According to Gartner, the use of collaboration tools increased from 50% in 2019 to 80% in 2021.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic was the main cause of it, its aftermath has left us with remote work and hybrid working models in almost every company. Therefore, we continue to rely on remote collaboration tools as we look for ways to improve productivity in geographically scattered teams.
The tools on this list provide you with different options for you and your team to communicate, share ideas, and interact with project stakeholders.
How I Picked The Best Collaboration Tools
I evaluated and compared the most popular team collaboration software on the market, both for its reviews and user interface. Then I weighed factors that make collaboration tools a good option for project management, such as the ones that follow.
- User Interface – Project collaboration tools should be clean and intuitive to navigate. They should have easy access to different communication channels, search functions, private notes, private messaging, and history logs.
- Usability – Everyone on your team needs to be on board or else collaboration tools will always fail. Therefore, I look for something that is easy to learn, with plenty of training resources and robust customer support.
- Integration – Collaboration in today’s work environment requires communication and sharing across multiple platforms. Your integration needs are specific, but a good collaboration tool should include a few basic integrations with other team software: resource scheduling apps, documentation apps from Google and Microsoft, time-tracking tools, and any project management or task management tools you’re using.
- Price – Pricing will be the first yay or nay criteria for your adoption of a new tool. Keep in mind that the average price for collaboration tools hovers around $8/user/month.
monday.com is a collaboration and task management software that's well-known for its simplistic design and user-friendly features.
Why I picked monday.com: I love how many collaboration tools this platform offers to help you work on your projects and tasks as a team. But the main reason it made my list is because of its goal-setting capabilities. You can develop your strategic goals, and then connect them to projects and tasks. This helps keep everyone aligned and on track in their work, and contributes to better teamwork.
As for project management, the platform is highly customizable, which is always a top priority for me when I look at project management tools. You can select from an array of views to keep track of progress. Shared documents allow users to co-create meeting minutes, brainstorm, and engage with others in the team. Everything related to your project can live in one place.
monday.com Standout Features & Integrations
One standout feature is the platform's a whiteboard product, called Workcanvas. You and your team can easily create mind maps, presentations, and workflows, and engage in real-time multiplayer activities using the whiteboard. Another cool feature is the built-in communication tools, like mentions and comments, that help keep project discussions contextual and centralized.
Integrations include Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Zoom, and Typeform. Many more are accessible via a paid Zapier account.
- Free-forever plan available
- User-friendly and intuitive interface
- Complete work management platform
- Limited reporting in basic and free plans
- Limited storage in basic and free plans
Smartsheet is a spreadsheet-based project management software that helps you manage projects, automate processes, and scale up to enterprise-level programs and portfolios.
Why I picked Smartsheet: This software is designed with enterprise businesses in mind and as such, has a very high level of security. I picked it for teams who are looking to collaborate virtually, but keep their data well-governed. Granular access controls help you ensure only approved collaborators have access to specific information. The platform's request forms and approval workflows also caught my attention, as they ensure an effective transfer of data and information to right people at the right time.
Smartsheet Standout Features & Integrations
Standout features include the no-code, automated workflow builder and the system's document management capabilities. I particularly like how you can set up automated workflows to streamline your processes and reduce manual tasks. As for file management, proofing and approvals are included as well as version control to ensure no important information is lost.
Integrations include Google Workspace, Microsoft Office 365, Box, DocuSign, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, Gmail, Outlook, and many other apps. Some integrations require Business or Enterprise plans.
- Plenty of self-serve knowledge base content
- Ability to collaborate with external partners
- Comprehensive enterprise work management platform
- Robust system, comes with a learning curve
- Freemium limited to 2 editors
Ziflow is a team collaboration platform for multimedia projects and creative assets. Based on my research, I think it is well-suited to the needs of design, content, marketing, and other creative teams.
Why I picked Ziflow: I added this platform to my list because of its unique capabilities for collaborating on creative assets. It's focus on feedback, with tools like commenting, approvals, and review workflows to ensure your creative processes are followed, particularly stood out to me. You can even add comments on specific frames within a video. The workflow tool also has automation capabilities, so you can speed up your processes and alleviate some of your team's manual workload.
Ziflow Standout Features & Integrations
Standout features include the built-in markup tools and number of file types. Your team can use shapes and arrows to provide feedback on assets, alongside comment threads and tagging. The software supports over 1,200 types of files, making it a seriously robust solution for all kinds of creative work.
Integrations include Slack, Clarizen, monday.com, Microsoft Teams, Jira, Dropbox, Trello, Google Drive, and Asana.
- Freemium plan available for individuals
- Exceptional customer support provided
- Unlimited reviewers with all plans
- Uploads and processing times can be long
- Workflow limitations in lower-tier plans
MediaValet is recognized as a leading digital asset management (DAM) solution. It can facilitate remote collaboration on files and documents, and offers tools to help you keep your digital assets organized and searchable.
Why I chose MediaValet: I selected this platform for its robust collaboration tools, which include global distribution and customizable access. Teams that rely on digital assets to do their work will benefit from having the platform as a central repository for all their creative assets. You can use the system to store and manage your documents, images, videos, and other assets, but also to control the access to those assets. The system also provides a high level of security. You'll have peace of mind knowing it's SOC 2 compliant and encrypted.
MediaValet Standout Features and Integrations
One standout feature of this software are its AI capabilities. I was impressed by how it can automate asset tagging, saving your team the manual workload. It can also make your assets highly searchable through its color, face, and text recognition. Another cool feature is the ability to transcribe video and audio content, making it searchable, too.
Integrations include Wrike, Workfront, Slack, OKTA, Active Directory, WordPress. Drupal 8, Adobe Creative Cloud, Sharepoint, Office 365, Hootsuite, and more. You can also access an open API that will help you build custom integrations with your current tech stack.
- High level of security
- Excellent customer support
- Regular updates and improvements
- Limited offline access to files
- Limited customization options
QuickBase is a platform that enables the development of custom applications without requiring deep coding skills. It stands out for its no-code approach, allowing users to build industry-specific solutions with features like integrations, automations, and mobile capabilities.
Why I picked QuickBase: I selected QuickBase as a collaboration tool after judging its capabilities to enable teams to create and customize applications without the need for extensive coding skills. What differentiates QuickBase is its user-friendly interface and the empowerment it offers to citizen developers, allowing them to automate workflows and connect data effortlessly. I believe QuickBase is best for no-code app development because of its flexibility and the comprehensive solutions it provides, which cater to a wide range of business needs without requiring deep technical expertise.
QuickBase stands out as an excellent tool for collaboration due to its user-friendly interface and customizable features that cater to a wide range of business needs. It enables teams to create and share interactive, data-driven applications without requiring extensive technical knowledge. This flexibility allows for seamless integration of data from various sources, fostering efficient teamwork and decision-making.
QuickBase Standout Features & Integrations
Standout features include a no-code platform that enables users to build custom applications tailored to their business needs without requiring coding expertise. It offers a visual Builder for application development, Integrations to connect with various other software tools, and Automations to help manage workflows efficiently.
Integrations include Salesforce, Microsoft Teams, Google Calendar, Tableau, QuickBase Pipelines, Slack and Zapier.
- Robust notifications and reminders
- Workflows are easy to set up and customize
- Simple no-code platform is easy for non-tech people to learn
- May be cost prohibitive for small businesses
- Team plan requires a minimum of 20 users
Workmates is a staff communication and employee engagement software that facilitates company announcements, recognition and rewards, and provides an intranet solution.
Why I picked Workmates: If you're looking for a tool that focuses on communication and information exchange, I think this platform is a good option. I included it in my list because it's well-suited to the needs of field teams and teams working in warehouses. You can easily set up a complete intranet with procedures, policies, and important employee information that anyone can access through the mobile-friendly platform.
In addition to providing an information hub, I also like how Workmates allows you to send out timely company-wide communications through the software. Specific channels can also be set up for more streamlined communications, and individual chats facilitate one-on-one discussions. An employee directory and org chart is also included, so people know who to go to for what.
Workmates Standout Features & Integrations
Standout features include the system's recognition and rewards module. Team members can send peer-to-peer recognition through the platform, boosting morale and highlighting great work. You can also set up company challenges and gamified goals, encouraging everyone to perform at their best. Another great feature is the surveys and polls, which help you measure employee sentiments and engagement levels.
Integrations include ADP, Slack, QuickBooks, Workday, SAP, Google Workspace, Lever, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams, among others. You can also connect a Zapier account for additional integrations.
- Encourage peer feedback and recognition
- Streamlined announcements and information sharing
- Communication, engagement, and recognition in one
- Limited features in basic plan
- No free plan or trial
Nifty is a collaboration hub that unites goals, actions, and communications across your projects.
