12 Best Collaboration Tools for Remote Teams - (Free & Paid)

In today’s fast-paced life, it’s crucial to communicate and collaborate with the right tools. The amount of information that you send and receive every day may become overwhelming if not managed adequately.

From communication to project management, there are many options for team collaboration tools. That's why companies and employees use tools and collaboration apps – to make work more effective. Using software for collaboration brings only benefits.

It improves the workflow, and employees can understand processes while it boosts their productivity clearly.

If you choose the proper tools, the business will be organized, with unified communication and work management channel.

What are the Collaboration Tools?

Online collaboration allows a group of people to work together in real time via the Internet. Those engaged in online collaboration can work together on word processor documents, PowerPoint presentations, and similar tasks.

There’re many great online collaboration tools for business, which can help your team accomplish their goals.

A web conference provides people to meet online in real-time. While presentations may be given and note taken, a web conference is much the same as a face-to-face meeting in that’s more about discussion than working together on the documents being presented, for instance.

Online collaboration tools, on the other hand, involve a team working together, often at the same time, and on the same projects.

Key Features

An efficient online collaboration tool has to be easy to use and set up. Also, it needs to be secure and to have the features that will fit your purposes. Therefore, if you need to hold online brainstorming sessions, it’s pivotal that the brainstorming tool you select feature a proper whiteboard functionality.

Other helpful features are the ability to upload documents, a calendar, and notifications via email when changes have been made to a document.

All project management software solutions, including resource scheduling tools, offer features for collaboration, such as task status updates, file sharing, and progress visualization charts.

On the other hand, a tool designed specifically for project collaboration may include additional features, like video conferencing, client-facing portals, live sharing on co-created documents.

Is Collaboration Software Secure?

All prestigious online collaboration tools have security features which ensure that anyone who isn't invited to the workplace can't see the existed documents.

Plus, most tools offer encryption, which is an extra layer of security that makes the documents unreadable to those with malicious intentions.

A properly secure tool allows the owners of the online collaboration workspace to set authorization levels for its members. It means that while some participants will be able only to read the documents, others can make changes, but not everyone can delete them.

Virtual collaboration is great for businesses of any size, as long as there is interest in working together via the Internet.

Not only is online collaboration good for working with colleagues, but it's also useful when working on documents with clients. Because it makes sense of teamwork and transparency, it also improves client relationships.

12 Best Collaboration Software Solutions

People can’t collaborate without communication. From video conferencing to instant messaging tools, there are many options for team collaboration tools. Therefore, take a look at the following list of 12 best collaboration software on the market in 2019.

Asana

Asana is a cloud-based project management tier that facilitates various organizations to collaborate, communicate, and organize tasks/projects.

It’s useful for teams and companies that can serve multiple projects at one time, and it can handle the business of any size.

Features include collaboration tools task management, reporting, automatic notifications, a customer portal, dashboards, document management, task signing, and mobile app.

It also includes an Inbox feature that captures all updates generated automatically by the software. It can be accessed by mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. The app can also be accessed on both iOS and Android smartphones.

The software can be integrated with different apps such as Slack, Google Drive, DropBox, Box, HipChat, and Sunrise. The software has a 100MB limit per user.

Asana Pricing

  • Basic plan (free): Collaborate with up to 15 members;
  • Premium plan: $9.99/user/month, billed annually; $11.99/user/month, billed monthly - customer success onboarding/training (starting for teams over 30);
  • Business plan: $19.99/user/month, billed annually; $23.99/user/month, billed monthly – everything on premium + portfolios, workload, forms, proofing, and more;
  • Enterprise plan: Custom

Slack

Slack is a cloud-based collaboration solution that enables communication across organizations. It serves to various fields, including technology, research, media, financial services, retail, education, logistics, and transport.

The software provides a public channel for members to start conversations. Private channels enable interaction within smaller teams, and direct channels send messages directly to colleagues.

This collaborate tool implements feeds from social media into the app and combines with ongoing conversations in different channels. Files like documents, PDFs, spreadsheets, and images can be shared by drag and drop.

It archives projects, files, messages, and notifications, all of which can be searched later. This solution enables you to customize notifications. All changes are reflective in the native apps available for Android and iOS.

