In this article you will learn about the best free document collaboration software. Online document collaboration tools are perfect for business, education or personal use. If you’re looking how to collaborate with documents online, these are the most popular and efficient alternatives.
Improve your document collaboration with the best document collaboration software. Collaborative authoring tools help small teams of people collaborate on a project, and virtual collaboration tools are ideal for big teams to work together remotely.
If you want to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets or presentations with your co-workers, friends or family members and don’t know how to do it, check out some of the best tools for collaboration provided by this article
Document collaboration software is a mechanism that helps groups of people work together on a single document. Collaborative authoring is an essential element of e-learning and e-communication, and has been used in corporate training for years. Best virtual collaboration tools greatly facilitate teamwork, especially when it comes to projects that involve multiple authors or participants located in different locations
Features To Look For In Any Document Collaboration tool
You need an editor that allows multiple users to work on a document in real-time. The document is “live” and users can make edits and comments that are instantly reflected in the document.
Your work should automatically save as you are making changes to the document, making sure that you don’t lose important information. There is no need to manually save the document.
You need the ability to save different versions of a document and to revert back to a previous version if necessary. This ensures that you don’t lose access to your existing work even if new changes are made to the document.
Commenting and feedback options
Comments are a way to leave feedback, ask questions and assign tasks without actually changing the document. It’s an important collaboration feature.
Cloud Storage and sharing
Document collaboration requires a large number of people and documents to work together so they need a large cloud storage space in which to save all their work.
Tag a team member
You need the ability to tag a team member and assign them a task in the document collaboration tool. The tag should send them a notification and get them to check the software to see what they need to do.
Ability to organize files and add tags
Your document collaboration software should enable you to organize your files within a workspace and add tags to enhance discoverability of content.
Tracking changes and notification
You should be able to track the changes that have been made to a document and receive a notification to alert you to the change.
Integrations and extensions
Your collaboration tool is more powerful when it can integrate with other apps your team uses such as project management apps or team communication tools.
A product by Salesforce, Quip is another competent collaborative document editing platform. Create and edit live documents and spreadsheets, chat with teammates, and discuss ideas effectively via threads for each document. Teams can even add a document or a spreadsheet to a chat and work on it together. Users use Quip to create, organize, and discuss work with efficiency and transparency.
A robust Salesforce integration means that Quip can bring your Salesforce data inside, allowing you to live edit docs and spreadsheets with co-workers. A great feature of Quip is the ability to add calendars, kanban boards, polls, countdowns, etc to your documents, and keep all your work in one place.
Dedicated Android and iOS apps mean that you can take your work with you wherever you go. Quip also supports offline mode as you can work without an internet connection and your work will get synced whenever you next connect to the internet.
Some standout features of Quip
- Brings docs, slides, spreadsheets under one roof
- Version history and offline mode
- Team chat rooms
- Free with limited functionality
- Paid plans start from: Starter ($10 per/month), Enterprise ($25 per user /month), Quip for Customer 360 (contact for a quote)
While many think of Box as this amazing file-storage platform and Dropbox competitor, Box also has a note-taking app for real-time collaborative editing. Box Notes allows employees to create and edit work notes together, along with the ability to add comments and basic formatting options.
The USP (unique selling proposition) of Box notes is its clean editor that is perfect for jotting down notes, organize reviews, or even start a newsletter. Built with corporations in mind, Box Notes is a serious note-taking app and allows employees to store meeting notes, plan projects, brainstorm ideas, create to-dos and deadlines, and more.
The version control feature allows users to easily reference all changes and revert back to past versions at any point. If you already use Box for file storage, Box Notes might be a great addition to your workflow. The platform also has a desktop app (for both Windows and Mac).
Some standout features of Box Notes
- Enterprise-grade security
- Desktop and mobile apps
- Annotations can be made anywhere
- Free with limited functionality
- Paid plans start from Personal pro ($11.50/month), Business starter ($5.80/month), Business ($17.30/month), Enterprise (contact for a quote)
Over 60,000 users worldwide use Confluence to edit their docue=ments collaboratively and get work done. A product by software giant Atlassian, Confluence allows teams to create, share, and collaborate on docs, presentations, spreadsheets, and even images. COnfluence breaks down organizational silos, thanks to its robust chat functionality and sharing options.
Employees can easily pin comments on the shared file, edit files together, and give their suggestions or feedback, right from Confluence’s dashboard. Departments and teams can create Spaces, allowing them to compartmentalize and organize their work based on the project they are working on.
Choose from over 75 customizable templates to kickstart your work and alert your teammates when you tag them or assign them a task. Confluence integrates with JIRA, Trello, Hubspot, and Google apps and brings everything together.
Some standout features of Confluence
- Home and personalized feed
- Blogs to make announcements
- Permission settings to keep things private
- Free with limited functionality
- Paid plans start from Standard ($10/month for up to 10 users), Premium ($100/month)
Dropbox Paper is a document collaboration editor focused on design teams to collaborate internally.
It allows you to add rich media along with text and images to collaborate and work on projects with your team. Add Dropbox files inside the document, YouTube videos, social media posts and more.
You can easily share a document with someone or add a collaborator by simply clicking the “share” button and invite them to view or edit the document via a custom link. You can also create groups and share documents with your teams, so no one is left behind.
Users can share files individually or by creating groups, manage access to documents, assign tasks to a team member with @mentions and give feedback in real time.
