Best Online Collaboration Tools 2018: Slack vs Basecamp vs Trello vs Asana vs Teamwork vs Wrike & More!

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The number of people working in virtual office spaces continues to increase every year. Why? Because it’s easier than ever to work from home and use software to collaborate online and keep your team focused, organized and on task.

We bring you the best online tools your team can use to communicate and collaborate efficiently on projects.

Article Overview

A virtual team – whether across the street or across the world – is a team whose members simultaneously work together to a common purpose, while physically apart. -Yael Zofi

How Many Teams Work Virtually?

Working from anywhere has never been easier thanks to WiFi, cloud computing, smartphones, and online collaboration tools. Building relationships is also easier and can be done faster due to social media.

According to approximately 20-25% of the workforce teleworks at some frequency. In fact, 4.3 million employees now work from home at least half the time. These numbers continue to grow as large companies get more comfortable with allowing employees to work from home more regularly thanks to effective online collaboration and project management tools.

Why Use Online Collaboration Tools?

Companies are taking advantage of this growth in virtual teams by producing online collaboration software and tools to meet this new demand.

Just because you’re in a different city or even time zone doesn’t mean you can’t still communicate and work together as if you were in the same room.

We Rock Your Web has been testing and using various tools throughout the years to keep our virtual team connected and productive from locations around the world.

What Are The Best Online Collaboration Tools?

There are numerous companies to choose from for your online collaboration needs. Some have overlapping features. However, each offers a different type of service. Some specialize in task management while others are better suited for instant messaging.

You may find it best to use multiple tools to collaborate (like we do at We Rock Your Web). For that reason, we’ve chosen a winner for each category rather than our typical top 3 picks. Read the reviews below to see what each company specializes in and how they can help your team.

Best Collaboration Tool By Category

Alphabetical Listing

Asana | Basecamp | Glip | Google Drive | Kanban Tool | Liquidplanner | Nutcache | ProofHub | Sharepoint | Slack | Sococo | Teamwork Projects | Trello | Wrike

Best For Project And Task Management

Teams of any type (virtual or not) require you to use tools to manage tasks and projects of all sizes. The challenge is getting everyone on board with the same system. You want something that is complex enough to give you options and flexibility, yet not so complicated and overwhelming that you spend more time learning and using the system than you do getting work done.

At We Rock Your Web, we’re suckers for Basecamp (and many others are too), but from the research we’ve done, it seems there has been a migration towards Teamwork Projects because it has more features than Basecamp does. Basecamp is straightforward without being too simple, but if you crave something with more bells and whistles, try out Teamwork Projects. Below are more details about both and you can also learn more in our Project Management Software Reviews.

Teamwork Projects Review (Winner)

Teamwork logoVisit Website

Best For: Project and task management for more experienced users
Ideal Team Size: All company sizes

Teamwork Projects is super easy to use and is very user-friendly. It is similar to Basecamp except it has a few more features including the ability to give tasks priorities and create milestones and invoices among others including tracking time.

They also have a desktop timer you can download to your PC or Mac to track hours by project and task. Teamwork Projects can be used in a variety of different ways so you can personalize it based on how you work best.

You can view what’s on your plate by checking out the Teamwork calendar or see a list in more of an activity log format. It also shows workloads and a snapshot of tasks and milestones that are past due. This is an affordable option for those of you looking for a collaboration tool with basic yet functional project management.

If you like Teamwork for project management, it even has its own chat and help desk products so you can keep everything under one roof.



  • Apps available on iOS, Android, Chrome, Web, Mac and Windows
  • Integrates with Dropbox, Google Drive, Quickbooks and more
  • Great customer service reviews
  • Unlimited users
  • Tons of features (time tracking, Gantt charts, subtasks, etc.)
  • Basecamp import tool in case you are switching
  • Teamwork Desk (help desk)
  • 90-day money back guarantee
  • Discounts for non-profits and educational institutions
  • Subscribers say it’s simple to use
  • The software is continually being updated and improved
  • Free forever option
  • Doesn’t work the best with Internet Explorer


  • 30-day free trial (no credit card required)
  • Pro: $56.25/month for 5 users plus $11.25/month per additional user, 100 GB space, up to 50 users, 300 projects and more (save 20% if billed annually)
  • Premium: $93.75/month for 5 users plus $18.75/month per additional user, 250 GB space, up to 100 users, 600 projects and more (save 20% if billed annually)
  • Enterprise: Contact for pricing, 500+ GB space, unlimited users & projects and more


Teamwork occasionally has promotions, find and discuss them on our dedicated Teamwork discount code page.

Read Our In-Depth Teamwork Projects Review

Basecamp Review (Honorable Mention)

Basecamp logoVisit Website

Best For: Task management for everyday users
Ideal Team Size: Small to mid-sized companies

Looking for a basic, easy to use and straightforward project management tool? Look no further than Basecamp. Basecamp 3 is our primary project management tool at We Rock Your Web. You can track projects and tasks via to-do lists, host written discussions, embed media files (images, videos) and more.

