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What is Document Management Software?

Document management software is a set of tools that your team members can use to collaborate effectively on tasks and activities. It can keep all team members updated on the latest happenings and keep project schedules on track. You can store all important materials in a secure hub and give access to team members as needed.Show more The app can also help to boost communication between team members and you can resolve all problems in the bud before they blow up into serious issues. Team members in diverse locations can use document management software to collaborate in real time from their respective places. Therefore, this solution has become essential for companies with employees in multiple locations. We suggest you take a look at the leading applications in this category and give special consideration to the current leader PandaDoc.Show less

How was this ranking made?

In order to come up with this list of best Document Management Software we have evaluated 548 various tools currently present on the market, studying their features, how easy are they are to learn, customer support, offered integrations with other systems and mobile device support using our unique SmartScoreTM rating system. This ranking has been created by Jenny Chang, our B2B authority responsible for the Document Management Software category.

List of Top 12 Document Management Software

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1. PandaDoc

Our score: 9.2 User satisfaction: 95%

This cloud-based document management application fully supports paperless operations. It offers standard and advanced features such as document building, file-sharing, multiple document format support (PDF, Word Documents, etc.), and more. It is also equipped with electronic signature technology.

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2. Igloo Software

Our score: 8.5 User satisfaction: 100%

A next-generation intranet that enables remote teams, departments, or business units to collaborate in a secure, digital workplace. Includes essential intranet features such as file sharing, team calendars, email, file manager, permissions, etc. Integrates with most business platforms and uses RESTful API for integration of other tools and apps.

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3. Vitrium Security

Our score: 8.5 User satisfaction: 100%

Vitrium Security is ideal for digital content publishers. It offers military-grade content protection with powerful data encryption and user and access control to protect your revenue-generating content against illegal access and distribution. Further security measures you can add include expiration dates, browser limitations, offline access, and more.

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4. PinPoint

Our score: 8.5 User satisfaction: 96%

A powerful document management system that ensures faster collaboration and compliance with data security standards. PinPoint also excels in keeping your files organized with the help of its explorer tool. It also comes with a workflow task manager and contact management tools, which further optimize its collaboration and communication capabilities.

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5. PDFelement Pro

Our score: 8.8 User satisfaction: 98%

A professional, reliable, and powerful PDF editing and conversion application with cost-effective pricing and an intuitive interface. Through OCR technology, the software gives users full control of PDF files. Users can easily add comments and annotations to documents to make collaboration more convenient.

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6. Backlog

Our score: 9.1 User satisfaction: 98%

An online all-in-one solution dedicated to the rare combination of project and code management for teams involved in software development. It combines project tracking and developer tools in one platform, as well as a powerful bug tracking feature that outlines and organizes reported issues for the developer teams to follow easily.

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7. eFileCabinet

Our score: 9.0 User satisfaction: 100%

A software that supports cloud and on-premise deployment, eFile Cabinet is known for its robust security, capacity, and reliability when it comes to paperless document management. eFile Cabinet also utilizes Rubex, which is an intuitive tool that helps locate any type of file within its storage.

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8. Samepage

Our score: 8.9 User satisfaction: 99%

Samepage is an all-in-one solution for document management, team collaboration, and communication. Its document management tool keeps everyone in the team updated on the latest versions of relevant documents, including all the notes. Samepage also integrates with Dropbox, Google Drive, Onedrive, and Box for easy file-sharing with these applications.

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9. Synology Drive

Our score: 8.9 User satisfaction: 97%

An all-around solution designed to seamlessly share and sync files between your computers and your Synology NAS. Ideal for remote teams, SMBs, and enterprises operating in more than one location, Synology Drive offers real-time and on-demand syncing capabilities across offices.

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10. Templafy

Our score: 8.9 User satisfaction: 100%

An intuitive document creation software mainly used for creating and updating business documents distributed within an organization. Templafy is equipped with smart tools such as a powerful search function and advanced filters to find specific company content. It also automates the creation of business documents based on sophisticated templates.

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11. SysOZ OST to PST Converter

Our score: 8.0 User satisfaction:

SysOz OST to PST Converter is a powerful, fast, and reliable tool that converts OST to PST.

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12. Folderit

Our score: 8.0 User satisfaction: 100%

A document management platform that presents small businesses and individuals with an easy solution for storing, sharing, and approving digital documentation.

