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10 Best Online Collaboration Tools of 2020
Going Virtual with Madison Avenue, Inc.

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With working from home becoming the new normal we wanted to take some time and provide you with a list of the top tools designed to collaborate with coworkers and make your life easier. Whether you’re a meeting or event planner, department manager, or simply in search of a way to collaborate with multiple teams in one shared and organized workspace, a project collaboration software is a must. The following remote friendly tools allow you to access notes, share files, assign tasks, and much more in an all-in-one platform. After extension research, we were able to put together a list of the best online collaboration tools. Here are just a few solutions we recommend:

Monday.com is a project management tool that caters to small and medium sized businesses. It’s modern and visually pleasing interface is incredibly user-friendly and gives users the ability to create boards, assign tasks and due dates, make progress updates, share files, images, and designs, and much more. It also can be integrated with a number of regularly used applications including Google Drive, Dropbox, Google Calendar, MailChimp, and more. Monday.com offers four plans as well as a 14-day free trial. Each plan includes 5 users with the ability to add anywhere from 5 more all the way up to 200+ users based on different price points. Here’s a brief overview of their available packages: 

1. Basic (Starting at $39 for 5 users per month billed annually)

  • 5GB of Storage
  • Unlimited free viewers
  • Unlimited boards
  • Over 20 column types
  • iOS and Android Apps

2. Standard (Starting at $49 for 5 users per month billed annually)
Everything included in Basic plus:

  • 50GB of Storage
  • Timeline, Calendar, and Map views
  • Advanced Search
  • Forms Customization

3. Pro (Starting at $79 for 5 users per month billed annually)
Everything included in Standard plus:

  • Unlimited Storage
  • Time Tracking
  • Chart View
  • Formula Column
  • Custom Tags
  • Private Boards

4. Enterprise (custom pricing)
Everything included in Pro plus:

  • Unlimited Storage
  • Audit Log
  • Sessions Management
  • Advanced Account Permissions
  • Tailored Onboarding

Trello is a visual collaboration platform that features a ‘Kanban-style’ dashboard, designed to maximize efficiency and flow. Trello’s highly visual interface provides an overview of projects from start to finish. Through boards, cards, and lists, users can share project assets with different team members using a drag-and-drop method. Trello makes it easy to prioritize important projects and keep your team’s dashboard organized by allowing users to archive old projects. You can quickly retrieve your archived boards through a simple search - just be sure to title your project boards with a project relevant name you’ll remember. A major plus to Trello is that you and your team can sign up and access many of Trello’s features for free either through desktop or mobile using the app. However, if you plan on uploading files larger than 10MB, you will need to upgrade to either the Business Class or Enterprise level which each allow up to 250MB per file attachment. Here’s an overview of Trello’s three packages:

1. Free ($0 per user per month)

  • Unlimited personal boards
  • Unlimited cards and lists
  • 10 team boards
  • 10 MB per file attachment

2. Business Class ($9.99 per user per month paid annually)
Everything included in the free plan plus:

  • Unlimited team boards
  • 250 MB per file attachment
  • Integrates with 100+ applications
  • Custom Fields
  • Calendar and Map Views
  • User Voting
  • Priority Support

3. Enterprise (Custom pricing)
Everything included in Business Class plus:

  • Single Sign-On
  • Power-Up Administration
  • Organization Wide Permissions
  • Organization Visible Boards
  • Public Board Management

Basecamp offers one plan for a flat rate of $99 per month which you can try for free through their free 30-day trial. A few of the many features that come with Basecamp include unlimited projects, unlimited users, 500GB storage space, unlimited clients, ability to control what clients see, project templates, and priority support. However, if you’re someone who is easily bothered by clutter, Basecamp does not allow users to archive unused topics from its topic list. Instead, you will either have to permanently delete topics that may be useful in the future or deal with an overcrowded list of projects that aren't a top priority.

1. Basecamp Business ($99 per month)

  • Unlimited Projects
  • Unlimited Users
  • 500GB Storage
  • Unlimited Clients
  • Advanced Client Access
  • Project Templates
  • Priority Support

The popular project management tool, Asana offers a basic free plan for up to 15 users; if you need to have more than 15 users, they offer three upgraded plans with unlimited users. The paid plans offered include their most popular package, Premium, as well as Business and Enterprise which all have monthly and annual pricing. Both the Premium and Business packages offer a 30-day free trial. As one of the first completely cloud-base project management (PM) tools to enter the market, Asana is used and trusted by seasoned PM’s and recognizable companies including NASA, Salesforce, Yelp, Airbnb, and over 100 more. However, a common complaint seen again and again among Asana users is the overkill of features. Unless you have the time it takes to become well versed with Asana’s intimidating interface and long list of robust tools and features, you may be better off opting for a more user-friendly solution. If your team is up for the challenge, here are just a few features included with Asana’s four plans:

1. Basic (Free)

  • Up to 15 users
  • 100+ integrations
  • Tasks
  • List, Board, and Calendar View
  • Assignees and Due Dates

