If you are a business owner with a small team or business owner with large team. Efficient and effective collaboration is the backbone of any team, no matter whether they’re office-based or remote – and the best way to enhance your team’s productivity is to use the right collaboration tools.
What are online collaboration tools?
Whether they’re office-based or remote, Managing Large teams within office or remote team from one part of the globe and your designer or writer or developer or marketing team sitting on the other side of the globe.
How do you collaborate with your remote workers frequently and conveniently? How do you manage to get everyone the same page and ensure that they get the latest updates of projects? It can be challenging for not only the remote business workers but also in-house teams to keep pace with the upcoming tasks. Thanks to online collaboration tools that help in managing small and big businesses and in managing the workflow.
There are plenty of collaboration tools in the market today. Online collaboration software is not made for just remote location workers but is also a valuable tool for any business that wants to be more efficient and effective. It empowers teams to optimize resources, execute projects, promote transparency and achieve unparalleled collaboration.
How would you collaboration with your remote workers as often as possible and conveniently? How would you figure out how to get everyone the same page and guarantee that they get the most recent updates of tasks/Projects? It can be challenging for not only the remote business workers but also in-house teams to keep pace with the current and upcoming tasks/Projects. We should Thanks to all the available online collaboration tools that help in managing team within a small and big businesses and in managing the workflow during a project.
There are lot of collaboration tools in available the market. Online collaboration software not only helps remote team members, but also a large team at one place. It’s a valuable tool for any business that wants to be more efficient and effective and want to increase their productivity. It empowers teams to optimize resources, execute projects, promote transparency and achieve high productivity using these collaboration tools.
What are the key features in an online collaboration tool?
First of all, an online collaboration tool for business is an easy way out to how to collaborate because of its unique features. There are some useful features like calendar, ability to upload documents, send notifications by e-mail and other updates. So, if you mainly want to have a good collaboration, your collaboration software needs to be secure and to have the features that will fit your purposes. It is important that the tool you choose has a good functionality.
Most importantly, an online collaboration tool for business is a simple way out to how team can collaborate because of its unique features. There are some valuable highlights like calendar, capacity to transfer, upload documents/reports , send notifications by email and different updates related to projects. So, if you mainly want to have a good collaboration, your collaboration software needs to be secure and to have the features that will fit your purposes. It is important that the tool you choose has a good functionality.
How can online collaboration help business?
It has become quite common to see employees working from all over the world on a single project. This increasingly dispersed workforce is becoming the trend and thus making online collaboration the need. Collaborating online is used to remove the gap between employees due to far-away locations, run effective meetings online and ensure that they work together at the same time on the same page. And this will help to run projects faster and an improved communication between employees.
In line with that, here are the 30 best online collaboration tools for business, grouped by the 7 types of online collaboration tools essential for quality teamwork:
- Best online team and project collaboration tools
- Best for time tracking – Clockify
- Best for tracking project progress – Trello
- Best for agile project management – Jira
- Best project management tool with shared calendar – Asana
- Best for third-party collaboration – Wrike
- Best for team communication – Hey.Space
- Best for agile chat and task management – Kezmo
- Best for social media collaboration projects – Planable
- Best for brainstorming sessions – Visme
- Best online shared calendar tool
- Best simple calendar for time blocking – Google Calendar
- The best tool with specialized sub-calendars – Teamup Calendar
- Best shared calendar for remote teams – Doodle
- Best shared calendar for sales teams – Calendly
- Best mobile calendar – Any.do
- Best online file sharing and cloud storage tools
- Best all-inclusive file hosting service – Dropbox
- Best for file transfer – WeTransfer
- Best online messaging & chat tools for business
- Best for group chats – Microsoft Teams
- Best for staying on track with your work – Slack
- Best communication tool for remote teams – Flock
- Best online tools for real-time collaborative work
- Best for real-time collaboration in a word editor – Google Docs
- Best for real-time collaboration in a spreadsheet – Google Sheets
- Best for real-time presentation collaboration – Google Slides
- Best online video-conferencing tools
- Best for quick video chats – Skype
- Best for webinars and video conferencing – Zoom
- Best for third-party meetings – Gotomeeting
- Best full-package solution for IT professionals – Lifesize
- Best for screen sharing – Screenleap
- Best online whiteboards
- Best online whiteboard for remote teams – Google Jamboard
- Best online whiteboard for small teams – NoteBookCast
- Best online whiteboard for teachers – AWW app
Online team and project collaboration tools 🤝⚙️
Different types of project and team management tools can greatly help you keep up with various types of projects and processes your team needs to tackle. Plus, your team will need a time tracking software solution to make sure you all know who is working on what, and for how long
Best for time tracking – Clockify
Clockify is a free time tracking software for teams. You’ll get to track time on tasks as you work on them, add time manually for back-dated activities, or enter time spent on activities in a timesheet. Then, you’ll be able to generate Visual and Weekly Reports of the time you tracked, and analyze the teams’ efficiency with their work.
