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The 20 best collaboration software tools in 2021

4 Nov 2021 9 MIN READ

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The 20 best collaboration software tools in 2021

Although the rise in remote working practices has exponentially driven the uptick in the adoption of collaboration tools, there’s also another reason why teams are looking for online collaboration software: to improve productivity. 

A team collaboration tool is a communication tool with project management features rolled into one. Designed to provide a central platform for sharing knowledge, data, and documents, team collaboration software helps businesses maximize efficiency and teamwork. 

Does my company need to use software collaboration tools? 

Here’s the short answer: Yes!

Even small teams in single locations can benefit from online team collaboration tools since they provide a single place where files are located, can help reduce email back and forth, and help colleagues communicate quickly. 

No matter the size or distribution of your company, in today’s modern landscape of virtual, remote, and hybrid working models, collaboration tools can help your company and coworkers: 

  • Stay connected while working remotely
  • Strengthen team relationships
  • Improve project management 
  • Consolidate project files in a single place
  • Boost overall productivity 

Whether your goal in adopting collaboration tools is to streamline communication, consolidate project management coordination, or provide your teams with a handy tool to stay connected, team project collaboration software is a must for any modern business. 

4 features to look for in any business collaboration tool 

Choosing the right collaboration tool ultimately depends on your particular business needs. However, keep an eye out for the following features and attributes when considering the best team collaboration software.

Ease of use

Successful adoption of new software involves a learning curve, and it takes time for everyone to get comfortable using it. A user-friendly interface with intuitive navigation is key to ensuring everyone can get on board with a new collaboration tool. Feature-rich solutions are great, but they can be difficult to handle, so evaluate each platform’s feature set closely. 

File sharing

File sharing features are a must-have for any team. Look for collaboration tools that allow users to securely share files, upload them effortlessly, and if you need be sure to check out the level of file storage each app supports.  

Communication features

Robust collaboration platforms don’t start and end with an instant messaging function. Look for a collaboration tool that supports multiple communication features, including private messaging, group chat, discussion boards, video conferencing, and status reporting.

Integration with other business software

Smart companies will look for business collaboration software that integrates with the business tools they’re already using. This will enable easy data sharing between apps, which means less switching between tools and less tool fatigue. 

20 best collaboration software tools for businesses 

Now you know what collaboration software is, why your teams need it, and what key capabilities to look out for, it’s time to search for the best tool for your business. The good news is that there’s a collaboration tool suitable for every type of business across all industries. 

Below, we go through 20 of the best online collaboration tools and their features to help you make the right choice. 

Slack

Slack is a popular collaboration tool that’s available on desktop, has its own mobile app available on iOS and Android, and offers a generous free version of the platform. 

Key features of Slack include: 

  • Direct messaging and file sharing for individuals as well as for different group channels (these can be organized by team, department, project, or whatever you want!) 
  • Users can communicate through instant messaging, voice calls, and video calls
  • Clients and guests from other organizations can use a workspace upon invitation 
  • Integration with over 2,400 different business apps including Zoom, Asana, Salesforce, Trello, and Twitter

Slack also integrates with TravelPerk, the leading travel management platform, meaning that when a business trip needs approval, an automatic Slack message with the approval request is sent to the traveler’s approver, streamlining the trip approval process. 

monday.com 

monday.com is a collaboration and task management software that’s suitable for teams of all sizes and functions. 

Key features of monday.com include:

  • Customizable boards for managing workflows, projects, and tasks
  • Multiple view types including timeline, Kanban boards, Gantt charts, map view, and calendar view
  • @mention any teammate or team to keep them in the loop
  • Workload and availability tracking 

Asana 

Asana is a collaboration and work management platform that helps track and organize work and connect employees.  

Key features of Asana include:

  • Ready-to-use templates for project planning
  • Users can choose from multiple task/project views (board view, list view, timeline view, and calendar view)
  • Workflows for managing tasks, dependencies, due dates, and milestones
  • User communication via task comments, project conversations, status updates

Trello 

Trello is a project management tool that organizes projects into boards and comes with generous team collaboration features.

Key features of Trello include:

  • Users can organize projects with boards or lists, that can also be organized by different teams tasks
  • Custom workflows to suit every team
  • To-do lists and checklists for each stage of each project 
  • @mention any teammate to update them of project process

Wrike 

Wrike is a project management software solution for organizations of all sizes, with a free version available. 

Key features of Wrike include:

  • Automation Engine reduces the amount of manual repetitive work by employing rule-based automation of various actions
  • Customizable workspaces with shared calendars, files, and folders 
  • Multiple communication methods, including Wrike Inbox, dashboards, @mentions, group chat, private messaging, alerts, and notifications
  • Track individual and overall task progress

Zoom

Zoom is a video conferencing platform with strong collaboration features and team communication tools. 

