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5 Best Google Docs Alternatives & Competitors (Features and Pricing)

Google Docs is a great document creation tool that lets you work alongside your team members in real-time. Teams can use it to document notes, ideas, and processes to keep everyone on the same page…literally. 

However, it lacks advanced collaboration options and offers limited offline access and permissions.

Instead of forcing you to compromise, we’re here to help you find the best Google Docs alternatives.

In this article, we’ll go over why you need an alternative to Google Docs and highlight the five best tools you can use today.

Let’s document some alternatives. 📝

2 Major Reasons Why You Need A Google Docs Alternative

google doc page

Google Docs is a cloud-based document editing and collaboration tool that lets teams create, share, and edit documents in a centralized place. 

It lets virtual teams easily collaborate on documents with features like:

  • Comments
  • User mentions
  • Document revision history
  • Autosave
  • Document sharing

This way, you won’t have to collaborate by sending documents via email to one another. After all, long email threads only mean lost documents and stressful experiences with your team. 😫

it was in the email David Schitt's Creek gif

Google Docs also lets you add images to your Google document using the built-in Google search engine and even use other Google apps like Google Slides alongside your work.

And while all that sounds cool, the Google Docs app does have a few glaring limitations:

1. Lacks advanced collaboration features

Google Docs has a few basic content collaboration features like real-time editing, document sharing, and cloud storage. You can even make timelines, create Gantt charts or calendars in Google Docs.

However, if you want to document a large project, this Google app won’t cut it. 💇

It lacks advanced collaboration features like progress tracking, time tracking, custom task statuses, and more. These are essential if you want to monitor project performance and give life to that space vision.

2. Difficult to use as a knowledge base system

Here are three reasons why Google Docs isn’t the most comprehensive knowledge base solution:

A. File organization

“Ugh, where is that document I opened a second ago?”  

“I remember a teammate shared that doc with me, but I can’t find it anywhere!”

Sounds familiar?

Creating a decent filing system in Google Docs might feel like you’re on a trek. 

The journey is long, and the roads are rough.   

You’ll even have to use Google Drive to manually create folders and organize your documents based on their projects. 

Instead, with an alternative to Google Docs, you can spend that time being productive! 

B. Sharing and permissions

Sharing and permissions can be a total drag in Google Docs. 

Sometimes you forget to give a teammate access, and other times you hit the “anyone with link” option.

Scenario one will result in wasted time and confusion, and scenario two, well… let’s just say you’ve kinda freely given your documents to the internet.

a girl saying it's not stealing if it's free gif

C. Can’t nest pages

Google Docs doesn’t let you nest pages (create subpages).

Why are nested pages important for knowledge management?

Being able to nest pages means that you can create a well-structured document where certain pages are set up as subpages of other primary pages.

Without them, your complex documents will be difficult to organize. 

5 Best Google Docs Alternatives

Since Google Docs isn’t really the best document collaboration tool, here are five excellent  alternatives:

1. ClickUp

ClickUp apps and devices

ClickUp is the world’s highest-rated productivity and document collaboration software used by several teams in small and large companies.

From helping you get ahead with unique project templates to tracking the time spent on tasks, ClickUp is the ultimate project management tool.

But wait… how will a project management software help you manage documents?

The answer lies in Docs.

What Are Docs In ClickUp?

Docs let you create awesome documents for anything you can imagine! 🤩

Powerful knowledge bases, user guides, meeting minutes, SOPs….  when it comes to Docs, the world is your oyster. 

Just write out to your heart’s content using its unlimited number of pages. 

And for easy file management, use ClickUp Docs’ Relationships feature to link related tasks and pages, so you don’t have to look through multiple wiki pages to find them. Or you can tag Docs for easy reference and searchability. 

doc relationships

You can also create nested pages (up to five levels) in your Docs and move nested pages around by dragging and dropping them. 

Need to share your Doc with teammates or external collaborators?

Just use sharing and permissions in ClickUp!

You can share:

  • Select pages of the document
  • As a private link
  • As a public link
  • With Google for indexation

You can also enhance security measures by protecting your Docs from unwanted edits. Simply turn on the Protect this page option and add context for your audience.

What’s more?

