Practical Ecommerce

20 Collaboration Tools for Small Businesses

Small businesses that rely on teamwork can enhance their organization with a variety of helpful online tools.

Here is a list of collaboration tools to meet the needs of small businesses. There are tools for project management, online meetings, team chats, group brainstorming, task sharing, and more. Nearly all of these tools have free plans.

Collaboration Tools

Slack. Slack is an app to have all your communication in one place, instantly searchable, available wherever you go. Slack features real-time messaging, file sharing, one-to-one and group conversations, and inline images and video with rich link summaries. Integrates with Dropbox, Asana, Hangouts, Twitter, Zendesk and more. Price: Free account for 5 integrations and 10K message searchable archive. Paid plans start at $6.67 per user/month.

Slack website

Slack.

HipChat. HipChat is a team chat app with video calling, screen sharing, and security for businesses. Create unlimited chat rooms. Every room is searchable by keyword, including text, links, files, and more. Your HipChat room guests only see what you want them to see. Customize how HipChat alerts you when you miss a message with in-app, email, SMS, and mobile push notifications. Price: Basic account is free. Premium account with video chat and screen sharing is $2 per user/month.

Quip. Quip is a mobile productivity suite that combines chat, documents, spreadsheets, checklists, and more in a simple interface. Every document has a chat thread, and you can even chat about specific parts of a document. Add a checklist to any Quip document with the click of a button. All the features in Quip work offline on your phone or tablet. Price: Basic plan is free. Business plan is $12 per user/month.

Do. Do is a tool to run productive meetings. Get a visual timeline of your meetings as you set an agenda and track follow-ups. Do provides a single place for all the notes, presentations, docs, and other materials. With automatic meeting summaries, push a button and Do emails everyone the notes. Run Do from your desktop or mobile device. Price: Free.

Do.

Do.

Google Hangouts. Google Hangouts lets you send messages and make video calls on multiple devices to multiple people. Share photos and your location with others. Have face-to-face conversations with up to nine other people using video calls from Hangouts. Enhance conversations with photos, emoji, and animated GIFs. Add more people to ongoing video calls right from a mobile device. Price: Free.

Producteev. Producteev is a project management app to create team projects, assign and schedule tasks, and track progress. Create collaborative to-do lists to share across any number of collaborators. Tasks can be assigned, labeled, prioritized, tracked, commented on, and even set as a recurring reminder. No matter where your team members are, on desktop or mobile, keep everyone in sync and on schedule. Price: Basic plan is free for unlimited users. Premium plan is $99 per month.

Wrike. Wrike is a real-time workspace for teams to collaborate. Wrike provides a complete view of your team’s workload and deadlines. Break large goals into manageable pieces, attach files, and set due dates. Easily track overall progress and individual contribution. Attach existing images and files to your project plan right from your phone, Google Drive, or Dropbox. Stay up-to-date with custom push notifications. Price: Free for basic plan, up to five users. Premium plans start at $49 per month.

Wrike.

Wrike.

Asana. Asana is a project collaboration platform for teams. Organize your tasks into shared projects for your initiatives, meetings, and lists. Keep conversations with tasks, instead of scattered across email. Get automatic updates about tasks that matter to you. Asana integrates with a variety of applications, including Dropbox, Slack, GitHub, Alfred, Harvest, MailChimp, HipChat, and Evernote. Price: Get started for free. Paid plans start at $21 per month for 5 users.

Mural.ly. Mural.ly is an online whiteboard for brainstorming and collaboration. Use sticky notes to jot down ideas as fast as you can, either by drawing or typing. Invite teammates to join your Murals, and collaborate in real-time. Track changes and see how ideas evolve. Use images, links, and videos to support your ideas. Mural.ly works with YouTube, Vimeo, SlideShare, Evernote, and Google Drive. Price: Plans start at $8 per month.

GoToMeeting. GoToMeeting is an easy-to-use audio, video, and screen-sharing platform. Launch a meeting, and invite people via phone, email, or instant message. Present and collaborate from your tablet or computer. One click shows your screen; another click shows your webcam. Features group and private chat, one-click recording, on-screen drawing tools, free mobile apps, and up to 100 attendees. Price: Free for up to three users. Up to 25 users for $39 per month.

GoToMeeting.

GoToMeeting.

Podio. Podio is an online work platform for collaboration and project management. Structure your projects, teams, and workflows by creating your own workspaces and sharing them with relevant people. Decide how to structure, create and present content by choosing from hundreds of Podio’s specialized work apps or creating your own. All apps are free and customizable. Price: Free up to five employees and five external users. Paid plans start at $9 per month.

