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.ContactOffice1https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/eZ/uF/TADTJCO81ZDN-180x180.JPEGAbstract2https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/q2/pN/ID2VJP2MUS5V-180x180.PNGTigerText3https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/SP/FT/97T1S5J9IMTO-180x180.PNGProject Insight4https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/pA/3B/0UOPC1NVKMS1-180x180.PNGSocialtext5https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/mb/ff/NW7U2OFPGTCR-180x180.JPEGQuire6https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/Kj/h3/FH0F30CJA2TD-180x180.JPEGCreativity 3657https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/WS/sJ/RIRL0PWPKB8P-180x180.PNGBeehive Enterprise Collaboration Server8https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/e7/6G/F3JK0T3RS775-180x180.PNGinMotion9https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/Hp/cy/T5SKHVD30XTT-180x180.JPEGNuclino10https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/x8/sc/UIFGV923OU8T-180x180.PNGCA Flowdock11https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/nq/uW/X7UWTW3WDGI3-180x180.PNGFrontify12https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/n8/De/WAFA98CVBNU7-180x180.PNGHighQ Collaborate13https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/5K/L1/VBF0445ICM41-180x180.JPEGLiferay Digital Experience Platform (DXP)14https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/Sc/fo/612TV5WCJ19M-180x180.PNGStatuspage15https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/mI/NF/OQMFDSLI068R-180x180.PNGDeltek WorkBook16https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/DU/bl/9U8O3XXL71GP-180x180.JPEGTettra17https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/tA/d6/51Q9RISTWX6A-180x180.PNGCisco Webex Social (Discontinued)18https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/pi/CF/1ESS2PT4C9RB-180x180.JPEGTelligent Community19https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/lf/kJ/26TMHP7F0FFL-180x180.JPEGInnovation Cloud20https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/AX/QA/2TBMIBRBRVN0-180x180.JPEGSunsama21https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/EU/S6/83KSGWT2QI5A-180x180.JPEGXWiki Collaboration Suite22https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/Vc/1D/3JEENH5SMUFW-180x180.PNGYamdu23https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/ZQ/Dl/RUGTNGFDMUTD-180x180.PNGCrowdbase24https://media.trustradius.com/vendor-logos/5q/zW/1V31TKKNN20S.pngComidor25https://media.trustradius.com/product-logos/rV/do/SXQW7T4DENFT-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 (76-100 of 271)

4 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.

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.

Project Insight is a web-based project and portfolio management software. Project teams can access, edit and update their projects information anytime, anywhere, with any supported browser, tablet and mobile device. Features for experienced project managers include: MS Project import/export, intelli…

4 Ratings

As it's name implies, Social Text focuses heavily on social capabilities and includes Twitter-like microblogging capabilities. The product competes with MindTouch,Confluence, Jive Team Collaboration and other collaboration platforms.

Creativity 365 is a comprehensive, cross-device contention creation tool set designed for both business and creative professionals. The suite aims to help individuals and teams collaborate and improve their productivity and efficiency. The set includes five apps along with 1TB Kdan Cloud storage and…

6 Ratings

inMotion is a work management solution designed for enterprise creative and marketing teams. The vendor says that unlike other solutions, inMotion combines creative brief management, project management, online proofing, and reporting into a single solution that is designed to help users get their wo…

4 Ratings

Nuclino aims to allow teams to organize and share knowledge easily. Create real-time collaborative documents and connect them instantly like a wiki. Use the tree, board, and graph view to explore and organize your knowledge visually. It's great for meeting notes, product requirements, docs, decision…

7 Ratings

Flowdock is a collaboration tool built around a chat and team inbox interface. Flowdock is available via app or as a browser-based solution. It was originally offered by Rally Software Development, which was acquired by CA Technologies.

3 Ratings

Frontify is brand management software in the cloud. The purpose of Frontify is to gather all essential brand tools in one place, such as style guides, UI patterns, media assets, etc., with the goal of making brand information more accessible and simplifying the life of everyone working with a brand.…

HighQ in London offers Collaborate, their cloud-based enterprise collaboration platform, featuring secure file sharing but also means for sharing documents with users outside the enterprise, as well as a user-interface optimized for mobile devices and intuitive interface, with real-time communicatio…

Liferay Digital Experience Platform is an enterprise-grade platform that enables companies to create and connect personalized digital experiences across web, mobile, social, in store and other touchpoints. It provides the technical foundation (deep integration, security and modularity) for a digital…

Now from Deltek (acquired 2017), WorkBook is a project management solution. Designed for advertising and communications agencies with 30+ employees, the vendor says WorkBook is the perfect solution for multiple locations and collaboration through integrated conversations. Additionally the vendor say…

Telligent Community is a community and collaboration software platform developed by Telligent Systems and was first released in 2004. Telligent's focus is on offering a platform that can be integrated and extended, but this requires technical expertise.

1 Ratings

Sunsama is a daily planner and organizational app that combines tasks, calendar, and project management tools in one location, from the small California-based company of the same name.

XWiki Collaboration Suite (XCS) is a software solution that is built on top of the XWiki Enterprise Open Source project. According to the vendor, XCS tackles 2 main use cases: Information & Knowledge Management Collaborative Work It is available on premise or as SaaS and is packaged with XWiki …

1 Ratings

Yamdu is a production management software for visual content. It combines individual tools for all departments and stages of a film, television or commercial production. Yamdu is designed to be the central platform for crew members and to provide information in a fast, simple, efficient way. Yamdu…

2 Ratings

Comidor provides the following capabilities: Task Management, Contact and Account Management, Embedded Email Client, Document Management, Social Media Unit, Workflows, CRM, Project Management, Finance, and Event, Issues and Topics Management

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.