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11 Best Document Collaboration Tools for 2024

Best Document Collaboration Tools for 2023

Back in the day, when someone talked about document collaboration, it reminded me of endless email threads, version control woes, and alignment struggles.

But much has changed since then, thanks to modern document collaboration tools! 

As someone who has dedicated years to knowledge management and customer support, I realize the need for efficient document collaboration software  to enhance data quality and productivity. 

In this blog, I’ll list the top 11 tools for real-time document collaboration. Here’s a quick summary for you!

Best Document Collaboration Tools Best For Pricing
ProProfs Knowledge Base Small to mid-size teams looking for real-time document collaboration 15-day free trial. Forever free for up to 25 pages.

Paid plan Starts from $49/author/month.

Google Docs Enterprises looking for powerful formatting capabilities Free for personal users.

Paid plan starts at $12/user/month.

Dropbox Paper Remote teams looking to collaborate simultaneously Paid plan starts at $9.99/user/month

11 Best Document Collaboration Tools in 2024

Having researched and used multiple online document tools to simplify and optimize our document creation and editing process, I can tell that the best ones are user-friendly, intuitive, and easy to navigate. 

They have robust version control mechanisms for multiple drafts and revisions. They help you automatically track and manage document changes, creating a chronological history of edits. 

I’ve curated the following list based on my experience using these tools, browsing through their reviews and ratings, and hours of head-nodding to software demo videos. Let’s go!

1. ProProfs Knowledge Base – Best for Real-Time Document Collaboration

ProProfs Knowledge Base - Best for Real-Time Document Collaboration

Let’s start with what I have been using for online document collaboration with my teams – ProProfs Knowledge Base.

It facilitates real-time document collaboration, enabling multiple authors to collaborate, monitor article modifications, and exchange feedback.

Its 40+ ready-to-use templates help my team create online documentation without structuring and formatting. 

Writing/editing insightful articles is a breeze with its AI-powered MS Word editor with built-in prompts. The tool helps promote company-wide collaboration by enabling me to assign user roles and permissions. 

I can view previous versions of documents and revert to them if necessary. Also, I love how the built-in reports provide detailed insights into article performance and relevance.

What you’ll like:

  • AI-enabled rich text editor for effortless, insightful content creation
  • Wide range of ready-to-use documentation templates
  • Rich integration with tools like Slack, Jira, Google Analytics, and many others

What you may not like: 

  • The 15 days free trial may not be enough for some users
  • A comprehensive set of features may take some time to get used to
  • More personalized templates would have been even better

Pricing: 

Starts from $49/author/month

2. Google Docs – Best for Offline Editing

Best Document Collaboration Tools
Image Source: Google Docs

You can’t keep Google away from anything ‘internet,’ can you? It is the go-to tool for its robust formatting capabilities that add vibrancy to your content. You can easily import data and kickstart a project, inviting others to contribute via a shareable link.

The offline editing feature of Google Docs helps you maintain productivity even without an internet connection. This is useful if you’re traveling or working in an environment with unstable internet. 

Also, I think the offline mode can be a helpful productivity tool for those who prefer to avoid online distractions such as social media while working. 

Google Docs sends email notifications when a document is shared with you. I like how a single Google account is enough to use all of its suite of apps.

What you’ll like:

  • Familiar user interface, which is easy to adapt to
  • Versioning functionality to keep track of all changes 
  • Simple collaboration tools to collaborate with multiple people on the same document in real-time

What you may not like: 

  • Difficulty opening Google Docs-generated documents through other software
  • Not accessible if you do not have a Google account
  • Function of the cursors can slow down when multiple people are using it at once – the formatting can easily get messed up

Pricing: 

Free for personal users. Paid plan starts at $12/user/month.

Read More: 10 Best Google Docs Alternatives

3. Dropbox Paper – Best for Simultaneous Collaboration

Document Collaboration
Image Source: Dropbox Paper

Dropbox Paper helps you securely share documents, manage data, and collaborate on tasks. It lets multiple users edit content simultaneously, add comments, access version history, and mention users within a single document.

It helped our remote teams with real-time editing and collaboration. They could work on the same document from anywhere worldwide without delays, eliminating the need for sharing multiple offline files that can easily get lost.

Whether you need to communicate via Slack or initiate a Zoom meeting, you can do so seamlessly, thanks to Dropbox’s rich integrations. It is equipped with pre-built templates that are thoughtfully designed to cater to the needs of various teams such as Marketing, HR, Creative, and more.

