Collaborative document editing is an effective way to edit documents. It makes your job easier than using a traditional software, which limits you to working on single file. Collaborative document editing allows people from all over the world to collaborate and work together on documents simultaneously as well. Moreover, instead of either making use of shared storage space or sending work-in-progress versions from one user to another, you can connect with people using collaborative document editing, allowing you to make alterations to a single record in real time without losing any part of the original files.
You want to be more productive and efficient but don’t want to spend a whole day typing up a document? Or, do you feel that you need a tool that can handle multiple users, but don’t want to break the budget? Then, it’s time you start using collaborative document editor. But which one should you choose? Luckily, there are numerous free options available.
Best Collaborative Document Editing Software is a simple, easy-to-use, collaborative document editing platform for small and medium businesses. It allows people to work together on documents from wherever they are, on whatever device they are using.
Collaborative Document Editing is a feature that allows to work in the same document at the same time and see each other’s changes. This brings a new dimension to working on documents. It is most useful when designing or modifying user manuals or other reference materials, which take several people to complete and can be updated by themselves.
Collaboration Is Going Virtual: Tools To Enhance Productivity!
Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, almost all technology companies have gone remote. Although the move was put in place to counter the spread of the virus, remote work has a ton of other benefits:
- It helps minimize office finances like rent, stationery, utilities, etc.
- It helps save commute time for employees, which results in higher productivity.
- It reduces the need for unnecessary office meetings, watercooler talks, and politics.
Companies like Automattic, the company behind WordPress, were already sold on the idea of remote work prior to the pandemic as they closed their 15,000 sq feet San Francisco office because their ‘employees never showed up.’ Automattic gives its employees a $250/month stipend to spend on co-working spaces or for coffee at Starbucks! (Source: Qz)
This shift towards remote working has led to the rise of many online document collaboration tools that can help your remote teams work like they in the same room.
The number 1 tool on our list is Bit, a modern collaborative document editing software for teams of all shapes and sizes. Bit allows teams to create, manage, share, and track documents from one easy to use dashboard.
Bit has a number of outstanding abilities that makes it one of the best collaborative document editing software out there:
- Organized workspaces and folders: Bit brings all your documents and files in one place by allowing you to organize information in workspaces and folders.
- Real-time collaboration: Collaborate with your team and management and feedback in real-time using @mentions and highlight features as every document comes with its separate comment stream. You can also ping collaborators to notify them of any changes or call them to a doc in case you need their help.
- Content library: Bit has a content library where you can store and share media assets. You can save images, files, videos, PDFs, and content easily and can access it at any point.
- Rich embed options: Bit.ai integrates with over 100+ web applications (Ex: YouTube, PDFs, LucidChart, Google Drive, etc.) to help you create media-rich and interactive implementation plans or other workplace documents.
- Smart search: Bit has very robust search functionality that allows anyone to find information quickly. You can search for folders, files, documents, and content inside your documents across all of your workspaces.
- Interlink documents: Bit allows employees to create unlimited documents and interlink them to create robust internal wikis.
- Templates: Bit has a plethora of amazing templates that cut your work in half and help you kickstart your work quickly.
- Other features: Document tracking, version history, smart permissions, lead capture, and more.
Some standout features of Bit
- Track documents shared internally or externally.
- Content library to store media files
- In-built chat functionality, password protection, etc.
- Embed documents on any website
- Free with limited functionality
- Paid plans start from: Standard ($12/month), Plus ($20/month), Enterprise (contact sales).
Next up is Google Docs, a free cloud collaboration platform by Google. The platform works similarly as Word online as Google has a clean editor you can use to simultaneously edit documents with your teammates. The only pre-requisite is a Google ID or Gmail account to get started.
As Google Docs works in the cloud, there’s no need to download separate software. Simply log in to your Google account and start creating docs easily. If you have been using Word, Google Docs will definitely feel familiar to you. The top bar is filled with formatting and editing options, just like Microsoft Word has. Built with collaboration in mind, Google docs allow you to create a doc and share it with your teammates via email or a shareable link.
With 15GB of cloud storage on their free plan, Google Docs is a decent tool for individuals or solopreneurs looking to host their documents on the cloud. If you have a large team, we would suggest you look elsewhere. You can always upgrade to a paid account if you need more storage.
Some standout features of Google Docs
- Highlight and add comments for feedback
- Store documents in Google Drive with one click
- Integrates with Google Slides, Spreadsheets, Keep, and more.
- Free with limited functionality
- Paid plans start from $6 per user/month
One of the most popular document editors out there, Microsoft Word also has a cloud-based counterpart. Microsoft Word online offers the functionality of Word over the cloud, allowing users to access it via the internet and edit documents in real-time.
Competing with the likes of Google Docs, Microsoft Word online offers free access to all Microsoft tools such as Word, Onenote, Excel, Powerpoint, One Drive, etc- all you need is a Microsoft account to access its productivity apps. The online Word has a similar interface to the traditional Word, with some added features to appeal to modern users and their needs. However, Word is still very traditional in their approach and lacks key features of modern-day document editors.
Teams can co-author and co-edit word documents simultaneously and get their work done quickly. They can upload documents from their PC through Word-OneDrive integration or can directly open documents through Dropbox. Done creating your docs? Download them as Office files or as a PDF or in ODF format.
Some standout features of Word Online
- Familiar interface
- Safe and secure
- Integrates with Powerpoint, Excel, OneDrive, Teams, and other Microsoft products
- Free with limited functionality
- Paid plans start from Business Essentials ($6/month), Business ($8.25/month), Business Premium ($12.50/month)
ProofHub is a project management and document collaboration tool that helps teams manage tasks effectively. ProofHub comes with an extensive file management system that allows users to store all their files in a centralized location.