Why I picked Nifty: I selected Nifty for this list for its ability to integrate collaboration tools with individual projects. With this tool, every project comes with its own discussion board and a Zoom integration that you can use to call your team any time. Further, you can collaborate on documents from the documents tab. I also like how this lightweight document solution integrates with Google Docs so that you can work on documents in real-time without leaving Nifty.
The tool also includes direct messaging, which I think is great for facilitating team-wide communication from planning to delivery. Its ability to automatically update project milestones as tasks are completed also stood out to me.
Nifty Standout Features & Integrations
Features include milestones management, forms, time tracking, project portfolios, file management, task lists, recurring tasks, task automation, and reporting.
Integrations. Nifty allows you to import data from Asana, Basecamp, ClickUp, and Trello so you can quickly establish your workflow. Nifty has built-in native integrations such as Slack, Zoom, GitHub, Dropbox, Google Drive, GSuite, and Google Calendar, as well as over 1000 additional integrations through Zapier.
Axero is a knowledge sharing platform that can be used to build out content hubs for internal and external collaboration. It's a flexible solution that's adaptable to the needs of various types and sizes of businesses.
Why I picked Axero: I decided to give this platform a spot on my list for its capacity to build a knowledge base for either internal or external collaborators (or both). It's flexible enough to suit various contexts, yet provides the necessary structure to keep information organized, accessible, and accounted for.
You can create both public and private spaces in your company wiki, and build out content in various formats. Blog posts, forums, surveys, and broadcasts are among the supported content types. Meanwhile, commenting and like buttons allow for engagement and interaction, and live chat lets you keep all communications centralized in one space.
Axero Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features of this tool include its best-in-class mobile apps. Your knowledge base will be fully accessible from iOS and Android devices, helping to enable a distributed or mobile workforce. Higher-tier plans also allow for white labeling of the mobile apps, so you can customize it to reflect your company branding and provide a familiar environment to your collaborators.
Integrations include Outlook 365, Sharepoint, OneDrive, Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace, Slack, Zoom, Dropbox, Box, Unsplash, and Twilio, among others.
- Suitable to the needs of larger organizations
- Can be used for internal and external knowledge sharing
- Highly flexible and customizable to various contexts
- Takes time to get familiar with all features
- Integrations not included in starter plan
FigJam is an online whiteboard that supports team collaboration, and connects easily with Figma's design platform. Its functionalities cater to various group activities, like stand-up meetings and brainstorming sessions.
Why I chose FigJam by Figma: This platform is highly flexible and well-suited to the needs of various types of teams. But I chose it because its integration with Figma's design platform makes it a good choice for teams looking for a collaboration tool that complements their existing design processes. In a world where disjointed tech stacks continually make teamwork more challenging, I love that FigJam allows design teams to work together within the same environment they use to do their work.
The whiteboard tool is highly flexible and can be used for all kinds of purposes. You can use its stickers, comments, shapes, lines, arrows, images, and more to map out concepts, ideas, and plans. There are also tons of pre-built templates to help you get started, from brainstorming outlines to retrospective structures to project management and roadmapping tools.
FigJam by Figma Standout Features & Integrations
Some standout features I really appreciate about FigJam are the precise ways it connects with the Figma design platform. You can share assets between the two systems, turning your rough concepts into more structured prototypes. It also has some super useful automations, which can do things like auto-sort your sticky notes or consolidate notes into clear action items.
Integrations include Figma, Microsoft Teams, Asana, Jira, Mixpanel, and Github.
- Freemium plan for up to 3 files
- User-friendly and intuitive
- Super helpful integration with Figma
- Non-Figma users may not get all the benefits
- Onboarding and account support locked to enterprise plan
Miro is a collaborative online whiteboard built to facilitate brainstorming, ideation, team meetings, project planning, and other team activities.
Why I picked Miro: I decided to include this platform because of how versatile and flexible it is. Your team can start with a blank canvas or choose from the 1,000+ pre-built templates included. Its visual, interactive space for real-time teamwork particularly stood out to me. The elements you can use in your whiteboard include sticky notes, shapes, lines, arrows, graphs, GIFs, and even videos. I also love that members can use emoji reacts and comments to collaborate on ideas, making teamwork both more direct and more fun.
