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May 10, 2024
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A Savvy Buyer's Guide to the Best Collaboration Software [2024]

Looking for the best collaboration software out there? Here are some great tips to get started on the right path. 

Slack, Microsoft Team, Google Workspace — you’ve surely heard about them by now and you may even currently use one. These collaboration platforms have a single goal: to improve your team’s productivity

Whether you have a completely remote or hybrid team, this software is useful for communicating with clients, stakeholders, and team members, while helping employees get more work done.

But what if Slack doesn’t truly solve your communication problems? Does it fit your work style or do you need a more all-encompassing solution? 

If you have these doubts, chances are you need a new collaboration tool. But how do you choose the right one? Well, you’re in luck — this buyer’s guide has everything you need to make the best decision for your business. 

What Is Collaboration Software?

Collaboration software is a central platform that teams or individuals can use to work together on different projects, share valuable company knowledge, and communicate with each other in real time. 

It’s highly useful for enhancing teamwork since it has plenty of collaboration tools, such as file sharing, messaging, and project management. But why should you start using such a platform? 

Imagine this: you have teams split in different areas of the world, which means different time zones and asynchronous communication. Without a collaboration tool, it’s hard to keep track of who did what. 

To emphasize this point, workers from Europe were 17% more satisfied with their workplace culture when they had access to digital collaboration tools. 

In a nutshell, collaboration software allows team members to work from any location, successfully improving productivity. Plus, it ensures everyone is on the same page, strengthens team relationships, and increases efficiency. 

But we can talk more about the benefits later. Let’s see how collaboration software works. 

How Is Collaboration Software Used?

Collaboration software has plenty of uses but its main purpose is to foster a more productive remote work environment. And facilitate communication between dispersed teams. 

How does it do that, though? Here are some common use cases: 

  • Project management: You’re currently working on three projects at the same time; it’s pretty hard to keep track of every task. How many times have you failed to meet a deadline because you couldn’t see your project’s progress? Collaboration software lets you create tasks for each project and team member, set deadlines, etc., and streamline your workflows. 
  • Client collaboration: 65% of teleworkers who use remote technologies like instant messaging say collaboration tools are great substitutes for in-person contact. It’s super easy to hold virtual meetings and video calls with clients or coworkers, regardless of their geographic location. This way, you can hold webinars, create roadmaps, and collaborate with remote members in real time. 
  • Document sharing: You know how time-consuming and frustrating it is to sift through all your folders when searching for that document. All you can think of as you check the same place again is, “Where is it?!” A good collaboration tool lets you easily share documents with your peers. Pairing it with a knowledge base solution like Guru also does wonders for document organization.  

Okay, now we can talk about the benefits of using collaboration software. Let’s go!  

What Are the Benefits of Using Online Collaboration Tools?

According to Microsoft’s research, 85% of employees say that collaboration software is one of the most necessary parts of their digital transformation efforts. If you take a look at the benefits, you’ll see why. 😉

So, let’s not keep you waiting. Here are the advantages of using collaboration tools: 

  • Improved team collaboration and communication: Collaboration software usually offers different channels for communication, like video conferencing and instant messaging. This leads to better teamwork between members (especially if they’re remote) reduced confusion and misunderstandings, and increased clarity. 
  • Enhanced flexibility, scalability, and accessibility: No matter if you’re a small business that grows over time or a large enterprise, collab tools scale with you. Moreover, they’re highly flexible, meaning you can tailor them to your specific requirements. It allows you to add new team members over time, adjust workflows, and adapt to your changing needs in a flash. 
  • Increased transparency: If there’s one thing collaboration software does pretty well it’s providing visibility into your project’s progress and team activity. With this kind of transparency, you can stay informed about all projects at all times and identify issues or bottlenecks early on. In addition, it fosters trust and accountability among your team. 
  • Higher productivity: According to a study by Gallup, extremely tight and connected teams have a 23% increase in profitability. That’s only possible with the help of collaboration software. Since it streamlines your flows and automates repetitive tasks, you can reduce time spent on low-value work and focus on more productive activities. 

All these benefits lead to another, important one: cost savings. Since you reduce the need for a physical space, paper-based processes, and travel expenses, your business will experience higher ROI and better resource optimization. 

Alright, collaboration tools sound great. How do I choose one?” Well, this is what this guide is for. 

Let’s go through each step. 

