Noah Edis is a technical content specialist and systems engineer with a wealth of experience in modern software. When he's not working, you can find…
The best online collaboration software tools have revolutionized the way we work together, transcending geographical boundaries and enabling seamless collaboration between teams. These solutions offer a range of features, such as real-time collaborative editing, file sharing, task management, and video conferencing – all designed to streamline your workflow and foster teamwork.
In this guide, we’ll delve into the top ten contenders for the best online collaboration software options for teams. We’ll explore their strengths, weaknesses, and unique features. Prepare to embark on a journey to find the perfect collaboration solution that’ll take your team’s productivity to new heights.
Let’s dive into the crème de la crème of project collaboration software. Here are the top 10 best project collaboration software options, which offer a diverse range of features and functionality:
Efficient collaboration is vital for the success of any business project. With the right collaboration software, teams can improve efficiency and communication, leading to smoother workflows and better outcomes.
These tools provide a centralized platform for teams to work together, eliminating the need to review scattered emails and disjointed document versions or attend endless meetings. Team members can update tasks, share files, and communicate in real-time, ensuring everyone stays on the same page.
If used effectively, these products can significantly enhance business performance. Some of these software solutions also come with additional functionality, such as:
With these features, businesses can streamline project workflows, allocate resources effectively, and adhere to allocated budgets.
These tools foster collaboration and communication among teams, strengthening team dynamics and encouraging a safe environment for innovation to thrive, fostering a sense of psychological safety within the group – a key factor in the success of high-performing teams, according to the Harvard Business Review.
Collaboration software solutions boast a wide range of benefits thanks to the sheer number of features on offer. Here are some of the most important features to note:
Now, let’s take a closer look at the best team collaboration software on the market.
Monday.com is more than just project collaboration software – it allows for easy real-time teamwork, making it an invaluable tool for teams of all sizes. Our team rates Monday as the best project management software tool overall.
The platform supports collaborative work with features for team communication, centralized document storage, and progress tracking.
To assist with communication, team members can tag one another in comments and add annotations on projects, files, and images, embedding communication into every step of the project management process.
There’s also a dynamic whiteboard collaboration solution to assist teams in brainstorming, editing, and creating projects together, which is highly effective.
Many projects rely on the sharing and collaborative editing of documents, so centralizing documentation is another plus when using Monday.com, which includes easy-to-use document storage. Based on permissions, team members can access and edit documents with ease. Documents can also be attached to projects to make them accessible to all the relevant stakeholders.
Progress tracking is another strength with the platform. From one shared dashboard, your entire team can see the progress of projects.
Users can change the project status depending on what stage the work has progressed to, and teams can see at a glance whether the set deadlines are realistic or need to be adjusted.
One thing the platform lacks is an internal chat feature. This is a considerable downside if you do not already have a messaging platform in place. However, Monday.com does integrate with Slack, MS Teams, Twilio, and other communication apps.
Monday.com’s Free and Basic plans offer unlimited documents and other core features, though you don’t get automations or integrations below the Standard plan. This includes 250 automations and integrations per month.
At the Pro level, this increases to 25,000 per month. With Enterprise, meanwhile, you’ll get access to personalized onboarding, time-tracking features, enterprise-grade automations and integrations, and the most robust version of the platform’s reporting and analytics.
Wrike stands out as one of the most adaptable team collaboration tools available, catering to a wide range of industries and project requirements. Whether you’re in marketing, IT, or finance, Wrike offers customizable workflows and features that can be tailored to suit your specific needs.
One of the standout features of Wrike is its integrated proofing system. This function allows editors working on images, PDFs, or videos to get approvals directly within the app, streamlining the review and feedback process. Teams can easily switch between versions and manage comments which makes proofing a breeze.
Wrike’s inbox feature is a game-changer when it comes to staying on top of tasks and project activities. This intuitive feature keeps users in the loop by sending notifications whenever they’re assigned a task, mentioned in important discussions, or when there are any updates or changes related to their account.
The inbox acts as a central hub, consolidating all the relevant notifications and updates, ensuring that employees never miss a beat.
A particularly useful feature is that project collaborators can be added for free, which is something few project management apps offer. Note, however, that there’s currently no feature for simultaneous document editing.
While Wrike offers a free version with essential collaboration features, the paid plans are required for access to other features such as Gantt charts and custom workflows. In addition, Wrike’s Business plan introduces the branded workspace feature, allowing you to add your business identity to the platform.
