Choosing the right collaboration software for your business is easier when you understand your options. In this guide, you will find out the pricing, key features and related details of five highly rated collaboration tools. Before looking at the specific apps, take a moment to reflect on your business problems and goals.
Thinking about your collaboration needs.
Take some time to reflect on these questions first.
How many projects does your business typically run each year?
Some industries, like construction and finance, focus a significant amount of their resources on designing and delivering custom projects for customers. In that situation, choosing a robust project management app is reasonable. On the other hand, a retail business with a single location may not need such a complex project management software tool.
Will the new collaboration software be compatible with your existing software?
How significant is remote work collaboration to your business?
If your company plans to continue remote work arrangements, you may end up using your collaboration software every single day to interact with other people. Specifically, think about how often your business needs to use tools like video conference software to stay in touch.
Collaboration software for small business in 2021: Compare five top options.
We focused on the following business apps because they have been well reviewed by industry publications like PC Magazine. We’ve also noted the average review rating from users on Capterra. Capterra is a business software review website with reviews from more than one million verified reviews.
- Capterra review: Asana has an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 based on more than 9,000 Capterra reviews.
- Free trial: Yes, Asana offers a “free forever” plan for individuals and teams. In addition, the company’s paid plans include free trials.
- Price: Asana offers four plans: basic ($0 per user), premium ($10.99 per user per month, billed annually), business ($24.99 per user per month, billed annually), and enterprise (contact sales to request pricing).
- Mobile apps: Asana offers both iOS and Android mobile apps.
- Teleconference capabilities: Asana integrates with video calling software like Zoom.
- Time-tracking capability: Asana provides time tracking via integrations with other apps.
Asana is well regarded for its full set of features and the ability to view projects on a timeline. However, reviewers point out that “it may be confusing at first” to learn all the product’s features.
- Capterra review: Google Workspace has an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 based on more than 10,000 reviews.
- Free trial: Google Workspace offers a 14-day free trial.
- Price: Google Workspace has four plans that offer different features and pricing. The entry-level plan, Business Starter, is $6 per user per month vs. the Business Plan, which costs $18 per user per month. Business Plan offers additional features like 5 TB of cloud storage per user and video meetings with up to 250 participants.
- Mobile apps: Several Google Workspace apps are available in Android and iOS, including Gmail and Calendar.
- Teleconference capabilities: Google Workspace includes Google Meet conferencing along with a phone number dial-in option for people who want to join by phone.
- Time-tracking capability: There are third-party time tracking tools available that integrate with Google Workspace like Harvest, Wrike and ClickUp.
Google Workspace, formerly called G Suite, is a set of apps that emphasizes collaboration. The strength of Google Workspace lies in highly developed collaboration features and tracking revisions. On the downside, reviewers point out that offline editing requires the Chrome browser.
- Capterra review: Microsoft Teams has an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 based on more than 4,000 reviews.
- Free trial: There is a free version of Microsoft Teams with some limits, such as a maximum meeting duration of 60 minutes and limited security features. In addition, Microsoft 365 Business Basic and Microsoft Business Standard offer a free one-month trial.
- Price: Aside from the free version, there are three versions of Teams. Microsoft 365 Business is $5 per user per month. By contrast, Microsoft 365 Business Standard is $12.50 per user per month. Finally, Office 365 E3 is priced at $20 per user per month. All three plans—Business Basic, Business Standard and Office 365 E3—involve an annual commitment. The different versions offer different features (e.g., Business Standard and Business Basic offer phone and web support around the clock).
- Mobile apps: Microsoft Teams offers mobile apps for Android and iOS devices.
- Teleconference capabilities: Microsoft Teams includes video conferencing with features like phone dial-in.
- Time-tracking capability: There are third-party time-tracking apps available through Microsoft App Source, the company’s app marketplace.
Microsoft Teams is an attractive choice because it integrates tightly with other Microsoft products. Reviewers note that Microsoft Teams is most effective for a Microsoft-centric business.
- Capterra review: Smartsheet has an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 based on more than 1,000 reviews.
- Free trial: Smartsheet offers a 30-day free trial.
- Price: The product is available in two versions: individual ($14 per user per month) and business ($25 per user per month). The per-month pricing in both cases is billed annually. The individual plan is limited to 10 free users, while the business plan has unlimited free users, more data and reporting features, and the ability to add custom branding.
- Mobile apps: Smartsheet has mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.
- Teleconference capabilities: Smartsheet can be connected with third-party services like Google Meet.
- Time-tracking capability: Time tracking is available for an added fee.
Smartsheet is a customizable app with strength in project management. Reviewers note that some capabilities like budgeting and resource management require additional software. For a company that needs to use project management reports like Gantt charts, Smartsheet may be a good option.
- Capterra review: Trello has an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 based on more than 18,000 reviews.
- Free trial: Trello offers a free plan for individuals and teams.
- Price: To go beyond the limits of the free plan (e.g., limited to 10 boards), you need to upgrade to a business class plan (i.e., $12.50 per user per month with annual billing) or the enterprise plan (contact sales to request pricing).
- Mobile apps: Trello offers apps for iOS and Android devices.
- Teleconference capabilities: Trello supports video conferencing through third-party services like Join.me.
- Time-tracking capability: Trello offers time tracking through third-party apps.
Trello is a good option if you like a visual layout of tasks and a relatively simple tool. However, some reviewers commented that Trello is limited in terms of the integrations it offers and has limited control over notification emails.
Use free trials to test collaboration software.
Finding the right set of collaboration software tools for your company may take some experimentation. Fortunately, you do not have to guess. Instead, you can use this short list of software and the free trials to test each of them out for a few days. Once you have selected the right software, you may want to look for other ways to help your employees work from home productively.