Slack Pricing

  • Free plan: 5GB file storage + 10K of your team's most recent messages ;
  • Standard: $6.67/user/month, billed annually; $8/user/month, billed monthly - 10GB of file storage per team member.
  • Plus: $8/user/month, billed annually; $15/user/month, billed monthly - 20GB of file storage per team member;
  • Enterprise Grid: pricing not listed;

Flock

A Flock is a cloud-based software that improves team communication. It’s suitable for businesses of all sizes across various industries and provides screen sharing, text chat, video/audio calling, integrations with other business apps, and more.

This collaboration tool offers tagging colleagues in comments/to-do lists, uploading documents/videos/images, email alerts, setting due dates/reminders, and more. You can create projects, tasks, and teams, set up email reminders and search for specific files or comments.

Video and audio calls can be scheduled and launched within the app, and the screen sharing tool allows users to show colleagues what they’re working in real time.

Polls, code, snippet sharing, and group discussions with other applications like Asana, Google Drive, GitHub, and Trello. Support is provided via an online portal.

Flock Pricing

  • Free plan: 10GB storage for your team;
  • Pro plan: $4.5/user/month, billed annually; $6/user/month, billed monthly – 10GB file storage per licensed user;
  • Enterprise plan: Contact vendor.


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Trello

Trello is a great collaboration tool for planning tasks and projects. While commonly used by software development teams, such as HR, sales, marketing, and support. It offers tools to define projects, their requirements, and the workflow to ensure tasks in a planned sequential way.

This software provides a digital board to create, manage, and prioritize actions. Managers and administrators can define workflows, assign tasks, set deadlines, and monitor progress.

Trello cards enable users to collaborate with each other. They can add members, add how, and attach documents to the tasks assigned to them.

This solution integrates with various apps such as Slack, JIRA Cloud, Google Drive, GitHub, and Bitbucket Cloud.

Trello Pricing

  • Free plan: unlimited cards, unlimited personal boards, 10MB per file attachment;
  • Business Class: $9.99/user/month, billed annually – 250MB per file attachment;
  • Enterprise: $20.83/month, for minimum 20 users - 250MB per file attachment + extra features.

Podio

Podio is a full-featured project management and social collaboration solution. It enables businesses to create custom apps to meet requirements best and preferred workflow.

The Podio App Market allows you access to hundreds of free applications, pre-built by Podio users to satisfy a range of industry-specific features, including task management, project portfolio management, and issue management. There’re also apps with features such as applicant tracking and CRM (customer relationship management).

Across all applications, this solution offers various social collaboration functions, like internal instant messaging, video chat, Facebook-esque "likes," and file sharing.

Its app-building capabilities make it an excellent fit for a smaller business that needs a high degree of customization - especially those looking to manage multiple work processes.

Podio Pricing

  • Free plan: for 5 employees – task management, apps, and workspaces;
  • Basic: $7.20/user/month, billed annually; $9/user/month, billed monthly – everything on free + unlimited items, user management, and more;
  • Plus: $11.20/user/month, billed annually; $14/user/month, billed monthly – everything on basic + light user role, automated workflows, read-only access;
  • Premium: $19.20/user/month, billed annually; $24/user/month, billed monthly – everything on a plus plan + visual reports, contact sync, and more.

Clinked

Clinked is cloud-based portal software, which enables teams to collaborate, manage projects, and share files. Main features include business collaboration tools, task management, file sharing, search tool, and third-party application integrations.

With this solution, you can collaborate on a project by assigning tasks, requesting approvals on documents, and commenting on employee activities.

The dashboard delivers a centralized view of all activities, tasks, project groups, and project conversations. File sharing enables uploading and tagging multiple files from different devices, and also gives file previews.

It offers integrations with Google apps, which allows login via Google account and use Google apps such as Google Contacts, Google Calendars, and Google Docs. This software is also accessible through mobile apps for Android and iOS devices.

Clinked Pricing

  • Starter plan: $83/month, billed annually (100 members included + 100 GB storage);
  • Collaboration: $209/month, billed annually (100 members + 1 TB storage);
  • Premium: $416/month, billed annually (250 members + 3 TB storage);
  • Enterprise: $836/month, billed annually (1000 members + 5 TB storage).

ClickUp

ClickUp is a cloud-based collaborative platform convenient for all-size businesses and industries. Features include collaboration and communication tools, task statuses/assignments, task toolbar, and alerts.

