Technology has significantly shaped the way we communicate, collaborate, and quite frankly, work. From having virtual meetings through Skype to editing documents on the cloud, technology has helped us cross barriers we never thought were possible!
A collaboration tool is a platform that can help team members view, edit and work simultaneously on projects and tasks without sending emailing attachments to each other all day.
Sounds good? It is!
A collaboration tool makes it easy for companies to simultaneously manage projects and smoothen the flow of information throughout the organization. Say goodbye to shoulder tapping and clogged email and Slack threads!
The most common collaboration tools these days are web-based, so that work never stops wherever your team is located around the world.
The Need For Collaboration Tools
One of the most common reasons for using collaboration tools is to make that sure that everyone in a company is on the same page and are able to meet deadlines without hiccups.
Collaboration tools have significantly grown into popularity over the past few years as the culture of remote working becomes commonplace.
Nowadays, team members can be as close as the next apartment building or as far as the other side of the globe. Distance is no longer a limiting factor when choosing team members to work on a project together. This allows managers to hire the best minds they possibly can to work on a particular project from around the world.
Companies are quickly realizing the power of collaboration tools in the workplace as around 53% of large companies use some type of team chat and collaboration tool to get work done. (Source: Biztechmagazine)
This number is 38% for mid-sized companies and 42% for small companies. (Source: Biztechmagazine) If you don’t want to be left behind in this race towards productivity and efficiency, we would suggest you find a collaboration tool quickly. Which one to choose? Don’t fret, we have got you covered. Below is a list of some of the best collaboration tools out there that’ll make your teams’ productivity will skyrocket in no time!
Best Collaboration Tools Out There
There are many collaboration tools out there in the market today. Each collaboration tool offers some unique feature that other tools don’t provide. You’ll want to choose the best tools based upon the needs of your organization and employees.
Here are the top collaboration tools for businesses:
Collaboration Tools #1: Google Suites
Google offers a vast array of products, from document creation tools to team collaboration tools which make communicating with team members very easy. Apart from providing a simple yet powerful experience to the users, Google products are well integrated among themselves. The products are also integrated with Google cloud storage. A combination of all these features is what makes Google one of the most widely used online collaboration platforms on the market. Other Google tools, such as Hangout and Keep also help users to collaborate more efficiently.
Collaboration Tools #2: Bit
One of the most powerful and feature-rich tools on this list is Bit. A new age, cloud-based collaboration tool that helps teams create, manage and track documents.
Bit allows teams to create workplace documents like- project proposals, sales decks, training documents, how-to guides, company policies, process documentation, media kits, fact sheets, competitive research, case studies, e-books, etc. and provides a safe and robust place to store these documents. If you want to send these documents to external partners, clients, customers or prospects, you can even track them to get intelligent engagement insights.
Apart from documents, Bit also provides amazing content management capabilities. Bit has a content library that automatically saves the images, files and digital content you add to your documents (or workspaces) so that you can access and reuse them easily. Imagine, all of your work data and files in one place for easy access and storage!
Bit’s real-time collaboration feature makes it easy for your team to get under one virtual roof, give their feedback and suggestions, add comments, and discuss work together like a cohesive group.
Collaboration Tools #3: Trello
Trello is one of the best team collaboration tools present. This reflects in the fact that many top companies use this platform to manage their employees and projects. Trello is a web-based platform, which means that info cannot be taken offline, but it does have an app to make your work mobile. Trello showcases tasks within boards in a kanban style. Users can move the tasks around depending on whether it needs to be done, it’s in progress or has been completed. This allows users to check which tasks are done and which ones are currently being worked on. You to add as many people as you want to the board and provide a chat box to message other members.
Collaboration Tools #4: Asana
Asana is another online task management platform available for the users that is similar to Trello in quite a few ways. It offers a board that displays all the tasks that are currently assigned and when each assignment is due. The board is common to all the members so that everyone can see the status of other tasks. One noteworthy feature of Asana is the implementation of the Timeline feature. This feature allows members to create a virtual timeline from start to end for a project and include all the tasks related to completing it in a timeline form. This makes sure that all aspects of a project are being worked on and none of the task details are missed.
