The Best Collaboration Tools

Business Productivity

Handshake is the place to meet your next friend, programmer, project manager, accountant, interface designer and more. By adding someone as a contact here, you can collaborate online in 8apps. Handshake is social networking with purpose.

BlueTie.com is a free Web-based email, calendaring, and file sharing for new and growing businesses. Each account includes up to 20 users with domain name support.

Business IT Online offers free online small business software applications that take away the need for a costly networked IT solution. It provides the host, maintain it, upgrade it, secure it and back it up so all you need to do is use it. Among the applications are the following:

8 apps calendar

  • Calendar Online – an integrated online scheduling application to help you manage your personal activities and track team and resource availability.

8 apps cashflow

  • Cash Flow management software enables you to stay on top of your finances and avoid the number one reason why small businesses go out of business.

8 apps contacts

  • Contacts Online keeps a secure and easily accessible central database of business contacts for your team. Business IT Online’s unique contact filter allows you to store contacts as individuals or companies and find the contact details you need, much faster.

8 apps documents

  • Documents Online If you want to work from home as well as the office, it might seem like a distant dream to be able to access all of your important files from multiple locations. Business IT Online is your solution.

8 apps marketing

  • Marketing Online is a free online business profile (a ‘BIO’) to promote your products and services and win new business.

Central Desktop is a full work suite for project teams including spreadsheets, file sharing, calendar and more. It was created for business teams, not the IT department. That is why no technical knowledge or programming experience is required.

Colligo software enables mobile teams equipped with wireless capable laptops to instantly and securely network together no matter where they are working – at the client site or on the road. Once connected, they can share files, share an Internet connection, share a printer, collaborate on a document, chat, compare calendars and much more.

Concept Share allows you to easily share designs inside Workspaces that contain designs related to a certain topic or project. It’s easy to invite people into a workspace. Invite team members, managers, clients, and consultants to add and reply to comments, chat and markup designs. People do not have to be in the workspace at the same time to contribute. Workspace members can log-in anytime to any workspace they are member. If members do happen to be in the workspace at the same time they can collaborate with real-time chat and real-time comment updates and concept updates.

Confluence is an enterprise wiki that makes it easy for your team to collaborate and share knowledge. Adding, sharing and finding content has never been easier. These benefits come with all the additional features needed to make it a part of your business: enterprise security, simple installation and management, user-friendly WYSIWYG interface, powerful tools for structuring and searching your wiki, professional features such as PDF export and automated refactoring, and more.

Contact Office allows to easily manage your data (emails, contacts, meetings, documents, tasks, …) in your virtual office from any computer with a Web browser and an Internet connection. Share your data and access shared data efficiently in the context of work or leisure groups. Your data are safe and available anytime on the Web, on a PDA (online or offline) or on a WAP capable cell phone.

Copper is a web-based project management and collaboration tool used by teams to share and manage clients, projects, tasks, files, contacts and events quickly and easily.
Used by leading organizations like Apple, Cisco, Praystation, and Ogilvy One, yet affordable for all business sizes, discover how Copper can help your business by signing up for your free trial.

CrossLoop is a free secure screen sharing utility designed for people of all technical skill levels. CrossLoop extends the boundaries of VNC’s traditional screen sharing by enabling non-technical users to get connected from anywhere on the Internet in seconds without changing any firewall or router settings. It only takes a few minutes to setup and no signup is required.

Eloops software includes project management, calendar, data backup, and social networking software.

Foldera is a free and intuitive filing system of web-based folders that automatically organizes your work WHILE you work. Whether you work alone or in a workgroup environment, Foldera is super easy to use and makes working with multiple files and people seem practically effortless.

Google Docs & Spreadsheets is a free web-based word processing and spreadsheet program that keeps documents current and lets the people you choose update files from their own computers. You can, for example, coordinate your student group’s homework assignments, access your family to-do list from work or home, or collaborate with remote colleagues on a new business plan. Google Docs & Spreadsheets allows you to import your existing documents and spreadsheets, or to create new ones from scratch. You can edit your documents from anywhere. Google Docs & Spreadsheets accepts most popular file formats, including DOC, XLS, ODT, ODS, RTF, CSV, etc. Besides, you can publish your documents and spreadsheets online with one click, as normal-looking web pages, without having to learn anything new.

