Document management software helps businesses create, centralize, organize, and control documents and files. We looked at a variety of document management software solutions and compared them by price, features like storage, revision history, and collaboration tools as well as customer support to determine the top six, including a best overall.
Top 6 Document Management Software for 2019
|Document Management Software Program||Best For|
|Google Drive||(Best Overall) Teams that want a turnkey document management solution with built-in productivity features|
|Dropbox||Business owners that need a solution for secure cloud storage|
|Zoho WorkDrive||Teams that want an all-in-one solution that promotes collaboration with external teams|
|DocuSign||Contractors and freelancers who need a way to send documents securely for electronic signing|
|Evernote||Businesses that want robust file search and indexing for the speedy recovery of documents|
|Microsoft OneDrive||Teams already working inside the Microsoft ecosystem using Windows 10 and Office 365|
How We Evaluated Document Management Software Programs
The best document management software should offer smooth document and file sharing between users on the same account as well as guest sharing. It should also feature automatic document backup with generous cloud storage and strong document control to prevent unauthorized file access. Document management software must be an affordable, easy to use solution with a stable and reliable platform so that files are avail wherever they’re needed.
Therefore, we evaluated document management software based on:
- Price: We estimated each document management software solutions’ costs compared to the other products on our list
- Ease of use: Each solution had to be easy to set up and use to be considered
- File storage: We assessed whether the provider offered file storage and, if so, how much space
- Searchable & accessible: The ability to quickly and easily search and access documents was assessed
- Sharable: We noted how easy it is to share documents and files with other account users and with guests outside the account
- Business app integration: The types of business app integration offered by each product was evaluated
- Email integration: We looked at whether the document management software integrated with email platforms
- Customer support: Each product’s customer support services were assessed
Based on our research, we recommend Google Drive as the best overall document management software because it offers the best combination of features and customer support options at an affordable price. Here’s how the six document management software we evaluated stack up when compared on price, features, ease of use, and customer support.
Best Overall Document Management System for Small Business: Google Drive
Google Drive is part of an affordable suite of productivity tools for content creation and document management. It costs $8 to $25 monthly, per user and includes Google Docs, which is a word processor; Google Sheets, which is a spreadsheet; and Google Slides, which is for presentations. Google Drive is best for companies wanting a comprehensive document management solution with built-in productivity tools. In fact, we recommend so highly that it’s the platform we use at Fit Small Business.
Google Drive Pricing
Drive Enterprise is Google Drive’s professional version and costs $8 per user, per month plus 4 cents per GB used across the company domain. Google Drive also comes bundled with G Suite for $10 to $25 per user, per month for accounts with five or more users, and also comes with Gmail, Hangouts, and other collaboration tools.
Google Drive Tiered Features
|Vault for eDiscovery|
|Google Docs, Sheets & Slides|
|Security, Privacy & Compliance Controls|
|Audit & Reporting|
|24/7 Phone & Email Support|
|Business Email Through Gmail|
|Video & Voice Conferencing|
Drive Enterprise includes Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides for a range of content creation options. It also features security, privacy, and compliance controls, reporting tools, an eDiscovery vault, and storage with no cap for 4 cents per GB. This level is right for solopreneurs wanting a basic cloud-based document management solution but don’t need the more advanced collaboration tools offered as part of G Suite.
This tier lacks the shared calendars, conferencing, and other collaboration tools found at the next level. It’s also missing cloud storage at no additional cost, as offered by Microsoft’s first-tier plan. At $8 per user, per month, Drive Enterprise costs about the same as other document management solutions with similar features.
G Suite offers three service plan levels ranging in price from $10 and $25 per user, per month depending on the document security needed. Accounts with one to four users receive 1 TB of storage per user and unlimited storage for accounts with five or more users. G Suite also includes email through Gmail and collaboration tools like conferencing, shared calendars, and secure messaging, making it right for teams needing to collaborate on documents in real-time.
G Suite, which also ranks as our best business email provider, requires you to have your own domain since it also assigns email addresses to you and your employees. This may not be an issue if you’re already in need of an email host and domain provider, but it adds a layer of potential complication if you don’t. Its service plan pricing is on par with document management solutions like Dropbox and DocuSign.
What Google Drive Is Missing
Google Drive lacks a native way to send documents to others for secure e-signatures or a way to collect payments along with e-signatures. Businesses requiring these features should consider DocuSign instead. Furthermore, locating documents you’ve already accessed in Google Drive is easy, but Evernote’s overall search feature is more robust and reliable.
