Skip to content

The top 4 team collaboration tools in 2019

Today’s workforce works everywhere, all the time. Luckily, there are a plethora of technologies available to help people communicate with each other and work together. 

We reviewed and rated collaboration tools based on price, ease of use, and benefits to team productivity. Here are our four favorites for team collaboration.

Slack is one of the more well-known team collaboration software platforms. It allows for instant communication, file transfers, and the ability to create shared channels and workspaces for clear delineation of different projects and interests!

Price

As of May 2019, 600K organizations use Slack—of which 550K use the free version.They have friendly, per-user pricing starting at $6.67 that gets you most of the core functionality. 

A big bonus is Slack’s “Fair Billing Policy” that states you’re only billed for active users, so if not everyone on your team is using Slack, you won’t get billed for their seats.

Ease of use

Slack’s UI is extremely user-friendly. It was designed to increase transparency across all levels of the organization, and acts as a potential replacement to email, instant messaging, and text messaging.

Even first-time users won’t have trouble navigating through the interface. Starting conversations and channels are intuitive right from the get-go.

Benefit to team productivity:

Slack can be a double-edged sword. You can communicate with team members no matter where they are, send files for collaboration, @ mention people for action items that need immediate attention, have impromptu video calls, and create fun community spaces (i.e., “channels”) to connect over similar interests.

On the flip side, because Slack is offered as a desktop and mobile app, the lines between working hours and non-working hours become blurred, especially if people enable notifications to be pushed to their attention. The ability to create channels for non-business related activity can also be very distracting for people unused to protecting their time from the allure of informal and fun side conversations.

Overall rating:

Slack gets a 4.8/5 stars for: 

1) Its freemium offering that’s friendly to small businesses and fair billing policy that extends a flexible pricing strategy for all of its paying users

2) The great addition to preserving culture by making communication feel seamless across onsite and remote workers

3) File-sharing capabilities that kick-start group work and idea sharing.

Even first-time users won’t have trouble navigating through the interface. Starting conversations and channels are intuitive right from the get-go.

Zoom is a video conferencing software for companies to run everything from video calls to webinars to online meetings. Its founder was a lead engineer at WebEx, another video conferencing company, who wanted to create a better experience for users.

Price

Zoom has incredible flexibility in their pricing, allowing customers to customize their subscription to one best suited to their needs. For example, they have plans oriented solely around webinar and/or event-hosting and plans catered to setting up video conferencing systems in conference rooms. Their plans are also organized based on the size of your teams. 

Zoom’s Business plan is also $19.99/month, compared to another big player in the video conferencing space, WebEx, whose Business plan starts at $26.95/month.

Ease of use

Based on G2Crowd, an established peer-to-peer review site, Zoom is considered the more user-friendly platform. People can easily start or schedule a meeting with one click. One of the major perks that users mention about Zoom is its simple start-up. Zoom also doesn’t require that a user create an account to participate in a meeting. All that’s needed to be done to start the video conference is to send a link to your counterpart’s computer.

Even first-time users won’t have trouble navigating through the interface. Starting conversations and channels are intuitive right from the get-go.

Benefit to team productivity:

Zoom is a must-have for organizations today. It can replace phone conferencing as a tool for including remote workers—and it solves those awkward moments when people start to talk over each other because they can’t see each other. Screen sharing options allow everyone to look at the same document or visual at the same time, and Meetings can also be recorded for future reference.

Overall rating:

Whether you’re considering Zoom or another video conferencing system, they should inarguably make up a core component of your team collaboration tech stack. With today’s geographically-variable workforce, any video conferencing system is a must—not a nice-to-have. Why not choose the best one?

There are over 5 million businesses paying for Google’s broad range of team collaboration and productivity tools. The search engine giant has its hands in a lot of pots—and one of these pots is G Suite.

You’ve probably heard of them: Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Hangouts, Google Drive, just to name their major offers.

You probably also compare them with Microsoft Office. In 2018, Bitglass, a cloud security firm, conducted a study showing that 24.8% of businesses were using G Suite compared with 56.3% of businesses that were using Office 365.

