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Top 5 Document Collaboration Software (Pros, Cons, Pricing)

best-doc-collaboration-tools

Looking for the perfect document collaboration software?

Document collaboration software helps you and your team work more productively and collaborate in real-time, creating more room for innovation.

Know what that means?

No more team confusion and more team fusion! 😎

(sorry, we had to)

But with hundreds of document collaboration tools available today, which one should you go for? 

To help you out, we’ll cover everything you need to know about document collaboration tools. We’ll also highlight the top five document collaboration software to help you make the right decision. 

Let’s get rolling!

What Is Document Collaboration Software?

Document collaboration software provides teams with the right platform to collaborate effectively. 

Whether it’s a Google Doc, PDF, spreadsheet, or anything else, you can rely on document collaboration tools to help you and your team make sense of it all.

How does this work?

Document collaboration tools enable real-time access, edits, and updates for team members who are working on the same project document.

With a collaborative document, multiple people will be able to voice their opinions by contributing or editing the same document 🙌

Not to mention, people tend to feel more confident behind a screen, which could lead to innovative remote team discussions! 

#ShoutoutToAllTheIntroverts

7 Essential Features For A Document Collaboration Software

Besides real-time editing functionality, here are seven essential features your document collaboration software should have:

1. Autosave

Most project management apps have an autosave feature that ensures teams don’t lose important information. Additionally, you won’t have to manually save the doc each time you make an edit. After all, we all know how forgetful we can get! 

2. Version control 

Version control is a document collaboration feature that lets team members revert back to previous versions of the doc. It ensures that your team doesn’t lose important info, especially during online collaboration. 

3. Edit tracking

This one’s pretty obvious 😉

A collaboration tool should quite literally let you and your team keep track of any changes or edits that have been made to the document, along with who made them. 

4. Multiple formats

Your document collaboration software should support different file formats to ensure that you’re not limited to just one kind of document. Imagine being forced to always collaborate over spreadsheets, the horror!

5. Comments 

Commenting is a collaboration tool feature that lets you and your team members ask questions and provide feedback without altering the document. You can also use comments to assign tasks to one another easily. 

6. Mobile-friendly

Mobile accessibility is an integral feature of any collaboration app. It ensures team members have access to the online collaboration tool for remote work.

Imagine not being able to reach coworkers during a work emergency! 😧

fire in office burning

7. Large storage space

Document collaboration involves several people and documents, so of course, the collaboration tool you choose needs to have a lot of storage space. 

You need to store all those great ideas somewhere, right?

Top 5 Document Collaboration Software In 2021

Here are the top five document collaboration software available today:

1. ClickUp

clickup devices 2021

ClickUp is the world’s leading project management tool and is used by highly productive teams worldwide.

From team document collaboration to remote project management, this project management software can handle anything and everything! 

The best part?

This team collaboration software is free!

ClickUp key features

Here’s why ClickUp is the best document collaboration software available in the market:

1. Docs 

ClickUp’s Docs is a built-in document collaboration solution for your team. 

Use it to create and store important company and project-related documents that your team can easily edit and access. 

Here’s a closer look at what you get with ClickUp Docs:

  • Real-Time Editing to edit a document alongside other team members to maximize collaboration
  • Collaboration Detection to see when a team member views, comments, or edits a document
  • Real-Time Syncing ensures that recent changes are reflected on every team members’ device
  • Nesting allows you to organize pages within a document for added categorization 
  • Rich Text Formatting to give you all the functionality you need to create detailed, beautiful documents 
  • Keep your Docs public or private with the Permissions Feature. Send links for file sharing and you can customize what the recipient can do with the file 
  • Import Feature for importing documents from external sources to Clickup Docs. For example, you can import work from Evernote, Google Docs, and even from a Microsoft Word Document
  • The ability to get your Docs indexed by Google to appear in search results 

Talk about the perfect tool for knowledge management!

clickup docs
2.  Notepad

ClickUp’s Notepad feature offers team members a personal space to jot down important ideas. No one else can access your notepad and you can convert your ideas to tasks when needed and then share them with your team.

