15 Free Tools for Web-based Collaboration

Oct 31 2008 by Jacob Gube | 159 Comments

No man (or woman) is an island – and this statement can’t be any truer if you’re a designer or developer. Though paid/subscription services like Basecamp and Zimbra are great, individuals strapped for cash have a ton of alternatives that provide similar (if not better) features.

In this article, you’ll find 15 free tools to help you facilitate remote/web-based collaboration. Whether you need basic whiteboarding/brainstorming tools or fully-featured project management applications – you should be able to find a tool or two that’s worth checking out.

Google Docs

Google Docs - screen shot.

Google Docs is an excellent application for collaboration. You can share documents and spreadsheets and collaborate with your team/clients in real-time. Being a browser-based application – the requirements to get up and running is very minimal. Storing your work online means they’re readily available anywhere with an internet connection.  Check out the user examples of Google Docs to gain some ideas on how to use Google Docs.


Stixy - screen shot.

Stixy is a flexible, online “bulletin board”/drawing board. There’s little structure and it’s up to you how you want to use it, so it’s a great whiteboarding application. One of the useful ways to use Stixy is mocking up or wireframing web pages – your team member or clients can then go in and modify the design or post notes on particular aspects of the design.


Project2Manage - screen shot.

Project2Manage is a fully-featured, free, hosted solution for project management and collaboration (similar to Basecamp). You can set up different roles and permissions to limit what each  team members see, write in your milestones to show everyone your goals, and be able to manage unlimited projects.


bubbl.us - screen shot.

bubbl.us is a free, web-based application for collaborative brainstorming. You can create beautiful mind maps that you can share with team members. You can save, email, and print your mind maps or even embed them directly onto a web page.


Dabbleboard - screen shot.

Dabbleboard is a robust, online whiteboard that’s easy to use. Use Dabbleboard to create wire frames of your user interface, draw flow charts, and create network diagrams, among other things. You can create Toolkits (a set of reusable drawing objects) or use pre-made Toolkits.


Protonotes - screen shot.

Protonotes is a free annotation widget for your HTML prototypes. All you need to do is plop in a JavaScript onto your web page and voila – it just works. Usability testing, design critiquing, and quality-assurance testing are just some of the things that you can use Protonotes on. To get alerted when a new note has been posted, you can subscribe to your team’s notes RSS feed. You can export your data (your “protonotes”) as a CSV file which can be opened by spreadsheet applications like Google Spreadsheets or Excel or even use your own MySQL database to store your data.


ProjectPier - screen shot.

ProjectPier is a self-hosted, open-source, PHP-based project management application. Manage your tasks, team members, and projects under one interface. The interface is very simple and lacks the “whiz-bang” features of other solutions, but its does project management and collaboration quite well. If you need more convincing, read the 10 reasons for using ProjectPier straight from the creators.


Twiddla - screen shot.

Twiddla touts itself as a free, web-based meeting playground. Twiddla is an exceptional, no-hassle whiteboard solution for collaborating online. You can browse websites and draw on them, share files, and chat with your team. There’s even an “audio” option so you can communicate verbally (great for people who don’t draw well). Whether you’re critiquing a design or surfing the web for design inspiration, you’ll definitely find a use for Twiddla.


Wetpaint - screen shot.

Wetpaint is a freeform collaboration application that brings in features from wikis, blogs, forums, and social networks. Because it’s simple to use and requires no technical expertise, it’s an excellent platform for generating content from different sources which you can use “as-is” or on your website.


Skype - screen shot.

If you’ve been a web worker for a significant period of time, there’s little chance that Skype has evaded you. In case you haven’t heard of it, Skype is an application that allows you to make telephone calls over the internet (the technology is called Voice over Internet Protocol – or VoIP). You can make free calls to other Skype users and toll-free numbers, and even landlines/cell phones for a small fee. Aside from its VoIP feature, there are also built-in features for instant messaging (IM), video conferencing, and file sharing.


Thinkature - screen shot.

Thinkature is an excellent, free web collaboration tool. You’re given a workspace to help you visually communicate via chat, drawing, or grabbing content from around the web. Its flexibility allows you to dictate how you want to use it.


Spicebird - screen shot.

If you want to manage projects using a desktop application to conduct your remote/web-based collaboration, check out Spicebird – a robust, open-source platform for all your collaboration requirements. It has a built-in instant messaging chat system, a group calendar, an address book to place your team’s contact information, and much more. View the video demonstration to get a feel for what Spicebird is all about.