Notable Clockify features:
- Define projects and associate them with clients
- Define project-related tasks and then assign them to team members
- View what everyone is currently working on in the Team Dashboard
- Lock timesheets to mark them as approved
- The self-hosting option, for maximum privacy, security, and legal compliance
Best for tracking project progress – Trello
Trello is a Kanban-based project management tool that helps the team keep an eye on project progress. Boards represent projects and cards represent tasks you can assign to people. Then, the assignees can mark the progress they’re making with their tasks by dragging & dropping cards/tasks across aptly named columns (e.g. “To Do”, “In Progress”, “Done”).
Notable Trello features:
- Trello’s shared calendar
- Breaking card/tasks into checklists
- Adding file attachments
- Share cards/tasks with team members
- Add deadlines to tasks
To learn how best to track time in Trello, check out our blog post and video tutorial:
Best for agile project management – Jira
Jira is an agile project management and issue tracking tool, suitable for any agile methodology. It allows you to plan, track, and handle your software development projects and project-related issues in Kanban and Scrum boards.
Notable Jira features:
- Business development Project Templates
- Agile reporting options
- Custom fields for creating customizable workflows
To learn how best to track time in JIRA, check out our blog post and video tutorial:
Asana allows your team to approach tasks and projects in a to-do list layout and Kanban-based layout. Add your tasks to the Kanban board and track their progress, or add your tasks to the to-do list board and checkmark them as completed when done.
Notable Asana features:
- Asana’s shared custom calendar
- Adding comments, assignees, and attachments to tasks
- Adding due dates to tasks
- Tracking tasks on a timeline
- Creating and using recurring tasks in multiple projects
To learn how best to track time in Asana, check out our blog post and video tutorial:
Best for third-party collaboration – Wrike
Wrike is a project management tool that allows you to communicate with your team, but also with the people outside your organization. It’s great when you need to outsource work to a third party or organize consultations with your client.
Notable Wrike features:
- Share images or videos and then highlight important information
- Collaborative, simultaneous editing
- Visual timelines to help with scheduling
- Customizable workflows
- Transparent workloads and project resources
Best for team communication – Hey.Space
Hey.Space is a simple task and project management tool with collaboration and communication features. Its main aim is to increase team engagement and satisfaction. It manages to do so by helping you coordinate your tasks and team, as well as organize projects with your vendors and clients.
Notable Hey.Space features:
- Track mentions
- Private and group-based chats
- Kanban-based project boards, with deadlines and visual organization
- Recurring checklists and tasks
- Shared and personal calendar
Best for agile chat and task management – Kezmo
Kezmo is an agile chat and task management platform that lets you transform your messages into tasks, issues, and notes. Then, you can further manage your tasks and issues in visual Kanban-based boards, but also a content map Dashboard.
Notable Kezmo features:
- Private and group instant messaging
- Assign tasks and share task-related files
- Shared calendar to help you keep track of deadlines
- Divide bigger tasks into checklists and track their progress
- Available in multiple languages
Planable is a social media collaboration platform that lets you preview your Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook posts before you publish them. You, your team, and your clients can then discuss posts, and tweak your campaign to perfection.
