While there are a variety of cloud-based productivity suites available, they’re not always the easiest to use or even the most secure. Often, all the various apps work independently and aren’t all accessible from one dashboard, either. ONLYOFFICE Workspace Cloud seeks to change all this by offering a complete online office suite perfect for team collaboration and even individuals working from home. I recently had the pleasure of taking ONLYOFFICE Workspace Cloud for a test drive myself for this review.
This is a sponsored article and was made possible by ONLYOFFICE. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence even when a post is sponsored.
Even though it seems like a lot to take in at first, the features are all so intuitive that you’re able to dive right in. If you’ve ever used Google Workspace or Microsoft 365, things may feel a bit similar. However, I found ONLYOFFICE to be faster, more intuitive, and easier to use overall.
While I’ll dive more into the features and modules, here’s a brief overview of what to expect from this online collaboration and productivity suite:
- Collaborative document editors, including documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
- Project management and sharing
- Community tools (blogs, events, Wikis, forums, etc.)
- Security controls
- Multi-platform access (Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, iOS)
Everything a team needs to work well together is all included and accessible from a single dashboard. I was honestly surprised at how easy it is to jump from one thing to another and how well it all ties together.
The Ultimate Dashboard
While I could point out numerous things I thoroughly enjoyed about ONLYOFFICE Workspace Cloud, my overall favorite is easily the dashboard. Somehow, everything’s in one place, but it’s not a cluttered, complicated mess.
When you create an account, you also create your own sub-domain. You can invite other users to that domain so that everyone’s working in your organization’s personal space. You’ll use that domain to log in. For example, I created crystalMTEtest.onlyoffice.com for my review.
When you first log in, you’re presented with the main dashboard. This helps you get started in seconds.
You can also use the “Choose menu” to jump to different apps quickly. As you can tell, everything’s self-explanatory with large icons.
Once you’re in a module, such as Documents, all your options for that module are neatly organized to the side, and you can use the menu to jump to another module at any time.
Navigation stays this simple no matter what you’re doing. If you want something that’s easy to learn and pick up for your team, ONLYOFFICE is a good choice.
Creating and Using Documents
Overall, creating, editing, and using documents feels similar to Google and Microsoft. This gives you a familiar layout. However, documents seemed to save faster. Speaking of saving, current Microsoft formats are supported, such as .docx and .xlxs. You can also save to PDF, OpenDocument formats, and document-type specific formats. For example, you can save spreadsheets as .csv and documents as .rft files.
In working with clients, many of them prefer me to save, share, and send documents using the older Microsoft formats, such as .doc and .xls. I’d love to see those formats supported here, but that’s a minor complaint. But, it’s nice to see ONLYOFFICE does a much better job with compatibility than Google, which doesn’t convert nearly as well to Microsoft formats as it should.
You’re able to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Everything you create is listed in the Documents module for easy access. Plus, each interface is well laid out to help you focus on creation, not searching for things.
I loved the quick access menus in Spreadsheets, too.
If you’ve ever used PowerPoint, Presentations will be a breeze to use.
The best part is all of these allow real-time collaboration and editing. There’s no need to share back and forth.
While Documents is incredibly useful and feature-rich, that’s just the start of ONLYOFFICE Workspace Cloud. Teams also need communication tools, a calendar, and more.
Projects works well for tying things together. You can set tasks, attach documents, set milestones, and even chart progress. You’re able to assign users to projects to let them quickly see what they need to do and what’s already been accomplished.
Thanks to project templates, you can get started even faster. I personally liked the addition of the time tracking, reporting feature, and even Gannt charts. This takes project management from basic to far more efficient and effective.
The Calendar offers a color-coded approach to managing tasks and to-dos. See when tasks are due based on different projects. You’ll even see details for customers if you need to contact them, upcoming events, birthdays, and more.
Communication couldn’t be easier with built-in email, messaging, and a set of community tools. The Email module is simple yet gives you everything you need to manage your inbox.
I was pleasantly surprised with all the features of the built-in CRM module. You can add new contacts manually, via forms, spreadsheets, and so on. Plus, you’re able to track sales, get reminders for contacts, and everything you need to keep track of your clients.
With Talk, you’re able to easily strike up a conversation using a web-based chat client. All contacts in your group are added automatically.
The Community module feels like a company message board and encourages more collaboration and socializing. Add blogs, forums, announcements, events, and pretty much anything you need.
It’s a full collaboration suite for teams of all sizes. It’s hard to really ask for more.
Settings and Security
Naturally, none of this is useful if you can customize settings and keep communications and documents secure. All the settings you need are in one place, making management surprisingly easy.
A few things you can do include:
- Customize your portal with your branding and choose which modules you want to use
- Set security access levels, trusted domains, 2FA, password requirements, audit trails, and login history
- Migrate your portal to a closer server
- Set backups (automatic and manual options)
- Setup integrations, including third-party apps, such as social media and DocuSign
Security and privacy are a priority for ONLYOFFICE. While you can use the cloud option, a self-hosted option is available for maximum control over your files and communications. You can use AES-256-CBC + HMAC-SHA256, AES-256-CBC, JWT, HTTPS, and document permission requests for a more secure portal.
Variety of Plans
ONLYOFFICE Workspace Cloud offers three cloud plans to best meet your needs:
- Startup – Free for up to five users, though some features are limited, such as just 2 GB storage per portal
- Business – Starts at $5/user/month, includes most features and 100 GB storage per user
- VIP – Starts at $8/user/month, includes all features and 250 GB storage per user
If you’re a non-profit or school, you can get a free cloud office by filling out this form on the website.
You’re also able to try out the Business plan for 30 days for free. It’s a great way to see if it’s right for your business before committing.
ONLYOFFICE Workspace Cloud offers the productivity tools a business would need in a single platform. Everything’s easy to access through simple navigation and a comprehensive, uncluttered dashboard. Pricing is less than Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 and far less complicated, too. With all the features and security options, it’s a strong competitor for both.
While I’d love to see the older Office file formats supported, ONLYOFFICE is widely compatible and provides a familiar interface for faster adoption rates. Plus, real-time collaboration among the modules keeps a team communicating and working well together, even remotely.
There’s also the benefit of using the cloud or hosting it yourself. The ONLYOFFICE Workspace includes all the same features in both versions. You can check out ONLYOFFICE Workspace Cloud yourself by registering for a free trial today.
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