If you work in an office, there’s a very good chance you’ve used SharePoint collaboration software.
The collaboration and document sharing tool that launched in 2001 is used by more than 190 million people at 200,000 different organizations around the world, according to developer Microsoft, which bundles SharePoint Online with its Office 365 package.
Traditional collaboration software acts as the digital equivalent of the office water cooler, allowing co-workers to chat about projects, life—or what happened on “Bachelor in Paradise” last night—wherever they are and at any time.
The original office collaboration tool
But trying to explain what SharePoint does is a bit of an inexact science, because it’s so versatile and can be used in a multitude of ways due to its many integrations. It can even be used as project management software.
As Gartner analyst Craig Roth writes in the report, “Solution Path for SharePoint” (Full report available to Gartner clients):
“Cloud, hybrid and on-premises deployment options, each with different functional and performance capabilities, create a baffling number of topological combinations … Understanding SharePoint requires knowledge of its built-in capabilities, its development platform, and the ecosystem of plug-ins and partners, making pinning down what ‘it’ is difficult.”
At its core, SharePoint is a collaboration tool that teams can use to communicate through instant messaging—but it’s also a document storage and management system, calendar tool, and even a content management system.
There’s no question that SharePoint is a powerful and useful tool for large teams and established businesses. But what if you’re looking for a simple collaboration and document management tool for your small team, and you want something you can start using right away without weeks of training or change management?
Then you’re in the right place.
Here are some SharePoint alternatives that will have your team communicating and sharing resources on projects in no time, wherever they are.
4 easy to use SharePoint alternatives
To make this list, I looked for collaboration tools that include document management and have an ease of use rating on Capterra of at least 4 out of 5, cost less than $10/user/month, and have at least 100 reviews.
For reference, SharePoint itself has been reviewed more than 250 times with an ease of use rating of 3.5 out of 5, and starts at $10/user/month for businesses.
Here are the alternatives I came up with, listed by number of of reviews in descending order.
Ease of use score: 4/5
A “Vacation Bot” in Slack
Though Slack may sound like a tool for layabouts, it’s anything but. The name stands for “Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge,” according to founder Stewart Butterfield, who launched the tool in 2014. Slack started as an in-house instant messaging system for his Vancouver-based video game design team, Tiny Speck.
Slack now claims customers ranging from two-person teams to more than three-quarters of the Fortune 100 list. You could even use Slack as a one-person freelancer, if you don’t mind talking to yourself—and the Slackbot.
What makes Slack special? The chat interface will feel instantly familiar to anyone who has ever used any type of online chat, and as the name says, every communication and file is fully preserved and searchable.
And thanks to a directory of more than 1,000 apps and bots, and an $80 million fund for independent developers, Slack is constantly expanding to do anything the world can dream up, from helping you plan your vacation to tracking your company’s vehicles.
- Slack offers a free trial version for small teams, and discounted rates for educational institutions and non-profits.
- Standard plan: $8/user/month, or $80/user/year.
- Plus plan: Adds single sign-on, compliance exports, and more; $15/user/month, or $150/user/year.
Do you have any thoughts on Slack? Please share them in a review!
Ease of use score: 4/5
The My Tasks interface in Asana
Like Slack, Asana was developed as an in-house tool to be used on the development of a different software product, which you may have heard of. Asana was built by Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein to help coordinate work during the development of Facebook. (Moskovitz is a Facebook co-founder, and Rosenstein is an engineer, who helped invent the Like button, Gmail chat, and Google Drive.)
Asana is built around a task management interface, and comes with advanced project management features—such as budget management and time tracking—built right in.
For document management, you can either attach files to tasks as subtasks, or take advantage of an integration such as Google Drive.
But what sets Asana apart from many project management tools is what landed it on this list: a robust chat interface—called Conversations—that encompasses multiple projects and team members, is searchable, and allows new tasks to be created directly from a conversation.
- Asana offers a basic, free plan for teams of up to 15 members.
- Premium plan: No cap on the number of team members; $9.99/user/month when billed annually.
- Enterprise plan: Adds custom branding, advanced administrative controls, and more. Contact the Asana sales team for pricing and more information.
Do you have any thoughts on Asana? Please share them in a review!
Ease of use score: 5/5
A Pulse board with corresponding conversation in dapulse
dapulse is the first collaboration tool on this list that got its start overseas. It was founded by former Wix senior manager Roy Man and developer Erin Zinman in 2012, and launched out of Tel Aviv in 2014.
dapulse now claims more than 10,000 customers in 136 countries around the world.
What makes dapulse different? The vendor would tell you that its system is not a project management tool; it’s a grid-based visual tool that focuses on process. For communication, dapulse uses @ mentions within boards, and you can drag and drop files directly into your conversations.
Price: dapulse has a customizable pricing plan for teams of all different sizes, but here is example pricing for a team of 5 when billed annually:
- Basic: 5 GB of storage; starts at $5/user/month.
- Standard: 50 GB of storage and advanced features; starts at $7.80/user/month.
- Professional: Unlimited storage and more advanced features; starts at $11.80/user/month.
- Enterprise: Unlimited storage, VIP customer service, and advanced security; starts at $23.60/user/month.
Do you have any thoughts on dapulse? Please share them in a review!
Ease of use score: 5/5
The main interface in Samepage
Samepage is a newcomer to the collaboration scene, launching out of Silicon Valley in February of 2017.
As its name implies, Samepage puts your entire team on one page, with tasks, chat, and documents all visible at once. It’s kind of like navigating a web page, except one that you can fully interact with. Collaboration on Samepage works through direct messages, group chat, and voice or video calls.
You can even draw diagrams in real time as your teammates watch. Samepage also offers a full menu of apps and integrations to make it fit your individual needs. Beyond collaboration and document management, Samepage also includes advanced features such as shared calendars and content management.
- Samepage has a free version, for unlimited users, but you are limited to 10 teams, 10 pages, 1 GB of storage, and a 30-day chat history.
- Pro version: Adds unlimited teams and pages, 1 TB of storage, and a lot more; $7/user/month when billed annually, or $8/user/month when billed monthly. Discounts available for educational institutions and nonprofits.
Do you have any thoughts on Samepage? Please share them in a review!
Want more collaboration tools for small teams?
Have you had success with any easy collaboration tools that you don’t see on this list? If so, share them in the comments so we can check them out!
And if you’re still hungry for more great collaboration tools, check out these other articles:
- The Top 11 Slack Alternatives
- 4 Incredible Collaboration Software Options for Project Managers
- The 12 Best Basecamp Alternatives
- 7 Easy Project Management Tools for Your Growing Team
Looking for Project Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Project Management software solutions.