Collaboration platforms make team collaboration easy for modern workplaces, remote and otherwise. As they say, two heads are better than one!
Different collaboration tools are curated to make different tasks easier and increase productivity. In addition to helping teams achieve common goals, they also help to track changes and updates. This article gives you an overview of collaboration platforms in several categories. Our list includes easy-to-use tools that may be used on mobile devices and desktops.
Read on to find out which chat solutions, video conferencing tools, project management apps, and document collaboration software could help your team to achieve alignment and reach their common goals.
20 best collaboration platforms
Since collaboration platforms are diverse, we’ve separated them into categories according to their main use-cases and functionalities. Let’s start with chat tools - a technology that has completely changed how we talk to our colleagues.
Team chat solutions
Being on the same page is perhaps the most integral part of teamwork. This calls for effective communication. Rocket.Chat’s platform makes it easy to reach coworkers and collaborate with them asynchronously.
Besides chat features, Rocket.Chat stands out in terms of advanced security features, making it especially suitable for privacy-conscious organizations. Here are some ways in which Rocket.Chat revolutionizes workplace conversations.
1. Team collaboration: organizing chats in direct messages, teams, channels, and discussions makes communication streamlined and collaboration-oriented
2. Omnichannel customer service: Interacting one-on-one with your customers for effective feedback and seamless customer service
3. Chat engine: Integrating messaging experiences and customizing the app using any gadget
No matter the industry of your business, Rocket.Chat can help you make communications transparent. Additionally, it helps ease hectic work processes and customize your workplace with open APIs, plugins, and webhooks of your preferences.
Slack has lately become synonymous with workplace messaging. It makes collaborative communication easy and is available on mobile and desktop to message individuals and groups of employees. External sharing and searchable conversations are other add-ons.
It allows users to organize conversations into multiple channels. Slack also offers provisions to integrate with applications like Google Docs and Dropbox, making the entire experience of team integration smoother.
From personal messaging to workplace conversations, Element can handle it all. Unlimited voice and video transfer and end-to-end encryption are features that set Element apart from other collaboration platforms.
Element offers users complete control over their data without the burden of interfering with ads, tracking, or data mining. You can also categorize conversations into ‘rooms’. The biggest advantage of this collaboration tool is that it configures well with all Matrix-based apps.
From making workplace communication easy to defining project timelines, Hive is a one-stop solution for determining a team’s workflow pace and progress. The timesheets feature and team resourcing facility are add-ons.
Hive allows around 1000 integrations with other tools and offers a centralized dashboard for better efficiency. Project management, time management, team collaboration, automation, etc., are Hive’s other specialties.
5. Google Chat
One-on-one messaging and group conversations are made easy with Google Chat. It lets you share messages, files, and assign tasks to colleagues.
You can access Google Chat directly from Gmail. Likewise, you can integrate Google Chat and Spaces to share content across Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets. Bots, smart suggestions, and powerful searching make Chat a reliable workspace tool.
Video conferencing tools
Pexip is a video conferencing tool that prioritizes secure communication. Video conferencing is the new normal in the post-pandemic world. With Pexip, you can take your meetings online and completely control your data.
The video innovation collaboration tool helps you go for a digital-first approach to engage clients and employees. Pexip allows conferencing solutions for Microsoft Teams. Also, it brings together admin and analytics tasks for users.
For HD audio-video conferencing, Jitsi is one of the best collaboration platforms you can choose for your workspace. Jitsi allows up to 100 participants to have unlimited access to meetings.
Jitsi allows admins to control other participants’ desktops as well remotely. This collaboration tool also has many integration options with Slack, Google, and Microsoft. Its open-source technology allows organizations a fair degree of customization.
One of the biggest advantages of BigBlueButton is the automated selection of your nearest server to host meetings. This manages and balances loads efficiently. Up to 50,000 users can take part in meetings with the assistance of this smart load balancer. Additionally, Big Blue Button allows users to record meetings on their devices in MP4 format.
4. Google Meet
Google Meet is a reliable collaboration platform for an improved virtual work experience, from business meetings to online classes. You can schedule meetings beforehand and make provisions in calendars with colleagues using Google Meet. With a Google Suite/Google Workspace account, you could also avail of other options with Google Meet.
Here’s the next big name in video conferencing. We wouldn’t make a list of collaboration platforms without Zoom in it. Zoom offers whiteboard meeting features, chats and channels, and phone access for video conferences. This platform has served to bring the entire world together during the pandemic, not just businesses!
The Zoom Contact Center is a solution that optimizes video conferencing with other features. Remote working and progress analytics is now made easy with Zoom.
Project management tools
Trello is one of the best project management tools in the market. It boasts an easy-to-use interface and has free access. You can access it via the web and using mobile applications. Trello creates checklists of tasks/boards that help to assign tasks to different teams. You can also add comments to cards, making feedback easy.
While the free version of Trello suffices for basic requirements, a premium plan gives you access to better administrative features. You can integrate Trello with Rocket.Chat, Slack, Google Drive, Evernote, and GitHub.
