August 15, 2023

Top 6 Confluence Alternatives for 2024

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Sharing information across teams, departments, and organizations can be a challenge. Especially in a post-pandemic, anywhere operations business landscape, where distributed workforces are the norm. Knowledge management software can help with this, but not every solution fits every use case.

Take Confluence. A solid option for sure, but if you’ve taken a look and it didn’t seem like the right tool for the job, then checking out some of the competition might be a good idea. Luckily, this article can help you do just that. 

Here is our list of the best Confluence alternatives:

  • ClickUp: Best for asynchronous collaboration
  • Notion: Best for automation-empowered efficiency
  • Google Docs: Best for ease of use
  • SharePoint: Best for large Microsoft-powered teams
  • Zoho Learn: Best for growing teams
  • OneNote: Best for small Microsoft-powered teams

Pros

  • Robust task management functionality
  • Extensive collaboration tools
  • Numerous integrations with third-party apps (including Google Docs)

Cons

  • May lack some advanced features teams need in a project management tool, forcing them to choose a different solution to meet their needs
  • Consolidated Functionality: Native chat, email, virtual whiteboards, project management and more make it easy for teams to stay up-to-date without running a dozen apps at once.
  • Full-Fledged Project Management: Easily coordinate workloads and timeframes via robust task management and scheduling features that form the core of the app. 
  • Affordable Functionality: ClickUp subscriptions are lower than most platforms with comparable feature sets.
  • Flexible Organization Tools: Sort and separate teams, deparments, projects, tasks, and files to more easily communicate priorities, share information, and achieve full process visibility.
  • No Assembly Required: ClickUp can be customized by users of nearly every level of tech literacy; implement automations, templates, nested tasks, integrations and more, all without any coding required.
  • Personal: Free
  • Unlimited: $7/user/month yearly, or $10/user/month
  • Business: $12/user/month yearly, or $19/user/month
  • Enterprise: Contact sales

Clickup is a solid all-around choice. It’s inexpensive, easy to use, easy to implement, and facilitates smooth collaboration, even for distributed and asynchronous teams. While it doesn’t boast any native wiki functionality, its collaboration tools are better than most, and its project management functionality is on par with brands that boast better market reach.

ClickUp is a solution that punches above its weight. Officially a project management platform, the native file-sharing and collaboration tools make it useful across a number of additional use cases. Having messaging, email, and task management all in the same app can, by itself, dramatically reduce the tech stack of the average team, and make it easier for everyone to stay up-to-date. 

Since ClickUp can cover multiple functions that usually require several different apps, it’s already an attractive tool for teams that want to limit subscription costs, IT assets to manage, and app windows users have to keep open for daily work. Add to that its easy-to-master interface, its convenient file and knowledge sharing, and its time-saving automation features, and even for teams that don’t need, or already have a reliable PM tool might find ClickUp worth considering.

Notion: Best for automation-empowered efficiency


Pros

  • Full suite includes wikis, docs, task management, and an integrated AI assistant
  • AI automation enables summaries, organization, and more, without added labor
  • Easily consolidate project management and collaborate across teams

Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Slightly more costly than similar tools
  • Billed as “all-in-one” but lacks some key features (like messaging)
  • Centralized Knowledge Sharing: Make the most of your organization’s expertise by consolidating information and references into a single, easy to access, easy to search source of truth.
  • Notion AI: Automation-powered assistant reduces time-consuming labor, allowing users to quickly organize notes, summarize documents, and even convert text-based information into more visually accessible reports.
  • Native Task Management: Connect shared files and references directly to deliverables, and manage workloads from within the app.
  • Enhanced Text Editing: Don’t just import or share files; create them right in the Nortion app. Documents created in the app can be easily attached to relevant tasks, enhanced using Notion AI, and organized in the Wiki, so that information is already embedded in the system by default.
  • Visualize the Goal: Notion’s visualization and dashboard features make it easy to present key information in an easy-to-digest manner, and eliminate unnecessary details from both reports and user feeds.
  • Free
  • Plus: $10/user/month, or $8/user/month billed annually
  • Business: $18/user/month, or $15/user/month billed annually
  • Enterprise: Call for quote

Notion makes it remarkably easy to built a genuine wiki for internal company reference out of documents, notes, files, and other uploaded information. AI functionality simplifies a number of task bottlenecks, and integrated task management can help teams stay on top of workloads and timelines.

As a competitor to Confluence, Notion has a lot going for it. It has full wiki functionality, integrated docs and task management, and even has automation features that can make running the show a lot easier. While some tools leave you to do all the organization, hyperlinking, and so forth manually, Notion gives you an AI assistant to make all of that easier.

That said, it’s not for every team. It’s more costly than most options, but still lacks some important functionality, which prevents it from being a true “all-in-one” like, say, Microsoft SharePoint. It also takes some time to set up, and can be difficult to learn how to use properly. Still, for those who want the convenience of a wiki, without having to hire an entire team just to manage that knowledge base, Notion is a strong candidate.