Notable Planable features
- Automatic post publishing
- Post scheduling
- Create and adapt posts for multiple pages
- Create posts by dragging & dropping items
- Add and read feedback right next to the mock-up posts
Best for brainstorming sessions – Visme
Visme is an online presentations and infographics software solution. Its main aim is to help your team visualize your ideas through thousands of reusable templates and infographics. It’s especially efficient as a way to visually present and analyze the data related to the progress of your company.
Notable Visme features:
- Diagramming options
- Easy text to chart conversion
- The option to map up the brainstorming process
- Work offline
Online calendar sharing tools 📅
Several efficient online calendars to help your team schedule meetings and tasks in a way that suits the team’s daily agendas. And all that while helping you keep an eye on project deadlines.
Best simple calendar for time blocking – Google Calendar
Google Calendar is a simple calendar platform that helps you create, edit, and be reminded of events and deadlines. It allows you to schedule team meetings and events in a way that suits everyone’s schedules – through the “find a time” and “suggested time” features. The simple UI makes this tool perfect for time blocking enthusiasts.
Notable Google Calendar features:
- Google shared family calendar and other special calendars
- Events mentioned in Gmail emails get automatically added to your Google calendar
- Define a goal and have the tool automatically schedule goal-related activities at optimal times in the calendar
- Enable world clock option to keep track of the time zones of your remote team members
- Define individual work schedules to let everyone know when anyone from the team is available for contact
The best tool with specialized sub-calendars – Teamup Calendar
Teamup Calendar is a simple shared calendar tool meant to help you organize events, jobs, and resources, as well as keep track of tasks and projects. And all that via a variety of specialized, color-coded calendars. You’ll be able to sync events and meetups with your team, as well as prevent all instances of double booking.
Notable Teamup Calendar features:
- Create and follow a daily agenda
- Import and export events
- Control who can access what
- Upload and manage event-related images and files
- Offline access
Doodle is an online calendar tool optimized to help you better manage your time and coordinate meetings with clients or colleagues. You’ll be able to plan and schedule one-on-one or group meetups by checking team availability across time zones. Which makes this calendar perfect for remote teams. You’ll also be able to plan and schedule meetings by providing a visual snapshot showing the future availability of all team members.
Notable Doodle features:
- A glance view, for quick and efficient planning and scheduling
- Initiate or answer event requests directly from the tool
- Deadlines for sending event and meeting RSVPs
- Keep all relevant team information (emails, addresses, phone numbers) in one place
- Track who saw meeting or event invites but is yet to respond
Calendly is a powerful scheduling software solution. Its main aim is to help teams save time, increase sales, and improve the quality of customer service. Make use of the sleek calendar integrations with Google Calendar, Office 365, and Outlook, and avoid double-booking – even if your team members don’t use the same calendar. The perfect tool for scheduling group activities such as seminars, webinars, and training workshops.
Notable Calendly features:
- Set buffer time between meetings to avoid last-minute arrangements
- View team availability in one page
- Embed the tool to your own website, for better convenience
- Automatically assign meetings to available team members
- Track and analyze the types of events team members are most likely to engage in
Best mobile calendar – Any.do
Any.do is a mobile-optimized to-do calendar that lets you plan your workday and then be reminded of the tasks you add in your to-do lists. You can share your tasks and lists for others to see and add notes, sub-tasks, and files to.
Notable Any.do features:
- Visually organize tasks, based on their priority levels and categories
- Create recurring tasks
- Define reminders for one-time events
- Define reminders for missed calls
- Set reminders to follow up on important decisions after meetings
Online file sharing and cloud storage tools 💾
A list of tools to help you host and share your work – in order to keep everyone up to speed with the latest project resources and documents.
Best all-inclusive file hosting service – Dropbox
Dropbox is an all-inclusive file hosting service that provides a range of features, including file synchronization, file sharing, and cloud storage. You and your team will be able to store and share your files, both among yourselves or with clients, as well as sync them across devices.
Notable Dropbox Notable features:
- Sharing and storing large files and folders (up to 2 TB)
- Smart content suggestion for easy access to important documents
- A sleek calendar integration
- Dropbox Paper, a team collaborative doc with timelines and to-dos
- Automatic back-up for all changes
Best for file transfer – WeTransfer
WeTransfer is a simple file sharing service that specializes in easy transfer of large files – up to 2 GB or 20 GB. All you essentially need to do to send a file is provide your email address and the email address of the person you’re sending the file to. And, you don’t need to register for an account.