What’s great about Basecamp is its simplicity. There are few task and project distractions to pull you off task. Basecamp takes all the email chains in one particular task or topic and strings them together into a discussion or task.

Then sends email notifications to your inbox only when a specific task or discussion is relevant to you. Basecamp 3, the newest Basecamp iteration, has the added benefit of giving you additional control over these notifications.




  • Access Basecamp with mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, Android and email
  • When responding to a task, you can close your browser window and come back without sending and your note will still be there
  • Easy to learn and use
  • No annual contracts, cancel anytime
  • Unlimited users
  • Control access for each individual (admin, team member, client, visitor)
  • Backup data to Google Drive or Dropbox
  • Great Twitter support with fast replies and fast email responses too
  • Can integrate with more than 100 apps and add-ons
  • Data is secure via HTTPS encryption and 2-factor authentication
  • View and respond to tasks by email
  • 50% discount for non-profits and charities
  • No recurring tasks or to-do lists
  • No time tracking
  • No integration with Slack
  • Some features like hill charts have limited use for most


  • 30-day free trial (no credit card required)/li>
  • Free for teachers and students
  • $99/month for 500GB storage and unlimited projects


Get $50 off of Basecamp via this link! You can also see and discuss promotions on our dedicated Basecamp discount code page.

Read Our In-Depth Basecamp Review

Nutcache Review

Nutcache logoVisit Website

Best For: Teams looking for a business-oriented, Agile solution for managing projects
Ideal Team Size: Small and large companies

Nutcache focuses on helping teams be more efficient by managing the entire project delivery lifecycle. This includes the initial estimate, project budgeting, time tracking, expense management and final billing. All projects are located in one place to help you with time management as well as project progress.



  • Great customer support
  • Integrates financial capabilities to project management
  • Easy to use
  • Supports any Agile methodology including Scrum
  • iPhone and Android apps for time tracking
  • No annual contracts, cancel anytime
  • No integration with Google Drive
  • Complaints of app integration difficulties
  • Some users grumble that manual time adjustments can stall the program, forcing a restart to continue


Below are some sample prices for Nutcache, but if you visit its website, you can specify your team size and get customized pricing.

  • 14-day free trial (no credit card required)
  • Pro Edition:
    • Small Teams: $10/month for up to 6 users
    • Growing Teams:
      • $50/month for 10 members
      • $75/month for 15 members
      • $100/month for 20 members
      • $150/month for 50 members
  • Enterprise Edition:
    • Small Teams: $25/month for up to 6 users
    • Growing Teams:
      • $110/month for 10 members
      • $150/month for 15 members
      • $200/month for 20 members
      • $300/month for 50 members

ProofHub Review

ProofHub logoVisit Website

Best For: Task management for everyday users
Ideal Team Size: Small to mid-sized teams

ProofHub has a simple interface and is well-organized to help keep your team on top of projects. ProofHub has all the basics to make your team more efficient, but some companies do it better.

There are some hiccups in the operation of some features and it is missing some features that customers enjoy. However, ProofHub is still a good project management tool.



  • Clean interface
  • Simple to use and many features
  • Discounts for non-profits
  • Some features don’t operate smoothly
  • Must upgrade to get some features that come at less expensive prices from competitors


  • 30-day free trial
  • Essential: $45/month for 40 projects, unlimited users, 15GB storage
  • Ultimate Control: $135/month for unlimited projects and users, 100GB storage

Best Collaboration Tool For Virtual Team Communications

When you have a virtual team, good team communications is critical to collaboration. Luckily there are more options than ever to do so, but sometimes an important text can be disruptive and scheduling a phone call can be impossible.

So virtual team communication tools allow you to do more than email and other forms of communications can. They make up for what’s lacking in not sharing a physical environment together on a day-to-day basis.

Slack is our overall winner for this category for many reasons. Their desktop (and web-browser) app is intuitive and straightforward yet useful. Drag and drop a file into a chat window. Host an impromptu virtual meeting with one of its many integrations. Search conversations and much more. It’s got all the same features as other chat platforms that you know and love but creates a virtual hub to put all your communications in one place.

Slack Review

Slack logoVisit Website

Best For: Virtual team non-verbal communications
Ideal Team Size: Small to mid-size companies

Slack is a souped-up chat that was started by one of the founders of Flickr. Our team started using Slack in early 2015 for and are a big fan of it. You can @mention people (similar to Twitter) to call things to their attention in a private message or on one of the “channels.”

You can also search chat history and star important messages. It has a user-friendly interface, and you barely need any training to start communicating and collaborating with your team.

We use Slack for those quick questions we have to help eliminate unnecessary emails. It’s also a good tool to use to chat about non-work-related things and have some fun with your team (including custom emojis).

Lastly, they have a solid privacy policy that made us a lot more comfortable sharing sensitive information than on some competing platforms.



  • Use via web browser or desktop app
  • File sharing
  • Integrations with 3rd party apps like IFTTT, Google Hangout, Dropbox, etc.
  • iPhone and Android app
  • Extra security features to ensure secure communications
  • Can switch between multiple Slack teams
  • Low resource usage (small footprint; won’t hog memory)
  • Solid privacy policy
  • Video call feature
  • Ability to set a status
  • No project management tools



Our readers get an exclusive $100 off of Slack, just use this link to get started. Discuss this promotion and others on our dedicated Slack discount code page.

Best Collaboration Tool For Team Collaboration

Team collaboration puts communications, task management, project tools and more all under one roof. Instead of doing one specific task really well, team collaboration tools do a lot of things pretty good.

You might sacrifice certain features, but you get the benefit of having an all-in-one product that consolidates everything into one place versus logging in and out of multiple accounts. We picked Asana as the clear winner for the best team collaboration category. Read the full review below for details.

Asana Review

Asana logoVisit Website

Best For: Team collaboration
Ideal Team Size: Small to mid-sized companies

Asana claims to be “teamwork without email” and it is just that. It looks and acts like an email inbox but groups projects with the ability to add due dates, “likes” and stars for essential items in one place. It integrates with some other third-party sites including Google Drive and Slack. Many well-known organizations like Uber and The New Yorker use Asana, so that’s a good sign that this tool is pretty popular.

However, it does take some getting used to if you are not very tech savvy. There are a number of bells and whistles users can take advantage of, including the ability to create custom themes and shortcuts.



  • View progress reports
  • Color code/highlight key tasks
  • Boards feature that allows teams to organize and manage tasks efficiently
  • Web-based so there is no software to install
  • No credit card required for free trial
  • iPhone and Android app
  • Add tasks by email and sync to your Google calendar or iCalendar
  • Overwhelming number of features makes for a steep learning curve
  • Messages are encrypted for security, but there’s no two-factor authentication


  • Free forever for up to 15 members
  • Premium: $9.99/user/month
  • Enterprise: contact Asana for pricing

Best Tool For Document Collaboration

When you have a document that needs editing and feedback, it can be a challenge to go back and forth between versions, and confusing knowing which is the latest copy. In addition, sending files as an attachment can get lost in email chains and weigh down your email server space. Enter: GoogleDrive.

Widely used by many virtual teams, government agencies, non-profits, and businesses of all sizes. When you have your document hosted on a cloud-based editing platform like GoogleDrive, you have one and only one copy of a document, yet you can go back to restore previous versions if need be. Read about this and other features in the review below.

Google Drive Review

Google Drive logoVisit Website

Best For: Document collaboration
Ideal Team Size: All sizes

Google Drive’s products’ functionality is similar to Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint. What’s different is you and your team can collaborate on a project together in real-time via the cloud. Members of your team can edit, view and comment simultaneously without worrying about version control. You can share folders and restrict user access through Google Drive as well. Access your documents on the go by downloading the apps onto your computer or mobile device.

The downside to GoogleDrive is that you’re unable to secure your data. There is 2-step authentication, but you can never be too sure with Google. It’s important to know that Google offers their tools at no monetary cost to you, but you are giving them the ability to see and use your data for their R&D purposes. So in a way you’re paying with your privacy.

Be sure to check your documents’ access levels and be especially careful with sensitive data. We use Google Drive for more active documents and archive older documents to a safer, more private location. (Note: Google Drive was formerly called Google Docs.)



  • Free to use with lots of free storage
  • Integration with other Google products like Gmail, Hangouts, Chat, etc.
  • User access control available to control who can edit and view documents and folders
  • Simultaneous user document editing
  • iPhone and Android apps
  • Data security and privacy may be a concern with Google (read their privacy policy carefully)
  • Requires a Google account (but this also allows seamless integration)
  • No project or task management tools; documents and chat only


  • Free: first 15GB
  • 100GB: $1.99/month
  • 1TB: $9.99/month
  • 10TB: $99.99/month

Best Collaboration Tool For Large/Complex Project And Task Management

Sometimes a project requires more than just a glorified checklist. There can be lots of parts and complex pieces to the puzzle that all work together. You want to keep a bird’s-eye view of the bigger picture, without getting too lost in the weeds.

That’s when you need a more complex online collaboration tool like LiquidPlanner that gives your team more than enough tools to get through the finish line of a project together, on schedule and budget without letting any little details slip through the crack. This tool is ideal for larger corporations with complex project and task structures. Want to know more about LiquidPlanner?