Huddle is a network of secure online spaces that combine powerful document, project and team tools with the simplicity of social networking site. It is ideal for brands, advertising, marketing, PR, design, legal and accountancy companies as well as freelancers and consultants. Use huddle to manage multiple projects from one interface, securely share and approve documents, deliver superior client service and add value to your existing relationships.

Joyent is run by, and for, people who love publishing on the Web. Design, develop and deploy applications using our collaboration software, data backup services and on-demand computing solutions. The ease with which Joyent solutions scale to meet increased demand allows startups and developers to focus on growing their business – instead of watching over their servers.

long jump

LongJump is a dynamic business applications that manage and coordinate teams and information. The LongJump Catalog provides affordable, web-based applications you can subscribe to that power your business. It makes it easy to centralize your business data to share with your team, while also automating common business processes. Customize or create your own applications that address your unique business needs without writing a single line of code.

Mindquarry is an Open Source collaborative software platform for file sharing (documents, images, media files, etc.), task and project management, team collaboration and Wiki editing that meshes simplicity and functionality. As a result, knowledge workers are able to connect with team members and share information from wherever they are, effectively improving team-work and increasing productivity within the company.

Near-Time integrates wikis, weblogs, and file-sharing to deliver the fastest ROI for your collaboration investments.

Nexo is a free service that allows groups to collaborate online. Groups can share interactive calendars, pictures, videos, tasks, polls, comments, blogs, files and much more.

Octopz contains a full range of powerful features to enhance effective online collaboration including: one-click participation (recipients of an email invitation simply click on a link to join the virtual Meeting Room), on-screen annotation, support for digital Media/Content,
Text Messaging/VoIP/Webcams, archiving, administrative tools, and more.

OpenTeams.com is web-hosted collaborative software to foster a more innovative culture. In addition to project collaboration, blogging, social networking, community building, and knowledge management, OpenTeams is an innovative initiative development solution where employees collaboratively seed and mature new ideas for additional revenue, productivity, and cost-savings.

QuickBase.com is flexible online working application. With QuickBase from Intuit, your team finally has an easy way to organize, track and share information – all from a single web site. Watch productivity soar with QuickBase’s customizable online workgroup applications.

PlanHQ.com is an online business planning tool that takes your plan away from being a static document and turns it into a dynamic and up-to-date overview of where you’ve been, where you are and where you’re going. With PlanHQ, your business plan changes as your business changes, not just once or twice a year. Your whole team is actively involved in creating your plan and can align and prioritize all their work against goals. This means that everyone is always working to plan and ensures you achieve your goals.

ProjectSpaces is a simple, secure and powerful web-based workspace to help your project teams, workgroups, committees, partners, and others quickly and easily connect, share and collaborate. ProjectSpaces is easy to use and can be set up in just a few minutes. It was created for the average computer user – not techno geeks. You can share documents with project team members regardless of geographic constraints. At one glance, view and access your most recent tasks, announcements, events and discussions on your project homepage. Participants have the ability to directly update status of their tasks and other information.

Solodox allows to create a document right in your browser. Edit on any machine you can find anywhere. You can create a project for your group. Invite members to read or edit the project.
Share your document with your friends. Do a simultaneous editing with your friends.
Download documents as HTML/RTF/Word/Text file to the machine of yourself. Solodox supports English, Japanese and Chinese.

TeamWorkLive is an intuitive, secure, web-based project management and collaboration tool. It helps you run your projects more efficiently, promotes collaboration and accountability among team members, and makes your clients happier through increased transparency. TeamWork Live is hosted so there is no software to install or support. All you need to get started is a web browser and an Internet connection.

TheOpenDoc is a free collaborative application, that enables teams to work efficiently together over the Internet. Through workspaces you can easily create and share with friends, business partners and colleagues.

Thinkature is a real-time collaboration application for the web. Use it to record ideas on cards, show relations with connectors, draw diagrams to express complex ideas, add images from the web or from your own hard drive. You can separate ideas by color and more.