Notable WeTransfer features:
- Add comments to files
- Long term storage – forward and resend files as needed
- Password protected transfers, for higher security
- Send or receive transfer files via Facebook or Twitter
- Customizable options
Online messaging & chat tools for business 💬
Efficient communication is the key to efficient collaboration – so, here are the current best app solutions for all your group and direct chats with colleagues.
Best for group chats – Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is an enhanced group chat app that lets you chat with your team, hold video meetings, but also store and share relevant files. Essentially, you’ll get a combination of popular Microsoft Office tools (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Skype, and Microsoft Outlook) to help you with your work, all from one place.
Notable Microsoft Teams features:
- Manage all your group chats through aptly-named, topic-specific private or public channels
- Share files with others as links
- Open documents and external websites alongside your conversations, in tabs
- Instruct bots to complete various tasks for you
- Microsoft Whiteboard
Best for staying on track with your work – Slack
Slack is a simple communication tool that lets you communicate with groups, in specialized channels and shared conversations. Or, one-on-one, in private direct conversations. You’ll be able to plan and keep track of your work through reminders, threads, and pinned files and conversations.
Notable Slack features:
- Set location statuses (In a meeting, Commuting, Out sick, Vacationing, etc.)
- Organize projects, tasks, and team locations by channel
- Quick file sharing
- Audio & Video-conferencing
Best communication tool for remote teams – Flock
Flock is a communication and collaboration tool meant to help your team brainstorm and share ideas, discuss projects, either in larger groups (via channels) or one-on-one (via direct messaging). You and your team will be able to conduct audio & video calls, as well as improve workflows through notes and reminders.
Notable Flock features:
- Get notifications from other integrated apps, directly to the app
- Define and tackle shared to-dos
- Convert discussions into actionable tasks
- Full access to Google Drive, directly from the app
- In-app polls, to facilitate decisions making
Online tools for collaborative work 📄🔄📄
Waiting for your colleague to finish work on a document so you can take over is time-consuming. It’s also riddled with possibilities for errors and mishaps. If your team wants to avoid having 30 variations of the same document and not knowing which one is the final one, check out Google Drive’s collection of real-time collaboration services.
Best for real-time collaboration in a word editor – Google Docs
Google Docs is a Microsoft Word-like editor that allows you to write and edit any type of text simultaneously with your team members. Just, invite people to the document, set everyone’s permissions (whether they can view, suggest, or directly edit in the document) and start writing.
Notable Google Docs features:
- Automated sync and save of all document changes
- Download and save finished docs in several different formats – Microsoft Word, Plain Text, PDF, etc.
- Format documents
- Work offline, if needed
- Import Word documents, and work on them further with your team
Best for real-time collaboration in a spreadsheet – Google Sheets
Google Sheets is the perfect alternative to Microsoft Excel – with enhanced features such as real-time collaboration, as well as automatic syncing and saving for all edits. Add data and statistics to the sheet cells before using it to create visual pie, bar, and line charts and graphs.
Notable Google Sheets features:
- Download and save finished sheets in several different formats – Microsoft Excel, PDF, Web page, etc.
- Import spreadsheets, and work on them further in a team
- Build formulas to calculate numbers and further manipulate data
- Import data from RSS feeds
- Create QR codes
Best for real-time presentation collaboration – Google Slides
Google Slides are a great solution to help your team build efficient powerpoint presentations together, in real-time. Write the gist of your idea in each slide, and then further define and embellish your slides with slide-transition, text effects, and images.
Notable Google Slides features:
- Publish presentations on the web and embed them in websites
- Add and follow speaker notes
- Host sleek Q & A sessions
- Access your revision history, in order to restore previous versions for the presentations you think you’ve over-edited
- Download and save finished presentations in several different formats – Microsoft PowerPoint, PDF, JPG and PNG for each slide, etc.
Online video-conferencing tools 📹🖥️
Online video-conferencing tools are perfect for remote teams who cannot meet face-to-face every day to conduct daily standup meetings.
