Free Online Collaboration Tools

Business people working in teleconference
Ariel Skelley/Getty Images

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
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Google Docs

Google docs

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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 just 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
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Collabtive

Collabtive

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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, synchronize their calendars receive e-mail notifications when a document has been changed.

03
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Twiddla

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. What is great about this is that it’s incredibly easy to get started and immediately start collaborating. This tool is good for those who need a platform to collaborate during a phone conference, so there is no need to e-mail files during the call. In the free version, it’s possible to share pictures, files, and e-mail 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 important to save any documents locally so they don’t get lost.