Google Docs: Best for ease of use


Pros

  • Near-ubiquitous UI familiarity
  • Free or inexpensive to use, depending on implementation
  • Incredibly intuitive UI
  • Live editing and full version history for every file

Cons

  • Shallower features compared to similar apps
  • Organization and wiki linking are all done manually
  • Converting documents between GDocs and Microsoft Word can be frustrating
  • Industry-Defining Collaboration: Seamlessly collaborate on every file, from start to finish. Live editing functionality empowers teams to make changes, suggest edits, and leave comments in real time, elimininating file version frustrations and bottlenecks.
  • File Version History: Every keystroke is stored permanently with the document, making it easier than ever to review past edits, revert to previous versions, track progress, and more.
  • Foolproof UI: Google’s near ubiquity makes it familiar to nearly every user, and even those with limited experience can quickly develop mastery thanks to an incredibly intuitive UI.
  • Permission Management: Control privileges for access, editing, sharing, and more for each individual document, for entire folders, and even for entire drives. 
  • “For Business” Tools, “For Home” Costs: Use the entire G Suite for free, or upgrade to paid subscriptions for added features and storage space. Nearly every feature is available to every user, with business plans primarily adding increased cloud storage and branded email addresses.

Pricing (All paid plans include the full GSuite, plus branded business email)

  • Personal: Free
  • Business Starter: $6/user/month, 1-year commitment
  • Business Standard: $12/user/month, 1-year commitment
  • Business Plus: $18/user/month, 1-year commitment
  • Enterprise: Call for quote

For those who spend most of their workday drafting and collaborating on written documents, few apps have the appeal of Google Docs. With an incredibly simple interface and live editing, those who grow accustomed to it find it difficult to return to using static documents like those supported in the Microsoft suite. 

If all you need is a central location to store information, where everyone can see it simultaneously, without ever worrying about which version is the most current, Google Docs is perhaps the best option.

No list about collaborative document or file creation would be complete without a mention of Google’s suite of applications. Nearly every computer-savvy user is familiar with G Suite at this point, and that ubiquity makes it easy to implement in a professional context. What’s more, the real-time edits eliminate confusion regarding file versions, and make static files a thing of the past.

For teams that need offline access, Google Docs can prove a little frustrating, as can the way files are altered when passed back and forth between other word processors, like Microsoft Word. Additionally, Google Docs is not a full wiki or knowledge management tool. Any hyperlinking or folder organization has to be done by hand, leaving it open to issues of human error. Despite this, it’s hard to overstate how easy it is to create, share, collaborate, and store information using Google’s tool.

SharePoint: Best for large Microsoft-powered teams


Pros

  • Full-functionality intranet
  • Included in Microsoft Office suite of tools
  • All the benefits and integrations O365 is known for
  • Can be used as a standalone product

Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • May be more complex than some teams need
  • Organizational Knowledge, Powered by Microsoft: SharePoint is a full intranet application, capable of supporting extensive internal functionality including onboarding, employee traning, knowledge sharing, and more.
  • Make the Most of O365: SharePoint can be used as a standalone product, or as part of the Microsoft family of software. For organizations already utilizing Office, Teams, and other Microsoft offerings to get the job done, SharePoint can help them achieve more without adding to subscription fees or the tech stack.
  • Industry-Leading Security and Management: SharePoint, like other Microsoft apps, support increased privacy controls, access management, and asset monitoring. Regulate user permissions, revoke access remotely, and more, with push-button simplicity.
  • SharePoint standalone: $5/user/month (annual subscription, auto-renews)
  • Office 365 E3: $23/user/month (annual commitment)

Microsoft’s products are not every professional’s preference, but the depth of features in each of their apps is hard to dismiss out of hand, especially when taken in aggregate. Many teams use O365 for reasons of security, privacy, and IT asset management. Since SharePoint is included in that subscription, that eliminates the need for additional overhead if it can meet the team’s needs.

SharePoint is more than a mere wiki. It’s a full intranet, and can be used to serve a variety of functions internally for organizations. It’s a Microsoft product, meaning it carries all of the features and characteristics common across that suite. Depending on your organization and use case, that may be a positive or a negative, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. 

For any team already running on Microsoft, SharePoint should be the first tool you consider when searching for knowledge management.

Zoho Learn: Best for growing teams


Pros

  • Part of the larger Zoho suite of tools
  • Primary interface is a user-friendly text editor
  • Can create distinct “workspaces,” separating wikis by team, department, etc.

