20 Online Collaboration Tools for Business in 2021

Home » Resources » Online Collaboration ToolsUpdated: May 14, 2021

You found our list of online collaboration tools for business.

Online collaboration tools are software that lets teams work together over the internet. For example: Trello, Slack and Asana. The purpose of these tools is to facilitate communication, collaboration and teamwork for remote teams.

These tools are a subset of remote work software and are a way to build successful virtual teams.

Specifically, this list includes:

  • Google collaboration tools
  • free online collaboration tools
  • collaboration tools examples
  • project collaboration tools
  • online collaboration tools for education

Let’s get started!

List of online collaboration tools

In recent years, tech companies have opened up the possibilities of work by creating numerous workplace apps. Here is a list of collaboration tools examples that will increase your team’s productivity.

1. Google Workspace (G Suite)

One of the standard tools many workplaces use is Google Workplace or G Suite. Not only do Workplace’s set of apps cover a spectrum of functions, but they also sync across devices and are accessible by anyone with a Google account. With Workplace’s ability to share items through easy-to-use links or email invites, it is no wonder that Google’s collaboration tools are near ubiquitous. Examples of Google Workplace tools include Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar, and Gmail.

Learn more about Google Workspace.

2. Trello

To help keep everyone in the organization on the same page, use Trello, a free online collaboration tool that uses a board to help you visualize project status. Using the column headings to help you sort each task’s card, move cards along the board to reflect what step they are in. Since Trello automatically updates for everyone, your team knows immediately if any changes to your project occur.

Learn more about Trello.

3. Slack

Slack is a workplace communication tool that keeps your team connected. Not only can you privately message and video call collaborators, but you can also form groups to help discuss tasks with the relevant team members. In addition, Slack comes with a bunch of integrations that you can use to facilitate work, such as the Donut app, which TeamBuilding uses to connect our dispersed team for virtual coffee meetups.

Learn more about Slack, which you can extend with Slack apps.

4. Jira

A favorite among software development teams, Jira is a leading agile project management tool that also lets developers track bugs. Jira is part of the Atlassian suite of tools, which includes Trello and Confluence. The software gives teams the option to use Kanban board setups or roadmaps, which helps projects stay on track.

Learn more about Jira.

5. Asana

Asana is another project collaboration tool. The tool was created by Facebook co founder Dustin Moskovitz. Asana lets team leaders assign tasks to members, create timelines, and track project progress through boards. With these tools, easily set goals and improve team cooperation by increasing transparency for tasks and expectations.

Learn more about Asana.

6. Canva

Canva is an intuitive design tool that allows for free online collaboration. If your team needs beautiful assets, but does not have a design wizard on hand, then Canva is a great alternative. Canva primarily works through dragging and dropping images and text. With plenty of templates to draw inspiration from, make your next social media post or flyer pop with Canva.

You can improve your design skills with online art classes.

Learn more about Canva.

7. Mural

Mural is an online collaboration tool for education that lets students and teachers visualize solutions by creating diagrams that everyone can edit simultaneously. This feature lets teams brainstorm ideas together on a virtual whiteboard. Mural facilitates distance learning by enabling students to work together, whether that takes the form of manipulating sticky notes onscreen or defining workflow through jointly made charts.

Learn more about Mural.

8. WeTransfer

If your team often needs to send large files to each other, then WeTransfer may be the project collaboration tool for you. With its free service, WeTransfer users can share up to 2GB of files. WeTransfer is also customizable, since you can decide how long you would like downloads to be available and set passwords to prevent unwanted people from downloading your files. Sharing is also easy: just send a link!

Learn more about WeTransfer.

9. Zoom

Thanks to the rise in remote work, Zoom has become a nearly ubiquitous presence in everyone’s lives. Due to its ease of use, Zoom is a great free online collaboration tool that lets you hold virtual meetings. With neat features such as private chats, breakout rooms, and waiting rooms, Zoom brings your team together by simplifying communication, even when separated by distance.

Learn more about Zoom and see our list of fun ideas for Zoom meetings.

10. Zeplin

A project collaboration tool that bridges the gap between designers and developers, Zeplin lets teams create style guides and export designs by generating code that keeps everyone on the same page. By ensuring that designs translate across the board, your team saves lots of time and is able to cooperate cross-functionally much more efficiently.

Learn more about Zeplin.