It reduces chaos and confusion and streamlines the everyday working process for teams. ProofHub is one of the finest value-for-money file management tools available today for in-office teams, remote teams, and hybrid teams, because of its ease of use, high functionality, and inexpensive subscription plans.
With ProofHub, you can upload files and documents with third-party tools, attach files and dos to tasks, discussions, chats, notes, store multiple versions of the same files, as well as proof and review files. In a nutshell, ProofHub is a model document and file management software that provides users a plethora of collaboration and management features as well.
Who hasn’t heard of Microsoft Word? The famous editor has been around for over 3 decades and continues to be one of the most popular editors out there. Word has become second nature for most of the PC users out there when they think about writing, editing, and formatting text files. The famous ribbon-style formatting toolbar gives a bunch of options to users to edit their documents however they like.
Now with the Word online, Microsoft has taken the classic Word editor over to the cloud, trying to compete with a new generation of editors that have emerged. Word online provides collaboration features that allow people to edit simultaneously and forget about the to-and-fro email chains. Users can also translate documents in your non-native language with just a click.
Word also offers dedicated Android and iOS apps to take your work with you wherever you go.
Just like Google Docs, Zoho Docs also provide tools to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, right in the cloud.
Zoho Docs make document creation, storage, editing, sharing, and collaboration a breeze. Apart from your documents, spreadsheets and presentations, you can even upload your music, movies, and other files to the Zoho cloud and basically take your office wherever you go.
Zoho cloud offers 5Gb free storage space. You can even sync your Windows, Mac, or Ubuntu Linux computers to the cloud and vice-versa and access your files on any computer, both online and offline.
Users also have the ability to organize their files by teams, projects, file types, and authors which makes it easy to access the files quickly.
With Zoho Docs, you can create folders to organize all your documents more effectively. You can even create team groups and share files privately.
Users can set permissions, password protect your files, or even set an expiration timer after which everyone loses access to the file or document. Zoho Docs also provides the ability to chat with collaborators in real-time to make document editing easier.
Integrations with other cloud services like Google Drive and Dropbox adds a little more flare to Zoho’s offerings.
Microsoft 365 (formerly Microsoft Office 365) allows simultaneous users to create and edit documents via SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.
Once a document has been created and saved to the cloud, users can invite other team members to collaborate with them by sending them a link to the file or via email.
As in Google Docs, each user has specific file permissions for accessing the knowledge base, set by the file’s creator. Access can also be controlled via 365 Groups, which divides all users into teams. Each team can be granted or denied access to specific documents, speeding up the collaborative process.
New document changes are automatically synced and can be shown in-line or in the sidebar. Reviewers can track changes made by specific employees only, or see a summary of all new changes a team made. Markups can be previewed before suggested changes are accepted, and reviewers can accept changes en masse or individually.
In addition to making direct real-time edits, authors can communicate with each other via commenting, user tagging, and chat messages in the Microsoft Teams app. Best of all, because it comes with Microsoft Teams, it’s one of the few tools here that allows for video conferencing while editing files.
Microsoft 365 allows for up to 99 simultaneous editors per document.
It’s a good fit for teams who want to switch to the Microsoft Teams update from Skype and other business communication tools, and for those who need to divide larger teams into smaller editing groups.
Pricing and Plans
Microsoft 365 has three paid business plans, which can be billed on an annual or monthly basis. As shown below, the only real differences between the three plans are related to security and storage, so most companies can get by with the Business Basic version.
|Features||Business Basic||Business Standard||Business Premium|
|Cost||$5.00/user per month||$12.50/user per month||$20.00/user per month|
|iOS and Android Mobile App||✓||✓||✓|
|External File Sharing||✓||✓||✓|
|Unlimited Cloud Archive||X||X||X|
|Advanced Threat Protection||X||X||✓|
The importance of effective teamwork
Being a part of an effective team seems to have profound effects on each employee’s productivity and motivation.
For example, did you know that nearly two-thirds of employees experience burnout on their job?
One measure that is often recommended to avoid employee burnout — effectively sharing the workload.
Teamwork also seems to drive ideas. In fact, the more diverse the team, the more ideas it might generate!
This study from McKinsey & Company found that teams that are diverse in terms of gender, race, age, etc. are more creative and perform up to 35% better compared to homogenous teams.
Employees also report that the respect of their peers is the No.1 factor that motivates them to go the extra mile. There is no doubt that working in a team drives creativity and helps people manage their workload.
Peer reviews are one of the most important parts of the academic success. Writing is a developing skill and when it comes to writing, students have different level of expertise. Some students deal with writing well while some may need help. When you are working on a document with your friends or colleagues, there is always a room of misunderstanding. This can be frustrating because you have to clarify and force yourself to explain the same points to each other again and again. Collaborative document editing can help you avoid miscommunication that often happens in such situations.
Document collaboration has become the norm in business. It allows multiple people to work on a single document at once and lets you see other people’s changes. With the right collaborative editing software, you can also track your team’s progress and easily resolve conflicts on the fly. Here is how it works: Add your collaborators using their email addresses or invite them through social networks like Facebook and Google+. When you share a document, it appears in that person’s inbox with a message from you. They’ll then be able to view, edit, or reject all changes or just some made by other users who have been added as collaborators. The changes are all tracked right there as they happen so that any conflicts can be resolved quickly, without endless email chains or meetings