Dropbox paper has taken time to create custom stickers to add personality and humor to the conversations you have with your teammates.
Dropbox paper is powerful, yet a light-weight alternative to Google Docs and does a good job of being an online collaborative workspace for teams to work internally.
Another veteran like Confluence, Sharepoint is a Microsoft owned collaboration and intranet software. It is a part of the Microsoft Office 365 package and integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft products like Teams, Word, OneDrive, and more. With over 2 decades of experience, Sharepoint knows what it’s doing. Providing a safe space to share and collaborate on knowledge, Sharepoint streamlines your team’s work.
A go-to collaboration platform for enterprises, Sharepoint as over 190 million customers worldwide. teams can share data, media, and other resources across departments and divisions. With Sharepoint sites, teams can create communication hubs and customize them according to their needs. Sharepoint has a very powerful search feature, allowing anyone in the organization to quickly find any piece of information, making them more productive. While great at what it does, Sharepoint can be hard to implement and the learning curve can be very steep.
Some standout features of Sharepoint
- Available for Mac, PC, and mobile apps
- Integrates with other Microsoft products
- Create customizable team sites
- Free with limited functionality
- Paid plans start from: SharePoint Online Plan 1 ($5 per user /month), SharePoint Online Plan 2($10 per user /month), Office 365 E3 ($20 per user/month)
As the name suggests, SamePage wants your team to be on the same page by allowing them to collaboratively edit documents and file in the cloud. With features like- screen sharing, file sharing, team chat, video calls, task management, and real-time document management, Samepage has got all basis covered for being a great collaboration platform.
Teams can organize projects on the kanban board, or use mindmaps, pages or sheets, to schedule upcoming projects. Employees can assign tasks to co-workers, add due dates, set priority levels, create reminders, subtasks, and add description details to give context. The platform is highly flexible but can be cumbersome to use, especially for new users.
Samepage also has native Android, iOS, and Mac apps to help you stay connected and receive all project-related updates no matter where you are.
Some standout features of Samepage
- Video conferencing and chat
- Link files with Box, Dropbox, Onedrive, or Google Drive
- Kanban boards and mind maps
- Free with limited functionality
- Paid plans start from Standard ($6.50 per user per month), Pro ($8 per user per month)
Zoho WorkDrive’s Writer is a real-time online document creation and editing platform ideal for businesses that have numerous files requiring frequent collaboration across devices.
It’s “blank page” interface is designed to eliminate distractions when writing or editing. For reviewers who must perform especially detailed edits, the tool’s “Focus Mode” highlights only one line of text at a time.
Zoho also comes with a virtual writing assistant, Zia, that scans documents for grammar errors and readability.
It integrates with Microsoft Word and WordPress and comes with a template library for drafting documents like HR policies and event invitations. Zoho WorkDrive includes a “Content Mask” feature that allows admins to hide sensitive information or specific parts of a document from selected reviewers. Its “Content Lock” lets the document’s creator select which parts of the text they don’t want to be changed.
Additional Zoho WorkDrive features include:
- Quick chat messaging tool
- Live cursors
- Offline editing
- Access receipts on collaborators
- Comments and user tagging
- Track changes
- Document merging
- Digital signatures
Pricing and Plans
Zoho WorkDrive offers three paid plans that can be paid monthly or annually. Additional storage is available for purchase.
|Cost||$2.00/user per month||$4.00/user per month||$8.00/user per month|
|File Upload Limit||1 GB||5 GB||50 GB|
|Storage||1 TB/team||3 TB/team||5 TB/team|
|External File Sharing||✓||✓||✓|
|iOS and Android Mobile App||✓||✓||✓|
|Content Search Bar||✓||✓||✓|
|Real-Time Collaboration and Commenting||✓||✓||✓|
|File Activity Timeline||✓||✓||✓|
|File Access Statistics||X||X||✓|
|Team Activity Timeline||X||X||✓|
How do I choose a collaboration tool or Software?
Now as you know the importance of collaboration tools and some common use tools, how do you choose one for your teams? Companies should choose software according to their needs and identify the best service for their team.
Prefer multiple features
Pick tools that offer excellent service and multiple features for team collaboration. Choosing multiple features will improve your work efficiency and allow people to use them in many different ways.
Easy to use
Nobody wants a complex structure to work. Make sure that the tool you use delivers services that do not take a lot of time to get used to and keep an eye out for an intuitive interface and simple navigation.
Prefer a cloud-based
Cloud-based technology is far better to others as you are saved from the headache of version controls. Every information is stored online and you can access it from anywhere.
Check for integration
Integrations are key to convenient work. Look for tools that seamlessly integrate with some important tools and are also compatible with various devices.
So, pick one that brings out the best for your teams. These tools are increasingly making every kind of business likely to be successful.
Ready to be impressed? Interested to learn more about how you can improve collaboration and communication between your team members? Curious about the best document sharing software that will get everyone in the office excited because of its many features like real-time collaborative editing, document version tracking, and easy sharing across multiple devices?
Best Document Collaboration Software Document collaboration features allow users with different permissions to access and edit documents. It minimizes the risk of data loss and ensures that sensitive business information remains secure during the collaboration process. Document collaboration also enables end-users to work more efficiently by allowing them to quickly find documents through search functionality that includes keyword search and auto-complete capabilities.