Tracbac is a visual collaboration platform for designers and clients to interact over a modern browser. It succeeds in narrowing the gap between designers & clients by providing a rugged and easy to use collaboration platform. TracBac is web based and does not require installation of any software. A regular PC or Mac with a browser and an Internet connection is all it needs to get going.

uhuroo

Uhroo is the fastest and easiest way for teams to connect, share, collaborate, and stay on the same page. Uhuroo provides everything a team needs to share information, manage collaborations, and ensure that all their information and conversations remain secure and available.

Vyew is a free online meeting service that brings people and content together. Use Vyew to host live conferences or collaborate over time. Vyew is safe, reliable, and you don’t need to configure anything. All you need is a web browser (IE 6+, Firefox, or Safari).

WebOffice makes working together easier. You can share documents, calendars, information, and conduct live meetings from the office or the road. WebOffice brings together powerful, professional web-based business applications specifically designed to make collaboration easy and cost-effective. Everything you need to manage your business on the web is together in an integrated, centralized place.

Wrike a leader in on-demand Online Project Management. Wrike helps to save time for marketing agencies, software development teams, event organizers, publishers, financial services firms, process engineering companies and many others. Wrike is a Web application, so you do not need to download or install anything. Our patent-pending technology works with your e-mail client. So you can keep track of tasks with e-mail. Wrike can help you to turn e-mail overload into nice-looking project plans.

Writewith is a web-based software application designed for anyone who needs to work on a document with anyone else. Writewith.com can be used for office memos, group projects, news stories or even drafting a letter with a friend.

Yugma is a free web collaboration service that enables people to instantly connect over the Internet to communicate and share content and ideas using any application or software. Whether you are using Windows, Mac or Linux computer, you can connect on-demand and real-time with co-workers, clients, friends and family — regardless of whether they are across the city, nation or even the globe.

Zimbra is open source server and client software for messaging and collaboration – email, group calendaring, contacts, and web document management and authoring. The Zimbra server is available for Linux, Mac OS X, appliances, and virtualization platforms. The Zimbra Web 2.0 Ajax client runs on Firefox, Safari, and IE, and features easy integration / mash-ups of web portals, business applications, and VoIP using web services.

Zoho – offers a word processor with collaboration features, spreadsheet, presentation tool to create, edit, publish, and show presentations, wiki writer, notebook, project management, CRM solution, database creator, calendar, web conferencing, email and chat and more.

Creative Collaboration

Kalabo.net is an online service that allows musicians of all skill levels to collaboratively mix and modify each others original work. Download original free tunes from around the world. Mix the tunes or record your own tracks over them. Share the tunes with others to mix themselves

Glypho.com is a site dedicated to group writing of fiction.

Novlet.com is a web application designed to support collaborative writing of non-linear stories in any language. With Novlet you will be able to read stories written by other users, create your own ones, and choose the plot you like most from several alternatives. Novlet stories are divided in passages, text sections usually made of a few paragraphs: users can continue stories or add alternative storylines by creating their passages after existing ones. The only limit is your fantasy.

WebBrush it is on-line multi-user web application for creating and discussing some charts, diagrams, schemes, sketchs; discussing some ideas, projects, plans, tasks; sharing your photos, some graphical materials.

WriteMaps.com is a free web-based tool that allows you to create, edit, and share site maps online. As a WriteMaps user, you and your team will be able to build and access your site maps from anywhere, without having to rely on proprietary desktop apps and static files. To get started, take the tour or sign-up for an account!

Family and Social Collaboration

cozi

Cozi Central helps busy families manage schedules, appointments, shopping and communications from wherever you are — the kitchen, car, office or even the grocery store. Cozi Central is available as a software download and in a Web version.

Famundo for Families is your family hub, making your family’s schedule manageable and giving you control over your daily life. It offers Family Calendar, Address Book, Message Board and Family Library.

Grouptivity is a web service platform that replaces “email a friend”. Grouptivity provides web publishers visibility over the distributed web content, and monetization opportunities.
It provides a significantly better experience for your web visitors to share and discuss web content.