Mindquarry DO

Mindquarry DO -screen shot.

Mindquarry DO is an open-source collaboration application written in Java (J2EE). They’ve discontinued the Mindquarry GO which used to be an online version of Mindquarry, but Mindquarry DO is still available for download. Check out the requirements specifications to make sure your server has what it needs to run Mindquarry.


Vyew - screen shot.

Vyew is a web-based conferencing application that’s free to use for up to 20 participants. You can share your desktops, use the built-in screen capture tool to save sessions, customize your Vyew by adding your company logo, utilize useful plug-ins like DiagramVyew to create diagrams to share with everyone, and much more.


Writeboard - screen shot.

Writeboard by 37 Signals is a simple, web-based collaborative writing solution that’s free and easy to use. You start by creating your own Writeboard, invite your team members (if you want to collaborate), and then just start writing. People can see updates, edits, and changes in real-time. You can save, track revisions, create versions, and roll back to previous versions of your Writeboard.

What’s your web-based collaboration tool?

Is your free project collaboration tool/app not on the list? Share it with us and tell us why we should check it out in the comments!

Related Articles:


mark rushworth

November 1st, 2008

im loving project pier at the moment, specially with the Zura-Blue basecamp like skin… its easy to setup, does all the things with files, messages and tasks that i need and theres a PLUG IN for outlook calendars

Sty Liskit

November 1st, 2008

Very cool list! I use a lot of those shown above. I am going to try Stixy, that looks cool.


November 1st, 2008

You left off http://www.dimdim.com


November 1st, 2008

Useful Post. Thanks


November 1st, 2008

Hi all , check out this collaboration tool…asking me this beats every word processor in town…
a great example…


November 1st, 2008

How can you make a list like this and leave http://cosketch.com out.
I use it almost every day.

Mr X

November 1st, 2008

I have used Collabtrak with some success. I would recommend it . There is a Free and Pro version, both of which are supported and hosted by the Collabtrak team. It is light weight and enables the creation of multiple projects as well as project notes within. It also has multi-user functionality, file handling and a chat client.



November 1st, 2008

http://www.showdocument.com is free and instant
no need to install anything, just upload your files and review with your friends.


November 1st, 2008


all the best of sticky notes, delicious, groups, etc..

Maxime Gosmant

November 1st, 2008

I strongly recommend the open source mindtouch deki for collaboration purposes.

Jon Aston

November 1st, 2008


It isn’t often I discover so many new things to check out in a single blog post. Thanks a million!


November 1st, 2008

If you want a more structured colaboration than a whiteboard, you should check out http://www.semmels.com
It allows you to define the structure, so it can be used for a variety of projects.
It also allows you to change the structure as the project evolves.
This structured approach becomes especially handy if you want to colaborate with a larger group of people.

Tim Rueb

November 1st, 2008

I would also put a plug in for Google Groups. Have used that as a collaboration tool instead of holding lots of meetings. Worked nicely for barnstorming and a central collection point for our team research.


November 1st, 2008

What about http://www.mind42.com/ ?
I use it everyday to share my thoughts with customers and colleagues


November 1st, 2008


the right url is


Angelo R.

November 1st, 2008

I think you mean evaded, not invaded in your Skype post. But never-the-less, great article! Most of these are ones that I’ve never heard about and I’ll definitely be looking into them.


November 1st, 2008

Yuuguu is awesome for sharing your screen with a group of people – we use it all the time for collaborative work.

Dave Nilmra

November 1st, 2008

I have used Yakkle (http://www.yakkle.com) for about half a year now for IM, voice, and desktop sharing. Recently I have started using its built in Twitter client too.


November 1st, 2008

How about social bookmarking system like http://www.fark.my/ ?


November 1st, 2008

http://www.code-roller.com is a free, collaborative software development project life cycle management solution building a community of entrepreneurs and engineers to deliver the next generation of great applications for the web.


November 1st, 2008

Atlassian’s Confluence, enterprise J2EE wiki. Nothing short of bitchin’ fierce. http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence


November 1st, 2008

Collaborative authoring with Buzzword, and web conferencing with ConnectNow


November 1st, 2008

Buzzword is Adobe’s answer to Google Docs. Great document management and work environment with collaborationtools like desktopsharing, webcam and chat. Somewhat heavy, but a very nice working environment for people working across computers.