Smartsheet takes customization to the next level with its WorkApps feature. With this, users can easily create tailored applications to meet their unique business needs. Whether building from scratch or using pre-existing templates, you can create custom solutions without any coding knowledge, making it a highly flexible and customizable enterprise collaboration tool.
With Smartsheet, team members will be able to comment, track changes, and work together simultaneously on the same document. Everyone is on the same page, minimizing version control issues and promoting efficient collaboration.
It’s worth noting that Smartsheet allows you to set sharing permission levels – so if you only want certain team members to be able to access a project and its documents, you can achieve this via the permission settings. Similarly, you can dictate what certain users can do within projects, so some may be able to edit while others can only view.
The platform also offers powerful automated workflows that streamline and simplify the management of business processes. These automated workflow capabilities let users define specific triggers, actions, and conditions to automate repetitive tasks, notifications, and approvals – and they allow your team to focus on their work rather than simply progressing tasks.
It has been noted that new users sometimes find the platform hard to adjust to. The learning curve is relatively steep, particularly for using more complex features. Most of the general collaboration features are highly intuitive, however.
Aside from the number of editors, a key difference between the pricing plans is the amount of attachment storage, with 500MB provided in the Free plan and 20GB with the Pro plan. Meanwhile, 100 automations are provided with the Free plan, while the Business plan gets unlimited automations.
ClickUp offers an impressive range of features that are available even with its free version. Users can benefit from native integrations, enabling them to connect their favorite tools seamlessly.
The inclusion of an inbuilt time tracking feature ensures accurate project tracking and efficient time management. Teams can then use internal time-tracking data to keep tabs on profit goals, KPIs, milestones, and other development goals.
With a wide range of view types – Gantt, Kanban, List, and more – users can easily customize their workflow and use their preferred layout.
The free version also allows unlimited tasks and supports an unlimited number of users. For each task, you can create a space that displays all of your tasks along with the details and documents required for each one.
Even the most affordable plans offer significant benefits. From file storage and integration actions to customizable dashboards and custom fields, most of the Unlimited plan’s features are just that, enhancing collaboration and allowing users to streamline workflows.
ClickUp’s paid plans come with the added benefit of AI compatibility, which facilitates even more productivity and efficiency. ClickUp AI is designed to assist teams of all sizes by automating repetitive tasks, providing insightful recommendations, and optimizing workflows.
For small businesses to large enterprises, leveraging ClickUp AI helps streamline operations, save time, and improve overall collaboration.
Resource Guru stands out as the most affordable collaboration solution, as it offers an incredible range of features at an unbeatable price. With Resource Guru, you get unlimited projects, unlimited clients, project views, personalized dashboards, custom fields, and filters.
Even better, with this platform’s advanced clash management function, managers can work on schedules with ease. This feature lets them assign tasks to members with the most available time, helping them fix scheduling conflicts between teams and avoid overbooking members.
With Resource Guru’s Master plan, you get the benefit of data importation, which streamlines collaborative processes by keeping your important information in one shared location. This feature allows you to import data from other platforms and applications, eliminating the need for manual data entry and ensuring a smooth transition of knowledge to your entire team.
Meanwhile, Resource Guru goes beyond managing individual schedules by incorporating a meeting room booking system to eliminate the possibility of double bookings. Users can allocate their valuable time to more important tasks without the hassle of conflicting meeting room reservations.
There isn’t much difference between the Grasshopper and Blackbelt plans, as the latter only adds reporting capabilities. However, single-sign-on is only offered with the Master plan.
Teamwork is a client-focused team collaboration software product that offers a multitude of features to benefit both your team and your clients. On top of letting teams invite clients to join projects on the platform for free, Teamwork’s task management feature allows members to comment and tag clients and other stakeholders for any concerns.
One of Teamwork’s most useful collaborative features is its Work Allocation Report. This gives you visibility into your team’s capacity and their current workload. With this, you can decide whether you need to reallocate any tasks to other members of your team.
Teamwork also offers a Chat feature, so instead of jumping between Teamwork and an external messaging platform, you can take care of all your communication within the app and keep everyone on the same page.
Gantt charts and unlimited task list templates are available with the Free Forever plan, but you need to opt for the Starter plan to get 1,000 automation actions per month.
Bonsai caters to the collaboration needs of freelancers and agencies alike by offering a robust set of CRM functions, invoicing capabilities, and unlimited clients.