2. Premium ($10.99 per user per month billed annually)
Everything included in Basic plus:

  • Unlimited Free Guests
  • Timeline
  • Advanced Search and Reporting
  • Custom Fields
  • Private Teams and Projects
  • Forms, Rules, and Milestones
  • Admin Console

3. Business ($24.99 per user per month billed annually)
Everything included in Premium plus:

  • Portfolios
  • Workload
  • Custom Rules Builder
  • Approvals
  • Proofing
  • Lock Custom Fields
  • Advanced Integrations

4. Enterprise (Custom pricing)
Everything included in Business plus:

  • Data Export and Deletion
  • Custom Branding
  • User Provisioning and Deprovisioning
  • Block Native Integrations
  • Priority Support

Another leading project management tool is Wrike, Like Asana, Wrike too has a long list of notable customers (Hootsuite, Aeroteck, SurveyMonkey, and Verizon to name a few). A great component to Wrike is that with all four plans, you can create an unlimited number of projects. The interface is also functional and user-friendly so you won’t have to worry about devoting countless hours into learning the ins and outs of using Wrike. The four plans differ mainly in the number of users available. If you have a team larger than 5, you’ll have to dig into your wallet and purchase one of their three premium packages, Professional, Business, or Enterprise. Although the next step up from their free plan only gets you 15 users at $9.80/user/month, Wrike is currently offering their Professional plan for free. For a team anywhere from 15 to 200 users, you’ll be paying the steep price of $24.80/user/month which is why Wrike has received backlash for being a bit expensive for small teams. Here’s a brief overview of Wrike’s four plans: 

1. Free ($0 per month per user)

  • 5 Users
  • Task Management
  • File Sharing
  • Real-time Activity Stream
  • Board and Spreadsheet Views
  • Basic Integrations
  • 2GB of Storage Space

2. Professional ($9.80 per month per user)
Everything included in the free plan plus:

  • 5 to 15 Users
  • Gantt Chart
  • Advanced Integrations
  • Shareable Dashboards
  • Collaborations
  • From 5GB of Storage Space

3. Business ($24.80 per month per user)
Everything included in Professional plus:

  • 5 to 200 Users
  • Custom Fields and Workflows
  • Time Tracking
  • Branded Workspace
  • From 50GB of Storage Space

4. Enterprise (Custom pricing)
Everything included in Business plus:

  • 5 to Unlimited Users
  • User Audit Reports
  • Business Intelligence Integration
  • Advanced User Access Controls
  • From 100GB of Storage Space

The next project management software solution on the list is ClickUp. Although not as popular as Asana, Trello, and other recognizable platforms listed, ClickUp is no less of a contender as it continues to receive praise from users. This praise can be tracked to ClickUp’s cost-effectiveness, suitability for teams of all sizes including solo users, excellent customer support, and many powerful features (that are even included with their free version). However, too many features can quickly overwhelm and it can take some time to learn the platform. Fortunately, ClickUp developers are constantly updating the software to provide the best user experience. Here’s a brief overview of ClickUp’s four plans: 

1. Free

  • Unlimited Users
  • Unlimited Tasks
  • 100MB Storage

2. Unlimited ($5 per user per month billed annually)
Everything included in the free plan plus:

  • Unlimited Storage
  • Unlimited Dashboards
  • Unlimited Integrations
  • Guests and Permissions
  • Goals, Portfolios, and Custom Fields

3. Business ($9 per user per month billed annually)
Everything included in Unlimited plus:

  • Goal Folders
  • Custom Exporting
  • Private, Protected, and Default Views
  • Extra Guests
  • All Dashboard Widgets

4. Enterprise (Custom pricing)
Everything included in Business plus:

  • Increased API Limits
  • Custom Onboarding
  • Dedicated Success Manager
  • Advanced Permissions

Microsoft Project
For the last 30+ years, Microsofts’ Microsoft Project has been a preferred tool for experienced project managers which is reflected in its high price. With its steep learning curve, Microsoft Project is best for those with expertise and large projects. Additionally, MS Project is desktop installed meaning, it can only be installed on a desktop computer and on Windows PC which can present a challenge when working remotely. However, if you have the time and budget to be trained on maximizing its features, MS Project is an efficient tool you can rely on. MS Project’s three offered plans entail:

1. Project Plan 1 ($10 per user per month billed annually)

  • Project Home
  • Grid, Board, and Gantt Views
  • Team Collaboration
  • Project Planning and Scheduling
  • Coauthoring

2. Project Plan 3 ($30 per user per month billed annually)
Everything included in Project Plan 1 plus:

  • Reporting
  • Roadmap
  • Timesheet Submission
  • Resource Management
  • Project Desktop Application - One license covers up to 5 PCs per person.

