Geographically dispersed teams need knowledge management tools to operate efficiently. But the shift to remote, asynchronous work isn’t the only reason companies need knowledge management software.
The amount of information we produce and the rapid pace of change we’re experiencing as a society is unprecedented. Organizations need a way to organize, maintain, manage, and leverage all their data.
What are the best knowledge management tools? In this article, we’ll describe the different types available and list the top ones for 2022. We’ll cover:
- What are knowledge management tools?
- TextExpander for knowledge management
- Knowledge management suites
- Alternatives to KM suites
- Helpful links
The tools discussed in this post:
What are knowledge management tools?
Knowledge management tools are tools that help companies organize, manage, and leverage their knowledge for increased efficiency and improved decision-making.
“Knowledge” is any type of informational asset, including company history information, product and industry research, sales scripts and training resources, customer service FAQs, marketing materials, documents, and databases.
Examples of knowledge management tools include document management systems, customer relationship management (CRM) software, intranets, wikis, data warehouses, groupware, and text expansion software.
TextExpander for knowledge management
TextExpander is a repository of text-based information*, including URLs, product descriptions, answers to frequently asked questions, pricing information, company policies, and troubleshooting instructions.
What sets TextExpander apart from other knowledge management tools is the process for knowledge retrieval. Users store information as keyboard shortcuts, then type the shortcuts to retrieve (“expand”) the full content. Typing the shortcut makes the information appear wherever they are typing.
More about TextExpander
Think of TextExpander as an instant-access knowledge base for outgoing communication. With TextExpander, you can fire off content from your knowledge base with just a couple of keystrokes.
- Create keyboard shortcuts (for example, ;rfd) for text-based knowledge (the company’s refund policy)
- Organize text-based knowledge by topic, team, product, or project
- Create and use text-based knowledge as a team
See how TextExpander works
**Thank you for shopping at [Your Company Name].** If you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, we’re here to help.
You have 30 calendar days to return an item from the date you received it.
To be eligible for a return, your item must be:
– Unused and in the same condition that you received it.
– In the original packaging.
– Accompanied by the receipt or proof of purchase.
Once we receive your item, we will inspect it and notify you on the status of your refund after inspecting the item. If your return is approved, we will initiate a refund to your credit card (or original method of payment). You will receive the credit within a certain amount of days, depending on your card issuer’s policies.
You will be responsible for paying for your own shipping costs for returning your item. Shipping costs are non-refundable. If you receive a refund, the cost of return shipping will be deducted from your refund.
Certain items are exempt from being returned. Perishable goods such as food, flowers, newspapers, or magazines cannot be returned. We also do not accept products that are intimate or sanitary goods, hazardous materials, or flammable liquids or gases.
**Exchanges (if applicable)**
We only replace items if they are defective or damaged. If you need to exchange it for the same item, send us an email at [Your Email Address] and send your item to: [Your Return Address].
If the item was marked as a gift when purchased and shipped directly to you, you’ll receive a gift credit for the value of your return. Once the returned item is received, a gift certificate will be mailed to you.
If the item wasn’t marked as a gift when purchased, or the gift giver had the order shipped to themselves to give to you later, we will send a refund to the gift giver and they will find out about your return.
If you have any questions on how to return your item to us, contact us at [Your Contact Information].
Pricing: $ 10.83 per user/month for teams of 10-50 users
Knowledge management suites
“Traditional” knowledge management tools are often a combination of remote workspace, document collaboration and management platform, and project management tool.
Although more challenging to implement and use, these suites can be the best solutions for collaboration and knowledge sharing in large companies, especially those with distributed teams.
Our pick: Confluence
Atlassian’s corporate wiki, Confluence, is one of the more affordable and easier-to-use knowledge management tools.
- Creation of knowledge bases for documentation and product requirements
- Creation, collaboration, and commenting on pages and project plans
- Knowledge sharing between teams and the entire organization
- Integration with other platforms and apps
Pricing: $ 5.50/month per user (Standard subscription, up to 100 users)
Alternatives to KM suites
For companies that don’t require a knowledge management suite, purchasing or subscribing to standalone software may be a better option. Here are some of the most commonly used knowledge management software programs:
- Document management software for collaboratively creating and editing documents.
- Learning management software (LMS) for delivering training to employees or onboarding new hires.
- Customer relationship management (CRM) software for managing relationships and interactions with customers and leads.
Here are our top picks for each category.
Document management software: Quip
Quip is a document management platform for teams. It enables teams to create and edit lists, notes, documents, and spreadsheets.
