Document Management

8 Best document collaboration tools (2023)

September 7, 2023
Deepak Dhanak

Deepak Dhanak

Co-Founder & CEO at | CA, HBS, IIM-A
12 min read

In a world where teamwork and innovation have taken center stage in businesses and organizations, document collaboration has become indispensable for millions of professionals around the world. 

Until recently, exchanging files over email was the order of the day and misplacing versions and battling incompatibilities used to be frequent challenges in workplaces.

There are alternatives now as modern document collaboration solutions allow many users to collaborate, co-author, edit, and review documents in real time, irrespective of location.

In this article, we will cover the 8 best document collaboration tools in 2023.

You will also discover how these tools not only streamline workflows but also aid teamwork and productivity. We have included pricing and other information to help you decide which tool would be best for your team.

What is document collaboration?

Collaboration refers to a way of working that enables teams from all over the globe to work together in real time and produce high-quality work.

Document collaboration is not just about sharing files. It is about enabling team members to collaborate on documents in a synchronized way. This means that everyone can see the latest version of the document at all times and make comments and suggestions.

This means that a company like DocuX can employ people from all continents, living and working in different parts of the world, yet working together on documents as though they are all physically present in an office. That is the power of document collaboration.

Why is document collaboration important?

Document collaboration is important because it allows users to work on the same document concurrently. This way, everyone can contribute their thoughts and feedback, which can save time, improve the quality of the document, and help reach consensus faster. The ability to observe each other’s modifications in real time through document collaboration also helps in enhancing teamwork and communication.

The trajectory of work culture around the world shows that working remotely has come to stay and will even become more dominant in the coming years.

One-third of employees (34%) prefer working from home over an office, and nearly half of businesses plan to retain some form of remote work.


This is a significant number, and it clearly shows how important remote work now is. Hence, the need for document collaboration tools.

Features to consider when choosing a document collaboration tool

With the ever-increasing number of document collaboration tools available today, knowing what to consider in choosing one is vital. Here are very important features to look out for in a document collaboration tool:

  • Collaboration features: The tool should help you collaborate on documents in real-time, track version changes, and leave comments.
  • Ease of use: An ideal document collaboration tool should be easy for you to use regardless of whether you are a tech-savvy user or not.
  • File sharing: The tool should be able to allow you to easily share documents with others, both inside and outside the organization.
  • Control: The tool should have strong security features that help you protect documents from unauthorized access.
  • Integrations: The tool should be able to help you integrate with other tools that your team uses, such as email, project management software, and customer relationship management (CRM) software.
  • Task management: The tool should allow you to assign tasks and track progress over time.
  • Search: You should be able to search for and filter through your documents easily.

8 Best document collaboration tools


DocuX—Document and contract lifecycle management platform. Website screenshot.

DocuX is an end-to-end document and contract lifecycle management platform driven by AI. It enables organizations to create, collaborate, control, eSign, manage approvals, store, and analyze their contracts and documents all in one place. 

Here are some of the benefits of using DocuX:

  • Eliminate the need for emails and incessant back-and-forth communication. Everything, from creation right through to long-term archiving of your documents happens on one platform. 
  • Strong versioning ensures all collaborators are working on the latest version of the document.
  • DocuX uses industry-leading security measures and controls to protect your documents.
  • DocuX is a cost-effective solution for businesses of all sizes, whether small, medium, or large corporations.

Unique Features

  • AI-powered workspace that sorts, tracks, and moves your document for you. This helps you save a lot of time—time you can spend on doing work that matters
  • e-Signature: All paid plans on DocuX offer unlimited eSign documents. Once a document has been finalized with all collaborators and approved internally, it can be sent for eSign in a click. 
  • DocuX allows you to control your documents and contracts with password protection, download restrictions, and permissions. This helps you keep your documents secure and confidential.


  • DocuX does not offer offline access to documents. This can be a drawback for businesses that need to be able to access documents when they are not connected to the internet.


Plan namePrice per creator
PersonalFree for life
Pro$9/month (unlimited)
Team$29/month (unlimited)
Enterprise$59/month (unlimited)

Learn more about DocuX or schedule a demo.

