In today’s team collaborative environment, productivity is no longer dependent on a physical desk. From simple check-ins to big project management, online collaboration software helps your employees stay in sync, communicate easily, manage projects, and work together to achieve the company’s goals.
Your organization can also use this software to improve their relationship with clients and contractors outside your business.
However, for it to work, you will need to use the right software for your business – depending on the collaboration features you need, among other things.
We’ve listed top products you can use to help your teams collaborate better and more efficiently.
What Is Collaboration Software?
Online collaboration software is a communication tool with project management features combined into one. These are primarily designed to provide a central team platform for sharing knowledge, data, and documents. This way, the team can brainstorm ideas, solve problems, complete projects, and achieve common goals.
Although all online collaboration software helps businesses maximize efficiency and productivity, different collaboration software functions differently. They also come with varying features and functionalities.
So, to keep productivity and morale up, teams will need tools that meet their individual needs.
Best Online Collaboration Software for Your Team
1. Video Communication Software
Video communication software helps you and your team conduct audio meetings, video meetings, and seminars from anywhere. They enable asynchronous communication, improve collaboration, and reduce travel costs. These platforms have built-in features such as chat, video recording, meeting recording, screen annotation, and sharing.
The prices of this collaborative software vary considerably depending on features. If you’re a small team of one to five, you can expect to pay zero to double digits monthly. In contrast, webinar features can cost hundreds based on the number of participants.
Here is our pick for the best video conferencing software.
– The Best Video Communication Software: Zight (formerly CloudApp)
Zight (formerly CloudApp) is a video conferencing software that has proven to be a favorite for most businesses. It creates a collaborative space for instantly creating shareable videos, GIFs, and screenshots that can be shared with team members using links.
Zight (formerly CloudApp)’s amazing features help to boost communication, enhance sales and increase productivity. Your employees can use this platform to streamline workflows by creating collections to organize visual content.
This high-growth video solution offers a free tier that includes plentiful features to get you started. Since it provides unlimited file storage, you can create as many recordings as you want. For the paid plans, pricing depends on the number of users and is on a monthly or annual subscription basis.
- Straightforward interface
- Rich in features
- Excellent value for its low cost
- Superb audio and video quality
- Lacks of support forum where users could help each other
2. Project Management Software
Project management software helps you to keep up with different types of projects your team need to tackle. In addition, they ensure that all your employees know who is working on what and for how long. With these platforms, you’ll be able to schedule and delegate tasks more effectively, boosting your team’s productivity.
To choose the right project management software, you must consider factors like the size of your business, how many features you need, and which of those features you most value.
– The Best Project Management Software: Trello
Trello is a perfect solution for task management. It is one of the best online collaboration software to use if you want your entire team to stay organized. With the help of Trello’s cards, board and lists, you can plan for projects, allocate resources, prioritize your projects, and schedule tasks easily.
This platform offers a free plan with limited boards, lists, cards, and members. It also has relatively affordable paid plans, starting at $9.99. These plans give you more file storage, team features, and priority support.
- It has a free plan
- It’s ideal for simple tasks
- Simple, flexible, and powerful.
- Pricey compared to some of the competition
- It helps keep everyone accountable
- The free plan has limited features
3. Instant Messaging Software
Minor misunderstandings in your organization can often cause more extensive problems. Even though phone calls and emails can clear things up, they can be time-consuming for smaller day-to-day updates. The instant messaging platforms come in handy for brief, informative communication. They allow you to keep your employees engaged and updated efficiently.
These tools enhance collaboration and communication, minimizing mistakes and costly miscommunications. They also reduce the need for regular meetings and improve task management.
– Best Messaging Software: Slack
Slack is a platform that has quickly become the go-to tool for internal business messaging for most organizations. This software helps organize conversations into channels where all your employees can come together, share ideas and move forward. It helps teams operate quickly and stay on the same page, wherever they are.
Slack is the perfect option to go for if your employees are working remotely or in a traditional office environment. This platform offers all the features you would expect for great communication, including real-time massaging and file sharing. In addition, it offers a free plan for small teams, and prices start at $6.67 per month.
- Affordably priced
- Easy to share and collaborate with your team in real-time
- Channels can be public or private
- It offers perfect integration with other tools
- Easy to install and use
- Most of your conversations get deleted after 14 day
4. Cloud Storage And File Sharing Software
Cloud-storage and file-sharing services enable your employees to work remotely, securely share files, and collaborate with colleagues or clients. Almost all cloud storage services offer the basic suite of collaboration, access control, and data protection services.
These platforms are accessible through desktops, smartphones, tablets, and notebooks. Typically, they provide a simple mechanism for synchronizing data across multiple devices.
The best file-sharing and cloud storage tools can lead your team members to success by offering comprehensive sharing and permission editing features.
– The Best Cloud and File Sharing Software: Google Drive
Google Drive is a backup and cloud storage software allowing your team to easily access files, docs, and photos. The platform allows your employees to store data in a safe place and collaborate with their colleagues. This online collaboration software also allows you to share data or files from any location.
