6 Online Collaboration Tools that Take Collaboration to the Next Level

October 25, 2011 · 28 comments

by rohitha


The year 1965 should rise up from those deep web-covered recesses of your mind, especially if you are Generation X’er. Four decades have passed since e-mail inched towards mainstream use and forever changed the flow of information and human communication. Now with the cyberspace landscape constantly evolving and turning into a nearly endless online library of information, tools and ideas. We’ve got a myriad of tools that promise to make our lives better and easier and the type of activities done online and the time spent in form of the screen is just going up and up… One of the areas that really benefit from the Internet is online networking and collaboration. I have listed five really useful collaboration tools that are simply the pick of the bunch. Also keep an eye on this interesting new Online collaboration Issue Tracker based on semantic platform that gives it a number of competitive features such as dynamic Item Form fields or visual workflow builder. Released really soon.





While it may sound rather odd, e-tipi simply stands for “Espresso Thinking Platform”.  This is a collaborative tool that incorporates elements of Twitter, Digg, wikis and blogs to create a workspace in which ideas can be created and then subsequently explored. Every single user page is known as a tipi, and it would contain a variety of ideas submitted by the tipi’s users. All of the ideas focus on a main issue. An issue could be like a big picture problem, which may need a multi-staged solution.

Factors that get a thumbs up: 1. Offers you a lot of freedom and an opportunity for unstructured collaboration with many viewers.

Podio Collaboration Software

Podio creates instant value for your team and your clients. The simple and intuitive online work platform gives teams of all sizes and industries a better and smarter way to get their work done together. No IT is required for this collaboration software to shape a social online environment that is specific to your needs and work processes.

With Podio online collaboration and communication on projects and files in one centralized place is really easy. Set up work spaces for your team and client collaboration in seconds. Manage and share milestones, deliverables, meetings, contacts and all other information in their relevant context. Finally, there is a much more effective and social way to work together.

Podio Collaboration Software




Creately is a design application that is web-based diagram. Users of Creately can create a myriad of diagrams such as flowcharts, UML diagrams, organizational charts, mindmaps, sitemaps and a variety of diagrams using a large library templates and smart objects. While the application is currently browser-based, a desktop version will be released by January 2011. Also this app is designed so that more than one person can collaborate on a document. The application includes a large library of basic objects, and the user can upload their own objects easily.

Factors that get a thumbs up: 1. Collaboration is too easy with various steps of accessibility. 2. Thanks to the “no learning” foundation of this app, you can create really beautiful diagrams really fast with ease.



Basecamp is basically a dashboard, which focuses on project management that is perfect for team use. All the information for your team and the projects you’re working on can be easily reviewed from the Basecamp-provided storage—not a bad compromise if you’re already using 3rd party storage and you want to try it out.

Factors that get a thumbs up: 1. To-do lists, calendars, brain-storming white boards, chat, and file sharing are all integrated into your Basecamp portal. 2. Overview tab to give you a quick at-a-glance view of how things are progressing, due dates, and recent activity.



We all know what a haggle it is to get everybody’s opinion on a text document. And what’s doubly worse is incorporating all those ideas, corrections and choices of words and tone without spending a great deal of time on it. TextFlow is an app that runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. How it works is that it basically incorporates everyone’s take on the original document, analyzes the changes, and then subsequently presents them to you to show what is actually different.

Factors that get a thumbs up: 1. It really is super fast and therefore a real time saver.



DimDim offers an excellent web-based platform for real-time collaboration and meetings.This collaborative tool provides a web conferencing service that is free where users have the ability to show presentation slides, share desktops, share, and even talk and broadcast via webcam.

Factors that get a thumbs up: 1. DimDim has the facility for public or private chat between conference participants and even presenters. This is useful if no audio facility is available.


Author : Rohitha Perera

Rohitha Perera is an Online Marketer at Creately.com, a collaborative diagramming software for teams. When he’s not working on marketing strategies for web start-ups, he spends time reading, watching movies, jogging, gardening and cooking. You can read more of his writing on the Creately Blog or follow him on Twitter:@creately @ForzaRP


{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Fernando Aquino July 17, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Two years have passed, so this post definitely needs an update! Fylcloud, basically Basecamp for accountants, is missing from this list for example. And I could name a couple of others. I’m also missing a comparison based on pricing because some of these companies have pretty weird pricing (like “it’s free for 5 users” but if you want more it’s $15 per user per month, so 6 users suddenly costs $90/month instead of $15).


Michael Clark June 7, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Thank you for the above list. Another option is deploying on premise RHUB online collaboration appliances in order to conduct webinars, web conferences, online meetings, online presentations etc.


Steve November 18, 2012 at 9:33 am

We use http://www.todo2.co.uk – it makes it simple to capture ideas, and work with a large backlog of tasks across multiple projects.


