Document collaboration tools: Features to look for and our top 5 recommendations

Document collaboration tools: Features to look for and our top 5 recommendations

6 minute read

Document collaboration tools: Features to look for and our top 5 recommendations

6 minute read

Document collaboration tools: Features to look for and our top 5 recommendations

Masooma Memon

GatherContent Contributor, Writer
Want to know the secret to grow successful content remote teams? Good document collaboration tools.

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Essentially, the right document collaboration app can make it easy for content teams to create and work on projects in real-time. It also helps with document organisation, providing a repository to create an accessible central knowledge base.

So, in this post, let’s explore the best document collaboration tools alongside a dive into their importance and the needed features you should be looking for.

The Importance of Virtual Document Collaboration (Post Pandemic)

Remote work saw its boom during the pandemic with the majority working from home. As people head back to offices though, remote work isn’t going anywhere. In fact, 85% of those who worked remotely say they want hybrid work moving forward.

Another survey of 9,000 workers also reached the same conclusion: 83% agreeing the hybrid work model would be optimal in a post-pandemic setting.

The takeaway? Virtual collaboration is here to stay. However, the right tools make all the difference between how successful your hybrid (even fully remote) work endeavor is.

Besides facilitating real-time collaboration, document collaboration tools improve team productivity. Here’s how:

  • Serve as a dedicated virtual workspace to coordinate all content production efforts.
  • Provide a central repository for accessing all ready-to-use, referenceable content.
  • Give a full overview of what’s in the content pipeline, who is working on what, and how each project is progressing.
Need to know: GatherContent allows you to get everyone on the same page with cloud-based, real-time content collaboration.

Features That Enhance Virtual Content Collaboration

As you select the right collaboration platform for your team members, make sure it goes beyond helping you collaborate with online document creation, editing, and comments. Instead, look for the following collaboration features:

  • Ease of use so adopting the tool is a breeze.
  • Activity log to see what’s happening on a given project at a given time.
  • Pipeline overview for a complete picture of which projects are in the works.
  • Multiple integrations to automate processes and reduce manual work from your plate.
  • Central repository to pull out any needed content from a single, up-to-date content library.
  • Autosave so you can focus on content production while the tool handles all nitty-gritty matters.
  • Customizable templates to help you with consistency in content production and easy coordination.
  • Notifications for alerting teammates when their attention is required so nothing falls through the cracks.
  • Commenting and user tagging for coordinating writing content, editing, sharing insights over it, and so on.

Our Recommended Document Collaboration Tools

Now, for a list of apps that will help you with document collaboration in real-time:

1. GatherContent

GatherContent is an intuitive collaboration software that doubles as a product management tool – thanks to its wide functionality.

To start, you can create and manage projects and documents within the platform.

GatherContent document collaboration in different projects
Create and manage projects in GatherContent so you coordinate with your team in one place.

With content templates such as templates for blog posts, social media content, case studies, and more, you can jump-start project management right away.


GatherContent case study template
Customisable templates make it easy for people to provide any type of content in the correct format and style.

Essentially, these templates help maintain consistency in content and messaging. But they can assist with more. For example, using these templates, you can easily onboard new hires, contributors, and freelancers.

To add, use the embed feature for including in-line instructions and checklists such as notes on the style guide. This reduces the need for heavy edits while making it easy for content creators to do their job.

GatherContent embed inline notes
Embedded style guidelines in GatherContent templates help to keep your content on-brand, in the corrent format and style.

With your project-based templates ready, easily assign tasks to different team members by tagging them.

GatherContent assign tasks
Creating content assignments encourages accountability and productivity for tasks.


This sends assignees' email notifications to alert them of the assignment. Assignees can also see their tasks on their dashboards.

GatherContent assignees tasks
In GatherContent assignees can view all the tasks that they are responsible for in one place, making it to easy to keep track of when work is due.

Within each document, you can also easily add comments and tag users.

Furthermore, you can change the document’s due date and status based on your content workflow. For instance, your workflow might include steps such as draft, in review, final edits, ready to publish.

Changing the status gives you a bird’s-eye view of each project’s status in the workflow as well as a complete overview.

GatherContent project status
Tracking project status allows you to keep on top of every piece of content and identify production issues early


And, by adding due dates, assignees can stick with the production schedule and you can get an overview of the pipeline in calendar format too.

GatherContent due dates for briefs
Set deadlines for each stage of your content creation process to set clear expectations and keep content moving

In the Overview tab in your dashboard, you can also see an activity log of what’s happening.

On top of all this, GatherContent offers multiple integrations. For example, integration with WordPress lets you upload and publish-ready content without losing its formatting. Similarly, the Grammarly integration helps check spelling and grammar.

In short, GatherContent offers all the must-have virtual document collaboration features. It’s more a project management software (like Trello or Asana) combined with a document collaboration tool that helps with:

  • Creating, editing, and readying documents for publication
  • Organising them in a central library and
  • Giving a full overview of what’s in the pipeline like a project manager

💰 Pricing: Starting at $6 per user per month.

2. Google docs

Google docs is another easy-to-use document collaboration software. It comes with both templates and blank documents to help you get started.