What you’ll like:

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Variety of templates can be used to create outlines for a client meeting
  • Easy to add media from sources such as YouTube, SoundCloud, Vimeo, Streamable, and more

What you may not like: 

  • Offline feature not being enabled on the web
  • Sometimes, you cannot see the preview of a document without downloading it
  • Limited cloud space to accommodate a variety of rich media

Pricing: 

Paid plan starts at $9.99/user/month.

Watch this insightful video to learn more about collaborating as a team to create a knowledge base:

4. Microsoft Word – Best for Single-Click Translation of Content

Document Collaboration

Microsoft Word is designed to create professional-quality documents with robust collaboration capabilities. 

You can collaborate on the same document for your team projects and group assignments in real time. Changes are synced instantly, so your team has the latest version of the document.

Our team frequently used its ‘one-click translation’ feature to translate our documents into different languages. It was handy when working with international teams or creating documents for a multilingual audience.

What you’ll like:

  • User-friendly interface – easy to navigate, build, and use templates, and even use WordArt
  • Extensive formatting options, spell-check, grammar suggestions, and more
  • Trusted tool that has been around for a long time and consistently delivers performance

What you may not like: 

  • The 32-bit version has a memory limitation that makes documents with over 20,000 characters system-heavy
  • Occasional complaints about the auto-formatting feature – sometimes, it behaves erratically and can disrupt your workflow
  • Pricing seems to be a bit high compared to other alternatives

Pricing: 

One-month free trial is available. Paid plan starts at $6/user/month.

5. Zoho Docs – Best for Task Management

Zoho Docs - Best Document Collaboration Tool

Image Source: G2

Zoho Docs allows you to create, store, share, and collaborate on documents of almost any format available. Its advanced editor comes with loads of formatting options. 

Its easy-to-use interface makes organizing documents in folders and workspaces effortless. Zoho Docs also features a built-in chat for real-time collaboration. 

Zoho Docs’ Tasks feature enabled me to assign tasks to my team members and track who was working on what. Once a task was completed, the content owners would receive a dashboard notification and an email.

What you’ll like:

  • User-friendly interface that makes it easy to organize and access files
  • Can be used for storing other media like pictures, videos, and audio
  • Users can preview documents in the cloud without the need to download

What you may not like: 

  • The free user can use only up to 5GB, and downloads are limited to 10GB daily
  • Some users have reported issues with the iOS app
  • On some occasions, it has been difficult for users to download the content in the application

Pricing: 

A 15-day free trial is available. Paid plan starts at $5/user/month, with 50GB of storage.

6. Box – Best for Unlimited Storage

Box  - Best Document Collaboration Tool

Box enables secure live collaboration and document-sharing capabilities. Its USP is unlimited document storage in Box Drive and its modern text editor, which features color-coded comments and notations to track changes and suggestions quickly. 

Box facilitates internal and external file editing, making it an excellent choice for teams collaborating with partners or clients outside their organization.

I like how it seamlessly integrates with industry-standard apps like Office 365, Slack, Zoom, and over 1400 third-party tools, making it adaptable to various workflows and processes. 

It allows you to make video calls directly from the platform via Zoom, adding another layer of convenience for team communication.

What you’ll like:

  • Unlimited cloud storage for the enterprise plan
  • File synchronization across multiple devices in real-time
  • Automated collaboration by integrating with internal process workflows

What you may not like: 

  • Sometimes, synchronization fails without any notification
  • Uploading large files takes longer than usual
  • More integrations with project management tools would have been better

Pricing: 

Paid plan starts at $5/user/month.

7. ClickUp Docs – Best for Real-Time Notifications

ClickUp Docs - Best Document Collaboration Tool

ClickUp is known for its comprehensive document collaboration capabilities, mainly through its built-in editing tool, Docs. It allows you to create files and collaborate seamlessly with others. 

Its real-time notifications feature helps you view, edit, or provide feedback on a file, ensuring everyone stays updated on the progress.

It also enables tracking changes by respective authors, adding transparency and accountability to the collaboration process. The editor has various formatting options, allowing users to create engaging and visually appealing content.

ClickUp seamlessly imports data from external sources like Evernote or MS Word, making it convenient for users to bring in existing content and collaborate on it within the Docs. 

What you’ll like:

  • Many video tutorials are available for common queries and features
  • Reverse synchronization in the Calendar app
  • Variety of productivity features – the ability to set deadlines, track progress, prioritize tasks, etc.