LiquidPlanner Review

Liquidplanner logoVisit Website

Best For: Complex project and task management
Ideal Team Size: Mid to large-sized companies

If you have a larger company or team with multiple layers and moving pieces, LiquidPlanner is a good tool for you. They specialize in “priority-based schedules” which means your to-do list is updated automatically based on the most time-sensitive priority.

LiquidPlanner has a time tracker which records how long a task takes you to complete and logs your hours by project. You can also use reports and tracking tools to see how your team can improve its efficiency.

They also have an open API (application program interface) for developers, so if you’re a little more tech savvy, you can integrate with other tools. Note that LiquidPlanner is more expensive due to the number of features offered, but it’s worth signing up for a free trial to check out this cool product.



  • Calculates schedules automatically
  • All conversations are connected to tasks, and you can view recent conversations to see what’s new
  • Reply to tasks via email
  • Automatically updates timesheets
  • Analytic and dashboard reports
  • iOS and Android app
  • Can integrate with Basecamp
  • Non-profit and education rate discounts
  • Expensive
  • A bit of a learning curve
  • Unable to customize
  • Not great for multitasking
  • No financial tools


  • 30-day free trial (no credit card required)
  • Professional: $45/user/month based on annual plan with 100GB storage (5 user minimum)
  • Enterprise: $69/user/month based on annual plan with 500GB storage (5 user minimum)

Best Tool For Cross-Platform Project Collaboration

Change can be difficult, and it can be a challenge to get everyone on board with a new way of doing things, so the last thing you want to do is cause tension in your team.

Sometimes in larger companies, buy off on a less traditional project management tool are nearly impossible.

So why not take your take your existing software and systems and integrate them to work together? Thanks to SharePoint‘s cross-platform project collaboration you can do just that. Learn how below.

SharePoint Review

SharePoint logoVisit Website

Best For: Cross-platform project collaboration
Ideal Team Size: Mid to large-sized companies

Sharepoint is great for companies that use Windows since it’s part of the Microsoft Office suite. Connect with other employees using Microsoft’s technologies like Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Sharepoint is commonly employed by companies with hundreds of users who need to integrate with existing Customer Relationship Managers (CRMs) and applications like DocuSign.

They also offer Share Point Server OneDrive for Business, which syncs files and folders (similar to Dropbox).



  • Microsoft brand recognition, support, and easy MS Office integration
  • Was first established in 2001
  • Integration with Yammer for inter-office social networking
  • Windows-based software
  • Can be expensive if you have multiple licenses
  • Requires a lot of training and setup


  • SharePoint Online Plan 1: $5/user/month
  • SharePoint Online Plan 2: $10/user/month
  • Office 365 Enterprise E3: $20/user/month (annual commitment)
  • View all options

Best Tool For Collaborative Brainstorming

Brainstorming can be a challenge when you’re not all sitting in a conference room together or chatting over coffee. That’s where collaborative brainstorming tools like Trello come in. They allow you to share ideas, manage to do’s and more, visually. It is almost like using a giant whiteboard to post sticky notes, tape ideas, and jot down and assign tasks.

Trello Review

Trello logoVisit Website

Best For: Collaborative brainstorming
Ideal Team Size: Small to mid-sized companies

Trello is a very basic to-do list service you can use to collaborate with team members. There are very limited options as far as assigning tasks, but you can tag “cards” and create alerts and add photos to “boards.”

The free version provides most of the same benefits as the gold/upgraded version. However, the functionality is more or less the same. Trello is great for anyone looking for a visual way to virtually brainstorm ideas and display your thoughts in a stream.

Think of Trello as an online whiteboard with a bunch of high-tech sticky notes.



  • Easy to sign up, no credit card required
  • Clean, simple layout with easy to understand instructions
  • Share links to boards and invite outside members to view or collaborate
  • Easily print your boards to PDF for future reference in physical format
  • Drag and drop functionality and stickers to enhance boards
  • iPhone and Android app
  • Unlimited cards can be made
  • Backs up your data
  • Very limited in capabilities
  • Some security vulnerabilities
  • No Gantt charts or calendar


  • Free for up to 10MB card attachments
  • Business Class: $9.99/user/month when paid annually
  • Enterprise: $20.83/user/month (or less) when paid annually

Kanban Tool Review

Kanban Tool logoVisit Website

Best For: Task management and collaboration
Ideal Team Size: Small to large businesses

Kanban Tool is a visual project management tool that helps teams become for efficient. Teams can use Kanban cards, colors, tags, due dates and more to organize projects. Team members can collaborate in real time by sharing tasks, information and comments all while seeing how a project is progressing. You can spot any problem areas and help the team’s efficiency by using Kanban’s analytics and metrics.