Asana is a virtual workspace that helps with tracking project progress and analytics. To-do lists to check out as work progresses, ongoing project tracking, deadline notifications, etc., are some of Asana’s highlight features. Others include app integrations, reporting, forms, and goal notifications.
Attaching comments to posts makes Asana a convenient tool for immediate feedback. Digging through past projects and saving data is easy with its search feature.
Monday.com is an operating system for workspaces that brings together all employees in one place. Customizing with Monday.com does not require coding knowledge. Automating data entry, assigning duties, etc., are made easy with this collaboration platform.
You can download custom-made templates from Monday.com. It gives you a single-glance overview of all ongoing projects with calendar schedules. It’s one of the most effective platforms for workload management.
A project management tool that helps with scheduling tasks, Wrike accepts integrations with Slack, Google Drive, Trello, Dropbox, and similar tools. It offers cross-departmental collaboration and automation facilities. Customizable dashboards and no-code automation are some of Wrike’s features.
By choosing this collaboration tool, your team will receive real-time notifications, dynamic reports about project progress, live editing, etc. All business stakeholders can receive full access to all data.
Our last choice for the best project management collaboration tools is ClickUp which brings all your tasks together within one interface. This makes collaborative work easily manageable.
You can set employee targets and display monetary values on this app’s Goal Folders. Dragging and dropping tasks and deadlines is easy with ClickUp’s calendar. The whiteboard feature of ClickUp is an added advantage. ClickUp's customizable dashboard helps you replace additional tools you might need to manage collaborative projects.
Document collaboration tools
1. Google Docs
It is no surprise that Google Docs tops our list of document collaboration platforms. Google Docs allows multiple users/parties to edit/access/make suggestions in the same file. The automated saving facility is a time saver.
This cloud-based documentation tool doesn’t require users to install a separate application. You can directly access it via the web. You can also track your changes to a document and feed its progress. Using @-mentions to leave specific comments and suggestions to individuals is another feature.
Dropbox allows free access to its document editing platform called Paper. It is a ‘co-editing’ tool that helps multiple users coordinate documents and edit them together. Dropbox Paper lets you allocate a to-do list to employees, set due dates, and mention people as in Google Docs.
Your employees can add comments to specific text/multimedia using Dropbox Paper. Quick fact: it offers a provision to add emojis to comments! Calendar schedules are another feature that allocates a plan for your team.
Document360 lets users create documents that are specially curated for product help information. This is specifically helpful for SaaS products. It also allows technical documentation, including reference docs, tutorials, system notes, online user guides, etc.
You can use Document360 to build FAQ pages and constantly update questions and answers. This collaboration tool can also help with setting up an SOP or Standard Operating Procedure which will serve as the handbook for sales and marketing of companies. Document360 allows integrations and extensions that help with establishing an equilibrium between teams and tasks.
Notion is a document collaboration platform that lets you customize it to your teams’ needs. This tool helps you keep track of your daily work progress and knowledge by displaying both side-by-side. You can design your dashboard with Notion by simply dragging and dropping add-ons.
Event scheduling, template repository, integrations, etc., are other features of Notion. This tool is more than a doc and lets you curate your workflow as you please. Notion is a reliable tool for startups, remote workforces, and educational purposes.
What are the benefits of adopting collaboration platforms?
Now that you are familiar with our choices of the best collaboration platforms, read on to find out some advantages of using them.
1. Increased productivity
Online collaboration tools are helpful for hybrid office spaces that don’t confine to physical offices. Remote workspaces are a new normal in the post-pandemic era. Collaboration platforms provide an easy way to track work progress and execute assignments better.
2. Better goal alignment and tracking
Collaboration tools help keep track of deadlines and goals. Especially if you are managing many teams at once, keeping track of your goals and following up on the individual progress of employees for admins may be exhausting. This is where collaboration tools can save time and establish a smooth workflow by tracking changes and updates.
3. Effective team communication
Perhaps the most important aspect of teamwork is effective communication. You can’t expect to succeed without a proper exchange of ideas. Collaboration tools help with quick and transparent communication among teams and team members. This ensures everyone is on the same page.
4. Engaged employees
For successful outputs, employees need to be satisfied with their workload. They cannot be burdened with more than what they can take. Instead, they must be allocated tasks at the right intervals and assigned to the right teams. This keeps them engaged in the most productive sense. This is enabled by collaboration platforms that help admins keep track of each employee's duties.
Ready to make your choice?
We curated our best options for collaboration tools keeping in mind the importance of streamlining workflow for optimal productivity and ROI. Our options of tools have their strengths and weaknesses. Not every one of these tools is suited to every organization - and that’s ok!
If you’re looking for a tool that will be a focal collaboration point for your employees, but you don’t want to compromise on data security, get in touch with us here at Rocket.Chat. Our experience with privacy-conscious organizations in highly-regulated industries allows us to support your security and collaboration needs at the same time.
Say hi to our team, or try out Rocket.Chat yourself!