Google Docs

Google Docs—Document Collaboration Software

Google Docs is a web-based word processor that lets you create, edit, and collaborate on documents in real time with others. Google Docs is part of the Google Docs suite, which consists of several other applications.

Here are some of the benefits of using Google Docs:

  • Everyone who has access to the document can see changes as they are made.
  • You can leave comments on documents for others to see.
  • You can suggest changes for the document owner to implement without editing the document

Unique features

  • Google Docs integrates with other products, such as Google Sheets, Google Slides, and Google Drive. This makes it easy to work with different types of files and to share files with others.


  • Google Docs allow simultaneous editing which can make for extremely chaotic collaboration.
  • There is no provision for subscription for just Google Docs because all the pricing plans include all other Google applications.
  • Google Docs does not offer as many formatting options as some other word processing applications. This can be a drawback for users who need to create complex documents.
  • Google Docs creates a new version for practically every keystroke, making it difficult to manage and revert to specific versions.


Plan namePrice per user
Business Starter$6/month.
Business Standard$12/month.
Business Plus$18/month.
EnterpriseUndisclosed (contact Google sales team for more details).

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word — Document Collaboration tool

Microsoft Word is a word-processing application created by Microsoft. It is currently one of the world’s most widely used word-processing applications. It helps in creating, editing and formatting, and saving documents. It is part of the Microsoft Office suite.

Here are some of the benefits of using Microsoft Word:

  • You can create and insert tables and charts into documents.
  • You can insert images, shapes, and other objects into documents.
  • It includes a built-in spelling and grammar checker that can help you proofread your document.
  • You can use it to track changes made to a document.

Unique Features

  • Word comes with a variety of templates that you can use to create different types of documents, such as letters, reports, and presentations. You can also create your own templates.
  • Word integrates with other Microsoft Office apps, such as Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. This makes it easy to share data between apps and create more complex documents.


  • Unless you are using MS Word on the web, collaboration is very difficult.
  • Documents are scattered and distributed across devices—the business owner has no oversight and searching for documents is a task.
  • Microsoft’s pricing plans are complex. It might be difficult for users to easily make a choice of what is best for them.
  • There is no separate provision for payment for Microsoft Word because all the pricing plans include the complete Microsoft office suite.


Plan namePrice per user
Personal$6.99 – $9.99/month. 
Business$6.00 – $22:00/month.
Enterprise$8.00 – $57.00/month.
EducationUndisclosed (contact Microsoft team for more details).

Only Office

Only Office—Document Collaboration

Only Office is a platform that integrates a variety of office software for document collaboration, project management, and customer relationship management (CRM). 

Here are some of the benefits of using Only Office:

  • OnlyOffice is free to use and is released under the AGPLv3 license, which means that you can download, modify, and redistribute the software without any restrictions.
  • OnlyOffice documents are compatible with Microsoft Office documents, so you can easily open and edit existing files.
  • OnlyOffice uses strong security measures to protect your data, as your documents are encrypted in transit and at rest.
  • It allows you to collaborate with team members on documents in real time, which means you can see each other’s changes as they are made.

Unique Features

  • Only Office has multiple features like word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation which makes it possible to do multiple things in one place.


  • Only Office’s pricing plans are expensive. It is not suited for small businesses.
  • You can not pay for less than 50 users. This will amount to a waste of resources for businesses that don’t have up to 50 users.


Plan namePrice per server
Enterprise Plus$3300/year.
Enterprise Premium$4450/year.

Zoho Docs

Zoho Docs — Doc Collaboration for teams

Zoho Docs is a cloud-based document collaboration and file storage platform. Users may create, store, share, collaborate, and manage documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and other files online using Zoho Docs. 

Here are some of the benefits of using Zoho Docs:

  • You can leave comments on the document for others to see.
  • You can chat with other collaborators in real time.
  • You can easily share documents with others inside or outside your organization.

Unique features

  • Zoho Docs offers mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. This allows you to access your documents from anywhere, on any device.


  • Specific features needed to get work done beyond document collaboration are charged extra or need to be purchased separately. Example: eSignatures.
  • Zoho Docs can be slow at times, especially when working with large documents.
  • Zoho Docs can be complex to learn for some users, especially those who are not familiar with cloud-based document collaboration platforms.