3. Project Plan 5 ($55 per user per month billed annually)
Everything included in Project Plan 3 plus:

  • Portfolio Selection and Optimization
  • Demand Management
  • Enterprise Resource Planning and Management 

Proofhub is a PM software solution that is preferred by many for its affordable pricing, generous storage, combination of tools and features, and ease of use. Unlike the majority of project management tools on the market who charge per user per month, Proofhub offers two flat rate plans. The first is their Essential plan priced at $45 a month which allows for a total of 50 users and 40 projects. For unlimited users and projects, their upgraded plan, Unlimited Control is priced at $89 a month (both plans are billed annually). Proofhub is used by big names such as Netflix, Disney, and Nike. One recurring complaint among Proofhub users is the notification settings. Users say Proofhub sends too many notifications without the ability to control or limit them which can definitely be an annoyance. Some of the features included in their two packages include:

1. Essential ($45 per month billed annually)

  • 50 Users
  • 40 Projects
  • 15GB Storage
  • Time Tracking
  • Proofing and File Approval
  • Gantt Charts
  • Task Management
  • Group Chat
  • Private Items
  • Project Templates
  • Integrations

2. Ultimate Control ($89 per month billed annually)
Everything include in Essential plus:

  • Unlimited Users
  • Unlimited Projects
  • 100GB Storage
  • Data Export
  • Custom Workflows
  • White Labeling
  • Project and Resource Reporting
  • Advanced Activity Logs
  • Project Manager
  • Priority Support

Next on our list is Smartsheet. Smartsheet is the PM software of choice for many for its robust security, considerable file storage, user-friendly desktop and mobile interfaces, and reporting. With its small learning curve yet expert-level capabilities, Smartsheet is a great alternative to the more complex Microsoft Project. However, like Microsoft Project, Smartsheet is also a bit on the pricier side when compared to other PM software on the market. Smartsheet offers the following four plans:

1. Individual ($14 per month)

  • Integrations
  • Template Library
  • Automat Workflows
  • Repetitive Tasks
  • Data Forms

2. Business ($25 per user per month)
All features in Individual plan plus:

  • Dashboards and Charts
  • Activity Log
  • Group and User Manageability
  • Reporting
  • Connectors
  • Custom Branding

3. Enterprise (Custom pricing)
All features in Business plan plus:

  • Single Sign-On
  • Enhanced administrative and access controls
  • System and Group Admin Features

4. Premier (Custom pricing)
All features in Enterprise plan plus:

  • Premium Support
  • Premium Apps
  • Premium Application Connectors

Lastly on this list is Airtable which combines a spreadsheet and database into an all-in-one platform. With its visually pleasing spreadsheet-like interface and multiple views, Airtable makes managing data, ideas, and projects easy for all users. Users especially like Airtable for its ease of use when it comes to organizing and scheduling social media posts. Airtable offers an intuitive and powerful free plan as well as three upgraded plans. Here is a brief look at what these four plans offer:

1. Free

  • Unlimited Bases
  • 1,200 Records per Base
  • 2BG per File Attachment
  • 2 Week Revision and Snapshot History
  • Rich Field Types (File Attachments, Checkboxes, Dropdowns, etc.)
  • Grid, Calendar, Form, Kanban, and Gallery Views
  • Web, Desktop, iOS, and Android Apps
  • Realtime Collaboration and Commenting
  • Email Support

2. Plus ($10 per user per month billed annually)
All features in Free plan plus:

  • 5,000 Records per Base
  • 5GB per File Attachment
  • 6 Months Revision and Snapshot History 

3. Pro ($20 per user per month billed annually)
All features in Plus plan plus:

  • 50,000 Records per Base
  • 20GB per File Attachment
  • 1 Year Revision and Snapshot History
  • Blocks
  • Additional Color and Styling Options
  • Advances Calendar Features
  • Custom Branded Forms
  • Personal and Locked Views
  • Priority Support Response 

4. Enterprise (Custom pricing)
All features in Pro plan plus:

  • Increased Records per Base
  • 1000GB per File Attachment
  • 3 Years Revision and Snapshot History
  • Enterprise-wide Admin Panel
  • Enhanced Deletion Recovery
  • Single Sign-On
  • Federated Company Account
  • Unlimited Workspaces
  • Individualized Onboarding and Training
  • Dedicated Customer Success Manager

For more information on these project management tools and the packages and features they offer, visit their websites directly or contact their support teams: 

  1. Monday.com
  2. Trello
  3. Basecamp
  4. Asana
  5. Wrike
  6. ClickUp
  7. Microsoft Project
  8. Proofhub
  9. Smartsheet
  10. Airtable

Although the Coronavirus outbreak is forcing us to alter our daily routines, we fortunately live in a world with incredibly advanced and ever evolving technology that can help us adapt during a time of caos. Whether you come to a decision through process of elimination or a round of eenie meenie miney mo, you just might come to realize going virtual isn’t so bad - at least for the time being. 

For even more tips on going virtual, check out our blog 10 Best Conference Call Services for 2020, here

Dayna Crisco
Written by Dayna Crisco

Dayna supports the direction and production of Maidson Avenue's marketing initiatives. Throughout our process and beyond, she analyzes our marketing objectives and initiatives and makes data-driven recommendations that move the needle forward. Dayna also possesses massive knowledge of human resources and is a great support to our HR department. Her passions for learning, creativity, and technology come together in marketing and human resources, where success necessitates all three and more. On weekends you might find Dayna spending time with her family, watching romcoms and James Bond movies or working diligently on living a longer, happier and more productive life by catching up on sleep.

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