Collaboration tools are important for any company. They help you get work done faster, save money and resources, and make sure your employees are working together towards the same goals.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the most popular ways to collaborate with your team using free collaboration tools.
What is a Collaboration Tool?
A collaboration tool is any software or service that helps you share knowledge and ideas with other people. You might use them to share documents, presentations, schedules or files with co-workers, clients or partners.
Collaboration tools can be used both internally and externally within an organization. Some collaborative tools focus on internal collaboration by making it easier for teams to work together in real time. Many organizations also use external collaboration tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams for team communication outside of their company firewall.
Online Collaboration Tools Free
With Flock, team members can exchange messages, share files, host video conferences, manage to-dos, and set up calendar events all from one easy-to-use app. Flock integrates with popular business tools such as Google Calendar, Google Drive, Asana, MailChimp, and Twitter, making it easier for team members to stay on top of things without juggling a dozen different apps.
Flock’s free plan gives your team:
- Unlimited team members and one-to-one messages
- 10 public channels for group conversations
- Unlimited 1:1 video calls
- 5GB storage for file sharing and 10K message history for quick search
- Built-in productivity apps such as shared notes, polls, and reminders
- Unlimited integrations for third-party services, such as Asana, Jira, or Google Drive
Need more room? Flkock PRO unlocks enhanced admin controls, group video conferencing, unlimited channels, guest accounts, more file storage, and access to priority support. At just $4.50 per user per month, we think it’s a steal, but our free plan is pretty generous and well, free. It’s your call.
If you’ve heard of team chat, you’ve probably heard of them. IM, channels, video calls, integrations and bots for hundreds of third-party tools; Slack has it all. But the free plan limits you to 10 service integrations, so choose wisely.
Slack’s free plan
- Unlimited users, messages, and channels
- Unlimited one-to-one voice and video calls
- 5GB storage for file sharing and 10K message history
- Up to 10 apps or service integrations
For video conferencing (up to 15 participants) and guest accounts, you’ll need to upgrade to a Standard plan that costs $6.67 per user per month. There’s also a Plus plan that adds more features at $12.50 a user per month.
3. Microsoft Teams
Initially an exclusive for businesses with Office 365 subscriptions, Microsoft Teams has since launched a free plan for small businesses. We love its innovative features such as inline translation for messages and the ability to record meetings with automatic transcriptions. Also a plus, its deep integrations with OneDrive and Office 365 services.
Microsoft Team’s free plan
- Up to 300 users
- Unlimited messages, channels, and search
- Unlimited audio and video meetings with up to 250 participants
- 10GB of team file storage + 2GB per user
- 140+ apps and service integrations
For advanced collaboration features such as meeting recordings and automatic transcriptions, you’ll need to pony up for an Office 365 subscription. Office 365 Business Essentials costs $5 a user per month and the full-featured Office 365 Business Premium will set you back $12.50 a user per month.
Made by the folks behind Todoist, Twist makes it easy to organize and keep track of discussions with threads. Their message board-like interface is easy to use, though using threads and the inbox (they work more like email threads, not Slack threads) takes some getting used to. The upside? Fewer notifications!
Twist’s free plan
- Unlimited users, guests, messages, channels, and threads
- Access to 1 month of conversations
- 5GB storage for file sharing
- 5 service integrations
Twist doesn’t bother with audio/video conferencing or screen sharing features, they have a Wherein integration instead. For $5 a user per month, Twist Unlimited offers unlimited conversation history, file storage, service integrations, and priority support.
Discord bills itself as an all-in-one voice and text chat for gamers, and it’s clear why. In addition to the usual private and group DMs, Discord offers a new way of collaborating in real-time: Voice channels. Think of them as always-on radio channels to talk to your team. Loved by gamers, voice channels can also be an easier, less stressful way to collaborate remotely on shared documents. More importantly, Discord offers unlimited voice, video, and text chat—all for free!
Image: Hacker Noon
Discord’s free plan
- Unlimited users, messages, text and voice channels, and file sharing (individual file size < 8MB)
- Unlimited video conferences with up to 10 participants + screen sharing
- A cool Text-to-Speech function that reads out what you type!
Discord Nitro Classic lets you upload a GIF avatar, use custom emojis everywhere, and ups that pesky file size limit to 50MB – for $4.99 per user per month.
6. Zoho Cliq
Zoho Cliq lets you view multiple conversations—each in its own column—so you don’t have to shuffle back and forth between a channel discussion and a private chat with a colleague. Also, host video conferences with up to 100 participants on the free plan.
Unsurprisingly, Cliq integrates smoothly with other Zoho apps, but there are also integrations for third-party services such as Asana, Wrike, and Zapier.
Cliq’s free plan
- Unlimited users, messages, and channels (up to 100 members in each)
- Video conferencing with up to 100 participants + screen sharing
- 100GB storage for file sharing and 10K message history
- 10 third-party app integrations
For $3 a user per month, Cliq Unlimited offers unlimited message search, ups file storage, and lets you connect up to 100 third-party integrations. It also unlocks the PrimeTime Assembly feature, so you can stream live video to as many as 10,000 participants.
If on-premise software is a must, look no further than Rocket.Chat’s open-source team collaboration app. Easily deployed to on-premise or cloud servers, Rocket.Chat is free with zero restrictions on core functionality. It’s your server! Just one caveat: If there’s trouble, you’re probably on your own – the free plan doesn’t come with any web, email, or phone support, so be prepared to hunt through pages of technical documentation for any fixes.
Rocket.Chat’s free plan
- Unlimited users, messages, channels, video calls, and file sharing
- It’s open-source, customizable, and you own all your data (again, it’s your server)!
- Inline message translations
Rocket.Chat offers cloud-based deployment plans with 24/7 email support at $2 a user per month.
secure collaboration tools
ClickUp is one of the world’s highest-rated productivity and secure collaboration tools used in small and large companies.
From helping you manage cross-functional teamwork to provide you with advanced security settings, ClickUp is as secure as Fort Knox! 💰
After all, the very thought of data breaches and cyber threats can lead to sleepless nights for many business owners.
ClickUp key features
Let’s take a closer look at how ClickUp’s security features can help you sleep like a baby 😴:
- Data Center Security: handled by Amazon Web Services (AWS), ClickUp’s data centers are scattered across the world, secured with a variety of physical controls to prevent unauthorized entry
- Application Security: all communications on ClickUp web applications are encrypted over 256-bit SSL
- Infrastructure Security: our infrastructure is hosted in a top-notch secure environment and fortified by firewall protection. Not even the Money Heist team could get access 🔐
- Security Policy: we implement foolproof security by training every team member on the latest security protocols and frequently update our policies
- Risk Management Framework: from identifying potential threats to evaluating current security measures, our Risk Management Framework covers it all
- Two-factor Authentication: protect your workspace from any unauthorized access with two-factor authentication (2FA). It gives you a secure work environment where you can only be distracted by cat reels and not cyber risks 🐱
- Custom Permissions: give different team members unique permission settings, so they have access only to the info they need
- Custom Roles: create new unique custom roles (other than a guest, member, admin) like: super admin, editor, limited member, or any role that suits your needs
- Privacy of Spaces, Folders, and Lists: have complete control over who sees what, what permissions they have, and who gets added to your Workspace
- Google Single Sign On and Microsoft Single Sign On: save time and maintain security by linking ClickUp with your Google, Microsoft Office 365, or Azure accounts
- ClickUp is EU-GDPR Compliant, which means you can export your data or delete it all on ClickUp. Additionally, your data is never leaked or distributed via any channel
- ClickUp is SOC 2 Compliant, which means we check our organizational and technical controls at least once every year
- Create Personal views that are exclusively visible to you. You can even turn existing views into personal ones without changing anything for your teammates
- Draw up security briefs, onboarding documents, and knowledge bases with Docs
- Receive automatic, instantaneous feedback on status changes, and new comments with Collaboration Detection
- Assign tasks to multiple assignees to accelerate project progress
- Use the Workload view to assess every member’s bandwidth before assigning new tasks
- Get a high-level overview of everything in your Workspace with Dashboards
- Automatically track task completions and achieve team Goals in style 💃
- Built-in instant messaging feature to discuss doggo names or even share your grandma’s secret cookie recipe 🍪 with your team
ClickUp offers three pricing plans:
- Free Forever Plan
- Unlimited users
- Unlimited tasks
- 100MB storage
- Two-Factor Authentication
- Real-time Collaboration
- 50+ Integrations, and more
- Unlimited Plan ($5/month per member)
- Unlimited file storage
- Unlimited Custom views
- Edit Permissions
- Cloud Storage, and more
- Business Plan ($9/month per member)
- All unlimited features
- Google Single Sign-on
- Private, Protected, and Default views
- Sprint Automations
- All Dashboard Widgets, and more
ClickUp customer ratings
- G2: 4.7/5 (2000+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (2000+ reviews)
2. Microsoft Teams
Features like seamless chat, online meetings, project management, and document collaboration make Microsoft Teams a popular online collaboration tool.
This cloud collaboration platform incorporates the same security protocols featured in the Office 365 Suite. Here are some other features that make Microsoft Teams a secure collaboration platform:
Microsoft Teams key features
- Implements team-wide and organization-wide two-factor authentication
- Blocks malicious content with The Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) functionality
- The safe attachments feature examines suspicious attachments
- Easily integrates with other MS Office apps like PowerPoint and Outlook
Microsoft Teams pricing
Microsoft Teams has a free plan. Paid plans start at $5/user per month.
Microsoft Teams customer ratings
- G2: 4.3/5 (10,000+ reviews)
As a collaboration software, Asana helps you meet your deadlines and stay in sync with your team.
Asana also has security protocols to ensure no outsider sees or modifies your precious data.
This way, even the Ocean’s 11 crew can’t get away with anything!
Asana key features
- Uses Amazon’s relational database service (RDS) to facilitate data replication, backup, and recovery
- Offers password hashing to verify your password integrity
- Implements routine security assessments and security-focused software development
- Around-the-clock security teams to spot any suspicious activity 🔎
Asana has a free plan and paid plans starting at $13.49/user per month.
Asana customer ratings
- G2: 4.3/5 (7000+ reviews)
Looking for better collaboration features that are absolutely free?
Here reasons to choose ClickUp over Asana.
Huddle is a collaborative tool that enables smooth information exchange between teams, partners, and clients. It also provides various administrative controls to manage user authentication, access, and auditing.
This online collaboration tool allows team members to access their own task portal and remain on track with their tasks.
But how securely can you huddle with Huddle?
Let’s find out…
Huddle key features
- Uses multifactor authentication and enterprise-grade SSO
- Control user permissions across teams with multiple levels of access
- Secure client portals for users to exchange sensitive files and info
- Administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to keep your data secure
Request a custom quote from Huddle.
Huddle customer ratings
- G2: 4.1/5 (70+ reviews)
Clarizen is a collaboration software with a customizable and friendly interface. It can help teams complete their task on time and within budget. 🕔💰
Additionally, they have security mechanisms such as anti-virus and app monitoring to protect your data.
Clarizen key features
- All data is encrypted with advanced 256-bit AES encryption
- Multi-tiered network security infrastructure helps prevent security violations
- Equipped with firewalls to protect the system against malicious activity
- The online project management service is monitored 24/7
Request a custom quote from Clarizen.
Clarizen customer ratings
- G2: 4.1/5 (490+ reviews)
Wire is an open source collaboration app that helps remote workers secure their internal communications against external cyber threats.
Wire also implements advanced security protocols to help organizations scale their productivity.
We guess you could say that the app prevents cybercriminals from wiring data to themselves. 😉
Wire key features
- Secures all communication with end-to-end encryption
- A unique session key is generated for every session a user initiates. This way, if a session is compromised, only the data from that session will be affected
- Being GDPR-compliant, the app won’t have access to any personal or official data from your organization
- Matches key fingerprints to protect you from a man-in-the-middle attack (unknown third-party intervention)
Wire has a free plan and paid plans starting at $5.83/month.
Wire customer ratings
- G2: 4.3/5 (25+ reviews)
Basecamp is a popular collaboration tool that transmits data over secure HTTPS connections and encrypts data backups using GnuPrivacy Guard (GPG).
Since it allows project managers to oversee project progress and monitor task updates, there’s no need for one-on-one meetings.
And don’t we all love that? 😋
Basecamp key features
- Implements round-the-clock interior and exterior surveillance monitoring
- Dedicated security, infrastructure, and performance (SIP) team to oversee access management, network connectivity, and firewalls
- Conducts audits to ensure its systems are PCI compliant
- Runs bug bounty programs in HackerOne to examine and verify their security policies
Basecamp offers a flat rate of $99/user per month.
Basecamp customer ratings
- G2: 4.1/5 (4000+ reviews)
Looking for a less expensive collaboration tool?
Here are 10 Basecamp alternatives to choose from.
From one-on-one interactions to team-wide group discussions, Slack fosters secure and smooth enterprise collaboration.
Additionally, their in-house security tool, Slack Enterprise Key Management (Slack EKM), ensures user data protection. This way, your team can bounce million-dollar ideas off each other without worrying that someone’s gonna steal them.
Slack key features
- Fully integrated with top data loss prevention (DLP) providers
- Offers governance and risk management capabilities
- Aligns with the UK-based National Cyber Security Centre’s cloud security principles
- This cloud collaboration tool provides administrative access control and system monitoring
Slack offers a free plan and paid plans starting at $8/user per month.
Slack customer ratings
- G2: 4.5/5 (27,000+ reviews)
Trello is a kanban-style team collaboration software.
It allows you to work in multiple layouts from boards to lists, making task delegation simple yet effective.
To further fortify their online security, Trello partners with expert cybersecurity researchers on HackerOne to detect and resolve vulnerabilities.
Trello key features
- Carries out weekly vulnerability scans and annual data breach tests
- Let any member in a workspace view cards or set cards to public or private
- Get two-factor authentication in all plans, including the free version
- Performs encrypted full backup every 24 hours
Trello offers a free plan and paid plans starting at $12.50/user per month.
Trello customer ratings
- G2: 4.4/5 (11,000+ reviews)
10. Google Drive
Google Drive is a collaboration tool that meets the versatile needs of almost every team. It also assures top-notch security to protect user and enterprise data.
Additionally, the restricted link sharing feature enables secure file sharing for users working on a Google Doc.
With this document collaboration tool, no unwanted guests can crash your work party! 🎊
Google Drive key features
- Cloud storage for safe file sharing
- Two-factor authentication to prevent unwarranted access
- Implements account recovery steps by backing up stored data
- Encrypts file uploads, downloads, and access with strong 256-bit AES encryption
Google Drive pricing
Google Drive is free to use.
Google Drive customer ratings
- G2: 4.7/5 (12,000+ reviews)
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