Software & Apps Apps Free Online Collaboration Tools Work and share with your team online at no cost by Gabriela Warren Freelance Contributor Gabriela Warren is a former freelance contributor to Lifewire who specialized in online collaboration and web conferencing technology. our editorial process Gabriela Warren Updated on June 11, 2020 Apps Best Apps Tweet Share Email The internet is full of great free tools that you can use both for working and for personal use 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’ve picked the best free virtual collaboration tools available. 01 of 04 Google Docs Screenshot What We Like Very intuitive, especially if you've worked with other office suites. Documents are available anywhere and to anyone you share them 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've synced them 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 an incredibly pleasant and easy-to-use interface, and anyone who has 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 available, 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. 02 of 04 Collabtive Screenshot What We Like Long list of comprehensive project management tools. Easy to learn and use. What We Don't Like No update since 2017. Requires installation on your own server. This online collaboration tool is browser-based, open source and completely free of charge. While it’s clearly 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 as well as project milestones and also to manage files. Users can download time tracker reports and synchronize their calendars receive e-mail notifications when a document has been changed. 03 of 04 Twiddla Twiddla What We Like Online sandbox allows you to try the service before deciding. Shared whiteboard is convenient and innovative. What We Don't Like Free account restricts meeting participants to 10 and length to 20 minutes. No ability to save files and screenshots with free version. In its free version, users can log in for a one-off session as guests. Twiddla is great because it’s incredibly easy to get started and collaborating. 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 have been created, nothing gets stored in the tool. Therefore, it’s crucial to save any documents locally, so they don’t get lost. 04 of 04 Nextcloud Collabora Nextcloud What We Like Fully self hosted and under your control. Simple and familiar interface. Support for a wide range of formats. What We Don't Like Requires technical knowledge to set up. Requires hosting. Nextcloud is already well known for its top-quality self-hosted cloud storage, but fewer people know that Nextcloud also 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, then, gives a similar experience in the cloud, introducing the ability to collaborate and share. The only real downside to the Nextcloud option is the setup. Nextcloud is free because it's self-hosted, meaning you'll need to set it up yourself on your own web host. For some people, that's ideal, and for others, it's a deal breaker.