Key features of Zoom include:

  • Video conferencing, audio calls, and screen sharing
  • Zoom chat for direct and group messaging 
  • Integrate schedules into Zoom meetings
  • Flexible pricing that allows customers to customize their subscription package 

Podio

Podio is a low-code collaboration app that collates project data into one tool.

Key features of Podio include:

  • File sharing with clients and team members
  • Aligns all content, conversations, and processes into one collaboration point
  • Instant messaging and video chat
  • Automated progress reporting

Miro 

Miro is an interactive collaborative whiteboard platform for brainstorming that allows users to work with “sticky notes” to plan and manage workflows.

Key features of Miro include:

  • Pre-built templates and customizable project/workflow templates
  • Screen sharing and presentation sharing
  • Multiple communication methods including video, chat, and @mentions 
  • Agile-friendly with stand-ups, sprint planning, and retrospectives

Flock

Flock is an online collaboration platform that offers a shared space for all cross-functional work.

Key features of Flock include:

  • Video and voice calling 
  • Real-time file sharing 
  • Advanced search capabilities to find documents, messages, and files 
  • Invite guests from other organizations to collaborate

Teamwork 

Teamwork is a project management platform that is designed especially for client work and collaboration. 

Key features of Teamwork include:

  • Break down projects into tasks and layers of subtasks
  • Manage project permissions from site level down to specific tasks
  • Board view and Gantt charts for easy task visualization
  • Track meetings, holidays, and major deadlines in one place

ClickUp

ClickUp is an all-in-one project management and collaboration solution suitable for small businesses and enterprises.

Key features of ClickUp include:

  • Communicate directly and in context with other team members
  • Create schedules, organize calendars, and manage workload capacity in one place 
  • Multiple workflow views including list view for to-dos, board view for workflows, box view for dashboards, and Gantt view for project schedules
  • Alerts users when teammates are simultaneously viewing a task or adding new comments

Nutcache

Nutcache is a collaborative project management software that allows teams to plan, track, and manage projects.

Key features of Nutcache include:

  • Color-coded schedules, drag-and-drop editing, and task organization queues
  • Gantt charts to plan, track, and organize tasks
  • Organize board lists by task, member, or workday
  • Expense and time-tracking tools to help projects stay within budget

Evernote 

Evernote is a note-taking app that enables project organization and task management. 

Key features of Evernote include:

  • Collaboration tool, “Spaces”, is a central source of information and a messaging and communication space
  • Virtual bulletin board where users can make announcements 
  • Custom template creation
  • Create notes from emails and share existing notes from within Gmail and Outlook

Microsoft Teams 

Microsoft Teams is a collaboration and video-conferencing platform that helps teams stay in touch as well as perform work-related tasks. 

Key features of Microsoft Teams include:

  • Instant messaging and audio and video chat
  • File sharing and co-authoring of documents
  • Live meeting captions and transcriptions
  • Integration with Trello, InVision, and SurveyMonkey

Creately 

Creately is a SaaS visual collaboration tool for brainstorming, planning, executing, and communicating around projects. 

Key features of Creately include:

  • Collaborate in formats like diagrams, visuals, text, symbols, and more
  • Multiple collaborators can work within a Creately document at the same time
  • In-app video conferencing 
  • Comment feature includes discussion threads, to-do lists, and screenshot annotation screenshots.

Hibox

Hibox is a team collaboration solution that integrates task management and videoconferencing within the same platform. 

Key features of Hibox include:

  • Internal chat, task management, and live video conferencing
  • AI feature identifies regular actions from chat patterns to efficiently schedule tasks 
  • Create streams for specific teams, projects, or departments
  • Share, customize, and view files from the past and present

Nifty

Nifty is a project management app that connects remote teams and enables collaboration. 

Key features of Nifty include:

  • Track task assignments, activities, and time logs across all projects
  • Discussion boards to collaborate with team members
  • Create visual roadmaps of project milestones
  • File sharing using a drag and drop interface

Google Drive

Google Drive is a suite of collaboration tools including Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides. 

Key features of Google Drive include:

  • Create, share, and edit documents with anyone, even those outside your organization
  • Create organized shared drives for files and folders
  • Collaborate real-time by adding comments to any file type, tagging team members, and assigning tasks or action items
  • Rich version history for files, and recorded changes are color-coded by person

Figma

Figma is a collaborative platform for designers which allows multiple teams to collaborate.

Key features of Figma include:

  • Project pages where users can pin files for easy access and add notes for context
  • Teams can edit designs together in real-time
  • @mention any teammate and leave comments within the design
  • Integrations with Trello, Flinto, Slack, Dropbox, and Jira

Notion

Notion is a project and workflow management solution that helps businesses streamline operations. 

Key features of Notion include:

  • Drag-and-drop interface to organize, rearrange, and customize ideas
  • Maintain a knowledge base for task instructions, coding guidelines, and HR workflows
  • All-in-one workspace combines notes, documents, project management, and wikis
  • Set priority levels on tasks so individuals can organize their work.