Need a wiki for your product management tool stack? Need to find the right tool quickly? Use this Wiki Software Cheat Sheet to help you choose. The following Wiki tools are grouped by those that are common choices for enterprises and well-funded startups and those that work best for small to medium businesses.
Enterprise Wiki Tools
Confluence is platform for team collaboration and content sharing that is used primarily by customers who are already using JIRA, so it appeals to many IT users.
Pros: The platform integrates closely with JIRA, it’s easy for non-technical users, and a good place for documentation and collaboration with multiple teams.
Cons: The platform is Java based so it comes with configuration issues. It’s hard to upgrade with a lot of third party plug-ins or customizations and it’s inflexible when creating tables and sorting based on tables.
For Product Managers: Confluence is obviously targeted at the technical product manager with its Jira integration and robust version management features. As a mature product, it has become bloated over the years and is due for a re-launch. It does not support some of the typical formats that are useful for product specs. Product Managers may find the configuration options complex and the rate of new features slow. That being said, it’s a reliable classic.
Cost: Confluence prices their product based on the size of a team. For teams up to 10 people it is a $10 per month flat fee. From 11 to 100 users, you will pay $5 per user per month. Rates for large companies are based on annual subscription and go up to a cool $27K for 2000 users.
Quip is a suite of productivity and collaboration tools made by the same company as Salesforce. Quip combines company documents, spreadsheets, checklists, and chat into one interface for ease of use.
Pros: It has rich and creative chat communication with tags, favorites, callouts, emojis, and attachments, collaboration on documents that allows highlighting, and integrates with JIRA and with Salesforce records.
Cons: Quip has limited document features compared to Microsoft Word. When more than one person is in a document or when it is really large, Quip Documents moves like a turtle. It does not offer a good presentation alternative to PowerPoint. Product Managers will find its formatting limited, but workable for product specs.
For Product Managers: Quip is targeted at the sales crowd. It definitely comes up short in the formatting department for product requirements. Tables are formatted as Excel sheets, and there are only 4 types of headers with no outlining functions. If you want to outline a spec for a product, you may be frustrated. That being said, there are dozens of cool widgets including a task list and Kanban is a scheduling system for Lean Manufacturing and Just-in-Time Manufacturing that was developed by an industrial engineer at Toyota in Japan. The systems is rooted in the Lean method for managing and improving human productivity through balancing demands and available capacity, as well as dealing with systemic bottlenecks.... board that are great for small projects.
Cost: Flat rate $30 per month for a team of five and add $5 for each additional user. Large enterprises need to contact Quip directly for a price.
Bloomfire is a collaboration tool much like the other Wiki tools, but it’s more geared towards the Glengary Glen Ross and Who Moved My Cheese? sales crowd. Bloomfire allows you to share content and is meant to give team members the ability to close sales faster. Remember, coffee is for closers!
Pros: It has easy navigation, rich graphics that allow you to post videos, PDFs, Excel, and more. You can share content rooms that allow you to see who is downloading what, so you can make sure your minions are working.
Cons: Searches are sometimes too deep and show too much. Bloomfire doesn’t encourage collaboration, it has limited design options, and members can only be deactivated instead of deleted.
For Product Managers: Bloomfire targets the knowledge management crowd to organize information across departments. There is a huge emphasis on collaboration with lots of notifications and personalized feeds. Its WordPress like editor supports tables and rich formats that are great for product documents. It’s too complex to take on just for product management alone, but it’s a great tool if you have a support team to implement it.
Cost: Enterprise Pricing – Call to find out.
Teampage is a platform that offers all the best things about social media—just in case you haven’t had enough Facebook—with project management and authoring capabilities. Teampage is geared towards larger businesses that want a customized solution to accomplish their goals.
Pros: It is used by government agencies such as the FDA and DoD. The platform is open-ended, extendable, adaptable and can be on premises or cloud-based.
Cons: It is used by government agencies such as the FDA and DoD. The platform has a steep learning curve and you must have a minimum of 25 users, making it unattractive to small businesses.
For Product Managers: Team page checks to box across features for wikis, tasks, projects, file sharing, micro blogs and more. It’s not singularly focused on wikis and documentation so much as 360 collaboration.
Cost: Teampage charges 187.50 per month on premises or cloud-hosted for 279 per month with 25 users.
Clinked is a remote team workspace and white label client that offers secure communication, collaboration, and information sharing. It has plans for all businesses that have 100 users or more.
Pros: The program is highly customizable and easy to use.
