The collaboration apps market boomed in 2020. With the abrupt switch to digital workplaces and remote work, organizations realized they need to support their employees’ work with the proper technology.
That’s why today, we’re bringing you a list of the best team collaboration apps to try in 2023 - if you haven’t already.
What is a collaboration app?
Let's settle an important debate first: What is a collaboration app after all?
Obviously, it's an app that helps teams collaborate. But, collaboration is versatile, and so are the apps!
More specifically, software app categories that fall under "collaboration" include chat apps, video conferencing tools, project management software, and other.
That's why we've divided the list into three categories: communication, co-creation, and project management.
5 collaboration apps to communicate easily
There is no question that effective workplace communication is an essential prerequisite for successful collaboration. Moreover, optimized business communication has many other benefits.
More and more companies have introduced hybrid work as a permanent solution. When working hybrid, collaboration must be enabled in and out of the office. These online communication apps make it easy to collaborate no matter where you are.
📚 Before you continue, read why team communication is important in the workplace.
Rocket.Chat is an instant messaging platform that enables employees to communicate on a daily basis. They can quickly reach somebody in their company or jump on a call with an external partner within the app.
This open source messaging platform is also highly one of the most secure collaboration tools for businesses, which makes it a good choice for privacy-conscious organizations. The option to deploy Rocket.Chat on-premise is why organizations choose it as one of the best Cisco Jabber alternatives.
Rocket.Chat is the best chat app for organizations working in highly-regulated industries such as Healthcare, Government, and Defense due to its advanced security features.
Our research on instant messaging showed that 82% of employees want all their communication to be streamlined through a single app. That’s why Rocket.Chat is a great solution to decrease communication apps fatigue.
2. MS Teams
MS Teams is one of the most popular work collaboration solutions out there. Since Microsoft Office is an omnipresent solution in office apps, it’s only natural that Teams has almost 250 million monthly active users.
Although users complained about the lack of flexibility and sub-optimal meeting experience, the latest Teams versions have addressed these drawbacks.
Microsoft Teams is a great collaboration tool for larger organizations that want standard enterprise security and whose user-base is already used to Microsoft suite of products. Teams is now also a standard replacement for Skype for Business users.
But, Slack does have its limitations for teams that need extra customization features or advanced security. This means that security-oriented companies will opt for Slack open-source alternatives or Slack alternatives that can be white-labeled.
Nevertheless, Slack is a much-beloved communication software. When Salesforce bought it in 2020, they announced the expansion of Slack’s features. It’s definitely worthwhile to follow Slack’s journey in 2023!
Slack is a great collaboration app for tech companies that appreciate superb UI/UX and need a lean solution to quickly get in touch with the rest of the team.
You might think that Pexip is just another video collaboration software - but this one really stands out. Namely, it's one of the most secure collaboration tools you could get for your business.
It's used in highly-regulated industries such as healthcare, finance, and government. With Pexip, companies can enable unobstructed collaboration while making sure everything is up to strict data security standards.
Pexip is a highly secure videoconferencing app that enables organizations to easily set up video conferencing with customers and remote coworkers without worrying about breaching GDPR, HIPAA, or other data privacy regulations.
Zoom is a video conferencing platform that became synonymous with remote meetings. 79% of employees think that online video meetings are just as productive as in-person meetings, and sometimes even more.
What makes Zoom a great work collaboration app is its simplicity and ease of use. It also has a free option which has helped its expansion on the market, and it works pretty well for smaller organizations, students, or individual users.
As a collaboration app, Zoom enables teams to quickly and easily get on video calls and participate in sessions actively with built-in features such as chat, polls, questions, and others.
5 collaboration apps for fast co-creation
Successful cross-functional collaboration often includes more than just communication. There is a myriad of collaboration apps that facilitate easy co-creation. People use these collaboration tools to jointly create and edit documents, pictures, videos, presentation templates, and more.