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Document Management Software Guide

Table of contents

Document management system is a term that unites online storage, management, and tracking of electronic documents, or any type of recorded information that can be treated as a file unit.

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This short sentence, however, encompasses piles of complex tasks and assignments, and big-time responsibility for controlling corporate information. Document management tools are not simply content management precursors (often subsumed under the same program), but critical tools for every company whose workflow comprises of capturing content for document repositories, COLD/ERM, and information retrieval.

Document chaos often results in the unfortunate loss of valuable information. Still, it happens to each and every one of us, and we’re being reminded day by day of how much we need the best document management tools for enterprises and SMBs we can find.

You can also check our What Is Document Management Software guide for more information on this type of software and typical features associated with it.

It is a good idea to start by signing up for the free trials or demo of leading document management software providers as they give you a chance to check out the products’ features free of cost and make a comparison. You can register for the free trials of the following tools, which have received the highest SmartScore rankings and Customer Satisfaction Rating in our document management software reviews to find the best document management software for your company: eXo Platform reviewseFileCabinet reviewsSamepage, Qwilr, Noodle Intranet, and iPlanner.

It might also be a good idea to compare the popular alternatives. You can read our Top 10 Alternatives to PandaDoc comparisons to see what are the most common products worth trying out.

Targeted Businesses

  • Startups and small businesses use document management software tools to electronically and securely store files and documents.
  • Growing organizations and medium-sized companies use the solution to manage, share, and archive files.
  • Large enterprises make use of the systems to efficiently, store, search, and share documents.
  • Academic institutions recognize the need for centralized and more efficient document storage and file-sharing options.

What are Examples of Document Management Software?

  • eFileCabinet: One of today’s most secure document management systems with an impressive capacity to help companies get rid of paperwork, and please customers with faster and more reliable service
  • eXo Platform: eXo Platform is a top-rated, open-source, social networking application that is also built as a smart collaboration tool.
  • Samepage: Samepage enables team collaboration through features, such as scheduling, instant messages, task lists, discussion topics, and meeting agendas.
  • Zoho Docs: Zoho Docs is a popular system for small businesses that is designed for effective document management.
  • Zoho Forms: Zoho Forms is a robust online form builder that can create or collect forms from multiple mobile apps, platforms, and systems, and share them with other users.  
  • Qwilr: Qwilr combines the ease of documents with the power and beauty of websites. Its pages have high-quality analytics, and are beautiful, interactive, and bursting with media.  

Types of Document Management Software

  • Web based – The advantage is you don’t have to deploy a client software package. Simply use your internet browser to access the software.
  • Client-Server based – This type of software can be more robust and faster than other types.  You can customize the interface and easily develop sophisticated integration.
  • Database packages – This type is usually integrated with the underlying database platform like SQL or Oracle.  It offers sophisticated linkages between data and images. The flipside is they often need added computing horsepower.
  • Cloud-based packages – The software is hosted on the vendor’s system and you need only an internet connection to access it. You need not download any software or worry about upgrades. Simply pay the subscription amount and make use of all the benefits of the service.

Key Features of Document Management Software

Unless you’re one of those people whose creativity is fueled by chaos, disorder, and short deadlines, you will find document management software to be among the most useful additions your company has ever had. Apart from saving trees and keeping the environment unpolluted, managing documentation in the cloud can save you a few more headaches and serious management hazards:

A robust set of features and functionalities: The more the merrier! The reason why you have a DMS in the first place is that you can’t rely on your memory to restore the content of every document, or to know exactly what a report should compare or contain. Ideally, your document management software should support searching filters (to locate information once knowledge is fleshed-out); Versioning (to update files automatically and to avoid inexcusable errors); Permissions (to keep an eye on the social community and to distinguish people who can edit/delete files); Universal document support (to accept standard formats and common extensions, and to be able to respond to emerging formats too). DMSs should also include online editing, offline access, chat support, phone support, and mobile access.

DMSs are time-savers: Businesswise or otherwise, more time means more money. Time is the essential component of a company’s efficiency, and running proper documentation management is the best way to save it. The most valuable part of having a DMS on board is that you get to use search filters to locate whatever file in a few seconds, instead of turning the office upside down to find it.