What you may not like: 

  • Generally, slow when refreshing tasks or switching between lists
  • Steep learning curve – admins may need to devote time to team onboarding and training
  • Inability to generate reports based on the notes that one has left 

Pricing: 

Paid plan starts at $7/user/month.

8. Document 360 – Best for Private Notes & Discussion Feeds

Document360 lets your team gather and store crucial information in a centralized location.

It has a user-friendly interface that simplifies the online documentation creation process. Despite not having a built-in collaborative editor, it enables collaboration with features like private notes and discussion feeds. 

The ‘Private Notes’ feature helps you to add text elements within the article text that are not visible in public articles, except for project team accounts and specific reader groups. 

The ‘Discussion Feeds’ feature provides an integrated space for discussions, team collaboration, and feedback. 

I spent a lot of time researching Document360 and analyzing its features – I like how it automatically archives older versions of documents, making it convenient to restore them as needed. 

What you’ll like:

  • Very quick to respond to support requests
  • Easy to build and rearrange the navigation
  • Ability to create custom templates and layouts for articles

What you may not like: 

  • Analytics and integration features are available only in the top-tier plans
  • Changes to the custom code don’t automatically save and require you to do it each time manually
  • Lack of an overriding option to access any article – one needs to wait for 15 minutes or request the member accessing the file to release

Pricing: 

A free version is available. Paid plan starts at $149/project/month.

9. Notion – Best for Kanban Boards

Image Source: Notion

Notion provides a centralized platform to streamline operations, set objectives, monitor workflow status, manage leads, and more. Its intuitive drag-and-drop interface enables the organization, rearrangement, and development of new ideas or plans.

During its demo, I liked the focus on team collaboration through built-in calendars and Kanban boards that teams can utilize to jot down quick notes and track their progress. It lets end users comment on tasks and projects for better communication and transparency. 

It is an extensive tool for creating and maintaining a knowledge base for various tasks such as project guidelines, coding instructions, HR workflows, etc. 

What you’ll like:

  • Easy to access and use built-in templates that are also customizable
  • Notion AI – helps to generate content with ease
  • Ability to view your data as calendar, Kanban, tables, and lists

What you may not like: 

  • The search functionality does not consistently deliver accurate results
  • Limited export options
  • Sometimes, it can be glitchy, and updates from the web version don’t always transfer automatically to the app and vice versa

Pricing: 

A free version is available. Paid plan starts at $8/user/month.

10.  Confluence – Best for Creating Insightful Wikis

Confluence makes it convenient to track edits, comments, or feedback from various team members by providing a universal search option to search the entire workspace and find relevant information.

Confluence Docs’ intuitive and visual system centralizes information gathering and simplifies wiki management. It enables your teams to contribute and easily organize content by dragging and dropping wiki pages where they want them. 

It uses automation to apply updates or repetitive tasks from one page to multiple. Its version control offers page revision history, including who made updates and the ability to reverse changes.

I am impressed by its vast library of templates to cater to the diverse needs of various departments like Marketing, Product, HR, and more. These templates enable quick content creation and maintain consistency across documents.

What you’ll like:

  • Rich integration with Jira for flexibility in creating your own department space and managing the permissions
  • Excellent version control management and tracking features
  • Like and Comments features like social media – readers can either hit like if they like the content or they can mention their feedback in the comment section

What you may not like: 

  • No option to keep the page in draft before publishing it
  • When creating new documents, setting the location is not as smooth as you would like
  • Slightly complicated navigation tool

Pricing: 

A free version is available for up to 10 users. Paid plan starts at $5.75/user/month.

To learn more about creating an online Wiki for your employees, watch this video:

11. ONLYOFFICE Docs – Best for In-Built Document Chat

ONLYOFFICE is an open-source collaborative office suite available on-premises, in the cloud, as a comprehensive Workspace, and as separate OnlyOffice Docs.

The suite has collaborative editors for text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, helping your teams collaborate seamlessly. It allows your teams to create PDF forms online to track changes, mentions, version history, and document comparisons.

My favorite feature is its built-in document chat and plugins for Telegram and Jitsi. It enables private rooms where documents can collaborate with end-to-end encryption for secure collaboration. 