Trello. Trello is a board for “cards” — to create notes, lists, and lists of lists. Drag and drop cards, and reorder as needed. Follow your project as the board updates in real-time. Post comments for instant feedback. Upload files from your computer, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and OneDrive. Add checklists, labels, due dates, and more. Trello stays in sync across all your devices. Price: Free. Premium versions are $5 per user per month.

Conceptboard. Conceptboard is an online whiteboard space to collaborate. Drag and drop files from the web or your computer onto a board to lay out your ideas. See who is working on what in real-time. When you see colleagues on a board, join them and start a live session. With the entire team on the board, you can host a virtual meeting. Enable live video and voice for all participants on all your boards. Each board comes with its own dedicated chat room. All conversations and feedback are documented in one place. Price: Basic plan is free. Paid plans start at $30 per month.

Conceptboard.

Conceptboard.

WebEx. WebEx, Cisco’s videoconferencing solution, offers a free account for small teams. See up to seven user video feeds and sharing side-by-side. Show anything on your screen, your whole desktop, or just one application. Record everything, including video feeds. Participants can use VoIP or phone. Use markup tools and a whiteboard. Access from anywhere with free mobile apps. Price: Free up to three people per meeting. Paid plans start at $24 per month.

Wunderlist. Wunderlist is a to-do list platform with a variety of features for managing a team. Have conversations about to-dos and keep the important discussions in one place. Add a reminder to make sure no to-do is forgotten. Set due dates so that no deadline is missed. Get updates via push, email, and in-app notifications. Real-time sync keeps your lists up to date on any device. Price: Free. Business account is $4.99 per user/month.

OneDrive. OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage solution to provide your team with online workspace. Share your files and control who can see and edit each file. OneDrive for Business is fully integrated with Microsoft Office, so it’s easy to create, edit and review documents with others in real time and even discuss them on Yammer (see below). With version control, ensure everyone is working on the most recent document, and view previous versions as needed. Set up a seamless review and approval process. Price: Business plan is $5.00 per user/month, Office Online included.

OneDrive.

OneDrive.

Red Pen. Red Pen is a visual collaboration and feedback tool for design. Its goal is to make collaboration super fast. Point and click to give feedback. Everyone sees comments live as they happen. Ask colleagues and clients for feedback by giving them a private link, or inviting them via email. Keep your team updated about comments, additions, and new versions, as you track changes. Price: Plans start at $20 per month for 5 projects.

Google Drive. Google Drive is a cloud storage solution, with a plan for teams. Google Drive and Google Docs let you work together in the same document in real-time, putting your conversation in context so you avoid back and forth emails. Stay up-to-date on what’s happening with automatic activity updates that show who edited shared files, and when. Version control lets you go back in time to previous versions of a file without having to worry about losing track of a change. Save work files or folders in Drive, access them from any device, and share them instantly. Price: Business plan is $10 per user/month.

Fuze. Fuze is a real-time audio, video, and web conferencing solution. Fuze supports 12 HD video-conference streams and up to 250 participants. Access from your desktop or mobile device. Features annotation tools for cloud content and whiteboards, desktop and application sharing, and more. Integrates with Microsoft Outlook, Lync, and Google Calendar. Price: Free for three participants and three video streams. Paid plans start at $20 per month for 25 participants and 12 video streams.

Yammer. Yammer is a private social network for coworkers and team members to collaborate. Work together in Yammer Group (a workspace for teams to discuss projects), share files, and gather feedback. Use Yammer to open your team communication so everyone benefits from shared information. Store all your files in one place and create, share, and discuss content without ever leaving your browser. Follow mentions, group announcements, conversations, and private messages. Price: Standalone is $3 per user/month. $8 per user/month with Office 365 For Business.

Yammer.

Yammer.

Sig Ueland

Sig Ueland

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  1. Steve January 19, 2015 Reply

    We also use Brosix – a chat app with security and control features specially built for teams and companies.

  2. Marine January 19, 2015 Reply

    You should also check out Igloo – a great collaboration tool for smaller teams that is easy to use and easy to customize and offer a powerful suite of tools (blogs, wikis, calendars, tasks, file sharing,etc). It’s free to use for up to 10 users and only $12/month/user after that.

  3. Patrick Carmitchel January 19, 2015 Reply

    Pretty solid list here Sig! If you haven’t seen Glip (http://glip.com), It’s an incredible instant messenger designed for small business. In addition to chat and video chat, unlike Slack, it includes built-in task management, team calendar and file sharing with version control. Glip also integrates with Asana, Trello, Dropbox, Evernote, Mailchimp, Zendesk and many more (http://glip.com/integrations).

  4. ms January 19, 2015 Reply

    Another offering not listing here, disappointingly, is http://www.fileapartment.com

  5. Reed Gusmus January 20, 2015 Reply

    Great list! If you’re looking for a tool that allows for video, web and screen sharing collaboration, then another tool to consider is iMeet by PGi (http://www.pgi.com/imeet).

