In the era of remote work, online collaboration and communication tools are essential. Whether you need to talk to customers or other teammates, a good communication platform will make or break your remote workflow.
And because remote work is here to stay, we’ve collected a list of the best online collaboration tools that your organization or business should use in 2023.
What are Online Collaboration Tools?
Online collaboration tools are platforms that, put simply, make it easier for companies to do their jobs. So, you might already be familiar with apps like Asana, Trello, or Slack.
Most platforms will focus on a specific aspect of collaboration, such as communication or task management, though some of them do it all.
To clarify, they’re typically cross-platform and support remote working environments. Regardless of whether employees use Apple’s computers or Microsoft’s, your team can still get their best work done together.
What Can Online Collaboration Tools Help With?
Depending on the specific platform, online collaboration tools can help you:
- Manage projects and tasks
- Keep track of workflows
- Maintain customer service
- Plan projects
- Communicate across teams
- Boost employee engagement
- Create and store documentation
- Set up a knowledge management framework
- Streamline employee onboarding
Some tools have more specific functionality. For example, apps like LiquidPlanner focus solely on project management — you won’t be replacing your email with it!
Why Should I Use Online Collaboration Tools?
You should use online collaboration tools to make your remote and asynchronous work easier. Whether you need to replace an existing workflow or you’re building a remote team from the ground up, these types of tools can be an essential part of your business.
How are Online Collaboration Tools Used?
Think of these tools as a replacement for your office. Work-related conversations and banter can happen on communication platforms. Therefore, tasking is done on project management platforms, and company parties can be carried out by employee reward and recognition platforms.
20 Online Communication Tools to Use for 2023
Here are 20 online collaboration and communication tools for your business in 2022.
Almanac is a full-featured platform for asynchronous work — it can replace pretty much every app in your stack. At its core is a fast document editor with an activity feed, bidirectional mentions, and command line. However, that’s just the beginning.
The platform also features tools for feedback and approvals, organizing documentation, communicating across teams, and a lot more. Also, it's a powerful platform with a host of features that makes remote collaboration as easy as can be. From the document editor with mentions and version control, task and project management, all-in-one communications platform to replace Slack, email, and notifications…it’s tough to beat.
Pros: Tools for documentation, project management, and team communication, among other features
Cons: Might be a bit of a learning curve to understand all its many features
Favro is a platform that allows teams to collaborate. It includes remote workflows features like planning boards, support for sheets and databases, and elements for both docs and wikis.
However, Favro users have reported some problems with its iOS and mobile apps, including slowness and a lack of easy organization.
Pros: Good time tracking software, task organization is well thought-out
Cons: Issues with slowness with larger projects, buggy performance with drag and drop feature
Pricing: Dependent on tier
Based in San Francisco, Intercom is a communications platform company. That means its services include a business messenger that allows a company to interact with its customers — including with bots and products.
While a good solution for business-to-customer messaging, Intercom doesn’t have the features to support project management or other collaborative projects.
Pros: Good for customer service
Cons: No task or project management tools, not for team collaboration
Pricing: Pricing is dependent on business
Businesses that need project management and collaboration tools can consider Monday.com. It’s a platform that has features for tracking projects, managing tasks, and communicating across teams.
Although, this platform isn’t designed for knowledge management. This means it isn’t the best option for document storage or a company intranet.
Pros: Simple and aesthetically pleasing
Cons: Not made for knowledge management, communication tools are lacking
Pricing: $8 per user per month
Chanty is a team messaging tool that allows remote workforces to communicate easily. To that end, it allows for both public and private messaging among an organization’s members.
While Chanty is free to use, the non-paid tier only supports up to 10 members. Compared to other messaging apps such as Slack, it also lacks status messages and the ability to mute specific team channels. It’s also not meant for project management.
Pros: Unlimited messaging, robust collaboration tools
Cons: Free option only supports up to 10 members, some limitations on notifications, lack of themes
Pricing: Free, or $3 per user per month for premium features
Troop Messenger is a team and multi-channel messaging platform good for businesses of any size. It provides a browser-based solution or native mobile apps, allowing team members to chat, call, or otherwise have conversations with each other virtually.
The app doesn’t provide any features for knowledge management, documentation, or tasking, however. That means you’ll need another app for project management. In other words, it may only be able to replace Slack in your stack.
Pros: Good for chats, meetings, and calls among team members
Cons: Not the widest range of integrations, not for project management or databases
Pricing: $2.5 per user per month
Empuls is a platform that aims to help businesses invest in their most precious asset: their employees. To that end, the platform has a number of tools aimed at employee engagement, including surveys and rewards.
However, Empuls is not made for general business communication purposes, project management, or documentation. Because of that, it isn’t an all-in-one solution for remote workflows.
Pros: Suite of features for employee engagement including surveys
Cons: Not made for cross-team collaboration or communication, not the easiest to set up,
Pricing: $2 per user per month
Nectar is a platform for increasing employee engagement and camaraderie. It has a suite of features to encourage that, including employee recognition, awards, and participation analytics tools.
It isn’t built for remote workflows, documentation, or team collaboration, though. So, you’ll need another tool for your projects, tasks, and team communication.
Pros: Features can help company engagement and camaraderie
Cons: No features for collaboration or project management
Pricing: $2.50 per user per month
Whereby is an app designed to make video meetings and embeddable videos easy for companies to implement. So, it makes the video setup process a cinch, saving time.