November 1st, 2008

can’t leave off http://www.acrobat.com it’s all free and the tools are incredible.


November 1st, 2008

I use http://www.fmyi.com, I use their free version and it works amazingly.


November 1st, 2008

I use CollabTRAK for my web projects


November 1st, 2008

Big fan of tokbox.com as an alternative to Skype. It’s free, and a only the host need to be registered (free) with the site to hold a conference.

Jacob Gube

November 1st, 2008

Thanks for all these excellent suggestions everyone! I will compile all of these suggestions and post a follow-up article (“Readers’ Pick”) and contact some of you via email to see if you’d be interested in expounding on your answers (and if you’re interested now, shoot me an email for more details).

@Angelo R. Great catch, and thank you! I’ve corrected the error.

Judy O'Connell

November 1st, 2008

Did you also miss out Flashmeeting http://flashmeeting.e2bn.net/? and WizIQ another fabulous Free Online teaching and e-learning tool http://www.wiziq.com/? Educators around the world use these two for fabulous online collaboration.

steve chazin

November 1st, 2008

Jacob, I’m Steve from Dimdim and would be happy to discuss our new version (coming on Nov 11) that will blow you away. Still free!

Tyler West

November 1st, 2008

I appreciate your putting together this list and offering to do a followup post. Please allow me to offer up my own product for consideration. It’s a free web conferencing flash application. You can see it at http://www.coolconferencelive.com. No tricks or gimmicks… just 100% free.

I didn’t know there are so many amazing free collaboration tools to pick from. If I had I might not have got into the business I did, lol.


November 2nd, 2008

We use DeskAway – mentioned in Mashable’s 270+ must have tools for business. We mostly use it for tracking our projects, tasks and issues from a central location.


November 2nd, 2008

Thanks for this comprehensive list. Didn’t even knew about some of them :)

Thomas N. Burg

November 2nd, 2008

Not to forget http://www.mindmeister.com – next generation mindmapping and ideation tool with heavy focus on collaboraton – some say it replaces their entire intranet.

Cheers Thomas


November 2nd, 2008

Secure notes: http://sn.linkstore.ru
one time readable text notes

Jonathan Lister

November 2nd, 2008

Thanks for this article, I have bookmarked it as it’s really useful. I also would put it a vote for Google Groups, as it kicks ass. Google Sites is good too, but they need to iron out some interface problems, as it’s less intuitive than Groups.


November 2nd, 2008

Looks like Sal is a DeskAway employee trying to disguise himself as a regular user. Click on his name, it goes to deskaway.com! pathetic.

November 2nd, 2008

We use DeskAway – mentioned in Mashable’s 270+ must have tools for business. We mostly use it for tracking our projects, tasks and issues from a central location.”

PM Hut

November 2nd, 2008

Some of these tools are just impratical for Project Management. In fact, only a few of the 15 can actually be used efficiently by Project Managers.

I have recently published an article about the ideal project management tool, check it!


November 3rd, 2008

I surprise that anyone use http://www.assembla.com


November 3rd, 2008

WOW – I cannot wait to visit all those sites! They look amazing


November 3rd, 2008

wow! nice list!


November 3rd, 2008

I’d like to add Amy Editor:

Andrew Donnelly

November 3rd, 2008

Hi Jacob,
Perhaps you’d be interested in checking out Mikogo http://www.mikogo.com
Mikogo is an easy-to-use free screen sharing tool for group Web collaboration. We just released the new version with session recording, meeting scheduler, whiteboard, back monitor, voice conferencing service, instant screen build-up, and more.
Swing by our website and feel free to contact me if you would like further details.

The Mikogo Team


November 3rd, 2008

google docs and skype are definitely too of my favorites from this list


November 3rd, 2008

Check out http://www.tynt.com/ free social annotation and markup!


November 3rd, 2008

Thanks for compliling such a great list.


November 3rd, 2008

Online collaboration- I use it with my branch offices for editing documents and for tech support.


November 3rd, 2008

Thanks for the list. I hadn’t heard of Stixy, but i’ll check that out. Looks like it would be useful for some of my phone calls where i’m trying to explain stuff to a client. It would be so much easier to draw it.

We use Intervals for our web-based collaboration because it has our time tracking, task management, and documents all in one place. It’s nice to login to one tool and see where a project is at on both the financial and productivity fronts.