You can also use the notepad to create simple to-do lists for yourself, like a list of ingredients for a new recipe you want to try out! 🧀 #FoodiesUnite

clickup notepad
3.  Comments

Stop, collaborate, and listen with ClickUp’s Comments feature. It lets teams communicate by sharing images, links, and videos within the task and also lets you tag team members.

Worried your team might scroll past these comments or forget to address them?

Don’t worry.

ClickUp’s powerful collaborative system has got you covered!

With the Assigned Comments feature, you can convert comments into action items for specific members. This way, the comment always stays on their radar. 

assigned comments subtasks
4. Mind Maps

ClickUp’s Mind Maps tool is the Dr. Watson to your Sherlock. 🎩

We all need someone or something to bring a logical approach to our fantastic ideas, right?

For maximum flexibility, there are two modes you can use:

  • Task Mode helps you visualize your existing task structure by rearranging them into logical paths. You can also edit, create, and delete tasks right from your view.
  • Blank Mode lets you create a mindmap from scratch. The nodes you create can be converted to tasks with a click of a button.
clickup mind maps
5. Annotations & Proofing

ClickUp’s Annotate & Proofing feature lets you easily add feedback to PNG, GIF, PEG, WEBP, and PDF files. Highlight important points, leave comments and notes for the reader… the file is your oyster! 

clickup proofing and annotating

ClickUp pros

ClickUp cons

  • No white-labeling support
  • Can’t export dashboards

Check out ClickUp’s roadmap here to see how we’re fixing these minor drawbacks. Also, see all the exciting features that this free document collaboration tool has in store for you!

ClickUp pricing

ClickUp has a feature-rich free plan with paid plans starting from $5/user per month.

ClickUp user ratings

  • G2: 4.7/5 (1400+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 5.7/5 (2000+ reviews)

2. Confluence

confluence homepage

Confluence is an online collaboration tool that focuses on keeping teams up to date and working efficiently. But just how confluent is this collaborative platform? 

Let’s find out.

Confluence key features

  • Meeting notes to help your team stay organized 
  • Compartmentalize client information for easy access
  • Comments and mentions for team collaboration 
  • Version control ensures information isn’t lost
  • New changes notifications to help teams stay updated

Confluence pros

  • Designated client info spaces 
  • Collaborators are informed whenever changes are made
  • Integrates with tools like Jira and Trello
  • Exports to various formats, like PDF and EPUB

Confluence cons

  • High dependency on plug-ins, rather than built-in features
  • Multiple users have to share one account, which can make it harder to track changes
  • Doesn’t support offline use

Confluence pricing

The pricing plan for this collaboration app starts at $5/user per month. 

Confluence user ratings

  • G2: 4.4/5 (1600+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.1/5 (4000+ reviews)

Not sure about Confluence? Here are some top alternatives.

3. Google Docs

google docs homepage

Google Docs is a free document collaboration software that is super-popular for its autosave feature. This collaboration platform also offers smart editing and formatting options to help organize information easily.

Google Docs key features

  • Ready-made templates provide teams with quick formatting
  • Access multiple different sharing permissions over your Google Doc
  • The drawing feature lets you add unique drawings to your document
  • Autosave feature ensures your team doesn’t lose any critical info 
  • Find and replace functionality helps find terms quickly

Google Docs pros

  • Easy to use interface
  • Has rich-text editing features
  • Integrates well with other Google apps
  • Import/export flexibility for document sharing

Google Docs cons

  • Requires internet connection unless you use the Chrome extension 
  • Doesn’t support PDF annotation
  • Difficult to use as a knowledge base system 

Google Docs pricing

The essential features for this team collaboration tool are available for free. For added functionality, paid plans start at $6/user per month.