Whether you’re a freelancer who needs to work with other subcontractors or an owner of a company, you can create client profiles on the platform and include tags, rates, and notes particular to each client. This makes it convenient to manage multiple clients and subcontractors in one place.
More specifically, Bonsai has a “Collaborators” feature that gives you the ability to bring other businesses and clients directly in on your tasks. Users can be intentional with their collaborative tasks and bring coworkers into their Bonsai workspace.
Employees will get access to all of the key details needed to work on tasks alongside others, and both parties can use the time tracking and chat features to make the process even more convenient.
This software tool also offers a range of features to streamline invoicing, including auto-creation, sending, and reminders. Users can securely accept various payment methods and set up recurring payments. With the option to create invoices in seconds and build custom packages, freelancers and enterprises that use Bonsai can simplify the payment process for their clients.
The most expensive paid plan offers an unlimited number of collaborators, while Starter only allows up to five. However, the Starter plan does include invoicing and payment features that can benefit freelancers and small teams.
ProWorkflow takes security seriously, positioning itself as one of the most secure tools for online collaboration. With strong security measures in place, including SSL encryption, regular backups, and restricted data access, ProWorkflow ensures the protection of sensitive information.
Meanwhile, it has invoice and quotes plugins, task management tools, and time tracking, meaning that ProWorkflow is not only a secure tool for online collaboration but also a highly functional one.
ProWorkflow’s collaboration features are strongly geared toward client cooperation. Make use of the Client Access feature to grant them viewing permissions – clients can stay up to date on your progress and play an active role in shaping the finished product, whether it be through making comments, editing the task briefs directly, or using the chat function.
On top of the measures mentioned above, the company has policies laid out for its staff, CCTVs and keycard systems installed in its office, and credit card processes subjected to PCI-DSS compliance. These let teams collaborate with less worries about privacy and security.
The majority of ProWorkflow’s powerful functions are already available with the Professional plan, with the Advanced plan also offering client and internal project requests, custom fields, and custom forms.
We identified Bitrix24 as the best premium team collaboration software option available, with a rich set of tools for collaboration similar to those of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) tool. These include a social intranet portal, shared calendars, CRMs, a website builder, external collaboration management, and time tracking.
Collaboration on Bitrix24 is even more convenient with videoconferencing, chat, newsfeed, and survey functionalities. You can choose from 30+ social and collaborative tools offered by the platform and ignore the ones you don’t need.
Aside from video calls in HD quality and a built-in telephony, Bitrix24’s platform can add a human element to your interactions with gamification elements, employee recognition, and even a feature for stress management.
Users can also opt for the Activity Stream tool to keep a consistent stream of updates flowing in from your team about what they’re working on. The flexible Shared Calendars feature allows you to map out the entire team’s workload and deadlines, as well as create specific calendars for subteams.
Although the starting price of Bitrix24 is $49 a month, this includes access for five users, meaning it’s $9.80 per user per month. This price includes features for collaboration, tasks, e-signatures, CRM, storage, website-building, e-commerce, and contact center deployment.
WorkOtter is particularly well-suited for IT projects with its HTML5 Gantt editing and project scheduling capabilities, which provide significant benefits for IT project managers and teams.
These include a user-friendly interface and drag-and-drop functionality that makes it easy to create project timelines, allocate coding resources, and set dependencies, defining tasks required before processes can be finished.
Collaboration is also simplified with WorkOtter’s seamless integration with Jira Sync, a feature that enhances team tasks by enabling real-time collaboration and efficient task management between business and technical teams.
This integration lets users customize, document, and configure tasks, issues, and statuses with 24/7 support. Doing so lets IT project managers and teams streamline their collaborative efforts.
Being a cloud-based platform, WorkOtter makes documents and essential information readily available to those who require it for their tasks. Email updates and notifications keep deadlines in check, while the internal messaging and tagging functionality adds another layer of real-time collaboration.
Several plans are available with access to a growing range of features. Bigger teams can opt for a Team or Manager License, which have chat, dashboard, and reporting features available.
Here’s a handy comparison of the market’s top team collaboration platforms, with a quick overview of each tool’s key features, pricing per month (paid annually), and other relevant details:
Free online collaboration tools can play a role in empowering individuals and small teams to collaborate effectively without financial constraints. They offer a valuable opportunity for businesses to experience the benefits of collaboration software and determine its suitability for longer before committing to a paid version.