Franco Dal Molin

November 3rd, 2008

Check out http://www.collanos.com, unified team collaboration – P2P style! The forthcoming November release will feature task management with Gantt charts, contact management, high quality VoIP integration including free conference calls. Tune in!

Dainis Graveris

November 3rd, 2008

oh, many new for me to ceck out, nice roundup!


November 3rd, 2008

Google Docs just about does it for me. I like it’s simplicity.


November 3rd, 2008

Nice collection. Most of the tools i never used before.


November 4th, 2008

Great collection

Danh ba web 2.0

November 4th, 2008

Wonderful post. Thanks for share
Keep up !


November 4th, 2008

Fantastic list
And I totally aggree with above speaker
Textflow is amazing, a pure break in innovation


November 5th, 2008

One of my “main utilities”


November 6th, 2008

Wow – I didn’t know about half of these tools to collaborate. The new innovative services that people keep coming up with is amazing. When I started freelancing back zillions of years ago, there was nothing like this out here. Wow…thanks for posting.



November 6th, 2008

Thanks for such a good list. We have been using Google Docs & DeskAway for collaboration & Project Management. DeskAway is a good tool to collaborate & manage documents online & share them.


November 8th, 2008

What I love here is Skype and Twiddla.. These stuffs are really helpful for teams and having business transactions online.

Jerry M

November 11th, 2008

Thanks for sharing with us this wonderful list. I would like to add one more to this list of Collaboration Tools. Taroby http://www.taroby.org is a SaaS application which allows teams to share e-mail account amongst all the team members with certain access restrictions. Taroby is really useful for teams or work groups of any kind. Taroby allows you to have a complete overview of all message streams in your office, including snail mail, faxes, e-mails and SMSs. Taroby has got lot of cool features like Calendar, Calculator and many more…

Michael M

November 13th, 2008

This is a very valuable list; I am now involved in actively seeking a collaboration tool in my rapidly-growing business. I have spent a lot of time reviewing many of the sites suggested here and a bunch of others, too, and below are my top picks, based on ease of use, and overall operability. Opensource solutions are appealing but most require a mechanic to get them on the road and I don’t want to get bogged down with that.
- Projectspaces (www.projectspaces.com)
- fmyi (fmyi.com)
- Huddle (huddle.net)


November 17th, 2008

Great list! Another one to check out: Spinscape…web-based application for visual collaboration with auto-discovery from wikipedia, delicious, google, google docs & spreadsheets, real-time chat, and more! http://www.spinscape.com

Dustin Ladd

November 25th, 2008

Hello all,

Hopefully someone reads my post. I am looking for a application I can install on my server that will provide web conferencing AND desktop sharing (actually be able to control someone else’s desktop). I find this so important I run my own company and have many clients than need help with one thing or another on their computer. This must be web based because i travel often and do not always use the same computer. Dimdim is the closest thing to what I want but it does not offer remote desktop. There is one tool that does it and it is Mitel’s Collaboration tool but you cannot purchase it alone you must have their voip sotware. Can anyone help??????


December 8th, 2008

Cool sites. But I’m looking for something even simpler to map out a website tree. Trying to get a handle on the site structure and content. Anyone? I recall there being a site mapper or something like that?


January 20th, 2009

Try Manymoon, it’s free:


With Manymoon you can:
* Managed private and shared To Do Lists and Projects.
* Upload documents and add them to tasks and projects.
* Integrate with Google Docs and Google Calendar.
* Automatically convert emails into tasks.
* Twitter-like feature to let people know what you are working on.


February 23rd, 2009

Although this post is a bit old, it’s still being commented :)
Tha applications listed in the post and in the comments are somehow very different : Google docs cannot be compared to teamwork IMHO. What is web-based collaboration exactly ?
I’m a user of Clocking IT (http://www.clockingit.com/ ) which is an open source project developed with Ruby on Rails. It does time tracking, project management, and collaboration. It’s obviously completely free, and it’s really one of the bests. I personally use it for time tracking and PM.


March 29th, 2009

Does anybody check http://www.5pmweb.com?
Some days ago i knew about 5pm and they are one of good alternative for known Basecamp.


April 15th, 2009

Thanks to the poster and to all the readers for their comments. I wanted to go to bed, but now i have to check 13 websites before getting there… Actually maybe i shounldn’t thank you guys. :D


April 26th, 2009

http://metanotes.com is a real-time collaboration tool, mimicking a board of sticky notes. It’s great for brainstorming and non-linear note taking. You can work with others and their actions show up on your screen instantly.