Google Docs user ratings

  • G2: 4.7/5 (5000+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.7/5 (22000+ reviews)

4. Microsoft OneDrive

microsoft onedrive homepage

OneDrive is a Microsoft cloud storage app that lets teams collaborate by storing and sharing files in the cloud. 

But will this tool actually drive your team to success? Let’s take a look:

Microsoft OneDrive key features

  • Cloud storage space for file sharing
  • Version control helps your team manage drafting and revisions
  • Comment notifications for real-time alerts
  • Permission management functionality
  • Document review and feedback collection features

Microsoft OneDrive pros

  • Easy onboarding 
  • Offers 5 GB of free file storage space and teams can earn more space through the referral incentive
  • Compatible with iOS, Chromium, Android, and Mac devices
  • Integrates with other Microsoft Office apps like Microsoft Teams

Microsoft OneDrive cons

  • Difficulty with proofing, editing, and sharing docs outside of Microsoft365
  • No built-in notepad functionality
  • Privacy concerns as it scans stored files for ‘objectionable content’

Microsoft OneDrive pricing

The team plans for this document collaboration tool starts at $5/user per month.  

Microsoft OneDrive user ratings

  • G2: 4.2/5 (7000+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.4/5 (8000+ reviews)

5. Dropbox Paper

dropbox paper homepage

Dropbox Paper is an online collaboration tool that fosters team collaboration through file sharing. 

But is there a reason why we dropped this collaborative software to the bottom of our list? 

Let’s see.

Dropbox Paper key features

  • To-do lists with due dates to help your team with planning
  • Timelines with project milestones to map out every step of a project
  • Rich media integration allows you to create dynamic documents
  • The note-taking feature gives your team a personal planning space
  • Team @mentions increase comment visibility for collaboration

Dropbox Paper pros

  • You can zoom in and out of timelines to view weekly and yearly plans
  • The timelines tool is customizable, which helps improve team organization 
  • Suitable tool for writers who need content collaboration 
  • Offers templates to help you get started quickly

Dropbox Paper cons

  • No offline mode available
  • Creates a new file every time multiple users are viewing a file and someone saves changes
  • Limited formatting options

Dropbox Paper pricing

This document collaboration tool has a free plan with paid plans starting from $15/user per month.

Dropbox Paper user ratings

  • G2: 4.1/5 (4400+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.4/5 (100+ reviews)

What Are the Key Benefits of Document Collaboration Tools?

An excellent document collaboration tool helps teams communicate and work together in a centralized workspace. It also encourages teams to share more ideas and in turn, create a better working environment. 

Here’s what some of the best document collaboration tools bring to the table:

1. Saves time

Document collaboration software helps you stay ahead of the game by eliminating time-consuming admin tasks. You can easily search for relevant documents without drowning in paperwork! #finally

man throwing paper everywhere

2. Improves communication

Have you ever received an email asking for feedback with a long CC list?

And you thought: “Eh, someone else will provide feedback.”

The reality is, everyone’s probably thinking the same thing and no one ends up responding to the email.

But what’s a team without team communication?

With document collaboration software, everyone in the team can see real-time comments and once one person adds a comment, other team members are likely to follow suit.

Looking for other ways to motivate your team? Read our curated list of inspirational quotes!

3. Remote access

Collaboration tools let your team members access files, media, and documents via their mobile device anytime, anywhere. Sort of like a virtual department for remote collaboration. 

Struggling to work from home? Don’t worry, here are some no-nonsense tips.

Conclusion

Document collaboration software gives your team a platform for greater engagement and communication. 

Sure, you could stick with long email chains, high admin costs and disengaged team members, but we both know it’s really not ideal 🙅

With features ranging from real-time collaboration to instant messaging, document collaboration software provides teams and project managers with everything they need for team collaboration.

And while Google Docs and Dropbox Paper are great free document collaboration tools, ClickUp offers advanced team document collaboration and innovative task management features that are complete game-changers.

So what are you waiting for?

Get ClickUp for free and start collaborating with your team today!

group of people high fiving

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