LooseStitch lets you create and share outliner documents, brainstorm ideas, jot them down, call friends over, get feedback, and many more.

Mecanbe lets you create, customize and share Goal-Lists to help advance in any area of life. You can rate your goal performance periodically and view charts of your ongoing progress.
Share strategies for success and help empower the rest of the world.

Stixy is an online bulletin board. You can create as many Stixyboards as you like, one for each project. UseStixy to easily organize and share: your family’s schedule, projects at work, an upcoming holiday, your photos, or share a file or two with a friend.

Wamily is a social collaboration application. You can use it for your group, team, family or club organization.

Mindmapping

bubbleus

Bubbl.us is a simple and free web application that lets you brainstorm online. With bubbl.us you can create colorful mind maps online, share and work with friends, embed your mind map in your blog or website, email and print your mind map, save your mind map as an image .

Comapping is a tool for the globalized world where complex problems must be solved quickly and intelligently. This often implies that a team must collaborate to achieve the solution. Comapping unleashes the potential of such collaborations – even if the collaborators are separated by geographical and/or time-zones. It allows you to easily keep track of who should do what and when. It is straight-forward to agree on tasks while collaborating on how a specific challenge should be met.

Gliffy is free, easy and fun. It offers diagramming in your web browser without downloading additional software. You can add collaborators to your work and watch it grow. Link to published Gliffy drawings from your blog or wiki. Create many types of diagrams such as Flowcharts, UI wireframes, Floor plans, Network diagrams, UML diagrams, or any other simple drawing or diagram.

Kayuda provides many things to many people. Authors use it to create stories. Gamers use it to create campaigns. Businesses use it to collaborate on projects. Individuals use it to brainstorm ideas.

Mind42 is a browser based online mind mapping application. With mind42.com installing mindmapping tools is no longer needed- for a hassle-free mindmapping experience. Just open the browser and launch the application when needed. It allows to keep track of all your ideas, whether alone, with colleagues and friends or working together with the whole world.

Mindomo is a versatile Web-based mind mapping tool, delivering the capabilities of desktop mind mapping software in a Web browser – with no complex software to install or maintain.
Create, edit mind maps, and share them with your colleagues or your friends.

Mindmeister allows to create, manage and share mind maps online and access them anytime, from anywhere. In brainstorming mode, fellow MindMeisters from around the world (or just in different rooms) can simultaneously work on the same mind map – and see each other’s changes as they happen. Using integrated Skype calls, they can throw around new ideas and put them down on “paper” at the same time.

Leave a Reply

37 Responses to “The Best Collaboration Tools”

  1. Wow! Great list! I personally use Wrike for collaboration and Comapping for mind maps. Wrike’s everything my team needs. We can access it 24/7 and check our progress from our PDAs.

  2. You forgot about Syncura, which we use everyday to share files without a server.

  3. Splendid page full of useful resources!

    Hmm… Could someone put any comments on each project listed. Well, in other way it’s quite hard to try all of them to find what you really need.

    * Wrike is good.
    * Bubble.us is fantastic and really easy to get ideas out of your mind and to build a project map.
    * Google Docs – surely very nice.

    May be someone could even start a website for those managers who wish to be informed of new Productive Tools out there on the web.

  4. you probably didn’t get all products but you should certainly speak about basecamp:

    http://www.basecamphq.com/

  5. Where does IBM Lotus Connections is ? It´s a great collaboration product.

    Analyze and put on your list. I hope you like it. :)

    bye

  6. I’ve been here before. I wonder if anyone at anytime uses all of these collaboration tools. I actually use afew though.

  7. Thanks for including Gliffy on this list. We appreciate the mention and the feedback about how professionals are using collaborative diagram editors is great. Let us know if you have any feedback or comments,
    Thanks, debik (at) gliffy (dot) com

  8. Central Desktop Rocks!!!!

  9. Wrike has released the time tracking feature. Now besides a powerful collaboration platform, it offers strong project management features. I mean task organization, task management, reports across diverse projects, Gantt charts, e-mail integration, smart notifications and much more – all in one workspace.