Jonathan Joyce

April 27th, 2009

http://colaab.com has a completely free account and has real-time collaboration and review over a wide range of resources, including video, office documents and *huge* images!


May 2nd, 2009

I was blown away by Dabbleboard. This is something I’ve been looking for. Thanks.

lindamood bell

July 7th, 2009

hi nice article list great work and thanks for u sear this with us


July 13th, 2009

Thanks for such a good list.
I use Google Docs and Skype from the list. Also my company is working with Ubidesk(htts://ubidesk.com). It’s simple and neat!

Sean Thomas

July 30th, 2009

I would recommend the HyperOffice Collaboration Suite, because it is the most comprehensive featurwise. It has email, collaboration and online meeting tools.


July 31st, 2009

If you want to manage projects using a desktop application to conduct your remote/web-based collaboration, check out Spicebird – a robust, open-source platform for all your collaboration requirements.


August 3rd, 2009

I use Netviewer (www.netviewer.com). It’s free for personal use, fast and very easy! :)


August 3rd, 2009


Excellent list. i cant tell you how timely this article came to my notice.. was about to spend money on a project collaboration software.. but i saw 5pm fitting all my requirements… i am not recommending or suggesting any tool as i am not an expert. i am just going to put my hands and see how far these free tools help me.

Sathish Sampath

Daniel Clemens

August 16th, 2009

This list was created before EtherPad was released to the public. If ever you do an update, please review EtherPad. We believe it is the most frictionless way for individuals to collaborate on text.


September 3rd, 2009

Nothing is free! If you want to have quality then you need to pay for that.


October 16th, 2009

Hi Jacob Great Article and a good list. Have you tried out Injoos Teamware. I would reckon that they have the most comprehensive integrated collaboration platform. With their latest release they have added a new twist to track and execute projects “the social way”. Checkout their Blog http://injoos.com/blog/2009/10/09/seamless-collaboration-with-release-35/


October 20th, 2009

I really like the online file storage/sharing site http://contentcube.com . They cater to designers with support for formats like PSD and AI, and is nice for clean presentations to my clients.

While they aren’t the most feature rich product out there, they are simple and effective which is nice for my clients that don’t want to learn a complicated system.


October 28th, 2009

I think there are n number of web collaboration tools in the market. The best way to choose one of them is to choose the one recommended by your friends or colleagues.


October 30th, 2009

Spot on Indu, I think its really boils down to what real people are comfortable using. With so many players in the market, its almost mind-numbing trying to pick one.

Here at Creately.com – we’ve been very lucky because users love our application and talk about it to their nearest and dearest.

Build something your users will love then make it easy for them to talk about it.


November 4th, 2009

In my Grade 5 classroom we use:

http://www.etherpad.com for collaborative writing.
http://www.mindomo.com for collaborative planning.
http://www.wallwisher.com for free form fun.

Great post, a heap to go through after this.


November 24th, 2009

Project2manage is not free. Where are the zoho applications? I think zoho has some great free apps.

Sergio Mokko

December 1st, 2009

Excellent! This is exactly what I needed to work. Google, of course, is ahead of all.


January 27th, 2010

Freebinar (www.Freebinar.com) is a free webinar service that let’s you meet online with up to 150 people at a time. It includes screen sharing, conference calling and polling.


February 5th, 2010

You have missed Yugma( http://www.yugma.com ). It is an easy & smart web collaboration tool.


February 9th, 2010

Very helpful article Jacob – thanks!


March 10th, 2010

Great list, HotGloo is another worth checking out.


March 16th, 2010

This is a really nice list – many of these solutions are still available. How would you update for 2010? I’d like to include OnePlace on the list also, as it integrates important collaboration and communication features into online project management. You can see how it works at http://www.oneplacehome.com


March 18th, 2010

Kykachat is great for chat collaboration tools

http://www.rapidcube.com or http://demo.rapidcube.com


March 23rd, 2010

Very helpful list :)


March 25th, 2010

http://www.pairworks.com is the best suited tool for distributed agile teams


March 31st, 2010

Check out http://www.groupboard.com for a powerful online whiteboard and chat that you can embed in your own webpage. We recently added an iPhone/iPod client.

mati schwarcz

April 7th, 2010

Don’t forget about Google Wave – what an amazing collaboration environment! Real time and you can use just about any media you want.
Also, check out Zoho’s suite of products (www.zoho.com) – especially their Notebook – a whiteboard to which you can add text, shapes, pics, even voice – and it all interfaces with their own docs, spreadsheet, presentation program, as well as email, planner, etc.