11. Discord

Originally for gamers, Discord is quickly becoming a great free online collaboration tool. Similar to Slack, Discord provides private messaging and groups where pertinent team members discuss tasks and projects. However, what sets Discord apart is the ability for teams to collaborate through voice chat. Create a voice channel and bring in colleagues to be on a call while working together. Your communication becomes instantaneous and easier than ever.

Learn more about Discord.

12. Skitch

If your team needs to use visual aids to explain what they mean, Skitch is a great collaboration tool example that lets teams take and annotate screenshots. Add arrows and text to your screenshots to clarify your message. Your team will find that being able to show exactly what you mean prevents miscommunication, and helps enhance productivity.

Learn more about Skitch.

13. Zapier

Zapier is a collaboration tool example that simplifies your work processes by automating them. If you find that there are certain procedures with apps that commonly occur at your workplace, integrate your apps and connect them using Zaps. By automating team workflow, colleagues can focus on more important things, while letting these processes occur in the background.

Learn more about Zapier.

14. Box

Box is a secure file sharing and project management service. In addition to keeping important proprietary data safe, Box also lets teams collaborate together on and approve files, streamlining your workflow. Box’s customizable access also gives teams the ability to share and work on files with people outside the organization without sacrificing security, which greatly expands your business’s capacity to collaborate.

Learn more about Box.

15. Confluence

For easy knowledge sharing, Confluence is a great online collaboration tool for education. Create a wikipedia-like database that team members can use to find answers to questions they may have. Not only is Confluence great for keeping colleagues up-to-date on company policy and project information, but it can also help with knowledge transfer and onboarding if an employee leaves and must be replaced.

Learn more about Confluence.

16. InVision

For the product design world, InVision is an essential project collaboration tool that helps design teams share ideas and build prototypes on a virtual whiteboard. Test out how products will look, and have your other team members provide feedback. You can also easily involve developers early in the design process, which helps iron out any possible issues in advance.

Learn more about InVision.

17. Salesforce

Salesforce is the classic customer relationship management platform that lets marketing, sales, and customer service teams cooperate by compiling leads and setting up processes for pursuing them. A free online collaboration tool, Salesforce helps automate processes and gets customers moving down the sales funnel faster.

Learn more about Salesforce.

18. Toggl Track

Toggl Track is a time tracking tool that lets users self-report how long they work on individual tasks. These reports are synced across devices and can be accessed through the web or through apps. Toggl Track provides a simple way for employees to analyze productivity and improve work habits.

Learn more about Toggl Track.

19. LastPass

LastPass is a collaboration tool example that lets organizations store and share passwords securely. Especially useful if your business has a lot of accounts, LastPass lets your team sign into these services without having to remember all the passwords themselves. In addition to keeping track of passwords, the app also generates new secure passwords, which greatly boosts data security.

Learn more about LastPass.

20. Padlet

A virtual version of a board full of sticky notes, Padlet is an online collaboration tool for education that lets students post their thoughts on a collective panel. Easy to use, Padlet lets you work with unlimited collaborators and all changes auto-save and automatically update, which makes working together virtually effortless.

Learn more about Padlet.

Final Thoughts

In this day and age, working virtually is a much more common occurrence. To help teams communicate and stay on the same page, your colleagues need to learn about online collaboration tools. This list will help elevate productivity and engagement for your team.

Next, check out our list of employee engagement software and this one with time tracking tools for work.

FAQ: Online collaboration tools for business

Here are some commonly asked questions about online collaboration tools for business.

What are online collaboration tools?

Online collaboration tools are software that helps teams work together virtually. Usually some form of cloud service, the best online collaboration tools automatically sync across devices, keeping everyone up to date and organized at all times.

What are some types of collaboration tools?

Some types of collaboration tools include communication, project management, file sharing, design, video conferencing, knowledge sharing, time tracking, and customer relationship management tools.

What are some reasons for using collaboration tools?

Some reasons for using collaboration tools are to streamline communication, visualize and plan projects, work virtually, and keep everyone up-to-date and on the same page.

What are some free project collaboration tools?

Some free project collaboration tools are Google Workspace, Trello, Slack, Canva, WeTransfer, Zoom, Discord, Skitch, and Toggl.

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Author: Jessica Chen

Team building content expert. Jessica has a double major in English and Asian Studies, and experience working with teams across cultures; including 3+ years in Taiwan.

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