by Stephanie Miles
Published on 9 January 2017
If you are still struggling to organize your (digital) files, collaborate with annoying coworkers and clients with cumbersome attachments, or fumbling with your thumb drives, it's time to get modern and use a file-sharing service. There are dozens of document sharing and knowledge management apps currently on the market, but the quality and the features offered can vary significantly from product to product.
The specific document sharing and knowledge management app that a company or individual chooses to use should be based on the available features, supported devices, support options, and price. Security is another issue that comes up among small business owners, since many are using document sharing tools to send and store sensitive data and confidential information. For those users, especially, it is important to research what type of security features a document sharing and knowledge management app has built-in before adopting any new tools.
Here are our picks for the top five document sharing and knowledge management apps:
Zoho Docs is a central document repository, which allows you to store and share files securely, and access, edit and upload them anywhere and wherever you are. You can also create, edit, share, view and upload most types of files such as Zip or PDF, as well as upload and import files directly from Google Docs to Zoho Docs. The app aims to increase your productivity and maximize your productivity by finding and accessing files with the click of a button.
Capterra user Jojo Avav writes, "I've used Zoho Docs many times before. Even though my default office program is Google Docs, through my experience with Zoho, I cannot find anything inferior about it. It has good integration with websites like Youtube, and even transitions great between Microsoft Word and Google Docs. If you want to support the underdog, use this program."
Price: Starting from $3 per month.
Evernote is well-known as an app for people that need to sketch down some ideas, keep track of paperwork, or collaborate on work. However, Evernote also works well as a file-sharing service, while making the actual process of saving or sharing easy through intuitive design and plugins. For example,the app allows you to quickly save web pages for later viewing or sharing. It also works seamlessly across multiple devices, which makes it easy to use the app at your computer or on your phone.
Price: Starting from $34.99 a month
GetApp user Christina Ebert writes, "It is incredibly intuitive, and it's accessible from pretty much any device. You can also share notes or notebooks with others, so if you need to collaborate with someone you can just send them a link to the note or notebook. On my portable devices, I can quickly capture a thought by typing a note, writing by hand on a touch screen, recording an audio note, taking a picture, etc.
"One of my favorite features is the Web Clipper, which is a little icon in your browser toolbar that can capture screenshots, articles or entire Web pages and file them appropriately in your account. Another cool feature is the document camera, which recognizes documents you photograph and makes automatically optimizes the image so the document is as easy to read as possible. I have a Premium account with Evernote and I've found that it's worth the investment."
You've probably already had some experience working with Dropbox before, which makes it a great option to consider for your business. Dropbox has a user-friendly interface and has features (aside from the file sharing) such as automatic back-up, offline access, and the ability to manually set bandwidths. It also creates links that make it easy to share via email, chat or text messages. However, it's worth noting (for the basic, B2C version) that easy file-sharing, brand ubiquity, and an intuitive user interface make it a target for dangerous programs like ransomware.
Capterra user Bradley Aleman writes, "Dropbox is an example of my favorite type of product: one that does one thing, and it does it very well. Really, using Dropbox feels like it's naturally part of our network's drive but with the huge advantage of not being solely accessible onsite. It's a fast cloud solution for a price that just cannot be beaten on the market. Collaboration is easy (Microsoft products seamlessly integrate Dropbox's collaboration badge. History is easy to track, and nothing can stay hidden that shouldn't. Admins can easily control Dropbox folders, grant permissions, and watch the activity."
Price: Dropbox's Business plan varies by country
In the past, Box has presented itself as the enterprise-friendly alternative to Dropbox and has always been more focused on selling to businesses rather than individuals looking for personal storage. Aside from the usual file-sharing capabilities, Box also offers advanced security controls that password protected sharing and even some mobile device management.
Software Advice user Gram Bischof writes, "Box is easy to use and has brilliant file sharing capabilities. Box gives you complete control over what users can do and cannot do with the files that are shared with them. It can be accessed from anywhere and can be synced on different machines. The uploads are quick and elegant and our team is satisfied with the way it works for us."
Price: Starting from $14.99 per month.
G Suite (formerly known as Google Apps for Work) is the professional sibling of the Google Apps (Docs, Sheets, etc) that you are probably familiar with. Essentially, G Suite aims to give you the full Google apps experience, with increased features and security controls; its targets are clearly set on Microsoft Office. As with the other Google products, it's likely that employees are already familiar with the technology and the interface, so it shouldn't be problematic in regards to training.
Google Drive (G Suite) for Android
GetApp user William Tate writes, "Our digital agency has been using g-suite when it was still Google Apps for Work. Having our beloved gmail was one thing, but the collaboration possibilities with google docs, google sheets and just google drive as a file sharing tool are endless. Also hangouts as a messaging platform is brilliant."
Do you know of a file-sharing service that you swear by and we missed? What have your experiences (good or bad) with these apps been like? Let us know in the comments below!
This post was updated on January 9, 2017.