Miro Standout Features & Integrations
Some of the standout features of Miro include its robust resources for continuous learning. Miro Academy, online events, and a community forum help you uncover new uses and features of the product and improve your teamwork skills. Some other nice features are timers, music, and voting, which are useful for meetings and brainstorming sessions.
Integrations include Zoom, Figma, Asana, Microsoft Teams, Jira, Slack, Google Drive, Box, Airtable, Notion, Azure, and Webex. Some integrations are limited to paid plans only.
- Highly versatile and flexible solution
- Thousands of customizable templates
- Intuitive and easy setup
- Zooming can be jumpy on larger projects
- No high-quality PDF export with free plan
Troop Messenger is a team communication platform that helps remote and hybrid teams keep in touch and stay aligned on their work.
Why I picked Troop Messenger: This platform's major features caught my attention, include instant messaging, voice and video calling, video conferencing, file sharing, and screen sharing and remote screen control. The main reason Troop Messenger made it onto my list, however, is because of its extensive capabilities for connecting team members working together but apart. It keeps all of your communications in a single platform, making it easier to find information and keep conversations centralized. I also want to note that, although it’s a SaaS tool, self-hosting, API, and custom application options are available, too.
Troop Messenger Standout Features & Integrations
Standout features I find especially useful in this tool are its more advanced capabilities. It has a 'respond later' option and a 'burnout' option that lets you set a message to send at a later time. The self-messaging feature is also unique—a simple but useful feature that lets you send reminders and notes to yourself. Finally, the 'forkout' feature lets you send bulk text messages and files to multiple users at once, and when viewing files you see a preview so you don't have to download to see them.
Integrations include Google Drive, Dropbox, and LDAP. You can also connect it to a paid Zapier account for additional integrations. The app is available across Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, and iOS.
- High level of security (end-to-end encryption, MFA)
- Extensive filters for search function
- Ability to invite guest collaborators
- Group calling not included in basic plan
- No free-forever plan available
Forecast is a project and resource management software that's well-suited to the needs of professional services teams and agencies.
Why I picked Forecast: I selected Forecast for this list primarily due to its extremely organized approach to team collaboration. Teams can manage their projects and tasks easily with the software's Kanban boards, task cards with subtasks and dependencies, and velocity tracking tools, which I think makes this tool excellent for teams that have intersecting project management and team collaboration needs. Team members can also collaborate by commenting, sharing files, and logging hours in task cards.
But what stood out most to me about this tool is its client-facing capabilities. You can set up access permissions for your projects and tasks so that external collaborators can stay up to date and contribute to the work.
Forecast Standout Features & Integrations
Some standout features this product offers are its AI capabilities and financial management tools. The software's AI can provide timesheet suggestions, calculate time estimates for tasks, and assign resources to specific projects or tasks. You can also run your billing and invoicing through the software, keeping it in the same place you're sharing project information with clients.
Integrations include Slack, Microsoft Teams, iCloud Calendar, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Outlook, Harvest, Trello, Asana, GitLab, Github, and dozens more using a paid plan through Zapier. Higher-tier subscriptions include native integrations with Timelog, Xero, QuickBooks Online, JIRA, Azure DevOps, Salesforce, Okta, OneLogin, and Azure Active Directory.
- Designed for agencies and service providers
- Smart AI tools streamline and automate your workflows
- Manage projects, financials, and resources in one place
- 20 user minimum for all plans
- No free plan available
MeisterTask is an online task management tool with intuitive dashboards and individual agendas for each team member.
Why I picked MeisterTask: This software made it onto my list because of its task-specific communication tools. I was particularly impressed by its Kanban-style project boards, which you can customize to fit your team's workflow and track the progress of tasks. Within each task card, you can also store relevant files and links, and carry out discussions, which I think is a fantastic way to keep everyone on the same page.
MeisterTask Standout Features & Integrations
Standout features include the software's individual agendas. Each team member can set up and customize their own personal board view, showing the tasks they need to accomplish across multiple projects. You can create an unlimited number of sections on your board and pin specific tasks that are high-priority or particularly important.
Integrations include Google Workspace, Slack, and GitHub. You can also set up more integrations with a paid Zapier account.
- Easy to create and assign tasks
- User-friendly and easy to navigate
- Free plan for up to 3 projects
- Personal agendas not included in free plan
- Roles and permissions not included in lower-tier plans
Blink is an online communication tool designed to fit the needs of a deskless workforce.