Here are our top picks for this kind of team collaboration solutions.
Canva is an online graphical tool that enables its users to produce, design, and edit photos and simple videos. It’s easy to use, and even the free version comes with numerous templates for designs of different kinds.
In 2019, Canva users created more than 3000 designs per minute! This speaks volumes about the popularity of this collaboration app.
Canva is the best collaboration tool for startup marketing teams and smaller business owners that don't have extensive design needs.
Flipsnack is an online tool that simplifies the process of creating, organizing, and editing your documents. Its intuitive interface promotes direct communication on documents to enhance collaboration within the workplace.
You can choose to make your documents public or keep them private for team access only. You can also control who on your team has access to certain slides to protect privacy. With Flipsnack, you are in complete control of document accessibility, allowing you to communicate securely within your company.
Flipsnack is a great collaborative tool for photographers, real estate organizations, restaurants and other organizations that want to showcase their products in a form of a flipbook.
With more than 100 million users worldwide, Prezi is one of the most famous solutions for creating presentations. In comparison with the omnipresent PowerPoint, Prezi is non-linear and allows its users to zoom in and out of the presentation.
Being a part of basic MS package, PowerPoint does have some useful features. However, Prezi is a much better visual tool and makes it easier to engage audiences.
Prezi is the best collaborative tool for teams that often have to present their work to customers, stake-holders, or bigger audiences.
We love Creately! It’s an epitome of a visually attractive work collaboration app that you just want to use. It’s used to create visual plans and diagrams as well as design systems and flows. It also comes with a ton of templates suited to marketing, product, engineering, and others.
Knowing that companies such as NASA, Netflix, and Facebook use Creately, the decision to try this app in 2023 is easy.
Most people enjoy brainstorming: Creately makes visual collaboration interactive and engaging even for remote teams. That's why we believe Creately is one of the best collaborative apps out there!
Bluescape is a virtual collaboration app built for remote and hybrid teams. It’s used as a co-creation and communication tool. Its aim is to streamline meetings and make them more productive, as well as to spur innovation by eliminating boundaries set by the digital environment.
Another advantage of Bluescape is its scalability, so you can start small and upgrade to more users and features if you need.
Bluescape is similar to Creately when it comes to functionalities, but it has a different look and feel. It has advanced security features, so it's a good choice for privacy-conscious organizations.
6 best project management apps
Effective collaboration in the workplace often goes hand in hand with project management. Agile companies are especially prone to use collaboration software to enable easier progress tracking, reporting, and documentation.
Here are the best collaboration apps to explore in 2023 if you want to manage projects effectively. If you're looking for collaboration tools for technical teams like DevOps, you can find the list of the best ones right here.
ProofHub is rated among the most powerful, intuitive, and scalable project management apps that help project teams of all sizes (across various industries) cut out chaotic work processes and poor collaboration from their tasks and projects. ProofHub fills all the communication gaps within internal teams with its smart internal communication features, which, if not dealt with timely, lead to uninformed and disengaged employees and fuel misunderstandings and conflicts within the organization.
ProofHub facilitates the smooth, timely flow of information across different teams while encouraging high transparency and keeping all stakeholders updated on every development within the project.
You’ve probably used Trello at least once. This Kanban-style collaboration app has had numerous updates since its initial release and it now includes features like boards, cards, automation, and workflow management.
Users praise Trello as a great solution not only for team collaboration but also for organizing your own work, especially if you work from home and have issues staying focused on your tasks.
Users describe Asana as a simple, yet powerful tool for organizing, tracking, and managing shared work. It also works well as a content managing system.
Since it offers multiple integrations - with solutions such as Gmail, Google Drive, and Zoom - there are many ways to utilize this work collaboration app.
ClickUp is a project management app that helps teams to stay on top of their work. In comparison with Asana, it has custom status and checklist templates. Moreover, it is designed as a one-in-all tool that aims to replace other solutions like Google Drive. It also offers a myriad of integrations that make it one of the best collaborative apps on the market.