April 13th, 2010

I can reccommend

It includes complete set of features for web-based creation, editing, viewing, discussing, versioning, secured sharing and publishing of project plans.

It’s free!


May 20th, 2010

Just one more I’d add, A free web 2.0 In-Out Board.

Nathan Kontny

May 28th, 2010

Tgethr is also a recent collaboration tool to throw into the list. We created it because we needed something just super simple to manage groups of people over email, and we wanted something secure and developer/designer friendly for our business (image thumbnails, integration with pivotal tracker). It’s basically a better Google Groups for private groups. And it’s free for small groups.


June 15th, 2010

I have been using Mavenlink (it has a free option, which is great, but I use the Independent pay version) and have experimented with ManyMoons some. Mavenlink has been awesome and you can link it with Google Apps.

Peter Inchley

June 24th, 2010

I’ve used Prezi.com for mind mapping with others. It may not be real-time, but its just so easy to use and the endless canvas feature means we can map ideas very quickly – including leaving some thoughts on the side!

Our business uses Ice3 Online Collaboration (http://www.ice3-portal.co.uk) which is not a free collaboration tool but pays for itself because we can use our own colours and domain name leaving our customers unaware that it is a 3rd party product.



July 9th, 2010

In case you haven’t heard of it, Skype is an application that allows you to make telephone calls over the internet (the technology is called Voice over Internet Protocol – or VoIP) – great option


July 16th, 2010

I’m using google docs and http://www.rememberthemilk.com/
It helps a lot in organizing team emails and jobs…


August 5th, 2010

http://drawonthe.net/ for collaborative drawing – like dabbleboard but not as fancy, but with the facility to draw on an internet web page or on-line image


August 10th, 2010

http://www.agreedo.com is definitive worth to give it a try. it focuses on meetings and their results.


August 16th, 2010

Crossloop is also a great tool for those who simply wants to share their desktop or needs technical support for their computers. If you simply want to share your screen, you can do that in Skype during your call.


August 30th, 2010

I’m currently testing a hosted demo of http://www.activecollab.com. Not free, but the benefit I see is that you purchase the app and install on your server, no monthly fees. The jury is still out on whether I’m going to purchase, but it’s very tempting.

Himali G

September 2nd, 2010

Well wrote! A tool which I use is DeskAway(http://www.deskaway.com). It has got the excellent project features like automatic email reminders, project templates, calendar, blog, reporting/analytics, full export/backup. This really makes tasks easy & simple.


September 2nd, 2010

I use Managemeet.com, a new free tool for brainstorming, categorizing, prioritizing and analysis. Meeting notes may be sent directly if you want and its easy to organize and plan a meeting.

Holly B

September 22nd, 2010

FMYI [for my innovation] is a collaboration site where you store and share information securely with your team. Everyone gets their own social networking-style profile page. People can create additional pages to post messages, files, links, tasks, events, and more for projects, contacts, resources or anything else you need to achieve your goals.


December 20th, 2010

I like http://listhings.com very much. You can share “pinboards” with friends.

Jim Williams

January 14th, 2011

We’re using LumoFlow: http://www.lumoflow.com

I’d say it’s a crossing between Basecamp and Yammer. It’s done wonders to the productivity in our team.


Frans van der Jonge

January 28th, 2011

I use HumanEdj. It lets you make plans for collaborative work very easily by creating Stages then giving people deliverables in each Stage. I found HumanEdj much simpler and quicker than typical project management tools (I’ve tried BaseCamp, Zoho, MS Project, and many more). HumanEdj is especially useful for doing the work in a plan, since HumanEdj automatically puts documents, chat messages, etc just where you want them.

Chris G

February 4th, 2011

I am new to all this and am looking for a collaborative site to allow friends to help to develop and work on my web page. It can be a specialized tool or a project management, but I don’t know where to start looking. Any ideas?


February 13th, 2011


Please also take a look at iManageProject, an online free project management application:



February 17th, 2011

Hi. I’d also suggest to take a look at free mind-mapping/diagram building service, which is based on a nice flash component for the sites.