You can assign tasks and comments to specific team members or a group of team members. Tasks and comments can be marked in progress or as resolved, or employees can make custom statuses.

Projects are viewed from an Agile dashboard or managed by the assignee. The activity stream display tasks as they’re created and completed in real time.

Team members can configure notifications to be sent only for specific tasks. The mentions function alerts when another team member names you in the discussion, and comments can be edited after posting.Integrations include GitHub and Slack. Support is provided by the phone and via the email.

ClickUp Pricing

  • Free plan: 100MB storage + unlimited users;
  • Unlimited: $5/user/month, billed annually (unlimited storage/integrations);

ProofHub

ProofHub is a cloud-based collaboration and property management software that helps real estate and property managers to keep track of features related to their assets. The solution offers apps for project collaboration, project management, task management, and portfolio project management.

Key features include to-do lists, notes, Gantt charts, timesheets, milestones, calendaring, and more. It also features a reporting engine that helps project managers to create custom reports and keep track of their resource utilization and project progress.

Communication functions involve both one-on-one and group chat features, allowing with proofing tool that enables you to comment on designs and documents shared via the platform.

This solution has an API feature and supports integration with Dropbox and Google Docs. The tool can deliver content via HTTPS with custom domain names and certificates. Mobile apps are also available for Android and iOS devices.

ProofHub Pricing

  • Essential plan: $45/month, billed annually; $50/monthly, billed monthly (unlimited users + 40 projects + 15GB storage);
  • Ultimate Control: $89/month, billed annually; $99/month, billed monthly (unlimited users + unlimited projects + 100GB storage).

Webex

Webex powered by Cisco is a video conferencing tool software designed for all kinds of business. It’s armed with layouts that can be customized and enables active participation in the meetings.

You can organize or join the conference by laptops, desktops, tablets, and cell phones. Team members can share screens in meetings help colleagues all get on the same page.

Webex provides calendar integration with Outlook, Office 365, Google, and more. User can invite as many people as necessary to a conference.

Administrators can record conferences and share with those who weren’t present for the session. On completion of meetings, users receive an email containing an MP4 recording file, making broadcasting, sharing, and reviewing meetings possible.

The Webex doesn’t provide a listing on the website. Contact the vendor for more information.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a cloud group chat software that helps team members collaborate on projects. Its key features include conferencing, file sharing, and messaging.

One of the best Microsoft collaborates tools help users manage documents, create groups, store files online, and receive notifications. It's customizable for each team, and users can communicate via instant messaging, online meetings, calling, and web conferencing.

This team collaboration app can be used to work on files within Office 365 apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and SharePoint. Additional features include assistant bots, conversation search, an open application processing interface, contact search, and multi-factor authentication.

Microsoft Teams integrates with Skype to facilitate voice and video calls. Also, it integrates with third-party applications such as GitHub, Microsoft Office, Power BI, Delve, Planner, Trello, and more.

Microsoft Teams Pricing

  • Office 365 Business Essentials: $5.00 user/month, billed annually + Microsoft Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint;
  • Office 365 Business Premium: $12.50 user/month, billed annually + Microsoft Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

OneNote

Microsoft OneNote is one of the several free collaboration tools that can be accessed through Android, Chrome, Windows, iOS, and Mac devices. This excellent solution from Office 365 is suitable for users attending numerous meetings and working on multiple collaborative projects.

OneNote offers a powerful search feature for all notes stored in its database. You can also save and manage audio recordings and can be integrated with other Microsoft Office products.

OneNote provides cloud-based storage and enabling easily toggling between separate but synced up personal and enterprise accounts.

If you need more space for the projects, you’ll need to choose a OneDrive plan. Microsoft has a 50GB option for $1.99/month, or $6.99/month with the 1TB option, which also allows you access to Office 365.

Google Docs

Google Docs is a free web-based online collaboration tool that enables collaboration between colleagues, classmates, teachers, and students. Since the document is stored in the cloud, you can share the link to the file for editing to other users.

With a Google Account, you get free use of Docs, Sheets and Slides and up to 15GB of free Google Drive storage. Those who need more storage can choose a Google One plan starting at $2 per month.

Google Docs is one of the most reliable Google collaborate tools since it understands the importance of working together on a document.

It enables you to edit a document at the same time and leave comments and suggestions to be reviewed, accepted, or rejected.

Plus, team members can chat within the document in real-time to add a different dimension to collaboration.

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