How to Choose the Right Team Collaboration Software

The perfect collaboration tool can improve your teamwork and help you with time tracking, brainstorming sessions, and many other things. But only if you choose the right one for your needs

If you don’t, you might curse the day you first heard about these tools. 

There are several steps to consider when making this choice; let’s go through each of them.

Step #1: Identify specific goals and objectives

It all begins with evaluating your team’s objectives, needs, requirements, preferences, and challenges. 

For example, maybe your team comes from different parts of the globe and rarely interact with each other. Then, you might need a tool that supports asynchronous communication. 

To help you figure out what you need, find the answers to these questions: 

  • How does your team like to communicate (text, video, or voice)?
  • Do you want to streamline your sales process? 
  • How often do you communicate? 
  • Do you have synchronous or asynchronous communication?
  • How do you manage tasks and deadlines?
  • How do you share files? 
  • Do you prefer informal or formal communication?

By answering these questions, you can actively search for tools that solve your main challenges and fit your work culture. So, try to identify what your team actually wants, taking into consideration their working habits, typical project complexity, budget, and time constraints. 

Step #2: Assess your budget

Speaking of budget…

The next step is setting your budget, aka how much are you willing to spend on a collaboration tool. If you skip this step (or forget to consider it) you could end up with a solution that makes a huge and unpopular dent in your company’s wallet. 

Especially if you’ve paid for features you don’t really need. 

So, gather your team and talk about how much you can afford to spend on the collaboration tool. Maybe you can go all out right from the start or be a bit more stingy and invest more later. 

Also, be aware of additional costs, especially if you add new members in the long run. 

Moreover, consider your resources. Do you have time to spare for people to fully learn the tool? Or do you need to implement it now? Do you have the necessary training materials or will you need to spend time teaching them? 

Step #3: Make a list of features and functionalities

Now that you have your needs and budget all figured out, it’s time to start making a list of must-have features. For instance, if you’re a small team, you might not need a fancy mobile app. A simple to-do list or whiteboard is just what the doctor ordered.

Here are some mission-critical features of collaboration software: 

  • Real-time communication tools
  • Task and project management tools
  • Document sharing and collaboration tools
  • Integrations like email, calendars, knowledge management tools, etc. 
  • Security features
  • Application Programming Interface (API)
  • Analytics and reporting tools

We can chat more about these features after we go through each step. So, don’t switch tabs — you might miss out on precious information. 

A great tip is to also focus on making lists of nice-to-have features and the ones you don’t need. Talk with your team members (since they’re the ones who’ll use this tool the most). And figure out together what features would be nice to have alongside the crucial ones. 

Step #4: Research collaboration software vendors 

Once you have your list of features, you can start researching your available options. Try to find solutions that match your goals, budget, and needs — or, at least, ones that meet most of them. 

How can you start this process? By reading reviews, looking at testimonials, asking for recommendations, and checking case studies. Doing so gives you a pretty good overview of the benefits, features, and potential disadvantages of the chosen software. 

During your research, try to compare the collaboration tools and see how each one works. Do the comparison yourself or find a buyer’s guide that does it for you.

Moreover, consider these factors: 

  • Pricing
  • User-friendly interface
  • Ease of use
  • Security features
  • Compatibility with existing tools

Ideally, try to narrow down your list to three to five options. It’ll definitely help you in the next step. 

Step #5: Request demos and trials

By now, you’ll probably have a few options that have got you pretty excited. If that’s the case, then this step will surely make you happy.

Cause it’s time to see these tools in action and get hands-on experience with them. Sign up for free trials or try out free plans to see if the collaboration platform is really the one you’re looking for. 

Don’t forget to invite your team members, as their feedback and concerns will prove invaluable and help you make your decision faster. See how well the tool keeps up, how easy it is to learn and use, and how your team likes it. 

When the trial period is over, ask your team for feedback. Try to gauge their reaction, answer any concerns, and meet their preferences and expectations. 


Step #6: Make your decision and implement

If you’ve found the right tool by now, congratulations!  

Now, all you need to do is make sure your team uses it to its full potential and adopts it successfully into their daily operations. Moreover, encourage people to leave their thoughts about the tool and provide guidance and training when they encounter issues. 

In addition, monitor the tool’s performance and how it impacts your team’s productivity. If needed, you can make adjustments so it yields the outcomes you truly want. 

However, maybe you still can’t decide which tool is good for you. 