March 29th, 2011

hi im looking for a collaboration tool for desinging animations? any suggestions


March 31st, 2011

Thank you blub!
http://cosketch.com really is the best collaborative whiteboard I’ve tried. It does exactly what it’s supposed to and nothing else. It doesn’t steal my time with complicated and unnecessary features, settings and sign ups. Almost same class as etherpad.
Those of you looking for etherpad since it’s gone, i recommend http://titanpad.com


April 1st, 2011

Just ploughed through many of the above and cosketch is the one I liked best by a long way. very nice.

David Norris

April 4th, 2011

I am using ezEnterprise (www.ezenterprise.net). What I liked about it (other than free) is that it is hosted online and allows me to manage projects and tasks, CRM, issue tracking, notes, to-do’s, expense tracking, etc. It also allows me to upload documents and files to a central place to organize everything. It is a simple software package but packs a lot of features.


April 11th, 2011

I really like http://dooster.net


April 30th, 2011

You left out TeamBox, I use it on my own servers.. http://teambox.com/

What is the most ideal for a team of programmers?


May 6th, 2011

funny how the title reads 15 Free …. and most people comment/punt their proprietary products…..if they had read before they opened their wallets they would have had a perfectly good open source tool instead of egg on their face


May 11th, 2011


I’ve been trying lately a basic plan for free at http://www.projektino.com. If you run a small company it allows to creat project,assign task to people and many more. Very helpful when it comes to organize conferences,seminars,trips, weddings. Projektino can be used to interact with customers,too. If there is a need to communicate with students at school this online collaboration tool won’t disappoint you.


May 18th, 2011

We’re using TeamBox, but it’s not like what we wanted …


May 19th, 2011

I also recommend checking SpiderScribe.net – it’s a mind mapping / brainstorming app – support text, images, file, calendar events and even Google Maps.


June 1st, 2011

Nice to see these great collaboration tools.

Actually, in-order to manage my projects I’m using the free project management software called PlanningForce Express Planner ( http://www.planningforce-express.com/free-planning-software.php ) which is ms project alternative.

Hope you would find it useful.


July 12th, 2011

Great list. Consider adding OffBureau (http://www.offbureau.com), an online workspace that fuses collaboration, document management and a social network. A free workspace has all the features of a subscriber workspace except that it has limited storage space.

Ken Lin

July 21st, 2011

Great list. I actually use Mavenlink as well, which integrates with Google Docs, your top choice.

Casey Armstrong

July 28th, 2011

Like Nathan wrote, I actually use Pivotal Tracker (http://www.pivotaltracker.com) as well. Great for collaborating with distributed teams.


August 7th, 2011

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. We are looking for beta testers!


August 29th, 2011

For those using Pivotal and looking for a free alternative check out Planthat – http://www.planthatapp.com

Andy Cobb

September 7th, 2011

Another one is Oogwave : http://www.oogwave.com
Zero license cost, unlimited space and specially designed for small groups or small companies to work better, together.

Ben Reynolds

September 12th, 2011

I personally use Wedoist (the free version) just to share files, tasks, and status updates with a couple of collaborators.



September 16th, 2011

Excellent post. 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.


September 19th, 2011

Yep, many, i would like to test all ;)) and to know about them :
also i give you those portals to UP more out there :
# http://www.go2web20.net/#tag:collaboration
# http://groups.diigo.com/group/collaboration


October 11th, 2011

We use (free) DevComplete and (payment) AlmComplete from http://www.smartbear.com


October 25th, 2011

This on is awesome and free both the open source version and the SaaS version. http://www.teamlab.com/

Anna Fergison

October 28th, 2011

Hi, would like to add to the list http://vkolab.com another great and free project management and team collaboration tool.



November 4th, 2011

We looked at Basecamp and rtm and some others before we chose Dooster. There is such a lot of collaboration software and may it keep coming because if the others softwares are as good as Dooster they’re worth getting. I feel quite mellow nowadays at work which is wonderful compared to my frazzled nerves before we got Dooster.


November 8th, 2011

I like http://www.teamwox.com
also has free license for 10 users


August 31st, 2012

Very useful list. I don’t know why but I’ve never considered Skype as a collaboration tool. I’m using http://thinkature.com/ and http://kanbantool.com/ ( an online tool for task management and collaboration)

Michael Clark

May 31st, 2013

Great list of tools. Additionally, one can even use on RHUB appliances in order to have web based collaboration, conducting web conferences, online meetings, online presentations etc.

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to the comments on this article.