Top Collaboration Software: Boost Team Productivity and Engagement With the Right Tools

Joe Martin

Raise your hand if you want to improve team collaboration and efficiency at your company. We thought so! Fortunately, there are a host of technology solutions on the market to help keep your squad connected and working in perfect harmony.

But which collaboration software is right for your organization? That's what we'll discuss in this article. First, we'll explain what collaboration software really is. Then we'll list the eight best solutions on the market. Sound like a plan? Then let's get this party started!

collaboration software
Collaboration software will help your team become more productive and efficient.

Raise your hand if you want to improve team collaboration and efficiency at your company. We thought so! Fortunately, there are a host of technology solutions on the market to help keep your squad connected and working in perfect harmony.

But which collaboration software is right for your organization? That's what we'll discuss in this article. First, we'll explain what collaboration software really is. Then we'll list the eight best solutions on the market. Sound like a plan? Then let's get this party started!

What's Collaboration Software?

For the purpose of this article, we'll define collaboration software as any app that helps a group of people work together (or collaborate) more efficiently.

The list below contains project management tools and communication solutions. We've even included a video conferencing app. What binds them all together, though, is their ability to better facilitate teamwork. Make sense? Great, let's dive in!

The Top 8 Team Collaboration Software Solutions

Here are the eight best options when it comes to collaboration software. Each of these tools will help your team work more efficiently and improve productivity. The trick is choosing the perfect solution for your unique company and situation.

1. Slack

slack messaging software
Slack is a popular communication and team collaboration software. Source: Slack

Slack is a communication and team collaboration software that "moves work forward." In simplified terms, it's a messaging app on steroids that aims to help colleagues converse quickly and efficiently.

Team conversations can be organized into channels. For example, your entire company can join the same Slack group. But each individual department — marketing, sales, customer service, etc. — can have its own dedicated channel. That way the sales team isn't constantly bombarded with marketing messages and vice versa.

And unlike long email chains, if a team member no longer wants to be a part of the conversation, they can leave a channel and cease receiving notifications about it. If they ever need to re-engage, they simply rejoin the channel and will be able to review every comment.

All messages posted in Slack are saved and searchable. Because of this neat and tidy organization, teams are able to communicate much quicker, recall the information they need in a timely manner, and boost productivity.

Other important Slack features include in-app video chat, easy file sharing, and integrations with Trello, Zoom, Salesforce, and more. For teams looking for project collaboration tools that improve communication, Slack is an excellent option.

2. Trello

trello team collaboration software
Trello is a great tool for project management purposes. Source: Trello

Trello is a collaboration software and project management tool that's both powerful and simple to use. It's based on the Kanban methodology, a scheduling system developed by Toyota. Here's how it works:

  1. Users create Trello boards for every project or project type they're working on. For example, a marketing team might have a board dedicated to its company's blog. Boards are given names (in this case, "Blog") and each collaborator is invited to view them.

  1. Next, users create lists which act as steps in a workflow. Returning to our previous example, the marketing team creates four lists for its "Blog" board: "Ideas," "Writing," "Editing," Published." Each list is shown as a separate column on the Trello board.

  1. Then, users add cards to each list. Cards are specific tasks that need to be completed or tidbits of information that needs to be organized. The marketing team creates an individual card for every blog post idea that they have.

  1. Once a card is created, it can be clicked on and details such as due dates, checklists, comments, and more can be added. This is where real collaboration starts to happen. Anyone who has access to the Trello board can edit a card.

  1. Lastly, Trello works on a drag and drop basis. By that we mean, cards can easily be dragged from one list to another for easy project management. For instance, once the marketing team selects a blog idea to write about, they move that specific card out of the "Ideas" list and into the "Writing" list. This continues to happen until the card makes it all the way to the "Published" list where it stays for a period of time before being archived.

See how simple that is? Trello allows your whole team to interact with each other in a productive manner. And because the tool is available on every kind of device, team members can always stay up to date, no matter where they are. For the final cherry on top, Trello also integrates with CloudApp (mentioned below), MailChimp, Evernote, Intercom, and many more.

3. CloudApp

cloudapp project collaboration tool
Visual communication tools like CloudApp will help your team collaborate quicker and more effectively.

CloudApp is visual communication done right. It's an intuitive combination of screenshot and screen recording tool, GIF creator, and picture annotator that allows teams to quickly share ideas and overcome traditional communication barriers.

Does this sound familiar? You begin to review a project sent to you by a colleague. The work is good but you have a few recommendations. So you get busy typing. You try to describe the changes you'd like to see and after 15 minutes, you realize you've written a 500-word email but the point you're trying to make isn't clear.

This is where CloudApp comes to the rescue. Rather than typing out your thoughts — a process that is both time-consuming and easily misinterpreted — you can activate the screen recorder feature and simply speak your mind. Or you could use the annotation tool and use arrows, lines, and text boxes to clearly illustrate your points.

As a bonus, CloudApp can also be used to collaborate with customers. Many support teams use the solution's screen recording and image annotation features to quickly explain complex topics or processes, engage buyers in more meaningful ways, and improve the overall customer experience without any added effort.

No matter who you're trying to collaborate with, CloudApp will make the experience more productive and enjoyable. And because the platform integrates with other popular software solutions like Trello, Google Docs, Slack, and Zapier, it perfectly compliments most company technology stacks.