  • Big companies like Expedia and Cisco use Kanban Tool
  • Powers over 25,000 small and large businesses
  • Easy to get started with
  • Android app isn’t user-friendly
  • Not as nice of an interface as Asana and Trello


  • 14-day free trial (no credit card required)
  • Free: 2 boards, 2 users, no file attachments
  • Team: $5/month/user for unlimited boards and file attachments
  • Enterprise: $9/month/user for time tracking and reporting and unlimited boards and file attachments

Other Project Management Tools

While these products did not rank amongst our winners for online collaboration tools, they are worth your review and consideration. Depending on your needs, they may be a great fit for your team.

Glip | Microsoft Teams | Sococo | Wrike

Glip Review

Glip logoVisit Website

Best For: People or small teams who want to eliminate email clutter
Ideal Team Size: More than one person (groups)

Owned by RingCentral, one of our top picks for best online fax companies, Glip offers many of the same features you’d expect from the other online task management tools. For that reason, we didn’t see any compelling reason to include them in the top choices.

However, RingCentral is a reputable company that has been around since 2003, so you can trust that they put out good solid products. We just wish they had done something to differentiate it from the others in this space. We couldn’t find many things to say about it – good or bad. So if your goal is to clean up the clutter of your inbox among team members and you like to see things in a clean, visual way, this might be a good fit for your group.



  • Super easy to get started with one-click single sign-up (no credit card or additional info needed)
  • Free for unlimited users and posts/storage
  • Integrates with other online collaboration tools mentioned above including Asana, Google Docs and around a dozen other popular services
  • Calendar view lets you see what’s coming up at a glance
  • Has its own chat system integrated
  • Clean, simple interface and good overall user experience
  • Web-based so no download needed (but desktop and mobile apps available)
  • Offers many of the same features as the other project management tools and nothing sets it apart from the pack (other than pricing which is free)
  • No phone or email support (just ticket request form and online FAQ section)
  • No email verification upon signing up and/or notifications
  • Can’t customize profile
  • No 2-factor authentication for security


  • Free for unlimited posts, storage and users and 500 minutes of video chat
  • Basic: $5/user/month
  • Pro: $10/user/month

Microsoft Teams Review

Microsoft Teams logo

Visit Website

Best For: Companies who already use Microsoft products and programs
Ideal Team Size: Large companies, corporations and teams

Dubbed the “hub for teamwork in Office 365”, Microsoft Teams is perfect for those who already use Microsoft products and services like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint, etc. They put all the their online collaboration tools under one roof in the Microsoft platform including chat, conference calling, customize dashboards, and more.



  • All collaboration tools under one roof
  • Integrates with apps including Adobe, SurveyMonkey, Smartsheet, etc.
  • Enterprise-level security and compliance
  • Customer service
  • Mobile app and connect on multiple devices
  • Community of help and support
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac
  • Desktop app requires updates
  • Must have/use Microsoft office products


Teams is a free service but you must have Microsoft Office 365 to use which has three options from which to choose:

  • Essentials: $5/month (with annual contract)
  • Business: $8.25/month per user (with annual contract)
  • Business Premium: $12.50/month per user (with annual contract)
  • View all options

Sococo Review

Sococo logoVisit Website

Best For: Virtual team communications that need personal interaction
Ideal Team Size: All company sizes

Sococo falls short in technical and privacy capabilities, but it does give your team the ability to be all in the same (virtual) office space together. It’s visual chat paired with virtual reality. Logging into its online workspace is like coming to work in the morning. Because it has limits on certain features like spell check, saved conversation history and some technical glitches, it falls behind Slack. It’s also pricey and Sococo’s privacy policy is not ideal and it lacks security features.

Sococo is great for those of you with office withdrawal that need to feel like you are working with another human in real time and see them in their “office.” It creates a virtual workspace for teams to connect as if they were in a real brick and mortar building. Each team member gets their own “office” which even has a door you can shut to have privacy. It’s a great way for teams to bond, have a spur of the moment meeting (or virtual happy hour) and see who is “in the office” (or online and available).



  • Fun virtual office environment
  • Hold meetings and individual discussions in private offices or conference rooms
  • Real-time, instant audio or video conferencing
  • Chat capabilities
  • Dial into phone lines for conference calls
  • Screen sharing capabilities
  • iPhone and Android app
  • Available as software download or through browser (Chrome only)
  • No file sharing or spell check in chat windows
  • Video conference software is spotty
  • Not available in Firefox
  • No project management tools
  • High resource footprint because of its complex graphical interface (i.e., memory hog)
  • Compromising privacy policy (i.e., not enough restrictions on what happens to, or what they can do, with your data)


  • Office Suite: $13.49/user/month for 2-49 seats
  • Office Floor: $12.59/user/month for 50-99 seats
  • Office Building: $11.69/user/month for 100-249 seats
  • Entire Campus: Contact for pricing for 250+ seats
  • View all options

Wrike Review

Wrike logoVisit Website

Best For: Longer term projects that have dependents and sub-tasks
Ideal Team Size: Mid to large-sized companies

Founded in 2007, Wrike has had more than 8,000 paid users using their collaboration platform since its inception. They have a tutorial that walks you through how to use the tool upon logging in for the first time and no credit card is required to sign up. You can add multiple tasks and projects without having to assign a person or due date. Once things start to pile up, you can view the big picture via a timeline. Tasks and projects can also be viewed by due date or last modification.