What you’ll like:

  • Word and Excel-like easy usability 
  • Easy to edit documents without downloading them
  • Supports multiple Languages for global communications

What you may not like: 

  • Lack of automatic synchronization with Drive or Dropbox
  • No Pivot Tables and Slicers to sort data in a spreadsheet after uploading it to OnlyOffice
  • The form builder could use more customization, like logo placement and menu design

Pricing: 

It has a complicated pricing structure with Cloud and On-premises versions for the three business editions. 

Which Is the Best Document Collaboration Tool for You?

To make the final decision, assess your specific collaboration needs and objectives. Consider your team size, remote work requirements, and document volume. 

Evaluating the tool’s compatibility with existing software and workflows is essential, too. To help you make a solid decision, I have narrowed down this list to 3 options. 

Option #1 – ProProfs Knowledge Base

ProProfs Knowledge Base is your ideal document collaboration tool if you need an AI-powered text editor with pre-built prompts, making content authoring easy. 

We use it daily to support multiple authors, assigning different roles and permissions to users such as admin, contributor, writer, editor, or custom roles.

It supports over 90 languages to help you cater to your global audience. You can also track up to 30 recent changes to your knowledge base, restore previous versions, and compare two versions of a page or article.

Option #2 – Google Docs

Google Docs is known for its real-time collaboration features – it allows multiple users to share, open, and edit documents simultaneously. We use it alongside our primary document collaboration tool.

It also enables intelligent chips for mentioning people, files, and meetings, providing additional information like the person’s location, job title, and contact information. 

Option #3 – Dropbox Paper

Dropbox Paper could be the right choice for you due to its ability to handle all types of content within a single document. 

My favorite is its interactive to-do lists – you can check off items as you complete them, making it easy to track progress. It also has an ‘Invite’ function to invite team members to collaborate on a document.

Ultimately, I would recommend ProProfs Knowledge Base for its rich library of templates and intelligent, AI-powered text editor with pre-built prompts. 

Regardless of your chosen tool, consider going for a free trial and a personalized demo to get a first-hand experience of using different features and functions. Invest in the right document collaboration software today and take collaboration to the next level. 

To help you with other questions, I have added some FAQs below. 

Learn More About Document Collaboration Tools

What is a document collaboration tool?

A document collaboration tool allows multiple users to work on a document in real-time. 

It enables sharing, editing, and commenting on documents, making it convenient for teams to work together and produce high-quality content.

What is the best way to collaborate on a document?

The best way to collaborate on a document is to use document collaboration software that supports real-time editing and commenting. 

This allows all team members to see changes as they happen, provide immediate feedback, and contribute their ideas. It’s also essential to communicate clearly and set expectations about who is responsible for what parts of the document.

What are examples of collaborative documents?

Examples of collaborative documents include ProProfs Knowledge Base, Google Docs, Microsoft Office 365, and Dropbox Paper. 

These tools allow multiple users to edit a copy simultaneously and see each other’s changes in real-time. They also support features like commenting and version history, essential for effective collaboration.

Evaluation Criteria

The evaluation of products or tools chosen for this article follows an unbiased, systematic approach that ensures a fair, insightful, and well-rounded review. This method employs six key factors:

  1. User Reviews / Ratings- Direct experiences from users, including ratings and feedback from reputable sites, provide a ground-level perspective. This feedback is critical in understanding overall satisfaction and potential problems.
  1. Essential Features & Functionality: The value of a product is ascertained by its core features and overall functionality. Through an in-depth exploration of these aspects, the practical usefulness and effectiveness of the tools are carefully evaluated.
  1. Ease of Use: The user-friendliness of a product or service is assessed, focusing on the design, interface, and navigation. This ensures a positive experience for users of all levels of expertise.
  1. Customer Support: The quality of customer support is examined, taking into account its efficiency and how well it supports users in different phases – setting up, addressing concerns, and resolving operational issues.
  1. Value for Money: Value for money is evaluated by comparing the quality, performance, and features. The goal is to help the reader understand whether they would be getting their money’s worth. 
  1. Personal Experience/Expert’s Opinion or Favorites: This part of the evaluation criteria draws insightful observations from the personal experience of the writer and the opinions of industry experts. 

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About the author

Bryan Wills is a seasoned expert in knowledge management with over a decade of experience in the field. His expertise extends across various domains, including Security & Compliance, User Management, Knowledge Management, Software Documentation, and Customer Support. His writings not only reflect his deep understanding of these subjects but also offer practical solutions and strategies to help organizations enhance their knowledge management processes. Bryan’s work has been published in GetFeedback, CustomerThink, and Apruve.