12 Collaboration Apps for Your Business

collaboration apps

If you’re like most business owners, you’re always looking for ways to improve productivity without spending a fortune. One way to do this is through collaboration apps. These apps improve efficiency and keep avoidable mistakes at bay.

In addition, they allow team members to communicate and collaborate on projects more easily, allowing them to build healthy relationships and reach new productivity heights.

That being said, even though collaboration software apps are plentiful, it’s often tricky to choose a suitable one for your business that can be easily accessed through mobile apps. This guide to the best small business collaboration apps for your business will help you make the right decision.

collaboration apps

Our Methodology: How We Chose the Best Business Collaboration Apps

To assist teams and businesses in selecting the most effective collaboration apps for their needs, we utilize a specific set of criteria. These criteria help in identifying apps that offer the best combination of communication efficiency, user-friendliness, and integrative capabilities. Each criterion is rated on a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 signifies the least importance and 5 the highest importance in our review process:

  1. Ease of Use and User Interface
    • Importance: 5
    • The app should have an intuitive, user-friendly interface that facilitates easy navigation and minimizes the learning curve for new users.
  2. Communication Features
    • Importance: 5
    • Essential communication tools like chat, video conferencing, and file sharing are crucial. The app should support seamless, real-time communication among team members.
  3. Integration with Other Tools
    • Importance: 4
    • The ability to integrate with other commonly used business tools and software (like email clients, CRM systems, project management tools) is important for a streamlined workflow.
  4. Collaborative Functionality
    • Importance: 5
    • Features that enable collaboration, such as document co-editing, task assignments, and shared calendars, are key for teamwork.
  5. Security and Data Protection
    • Importance: 5
    • Strong security features and data protection protocols are essential, especially when handling sensitive business information.
  6. Scalability
    • Importance: 3
    • The app should be scalable to accommodate growing teams and an increasing volume of data and communication.
  7. Customization Options
    • Importance: 3
    • The ability to customize the app according to the specific needs and preferences of the team or project can enhance usability.
  8. Reliability and Uptime
    • Importance: 4
    • Dependable performance with minimal downtime is important to ensure continuous productivity and collaboration.
  9. Pricing and Cost-Effectiveness
    • Importance: 4
    • The app should offer competitive pricing and cost-effectiveness, with various plans to suit different team sizes and budgets.
  10. Support and Resources
    • Importance: 3
    • Access to customer support, tutorials, and training resources is beneficial, particularly for troubleshooting and maximizing the use of the app.

By applying these criteria, we aim to identify collaboration apps that not only facilitate efficient teamwork and communication but also integrate seamlessly into business operations, ensuring security, and providing value for money.

collaboration apps

Best Collaboration Apps for Your Team Members

Navigating the world of online collaboration tools can be daunting, but choosing the right software can significantly enhance your team’s efficiency.

These tools are tailored to streamline business operations by providing functionalities like instant messaging, intuitive video conferencing, seamless file sharing, and more – all conveniently accessible via a mobile app.

With the abundance of available options, from Asana to Zoho Cliq, we’ve carefully curated a list of the top 12 best collaboration software apps. So, without ranking them, here’s our list:

1. Microsoft Teams

More than 250 million people use the Microsoft team app at work, school and home. Aspects that make it such an excellent remote collaboration tool include the fact that it’s feature-rich and easy to use, while also providing an easy way for onsite team members to meet, chat and communicate with each other from anywhere in the world. Setup for the app is minimal to non-existent and it integrates with Office 365. The business plans are reasonably priced, and they help you connect with Microsoft Office apps and services, such as Microsoft Teams, Office Suite (PP, Word, Excel, etc.), OneDrive, SharePoint and Access (PC only).

Available on: IOS, Android and Mac

Pricing: Business plans run $5.00-$12.50/user/month

collaboration apps

2. Google Docs

You may not know it, but you may already be using this top collaboration app for managing your projects already. It’s Google Docs, a word processing and spreadsheet app which is part of Google Workspace. Its high functionality, such as real-time updates and team sharing features have made it the ubiquitous app it is today. Whether you are using it solo, or on a team, the docs allow you to easily create, chat and share documents for better collaboration. You don’t have to fret about losing valuable work, either, as everything is autosaved as you type.

Available on: IOS, Android, Windows and Mac

Pricing: the app is free and has unlimited users

3. Asana – Best For Project Management

When it comes to project management, few online tools can beat Asana. Teams report that using its project management tools makes them 45% more efficient, and handy integrations such as direct requests, reminders and to-do lists make up some of its core features. In addition, Asana lets you track individual tasks or plan sprints to achieve successful project launches.