To help you explore the options, here’s a summary of the best online collaboration tools available for free:
Having an unlimited number of users and documents within a free plan is definitely a plus. This offers flexibility and scalability, which enables teams of any size to collaborate seamlessly without incurring further costs.
However, while free plans offer great value, subscribing to paid plans unlocks a huge range of additional features, which significantly enhance the collaboration experience. Paid plans often provide advanced security measures, increased storage capacity, and priority customer support.
For more information, you can also check out our guide to the best free project management software tools.
When choosing between collaboration tools, what matters is finding the right fit for your team’s specific needs, considering factors including functionality, ease of use, pricing and scalability, integrations, and more.
The pricing structure of collaboration software tools directly impacts the accessibility and affordability for teams of different sizes and budgets. A software product that offers flexible pricing options, such as per-user or tiered plans, allows teams to scale their collaboration efforts as needed without incurring excessive costs.
Meanwhile, it is vital for a project management tool to offer scalability in both directions so that it’s easy to adjust resources and features as projects evolve, ensuring optimal efficiency and adaptability.
For collaborative work to succeed, you need to choose a collaboration tool that is easy to use or to allow the need for training when planning. Intuitive interfaces, device compatibility, and simple navigation allow for seamless adoption, streamlined communication, and increased productivity, ultimately enhancing collaborative work outcomes.
Try to look for platforms or apps for collaboration that offer training, webinars, or any form of guided support to help users fully maximize the potential of the software, as this ensures effective utilization and empowers teams to harness the full collaborative capabilities of the platform.
You should also consider whether collaboration tools are most important to you or if you specifically want the best Gantt chart software solution.
It’s not just about additional features like to-do lists and video conferencing tools but also about real-time collaboration achieved via remote team file sharing, which requires sufficient storage capacity.
Adequate storage capacity in collaboration software allows remote teams to seamlessly share and access files in real-time. This fosters efficient collaboration and ensures that all team members have instant access to the documents, resources, and information they need to contribute effectively to collaborative projects.
Tools for online collaboration may go to great lengths in providing various integrations with other platforms and tools. This is true for companies with legacy systems and teams that rely on specific software applications for their work processes.
By choosing a collaboration software pick with extensive integration capabilities, teams can ensure smooth communication and data flow between their existing tools, maximizing productivity and eliminating any disruptions or compatibility issues.
By prioritizing collaboration tools with features such as data encryption, access controls, and regular security updates, teams can have a secure environment for collaborative work. Doing so strengthens the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their shared information.
Reliable and responsive customer support ensures that teams have the necessary assistance and guidance whenever they encounter issues or need clarification.
Doing this not only resolves any technical challenges quickly and efficiently but also promotes a positive user experience and enhances overall satisfaction with the collaboration software. It is crucial to how successful collaborative efforts will be.
Collaborative tools have become indispensable for modern teams, so it’s essential to choose the best collaboration software for your team’s needs. Try your best to weigh up your requirements across scalability, accessibility, storage capacity, integrations, security, and customer support.
Evaluating these factors will ensure you select a collaboration platform that empowers your team to work together seamlessly, boost productivity, and achieve successful project outcomes. With the right online collaboration software in place, your team can unlock the full potential of collaborative work and drive impactful results.
If you’re still unsure, try exploring the free version of Monday.com to experience first-hand how its features and capabilities can enhance your team’s collaboration and project management processes.
Team collaboration software works by providing tools for your team to help them work together, communicate, and share resources efficiently through a centralized platform that promotes collaboration and coordination.
While there are several widely-used workplace collaboration tools available, one of the most popular for teams is Monday.com. This platform has gained significant recognition and a large user base thanks to its versatility, user-friendly interface, and comprehensive feature set.
Wrike stands out as the best free online collaboration tool for teams. With the ability to add collaborators for free, teams can collaborate and communicate easily and effectively. Features like text recognition for mobile, task-subtask management, AI prioritization, email integrations, and Kanban dashboards all help to enhance productivity and streamline workflows.
The cost of a project collaboration tool can vary depending on the provider and the specific features included, with pricing options ranging from free plans to monthly or annual subscriptions. Usually, they cost around $4.16 up to $49 per user.
There are various types of collaboration software tools available, including project management tools, communication platforms, file-sharing systems, virtual whiteboards, and real-time editing tools, catering to different collaboration needs and preferences.
Noah Edis is a technical content specialist and systems engineer with a wealth of experience in modern software. When he's not working, you can find him playing competitive dodgeball or programming.
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