Collaborative editing lets everyone in your Workspace comment, edit, and work on the Doc simultaneously, without any overlap. You’ll also know who is working on what with real-time collaboration detection.

doc multiple editors

You can also customize your Docs for your needs with a wide variety of features like:

  • Author settings: show the Doc creator and contributors
  • Custom cover image: choose from the gallery, your desktop, a link, or the Unsplash library
  • Font size: choose from small, normal, or large for easy viewing
  • Rich text editing: get creative with headings, tables, highlights, and more 
  • Word counter: see how many words you’ve typed in your Doc
  • Table of contents: outline the contents of your Doc and let readers jump to different sections with ease
  • Emojis: add tons of fun and helpful emojis to your document 📝
  • Banners: make important info stand out with colorful banners
  • Dividers: help readers distinguish between different sections of your Doc
  • Buttons: make your public Docs official with colorful buttons that match your brand
  • Embed anything: bring anything you want into your Doc without wasting a second
  • Attachments: add screenshots, PDFs, and other files to your Doc for quick reference

But that’s not all.

Get ready to take in even more delicious features!

a cartoon inhaling a lot of food gif

Other key ClickUp features:

ClickUp pros 

ClickUp limitations

  • No Table view in the mobile app (yet)

Check out ClickUp’s roadmap to see how we’re fixing such limitations. 

And explore all the exciting features that this free alternative to Google Docs has in store for you! 

ClickUp pricing

ClickUp offers three pricing plans:

  • Free Forever Plan
    • Unlimited members
    • Unlimited tasks
    • 100MB storage
    • Docs
    • And more
  • Unlimited Plan ($5/month per member):
    • All “free” features
    • Unlimited List, board, and calendar views
    • Unlimited integrations
    • Goals
    • Portfolios
    • And more
  • Business Plan ($9/month per member):

ClickUp customer ratings

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

2. Microsoft Office Online

Microsoft office online

Microsoft Office Online is a great online collaborative writing tool. This office software gives you free access to Microsoft Word, Calendar, Forms, and more.

However, you can’t access password-protected documents or run macros inside a document when using MS Word online.

So here’s what’ll happen if you try to access those important docs:

a woman saying request's been denied gif

Microsoft Office Online key features

  • Co-author and co-edit MS Word documents 
  • Comes with the OneNote note-taking app 
  • The ‘tell me’ feature helps you navigate the platform
  • Every Word document is automatically saved to Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft Office Online pros

  • Supports formatting tools for APA, MLA, and Chicago styles
  • Free templates for resumes, calendars, newsletters, and more
  • Can organize your data with spreadsheets and workbooks

Microsoft Office Online limitations

  • Lacks offline viewing functionality
  • Microsoft Word online doesn’t have advanced proofing features
  • Can’t create captions, citations, bibliographies, or a table of content in Microsoft Word online

Microsoft Office Online pricing

Microsoft Office Online is a free document editing solution.

Microsoft Office Online customer ratings

  • G2: 4.5/5 (100+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.6/5 (11,000+ reviews)

3. Zoho Docs

Zoho docs

Zoho Docs is an online document editing tool with some basic project management features like reminders, user reports, and an in-app chat.

However, essential document management features like password-protected files and file sharing with non-users come with a price tag

It’s only about the money, money, money… 🎵

Jesse J singer signaling no with her fingers

Zoho Docs key features

  • Create a document, spreadsheet, or presentation
  • Attach documents to a chat and review them collaboratively
  • Categorize files by project, file type, or author
  • Integrates with Zoho Office Suite

Zoho Docs pros

  • The free version supports two-factor authentication
  • Available on iPhone and Android devices
  • Can work on your files without an internet connection. Your edits will be synced once you’re back online

Zoho Docs limitations

  • No pricing plan offers unrestricted file upload size
  • Can be difficult to import files in the mobile apps
  • Can’t assign tasks to multiple users for advanced collaboration

Zoho Docs pricing

Zoho Docs has three pricing plans:

  • Free plan:
    • 5GB of storage space per user
    • 1GB file upload limit
    • In-app chat
    • Email notifications
    • And more
  • Standard plan ($5/month per user):
    • 100GB of storage space per user
    • Unlimited file versions
    • Send files to non-Docs users
    • Password protection
    • And more
  • Premium plan ($8/month per user):
    • 1TB of file storage per user
    • 25GB file upload limit
    • Unlimited file recovery
    • Tasks and reminders
    • And more

Zoho Docs customer ratings

  • G2: 4.4/5 (100+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.5/5 (100+ reviews)

4. Dropbox Paper

Dropbox paper

Dropbox Paper is a document editing tool with a cool personal assistant feature. It lets you know when you have a looming deadline or when someone shares a doc with you.