You can easily collaborate on document editing with Gdocs using tags and comments (comment history available in a tab in each document). Work on each document in any of the three modes: editing, suggesting, and viewing.

You can alter these permissions for team members as needed. For example, give only viewing access to one and editing access to another. All this is possible with shareable links that Google docs create when you share documents and folders.

What’s more, the add-ons option makes content creation easier. For example, use the Clearscope add-on for SEO optimising your content.

The G-drive family also comes with Spreadsheets and slides that you can create, collaborate on, and share using links.

Finally, with Android and iOS apps, you can edit and review documents from your mobile devices.

💰 Pricing: Starting at $6 per user per month.

3. Microsoft 365

Previously known as Microsoft Office 365, this collaboration tool helps you create and edit multiple file types (documents, presentations, and spreadsheets) using OneDrive and SharePoint.

Like Google docs, file creators can decide on the editing permissions to give to collaborators. To share files, either enter a collaborator’s email address in the Share file box or get a link and share it via Slack or any messaging platform that you use.

Similarly, share folders – not just documents – with Microsoft 365. Within documents, co-authors can collaborate by making real-time edits, leaving comments, and tagging users.

The best part? With Microsoft teams, collaborators can communicate via chat messaging and video conferencing for collaboration over content brainstorming, planning, and feedback sharing.

As a file creator, you can track changes to the document by employees or get a summary of all changes made. All changes are saved automatically.

💰 Pricing: Basic plan starting at $5 per user per month.

4. Dropbox Paper

Dropbox Paper is another user-friendly document collaboration app that several people can use to edit at the same time. It comes with mobile apps for both iOS and Android, making it easy to work on the go.

Use Paper to create and share documents and folders via shareable links. The good news is that each document created with Dropbox Paper has lots of formatting options – from inserting videos to adding code.

All changes made to a document are auto-saved. Plus, it comes with tons of document templates for brainstorming, meeting notes, project plans, task management, and more.

💰 Pricing: The free version is, well, free – offering basic features. The Standard team package starts at $12.50 per user per month.

5. Zoho WorkDrive

Last on this list of online collaboration tools is Zoho WorkDrive. It helps you collaborate on documents in real-time – the same as the other apps.

On top of that, organise files into folders and sub-folders, locating them using the file name, type, location, or keyword. You can also change file and folder access settings from the following roles: viewer, editor, organiser, and admin.

Moreover, with Zia, the platform’s virtual writing assistant, check documents for readability and grammatical errors. Plus, Zoho WorkDrive’s ‘Focus Mode’ allows for line editing by highlighting one line of text at a time.

💰 Pricing: $2.5 per user per month.

And that’s a wrap. Try GatherContent free to collaborate on your next written project.

Essentially, the right document collaboration app can make it easy for content teams to create and work on projects in real-time. It also helps with document organisation, providing a repository to create an accessible central knowledge base.

So, in this post, let’s explore the best document collaboration tools alongside a dive into their importance and the needed features you should be looking for.

The Importance of Virtual Document Collaboration (Post Pandemic)

Remote work saw its boom during the pandemic with the majority working from home. As people head back to offices though, remote work isn’t going anywhere. In fact, 85% of those who worked remotely say they want hybrid work moving forward.

Another survey of 9,000 workers also reached the same conclusion: 83% agreeing the hybrid work model would be optimal in a post-pandemic setting.

The takeaway? Virtual collaboration is here to stay. However, the right tools make all the difference between how successful your hybrid (even fully remote) work endeavor is.

Besides facilitating real-time collaboration, document collaboration tools improve team productivity. Here’s how:

  • Serve as a dedicated virtual workspace to coordinate all content production efforts.
  • Provide a central repository for accessing all ready-to-use, referenceable content.
  • Give a full overview of what’s in the content pipeline, who is working on what, and how each project is progressing.
Need to know: GatherContent allows you to get everyone on the same page with cloud-based, real-time content collaboration.

Features That Enhance Virtual Content Collaboration

As you select the right collaboration platform for your team members, make sure it goes beyond helping you collaborate with online document creation, editing, and comments. Instead, look for the following collaboration features:

  • Ease of use so adopting the tool is a breeze.
  • Activity log to see what’s happening on a given project at a given time.
  • Pipeline overview for a complete picture of which projects are in the works.
  • Multiple integrations to automate processes and reduce manual work from your plate.
  • Central repository to pull out any needed content from a single, up-to-date content library.
  • Autosave so you can focus on content production while the tool handles all nitty-gritty matters.
  • Customizable templates to help you with consistency in content production and easy coordination.
  • Notifications for alerting teammates when their attention is required so nothing falls through the cracks.
  • Commenting and user tagging for coordinating writing content, editing, sharing insights over it, and so on.

Our Recommended Document Collaboration Tools

Now, for a list of apps that will help you with document collaboration in real-time:

1. GatherContent

GatherContent is an intuitive collaboration software that doubles as a product management tool – thanks to its wide functionality.

To start, you can create and manage projects and documents within the platform.