It also has great security and backup features. This ensures files and shared data are safely stored. Again, with Google Drive, you can share files with exactly who you want and edit them together from any device.
- Excellent interface
- Excellent productivity-suite collaboration
- It has amazing file-sharing and document collaborative editing
- Generous free storage space
- Many third-party integrations
- No password protection for shared files
5. Wiki software
Wiki software is a tool that provides a collaborative working environment where your employees can create, share and edit info from the platform. It helps them provide the needed data for users to complete a goal.
Wikis can either be private or public. Most organizations prefer private wikis since they require authentication before a user can access the content, meaning you can prevent unauthorized edits. In addition, the platforms allow the experts in your organization to come together and share their knowledge to benefit the business.
– The Best Wiki Software: Document360
Document360 is a knowledge base collaboration software that allows you to create a wiki for your company. You can use a private or public site to restrict the number of people accessing your content.
The platform allows you to control who has access to your content. You can pick the users that have writing access, editing rights, and review access. With this platform, you can easily view the version history of any article and reverse it to a previous version in case you don’t like the changes made. In addition, document360 has extensive analytics that you can use to track the health of your site’s information.
- Keeping all your employees informed
- It is a great software to help increase your employee’s knowledge
- Creating and updating information is really easy
- Allows you to handle many supporting files, such as PDFs, images, videos
- It can be hard to set up.
Types of Online Collaboration Software
There are three online collaborative software types: communication, conferencing, and coordination.
1. Communication Software
Communication software is used to establish communication between team members. They allow you to create chat groups, messages, and conversations that can be easily managed between you and your employees.
Most of these tools tend to be unstructured. They don’t require earlier scheduling or calendar sharing to be effective. The major benefit of using such software is that it creates a network in which devices can easily be identified and managed.
Examples of communication software include:
- Instant messaging apps
- Team or org-wide chat forums
- Digital voicemail applications
- Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls
2. Conferencing Software
Conferencing collaborative software is the software that allows team members working on the same project to create and conduct real-time collaboration using Internet-based or cloud-based platforms. It also allows the members to view an integrated screen.
Depending on the online collaboration software you use, conferencing technology allows all your employees to access, make changes and work on a particular task at once. In most cases, a single presenter controls screen movements and functions.
Examples of conferencing software include:
- Video conferencing
- Document-sharing software
- Shared digital or online whiteboards
- Shared applications
3. Coordination Software
The coordination software is arguably the most holistic of all the collaborative tools. It is designed to combine both teamwork and taskwork functions. In simpler terms, they allow team members to connect interpersonally and coordinate work tasks. Mostly these tools are used to manage complex tasks.
Examples of coordination software include:
- Scheduling systems
- Internal employee and a client portal
- Project-management systems
- Enterprise resource planning software
What Should You Look For In Online Collaboration Software?
There are different collaboration software, and they don’t all offer the same features. Understanding your organization’s needs will help you know which online collaboration software suits you best.
For instance, if you want to rationalize file sharing and storage in different departments, you must pick a program focusing on project management and task delegation. If you need to conduct audio meetings, video meetings, and seminars from anywhere, then you need a video conferencing software.
You will also need to consider if the software you choose is server-based or cloud-based, the safety measures you need to put in place to secure your site, and the additional benefits the organization can gain from the tool you pick.
Lastly, before you pick a software, it’s important that you know more about their customer service. Read reviews about it to ensure that you understand how the software works, the company’s work policies and the experiences of other customers – Zight (formerly CloudApp) has stellar reviews, check them out on G2 today.
Tips To Improve Your Team’s Online Collaboration Efforts
Your business will definitely benefit from using the best online collaborating software. However, regardless of the platform you use, they all come with their struggles. Therefore, we have created a list of tips to help you improve collaboration within your organization.
- Choose the right software for your team: Getting the most out of online collaboration software is impossible if you’re working with the wrong tools. There are many collaboration tools you could choose from. You only need to carefully select the tools for your team according to your organization’s specific goals.
- Focus on open communication: Communication must be at the forefront of your projects. You should ensure that all your employees feel free and comfortable sharing their views.
- Schedule training sessions: Regular training sessions for your employees will make things easier. You can conduct short training sessions covering the basics. If the team is receptive, schedule more detailed sessions to understand the software better.
- Create a positive work environment: With the software in place, it is also important that you remember to improve your employee’s working experience. Each person is unique, and it would help if you appreciate all of the employees based on their strengths. This will provide a positive working environment and help build their morale.
- Set a clear outline: Despite the project you’re working on, there will always be a higher possibility of achieving your goals if you set a clear outline for your team.
Online collaboration software transforms work from being a place to being about accessibility. With a computer and a browser, you can easily post updates, connect, and collaborate with your employees as if you were in the office. Generally, they make it easy for your entire business to stay organized and connect in real-time.
Zight (formerly CloudApp)’s features help you collaborate much faster – record videos and screencasts easily, take screenshots and GiFs, annotate them, and share as fast as sending a link.