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10 Online Collaboration Tools To Boost Your Project’s Efficiency

By 29/10/2018 No Comments

With 43% of us spending at least some time working remotely, online collaboration tools are becoming a vital element of the modern workplace.

And because the modern workplace often isn’t a place at all, we need to adopt a well-organized, central space where all of the project documentation and communication lives. Our clients may be located in New York, our developers in Bali, and our marketing team in London. But our documents, processes, deadlines and schedules live under the same roof.

At least, they should.

Online Collaboration Tools Logo Soup

Not convinced? Consider this: a McKinsey Global Institute report found that 61% of the workweek is spent on among these three tasks:

  • reading and answering emails
  • searching or gathering information
  • communicating and collaborating internally

The majority of our working hours are spent on collaboration and coordination tasks. Collaboration software removes some of the redundancy and confusion from collaboration tasks, so we can free up hours for more role-specific work.

Yes, many of us are scraping by with a not-so-slick combo of Google or Microsoft apps coordinated via a tangled web of emails. If this is you, stay tuned. There’s a much better way…

What Are Project Collaboration Tools? (And How They Can Help You)

What Are Collaboration Tools?

An online collaboration tool enables a more coordinated workflow by providing a unified platform for team discussion, file sharing, online storage for documentation, task assignments, and real-time project collaboration. At their heart, collaboration tools are all about aligning people.

Collaboration software comes in many forms. You’re probably familiar with Slack, a common collaboration tool with a focus on group messaging (if you’re on Slack, feel free to join our rapidly growing Digital Project Manager community on Slack). And you’re undoubtedly familiar with widely-used Google collaboration tools (Drive, Docs, Sheets, Hangouts) or perhaps Microsoft collaboration tools (SharePoint, One Drive). Yes, collaboration tools can be basic as the familiar Skype (one of MS collaboration tools) or even your good ole’ email account. Modern collaboration apps take collaboration a step further by unifying all of these work interactions within a single platform.

What Features Do Collaboration Tools Include?

If you’re already using PM software, then you already have access to some collaboration tools. These days, all project management software, including resource scheduling tools offer features for collaboration, such as task status updates, file sharing, and progress visualization charts. However, a tool designed specifically for project collaboration may include additional features, such as video conferencing, live sharing on co-created documents, and client-facing portals.

What Are The Benefits Of Collaboration Software?

Online Collaboration Tools Benefits

When all project communication, files, and progress are centralized in one place, your team benefits from a clearer exchange of information that will help you avoid miscommunication. If you’ve ever made the mistake of sending an outdated version of a shared document to a client, you’ll understand why collaboration is important. The benefits of collaboration tools go far beyond improvements in communication, however—with everything accessible in one place, your process become more efficient, and you’ll gain more accurate insight into your project’s progress.

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10 Online Collaboration Tools To Boost Your Project’s Efficiency

In this review, we take an in-depth look at the following tools for online collaboration:

  1. Backlog – https://backlog.com
  2. Milanote – https://www.milanote.com
  3. GanttPro – https://ganttpro.com/
  4. Hive – https://hive.com/
  5. MindGenius – https://www.mindgenius.com/mindgeniusonline/
  6. Asana – https://asana.com
  7. Teamwork – https://www.teamwork.com
  8. Podio – https://podio.com
  9. Basecamp – https://basecamp.com
  10. Monday – https://www.monday.com/

The Best Project Collaboration Tools To Increase Your Project’s Efficiency

Best Online Collaboration Tools

Here’s a list of project collaboration tools to get you started. We cover key differential of the software (what are its major pros and cons compared to other tools), followed by a look at its features and functions, and finally its integrations and pricing.

backlog-logo-best-bug-tracking-tools

Score:
  • 9.4

  • freemium version for up to 10 users
  • free 30-day trial
  • from $35/month

Backlog – https://backlog.com

Backlog‘s feature set is unique in that it offers project management, bug tracking, and version control management in a single app. If you’re looking for a tool to help manage development projects or working closely with a team of developers, this is the app for you.

Because this app offers more features than most project management apps, it’s visually more complex than some of the other apps on this list. Backlog provides a hands-on tool your developers can use to take projects from start to release to maintenance while ensuring transparency and accountability across teams.

backlog-screenshot-collaboration-tools

Backlog works for a range of team sizes, and they offer a self-hosted Enterprise option for larger companies. Collaboration features include task management (including subtasks, checklists, and custom fields), milestones, file management, wikis, and more. For collaborating on code, you get SVN and Git repositories, a differences viewer and inline comments, plus pull requests, merge requests, and branches. Visually, the app provides burndown charts, Git graphs, and Gantt charts, so users can quickly assess projects at a glance.

They also provide a mobile app on both iOS and Android for collaborating on-the-go. It integrates with Nulab’s other apps and provides both Redmine and Jira importers.

Backlog is free for up to 10 users with some feature limitations or $35/month for up to 30 users. For $100/month, your team gets unlimited users, i.e. their Standard Plan.

Summary of Backlog:

  1. Project discussions: Pass
  2. File upload and sharing: Pass
  3. To-do list and assigning tasks: Pass
  4. Events/project milestones: Pass
  5. Integration (with other types of tools): Pass
Score: 9.4
Milanote logo - collaboration tools

Score:
  • 9.0

  • freemium
  • $9.99/user/month

Milanote – https://www.milanote.com

Milanote is an easy tool to organize your ideas and projects into visual boards. It’s designed for the early stages of projects – for mapping out ideas, writing project briefs, and planning the steps in a project – before moving into a robust project management tool for executing and assigning tasks.

Milanote screenshot - collaboration tools

The drag and drop interface lets you put your work side by side on an infinite virtual pinboard. It handles notes, links, images and files. It also has a library of templates to make it easier to start new projects faster – project briefs, roadmaps, user journey maps, etc.

You can also collaborate in real-time, making it perfect for brainstorming workshops with remote teams. There are three different ways of sharing boards with team members – edit mode, comments only, or read only.

Overall it’s an easy to use tool to organize all the important information about your project in one place.

Milanote’s free version lets you add 100 notes, images or links (with no time limit.) Milanote PRO gives you unlimited storage from $9.99/month per person.

Summary of Milanote:

  1. Project discussions: Pass
  2. File upload and sharing: Pass
  3. To-do list and assigning tasks: Pass
  4. Events/project milestones: Fail
  5. Integration (with other types of tools): Fail
Score: 9.0