In a professional world, successful project completion is a result of teamwork. The teams that work together achieve high goals, and for this, every team requires a smooth communication medium. The medium that connects teams and helps increase their productivity. Various departments’ teams have varying workflow patterns, and the requirement is to help collaborate all the teams effectively for the smooth flow of information. This is where collaboration software comes into the equation.
- What is a collaboration software?
- Top 5 best Collaboration software
What is a collaboration software?
Collaboration software helps enable processing and sharing files amongst the teammates or different departments smoothly. The purpose of collaboration software is to increase the productivity of individuals in a group or a team. Using collaborative tools or software, individuals can coordinate their assigned tasks and create a workspace where data and workflows can be added. The user that has created the workspace can have the authority to allow other users to view, access, make modifications and changes, and sync the files across all users. This makes everyone involved in the project work “on the same page” and has information about the project’s latest version.
Learn about some of the best collaboration software listed below so that you can choose the one that caters to your requirements well.
Top 5 best Collaboration software
Microsoft offers a collection of cloud-based tools, termed as Microsoft 365. Microsoft 365 is the most popular collaboration software amongst professionals, and rightly so. All the tools in this collaboration software are capable, easy to use, and help collaborate teams on the documents and files in real-time.
The best of Microsoft 365 is its accessibility in almost all operating systems like Mac, iOS, Android, and windows.
Depending upon whether you are a business user or personal user, the prices of the different packages vary. For a personal user, the package starts at $6.99/month, while for business users, the package is a bit more expensive; this is $8.25/month/user for an annual plan, and the monthly plan will cost you around $10/month/user. There is also a basic version of $5/month/user; however, it does not include a desktop version for office apps. Other services like OneDrive, SharePoint exchange, and team are included in the basic version. Unlike other popular collaboration software, Microsoft 365 is not available for free.
Microsoft’s collaboration software is the most robust one covering everything: word processing, email, or cloud storage. Microsoft 365 can be used offline, too, depending upon your subscription because some versions come with web apps access while others offer downloadable desktop versions.
Slack is one of the handiest tools that does not eat up resources. It can be used on both mobile devices and desktop. The primary function of slack collaboration software is to exchange messages and files among a user group. It can even organise chats into different channels for a department, company, or a specific project.
With features like voice and video calling, slack allows more direct usage amongst the group users when required. This feature makes slack stand out among the rest. You can even list your to-dos, draft messages, or keep links in your space in the app.
There is a lack of one most important feature in cloud storage functionality; however, it can effectively integrate with Microsoft 365, Google Drive Box, and Dropbox. The best of this collaboration software is that you won’t even notice it running on your device because of the minimum resources it requires functioning.
Unlike other collaboration tools, slack comes in unpaid versions, but with some limitations like a limited number of stored messages space, etc. However, with the paid version (standard-$6.67/month and plus-$12.50/month), slack offers many advanced features and customised pricing for large business setups.
Asana is one of the most favourite collaboration tools of many professional giants like Intel, TED, Pinterest, and Uber. There is a reason why these companies use Asana instead of other collaboration software. It’s because it allows companies to manage and create a to-do list for current as well as future projects, track work assignments of their employees, set deadlines, send work requests, create reminders, and more. Asana helps planning and organisation projects in a calendar or board format, and search options help you find any past task easily.
The basic Asana package is free but comes with limitations like having only a 100 MB file, and only 15 team members can be added. The paid plans of Asana include Premium at $10/month/user, business at $24.99/month/user, and the customised package include many of the additional features that the basic package does not offer. The premium package has advanced reporting and search, milestones, timeline view, rules, and an admin console. The additional features of the business package include portfolios, approvals, advanced integrations, proofing, adobe creative cloud, power BI and Salesforce, etc. while the Enterprise offers custom branding, SAML, SCIM, and data export features.
If you are looking for collaboration software that can organise large projects and assign tasks to users conveniently, then Podio is the best choice among the rest. There is an additional feature using which the users can view the status of an ongoing project, share the files, and receive feedback on their work. This software can support integration with services like Google Drive, Zendesk, Evernote, and Dropbox. You can get access to Podio on both your mobile devices and on your desktop.