Don’t worry, you still have time to choose. Take a deep breath and analyze your team’s feedback again, do more research, and try the tools for a longer period. In addition, you can make a list of pros and cons and score the tools accordingly. 

Talking with your team is also a good idea! 

But now, as promised, let’s focus on the must-have features every collab tool needs.

What Collaboration Features Should You Look For?

Capterra’s research discovered that the most-used project management software features are dashboards and document management. On a funnier note, burndown and Gantt charts are both the most-ignored and most-desired PM features. 

In a nutshell, collaboration tools should have the following functionalities: 

  • Real-time communication: This feature gives you the ability to send and receive messages on a variety of channels, such as voice, video, and group chat. It should do so in real time to avoid miscommunication and delays. When used properly, you foster a sense of connection between team members, which leads to an increase in morale. 
  • Task management: An intuitive task management workflow lets you create, track, and assign tasks with ease. Moreover, it allows you to set deadlines, priorities, and dependencies, so you can monitor project progress. Look for tools with customizable views and dashboards, but also with notifications and reminders. 
  • Document sharing: Your collaboration tool should make file sharing as easy as pie. Try to find a tool with flexible document sharing, meaning it should support different file types and sizes. Moreover, you should be able to access, edit, and upload the files in one place, and have robust control permissions. 

  • Integrations: You don’t want a tool that messes up your existing flows. It should be compatible with other tools you currently use and fit well within your business. Guru mixes perfectly with any collaboration tool of your choice and brings all company knowledge to your fingertips. 
  • Analytics and reporting: The communication tool should be able to measure your team’s performance and activities. And create visually appealing reports that yield valuable insights. Through this feature, you can visualize strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities to improve your internal communication. 

With these features fresh in mind, let’s look at the top 10 collaboration tools you should consider. 

10 Collaboration Tools to Consider

It’s quite stressful to make the right decision, especially when you have so many options available. It’s easy to get lost at sea and forget about your goal but this guide can be your lifeline. 

We’ve done the research for you. And compiled a list of the best online collaboration tools currently on the market.


Asana is a work management platform that helps teams manage, organize, and track their cross-functional work, no matter their location. 

Source: G2

Asana brings more clarity into a team's workflow and enables them to move faster through features like status updates, time tracking, and custom fields. Moreover, Asana has multiple project views, from calendar, Gantt chart, or kanban board. You can also organize your work with sticky notes to make it easier to track your projects. 

As people say, “We are able to track the progress of a task, communicate frequently, update stakeholders, and manage our time and tasks efficiently.” 

Ah, and it integrates with Guru, too. 


Slack is a cloud-based communication platform many organizations use for text messaging, file and media sharing, and voice or video calls. 

Slack uses automation to streamline routine tasks and simplify your flow in a single workspace. Moreover, it connects your people with the tools they use daily. Needless to say, Slack integrates with a variety of apps, from Salesforce to Guru

Source: G2

It’s great for both casual conversations and professional collaboration. The ability to organize discussions into different channels makes it easy to keep track of topics and projects.” 

With Slack’s channels, you can organize your work and create channels for every project, topic, client, or team. 


Trello offers a smart collaboration platform that brings all your tools, teams, and tasks together in one place. 

Image Source: G2

I like its card feature within the dashboard and how easily we can assign tasks to someone. [...] Not only that, it supports all the file formats while uploading.” 

Overall, Trello is a flexible tool with boards, lists, and cards. These features give you a clear view of who’s doing what. And what still needs to be done. 

Source: G2

Furthermore, it empowers your team meetings and makes them more productive and fun. 

Trello doesn’t work alone. It integrates with multiple platforms, including Guru


Zoom is a video conferencing platform that connects people from all around the world. And makes collaboration easier, more dynamic, and meaningful. 

With Zoom, you can drive human innovation and create strong relationships through features like team chat, screen sharing, online whiteboard, video recording, and the appointment scheduler. 

Source: Capterra

Just clicking on a link allows you to join a meeting, and the audio and video quality is excellent. Additionally, it enables seamless communication with a large group of people simultaneously, almost as if you’re speaking with them in person.” 

Moreover, Zoom has powerful virtual meeting security to ensure no incident occurs. 

Zoom offers many third-party integrations that you can download; but if you’re interested in Guru, check this page out. 


Dropbox is the perfect collaboration platform for storing and sharing key files in a secure, reliable, and private fashion. 

This tool keeps your company documents in one place. You can organize them however you want using folders. Don’t worry — Dropbox keeps all your files secure and even has trackable links that show when someone opens a document. 

