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10 Best Visual Collaboration Software For Product Teams In 2022

Visual Collaboration Software Shortlist

Here’s the list of the best tools that I’ll cover in this article.

  1. Smartsheet

    Familiar spreadsheet-like interface with powerful process automations

  2. Accelo

    End-to-end management of all aspects of project delivery

  3. Asana

    Full-fledged, flexible, and customizable project management app

  4. Wrike

    Improve the speed of work for local and distributed teams

  5. Stravito

    Centralized repository of research and company insights data

  6. Stack Overflow

    Cloud-based knowledge management software

  7. Space by JetBrains

    Integrated teamwork environment for software developers

  8. ClickUp

    Combines essential business applications on a customizable cloud-based platform

  9. monday.com

    Connect teams and collaborate in real-time in a centralized workspace

  10. Connecteam

    Dispersed employee management application with time tracking built in

No matter the size of your team, the current business world often requires a space where everyone can collaborate and manage projects on multiple devices. To help with this, you can use visual collaboration software to brainstorm new ideas, organize tasks, and plan for projects with your entire team. Deciding which software is best for your business can be tricky, but have no fear because that’s why I’m here! I’m going to take you by the hand, virtually, of course, to help you decide which software is best for your team.

Comparison Criteria

What do I look for when I select the best visual collaboration system? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:

  1. User Interface (UI): I look for software with an intuitive, easy-to-learn interface where employees can view the information on any device. It should provide an easily accessible workspace that clearly displays information to make faster and better decisions.
  2. Usability: I look for a system that can reduce the time and effort users spend learning how to use the software. I should also be flexible enough to meet all employee needs as well as the company’s requirements.
  3. Integrations: I look for tools that already have integrations available to support your current applications. If the software offers a complete marketplace of integrations, even better!
  4. Value for $: I look for software that has benefits worth the money you’ll be spending. This might be a bit obvious but comparing the costs with the benefits you’ll get in the long run is important.

Visual Collaboration Key Features

When reviewing software, I look for systems that have these features:

  1. Real-Time Notifications: Desktop and push notifications, for those using mobile devices, make it easy to let project managers and team members keep the workflow flowing.
  2. Online Collaboration: Enables teams and individuals to hold meetings, discuss plans, and work together from anywhere in the world.
  3. Project Management: Provides updates on the progress of tasks with tags such as “not started,” “in progress,” “waiting for approval,” or “stuck” to let everyone address problems, complete tasks, and get an idea of when a team member can do something about it.
  4. Video Collaboration: Allows video calls to connect with team members, so nobody misses any critical aspects of an ongoing project.
  5. File Sharing: The ability to create a centralized location to share important files related to a project, such as onboarding documents, sales pitch scripts, or customer service policies.
  6. Task Management: Uses visual representations of processes, workflows, and tasks to break down larger projects for individuals and entire teams and create a to-do checklist.
  7. Screen Sharing: This allows project managers to share ideas and mind maps easily, create whiteboards to explain plans with the team, or write key points during a presentation.
  8. Kanban Board: The ability to change the dashboard to allow users to create boards and cards to manage projects.
  9. Gantt Chart: Helps project managers monitor and keep track of project details by visually illustrating what your team needs to do and when.
  10. Instant Messaging: This allows project managers and team members to communicate in one place in real-time to stay on task and not miss important aspects of a project.
  11. Security Features: Helps project teams take measures to ensure everyone has the tools to secure sensitive information and their devices.

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Overviews Of The 10 Best Visual Collaboration Software

Here’s a brief description of each visual collaboration tool to showcase each platform’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the user interface.

1

Smartsheet

Familiar spreadsheet-like interface with powerful process automations

Organizations with multiple ongoing projects and many moving parts can use Smartsheet to help improve collaboration and manage workflows. Team members can use Smartsheet’s activity log reports and customizable dashboards to help them remain consistent throughout projects.

A project manager can also share project plan information with an organization’s leadership team and key stakeholders to make certain that everyone is on the same page.

Smartsheet’s mix of traditional worksheets and enterprise-grade capabilities makes it very intuitive and easy to use. The platform’s powerful automation features outshine other software with its incredibly comprehensive set of connectors, integrations, automation tools, and intelligent workflows. The drag-and-drop automation builder helps users create advanced workflows in just a few minutes.

Smartsheet integrates with other apps and services, such as Google Drive, Jira, Salesforce, and Skype. You can also use Zapier to connect to other apps or work with Smartsheet’s API.

Smartsheet costs from $9/user/month when paying monthly and $7/user/month when you sign up annually. They also offer users a 30-day free trial.

30 days free trial

From $9/user/month

2

Accelo

End-to-end management of all aspects of project delivery

With an emphasis on time and money, Accelo’s client work management provides an overview of up-to-date financial performance and business data. The software can manage everything from project prospect to final payment, including sales, timesheets, retainers, and resourcing.