Mark August 12, 2012 at 1:19 am

Hi! I’d like to recommend another one: http://brickflow.com
The basic idea behind this project is to give a tool to artists to help work together on music, slideshows, cartoons, movies, etc.. There is a demo on their site, I think it’s worth giving a try.


Project Tracking Software August 1, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Does Basecamp allow us to share projects with the other users inside a company? If yes, kindly provide me light on it.


Jessica March 7, 2012 at 2:35 am

I would also recommend :
5pm (http://www.5pmweb.com) – for traditional project management
smartQ (http://www.getsmartQ.com) for more complex workflows, but also a more visual approach


Richard Smallwood December 18, 2011 at 10:36 am

Hi, I would like to add our system: http://www.hotproject.com

Notable for:
– Task Management integrated with Document Management
– Interactive drag and drop Gantt Charts
– Project Reporting

Give it a go!


Tracy September 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Recently I found one such free tool http://www.oogwave.com which seems to be very simple. I am using it and it works fine for me. It’s easy to use.


Sam August 8, 2011 at 4:25 am

Try Paper Tablet at http://www.tip9.com.

Collaborating on documents and holding teleconferences/web conferences with a team of people continues to be a challenge even with enterprise grade tools. We are working on a new tools called Paper Tablet that addresses both of these problems. Currently, when I am working on a document with others, I would print out the entire word, powerpoint, or pdf document, write comments on it, scan it, and email it back to my team to incorporate changes. We are working on an iPad app that will allow me to “print to tablet”, make changes electronically on the iPad, save it or send it to the team via email, thus bypassing the need to print out anything. The next phase is to create the ability to hold a web conference and collaborate live from the iPad. Check it out at http://www.tip9.com.


Ken Lin July 21, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Interesting read. these project management tools are such a great way to increase productivity. One tool I use frequently is mavenlink ( http://www.mavenlink.com ). Absolutely great interface, streamlines project tasks very well.


Ana May 11, 2011 at 1:01 pm


I would recommend to try http://www.projektino.com. The basic plan is for free. This web-based software will let you organize, coordinate and manage projects, easily communicate with other users. You can set due dates for tasks and the project itself, assign tasks to people. It may be used to interact with customers, too, where Projektino will serve as customer relationship management software.If you are a teacher it ccan be used to interact with students at school.


Benjamin Chesterfield May 2, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Hello, let me be short we use workforcetrack and highly recommend it to you. Advantages of it you can find out on their web site http://workforcetrack.com


Charlotte May 2, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Hi there! I advice u to search for new opportunities at http://www.workforcetrack.com. Never say never, Impossible is possible.


Bob March 28, 2011 at 5:04 am

We’re big fans of the collaborative tools Basecamp (project mgmt) and
LucidChart (diagramming).


Lars March 28, 2011 at 7:46 am

Thanks for sharing your favs Bob


Jay March 17, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Interesting I have only heard of Basecamp from that list and I have been researching Online Collaboration Tools for the last month! I have tried many free trials and had plenty of recommendations and the two that are by far and away the best are Basecamp and Huddle. They do everything you will need and very easily as well.

You can see them here – http://basecamphq.com/ & http://www.huddle.com/


Nottingham Web Design January 10, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Great share, I use Project Bubble though, it’s brilliant for pretty much everything!


Lars January 10, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Thanks I didn’t know Project Bubble


Dusan Daniska January 10, 2011 at 3:27 pm

I’d like to mention also the Manitoo – http://www.manitooprojectmanagement.com – an online collaboration tool focused on project and team management with billing and email marketing.

We are using it in our company with a success.



Lars January 10, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Thanks for the tip Dusan!


Bart Schrooten January 7, 2011 at 10:59 am

Basecamp is great if your work is project focused but if you are looking for a solution to manage group work may I suggest LumoFlow (www.lumoflow.com). It offers also a free version.



Lars January 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Thanks for the tip Bart


Dina January 7, 2011 at 6:03 am

I’d like to add LiquidPlanner to this list. LiquidPlanner has a full suite of collaboration tools (twitter-like chatter, document & link sharing, rich text notes) and a robust project management and scheduling engine. LiquidPlanner gives you an interface that is easy and simple to keep organized as the project gets larger.


John Jordan January 6, 2011 at 12:51 pm

You give me an idea with what i am working on right now. Thanks for sharing this informative article.


Himali G January 6, 2011 at 7:47 am

Nice list! Here I would like to another online project collaboration tool which makes my work easier. The tool is DeskAway (http://www.deskaway.com) – a project management tool with free basic plan, free trials for paid plans having powerful and rich features.


Lars January 6, 2011 at 9:02 pm

thanks for the tip Himali


ForzaRP January 7, 2011 at 6:05 am

Hey Himali. Thanks for your comment. Will definitely try this out. Cool apps always gets me on a high. By the way, Creately has just launched the Beta of its Desktop Version, so you may want to check that out too – http://creately.com/desktop


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