As a project management app, monday.com offers unique features such as multi-departmental projects, development tracking, bug tracking, and user activity monitoring.
Users praise monday.com for its flexibility and great customer support. They also say it helps them keep their work efficient and streamlined.
SmartTask is an all-in-one free project management platform that offers group chatting, voice calling, and video conferencing features for remote & hybrid team communication.
Apart from team collaboration, it can be used for task management, time tracking, client onboarding, file sharing, analytics, and reporting.
How to choose the perfect team collaboration app?
It’s hard to choose the best solution when you have so many options. However, collaboration apps are necessary tools in any company’s digital workplace tech stack.
Here are some aspects of collaboration solutions you should be mindful of when choosing it for your company.
1. Consider your team's way of collaborating
First of all, what do your employees need and want to do their work? Do they need different types of collaboration apps, and why?
Moreover, are they looking for specific features? How will the collaboration software you’re considering fit in your existing tech stack?
These are the questions you need to answer before engaging in the procurement process. Luckily, most collaboration apps have free versions you can test on a smaller scale or for a limited time period.
2. Ease of use
In our research on instant messaging, we found that 77% of employees see ease of use as a top priority when looking for a messaging app. This is not surprising, since teams need to communicate easily when they need to.
Moreover, ease of use will drive the adoption of the app at hand and will prevent employees to use other solutions as a replacement (which could lead to other problems such as security breaches).
For example, some employees resort to using WhatsApp for work-related matters since their internal communication tool is clunky and ineffective. But, that's really not a good idea: read why WhatsApp shouldn't be used for employee communication.
It’s important to check if it’s possible to integrate the collaboration app you’re considering with tools your employees currently use or will maybe use in the future. Moreover, you should check if integrations are easily carried out.
This is important because it will enable your collaboration app to seamlessly fit into employees' workflows. You want a smooth collaboration process that will feel intuitive!
If you’re a fast-growing startup, it’s useful to see if the solution at hand will be able to follow your growth. Therefore, check if the app you're considering is easily scalable and allows you to enlarge your team, expand functionalities, and more.
5. Data privacy and security
In today’s world of the distributed workforce and remote work, it’s vital to keep up with the most important data protection trends. Why? Because data breaches often happen due to human errors. Research also found that data breaches caused by human errors cost companies on average $3.33 million.
That’s why you need to check if the collaboration app you’re considering adheres to the highest data security standards.
Biggest benefits of collaboration apps at work
You probably know the biggest benefits of collaboration apps: they make it easy to collaborate! But, what specific advantages can you expect when you introduce one in your organization?
- Improved communication between employees
- Enabling teams to work asynchronously, but from wherever they choose
- Greater goal alignment
- Improved customer satisfaction due to faster issue resolution
- Project-oriented communication and collaboration
- High-quality collaboration outputs.
This isn't all - there are many other benefits that stem from introducing team collaboration apps to your organization. These apps can not only decrease frustration that can happen due to the nature of remote work, but also make your team more engaged and innovative.
How collaboration apps help you scale your business
Team collaboration is essential in today’s business world. If you want to stay competitive in your line of work, you need to hire the right people and enable them to collaborate effectively.
Why? Because collaboration is the cornerstone of innovation, productivity, and fast problem-solving. In other words, every organization can profit from collaboration.
Get in touch with us at Rocket.Chat to see how we support our customers to collaborate efficiently, and check out this list of best team collaboration software for even more choices on collaboration solutions.
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- Digital sovereignty
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- Scalable and white-labeled
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- Trusted by National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), the US Army, the US Navy, and the US Air Force
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- Cloud or on-prem deployment
- Supports compliance with HIPAA, GDPR, FINRA, and more
- Supports compliance with HIPAA, GDPR, FINRA, and more
- Highly secure and flexible
- On-prem or cloud deployment