- Word processing and spreadsheet functionality
- History of edits
- Chat rooms
Pricing: $ 25.00/month per user (Plus plan, over 5 users)
Learning management system (LMS): TalentLMS
Voted the best learning management system for small enterprises by Forbes, TalentLMS enables businesses to create and deliver online courses easily, with minimal setup time.
- Drag-and-drop interface
- Live sessions
- Learning paths
- Video conferences
Pricing: $ 69.00/month (Starter plan: Unlimited courses, up to 40 users)
CRM software: Freshsales
Freshsales is considered the best CRM tool for small businesses for its affordability and intuitive interface.
- Customization options
- Task automation
- Integration with other apps
- Unified view of customer information
- Pipeline management
- AI features
Pricing: $ 15.00/month per user (Growth plan)
Note-taking software: Notion
Notion is a versatile tool that combines notes, tasks, wikis, and databases. It’s known for its simplicity and flexibility, allowing users to create customized workflows and knowledge bases. Notion is suitable for both individual use and team collaboration.
- Pages and sub-pages
- Databases (tables, boards, lists, calendars, galleries)
- Customizable templates
- Text and document editing
- Task management and to-do lists
- Embedding external content (videos, maps, web pages)
- Collaboration and sharing options
- Integration with other apps and tools
- Knowledge base creation
- Bookmarking and web clipper
- Hierarchical organization system
- Mobile and desktop applications
- Markdown support
- Advanced search and filtering options
- Access controls and permissions
- Offline access
Pricing: Notion offers several pricing tiers: The Personal Plan is free, catering to individuals with basic needs, allowing up to 5 guests for sharing. The Personal Pro Plan, at around $4 per month billed annually (or $5 monthly), suits individuals needing more features like unlimited guests and version history. For teams, the Team Plan costs approximately $8 per user per month when billed annually (or $10 monthly), providing a collaborative workspace. The Enterprise Plan, targeting large organizations, includes advanced security features and requires custom pricing. Notion also offers special pricing for educational and non-profit organizations.
Communication software: Slack
While primarily known as a communication tool, Slack also offers features for knowledge management. It allows teams to organize conversations into channels, pin important messages, and integrate with various external knowledge bases and tools. Slack’s search functionality makes it easy to find information shared within the platform.
- Instant messaging and chat
- Channel-based organization
- Direct and group messaging
- File sharing and collaboration
- Voice and video calls
- Screen sharing
- Integration with third-party apps and services
- Customizable notifications
- Search functionality for messages and files
- Workflow automation
- Security features (encryption, data protection)
- User and access management
- Mobile and desktop apps
- Custom emojis and reactions
- Statuses and availability indicators
- API for custom development
- Slack Connect for inter-organizational collaboration
- Rich text formatting in messages
Pricing: The Free plan provides basic features like access to the most recent 10,000 messages, 10 integrations with other apps, and one-to-one voice and video calls. The Standard plan, aimed at small and medium businesses, offers a more comprehensive feature set including unlimited message history, unlimited app integrations, group voice and video calls, and increased storage, typically priced at around $6.67 per user per month when billed annually. The Plus plan, designed for larger businesses needing advanced administration tools and security features, is priced at about $12.50 per user per month with annual billing. For enterprises requiring the highest level of security and scalability, Slack offers an Enterprise Grid plan, which includes all Plus plan features plus enterprise-grade security and compliance, with pricing available upon request.
Document management: Microsoft SharePoint
SharePoint, part of the Microsoft Office suite, is a robust platform for knowledge management and collaboration. It provides features for document management, intranet portals, collaboration, and much more. SharePoint is often used by larger organizations due to its scalability and integration with other Microsoft products.
- Document management and storage
- Collaboration on documents and projects
- Team sites for project management
- Intranet portals for internal communication
- Workflow automation and process management
- Integration with Microsoft Office suite
- Search and findability features
- Content management capabilities
- Data security and compliance tools
- Personal sites (MySites) for individual users
- Customizable web parts and pages
- Social networking features like blogs and wikis
- Mobile access and responsive design
- Analytics and reporting tools
- External sharing with partners and customers
- Cross-site publishing and content syndication
- Custom development options with SharePoint Framework
- Enterprise search across SharePoint, Office 365, and other data sources
- Version control and history tracking for documents
Pricing: As of April 2023, SharePoint is available primarily through Microsoft 365 subscriptions, with pricing structured to suit different organizational needs. The SharePoint Online standalone plan offers basic SharePoint features and costs around $5 per user per month for Plan 1 and approximately $10 per user per month for Plan 2, which includes additional capabilities like advanced search and analytics. SharePoint is also included in broader Microsoft 365 plans: The Business Basic plan, suitable for small businesses, starts around $5 per user per month, while more comprehensive plans like Business Standard and Business Premium offer additional Office 365 services and cost about $12.50 and $20 per user per month, respectively. For larger organizations, the Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 plans include SharePoint alongside other enterprise-level services, with prices ranging from around $32 to $57 per user per month.