4. Highfive

highfive video conferencing tool
If you’re looking for a reliable video conferencing tool, look at Highfive. Source: Highfive

Highfive is a video conferencing tool unlike any other you've tried before. The team behind the app has reimagined digital meeting rooms, making them easier to use and more intelligent, and offering professional features for a modest price.

Traditionally, digital meetings have always been a bit of a pain. Sure, being able to connect with colleagues from anywhere in the world is incredibly convenient. But app compatibility, pin codes, and other nuisances always seem to frustrate users and cause meetings to start late.

Not with Highfive. Users can join meetings right from their web browsers or smartphone apps, without having to download anything. Passwords and pin codes are also not necessary. Highfivers simply join, converse for however long they need to — there is no meeting length limit — and then return to whatever it is they need to do.

What about in-meeting features? Highfive has plenty including recording functionality and encrypted group chat capability. And for teams that use (or plan to use) video conferencing regularly, Highfive offers hardware to enhance both the video and audio of your meetings.

In the world of collaboration software, Highfive has earned its spot on our list with the amazing features mentioned above and integrations with other well-loved tools like Slack and Google.

5. Airtable

airtable team collaboration software
Work the way you want to with Airtable. Source: Airtable

Airtable allows users to work the way they want to. It's a flexible team collaboration software that's one part spreadsheet, one part database, and all parts organizational awesomeness.

You can view tasks in a standard grid format, as a calendar, in Kanban mode which is similar to the Trello approach, and more. No matter which project you're working on, Airtable will provide you with the perfect way to view it.

But Airtable is more than just a pretty and customizable interface. It offers many convenient project collaboration tools too. Users can add images, links, and comments to every created task. This improves productivity and makes communication between colleagues simple. And because Airtable is updated in real-time, each team member will always have the latest information whenever they log in.

Just like the other apps mentioned on this list, Airtable integrates with a wide range of tools such as G Suite, Slack, and most popular social media channels.

6. Asana

asana project management platform
Asana is a project management tool that boosts team collaboration. Source: Asana

Asana is another popular work and project management platform. The tool was created by two ex-Facebook employees back in 2008. Now, over a decade later, the collaboration software is used by teams at Google, Uber, Airbnb, and many more.

But what makes Asana so great? Every feature included with the app is designed to keep users focused on their goals and move them closer to achieving success. First, teams add projects and tasks which can be viewed via a grid, calendar, timeline, or Kanban styled interface. Then due dates, priority levels, and project leads can be assigned to each task.

Once a task has been created, users have the opportunity to add files and comments to them. This ensures that everything needed to complete a project is stored in one place and that team members can easily discuss project ideas and progress.

New to project management and feeling overwhelmed? Asana offers a wealth of unique templates specifically designed for marketing, HR, Engineering, and Design teams. Just choose the field you work in and the type of project you're attempting to complete (editorial calendar, sprint planning, etc.) and get started.

Lastly, Asana integrates with most of your favorite tools including Zapier, Microsoft 365, Adobe Creative Cloud, Salesforce, Google, and many more.

7. G Suite

g suite team collaboration software
G Suite is a collection of intuitive collaboration software tools. Source: G Suite

G Suite, offered by Google, is a collection of 19 different apps that help teams collaborate in a host of different ways and get work done more efficiently. A few of the more popular tools included are Docs, Drive, and Hangouts. Let's take a quick look at each of these individually.

Docs is an online word processor that can be accessed by anyone on any internet enabled device. Multiple people can work on the same piece at one time, edits are updated in real-time, and team members can communicate via the built-in chat feature.

Drive is a cloud storage service that allows colleagues to easily access and share files from one secure location. The Business and Enterprise editions offer flexible storage options and data loss protection so your files are always within reach.

And finally, Hangouts is a video conferencing app that allows teams to interact face to face — even if they happen to be on opposite sides of the world. Meetings are easy to set up and users can join via their smartphones, tablets, or computers.

All in all, G Suite is a fantastic collection of project collaboration tools that would work for just about any team in any industry.

8. Yammer

yammer enterprise social network
Keep your team engaged and in touch with Yammer. Source: Microsoft

Last but not least, we have Yammer, an enterprise social network that's owned by Microsoft and included in the Office 365 suite of products. The app's interface is similar to Facebook and allows teams to communicate in a fun and engaging way while staying up to date on office happenings.

Collaboration in Yammer happens in groups. Once you've joined a group, you can ask and answer questions, read company updates, and recognize your co-workers — all via an entertaining social media style feed.

If your team is already using Microsoft Office 365, Yammer is an excellent addition. But you don't have to be a Microsoft user to enjoy the tool. Anyone with a computer or smartphone can use it to better communicate with colleagues.

The Right Project Collaboration Tools for Your Team

The "right" tools for your team will depend on your budget, the people you work with, and your team's personal preferences. But each of the collaboration software solutions mentioned in this article will make worthy additions to your company's technology stack.

Ready to give CloudApp a try for FREE? Our platform enables teams to work at "the speed of sight." If you want to boost team collaboration and efficiency, join over 3 million other innovators and become a CloudApp user today. You'll be glad you did, guaranteed!

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