Are you searching for the best online document collaboration tools? You are in the right place. Here, we will discuss top-notch online collaborative applications for growing and remote teams.
Online collaboration software like PandaDoc has changed the way teams used to work. Now, you can share your files, agreements, thoughts, ideas, and feedback with your team within a few clicks, irrelevant of your location. Such solutions are inseparable parts of a wide range of organizations because they make collaborations more effective.
So, let’s discuss some secret weapons to improve your productivity. Say goodbye to endless emails and discover some innovative solutions that can transform your workplace.
What is Online Document Management Software?
The online document collaboration tools allow your employees to collaborate on documents, files, and folders in real-time. The document could be a spreadsheet, quotes, regular text file, or PDF. Such solutions let the users edit, share, and comment on the documents.
The document collaboration applications handle multiple edits. Still, they prevent version conflicts. Hence, you do not have to store the files because their editors have the history. Therefore, you or your colleagues can revert to a previous version whenever required.
Importance of Online Document Collaboration
Remote work was the only option during and a few months after the pandemic. The offices are reopened now, but remote work is not going to leave the corporate world and other industries anytime soon. So, you should understand the benefits of online document collaboration tools and deploy such solutions in your business.
Improves document workflow
The online collaborative applications keep everything in control. All your teammates can see the recent changes to the documents. Therefore, you know who edited the last and who needs to work on the documents next.
The offline and online document collaboration solutions help you to share files and folders directly through their dashboard. So, you do not have to waste time in sending the documents back and forth using emails or using multiple applications. Moreover, such tools also keep your files safe and save you from using an older version by mistake.
The online collaboration solutions increase the productivity of your business by automating several tasks. You can spend your free time on other activities. Hence, you can get more work done every day.
You can efficiently connect your workspace with the help of an online collaboration mechanism. Such deployments are especially useful for organizations with offices in different regions or countries. Even if your staff is not working from a single location, there are no communication gaps among them. None of your employees miss any important information or updates.
Eliminates errors and mistakes
Document management software allows your entire team to review the agreements, project reports, invoices, milestones, or any other document. Hence, they can easily detect the mistakes and rectify them. You can also rollback the documents to previous versions if needed.
Provides quick feedback and fastens the decision-making process
If all the information is easily available to all the employees of your organization, they can quickly provide feedback and make instant decisions. Collecting feedback is easy, the user has to share a link. Hence, there is no need to send emails and mess up with several document versions.
A lot of document collaboration applications work on all devices. In other words, your employees stay in sync even when they are not in the office. As long as the users have an active internet connection and a desktop, notebook, tablet, or smartphone, they can collaborate, even on the move.
Builds team spirit
Do you know remote jobs can make your employees feel lonely? However, the online document collaboration applications allow your team members to work together and share their feedback. Such activities keep everyone energetic and boost their morale.
With high-quality document management software, you can get rid of paper trails. Plus, you do not need physical space for the printers. Moreover, if you use a hybrid collaboration tool with video conferencing, instant messages, and calling features, you can also run a remote team without investing in a physical office.
A diverse team could be more thoughtful and beneficial for your business if you collaborate with them effectively. An online document and team collaboration solution gives you a platform to involve a maximum number of your team members to learn more and get a lot of ideas.
How to Pick One of the Best Online Document Collaboration Tools?
What should you check before selecting document management software for your business? Consider the following factors to make a wise decision.
Try a document collaboration tool that allows multiple users to edit the documents simultaneously. The document should save the real-time edits and reflect them instantly.
The solution should save the changes automatically. It’s an important feature to save you from any data loss. Hence, prefer something that saves everything without taking manual steps.
Ability to save different versions
Make sure you get the facility to save all the versions of a document. This feature helps you to roll back the version if you need it. Hence, you do not lose anything even if someone applies unwanted changes to the documents.
Feedback and commenting
Adding comments is an important feature of the best online document collaboration tools. Comments are an excellent method to ask questions, assign tasks, and leave feedback without even touching the document. So, it is an important feature to consider.
Tagging your teammates sends them notifications about the update. So, they will check the software and understand what should be their next step. Hence, it’s also a crucial feature to look for.
The document competition application must organize all your files and documents in a workspace. Moreover, it should tag the documents so that you can easily discover them.