What Users Think About Google Drive
Our readers give Google Drive excellent user reviews with a four-and-a-half out of five-star rating. In fact, we’re big fans as well and use Google Drive at Fit Small Business. Customers say the document management features are easy to use and synchronous collaborative work is a breeze. However, some users are frustrated that that converting Word document files to Google doc files often affects the original formatting. Read our Google Drive user review page for more.
Where to Find Google Drive
Businesses that want document management software with a great combination of features like security, eDiscovery, and collaboration tools at an affordable price should consider Google Drive. The company offers a free 14-day trial of all service plan options so you can see if it’s right for your business. Visit Google for more details.
Best Document Management Software for Secure Storage: Dropbox
Dropbox is a document management software solution with an emphasis on reliable cloud storage and file accessibility over features like collaboration tools. For $15 to $25 monthly per user, it offers file recovery, remote device wipe, granular document sharing permissions, and file version tracking. Dropbox is best for small business owners that want advanced security features and file access from anywhere, on any device.
Dropbox offers three competitively-priced service plans, though only the Standard and Advanced plans are for professional use and cost $15 and $25 per user, per month respectively with a minimum of three users. These plans include features not found in the Basic free plan like file recovery, Office 365 integration, event tracking, and guest access.
Dropbox Tiered Features
|Office 365 Integration|
|Remote Device Wipe|
|Granular Sharing Permissions|
|Live Chat Support|
|File Event Tracking|
|Business Hours Phone Support|
The Dropbox Basic plan is free for individuals and includes 2 GB of storage as well as document sync capabilities. However, while documents stored in a Dropbox Basic account can be shared with others, the limit on storage and minimal features prevent Dropbox Basic from being considered a document management system suitable for long-term business needs.
Dropbox Standard requires a minimum of three users and features 3 TB of cloud storage, file recovery, audit logs, and Office 365 Integration. It also offers granular sharing permissions and remote device wipe that removes documents from devices that are lost or stolen. The Standard plan is a good choice for small business owners and teams that want to retain control of sensitive or confidential documents.
This tier doesn’t offer guest document access or customer support by phone. It’s also missing task and project management tools as provided by Zoho WorkDrive. At $15 per user, per month, Dropbox Standard is more expensive than Zoho WorkDrive or Google Drive’s basic plans. However, some business owners may decide the peace of mind with the remote device wipe feature is well worth the cost.
Dropbox Advanced adds unlimited cloud storage, file event tracking, viewer history, and phone support during business hours. It also includes a device approval features that allows admins to control the number of devices connected to the account as well as what happens to disconnected devices. Dropbox Advanced is best for business owners who want granular control of documents and the devices on which they are viewed.
Although Dropbox has some collaboration tools like Team Folders and on-document commenting, it doesn’t offer the range of features other solutions on our list to facilitate productivity among teams, and at $25 per user, per month, this level is one of the most expensive products on our list. However, its comprehensive security features may be worth the extra cost to businesses that handle sensitive or classified documents.
What Dropbox Is Missing
Dropbox lacks robust photo and document annotation tools which are useful for marking up files from a tablet or mobile device. Teams that rely on annotation tools for collaborating while out of the office or traveling should consider Evernote.
What Users Think About Dropbox
Our readers give Dropbox high marks with a four-and-a-half of a five-star rating. They praise the document management software for how well it handles and organizes file uploads of any size and how easy it is to share documents with others. However, some users say simultaneous document editing can lead to conflicting file versions. Read our Dropbox user review page for more.
Best Document Management System for External Collaboration: Zoho WorkDrive
Zoho WorkDrive’s document management system starts at an affordable $2.50 per user per month and is part of a suite of productivity tools, which makes it easy to integrate the software with Zoho’s highly-rated customer relationship management (CRM). It also features cloud storage space, private and public workspaces for file sharing with people outside the organization. Zoho WorkDrive is a good fit for teams wanting to collaborate with customers while retaining document control.
Zoho WorkDrive Pricing
Zoho WorkDrive offers three affordable service plans, each requiring a minimum of three users. The Starter plan is $2.50 per user, per month, the Team level is $5 per user, per month, and the Business tier is $10 per user, per month. Discounts are available when billed annually.