Podio comes with subscriptions with both monthly and annual payment modes; however, with an annual subscription, Podio offers some discounts too. Other than the paid version, Podio also offers a free version but with the limitation of only five users.
The basic Podio plan that costs you around $7.20/month/user offers unlimited items, user management, and external users’ features. The Plus subscription will set you back $11.20/month/user, which can give you access to features like read-only and automated workflows. The premium package ($19.0/month/user) provides many advanced features like visual reports, interactive sales, dashboards, and advanced workflow by Globiflow.
Trello is a popular collaboration software accessible both on desktop and mobile devices. You can organise tasks and teams either in the form of boards or lists. By including comments to the card sections, users can also provide feedback to each other. You can also integrate Trello with third-party apps like Google Drive, Slack, GitHub, and Evernote.
The free version comes with limited features as you can only upload a file size of 10 MB and only take ten members onboard, there is only power-up per board (like custom fields, calendar, and custom fields), simple automation, and only 0% commands per month.
If you want to upload a file of a bigger size, you can go for a Business class that will cost you around $9.99/month/user with a file uploading size of 250 MB. The business class also includes more advanced features like priority support, unlimited power-ups, more than 100 integrations, email notifications, Google apps sign-on, scheduled commands, advanced admin permissions, and more.
The enterprise package that costs $17.50/month/user offers even more advanced features like SSO for SAML IdPs; unlimited command runs attachment restrictions and public board management.
Ready to get an overview? I’m comparing the 5 softwares against each other for you to get a quick overview.
|Microsoft 365||Cloud-based. Integrates easily with Microsoft Office and other Microsoft programs. Users can get web-enabled email access, contacts, and documents regardless of the device or browser they use. Has a built-in security feature. Users can have access to real-time edits.||No free version||Personal user package: $6.99/month Business user package: $8.25/month/user|
|Slack||Best project management collaboration software. Robust features and integrations. Has automated reminder feature. Project friendly features. Efficient search capability.||Only 10,000 messages in the free version||Free basic version, Standard Package: $6.67/month/user, Plus package: $12.50/month/user|
|Asana||It offers easily customisable dashboards. Project history is easily available. Prioritisation list that has automated notifications. The Highest security standards.||Communications options are limited.||Free basic version, Premium Package: $10/month/user, Business Package: $24.99/month/user|
|Podio||Can organise large projects. Effectively integrates with third-party software. Highly customisable.||A bit outdated interface.||Free version, Basic package: $7.20/month/user, Plus Package: $11.20/month/user, Premium Package: $19.0/month/user|
|Trello||Third-party integration. Easy to use features. Great free plan.||Low features of communication.||Free basic version, Business Package: $9.99/month/user|
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Current uncertain times and unprecedented circumstances have made many professional workforces go online or start working from home. This transition requires a reliable medium where employees remain in constant touch with each other and with their management. The most popular tools that help employees and organisations communicate with each other and work smoothly on a joint project are collaboration software.
This software helps organise group and individual tasks and the distribution of them among the users or employees. You can even keep track of the work progress and streamline the entire process of work. In short, collaboration software is nothing short of a blessing for many big companies to run their business smoothly and check on their employees in the current times.
A collaboration software is often compared as a project management software. They are not exactly the same as the main purpose of a project management software is to keep all tasks and projects in order with less focus on communication.
If you want to read more about project management tools, then I have written about the best project management tools in 2021.
What are the best tools for collaboration?
The primary purpose of collaboration tools is to empower employees who work together on a project. The employees can give their output and participate in any part of the world. The best collaboration software that has many companies vouching for are:
– Microsoft 365
What is the most popular workplace collaboration tool?
The most potent workplace collaboration tool is email. Which can be because of numerous reasons, but we should all work on getting more organised.
Is Zoom a collaboration tool?
Zoom is the most popular video collaboration tool. Zoom is now the heart of collaboration in this pandemic hit world.
What is required for using collaboration tools?
– Cloud-based technology
– Management tools for workflow
– Workload visual representation
– Multiple project tracking ability