Change tracking and notifications
Tracking the changes made to the document is crucial. Plus, the tool must send you notifications about the chances.
The ability to integrate with third-party platforms makes online document collaboration tools even more powerful. So, prefer something that can easily connect with other applications you use for your work.
Significant cloud storage is important if your business handles a lot of documents or a significant number of employees are going to work together on the files. So, check the online document collaboration application that offers cloud storage.
9 Best Online Document Collaboration Tools in 2023 for Growing & Remote Teams
PandaDoc is one of the best online document collaboration tools for you, especially if your business needs frequent collection of signatures. PandaDoc creates visually attractive and interactive documents with the abilities of digital signatures. So, if your sales team needs some beautiful documents for your clients, it could be the perfect solution.
You can create proposals, sales quotes, contracts, renewals, invoices, and much more with the help of PandaDoc. It lets you add multimedia content to all the documents, which helps you to make them more stylish. Moreover, this document management software comes with over 750 templates to help you build documents rapidly.
PandaDoc has a drag-and-drop editor, which makes it an easy-to-use application. Furthermore, it has abilities to track your documents sent for e-signing. The analytics are in detail, including how much time the recipient spends on each page. Hence, you can optimize your proposals with the help of this data and improve your conversion rate.
PandaDoc is suitable for sales and all the profiles involved in the process. For instance, business development managers can get a lot of benefits with its features. Apart from sales, this application is excellent for any business that wants to streamline document management.
- Over 750 templates
- Document automation
- Multiple helpful integrations
- Intuitive interface for easy usage
- Mobile application
- 14-day free trial
- Live chat support
- Trusted by big brands like Tata, Tomtom, Rakuten, Konica Minolta and more.
- Phone support is not available
Starts from $19 per month, with 2 seats max.
Google Docs is one of the most popular online document collaboration tools because of its easy usage and inexpensive subscription fees. It comes with multiple templates to help you get started without any challenges. Moreover, this application lets you create and share almost all types of documents, forms, and slides.
You can set permissions for each team member as per their needs. For instance, one can only view the documents and another can edit them. Sharing the document is also easy with the help of shareable links.
Google Docs comes with built-in intelligence. Its Smart Compose helps you write faster while reducing the number of errors so that you can focus on your ideas. Moreover, this document management software works on all devices.
Google Docs seamlessly connects with other Google apps and saves a lot of time. You can reply to the comments directly from Gmail or share the links via Google Meet. You can also search Google Drive for relevant files or images.
You can sign up for free to check all the features. You can also use it for free. However, the free plan has limited features.
- Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms content creation
- Drive Secure cloud storage
- Gmail Secure email
- Meet Video and voice conferencing
- Admin Centralized administration
- Allows collaboration on presentations, spreadsheets, and more
- Extensions to help you use your favorite tools
- Available on both Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac
- 24/7 online support
- Formatting issues for complex documents
Starts from $6 per user/ month, 1 year commitment
Zoho Work Drive
If your business has a significant amount of documents to work on, Zoho Work Drive could be one of the best online document collaboration tools for you. The Work Drive is suitable for modern growing and remote teams because of its cloud storage, mobile access, and WorkDrive Genie. Team Folder is another considerable feature as it helps you to organize all the files and folders in one place.
You can assign roles as editor, writer, or analyzer to handle the control levels of all your documents. Moreover, Zoho Work Drive lets you manage everything from one dashboard. It also keeps track of edits made to your files.
Zoho Work Drive comes with a fully featured office suite. It has a Zoho Writer that helps you to jot down ideas, collect team feedback, publish your work, and share it online with a WordPress integration. Then, there is a Zoho Sheet that analyzes complex data to give you useful insights. Zoho Show creates and broadcasts incredible presentations with your team.
Try Zoho Work Drive if you need a powerful document collaboration solution that can transform your working culture. It is designed for businesses of all sizes. Moreover, this tool values your privacy. In other words, it never sells your data or advertises based on your files or content.
- A shared space to store, organize, and manage documents
- Customizable reports
- Security as per industry standards
- User-friendly interface
- Mobile applications for access on the move
- Offline backups
- Excellent support team
- 15-day free trial
- Uploading heavy files could be a challenge sometimes
Starts from $1.68 (140 INR) per user/month if billed annually
Microsoft 365 lets you create and edit several file types including presentations, spreadsheets, and other documents. You can share the files using links, which is easy. Not only files, but you can also share folders using OneDrive and SharePoint.