Available on: IOS, Android, Windows and Mac

Pricing: Asana’s basic plan is free, but it is really only suitable for project teams that are getting started. If you are wanting to use it to manage work across multiple initiatives and teams, their premium and business plans that ranges $10-$24.99/per user/month (when billed annually) is probably a better solution.

collaboration apps

4. Zoom – Best for Video Conferencing

Social distancing during the covid pandemic has led to Zoom being the number one video conferencing tool. Conversely, Jason Fried, the CEO of Basecamp, says that the real reason behind it zooming to the top over competitors like Webex and GoToMeeting was that its remote collaboration tools like screen sharing and high res video were “simply way easier.” Zoom also lets you record meetings during a team chat if your brain is switching off after a long day of meetings. Lastly, the app makes it easy to switch from talking on the phone to video calls.

Available on: IOS, Android, Windows and Mac

Pricing: Zoom offers a completely free version for the first 40 minutes. A monthly subscription starts at just $10/month, and you can call or video chat with friends on any device with the perk of unlimited users.

5. Dropbox

With over over 500 million users, Dropbox makes this list of excellent collaboration tools because it is so versatile. You can use it to store and backup files, securely share them with coworkers and even create folders and subfolders to better organize your work. Also, Dropbox integrates with many other collaboration applications you may be using, such as Google Drive, Slack and Asana.

Available on: IOS, Android, Windows and Mac

Pricing: Dropbox has a free plan but storing your files, photos and other media will quickly eat up your free space. Prices for Dropbox’s plans run from $16.58/month for 3,000 GB of storage space to $20/month for unlimited space. Some of their other plans include storage plus extra functionalities such as e-Sign and DocSend.

collaboration apps

6. Trello – Best for Task Management

If Asana is the king of managing projects, then Trello is its trusty sidekick. This app excels at creating and managing tasks by using a kanban-style board that lets you see what’s in progress, completed and what still needs to be done. You can also add comments, attachments and due dates to tasks for further clarification and organization through its user friendly interface. Plus, Trello is great for a group chat as other team members can easily see who is working on what and how far along they are. Finally, Trello for Hangouts Chat allows you to send customized alerts to chat rooms for activities on Trello boards, cards and lists.

Available on: IOS, Android, Windows and Mac

Pricing: Standard ($5 per user per month), Trello Premium ($9.99 per user per month), Trello Enterprise ($17.50 per user per month)

7. One Note

OneNote is a great way to quickly and easily take notes that you can access from any device. You can create notebooks, pages and sections to organize your ideas, and add text, images, tables and charts. Then, you can share them with the right people through teams chat or channel posts. You can also share notes with others in your organization by emailing a link or having shared real-time co-authoring sessions with coworkers. The app will keep track of all the changes each person is making.

Available on: IOS, Android, Windows and Mac

Pricing: OneNote is free for all users and newer versions of Microsoft 365 come with it built-in, alongside staples like Excel, Word and PowerPoint.

8. Slack

Slack is a messaging app for teams that lets you easily hold group conversations where you can communicate with coworkers and collaborate on projects. You can create channels for different topics, share files and have group chats. Plus, Slack integrates with other apps so you can easily access all your data in one place.

Available on: IOS, Android, Windows and Mac

Pricing: They offer a basic free plan and pro is $6.67 month

9. Podio

Podio is a cloud-based platform that lets you manage your projects and collaborate with coworkers. It is user-friendly and you can create custom workflows, add tasks and due dates and track progress. Plus, you can integrate Podio with other apps to get more out of your data. Here’s another key point:, Podio’s stability was 99.99% uptime in 2021, and as part of Citrix, their security standards are rigorous.

Available on: IOS, Android, Windows and Mac

Pricing: $9/month/employee, Plus $14/month/employee, and Premium $24/month/employee

10. Flock

Flock is team building chat software that lets you communicate with coworkers in real-time in one easy-to-use platform. With it, you get video calling, business messaging, secure file-sharing and robust productivity tools in one easy-to-use platform. You can chat one on one or in teams through Flock’s team channels. The same channel messaging system also makes it easy to follow conversations and streamline cross-functional chats from top to bottom. Users can access all of their most important projects in one place so that no one is left out or there are no miscommunications.

Available on: IOS, Android, Windows and Mac

Pricing: Starter – free plan ( 1 to 15 users), Pro: $5 per month

11. Twist

Twist is async messaging for teams who are bummed out by the communication they encounter at work. You know which ones they are—the messages that pressure you to respond RIGHT NOW. How does it work? Your inbox collects all the threads you belong to in one place, and then you join and mark tasks done as soon as you complete them. That makes it perfect for conducting deep work and getting more done. With Twist, members of your team will be so excited to collaborate again!