The paid versions include more bells and whistles like time tracking and branded workspace. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but it’s pretty straightforward once you get adjusted to everything. There are even keyboard shortcuts if you want to get more advanced. We don’t like that you must have Flash installed to use the tool but other than that, it’s a great product, especially perfect for those who are fans of Gantt charts.



  • Desktop notifications
  • Great customer service reputation
  • Updating constantly
  • Long learning curve
  • Clunky system
  • Could use help with functionality
  • Expensive
  • Less intuitive interface


Pricing is paid annually and there is a free trial available as well as a free plan.

  • Free: 5 users and a few features
  • Professional: starting at $9.80/user/month for 5, 10 or 15 users
  • Business: starting at $24.80/user/month for 5 to 200 users
  • Marketers: starting at $34.60/user/month for 5 to unlimited users
  • Enterprise: contact for pricing for 5 to unlimited users

Wrike also has add-on features to enhance the plan you choose.

  • Proofing & Approval: $9.80/user/month
  • Two-Way Sync with GitHub & JIRA: free
  • Optimization: contact Wrike for pricing

Should I Use More Than One Collaboration Tool?

Think about what you’ll be using your online collaboration tool for. All these products offer various benefits, and you may find that using a combination of these services will work best for you. For example, we use Google Drive, Slack, and Basecamp on a regular basis.

Finding the optimal combination of these products to meet your teams’ needs is key. Below are some additional online collaboration tools that you may want to consider for your team:

  • Time Doctor – employee time tracking.
  • Google Hangouts – video auto-switching/effects.
  • FreshBooks – cloud accounting, send invoices, track time, capture expenses.
  • Skype – video conferencing/chat/get your own # (good for travel).
  • – super simple screensharing.
  • Fetch – mobile expense reports and tracking
  • Shoeboxed – mobile receipt organization
  • Jing – screen capture anything (presentations/podcasts) & sharing.
  • Voxer App – voice texting/walkie-talkie.

Security And Privacy For Your Virtual Team

Whether you are a company or individual, your data is at risk of being hacked or lost. It’s important to take advantage of the security and back up features these online collaboration tools offer.

Some are integrated automatically while others require a manual or more proactive approach (read their privacy policies carefully to learn who has access to your data and what’s being done with it).

No matter what, make sure you aren’t at risk for hacks or server crashes (read our article on website security and optimization on ways to protect yourself today). Make sure the data you are passing between platforms is secure and that your data is being backed up.

For example, it’s not a bad idea to use a secure service for signing important documents. If you have been compromised, we recommend a service like Sucuri to clean up the mess. Lastly, check and make sure your email server wasn’t blacklisted as a result of the incident.

Video: Why Use Online Collaboration Tools?

We made this fun, one minute video to show you how these tools can help supercharge your team’s productivity.

Which Collaboration Tools Do We Use?

Find out exactly which of the tools mentioned here we use ourselves here at We Rock Your Web in our companion article tips for managing your virtual team.

What tips do you have for collaborating online? Do you have a favorite software or tool?

Sadie has acted as the email marketing coordinator and web designer for one of the world's largest travel companies and managed social media for dozens of major brands. She has a breadth and depth of web and marketing knowledge that reaches far and wide. She loves all things Mac and keeping up with all the latest web trends.

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None of them really worked for me. What I needed most was a secure IM that is suitable for business use,that has many features included and a good affordable price. I have tested the majority of these and ended up with Brosix. I t looks that I have found what I needed now.
My team started using Slack about two months ago. I don’t know how we ever managed without it. Also, I wasn’t aware that there were so many online collaboration tools. I’m going to look into adding one or two of these to our repertoire. Thanks for all the information.
Marc Guevin from the Nutcache Team
Product update – Nutcache now provides teams of all sizes with a business-oriented Agile/Scrum solution for managing the entire project delivery lifecycle in a collaborative workspace; from the initial estimate to the final billing. And Nutcache offers a mobile app to track time outside of the app too.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Hi Marc, feel free to reach out to us through our contact form and we’d be happy to make any updates. Thanks for reaching out to us!
Hey there,
Just wanted to inform you that Teamwork Projects now offers two-factor authentication, so you may need to update the piece.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Thanks, Therese, we will be sure to update our article.
Sara L
What’s involved in the Basecamp 2 to 3 upgrade? We’re currently on Basecamp 2 and are worried that we will lose some of our content if we sign up for Basecamp 3. Also, in regards to Basecamp pricing, is it correct that Basecamp 3 cost $50 a month more than Basecamp 2? This is all very confusing, since from what I can tell they are still fully supporting both versions.
Alex Schenker (Admin)
Hi Sara,

We just updated the article with details on the Basecamp migration process. Essentially, there is now an upgrade option available that will migrate your data from Basecamp 2 to Basecamp 3. Our team accomplished this successfully just the other month. It’s also true that version 3 is slightly more expensive, but given the new features and the fact that the 37signals team is now exclusively focusing on Basecamp 3 development, we felt it was the right time to upgrade. Good luck and let us know what you decide!

