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.

10 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 need…

Avaya IX Workplace, an evolution of Avaya Communicator and the Avaya Unified Communications portfolio, is designed to improve key measures of engagement and productivity with powerful capabilities related to calling, collaboration and meetings, as well as a range of flexible, connected phones and de…

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 across ind…

5 Ratings

Abstract, from the company of the same name headquartered in San Francisco, offers a collaboration tool for developers and others, featuring a version controlled master file set and approval workflow.

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.