Cons: It has an unfortunate name that gets mixed up with words like clunk, clunked, and clunker. The platform basic design, it is slow, there is no spell check, and the SmartSync desktop tool is only available for Windows.
For Product Managers: Clinked targets companies that need a client portal, so if you’re a product manager at a solutions company, this might be a good choice.
Cost: Plans start at $99 for the Starter Plan and $249 for the collaboration Plan. Enterprises need call or email for pricing.
Wiki Tools for Small to Medium Businesses
Nuclino is a web-based platform that offers collaboration for small and medium-sized businesses through workspaces, visual boards, and sharing documents.
Pros: It’s a simple platform that is easy to use and allows synchronous editing of documents.
Cons: There is no group calendar, no task management, no contact management, and no audio or video conferencing.
For Product Managers: Nuclino is probably the simplest and yet most robust combined wiki and collaboration tool. A rich editor, version management, plenty of integrations, plus a nice hierarchical organizer provide everything a product manager wants for organizing product documentation. They have been announcing a steady stream of new features since the last time I tested them, so they seem to be growing.
Cost: Nuclino has a Free plan, Standard Plan for $5 per month per user, and a Premium Plan for $10 per month per user.
Dropbox Business is a collaborative platform that allows you to write, edit, brainstorm, manage tasks and run meetings.
Pros: The platform saves space, has document backup and a history feature, it’s very secure, and it has tracking features.
Cons: It’s slow to sync, the front panel is not very organized, and it’s hard to find docs sometimes.
For Product Managers: Paper is not the most robust wiki on the market, so it will come up short in features for product requirements management. However, it’s got the muscle of Dropbox behind it, and it’s a convenient package if you use their other services.
Cost: If you want to try some of the similar features for free and you are a really small business consider trying Dropbox Paper. The whole enchilada will run you $12.50 or $20 starting at three users, depending on whether you want the standard features or advanced features. You can also contact them directly for customized enterprise pricing.
SlimWiki is a SaaS option for a collaborative platform.
Pros: The platform has a simple layout that is user friendly, it’s secure, data is backed up, and you have control over which team members see what content.
Cons: It is a new platform of Wiki tools so they are still working out some bugs, and it currently has limited design options.
For Product Managers: SlimWiki is driven by clear product vision to be the best a single purpose: simple elegant wikis. The editor is everything you need for publishing product documents. The UI for organizing documents can be a little simple for large wikis. SlimWiki is great for small product teams looking for a single purpose tool and that don’t have a large organization to support.
Cost: Most SaaS Wiki options are not free; SlimWiki’s basic version is free. You can upgrade to an advanced version for these Wiki tools which starts out at $20 per month for three users.
Notion markets itself as the “All-in-One Workspace,” which includes notes, docs, knowledge base, tasks, projects, spreadsheets, and databases.
Pros: The platform has an extremely flexible display of information, it’s intuitive, and the web and mobile app offer a seamless experience. It also integrates with JIRA.
Cons: It is expensive and the free version doesn’t offer as much as competitors’ free versions.
For Product Managers: Notion is one to keep an eye on. They have an ambitious vision to be an all-around collaboration platform to change the way people work. As of the writing of this article, the individual features in editing and organizing info may come up short for many product managers publishing product documentation, but check them out.
Cost: There is a free version with limited storage, but they also offer a personal plan for $4 per month and a team plan for $8 per month per user. Enterprises that wish to use Notion need to call for pricing.
Up and Coming…
Coda is a new entry to the Wiki, Knowledge Sharing, and Docs scene. They position themselves as a successor to Microsoft Office and Google Docs & Sheets. The power of their product is that it merges all the best of docs, spreadsheets, and databases into one super collaborative tool.
Pros: Coda supercharges all the collaborative features of other products with tables, widgets, mentions, and links. The UX team has shown an incredible knack for designing things right the first time and avoiding some of the most annoying nits in other tools like Jira and Quip.
Cons: The product is still in Beta, so it will evolve a lot before it goes commercial. The underpinning design around collaboration is far beyond the rest of the market, but there are some features still in development.
Coda’s founders from Microsoft and Google know exactly what they are doing and have the momentum of an investment from Greylock behind them. When it launches, it will be a favorite for product managers.
Cost: Coda is free for beta participants who have to apply to be accepted. If you want to follow what’s happening in this space, it’s worth signing up just to be the first on board.
Ross Reynolds works a product manager in brand protection and media. He currently is VP of Product & Marketing for Marketly, a startup in Silicon Valley. He likes building products and helping new ventures grow.