Hi Sadie. Have you come across Brightpod app – a kanban style project management app designed for digital marketing teams. If you ever do an article on marketing tools do let me know. I’ll set you up with a free trial version. You’ll love it 🙂
Hi Sadie and thank you so much for your article! You have some really great feedback and comparisons about features. It is difficult to find a one size fits all solution on the market, but it does actually exist 🙂 I would love to introduce you to Taskworld. Named as one of the top task/project management & communication software tools by software review giant, Capterra, recommended in Tech Crunch, Huffington Post and Forbes, Taskworld is offers an all-in-one platform with robust project and task management, collaboration, communication/chat and overview and analytics tools, with intuitive design and easy onboarding – all on one platform. It doesn’t require any integrations but rather is a full stand alone team management tool – it’s got all of the features missing on your cons list 😉 Think of it as all the best on your list rolled into one.

Would love the opportunity to chat with you a bit more about it and see how we might make it into this blog or a future one 🙂 We’ve had so many teams come to us from Trello, Slack, Basecamp, etc. saying they’d wished they had known about Taskworld sooner, and that there was an all in one platform without having to deal with integrations and paying for multiple subscriptions. Thank you again for your time and hard work! 🙂 Feel free to get in touch with me via email.

I have a small company but we do a ton of enterprise projects, so we have a very fast paced environment. We have been using a group of apps, that luckily we have been able to sync to work together thanks to their programming interfaces (API). We use Trello as our Project Managent tool, we have it linked to slack so different team members get notified when their projects are changing. We use Slack for all our communications, since we are a bunch of engineers we are always on the go we need that mobility and being able to track all our conversations is a huge plus. We also use Google Docs, because even though Slack is great as a document collaboration tool, all our final projects are stored in Google Apps so we can all access them and edit them. Lastly, we use Cushion to Manage projects from a time/cost point of view. Cushion is a new player. Cushion is originally designed to help freelancers manage projects and how much time/money they vest on them. For us it was a godsend. With Cushion we can see our schedule, and we can plan tasks and projects that are meant to happen some time from now, ahead but still within the budget. It helps us track out expenses so we know how much we are putting on a project or a client and manage our time so that when an engineer has done X amount of work (including weekends) that person can know when they can take a break and rotate their time. It’s a pretty amazing tool. It’s cheap too at $96/yr. One thing that is missing is team access, for us it works because our project manager uses the tool the most, but the developer has told us that Teams is already a feature that is coming up. The developer is the nicest guy possible, and incredibly reachable at all times. The combined cost of using all these web/cloud based apps is a lot cheaper for us than using other solutions. For us we use whatever works. But I think you should check out Cushion. It’s worth a look.
This is a very useful thread and I hope it’s still active. We are currently looking at revamping our Intranet with SharePoint and are considering using it for enhanced collaboration, however I’ve been using Basecamp with our development supplier and find it really easy to use and it helped our project communications immensely. Our organization has chosen Asana as the team collaboration tool, so I am trying that out before deciding on which one to adopt. I don’t like the way Asana has limited formatting with conversation threads. I also don’t like the way Asana doesn’t have other lists except for task lists, or at least I cant figure out how to use it to that effect. In Basecamp we could create a list and give it a name, so it was much more flexible. I think an amalgamation of the tools will be ideal, but then you lose the benefit of having one place to go. Any advice?
You guys should add Avaza to this comparison.

It has the functionality equivalent of Trello + Asana + Harvest + Freshbooks, integrated in one product, at a price less than any one of them.

Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Thanks Tim, we’ll look into adding the company in our next audit for this article!
Thomas Zickell
Wrinkle is my favorite.
Hello, Sadie! I’m testing diffent services for my project management and team collaboration needs and this article was a good read. I use Google Drive and Telegram for most of my collaboration needs. I tried Asana in the past for project management but it didn’t work off-line at the time and that was a deal-breaker to me, but now that it supports off-line mode I will give it a try again combined with Trello – this one exclusively for brainstorming. Talking about Telegram Messenger, I think you missed it in your article, it is a great tool that has been helping me quite a lot! Naturally, I would place it in the Virtual Team Communication category, but I consider it to be more than that: since Telegram’s chats are cloud-based and it is a very fast app, I also use Telegram for writing notes with hashtags, to exchange files between my PC and my smartphone – by sending messages to myself – and recently I’ve been using Evernote less and less by replacing some Evernote notebooks by private Telegram channels. Currently, I’m even writing a Telegram Bot to be my virtual personal assistant. You should really take a look at Telegram if you still didn’t! 🙂
Good roundup! How robust/useful would you say these tools are for SMEs in construction, where at enterprise scale there’s traditionally a lot of emphasis on proprietary tools like Oracle Primavera (scheduling) or ARM (risk management)? The pricing plans here seem typically much less than several tools that aren’t mentioned, such as Wrike or Clarizen. Also one gets the feeling the projects envisaged here are product launches, app development, etc. rather than multi-disciplinary construction work. Any thoughts?
Royden James
Another one to add to the list would be Favro from the guys from Hansoft. In my opinion it takes all the good things from trell, slack and google drive and puts it all together in a comprehensive great looking package. Packed with enterprise level features for a less than 8 bucks, as well as a free version, this would be my top choice.
Wouldn’t it be easier to user Bitrix24, which is free and is just like having Slack+Asana+Google Drive in one?
Ashley Jessen
Not quite in the same league but a brilliant tool for agencies is Toggl. Loving it at the moment. So easy to record where your time is spent and it links with Asana and Trello and others too.
Anne Watkins
Hello Sadie, Just wanted to let you know I will be bringing this comparison to our organization as we prepare for a major project. We are reviewing project management software as a preliminary step. When I got the to bottom of the comparison, I was delighted to see that it is Sadie Cornelius who is married to my neighbor’s son. Small world. Anne Watkins
Steve Dosan
In addition to above mentioned tools, you may also try a R-HUB web conferencing server for all your online collaboration needs.
Don Droga
How many people would use Slack if it was web based only not an app?
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
With Slack you can use it in your web browser. Our team uses Slack and a few of the team members use it in their browser so it doesn’t take up space on their system.
Don Droga
Asana seems like it just has task lists, no ability to delegate and a chat feature. Looks very basic!
Just another guest...
We use Asana at work and you can assign tasks to people, it’s great for our 8 person team. One person handles clients and then types up tasks and assigns them to each person, and we all just carry on doing our work. Definitely room to improve but it has changed how our office operates drastically in the past 2 months. Plus it’s free.
Don Droga
At the time I tried Basecamp it was extremely limiting. I tried a few other project management services, but they all forced you into a specific workflow that did not give you the flexibility to have projects progress in the order things actually happen in. Asana combines being easy to use for the basic features with having lots of extra features without losing flexibility. You can organize your projects however you want and create your own workflow. I prefer to use Asana without integrating it into something like Slack because I think it is beneficial to try to force as many conversations as possible to happen inside Asana so the conversations get organized properly. It is already hard enough to get people to use Asana when they should just because of the option of using email, text, or calling on the phone. I’m sure there are teams out there that know when to use Slack and when to use Asana, but for our team too many people would just take the path of least resistance and do everything over Slack. I do think voice and video chats are needed for certain very back and forth, complex conversations.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Great insight! Glad to hear that Asana is working well for you and your team!
Steve at Bizgro
Our team didn’t like using Asana and it didn’t have controls to force users to enter certain fields (like the due date). So we stopped using Asana. On the other hand, Slack was adopted quickly and loved but we had to can it because stuff was everywhere and impossible to measure and manage. Slack by name and Slack by nature. People do have their head in the clouds when they think one cloud software will solve all their problems.
We just started using DayViewer looks like it is more of a calendar based planner but has a pretty thorough team working & collaboration feature and is easy for our office to pick up and use, we manage small projects and appointments on there.
In the slack cons section:
> No “idol” status (when you are inactive) probably is meant to say:
> No “idle” status (when you are inactive)
In the pros section:
> iPhone app only
which would actually be a con. But luckily it’s a misinformation, since there is an Android client for slack.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Whoops! Thanks for being our second pair of eyes! We have updated both of these items!
Thank you for your reply, Kimberly! Unfortunately, I don’t see any amendments to the article in the mentioned sections. I.e. it still says “idol” instead of “idle” and the fact that slack exists for Android, too, still isn’t mentioned.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Sometimes it takes a little time for the updates to show up. They are showing up for me now. Hopefully the version you are seeing is updated as well! 🙂
Fenbsion K
Great read and a splendid effort there Sadie. I was wondering if Evernote is included? As its my personal favorite when collaborating work on documents.
Gail Gardner
Trello is brilliant for creating unique processes for managing teams, projects, or resources. I know that many new users see it as “just a to-do list”, but it can be so much more.
Junaid Malik
What I need is any of these collaborative project management tools to be able to maintain a list of inventory and I can create tasks on individual inventory items and then collaborate.