DMSs store and share your files: Once all relevant documents are stored in a centralized database, you get to collaborate on them and to share them with internal/external parties. You can either share them using system links or send them in password-protected folders to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. DMSs usually include an audit-tracking functionality, which informs the document owner about any views/edits of the document in question, the same as inefficiencies and mistakes.

DMSs provide access “on the go”: This might be the biggest advantage of DM software in general: storing information in the cloud means that you will be able to access it from any location, at any point in time. Needless to say, document management programs have upgraded to mobile-friendly organization candies, and you can use them from any device empowered with an internet connection.

DMSs safeguard the content of your documents: Many critics argue that letting information go viral is not the safest solution, and that’s true. However, document management software producers weren’t that reckless to skip tackling the security issue, and they developed powerful safety mechanisms to keep information protected. Their rigorous security policy, the same as RBAC (role-based access controlling) prevents the irreversible damage of confidential information falling into the wrong hands.

DMSs will integrate with most of your existing software infrastructure: Their nifty capability to integrate with third-party apps allows information to flow seamlessly from one system to the other, which will keep your workflow both accurate and time-efficient. Most modern DMSs support email integration, meaning that you get to share files with contacts outside the system, without having to convert them, or use additional programs.

DMSs organize information in an intelligent way: Organizing, categorizing, and prioritizing files is the worst chapter of the doc management nightmare, which is why most employees welcome DMSs with open arms. These systems provide companies with solid organizational hierarchy, and they tag and rate documents to make your job even easier.

DMSs provide a strong collaboration platform: Document management systems can turn into an ideal collaboration platform either by utilizing its native collaboration features or with the help of third-party integrations.  Collaboration and document management ideally work together, especially when the people involved in projects work from different locations.

Benefits of Document Management Software

You’re already on the fence with your never-ending pile of documents to organize, and you’ve decided firmly to let an online-based system deal with it instead of you. The worst part of the process, however, is yet to come: how to choose the right DMS for your business?

Vendors and producers usually point out a target list of scales and industries, but most of their products equally fit small, medium, and large businesses. More decisive in the case are functionality preferences, even if they can also be daunting to pick out.

For more info on the benefits of document management software feel free to read our comprehensive guide on that topic.

What we recommend you to do is to start looking for basic functionalities, and turn to your personal expectations once the list is narrowed down to a dozen of them:

Attractive appearance

It may not be the hat of all criteria, but you’d be surprised to know how many people care about the looks of the software they’re using. We’re not denying it: pleasantly-looking interfaces motivate people to work more, not just because they look that way, but because they are intuitive and easy to navigate.

Quick deployment

Do you know how many CEO Managers gave up on implementing a DMS because they were afraid they’ll run short of time to implement it? A few years ago, their hesitation could be justified. Nowadays, however, the transition to an online mechanism for document management happens smoothly, and there is no risk of losing time or valuable information.

Cost-effectiveness

Cloud-based DMSs can save money in the long run, but that doesn’t justify ridiculous investments in one. Depending on your needs, you can find a system that doesn’t surpass your budget for covering financial obligations, anywhere between $20 and $50 per month (per user). Note that certain vendors offer discounts for advance payments, as well as a 30-days full-insight trial you don’t even have to pay for.

Remote capabilities

Cloud-based document management systems are essential to the remote work software list. With all relevant files easily accessible from a central cloud storage,  team members working on the same project can access documents, share, and collaborate easily from different locations. This capability of a cloud-based document management platform makes it invaluable to remote workers.

Before you implement one: preparation tips

Before you jump on the bandwagon, consider these activities to make your transition seamless:

  • Understand the importance of the step you’re making: You’re transitioning to a completely new system, and that looks just as scary as it sounds. The system is the composition and your employees are the orchestra, and it is of importance that everyone plays his instrument right. Bring workers on board, dispel their curiosities, and most importantly: explain the benefits.
  • Don’t save money on training: Not every DMS is easy to use, but you’ve already paid and you can’t go back. Instead of letting the investment slide through the cracks, invest again to prepare employees on how to use it. Organize seminars and training, and give them as much time as they need.
  • Digitalize your documents in advance: Scan the paperwork, even if it takes time. It will allow you to start using your DMS from the very first moment it arrives at your company.
  • Customize your DMS: DMSs usually look, feel, and function as “one-size-fits-all” programs, but that shouldn’t stop you from making yours more personal. The more you customize it, the better it will suit the specific needs of your business.
  • Test support from the very first moment: Establish contact from day one, especially if you need implementation help. The behavior of technical staff can tell a lot about a product and a company, so do the most to justify your investment.

Smart automation: Automation tools help enhance a document management system’s capability to organize files. AI and machine learning technology take automation functions in document management systems to the next level. A good example of this is the intelligent process automation (IPA) which is a scalable intelligent technology that helps in automating repetitive tasks in document management workflow.

Mobile friendly: More and more people are using their mobile phones as their daily driver. And with more people’s growing preference of working remotely, making document management more mobile-friendly seems like a natural path to take.

Interactive documents – Unlike printed documents, digital files are flexible and easily adapt to modern changes. These days, you can embed video and audio files, photo galleries, navigation buttons, and others on your digital documents.

Potential Issues

Unauthorized access: For managers and business owners, a document management system allows them to save important documents without worries.  But for this to be effective, user access to folders and files must be defined first, and this includes limiting the actions a user can make on specific documents. For example, a document can only have edit access to its original author, which prevents other users from making accidental or deliberate revisions.

Compliance and data security: Cloud storage, like other cloud-based systems, can be vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. While compliance with existing data security and privacy policies are observed, there are document management platforms that go the extra mile by adding layers of security. Meanwhile, there are also those that meet standard industry regulations.

Accountability: There are document management systems that are not capable of generating a detailed audit trail. This can create some issues. especially when it comes to determining if a document has been revised without permission or authorization. A good document management system must be capable of generating a detailed audit trail to see if a document has undergone revisions and who made them. In this way, they will know who will to hold accountable in case issues arise.

List of Document Management Software Companies

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Product name:
Category:
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User reviews:
Nimbus Note reviews

Nimbus Note

Document Management Software
8.7
$4.99
97%
Hey Ants reviews

Hey Ants

Document Management Software
8.0
$9.99
100%
Source by IC Thrive reviews

Source by IC Thrive

Document Management Software
8.0
$2
92%
Mediawide reviews

Mediawide

Document Management Software
8.0
By quote
100%
OnBoard reviews

OnBoard

Document Management Software
8.8
by quote
97%
Synology Drive reviews

Synology Drive

Document Management Software
8.9
by quote
97%
Bitacube Lotus Notes to Outlook reviews

Bitacube Lotus Notes to Outlook

Document Management Software
8.0
$99
100%
FileWhopper reviews

FileWhopper

Document Management Software
8.0
$0.99
90%
SignOnDoc reviews

SignOnDoc

Document Management Software
8.0
$0.99
94%
R2 Docuo reviews

R2 Docuo

Document Management Software
7.0
€15
-
Bit.ai reviews

Bit.ai

Document Management Software
8.0
$12
-
Ephesoft Transact reviews

Ephesoft Transact

Document Management Software
7.8
By quote
-
Wordable reviews

Wordable

Document Management Software
7.5
$19
83%
systemHUB reviews

systemHUB

Document Management Software
8.0
$95
-
DeftPDF reviews

DeftPDF

Document Management Software
8.0
Free
-

Things to consider when you invest in a SaaS

There are lots of cloud-based SaaS programs available in the market and this makes it tricky for a company to select a suitable app for their needs. The first aspect to consider is usability. Be certain about the changes required for your team’s procedures and workflow when you implement the software. Purchase a program that adapts to your workflows and not the other way around.

The second functionality to consider is the user interface. It should be uncomplicated and easy to use so that your employees get the hang of it quickly. Get them involved in the selection and usage process, and assess their daily needs to find a good fit. Make the users view the demos and try out the free trials and get their opinions.

The third important feature is scalability. Select a tool that can grow with your business. Though many SaaS providers offer enterprise packages, these are costly for a lot of firms. So, check if the product allows you to export your data and migrate to another system if required. In fact, pick a provider that allows you to export your data as you can trust their honesty and they are the correct type of SaaS brands you should look to partner with.

Frequently asked questions about Document Management Software

What is the best document management software?

The best document management software is PandaDoc. It has the standard document management tools that allow its users to create, save, and share documents with other users. PandaDoc also comes with advanced tools like electronic signature, which enables users to place legally binding signatures on documents straight from the cloud storage.