However, if you want to use the app for personal use, you may wanna look elsewhere. 

You don’t get file locking on the personal pricing plans.

a man saying can we not discuss my personal life in public

Dropbox Paper key features

  • Assign to-dos to teammates and add due dates to tasks
  • Improve feedback processes with annotations
  • The note-taking feature gives your team a personal planning space
  • Tag team members in comments without leaving the doc

Dropbox Paper pros

  • Jot down ideas or give feedback on the go on your iOS or Android device 
  • Can transform documents into presentations with the click of a button
  • Supports templates for meeting notes, brainstorming, creative briefs, and more  

Dropbox Paper limitations

  • Sorting and organizing files can be difficult
  • Can be more expensive than other document editing tools
  • Lacks advanced word processing features since it’s markdown-based

Dropbox Paper pricing

Dropbox Paper has six plans:

  • Basic (free):
    • Up to 3 devices
    • Dropbox Transfer (up to 100 MB)
    • 1 user
    • 2 GB of encrypted storage
    • And more
  • Plus ($11.99/month per user):
    • 1 user
    • 2 TB (2,000 GB) of encrypted storage
    • As many devices as you need
    • Save hard drive space with Dropbox Smart Sync
    • And more
  • Family ($19.99/month per family):
    • Up to 6 users
    • Share 2 TB (2,000 GB) of encrypted storage
    • Family Room folder for sharing
    • Centralized billing
    • And more
  • Professional ($19.99/month per user):
    • One user
    • 3 TB (3,000 GB) of space
    • Advanced sharing controls
    • Protect files you share with branded watermarking
    • And more
  • Standard ($15/month per user):
    • 3+ users
    • 5 TB (5,000 GB) of space
    • Advanced sharing and collaboration tools
    • Admin controls for additional security support
    • And more
  • Advanced ($25/month per user):
    • 3+ users
    • Unlimited storage space
    • Traffic and insights
    • Tiered admin roles
    • And more

Dropbox Paper user ratings

  • G2: 4.1/5 (4,000+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.4/5 (100+ reviews)

5. Apache OpenOffice

Apache openoffice

Apache OpenOffice is an open-source collaboration tool that lets you create documents, 3D illustrations, mathematical equations, and more.

The office app has a cool editing feature that auto-corrects, auto-completes, and spell checks to catch mistakes on the fly.

However, its UI is quite outdated compared to other document editing tools.

Moira Rose Schitt's Creek asking what is this 1985

Apache OpenOffice key features

  • A word processor that you can use for note-taking or writing a book
  • Spreadsheets to help you calculate, analyze, and present your data in numerical reports
  • Create your own templates and use templates from the templates repository
  • Share copies with whoever you want, free of charge

Apache OpenOffice pros

  • The document editor can handle multiple languages
  • Can install the app on as many PCs as you like
  • The notes feature displays notes and comments on the side of the document

Apache OpenOffice limitations

  • No iOS mobile device app to create documents on the go
  • File formats like XLSX and PPTX are not yet supported
  • No cloud save option available

Apache OpenOffice pricing

This document editing tool is free to download.

Apache OpenOffice customer ratings

  • G2: 4.4/5 (10+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.4/5 (30+ reviews)

Time To Edit Out Google Docs 🖊

Don’t get us wrong, Google Docs is a handy document editing software.

But that’s about all it can do.

Fortunately, there are other collaboration tools that’ll make you strike through Google Docs.

If you’re confused about where to begin, why not start with ClickUp? 

Not only does ClickUp let you create documents and edit them alongside your teammates in real-time, but it also lets you manage projects with ease.

From helping you map out ideas in mind maps to tracking your due dates, ClickUp is the best Google Docs and Microsoft Office alternative.

Join ClickUp for free today to experience the ultimate document management tool and…

a woman saying document everything

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