It can help enable organizations to provide services to staff and clients by jumpstarting projects, getting deals flowing, and keeping everyone happy.You can use Accelo to exercise real-time control of your projects, from start to finish, and ensure collaboration throughout the entire experience.

Accelo constantly updates its customer relationship management features, which can help you create and nurture client relationships. Users can also use the project management components to keep projects within budget and on schedule. It’s also flexible enough to adapt to any changes within a project, so they don’t drown in processes.

Accelo integrates with other software such as Salesforce, QuickBooks, Slack, and MailChimp.

Accelo costs from $30/user/month when you sign up monthly and $24/user/month annually. They also offer a 14-day free trial.

14-day free trial.

From $30/user/month

3

Asana

Full-fledged, flexible, and customizable project management app

Using an intuitive and versatile interface, you can use Asana to manage your project tasks and collaborate with teams of any size. The simplicity of Asana’s design assists managers when keeping team members on track and assigning tasks to complete work efficiently.

It doesn’t matter how many departments or teams come together to work on a project; the platform helps them assign task ownerships, share files, and combine related work. You can use Asana’s flexibility to simultaneously keep track of ongoing tasks and long-term projects.

The platform provides project progress reports in minutes to give an overview for teams and stakeholders. This gives an organization’s leadership the chance to accurately track any initiative’s status from start to finish to see how you’re progressing toward its goals.

Asana integrates with many of the tools you might already be using, such as Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Calendar, Tableau, Salesforce, and over 100 more applications.

Asana costs from $13.49/user/month when paying monthly and $10.99/user/month annually. They also have a free forever plan for up to 15 teammates.

From $13.49/user/month

4

Wrike

Improve the speed of work for local and distributed teams

No matter where in the world an organization’s project team works, Wrike’s collaborative work management platform helps them do their best work. They have tailored solutions for product management, project, creative, and professional services teams. The software combines popular and valuable tools for businesses, such as company-wide calendars, project management solutions, and remote collaboration tools for companies of any size.

Wrike offers tons of storage space, anywhere from 2 to 100 gigabytes, which is a lot! This amount of space makes the platform fantastic for digital asset management and content publishing. Wrike also offers an easy onboarding process by providing a quick tutorial through its core feature upon sign-up.

When you add these features together, you get a system that helps teams finish their projects fast.

Wrike integrates with the best-in-class tools to suit your specific needs, including Salesforce, Tableau, Microsoft Teams, and Jira.

Wrike costs from $9.80/user/month and offers a free 14-day trial.

Free 14 days trial

From $9.80/user/month

5

Stravito

Centralized repository of research and company insights data

If you, or anyone else on your team, ever wonders what the company knows about a key trend or topic, Stravito provides a purpose-built sharing and storage platform for market research. The system uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to classify information automatically.

To ensure a user has the authority to access specific content, Stravito enables managers to provide role-based permissions to information. The platform offers various features to users, such as collaboration, data backups, communication management, and data encryption, all from one location.

Organizations can also use the information they find within Stravito to create impactful marketing plans. Many refer to the platform as the “Netflix of Insights” because it helps users leverage insights to anticipate and respond to the needs of customers.

Stravito integrates with multiple third-party platforms, including Tableau, Microsoft Teams, and SharePoint.

Stravito does not provide pricing information for its platform. You can contact them to request a quote.

6

Stack Overflow

Cloud-based knowledge management software

Stack Overflow for Teams provides organizations a secure, private home for your questions and answers by giving teams instant access to their colleague’s knowledge. Stack Overflow’s unified platform provides a built-in editor to let team members update documentation, flag out-of-date articles, and link specific questions to knowledge articles to help answer queries.

The Q&A module in the platform allows users to generate a personal alert or task when requesting new information. Both small, agile teams and large, dispersed teams can use Stack Overflow to share knowledge throughout the organization. Organizations can retain key knowledge in an editable format to allow team members to make updates.

The search functionality allows users to perform narrow and broad searches in the company’s knowledge base to find the information they need. Leadership teams can also distribute awards to individuals according to the amount of content they publish and when they complete other daily activities.

Stack Overflow integrates with third-party apps, such as GitHub, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Jira.

Stack Overflow costs from $6/user/month, and they have a free version available for up to 50 users.

From $6/user/month

7

Space by JetBrains

Integrated teamwork environment for software developers

Space by JetBrains—also known as JetBrains Space or just Space—provides features for software teams and projects for the entire development pipeline. The platform’s main functionality includes code reviews, planning tools, and package repositories. JetBrains Space primarily focuses on software development teams.

