10 Best Google Docs Alternatives & Competitors 2023
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 ten best tools you can use today.
Let’s document some alternatives. 📝
10 Best Google Docs Alternatives
Since Google Docs isn’t really the best document collaboration tool, here are ten excellent alternatives:
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?
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.
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.
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 in ClickUp.
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.
Other key ClickUp features:
- Tag team members: get your team members’ attention by mentioning them in a Doc
- Doc Mentions: use @@@ to mention Docs in a task description or comment field
- Doc Relationships: access your Docs in more places by linking your Docs amongst themselves or with tasks
- Assign comments: highlight any text in your Doc to add a comment and create a task for a teammate
- Embeddable widgets: add List and Board views widgets and edit workflows from within your Doc
- ClickUp Dashboards: add your Docs to your Dashboards for quick reference
- ClickUp Mind maps: map out brilliant ideas for your upcoming Doc 💡
- Powerful free version that supports unlimited users
- Easy-to-use user interface with online and offline mode
- Manage files across popular cloud storage systems like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box
- Speed up your approval and feedback processes with proofing and annotation
- Have casual conversations alongside your work with chat view
- Take unlimited notes, jot down ideas or create checklists with ClickUp Notepad
- Send and receive emails directly within a task with Email ClickApp
- Use hotkeys and shortcuts to create beautiful documents with ease
- Integrates with several third-party software like Evernote, YouTube, Calendly, and more
- Add and manage tasks using our iOS and Android mobile apps
- No Table view in the mobile app (yet)
And explore all the exciting features that this free alternative to Google Docs has in store for you!
ClickUp offers three paid pricing plans:
- Free Forever Plan (best for personal use)
- Unlimited Plan (best for small teams ($5/member per month)
- Business Plan (best for mid-sized teams ($12/member per month)
- Business Plus Plan (best for multiple teams ($19/member per month)
ClickUp customer ratings
- G2: 4.7/5 (2000+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (2000+ reviews)
2. 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.
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 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.
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
- Standard plan: $4/month per user
- Premium plan: $6/month per user
Zoho Docs customer ratings
- G2: 4.4/5 (100+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (100+ reviews)
4. 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.
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 is a free tool.
Dropbox Paper user ratings
- G2: 4.1/5 (4,000+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.4/5 (100+ reviews)
5. 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.
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)
Obsidian is a powerfulnote-taking and knowledge management app best known for note linking and customization capabilities, making it a strong contender for the top Google Docs alternative.
Unlike other note-taking apps, Obsidian acts like your “second brain”—giving your brain a break from constantly working on remembering the content of your notes, where they’re stored, and which notes are related. Obsidian can help you easily make connections between notes via backlinks, organize them according to patterns, topics, relevancy to one another, or any other way you prefer for better information organization.
Without a doubt, this granularity and internal contextual linking will level up your note-taking skills and drastically change how you manage your documents forever.
- Backlink and graph view help users easily navigate their notes
- Full-text search capabilities
- Daily notes
- Supports CommonMark and GitHub Flavored Markdown (GFM) for portability
- Customizable platform; can add plugins to create a personalized note-taking tool kit
- Available on Mac, Windows, Linux, Web, iOS, Android
- iOS version works only with iCloud (does not work with other Cloud folders)
- Unable to export notes to MS Word (only as a PDF file)
- No table editing yet (available as a plugin)
Obsidian offers three plans:
- Personal: Free
- Catalyst: $25+ one-time payment
- Commercial: $50 per user per year
- Product Hunt: 5/5 (195+ reviews)
Bonus: Obsidian Vs. Notion
Evernote is one of the most recognizable note-taking and task management apps today for its note organization and accessibility. It’s designed to improve your note-taking, project planning, and team collaboration by allowing you to capture, organize, and access your digital notes easily across all your devices and even access them offline on mobile.