Available on: IOS, Android, Windows and Mac

Pricing: starts at $5.00 per user per month, the free plan is also available with limited features

12. Zoho Cliq

Zoho Cliq is a team messaging app that helps you stay connected with your colleagues. The powerful collaboration tool lets you have real-time conversations with your team, share electronic files and ideas, and keep track of what everyone is working on. You can also integrate it with other Zoho apps to get more done in less time. Its tech tools include SSL integration and multi-protocol support. Zoho also has a time tracking app that lets you start tracking billable hours when you work on a task. In a nutshell, Zoho Cliq makes your ideas come to life by allowing you to remotely speak with your coworkers or have conversations long-distance with your company’s hybrid teams.

Available on: IOS, Android, Windows and Mac

Pricing:  Up to 500 users = $3 per user,  501 – 1000 users = $2.5 per user , 1001 – 5000 users = $2 per month , 5001 – 10K users = $1.5 per month.

collaboration apps

Comparison of Top Collaboration Apps

Below is a comprehensive comparison of the top collaboration apps, based on their primary features, compatibility, and pricing. This table aims to provide you with a quick overview to help you gauge which tool might be the most suitable for your business needs

App NamePrimary FeatureAvailable onPricing
Microsoft TeamsCommunication & IntegrationIOS, Android, Mac$5.00-$12.50/user/month
Google DocsDocument CollaborationIOS, Android, Windows, MacFree, unlimited users
AsanaProject ManagementIOS, Android, Windows, MacFree basic, $10-$24.99/user/month (billed annually)
ZoomVideo ConferencingIOS, Android, Windows, MacFree up to 40 mins, starts at $10/month
DropboxFile Storage & SharingIOS, Android, Windows, MacFrom $16.58/month for 3,000 GB
TrelloTask ManagementIOS, Android, Windows, Mac$5-$17.50/user/month
OneNoteNote TakingIOS, Android, Windows, MacFree
SlackMessaging for TeamsIOS, Android, Windows, MacFree basic, Pro is $6.67/month
PodioProject ManagementIOS, Android, Windows, Mac$9-$24/month/employee
FlockTeam ChatIOS, Android, Windows, MacFree (1-15 users), Pro: $5/month
TwistAsynchronous MessagingIOS, Android, Windows, MacFrom $5/user/month, free plan available
Zoho CliqTeam MessagingIOS, Android, Windows, MacScales with number of users (e.g., $3-$1.5/user/month)

collaboration apps

What are team collaboration apps?

At its core, a team collaboration app is an innovative software solution that fosters seamless communication and coordination among team members. Whether these members are working side by side in an office or are spread out across different continents, these apps bridge the gap.

Beyond just providing a platform for dialogue, they offer tools that facilitate task execution, project management, and structured conversations among employees. While these apps have become almost synonymous with modern business environments, their utility isn’t restricted to corporate settings.

Various entities, like non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and religious congregations, are also embracing them.

They are particularly advantageous for hybrid teams with dynamic movements, ensuring everyone remains on the same page, irrespective of their physical location.

Essential Tools in Collaboration Apps

Central to any collaboration app are features like chat messaging that allows real-time communication, file-sharing tools to distribute documents and resources effortlessly, and task management functionalities to keep everyone aligned with their responsibilities.

While their primary audience remains businesses aiming to enhance productivity, these tools’ versatility means they’re also embraced by diverse groups ranging from non-profits to educational institutions.

Especially for hybrid teams, which may have members transitioning between remote and in-person work, these apps are invaluable, ensuring consistent communication and collaboration.

Although they have many of the same features, it is not the same as a team management app.

Why should you invest in team collaboration apps for your business

The following are a few of the benefits of collaboration apps and why should invest in them for your business:

  •  Smooth communication: There are many benefits to messaging on collaborative apps over emails. For example, messaging is more instant, casual and relaxed. That’s because you can easily communicate with people on your current or prospective client list without having all those pesky unread messages cluttering up the inboxes of both parties.
  •  Easy access to information: File sharing is the best way to make sure that your team stays productive. It’s also an essential tool for brainstorming and generating new ideas with colleagues who may be hesitant about meeting in person but want access nonetheless.
  • Amp up productivity: Don’t forget that apps for collaboration are also productivity apps. ABy integrating these tools into your work process, you can easily increase efficiency and output.
  • Environmentally friendly: A collaboration app offers the ultimate in communication tools, but they also provide ways to make your office more environmentally friendly. For instance, by communicating and sharing files electronically instead of on paper, you can save trees! Think of all those paper and post-it notes you’ll no longer have when working on digital brainstorming sessions! Also, you don’t have to print out attachments or memos anymore—simply forward the document to your colleague and they can open it up on their device. No waste, no fuss!

Image: Depositphotos

More in:

Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.