Collaboration Tools #5: Quip
Quip is a collaboration tool, that combines documents and team chat in a single place. It allows a team to create materials that are “live” meaning that all the team members can view and edit the text simultaneously. Everyone can chip in new ideas and contribute to the project at hand. With a real-time built-in chat for every new document, decisions regarding the changes in the document are always available to everyone. Quip’s primary aim is to decrease the dependence of a team on emails, which are inefficient when digging through old conversation. Quip also offers live apps such as poll and countdown timer for a document, which can significantly increase team’s productivity.
Collaboration Tools #6: Mural
Mural is another excellent online collaboration tool that checks all the ticks a collaboration platform should have and then some. Apart from all the necessary functions such as tracking tasks and members, Mural also has some unique features. Mural allow users to add sticky notes and one can even draw freely on them. Mural supports images and videos from many different sources. The canvas of the Mural platform allows members to analyze and prioritize tasks at hand.
Collaboration Tools #7: Slack
Slack is one of the most widely used collaboration tools in the world. In Slack, channels are provided to the user, and these channels can be divided by teams, projects or anything else relevant to the organization. These channels can also be directly shared with clients and vendors. This allows everyone related to a particular project to provide real-time analysis and feedback. The ability to make a voice or video call directly through the platform is another huge advantage. Another significant feature of Slack is that it has the largest app directory among its competitors. This makes integrating with other services very convenient.
Collaboration Tools #8: NowBridge
NowBridge is one of the more unique online collaboration platforms available today. Instead of providing team members with a standard board, NowBridge tries to create the illusion of being in a room with other team members. NowBridge exchanges still images of members who are remotely working on the same project. This allows members to check who is available in real-time. The platform is entirely mutual; therefore a member can only be seen by members he/she can see. This makes all the members working remotely feel like they are part of a team.
Collaboration Tools #9: Basecamp
Basecamp provides users with a simple to-do list for all the tasks related to a project. Users can also add relevant information to the list such as who the work is assigned to, along with the due dates. The functionality of making comments directly on the to-do list is also present. Apart from that, the message board is there to keep the entire conversation regarding a particular topic in a single place. The built-in calendar allows keeping track of all the upcoming due dates. One of the unique features of Basecamp is check-in questions. It enables team leaders to avoid lengthy meetings and ask questions directly to a team or individual members.
Collaboration Tools #10: MS Office and Yammer
Another major player which provides a great team collaboration platform is Microsoft. MS Docs and Excel are still the most widely used document creation tools. Microsoft provides an online version of Docs and Excel, along with a powerful collaboration tool called Yammer. Yammer is an enterprise social network that allows anyone in the organization to collaborate and work together with ease. Apart from basic collaboration and communication features to keep everyone on the same age, Yammer allows users to create and join groups relevant to their work and interest. People can send files, documents, spreadsheets, ask questions, plan meeting and get work done swiftly with Yammer.
Collaboration Tools #11: Zoho Projects
Zoho Projects is a cloud-based team collaboration application that provides project management tools to organizations. Zoho Project includes a set of project templates and intranet capabilities. Using it, team managers can set up centralized sheets for current projects, a project wiki for storage of project info, ideas, reference materials, and other specifications. Additional data or information relevant to the project may also be stored on the wiki. Chat capability allows team members to communicate easily regarding project details and information. Zoho Projects incorporates style features similar to social media for data sharing in a centralized position. A feed can be used to post comments, discussions and can provide an overview of all projects associated with the workflow of the project.
Collaboration Tools #12: Flock
Flock is another platform explicitly designed to manage the work of the team members. It’s a direct competitor to Slack and Trello. Flock’s primary aim is to reduce the reliance of organizations on email which is very efficient and hinders the pace of the workflow. Flock provides team collaboration functions such as chat with another member or a group and video calling directly through the application. Flock’s advanced searching abilities can help members to look for anything very quickly.
Collaboration Tools #13: Workzone
WorkZone is another cloud-based team management tool which is useful for mid-sized and bigger businesses. Workzone’s ease of use is its most significant feature. The project dashboard is a collection of tasks, separated by project, which includes information about who’s responsible for the job, the timeline for completion, project status, and any notes that might be relevant to that task. Users can see at a glance where all active projects are, what needs to happen next, and what might be delaying the project. Clicking any to-do list from the dashboard allows users to see what’s due, when it’s due, and anything that’s overdue. Overdue tasks are marked so users can’t miss them. WorkZone features a task dependency linking system that allows project managers to create cascading tasks. The completion date of another triggers the start date of one task.