Cons

  • Setup time and learning curve may be intimidating
  • Lacks native reporting and built-in templates
  • Organize and Manage Knowledge: Zoho Learn supports extensive tools for making information easy to find and reference, while also faciliating strict permission controls. Wikis can be organized into “workspaces,” each with localized customization and admin controls, while files and information can be organized into “manuals,” providing strucutre and hierarchy.
  • Full Zoho Integration: Like Microsoft’s offerings, Zoho’s tools are designed to work better as a cohesive whole. Easily share files and information across every app in the system, create relationships and dependencies, and automate numerous functions.
  • Third-Party App Friendly: For teams that just need a knowledge management tool, Zoho supports numerous third-party integrations, making it easy to implement an internal wiki without disrupting existing app processes. 
  • Facilitate Employee Training: Once information has been shared and organized, create quizzes to evaluate progress and retention, both to evaluate how well staff learned the material, and how well the material taught the information.
  • Free
  • Free trial
  • Express: $1/user/month, or $10/user/year (5 user min) 
  • Professional: $3/user/month, or $30/user/year (5 user min)

As a major rival to the Microsoft Office suite, Zoho is uniquely positioned to offer alternative software and functionality across a variety of verticals. Their knowledge management app is no different. With a solid feature set, affordable pricing, and a platform that is remote work-friendly, Zoho Learn is a serious contender for best fit for a whole host of use cases.

Formerly known as Zoho Wiki, Zoho Learn is the knowledge management and virtual collaboration portion of the Zoho suite of productivity tools. Designed with distributed teams in mind, the entire platform supports and facilitates asynchronous collaboration. With one of the lowest price points in the market, and with each Zoho product available as a standalone, as an add-on, or as part of the full suite, growing teams can easily pick and choose which functionality fills gaps in their current processes, adding or subtracting as needed over time.

OneNote: Best for small Microsoft-powered teams


Pros

  • Included in O365 subscription
  • Minimal setup time
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Limited functionality
  • No standalone OneNote subscription
  • Enhanced Text Editing: Write notes, record ideas, save references, and more. Then, Organize information into notebooks with subordinate sections and pages to add structure and easy navigation.
  • Go Beyond Text: Record typed text, handwritten information, audio and video, even drawings and sketches. Add highlights, clolors, shapes, and more, right in the notebook.
  • Collaborate from Anywhere: Share and edit remotely, so the entire team can provide input, feedback, ideas, suggestions, and more, using all the same tools and inputs as the file creator. 
  • Make the Most of Microsoft: OneNote is included in every Microsoft and Office subscription, meaning if you’re using Word, Teams, or OneDrive, you already have access to the app. It’s the power of knowledge management, without added subscription costs (plus extensive integrations with other Office apps).
  • OneNote cannot be used as a standalone product, but is included in every Microsoft 365 Business subscription
    • Basic—$6/user/month
    • Standard—$12.50/user/month
    • Premium—$22/user/month
    • Apps Only—$8.25/user/month

For O365 users that need a way to organize and share information, but don’t need or have the flexibility to set up a full intranet via SharePoint, OneNote is an excellent alternative. Already included in the Microsoft subscription, there are no additional fees to pay for the tool. Just pull up the app, and start taking notes. It’s that simple.

Probably the oldest app in this list, OneNote has been around for nearly two decades. It’s come a long way since its creation, but the core app remains the same: it’s a word processor, enhanced with additional features to make it easier to organize notes, ideas, and research.

These days, OneNote is a much more robust app. Able to support non-textual information like mind maps, drawings, handwriting, audio and video recordings, web clips, and a lot more, it’s a perfect companion for professionals who need a reference more than they need a record. Add in robust collaboration tools, and it’s a compelling alternative to the other options in this list.

When to use Confluence

Confluence, the document and content portion of Atlassan’s offerings, has a lot of things going for it. First and foremost, it’s part of the same family of tools as Jira, which is an excellent project management tool for development teams (though it’s less useful for non-dev staff). So, for teams already leveraging Jira or Trello, Confluence is an easy value-add when it comes to knowledge management. 

The tool is less expensive than most, boasts plenty of integrations and extensions, and provides robust admin controls—all things that any software team would value, as would many other professionals.

When not to use Confluence

Despite its value and usefulness, however, Confluence tends to be a bit narrow in scope. Like its PM counterpart, Jira, it’s heavily geared toward one or two specific use cases, and implementations outside of that target tend to be less well served by the software.

Featured Partners

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Methodology

At TechnologyAdvice, we assess a wide range of factors before selecting our top choices for a given category. To make our selections, we rely on our extensive research, product information, vendor websites, competitor research and first-hand experience. We then consider what makes a solution best for customer-specific needs. 

By defining business needs, we can determine the essential features organizations in various sectors require, and select platforms that will cover all bases. Reputable providers known for their ease of use and customer satisfaction are added to our compilation list for further analysis. We then evaluate each solution on the list based on the features they offer, considering the platform’s usability, integration capabilities, customization options, mobile access, and any other relevant functionalities. Price plans, hidden fees, customer reviews, and customer support are also assessed in the selection process. 

Technology Advice writers will often take advantage of free trials and demos to get a first-hand user experience of available software. Finally, we curate a comprehensive list based on the previously stated factors, ensuring readers have the necessary tools to make an informed decision.

TechnologyAdvice is able to offer our services for free because some vendors may pay us for web traffic or other sales opportunities. Our mission is to help technology buyers make better purchasing decisions, so we provide you with information for all vendors — even those that don't pay us.
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