Zoho WorkDrive Tiered Features
|Included Storage Space|
|File Upload Limit|
|Granular Access Controls|
|Zoho Office Suite|
|Transfer File Ownership|
|Unlimited File Versioning|
|Password Protected Links With Expiry|
|Analytics & Reporting|
* For teams greater than 10, additional shared storage can be added at a rate of 10 GB per new user
The Starter tier includes a file upload limit of 1 GB and 100 GB of cloud storage per team for the first 10 users. This tier also features access controls that give roles with varying permission levels to members of a shared workspace. Zoho Office Suite with a word processor, spreadsheets, and presentation creator is also included, making this tier right for small teams wanting a comprehensive content creation and document management solution.
The Starter level doesn’t include unlimited file versioning or guest access found at higher tiers. It’s also missing the file recovery feature included with Dropbox’s first-tier plan but can integrate seamlessly with the highly rated Zoho CRM. At $2.50 per user, per month ― or less with an annual agreement ― the Starter plan is the cheapest nonfree option on our list.
Zoho WorkDrive’s Team tier includes a 5 GB file upload limit and 1 TB of cloud storage per team for the first 10 users. It adds unlimited file versioning, password-protected links that can be set to expire, guest access, and analytics. Zoho WorkDrive’s Team is a good choice for business owners that share files and collaborate on documents and with people outside their organization.
This tier is missing advanced reporting tools, file recovery, and file locking. It also lacks reusable templates as included with Evernote’s document management software. Zoho WorkDrive’s Team tier pricing is lower than Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive’s higher level plans that also come with a suite of office apps for content creation.
Zoho WorkDrive’s Business level includes a 25 GB file upload limit and 5 TB of cloud storage per team for the first 10 users. It features advanced reporting tools like a list of all the users who have accessed a file and when they accessed it. Zoho WorkDrive’s Business tier also includes file recovery and file locking to prevent document overwriting. This level is best for larger teams that want internal file protection and tracking logs to monitor file activity.
Zoho WorkDrive Business doesn’t offer business email integration like Google Drive’s highest level plan or mobile document scanning as featured in Evernote. However, the WorkDrive dashboard does include a share button that allows users to email files and folders in a couple of clicks, and its pricing is on par with Microsoft OneDrive’s mid-range service plan.
What Zoho WorkDrive Is Missing
Zoho WorkDrive lacks the option to wipe files and folders from mobile devices remotely. It’s also a missing device approval feature to limit the number of computers and mobile devices that can access documents. Business owners that want these advanced protection features should consider Dropbox instead.
What Users Think About Zoho WorkDrive
Online reviews of Zoho WorkDrive are overall positive. Customers say the document management platform is intuitive and easy to use. They also praise its numerous collaboration tools and features. However, some users report the system can be somewhat laggy at times.
Best Document Management Software for Legal Agreements & Contracts: DocuSign
DocuSign is document management software with built-in electronic signature technology that starts at $15 monthly for one user. It features real-time audit trails, reusable templates, a mobile app, and an option to collect payments with document signatures. DocuSign is right for entrepreneurs and consultants who need to protect legal agreements or executed contracts for signing and secure storage.
DocuSign offers three service plans. The Personal tier, which costs $15 per month, is limited to one user and five eSignature documents per month. The Standard plan is $40 per user, per month for unlimited eSignatures and the Business Pro plan is $60 per user, per month, also with unlimited eSignatures.
DocuSign Tiered Features
|Send Documents for eSignature|
|Real-time Audit Trail|
|Business App Integration|
|Reminders & Notifications|
|Document Expiration Dates|
DocuSign’s Personal plan is limited to one user and includes the ability to send five documents per month for eSignatures. This tier also includes a mobile app for iPhone and Android devices to create, send, and sign documents while out of the office. DocuSign’s Personal plan is best for solopreneurs, freelancers, and consultants who need to provide or collect a few eSignatures per month.
This level lacks the ability to add expiration dates to documents, on-document commenting, and personal branding tools. It’s also missing eDiscovery and word processing tools as offered by Google Drive. At $15 monthly for one user, DocuSign’s Personal plan pricing is on par with Dropbox’s first-level service plan.
DocuSign’s Standard plan is available for an unlimited number of users, personal branding to email and web pages seen by recipients, and real-time on-document commenting. It also features automatic email reminders and deadline notifications for recipients as well as a feature for setting document and transaction expiration dates. DocuSign Standard is best for businesses that handle time-sensitive documents requiring signatures.