MS 365 lets you edit the permissions of the collaborators. The co-authors can make real-time edits, leave comments, and tag users within the documents. Apart from that, this solution gives you 1 TB of cloud storage in its Business plans.
MS365 is one of the best online document collaboration tools if you generally organize online meetings and conferences. It allows you to chat, call, and meet with up to 300 attendees. So, try MS 365 if you need an all-in-one online document and team collaboration software for your business.
- Web and mobile versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook
- 1 TB of cloud storage
- Business class email
- 24 by 7 web and phone support
- Seamless communication among the collaborators
- Document change tracking
- Easy to use
- 30-day trial plan on all the premium plans
- MS 365 needs more integrations, as per some of its users
$7.81 (650 INR) per user/month
Dropbox Paper could be a perfect choice if you want one of the best online document collaboration tools for free. This application keeps all your documents organized with its task management tools. Also, you can get and give feedback with more fun with Paper’s emoji and annotations.
The Paper helps you to organize all your meeting notes. Here comes an exciting news. Once you connect it with your Calendar, it acts as an excellent assistant to find the files you need or the respective meetings. It also tracks all your important tasks and deadlines. Apart from that, this solution helps you brainstorm ideas.
You can use Dropbox Paper to embed links to Pinterest and YouTube to share ideas and get feedback. Also, you can take its help to manage creative works for your clients to minimize the number of emails you receive. As all the information is stored at one location, you do not have to access files on different platforms.
- Free to use
- Coordinate cross-functional teams
- Sets clear product direction
- Manages creative work with the clients
- Includes several templates
- Easy-to-use document collaboration tool
- Let you integrate multiple file types
- Keeps everyone on the same page
- Real-time editing
- Perfect for brainstorming ideas
- No spell checking
Free to use
With millions of registered users, Notion is one of the most popular online document collaboration tools. Whether you are a growing or remote team, you can share your Notion pages with your colleagues, clients, and even the entire internet. It’s super collaborative and offers several ways to share the content you create. Thanks to the permission levels, you can set access as per your needs.
You can easily collaborate with others on Notion. You can add members and work together within a workspace. It even lets you work with individuals outside your team. You can invite them as guests to view and comment on the documents within the workspace.
Here comes the good news. Notion does not have any limit on the number of users who can view and edit the file, page, or database at the same time. So, all your team members can collaborate on the shared content regardless of their location and device.
Notion gives you multiple ways for live communication including chat rooms and comments. Such tools reduce the time of in-person meetings and equip your remote teammates with the required information. Hence, they can meet the deadlines without any challenges.
- Ability to assign document owners
- Comments to gather feedback
- Library of templates
- Free for unlimited usage
- Clean, yet modern and easy-to-use interface
- Notifications to keep you on top
- Public page and web publishing
- Does not have a lot of integrations like other document collaboration tools
Starts from $4 per month
Nuclino is a unified document management software that brings your docs, knowledge, and projects into one place. It has all the features that you can expect from a high-grade online document collaboration application – real-time editing, comments, auto-save of recent changes, version history, and more. Moreover, this solution comes with an easy-to-use visual editor. Hence, you can edit the documents fast or clean them without wasting a lot of time.
Nuclino allows you to link related documents together like an internal Wikipedia, which is a unique feature. The documents can easily get lost in the traditional folder system storage. But, internal linking makes them easy to browse.
Apart from document collaboration, Nuclino visualizes your content in a graph, table, or Kanban board. So, you can use it for a wide range of purposes, including knowledge sharing, documentation processing, sprint planning, employee onboarding/offboarding, employee handbooks, and much more. Overall, this solution acts as a brain of your team and helps everyone to work together & collaborate without any chaos.
Nuclino integrates with over 40 apps, which helps you embed videos, diagrams, spreadsheets, and slides into your documents. Also, it comes with a free plan. In addition, one of the premium plans has a 14-day free trial.