Plan namePrice per user


Confluence—Document Collaboration platform

Confluence is a popular team collaboration platform developed by Atlassian. It is a software that allows teams to create, organize, and collaborate on various content, such as documents, project plans, meeting notes, product requirements, and more.

Here are some of the benefits of using Confluence:

  • Confluence can help your team work more efficiently by eliminating the need to email or pass documents back and forth.
  • Confluence can help your team communicate more effectively by providing a central location for everyone to see the latest version of the document.

Unique Features

  • Confluence’s search engine makes it easy to find the information you need, even if it is in a large document.
  • It integrates with a variety of other apps, including Jira, Slack, and Google Drive. This makes it easy to connect Confluence with your existing workflows.


  • Primarily built for teams to use internally. Not suited for drafting formal documents, contracts, agreements, etc.
  • Confluence can be expensive, especially for large teams.
  • Sometimes it can be slow on large pages or with a lot of users.


Plan namePrice per user


Notion—Document Collaboration Tool

Notion is a collaboration software that allows you to create and manage documents, databases, and wikis. It helps teams organize their tasks, projects, and information in a flexible and collaborative manner.

Here are some of the benefits of using Notion:

  • Notion helps to take notes for school, work, or personal projects. You can create different pages for different topics and add images, videos, and other media to your note.
  • It can be used to manage your tasks and projects. You can create to-do lists, set due dates, and track your progress.
  • Notion can be used to create wikis for your team or organization. You can store information about your projects, processes, and policies in a central location.

Unique Features

  • Notion is a very flexible and customizable platform. You can use it to create a wide variety of different types of documents, including wikis, databases, and kanban boards.
  • Notion is relatively easy to use, even for beginners. The interface is clean and intuitive, and there are plenty of tutorials available online.


  • Primarily a tool teams can use internally. Not built for drafting formal documents, agreements, or contracts.
  • Notion has a lot of features, which can be overwhelming for some users.


Plan namePrice per user
Plus$8 per month.
Business$15 per month.

DropBox Paper

Dropbox Paper—Document Collab

DropBox Paper is a collaborative document-editing service. It enables teams to create, modify, and interact in real-time on documents. Paper can be integrated with Dropbox to access your files and folders from within the program.

Here are some of the benefits of using DropBox Paper:

  • Paper allows you to comment on specific parts of a document. This is a great way to leave feedback or ask questions without disrupting the flow of the document.
  • It supports Markdown formatting.
  • Paper is integrated with Dropbox, so you can easily access your files and folders from within the app. 

Unique Features

  • Dropbox Paper is integrated with other Dropbox features, such as file sharing and version history. This means that you can easily share documents with others, and you can track changes that have been made to documents over time.


  • Dropbox Paper does not allow you to edit documents offline. This can be a drawback if you need to work on documents when you are not connected to the internet.
  • Storage is capped at each plan—you will have to pay more if you need more storage.
  • Additional features that are available by default on DocuX, such as eSign, are charged extra.
  • It can be slow at times, especially when you are working on large documents or when there are a lot of people collaborating on the same document.


Plan namePrice per user


Sharing ideas and working as a team has never been this easy. By leveraging the best document collaboration tools, you can boost your productivity, improve your business operations, and record amazing results in your team. 

While it could be overwhelming to get your hands around some of the tools mentioned earlier, DocuX has been purpose-built for end-to-end document and contract lifecycle management, with seamless collaboration at its core. With DocuX, you can replace several complex tools and workflows all at once, which makes it possible to cut costs and still maintain efficiency.

To see how we can help your team level up the way they collaborate on documents, talk to us

Frequently asked questions about document collaboration tools

Can I control how people interact with my document?

Answer: Yes, document collaboration tools like DocuX have features that allow you to control who can view, edit, download, comment on, or share your documents.

What are the best practices for document collaboration?

Answer: There are many generally accepted practices in document collaboration, but two of the most basic of them are: 

  • Make use of a cloud-based tool or platform, so everyone is on the same page, literally.
  • Password protect confidential documents and restrict access to only specific collaborators whose inputs are required.

Are document collaboration tools free?

Answer: Some tools are free for personal use, including DocuX and Google Docs. To collaborate on a business level, the sheer volume of documents that need to be created and the security and privacy compliance requirements would call for a premium solution.

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