  10. Great list.
    I use Gogrok in my work and collaborating with my friends. It also a good tool but not in the list. Most important is Gogrok is free.

  11. pitzvinsky, thx.
    Gogrok is the tool what I need.
    I like the its idea and capability, although its performance is not the best (or my network bendwidth no enough?)
    Anyway, it really helpful to me.

  12. Excellent List…!
    It certainly helps us to know all the best available tools

  13. cant believe u missed hyperoffice. thats what we use. it has many awards to its name and extensive press coverage. i would have expected it to make it to this list.

  14. What about Yutiti? http://www.yutiti.com
    Gantt chart based interactive planner-scheduler.

  15. the list was really helpful! thnx!
    I also stumbled upon TeamDesk: http://www.teamdesk.net
    Any info on this?

  16. Try Sosius (sosius.com), i’ve been using it for the last 2 years after we moved from Sharepoint.

  17. great list, but i would have liked to see HyperOffice Collaboration Software.

  18. That’s one heck of a list, very helpful! Thanks! I really like Zoho and Huddle. Both offer great services.

  19. A very good useful list. hey maybe you could check out Injoos which also uses zoho and dimdim. has been very helpful. Here is their blog.

  20. Can someone help us identify a good collaboration tool? Looking for a solution that will handle 50 – 150 users and has the following features:

    - Document sharing, with the ability to check out documents and comment on shared documents (similar to box.net).
    - Ability for users to share a calendar, with event email notification to invitees. The calendar will be used to schedule individuals and also to schedule meetings.
    - Discussion and collaboration area, with the ability to categorize and follow individual discussions, and with email notifications for followed discussions.
    - Post and organize links (folders would be ok).
    - Post podcasts and videos.
    - Private network (unlike Ning, where the network belongs to Ning).
    - No third-party advertising.
    - Secure.
    - User-friendly; non-tech types will be using it.
    - Relatively simple for non-tech types to administer.
    - Ongoing quality customer support.

    Please post suggestions here, thanks in advance!

  21. Onehub is anothert online collaboration tool which should be on your list. It’s one of the best tools I’ve ever seen. It’s a rising star on the market for collaboration tools.

  22. looks like we need another website that will evaluate your needs and then run a check list of which one will meet your needs the best.

    I would think that different types of projects have different requirements.

  23. There are so many good collaboration solutions. I have looked at many and I have found many of them to be too generic. I am a Sales executive and DREs Business Collaboration Network (www.dresoftware.com) seems to be the best for me. They concentrate on providing business collaboration software to sales and marketing professionals. We use the product and enjoy it. I can create unlimited work spaces, and I have unlimited data storage for one low price. The company has also announced to current clients that the next version of the software will have full web conferencing capabilities. That release is due out next month. they also have said that my low price will not increase. They offer a free trial and the company has just been great to work with. Try them out.

  24. Try Sosius (sosius.com), i’ve been using it for the last 2 years after we moved from Sharepoint.

  25. Collabor8online is attracting a lot of attention mainly due to ease-of-use and a good basic level of functionality.

    and there is a free version!

  26. Here’s another one to take a look at, Odysen, http://www.odysen.com. Integrates a bunch of apps, easy to use, and cheap at $1 per user..

  27. Professionals who want most control over the collaboration process use iDrafts (www.idrafts.net) which isn’t in this list. The last place I worked for used it for our entire group.

  28. RHUB (http://www.rhubcom.com) is an appliance based tool for online collaboration. It is very economical and need no monthly subscriptions.

  29. Hi All!..have a look at Contrich.com
    It is an issue tracker for marketing content writers with features like inline content editing, content review, content verification and many more built into it and can prove to be an effective content collaboration tool for the teams in a web project.

  30. Great list. Please consider OffBureau (http://www.offbureau.com), an online workspace that fuses online collaboration, document management and a social network.

  31. Nice list! You can also take a look at DeskAway for collaboration. It provides teams a central location to easily organize, manage and track their projects from anywhere in the world. Its easy and feature rich.

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  36. Great list, but i would have liked to see HyperOffice Collaboration Software.

  37. thanks for these info, a better collaboration really need these kind of tools.