Source: G2

Dropbox also has e-signature templates. And you can directly edit PDFs and use video tools to optimize your feedback and approval flow. 

Dropbox allows me to save hard drive space and take my documents on the go, so I can access all my files from any computer or phone.” 

And it integrates with Guru, of course!


Airtable, a fast way to build apps, is a collaboration tool that looks like an old-fashioned spreadsheet. But its modern building blocks increase agility and provide transparency in your work. 

Airtable automates your workflows and cuts out the clutter, letting your team focus on more productive tasks. 

Source: G2

Moreover, it has powerful reporting capabilities that allow you to create dashboards of charts, graphs, and metrics. 

It’s super collaborative — assign tasks, leave comments, and see updates in real time. It’s our daily go-to task tracker, easy to use, and even connects with Google Sheets for extra power.”

But you know what else it connects with? Guru is a cloud-based team collaboration tool with building blocks like dashboards, integrations, and workflow management automation that help you craft the ideal process. 

Source: G2

It’s a highly flexible, adaptable, and customizable solution, capable of fitting any business need with project, task, and resource management. 

I have used it to manage home DIY projects / renovations [and] multi-million dollar technology integrations. It is easy to set up and has always been there to help…” 

You can also choose from 30+ widgets to display the information you want on Monday’s dashboards, so you make more informed decisions. 

Monday — unlike the day of the week — is super-friendly. And integrates with many third-party apps, including Guru


Miro is a visual workspace for distributed teams to work together, contribute ideas, and provide feedback. 

Source: G2

“...Miro is the perfect tool to share ideas and visualize things. It’s even better than a whiteboard in a meeting room, you’re not limited by space and multiple team members can work on it at the same time.” 

With Miro, you can track tasks on a dynamic kanban board, integrated with Jira cards. Moreover, it has powerful content and data visualization, letting you see all documentation, designs, and live data in a single space. 

Miro’s powerful integrations with Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Atlassian, Slack, and Guru help you connect your entire company. 

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams, a group chat software tool, enables remote team collaboration in a faster, simpler, and smarter way. 

Source: Capterra

This well-known collaboration tool brings people, content, and conversations together to simplify collaboration. Microsoft Teams’ main objective is to scale your business so you can focus on projects with greater impact. 

A key benefit of Microsoft Teams is how seamlessly it works with Office 365. [...] Teams offers a space where users can access their files, documents, and apps without needing to jump between different platforms.” 

Guru also integrates with Microsoft Teams, so you’ll get the best of both worlds. 


Last on our list, Jira is a project management tool for agile development teams that focus on building products. 

Source: Capterra

Jira enables better visibility into your project’s progress so you’re always aware of bottlenecks. Plus, Jira makes sure to deliver your project on time by breaking down complex tasks into simple ones that meet your goals. 

Jira has excellent project planning and management. [The] kanban boards are very helpful in team management and tracking the tasks assigned to [the] team.” 

You can integrate Jira with plenty of popular apps like Slack, Zoom, and Google Drive. But don’t forget it also integrates with Guru.

Over to You

With this guide, the best collaboration software is now within your reach! 

We hope it helped you make sense of the selection process and made you understand what you need to reach the right conclusion. 

If you’re feeling confident in your decision, we have another proposition for you: take Guru along on this journey.

Guru is an enterprise AI search, employee intranet, and company wiki — an all-in-one solution. It connects all your apps (including your brand new collab tool) and helps you get instant answers wherever you’re working.

Don’t believe us? See Guru in action by signing up for free

Key takeaways 🔑🥡🍕

How much does collaboration software cost?

It depends on the vendor and what they offer. Most software providers offer different pricing plans, including free versions, monthly and annual payments, and quote-based plans. 

Typically, the price ranges vary from $0 to $1,000 per user, per month.

What is design collaboration software?

Design collaboration software is a tool used mainly by design professionals to streamline collaboration and communication in the design process.

It has features very similar to collaboration software, such as file sharing, project management, and real-time collaboration. The only difference is that it integrates with most design tools, like Adobe Creative Cloud, Figma, etc.

Who uses collaboration software?

Individuals, teams, and companies of any size can use collaboration tools, across different industries, such as small, medium, and large businesses; remote or distributed teams; educational institutions, freelancers and independent professionals; and startups and government agencies.

Written by
Becca Dierolf
Search everything, get answers anywhere with Guru.

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