  6. Himali January 20, 2015 Reply

    Another great tool for small business is Brightpod (www.brightpod.com). It takes the entire campaign planning & collaboration process online so you don’t miss anything.

  7. Si Chen January 21, 2015 Reply

    Have you seen opentaps (opentaps.com)? It offers email integration, group discussion, task management, but it’s unique in that it can be embedded, for example inside of Magento. See http://bitly.com/1zGPQ8J

  8. Robin Bull January 26, 2015 Reply

    Hi Sig! Great write up. I need to check out Do and Wrike. I represent Mikogo.com and we offer cross platform online collaboration. If you get some time, you should check it out and let me know what you think! :)

  9. Tanaka Yukio February 24, 2015 Reply

    We use Bitrix24 as a fully featured collab platform: it’s like Wrike plus Trello plus Dropbox plus Slack plus Skype at the same time. And it’s free for small teams with 12 or fewer users.

  10. Christian March 8, 2015 Reply

    Thanks fot the interesting list, but it seems like you missed one very important tool – the Kanban Tool – http://kanbantool.com/. That’s a digital Kanban board with seamless time tracking.

  11. Jason Dill April 24, 2015 Reply

    Another very good option is a R-HUB web conferencing server http://www.rhubcom.com. It works on Windows, MAC, iOS etc.

  12. Lind June 27, 2015 Reply

    Good job, Sig, the list is incredibly useful. I’m suprised you didn’t mention Kanban Tool (http://kanbantool.com) – it’s my personal number one when it comes to collaboration tools. We use it in our team for few months arleady and the experience so far is amazing – especially the seamless tracking option turned out to be very useful.

  13. Alex July 1, 2015 Reply

    I Would like to Share about GroupRocket.Net, I do work for GroupRocket, You May think, My Comment is bias but I do believe GroupRocket is helpful for communication at work or making chatting about work even better. – http://goo.gl/skXgvg

  14. Alex July 18, 2015 Reply

    Another Best tool for small and large business is GroupRocket (http://grouprocket.net) a Team Collaboration Tool, it’s Key features include advanced search which gives you the required content that is stored anywhere, sharing of files as well as uploading and downloading them and sending push notifications about group activities.

  15. Claus Rende July 31, 2015 Reply

    We’ve used too many collaboration tools, like Slack and Trello, simultaneously, but ditched them and started using http://www.stackfield.com. It offers a real time chat, task management, control features for teams and an end-to-end encryption. It’s much easier than handling 3-4 different accounts!

  16. Betsy August 23, 2015 Reply

    Good list! Someone in my work mentioned Yammer recently and that’s how I found this article, by googling it :) Anyways, I see in the comments that few people mentioned the lack of Kanban Tool – i second that wholeheartedly. It’s probably the best kanban based time management tool on the market and it really changed the game in our SMB.

  17. Laura Shell November 16, 2015 Reply

    BigMarker (https://www.bigmarker.com/) is an easy-to-use audio, video, and screen-sharing platform. Launch a meeting, and invite people via phone, email, or instant message. Present and collaborate from your tablet or computer.

  18. Thomas December 17, 2015 Reply

    Another tool worth mentioning is WebDrive. http://www.webdrive.com Use it to map a drive letter to any or all of your cloud services – google drive, onedrive for business, etc. You can edit files just like they are on your computer. The best part is that you don’t have to sync your files to your hard drive. download the free trial here http://www.southrivertech.com/product-downloads/

  19. Ola Rybacka June 13, 2016 Reply

    Based on our experience, Slack and our internal chat are extremely useful together. We even made a post about it with team collaboration tools comparison: https://www.timecamp.com/blog/index.php/2016/06/team-collaboration-tools-comparison/. Hope it will be helpful for you!

  20. pramod January 23, 2017 Reply

    Hey, you should check out http://www.Ezeassist.com a great collaboration tool for SME that is easy to use and easy to customize tools ( online chat, file sharing, Action Point, task, Calendar) and much more.
    I am using this platform for my business you should also try out

  21. Lina Ostoukh March 3, 2017 Reply

    I would say that Sharepoint is still the very best CMS and PM software you can get right now. And with the addition of O365, it’s even better. Although I still work with on-premises version, which still needs an upkeep, it is excellent nonetheless. After we get performance optimized here http://www.digdes.com/services/sharepoint-to-office-365-migration we basically didn’t need any maintenance ever since, which is saying a lot

  22. Gord March 17, 2017 Reply

    surprised this one did not show up, since other online whiteboards did:

    https://app.ziteboard.com/