PandaDoc is also easy to use. New users do not have to undergo extensive training to learn how to navigate the platform and utilize its features. Its drag and drop editor gives users the ability to customize their documents based on requirements. There are also available templates, which help enhance user productivity by eliminating the task of building a template from scratch.

Overall, PandaDoc offers a document management system that is powerful and user-friendly at the same time. It also integrates with other applications to further enhance its flexibility and performance.

What are the benefits of document management software?

Document management software is designed to provide a fast, secure, and accessible platform for file storage, file sharing, and collaboration. The following are the key benefits of document management software:

Improves document accessibility. A document management software’s cloud deployment makes it more accessible to its users. As long as they have permission, authorized users can create, view, and edit documents and share them with other users regardless of their locations. Some document management software also support offline and mobile access, which further enhances accessibility and a user’s ability to work remotely.

Boosts collaboration. Document management is an essential part of digital collaboration platforms. It allows users to work on a single file, keep track of the versions, leave annotations or comments on certain documents, and more.

Cost-effective file recovery. Compared to physical document storage, cloud-based document management software cost less, especially when it comes to recovering a lost or damaged document. Web-based document management platforms have file recovery measures in place, which allows users to retrieve and restore lost and damaged documents faster.

Eco-friendly. Paperless storage and file-sharing make cloud-based document management an eco-friendly system. Using digital files instead of printing physical copies not only contributes to waste reduction, but it also saves company resources by reducing disposal work.

What are the features of document management software?

Some document management software have more features than others. Tools and functionalities may differ depending on what the document management system is specifically created for and its target users. Below, however, are some of the key features a cloud-based document management software must possess:

File storage: A document management software should be able to function as a digital file storage platform that also supports multiple formats.

File sharing: Depending on the user access set, all files stored in a cloud-based document management system must be shareable with other users.

Easy location of files: A dedicated search tool makes a big difference in locating files within a document management system.

Access permissions: Not all users must have the same level of access to all files. This applies particularly to documents that contain confidential information to prevent unauthorized access that can lead to data leaks.

Integrations: An effective document management software does not function independently, it must be able to work with other applications used in your business operations, particularly collaboration platforms and others,

Security: Aside from user-defined roles and access permissions, a document management software must have robust security measures in place to prevent external threats that can cause information leaks and data loss.

What is the easiest document management software to use?

The most user-friendly document management software on our list are the following:

PandaDocPandaDoc comes with an easy to use interface that does not require technical expertise to learn. Its document creator’s drag-and-drop is also user-friendly.

Zoho Forms. This is another document management system that combines power and ease of use. It provides users with user-friendly tools for creating forms and is also mobile-friendly, which allows you to easily access documents from various locations.

PinPoint. PinPoint takes pride in its ability to keep your documents organized and secure. Implementing PinPoint’s organization features is easy–you only have to set up cabinets and folders and define user access to keep your documents protected. It also has a built-in program that helps automate your workflow.

What is a good free document management software?

There are good document management systems that you can use for free and here are some of them:

Zoho Forms. A feature-filled platform that comes for free, Zoho Forms provides users with free a form builder, unlimited reports, and others.

Samepage. This document management platform accommodates an unlimited number of users and offers 1GB of file storage, real-time collaboration, task management, file sharing, file editing, and more for free.

Zoho DocsThe free version gives access to a maximum of 25 users, 5GB of file storage for each user, file versioning, Dropbox integration, in-app chat, email notifications, and more.

Jenny Chang

By Jenny Chang

Senior writer at FinancesOnline who writes about a wide range of SaaS and B2B products, including trends and issues on e-commerce, accounting and customer service software. She’s also covered a wide range of topics in business, science, and technology for websites in the U.S., Australia and Singapore, keeping tabs on edge tech like 3D printed health monitoring tattoos and SpaceX’s exploration plans.

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FinancesOnline is available for free for all business professionals interested in an efficient way to find top-notch SaaS solutions. We are able to keep our service free of charge thanks to cooperation with some of the vendors, who are willing to pay us for traffic and sales opportunities provided by our website. Please note, that FinancesOnline lists all vendors, we’re not limited only to the ones that pay us, and all software providers have an equal opportunity to get featured in our rankings and comparisons, win awards, gather user reviews, all in our effort to give you reliable advice that will enable you to make well-informed purchase decisions.

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