Still, other teams within an organization, such as marketing, sales, legal, and human resources, can use the information sharing, communication, and project management tools.What makes Space special is its integration with various systems that can interact with each other and exchange information to provide you with an experience in managing the teamwork environment.

The platform provides visual boards, planning checklists, and an issue tracker. It also has a team directory that allows users to see who’s working on what and consult the team calendar for an overview of everyone’s availability.

Space by JetBrains can integrate with other third-party applications through Zapier. It also has an API that you can use within your current systems.

Space by JetBrains costs from $10/user/month when paying monthly and $8/user/month annually. They also have a free version that allows up to 10 application connections.

From $10/user/month

8

ClickUp

Combines essential business applications on a customizable cloud-based platform

ClickUp’s goal is simple, “one app to replace them all.” It does this by offering all the tools a project team needs to complete their work in an efficient and accessible way. The tools ClickUp provides are suitable for organizations in any industry of any size; these include collaboration and communication tools, task statuses and assignments, alerts, and visual reporting. Project teams can customize the workspace, everything from project funnels to web page branding, to suit their needs.

ClickUp is the Swiss Army knife of visual collaboration software that lets users combine everything they need into one platform. It helps entire teams collaborate, assign customizable tasks and sub-tasks, and save time with shareable screen recordings. Project managers can create trackable goals for projects with automatic progress tracking, measurable targets, and clear timelines. ClickUp also makes it easy to work with different teams by converting sprint targets into weekly goals.

ClickUp integrates with over 1,000 third-party tools, such as GitHub, Slack, Google Drive, Dropbox, Google Calendars, and Microsoft Outlook.

ClickUp costs from $9/user/month on a monthly basis or $5/user/month when paying annually.

Free Trial

$9/user/month

9

monday.com

Connect teams and collaborate in real-time in a centralized workspace

monday is an award-winning visual collaboration platform that helps managers plan and execute complex projects. The team and task management tools allow project managers to onboard any team member and manage multiple projects across the team from one dashboard.

The platform has multiple productivity features, such as an integrated Kanban board, time-tracking, workflow automation, automated notifications, and calendar integration.monday’s collaborative environment helps project members create a knowledge base, communicate with each other, and share files in a centralized location.

The custom automations make moving tasks from one phase to the next, assigning team members to take over a task, and alerting them to changes easy for everyone on the team. monday also has customizable templates that can save time when building processes from scratch, such as team tasks, project portfolio tracking, contact management, or campaign planning.

monday integrates with other apps a project team might be using to help automatically move information between them. For example, you can sync the dates from a specific board to your Google Calendar. New dates on the board automatically show on your Google Calendar. Other integrations include Outlook, Slack, Zendesk, Dropbox, and Mailchimp.

monday costs from $10/user/month when paying monthly or $8/user/month when paying annually and comes with a 14-day free trial.

Free Trial

$6/user

10

Connecteam

Dispersed employee management application with time tracking built in

Using Connecteam means you get everything you might expect from a time tracking application, including GPS location that confirms employees’ clock in where they need to be, job costing, and time tracking by project or client. The time tracking feature also provides accurate invoicing using digital timesheets, which auto-sync with the app’s mobile clock. This means timesheets continuously update in real-time.

Connecteam also comes with the features a team needs to operate effectively, such as overtime hours and shift attachments, which consider tool usage and mileage logging.

Connecteam lets users build native employee apps so all team members, especially those constantly on the road, can communicate and collaborate easily. When your custom app is ready, project managers can instantly engage with their dispersed teams anywhere and anytime.

Connectteam can also help managers manage their day-to-day with tools for employee onboarding and training, scheduling, task management, and digital checklists.

Connecteam integrates with QuickBooks Payroll, Google Calendar, and Gusto.

Connecteam costs from $35/month for the first 30 users when paying monthly and $29/month annually. There’s also a free version for up to 10 users.

From $35/month

The 10 Best Visual Collaboration Software Summary

Tool Free Option Price
1
Smartsheet

Familiar spreadsheet-like interface with powerful process automations

30 days free trial

From $9/user/month Visit Website
2
Accelo

End-to-end management of all aspects of project delivery

14-day free trial.

From $30/user/month Visit Website
3
Asana

Full-fledged, flexible, and customizable project management app

Not available

From $13.49/user/month Visit Website
4
Wrike

Improve the speed of work for local and distributed teams

Free 14 days trial

From $9.80/user/month Visit Website
5
Stravito

Centralized repository of research and company insights data

Not available

Visit Website
6
Stack Overflow

Cloud-based knowledge management software

Not available

From $6/user/month Visit Website
7
Space by JetBrains

Integrated teamwork environment for software developers

Not available

From $10/user/month Visit Website
8
ClickUp

Combines essential business applications on a customizable cloud-based platform

Free Trial

$9/user/month Visit Website
9
monday.com

Connect teams and collaborate in real-time in a centralized workspace

Free Trial

$6/user Visit Website
10
Connecteam

Dispersed employee management application with time tracking built in

Not available

From $35/month Visit Website

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Other Options

Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list.