- AI-powered assistant
- Can be downloaded or used in the browser
- Access rights
- Data export in various formats
- Clean interface to minimize distractions
- Works straight out of the box
- Organizes your documents
- Explores your team knowledge
- Facilitates instant interactions
- Needs improvement in the formatting options
Starts from $5 per user/month
Document360 is a top-notch document management software, which helps you to store and share several types of documents. It lets you produce product help docs, knowledgebase, technical documentation, online user guides, API documentation, and standard operating procedures. As this application has a user-friendly interface, you can create online documents without any challenges.
Collaboration is easy with the private notes and discussion feed of Document360. It automatically saves all the previous versions of your documents. So, you can restore any of them whenever required. Moreover, this application allows you to set multiple roles for the users. Therefore, you can easily manage the access.
Document360 integrates seamlessly with a lot of third-party platforms like Microsoft Teams, Slack, and more. So, you can connect it with helpdesks like Freshdesk, chatbots like Drift, analytic tools like Google Analytics, and more. You can book a demo to understand everything in detail. Also, this solution has a free plan, but with limited features.
- Instantly creates self-service knowledge bases
- Markdown editor or code-heavy documents
- Real-time search engine
- Several useful integrations and extensions
- 24/7 automated support team
- User-friendly and easy to learn
- Comprehensive admin tools
- Open to improvements and suggestions
- Excellent support system
- No inline comments in the editor
Starts from $149 per project/month if billed annually
Try OnlyOffice Docs if you are looking for one of the best online collaboration tools open source. It lets you create rooms within DocSpace to invite your team members and collaborate on documents. All the attendees and users can also view & edit the documents.
The editing experience offered by OnlyOffice Docs is seamless, similar to Microsoft Office. Moreover, it connects with a lot of third-party platforms like WordPress, Odoo, Moodle, Nextcloud, and more. In addition, you can integrate this application in multiple platforms like Java, PHP, React, Ruby, Java Spring, and some more.
OnlyOffice Docs are free to download for Windows, macOS, and Linux. The free version lets you edit documents offline. You can also use it for free on Android and iOS devices. In addition, there is a Startup plan available for free for a limited period.
- Read, import, and export to and from PDF
- Convert docs to Markdown and HTML
- AI helper to generate texts
- Builds fillable forms
- Available for one-time payment
- Open-source code available on GitHub
- Creates complex documents and stunning presentations
- Multiple formatting tools for editing
- A top-notch competitor of MS 365
- Clear structure
- The layout could be confusing for new users
The on-premise Enterprise Lifetime License is available from $6550. Home users can get it for a one-time payment of $330. If you want DocSpace Cloud, the price starts from $15 per admin/power user.
What is real-time document collaboration?
Real-time document collaboration is the process wherein all your teammates simultaneously work on the same document live. It could be anything from a spreadsheet, PDF, or anything else. More than one team member edits the documents the online document collaboration tools save & reflect the changes automatically. So, this feature promotes team effort.
What are the best online document collaboration tools?
PandaDoc is one of the best online collaboration tools if your business generally deals with proposals, quotes, and contracts. It also helps you build forms, & collect eSignatures and payments. This application comes with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor and also includes over 750 free templates. So, it’s perfect for almost all the businesses.
If you want online document collaboration in real-time using any device, then Google Docs is an excellent alternative. It also comes with a free version. If you need a completely free solution, then try Dropbox Paper. Notion, Nuclino, and Document360, also have free plans, but with restricted features. Zoho Work Drive and Microsoft 365 are also suitable solutions for growing & remote teams.
What are the best online collaboration tools open source?
OnlyOffice Docs is one of the best online collaboration tools open source. It lets you create, edit, and collaborate on documents anywhere using any device. Plus, this application has a powerful editor for all your documents. Etherpad, Firepad, and ProseMirror are some of the alternatives you can try.
What are the best online document collaboration tools for free?
Almost all online document collaboration tools come with a free version, a trial period, or both. But, Google Docs, Notion, and Nuclino offer maximum features in their free plans. Dropbox Paper is a completely free document management software. So, these are the best options if you talk about free document collaboration tools.
Online document collaboration tools have been in the market for decades. Every year new contenders enter into this section. All the existing and new options have their strengths & weaknesses. But, you do not have to research all of them check out recommendations. Evaluate the suggestions given above and pick something that fulfills all your requirements.