Best for quick video chats – Skype
Skype is a simple, free tool for video, audio, text chats and calls with up to 50 people. It’s suitable for longer meetings but works especially well for quick consultations you want to conduct with your remote clients and team members.
Notable Skype Features:
- Online Skype whiteboard
- Instant messaging and SMS text messaging
- Leaving and listening to voicemail
- Chat history you can access for up to 30 days
- Screen sharing
Best for webinars and video conferencing – Zoom
Zoom is predominantly a cloud-based video communication tool. It’s great when you want to set up online meetings, video conferences, demonstrations, as well as webinars, training sessions, and classes.
Notable Zoom features:
- Screen and application sharing
- Up to 100 or 500 participants for one meeting, or up to 10,000 viewers for webinars
- Host several meetings at the same time
- Voice detection that makes the camera view automatically focus on the speaker
- Record meetings and then upload them to YouTube or OneDrive
Best for third-party meetings – GoToMeeting
GoToMeeting is an online meeting tool aimed at helping your team collaborate with clients and customers. You’ll get to schedule meetings in personalized meeting “rooms”. Invite up to 250 participants automatically, and converse with them via 25 simultaneous webcams in HD.
Notable GoToMeeting features:
- Convert videos to slides
- Launch meetings in one click, via email and popular messaging tools
- Transition from informal chats to full-blow meetings in an instant
- Save and share transcripts of your recorded meetings
- Screen sharing
Best full-package solution for IT professionals – Lifesize
Lifesize is a communication system that allows you to create meeting rooms and integrated directories. Works great for both one-on-one meetings or full-blown seminars and forums. You’ll be able to Invite and include both the participants and the audience of seminars within one app.
Notable Lifesize features:
- Integrations with Slack and Skype
- Use the drawing tool to visualize your ideas in shared screens
- Record and store meetings online, before sharing or analyzing them
- Video and audio conferencing
- Connect across various devices
Best for screen sharing – Screenleap
Screenleap is a specialized screen sharing software meant to help you collaborate better and faster, as well as conduct sales demos for your clients and customers. Its screen sharing options make it work especially well for webinars and demonstrations as you’ll be able to share and visualize your ideas and messages in various ways.
Notable Screenleap features:
- Schedule meetings and screen recording time
- Conduct audio conferences
- Create and then share slides and presentations
- Choose the part of your screen you want to display to users
- Stream calls to people outside the calling circle
Online whiteboards 👩🏫
Sometimes, you just need to draw up your idea instead of explaining it in a live video chat to your team. This is where simple online, interactive whiteboards are best to come into play.
Best online whiteboard for remote teams – Google Jamboard
Google Jamboard is an interactive business whiteboard meant to help you share your ideas with colleagues and clients in real-time. Simply, drag & drop your chosen images and notes, and enhance them with sketches, shapes, and text.
Notable Google Jamboard features:
- 55” 4K display with touchscreen capabilities
- An HD camera, microphone, and built-in speakers to help enhance the visuals with real-time explanations
- Duplicate objects and then select them later
- Glide typing – add text by swiping your finger across your keyboard
- Adding gifs
Best online whiteboard for small teams – NoteBookCast
NoteBookCast is a shared online whiteboard where up to 10 people can add visuals in real-time. Select shapes (squares, circles, lines, etc.), select colors, and sketch – then, enhance your sketches with text.
Notable NoteBookCast features:
- Integrated chat option
- Save current boards for later use
- Reusable whiteboard templates
- Upload images to make a more pleasant background for your board
- Easily erase whatever you need to
Best online whiteboard for teachers – AWW app
AWW app is a touch-sensitive online whiteboard suitable both for business and education – brainstorm your ideas and then collaborate to visualize the best one. Share access to the individual boards to both clients and peers via links. Share access to the individual boards to students you’re tutoring. Then, add shapes, colors, and text to bring your ideas and lessons to life in the form of sketches, in real-time.
Notable AWW app features:
- Several customizable templates
- Discuss your ideas in the chat section of the app
- Hold sketch-related video conferences directly from the app
- Assign specific pens to individuals to understand who contributed to the final product
- Add post-its, to further highlight specific areas of your idea or sketch