  1. Hive – Project management software platform helps plan, track, and establish project automation to promote efficient workflows.
  2. Mural – Collaboration platform for virtual whiteboards and canvases that promotes team brainstorming and mind-mapping.
  3. Confluence – Online workspace to keep track of team decisions and discussions.
  4. Airtable – Relational database management tool that helps teams store, track, share, organize, and collaboratively edit information.
  5. Jira – Allows software development teams to see the most important issues and share information when needed.
  6. Jostle – Employee management platform to help team members become successful and know their contributions matter.
  7. Surfly – Allows teams to screen share with each other without downloading software or giving access to their computer.
  8. Ziflow – An online proofing platform for creative collaboration to help teams streamline the review and approval process.
  9. Nectir – An idea management software that helps teams collect viable solutions.
  10. Lucidspark – A whiteboard application for real-time team collaboration, brainstorming, and presenting information during meetings.
  11. Pumble – Communication management platform that helps team members interact across multiple locations or departments.
  12. Microsoft Teams – A collaborative platform that uses voice, messaging, and video conferencing for Microsoft 365 users.
  13. Google Workspace – Online-based office and collaboration platform that helps teams access documents and track revisions.
  14. Adobe Creative Cloud – Combines every adobe program into one platform allowing creative teams to collaborate on designs.
  15. Zoho Projects – Customizable project management application with the flexibility to streamline projects for various industries.
  16. Troop Messenger – Real-time business messenger software that provides secure instant messaging to allow teams to share ideas and discuss projects.
  17. Basecamp – Kanban board-based work management software that provides real-time messenger and automated check-ins.
  18. ConnectWise Control – Allows technical assistance teams to gain remote access to servers, perform remote support, and run remote meetings.
  19. Trello – Online project collaboration tool using a Kanban framework to help create, organize, and prioritize tasks.
  20. Wimi – An on-premise or cloud-based collaboration platform that offers file management, messaging channels, and video conferencing across multiple apps and devices.

How To Choose the Best Visual Collaboration Software for Your Team?

When looking for a new visual collaboration software to help your team, you can use these considerations to help you out:

Identify Who Can Benefit from Using Tools

An organization is likely to have multiple pain points that have different priority levels, no matter the size of the business. Identifying these pain points is the first step. You can start by taking time to talk with your team and asking them to give their opinions. You can then arrange their needs in order of priority when you have the data. When identifying the problem areas, consider who will use your chosen tool.

Use Your Teams Opinion When Evaluating Solutions

The point of choosing visual collaboration software is to help them become more productive and prevent any challenges in the future. You can help by getting your team involved when deciding on the right software to use. When researching the right tool, give your team some education on your choices to help them understand what’s possible and how the features can help them.

Consider Software Compatibility

Before settling on your final choice, it’s important to determine whether you can deploy the software alongside the systems you already use. Will this work well with the systems you have in place? How will it fit in? Are you going to have to transfer data manually to the new software, or does it have the integrations to help? It might mean paying more upfront but be sure to choose a platform with more of the functionality important to your team.

Determine the Costs

It’s important to consider the costs of implementing new software, such as upgrades, maintenance, and subscription fees. Think about the long-term benefits of using the system and if it’s worth using your budget. You can also determine whether the platform has different pricing if it’s an on-premise or cloud-based system.

Identify Any Learning Curves

You can do your research to find out if the software vendor offers any after-sales services. Your team will most likely need some training, and if there’s a steep learning curve, it will be beneficial to get some expert help. For a platform to be fully effective, there will be frequent updates, and you might need a tutorial for each update. If a vendor doesn’t provide any onboarding assistance during the implementation of the system or any major updates, you should move to the next vendor.

Measure Expected Changes

Every new software you implement will have an impact on your team and the organization. The point here is to ensure that you find a solution that helps make your team’s lives easier, not the other way around. You can measure the expected changes by:

  • Engaging with stakeholders.
  • Connecting with the program designers.
  • Confirming resources and expectations.
  •  Determining data collection methods.
  • Planning for communication results.

What Do You Think About This List?

What do you think are the best visual collaboration tools? I know this was a lot of information to take in, but this is only a small list of what’s available. Leave a comment, or sign up for our newsletter to get the latest project management insights from the top product management professionals. I hope to see you become a part of the team!

Related Read:

·       10 Best Digital Marketing Project Management Software in 2022

·       10 Best Process Workflow Software in 2022

By Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and founder of thedpm.com. I've been in the industry for more than 15 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from film to CMS', games to advertising and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony.

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