Collaboration Tools #14: Wrike
Wrike is a project collaboration tool that gives teams an overview of project status and the team’s productivity. Users also can create Gantt charts, edit tasks, and work with their teammates. Wrike lets teams break down substantial work into smaller pieces so that each task can be completed on time. Wrike has pre-designed templates that can eliminate the time spent on designing models from scratch. Time tracking for each member and the entire project can help make accurate decisions regarding future planning and budget management. Write also allows teams to share real-time interactive report and schedule notifications for report updates.
Collaboration Tools #15: Taiga
Taiga is a team collaboration platform specially designed for software developers. The application focuses on features that a developer would need. These are quite distinct from the requirements of a project manager. Taiga lets users track components called stories and backlogs. The idea is that a backlog is a final product. So project managers can set up a backlog, and the team members work on it in sections, called stories. As the backlog is depleted, the team gets closer to the finished product. The project manager can determine how the backlog is managed. Stories can be assigned to individuals or groups of team members. The final due date can also be assigned to make sure a project doesn’t end up delayed. It’s also possible to have stories that aren’t attached to a specific person or team or that do not have a particular due date. Project managers can change all of that information at any time.
Collaboration Tools #16: Zenkit
Zenkit is one of the most feature-packed collaboration tools in the market. Zenkit also focuses on scalability, so that the platform can be adjusted to the size of the organization. Zenkit has its text editor and spreadsheets tools. Useful features include calendar, checklists, marking action actions as favorites, activity tracking, team information and ability to add mentions. Above all the regular features, it has other uniques features such as the ability to work offline and global searches for the entire archive for any data. Another useful feature is the capability to customize the notification so that they do not cause any distractions.
Collaboration Tools #17: Proofhub
Proofhub is another collaboration tool that is packed with features. Proofhub tries to minimize the need for multiple tools to run an organization. Proofhub works as a focal place to manage and run projects. Proofhub helps teams with the different tasks to keep things on track, share ideas and collaborate with teams and clients. Files and documents are maintained to keep the entire information organized. Group chat features are available to ask questions, get answers and continue crucial conversations seamlessly, analyze files and documents instantly, and track time spent on the projects. Proofhub also helps with charts to design the project plans that’ll assure timely conclusion of the projects. Proofhub also supports the project manager to keep a bird’s eye view on project progress, generate roles in determining access levels for the teams and clients. Proofhub helps create project reports for insights on how projects are progressing, and how groups and individuals are performing.
Collaboration Tools #18: Walkabout
Walkabout is one of the unique online collaboration platform available today in the market. Walkabout uses 3D rendering to create a virtual office for people working remotely so that they feel like they are in the same office. Walkabout platform creates a virtual office floor for each member, with fun features such as a lunchroom and break room. Access to documents and tools are provided, and neat features like shutting the door for privacy are also present. Formal meeting rooms are also there. Individual and groups chat, and video calling features are also built-in.
Collaboration Tools #19: Workplace
Workplace is an online collaboration platform developed by Facebook. Workplace is essentially Facebook for businesses where employees of a company can interact an collaborate. Workplace’s interface feels like Facebook and that’s helped Workplace to gain new users quickly. Users have the same ability to like, comment, react, real-time chat and share information with others. Workplace has several next-gen technologies like live video for interacting with team members and the auto-translate feature to help employees connect and share information. The workplace platform also uses learning algorithms that allows the platform to become better the more it’s used.
Collaboration Tools #20: Airtable
Airtable is another unique online collaboration tool available for users to consider. Airtable is like an Excel spreadsheet but with database superpowers! You can add all types of content, images, weblinks, fields, and information into each of your cells. This highly visual aspect allows users to understand various types of content beyond text and numbers. It’s especially useful with your spreadsheets aren’t cutting it with their endless scrollbars. Airtable’s relational database is collaborative across your entire team.
Approximately half of the employees believe that their organization is not being collaborative enough. On top of that, around 86% of employees think that workplace failures are due to lack of collaboration efforts. (Source: elcomcms) It’s clear that employees want more collaboration in the workplace and get work done as a team quickly. A collaboration tool can help employees get work done together quickly and easily. The trick is to pick the right tool that matches your workflow and that will fit into your company culture. We’re sure you’ll be able to find that tool in this awesome list!
Are there any collaboration tools we missed? Which tool do you use to make collaborations easier? Do share with us in the comment section below