The app is meant to be an alternative to other video conferencing apps, however. Unfortunately, though, it isn’t a replacement for other collaboration tools.
Pros: Simple to use, good interface, makes video calls easy
Cons: No general chat beyond video meetings, lack of project management features
Pricing: $6.99 per license per month
Nextiva is a platform that aims to combine business phone, video conferencing, customer management, and collaboration tools. It’s a good choice for large businesses that need to communicate with customers via phone.
The platform is pricey, though, and doesn’t feature robust project or documentation and knowledge management tools. Because of that, it won’t be the best solution for most teams. On top of that, it has a learning curve.
Pros: Good analytics tools, communication features for both teams and customers
Cons: Can be expensive, not really made for organized task management
Pricing: $18.95 per user per month
Likewise, other collaborative tools like Asana or Trello follow a similar structure. Although, Teamwork is focused almost entirely on project management. In other words, you won’t be building out a knowledge base or intranet with this platform.
Pros: Good for task management, all-in-one solution for collaboration
Cons: Not made for knowledge management, can be expensive for smaller teams
Pricing: $10 per user per month
If you need a platform to transcribe your meetings for you, Otter.ai is a good option. It features accurate audio transcription tools that can negate the need to take notes during a meeting.
That’s the only thing that Otter.ai does, however. It’s not an app you can use to have the actual meetings. You also won’t be able to use it for collaboration.
Pros: Good for transcribing video meetings, accurate transcription
Cons: No options for actual messaging or conversations, project management, or documentation
Pricing: $8.33 per month
Made by the company of the same name, Flock is a business collaboration and messaging tool designed as an alternative to Slack. It allows teams to communicate with each other with both group and private chats.
It lacks some user customization options, and its to-do list and tasking capabilities could be improved. You also won’t be building out a company intranet with this tool, given its lack of documentation features.
Pros: Fast and reliable, good list of messaging features for team conversations
Cons: Not made for knowledge management or documentation
Pricing: Pricing not available/dependent on business
Bonusly is an employee-focused platform that allows organizations to incentivize employees with recognition and rewards. Therefore, it features analytics, reporting, a built-in chat tool, and integrations with a company intranet.
Yet, as with most employee recognition platforms, Bonusly is a bit of a one-trick pony. It won’t be a solution for managing projects or tracking the work that your employees are doing in a useful way. Your team probably also won’t be using it for work conversations.
Pros: Good for employee engagement, decent communications feature
Cons: Not for task management, keeping track of projects, or documentation
Pricing: $2.70 per user per month
Nifty is an app made for both communication and task management. It allows businesses to stay organized by tracking tasks, projects, and files. Subsequently, teams can stay on-track and collaborate with a built-in chat function.
However, there are some problems with the platform’s mobile applications, and its real-time collaboration leaves some things to be desired. Some users, for example, complain about lagging task updates or uploaded files.
Pros: Good for task management and collaboration, easy to set up and use
Cons: No built-in invoicing tools, inability to edit time logs
Pricing: $39 per month
True to its name, Acquire is all about the business of customer acquisition and retention. To clarify, it’s a platform designed to simplify communicating with customers with channels, integrations, and an artificial intelligence that talks to customers itself.
This isn’t a Slack replacement, however. So, it won’t be a cross-platform app for communicating or collaborating with your teammates.
Pros: Integrations for social media platforms, AI-driven self-service options
Cons: Not made for task management, documentation, or team messaging
Pricing: No pricing available, dependent on business
Need to get something approved? That’s where Filestage comes in. This is an app crafted to make the approval or proofing process a breeze. It has everything you need to get content proofed or approved by either external or internal stakeholders.
That’s really all the app does, however. It’s not really designed to manage those tasks before the proofing stage. More than that, it’s not going to help you communicate about the project, either.
Pros: Simple setup for approval or proofing projects
Cons: Lack of deeper collaboration or communication tools, not for documentation
Pricing: $9 per user per month
ProofHub is an app made for task and project management. Users can schedule tasks, set up workflows, assign projects, and communicate about the work with chat options.
The app doesn’t charge per user, which is good for large teams but not for smaller ones. There are also some missing organizational and collaboration features.
Pros: No per-user fee can be good for larger teams, makes it easy to get tasking setup
Cons: Can be expensive for small teams, not a great documentation solution
Pricing: $45 per month
As the name suggests, GanttPRO is all about creating Gantt charts, a type of project organizational structure. A variety of teams across various enterprises trust this platform.
So, if you want a project management option beyond Gantt charts, you’ll be out of luck with this tool. Additionally, this platform is useless for creating or storing documentation or deeper communication.
Pros: Makes creating Gantt charts easy for teams, collaboration features
Cons: The mobile version could be improved. Large projects can be difficult to see on smaller screens
Pricing: $15 for individual or $8.90 per user per month for teams
Freshdesk is a solid and easy-to-use tool for customer service and support. It’s easy to get up and running and is highly configurable.
The app does lack features aimed at team collaboration or documentation, however.
Pros: Has smart automations to make customer service easy, affordable
Cons: No options for task or project management, no options for documentation
Pricing: $15 per agent per month
What Is the Best Online Collaboration Tool?
Ultimately, the best online collaboration tool for your business or organization is going to come down to your needs. Research and analyze how your team gets its work done. Then, find an app that can make the workflow easier.
Admittedly, some apps are better at doing it all than others. Almanac, for example, has features that can replace a host of other collaboration and communication tools. Almanac is best for an all-in-one solution.