Customer service software: Zendesk Guide
Zendesk Guide is a knowledge management tool specifically designed for customer service. It allows organizations to create a self-service knowledge base for their customers, reducing support tickets and improving customer satisfaction. Zendesk Guide integrates seamlessly with other Zendesk products.
- Knowledge Base Creation and Management
- Self-Service Customer Portal
- AI-Powered Search and Article Recommendations
- Customizable Help Center Themes
- Content Categorization and Management
- Integrated Community Forums
- Multiple Language Support
- Content Creation and Publishing Tools
- Article Feedback and Reporting
- Integration with Zendesk Support
- Version Control and Revision History
- SEO Optimization for Help Articles
- Mobile-Friendly Design
- Access Control and Permissions Management
- Analytics and Reporting on User Engagement
- Content Scheduling and Lifecycle Management
- API for Custom Development and Integration
- Brand Customization Options
Pricing: Zendesk Guide offers tiered pricing as part of the Zendesk Suite, which bundles various Zendesk products including Guide. The pricing tiers are designed to suit different business sizes and needs. The Suite’s Team plan, which includes Guide’s basic functionality, starts at approximately $49 per agent per month. The Growth plan, offering more advanced features, is priced around $79 per agent per month. For businesses requiring more sophisticated capabilities, the Professional plan is available at about $99 per agent per month, and the Enterprise plan, with full functionality and customization options, costs around $150 per agent per month. There’s also an Elite plan for the most demanding enterprise needs, with pricing available upon request.
Shared task management: Trello
Trello is a highly visual tool that uses boards, lists, and cards to help organize and prioritize projects and tasks. It’s popular for its simplicity and flexibility, allowing teams and individuals to manage projects, track progress, and collaborate effectively. Trello’s card-based system is particularly useful for managing workflows, sharing knowledge, and keeping track of project details in an easily accessible and user-friendly interface.
- Boards, Lists, and Cards
- Customizable Workflows
- Drag-and-Drop Editing
- Checklists and Due Dates
- Labels and Tags
- Collaboration Tools
- Notifications and Reminders
- Mobile Accessibility
- Attachment Support
- Search and Filtering
- Custom Backgrounds and Stickers
- Activity Log
- Automation with Butler
Pricing: Trello offers a tiered pricing structure to accommodate different user needs. The Free plan provides basic features suitable for individuals or small teams, including unlimited cards, lists, and up to 10 boards per team. The Standard plan, at approximately $5 per user per month when billed annually, offers additional features like unlimited boards, custom fields, and advanced checklists. The Premium plan, aimed at larger teams, is priced around $10 per user per month (annual billing), and includes advanced features such as dashboard views, timeline views, and workspace table views. For enterprises requiring comprehensive control and support, the Enterprise plan is available, with pricing depending on the number of users and starting at $17.50 per user per month for 250 users. This tier provides organization-wide permissions, attachment restrictions, and dedicated support.
Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about knowledge management tools.
What are KM tools?
KM tools are knowledge management tools. They help companies create, store, manage, use, and share their knowledge.
How are knowledge management tools useful to management?
Knowledge management tools empower companies to leverage knowledge as a strategic asset. Company decisions are often based on company recorded knowledge; knowledge management tools enable systematic data collection that improves decision-making. Easy access to valuable knowledge also contributes to increased efficiency, better team alignment, innovation, and growth.
What are examples of knowledge management tools?
Knowledge management tools examples include groupware, content management software, document management software, workflow systems, learning management systems, customer relationship management software, text expansion tools, and more.
In this article, we list TextExpander, Confluence, Quip, Freshsales, and TalentLMS as examples of KM tools. Others include HubSpot CRM and Zoho CRM (CRM category), Google Docs (document management category), Notion (document management + project management), and Zendesk (knowledge base software).
Are there free knowledge management tools?
Several paid knowledge management tools offer free plans for a small number of users:
- TalentLMS, a learning management system, is free for up to 5 users and 10 courses.
- HubSpot, a CRM system, offers free tools that are “lite” versions of select tools featured in paid products.
- Google Docs is a free, web-based platform for creating documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.
For more on knowledge management and knowledge management tools, check out these resources: