Free Online Collaboration Tools

Work and share with your team online at no cost

The internet is full of great free tools that you can use for work and personal tasks in your free time. But sometimes, it might be difficult to find that perfect tool that does exactly what you need it to do and, best of all, for free. To help you make the most of your virtual collaboration environment, we picked the best free virtual collaboration tools available.

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Google Docs

Google docs
What We Like
  • Very intuitive, especially if you've worked with other office suites.

  • Documents are available anywhere, and to anyone you share with.

What We Don't Like
  • Some users might find the app slightly limiting, compared to Microsoft Office.

  • No access to docs without internet access unless you synced docs with your computer.

Perhaps one of the best-known collaboration tools around, Google Docs is Google's answer to the Microsoft Office productivity suite. It has a pleasant and easy-to-use interface. Anyone who previously used a productivity suite will easily adapt to it.

This tool lets users share links that lead colleagues to documents that are being worked on. They can then view or edit the documents in real time. There is also a chat facility, so users can communicate while they work on documents.

It supports up to 10 people at a time on presentations and word processing documents, and up to 50 people on a spreadsheet.​

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Collabtive

Collabtive
What We Like
  • A long list of comprehensive project management tools.

  • It's easy to learn and use.

What We Don't Like
  • The last update was in 2017.

  • Requires installation on your server.

This online collaboration tool is browser-based, open-source, and completely free of charge. While it's still being worked on, it does have many useful features, especially for small to medium-sized companies. Collabtive can be used for an unlimited number of projects, and your team can have any number of members. This makes it more appropriate for large teams than the free version of Huddle, for example.

The tool can be used to set and track time and project milestones. It can also be used to manage files. Users can download time tracker reports, synchronize their calendars, and receive email notifications when a document has been changed.

03
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Twiddla

Twiddla
What We Like
  • The online sandbox allows you to try the service before deciding.

  • The shared whiteboard is convenient and innovative.

What We Don't Like
  • The free account restricts meeting participants to 10 and the length to 20 minutes.

  • Can't save files and screenshots with the free version.

In its free version, users can log in for a one-off session as guests. Twiddla is great because it's easy to get started and to collaborate. This tool is good for those who need a platform to collaborate during a phone conference, so there is no need to email files during the call.

In the free version, it's possible to share pictures, files, email, and also to capture a screen. But it's important to keep in mind that since no accounts were created, nothing gets stored in the tool. Therefore, it's crucial to save any documents locally, so data doesn't get lost.

04
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Nextcloud Collabora

Nextcloud Collabora
What We Like
  • Self-hosted and under your control.

  • Simple and familiar interface.

  • Support for a range of formats.

What We Don't Like
  • Requires technical knowledge to set up.

  • Requires hosting.

Nextcloud is known for its top-quality self-hosted cloud storage. Still, few people know that Nextcloud offers a self-hosted alternative to the Google document suite in the form of Nextcloud Collabora.

Nextcloud Collabora is based on LibreOffice, the popular open-source alternative to Microsoft Office. It features a similar interface and controls with more freedom and flexibility. Collabora gives a similar experience in the cloud, introducing the ability to collaborate and share.

The only downside to the Nextcloud option is the setup. Nextcloud is free because it's self-hosted, meaning you'll need to set it up on your web host. For some people, that's ideal, and for others, it's a deal-breaker.