Use its Home feature to view your most important notes all in one dashboard, organize your notes using notebooks, notebook stacks, titles, and tags, and create to-do lists with your notes to turn your ideas into actionable items. Given that Google Docs doesn’t have this functionality makes it a great note-taking app alternative.
To get more out of this app and for a more seamless workflow, integrate Evernote to your most used and favorite work tools such as Google Calendar, Slack, (and ClickUp). 😉
- Home dashboard with widgets
- Geographic search
- Mobile offline notes
- PDF annotation
- Search in PDFs and Office docs
- Note history
- User-friendly interface
- Note-searching capabilities
- Task management features
- Available on all major platforms
- Limited free plan
- Expensive premium plan
- Personal: $8.99/ month
- Professional: $10.99/ month
- Teams: $14.99/ user/ month
- G2: 4.5/5 (1,965+ reviews)
- Trust Radius: 8.3/10 (1,649+ reviews)
Check out these Evernote alternatives!
Coda is an all-in-one document management solution that brings all your words, data, and teamwork into one powerful doc.
Teams can combine building blocks to create a doc, create, edit, and view documents and spreadsheets simultaneously, create surveys and polls, set up custom workflows, automate notifications, and so much more.
- Integration and plug-ins
- Revision history
- Drag and drop templates
- Advance document locking
- Includes drag and drop capabilities
- Offers customizable templates
- Real-time collaboration
- Mobile-friendly app
- Onboarding can be intimidating; steep learning curve
- Issues with integration with other tools
- Slow speed and performance
- Pro: $10/month per Doc Maker
- Team: $30/month per Doc Maker
- Enterprise: Custom pricing
- G2: 4.5/5 (296+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (73+ reviews)
Check out these Coda alternatives!
Another incredible app that can be used as a Google Doc alternative is Quip— a document management and team collaboration software created by Salesforce to help you centralize and organize your team’s work and communicate within the same app.
With this tool, users can create and share documents, spreadsheets, presentation slides, and task lists and use the built-in chat feature to keep your team’s discussions organized in one place. The unique combination of communication and writing features enables your team to work more collaboratively and efficiently without emails—they can directly brainstorm ideas and discuss work directly within the app and around the document.
- Document and workflow management
- Discussions and forums
- Team or 1-1 chat/ real-time chat and editing
- Offline mode
- File sharing
- Integration capabilities
- Status tracking
- Mobile access
- Great for online team collaboration
- Organization, visibility, and live editing in one app
- Features for note-taking and project management
- User-friendly interface
- Basic formatting tools
- Starter: $10/user/month (billed annually)
- Plus: $25/user/month (billed annually)
- Advanced: $100/user/month (billed annually)
- G2: 4/5 (1,602+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.4/5 (182+ reviews)
10. Microsoft Word
One of the best Google Docs alternatives and most widely-used word processors out there is Microsoft Word. Its user-friendly and advanced features allow users to create, save, and export professional-quality documents.
It comes with powerful document processing capabilities such as robust text and image formatting tools to enable you to edit your documents to suit your preference or project needs. Individuals and teams can also access a variety of ready-to-use templates to use to keep the processes consistent, speed up the documenting process, or simply as a formatting guide.
- Auto-save feature
- Font and text formatting
- HTML and image support
- Ready-to-use templates
- Grammar and spelling check
- Powerful document processing capabilities
- User-friendly interface
- Allows offline document preparation
- Integration with other tools
- Must purchase the Microsoft package to access premium features
- Microsoft 365 Personal (1 person): $6.99/ month or $69.99/year
- Microsoft 365 Family (up to 6 people): $9.99/month or $99.99/year
- Microsoft Corporation: $159.99
- G2: 4.5/5 (1,586+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.8/5 (1,007+ reviews)
Check out these Microsoft Word Alternatives!
2 Major Reasons Why You Need A Google Docs Alternative
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:
- User mentions
- Document revision history
- 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. 😫
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 sort of make timelines, Gantt charts, flowcharts 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!”
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.
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.
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
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!
Questions? Comments? Visit our Help Center for support.