At a price of $40 per user, per month, this tier is missing the signer attachment and payment collection features found in the next level. It also lacks the robust collaboration tools found in Google Drive and Zoho WorkDrive. DocuSign Standard’s pricing is similar to Google Drive and Dropbox’s higher tiers, however, neither of those document management solutions offer an eSignature feature.
DocuSign’s Business Pro plan adds a bulk send feature and a tool for collecting payments along with eSignature documents in a single step. This level also includes the ability to ask recipients to upload and attach documents during the eSignature process, like contracts or driver’s license scans. This tier is best for business owners that have complex eSignature needs like signer attachments or payment collection.
DocuSign is missing some of the content creation and collaboration features found in other document management solutions on our list. However, since its primary emphasis is on eSignatures, those features may not be as valuable for business owners looking for a reliable way to quickly and securely collect signatures from customers and clients. DocuSign Business Pro is the most expensive option on our list but also the only one designed for eSignatures.
What DocuSign Is Missing
DocuSign lacks integration with CRM platforms, which would be a useful tool for a solution designed around managing documents for customers and clients. Businesses wanting document management software that includes CRM integration should consider Microsoft OneDrive or Zoho WorkDrive.
What Users Think About DocuSign
Our readers are generally positive about DocuSign, giving it a four out of five-star rating. Customers say it’s a convenient tool to get documents signed electronically and also give high marks for its well-designed mobile app. However, customers users say the platform could be more intuitive and would benefit from better user documentation. Visit our DocuSign user review page to learn more.
Best Document Management Software for Easy File Discovery: Evernote
Evernote is a document storage and organization tool with a free plan and competitively priced paid plans. It features like advanced indexing and search capabilities, a variety of uploading options, and optical character recognition for searching inside files and photos. Evernote is an excellent choice for small business owners who want a variety of ways to add content to their platform as well as fast file search and document retrieval.
Evernote offers a free plan with a monthly upload limit of 60 MB. The Premium tier is $7.99 per month with a monthly upload limit of 10 GB. The Business level is $14.99 per user, per month, with a two-user minimum and monthly upload limit of 10 GB.
Evernote Tiered Features
|Monthly Upload Limit|
|Maximum File Size|
|Mobile Document Scanning|
|Text Search Inside Images|
|Text Search Inside PDFs|
|Forward Emails to Account|
|Unlimited Collaboration Spaces|
Evernote’s Basic free plan has a maximum file size of 25 MB and a monthly upload limit of 60 MB. Folders, called Notebooks in Evernote parlance, are shareable with one or more people, with the ability to set permissions for editing folders and documents (Notes). This level also includes image annotation and text search inside images, making it a good choice for contractors and freelancers who take pictures of documents for storage and later reference.
This plan limits the number of people who can access documents on the mobile app. However, anyone with the login can access documents on a desktop device. It also lacks file check-in and check-out and file versioning as offered by Zoho WorkDrive. Evernote is the only document management software solution on our list to offer a free Basic plan.
Evernote’s Premium plan has a maximum file size of 200 MB and a monthly upload limit of 10 GB. It adds PDF annotation and search as well as version history. This level also assigns a unique email address to allow users to forward emails directly to the account or to specific Notebooks. Evernote Premium is best for solopreneurs that need to manage documents from a variety of sources including scanned PDFs and email accounts.
This level lacks CRM integration, unlimited collaboration spaces, and activity history features found in Evernote’s top tier. It’s also missing a suite of content creation apps like a word processor and spreadsheets. However, at $7.99 per month, Evernote Premium is among the most affordable document management software solutions on our list.
Evernote’s Business level has a two-user minimum, a maximum file size of 200 MB and a monthly upload limit of 20 GB, plus 2 GB per user. It also features integration for connecting to CRM tools like Salesforce, unlimited collaboration workspaces, and account activity history logs. This level is best for business owners and small teams that want to store, search, and manage documents from clients and customers.
Evernote lacks a robust-built in file editor as offered by other solutions on our list but does include basic editing tools like the ability to set bold and italicize text or add highlighting and bullet points. At $14.99 per user, per month, Evernote Business’ pricing is on par with Dropbox and Google Drive as well as DocuSign’s entry-level plan.
What Evernote Is Missing
Evernote lacks an unlimited cloud storage space feature across all its service plans. For business owners with many documents and images to store or who don’t want to be restricted by storage limits, Google Drive or Dropbox may be a better choice.