Despite Microsoft Office continuing to hold the lion’s share of the market on productivity suites, G Suite is a strong contender in this area because of one key collaboration feature: online editing. Users can share documents with their colleagues and multiple parties can edit the same document or slide in real time, allowing people to streamline efforts and—you guessed it—collaborate that much better.

Price

The G Suite’s Business plan runs at $12 per user/month, compared to Microsoft 365’s $12.50 per user/month. The pricing isn’t too different until you take into account the extra IT support needed to install and troubleshoot Microsoft Office onto company computers.

Ease of use

As a basic online, real-time editing piece of software, G Suite gets the job done quite well. The only jarring inconsistencies are for those who were users of Microsoft Office first, and don’t see the same navigation or drop-down options. 

But as Lyft does with Uber and ecommerce stores do with Amazon, concessions are made if you’re the second player in an established industry. G Suite does make the majority of keyboard shortcuts translate over to the applications on G Suite, which makes life easier for the converts.

Benefit to team productivity:

The ability to work together on a document at the same time is a true differentiator for Google Docs/Sheets/Slides. You can also @ mention colleagues to assign tasks or ask questions, alerting them to something that requires their review or attention. The question isn’t whether or not the G Suite adds productivity to your organization, but when your organization will make the switch.

Overall rating:

G Suite gets a 4.7 out of 5 stars mainly because it’s a relatively new kid on the block, trying to gain ground in a productivity industry dominated by Microsoft. Most people will have experience with Microsoft Office offerings first, which makes some G Suite features jarring at worst and annoying at best. However, those differences are a small drop in the pond compared to the instant collaboration gains.

Asana is a project management and collaboration tool used to help teams improve the organization, tracking, and delegation of said projects. It was founded by Dustin Moskovitz, who co-founded Facebook.

For companies with a lot of different projects going on, Asana may be the right solution for you. The web and mobile application allows users to input projects, create subtasks, and assign them to other team members—all while having the flexibility to choose the view that works best for them.

For teams who conduct projects in sprints—such as product management or engineering teams—Asana can be extremely helpful.

Price

Unfortunately, Asana has gotten some flack for their complicated pricing. Pricing is based on a per-seat basis, which is common enough, but the features associated with each plan are specific and numerous.

Thankfully, you can toggle the pricing with their interactive calculator to quickly get a sense of how much it will cost you.

Ease of use

The UI is relatively intuitive and easy to navigate. There are multiple ways to visualize your projects to fit the type of project or the preference of the user.

Asana has a healthy, robust online guide to help new users onboard and learn the tool. However, jargon native to Asana can make understanding the tool unnecessarily complex for first-time users of the platform.

Benefit to team productivity:

Asana is effective only if user adoption is picked up among the company. The act of inputting each project or task into the tool may not be how every person chooses to go about organizing or socializing their work. Some teams or departments may find it more useful than others, as their work may be more campaign- or sprint-based.

Overall rating:

Asana gets a 4.3 rating because of their complicated pricing strategy and their inconvenient-at-times way of presenting and editing information that may be geared towards particular organizational styles.

As a collaboration tool, Asana checks most boxes, as it creates visibility across the organization into what every team is working on (as long as the workspaces are public). However, unlike the other collaboration tools listed, Asana is a nice-to-have and not an essential tool for teamwork and communication.

Conclusion:

At The Predictive Index®, we have a healthy amount of technology helping us improve collaboration efforts. A fair amount of our employees are remote—ranging from marketers to sales reps to those on our science teams. The collaboration software we use reflects our aim to be more communicative and accessible for everyone, no matter where they are. 

We actually use all of the tools on this list, to varying degrees. But what works for us may not make sense for your business, either due to employee size or company security policies.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that team collaboration tools aren’t the answer to better communication or teamwork—that comes from your company culture and the leaders within it.

Every year, we conduct a benchmark survey around what sets world-class managers apart from the rest. Get your free copy of the report to understand how managers drive the creation of high-performing teams—and their opposite.