GatherContent document collaboration in different projects
Create and manage projects in GatherContent so you coordinate with your team in one place.

With content templates such as templates for blog posts, social media content, case studies, and more, you can jump-start project management right away.


GatherContent case study template
Customisable templates make it easy for people to provide any type of content in the correct format and style.

Essentially, these templates help maintain consistency in content and messaging. But they can assist with more. For example, using these templates, you can easily onboard new hires, contributors, and freelancers.

To add, use the embed feature for including in-line instructions and checklists such as notes on the style guide. This reduces the need for heavy edits while making it easy for content creators to do their job.

GatherContent embed inline notes
Embedded style guidelines in GatherContent templates help to keep your content on-brand, in the corrent format and style.

With your project-based templates ready, easily assign tasks to different team members by tagging them.

GatherContent assign tasks
Creating content assignments encourages accountability and productivity for tasks.


This sends assignees' email notifications to alert them of the assignment. Assignees can also see their tasks on their dashboards.

GatherContent assignees tasks
In GatherContent assignees can view all the tasks that they are responsible for in one place, making it to easy to keep track of when work is due.

Within each document, you can also easily add comments and tag users.

Furthermore, you can change the document’s due date and status based on your content workflow. For instance, your workflow might include steps such as draft, in review, final edits, ready to publish.

Changing the status gives you a bird’s-eye view of each project’s status in the workflow as well as a complete overview.

GatherContent project status
Tracking project status allows you to keep on top of every piece of content and identify production issues early


And, by adding due dates, assignees can stick with the production schedule and you can get an overview of the pipeline in calendar format too.

GatherContent due dates for briefs
Set deadlines for each stage of your content creation process to set clear expectations and keep content moving

In the Overview tab in your dashboard, you can also see an activity log of what’s happening.

On top of all this, GatherContent offers multiple integrations. For example, integration with WordPress lets you upload and publish-ready content without losing its formatting. Similarly, the Grammarly integration helps check spelling and grammar.

In short, GatherContent offers all the must-have virtual document collaboration features. It’s more a project management software (like Trello or Asana) combined with a document collaboration tool that helps with:

  • Creating, editing, and readying documents for publication
  • Organising them in a central library and
  • Giving a full overview of what’s in the pipeline like a project manager

💰 Pricing: Starting at $6 per user per month.

2. Google docs

Google docs is another easy-to-use document collaboration software. It comes with both templates and blank documents to help you get started.

You can easily collaborate on document editing with Gdocs using tags and comments (comment history available in a tab in each document). Work on each document in any of the three modes: editing, suggesting, and viewing.

You can alter these permissions for team members as needed. For example, give only viewing access to one and editing access to another. All this is possible with shareable links that Google docs create when you share documents and folders.

What’s more, the add-ons option makes content creation easier. For example, use the Clearscope add-on for SEO optimising your content.

The G-drive family also comes with Spreadsheets and slides that you can create, collaborate on, and share using links.

Finally, with Android and iOS apps, you can edit and review documents from your mobile devices.

💰 Pricing: Starting at $6 per user per month.

3. Microsoft 365

Previously known as Microsoft Office 365, this collaboration tool helps you create and edit multiple file types (documents, presentations, and spreadsheets) using OneDrive and SharePoint.

Like Google docs, file creators can decide on the editing permissions to give to collaborators. To share files, either enter a collaborator’s email address in the Share file box or get a link and share it via Slack or any messaging platform that you use.

Similarly, share folders – not just documents – with Microsoft 365. Within documents, co-authors can collaborate by making real-time edits, leaving comments, and tagging users.

The best part? With Microsoft teams, collaborators can communicate via chat messaging and video conferencing for collaboration over content brainstorming, planning, and feedback sharing.

As a file creator, you can track changes to the document by employees or get a summary of all changes made. All changes are saved automatically.

💰 Pricing: Basic plan starting at $5 per user per month.

4. Dropbox Paper

Dropbox Paper is another user-friendly document collaboration app that several people can use to edit at the same time. It comes with mobile apps for both iOS and Android, making it easy to work on the go.

Use Paper to create and share documents and folders via shareable links. The good news is that each document created with Dropbox Paper has lots of formatting options – from inserting videos to adding code.

All changes made to a document are auto-saved. Plus, it comes with tons of document templates for brainstorming, meeting notes, project plans, task management, and more.

💰 Pricing: The free version is, well, free – offering basic features. The Standard team package starts at $12.50 per user per month.

5. Zoho WorkDrive

Last on this list of online collaboration tools is Zoho WorkDrive. It helps you collaborate on documents in real-time – the same as the other apps.

On top of that, organise files into folders and sub-folders, locating them using the file name, type, location, or keyword. You can also change file and folder access settings from the following roles: viewer, editor, organiser, and admin.

Moreover, with Zia, the platform’s virtual writing assistant, check documents for readability and grammatical errors. Plus, Zoho WorkDrive’s ‘Focus Mode’ allows for line editing by highlighting one line of text at a time.

💰 Pricing: $2.5 per user per month.

And that’s a wrap. Try GatherContent free to collaborate on your next written project.

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