What Users Think About Evernote
Our readers give Evernote good reviews, ranking it a four out of five-star solution. Customers praise Evernote for its intuitive layout and variety of ways users can upload data to their account. However, some users say the storage and file upload limits with the free version are too confining. Visit our Evernote user review page to learn more.
Best Document Management Software for Microsoft Integration: Microsoft OneDrive
Microsoft OneDrive is a Microsoft-specific document management system and file hosting service. Affordably-priced at $5 to $12.50 monthly per user, it features mobile document scanning, eDiscovery tools, and Microsoft Office. Users can also set up a mapped drive on their Windows desktop for easy document upload and syncing. Microsoft OneDrive is right for businesses already working inside the Microsoft ecosystem using Windows 10 and Office 365.
Microsoft OneDrive Pricing
Microsoft OneDrive offers three service plans, billed annually. Business Plan 1 is $5 per user, per month and includes 1 TB of storage per user. Business Plan 2 is $10 per user, per month, Office 365 Business Premium is $12.50 per user, per month, and both include unlimited storage for five or more users.
Microsoft OneDrive Tiered Features
|Offline Viewing & Editing|
|Mobile Document Scanning|
|File Sharing Controls|
|24/7 Phone & Web Support|
|Advanced Data Loss Protection|
|Office App Suite|
OneDrive for Business Plan 1
Microsoft’s OneDrive for Business Plan 1 includes 1 TB of storage per user, offline document viewing and editing, and mobile document scanning. It also includes 24/7 phone and web support as well as file sharing controls for secure document sharing inside or outside your organization. OneDrive for Business Plan 1 is right for workers who want to scan, view, and edit documents while traveling or out of the office.
This level lacks eDiscovery tools like in-place holds to preserve edited or deleted documents and advanced data loss protection found in the next tier. It’s also missing the robust storage options offered with Dropbox and Google Drive’s entry-level plans. At $5 per user, per month, OneDrive for Business Plan 1 is a few dollars less than Google’s first tier level.
OneDrive for Business Plan 2
Microsoft’s OneDrive for Business Plan 2 includes unlimited storage for accounts with more than five users and 1 TB per users for accounts with less than five users for $10 per user, per month. It also adds in-place holds to preserve edited and deleted documents for eDiscovery and advanced data-loss prevention tools to identify and protect sensitive information.
This plan is missing the hosted business email feature and Microsoft Office App suite of business tools as offered with the premium plan. This tier also lacks remote device wipe and device approval features to protect sensitive documents, as featured in Dropbox. This tier’s pricing is on par with Google’s G Suite service plans. OneDrive for Business Plan 2 is best for doctors, lawyers, and business owners needing to protect confidential documents.
Office 365 Business Premium
Microsoft’s Office 365 Business Premium also includes unlimited storage for accounts with more than five users and 1 TB per users for accounts with less than five users. It adds a business email with a 50 GB mailbox along with desktop and web access to Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for $12.50 per user, per month. This tier is a good fit for businesses wanting a document management software solution that’s integrated with popular Microsoft business tools.
Microsoft OneDrive lacks the depth of collaboration tools and features Zoho WorkDrive has to offer without paying for Microsoft’s premium tier. It also lacks Google G Suite’s 24 email support. However, Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium pricing is on par with upper tiers and provides more value to organizations who already work within the Microsoft ecosystem.
What Microsoft OneDrive is Missing
Microsoft OneDrive doesn’t offer a way for users to collect eSignatures, collect payments with signed documents, or request attachments with signed documents. Business owners requiring a document management software system with these features are better served by DocuSign. Microsoft OneDrive also lacks auditing and reporting tools as offered by Google G Suite.
What Users Think About Microsoft OneDrive
Our readers are satisfied overall with Microsoft OneDrive, giving it a rating of four-out-of-five stars. Customers say they like local files are automatically synced to the cloud so that they are accessible from anywhere. However, some users are frustrated that some collaboration tools like editing a Word doc don’t function in real-time unless you’re working on the cloud version rather than the desktop version. Read our Microsoft OneDrive user page for more reviews.
Document management software is a must-have business platform for organizing, maintaining, and sharing documents and files. It should be easy to search and share files and folders while protecting sensitive or essential documents from unwanted access. Tools like real-time collaborative editing and in-document commenting help keep teams productive and efficient.
Businesses and teams wanting an affordable and easy to use document management software system with the best collection of features should consider Google Drive. The company offers a free 14-day trial of all service plan options so you can find out if it’s right for your business needs. Visit Google for more details.