Why I picked Blink: If you ask me, workplace communication is at the heart of this software. I love that Blink offers direct messaging, group chats, and top-down communications via a company news feed. Moreover, I decided to include it in my list because of how friendly it is to non-office workers. The mobile app is available for both iOS and Android devices, so your team members can have access from their personal or company-provided mobile devices.
In addition to the communication features, the platform also offers an employee recognition tool and engagement tracking tools. You can facilitate peer-to-peer recognition messages and automated messages for things like anniversaries and birthdays. Employee surveys are also included to help you keep a pulse on morale and engagement levels.
Blink Standout Features & Integrations
Some standout features include the platform's analytics capabilities for admins features. You can track post-by-post analytics, and track hub analytics to measure interactions and adoption. You can also track metrics at a company and team level to dig deeper. Another cool feature is the mandatory reads option, which can be added to communications to ensure employees read through important announcements.
Integrations include Jira, Trello, ADP, Workday, Typeform, Dropbox, GitHub, Box, Office 365, and Google Workplace, among others. You can also build new integrations with the software's public APIs.
- 24/7 support with all plans
- User-friendly and intuitive to navigate
- Custom branding can be implemented
- API access restricted to Enterprise plan
- No free forever plan available
Approval Studio is a design approval software that allows for design feedback and annotation throughout the creation process.
Why I picked Approval Studio: This software made it onto my list because of how useful it is for creative teams, especially creative agencies. You can manage your creative projects and set up approval flows to ensure feedback and proofing rounds are done in an efficient and consistent way. I am especially impressed by the level of detailed feedback that the platform encourages people to provide. For example, there are 4 different annotation types, which allows for more granular version control and supports collaborative iteration on creative assets. You can also have real-time review sessions using the software's live updates.
Approval Studio Standout Featuress & Integrations
Standout features include the free online demo and training sessions available from the company. I found these super helpful for getting teams up to speed on all the features and functionalities of the platform. They can also help you discover new ways of using the product to better suit your workflows.
Integrations include Shopify and Slack. You can also set up tons of other integrations with a paid Zapier account.
- Unlimited projects and external reviews with all plans
- Custom branding options with all plans
- Supports over 20 different file types
- No free plan available
- Several feature restrictions with the Lite plan
Best for connecting goals, projects, and tasks
14-day free trial + free plan available
|From $8/user/month (billed annually, min 3 seats)||Website|
Best collaboration tool for a high level of security
Freemium version available
Best for creative asset collaboration
14-day free trial + freemium plan available
Best for enterprise-grade security in digital asset collaboration
Free demo available
|Custom pricing available upon request||Website|
Best for building no-code custom apps and workflows
30-day free trial
|From $35/user/month (billed annually)||Website|
Best for employee communications and intranet
Free demo available
Best collaboration tool for individual project discussion threads
14-day free trial
|From $9 /user/month||Website|
Best for building an intranet or extranet
14-day free trial
|From $2,000/month for up to 200 users||Website|
FigJam by Figma
Best collaboration tool for designers
Free plan available
Best collaboration tool for virtual whiteboards
Free plan available
Best virtual team communication tool
7-day free trial
Best collaboration tool between teams and clients
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Website|
Best for having discussions within tasks
Free trial available
|From $8.25/month (billed annually)||Website|
Best collaboration software for deskless workers
14-day free trial + free demo
Best collaboration software for creative agencies
14 days free trial for Lite/Pro packages and 30 days for Enterprise package. No credit card required.
|From $35/5 user/month||Website|
Best for development teams
Best collaboration tool for feedback management
Best collaboration mobile app
Best collaborative task management
Best for small teams of 10 or less
Canvas in-app video conferencing
Best for creating team dashboards
Best collaboration tool for Gmail
Best for individual project views
Best with built-in employee onboarding
Best for low-code automated workflows
Best with meeting management tools
Best flexibility & customization capabilities to adapt to your unique workflows
Best collaboration tool for scaling teams
- Ideagen Huddle
Best document collaboration tool
Best with invoicing and expense management
Best for feedback and approvals
Best for creative collaboration on the go
Best free collaboration tool with time tracking
Best marketing collateral collaboration tool
What are collaboration tools?
What features should I look for when selecting collaboration tools?
What are the benefits of collaboration software?
What do you need it for?
What's the size of your team?
How would that fit into your workflow?
How long does it take to set up?
What's the learning curve?
How much does it cost?
Now that you know more about tools, I suggest you learn a tactic on 3 collaboration roles that you can use to make your meetings more effective.
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