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Best document editing and management software of 2021

Best document editing and management apps
(Image credit: Pixabay)

The best document editing and management software can make it simpler and easier to manage your documents within a team environment.

Document editing and management software has become increasingly common as businesses continue to promote working from home. This means employees being able to work remotely while still being able to collaborate and save the same documents they are working on. 

While there are a number of office suites and document storage options available, not all work well when it comes to collaboration. It's not simply the case that employees need to be able to share files as much as work on the same files in real time, such as spreadsheets and documents.

This means the best document editing and management software needs to be able to account for this while still maintaining a proper system of filing and archiving, while keeping such files available for team editing as required. Often this will involve cloud document storage services being built into the software, or at least available as an option.

We'll therefore feature the best document editing and management software  below, which not only makes it easy for teams to work with, but also ensures safe and secure storage of documents.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

1. Microsoft 365

The original and best office productivity suite

Reasons to buy
+Market leader+Essential office tools+Cloud based

Microsoft Office is probably the platform most people think of first when it comes to office productivity suites, with the cloud-based Microsoft 365 (previously named Office 365) being the latest incarnation.

What ensured that Office became a market leader is the comprehensive way data can be covered by different applications and moved between them, making working more efficient and hassle-free. With Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook forming the core programs, these cover everything from documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and emails - in effect covering most essential office needs. In addition to that, OneDrive offers online saving and backups to keep your files safe.

While there are alternatives to Microsoft 365, most rivals attempt to play catch-up with Microsoft rather than provide innovative new features, and Microsoft 365 still remains the office suite with the most comprehensive range of features. And even if you do use one of these alternatives, the chances are you are going to be working with document formats created specifically for MS Office, and handle data from customers and suppliers who are using the MS Office platform.

While Microsoft 365 does have its critics, the bottom line is that nobody does office productivity better than Microsoft, and the core applications in Office have yet to be bettered.


(Image credit: Evernote)

2. Evernote

King of the note taking

Reasons to buy
+Processes hand written notes +Easy collaboration +Good range of app integrations 

Scaling down the canvass a little, Evernote, as its name suggests, specializes in note taking, filing and sharing, and has been widely adopted in the work place (and by individuals) for a number of years. 

Despite its digital makeup, it can process hand written notes as well as receipts and audio files and makes everything accessible on both desktop and mobile devices. It also has the collaboration factor, with users able to work on shared notebooks that update instantly on editing. 

Evernote is available for businesses with basic, plus and premium models. This expands storage on the free offering, and makes it easy to share content, digitize important documents, capture image-centric brainstorms, and keep track of finances. 

You may well be thinking that Evernote would work well in addition, rather than instead of, your current word processing and productivity tools. Such a demand has been noted – pun intended – and the service can be fully integrated with Google Drive, Outlook, Slack, Salesforce and others.   


(Image credit: WPS)

3. WPS Office

A powerful free mobile office suite

Reasons to buy
+Powerful range of features+Supports wide range of file types+PDF manager+Free to use

WPS Office is an all-in-one office productivity suite with a full range of document editing and management features. 

Although it's available for download to Windows PCs, it has found particular success as a mobile office suite for iOS and Android.

While the PC version has a basic free version and a more advanced paid version, the mobile version of WPS Office is free and supported by non-intrusive ads though you can pay a subscription to remove them.

Where WPS Office comes into its own is the vast number of types of different files that can be edited or managed, from the wide range of document types to additional file formats such as PDF and XML, as well as a number of programming file types.

It's easy to convert office files between types, whether relating to documents, spreadsheets, or presentations, and there's a fully functional PDF editor and manager included for free.

Files can be automatically saved to the cloud via various services, not least Google Drive, DropBox, and OneDrive.


(Image credit: PandaDoc)

4. PandaDoc

Document management to boost your bottom line

Reasons to buy
+Special features for business and sales +Easy to manage, organize and reuse assets 
Reasons to avoid
-No live collaboration option on documents 

Sales-focused document manager PandaDoc describes itself as ‘the future of documents’, and it reports statistics that apparently show the difference it makes to your business’s bottom line. According to the service, clients report 50% less paperwork, 30% higher close rates, and 15% higher value per closed rate thanks to PandaDoc.  

Your sales team is salivating, but what exactly does the program do? Well, features include a document editor that comes with themed templates for consistent branding, content and image libraries to store reusable assets, cost and margin calculators, document analytics to show how long people spend on each item, a configure, price and quote (CPQ) tool and many more.  

While workspaces are available for collaboration, multiple users are not able to access and work on a document at the same time, which feel likes a drawback. Nevertheless, the business-focus of PandaDoc will appeal to those who want to specifically manage sales and finance via their document manager, something the other services we’ve covered don’t offer.   


(Image credit: Adobe)

5. Adobe Document Cloud

For comprehensive PDF management

Reasons to buy
+Edit and manage PDFs+esigning option+Merge files
Reasons to avoid
-Limited to PDF files

The Adobe Document Cloud works with the proprietary PDF file, rather than a range of common file types as some of the above listed software does. However, in business PDF files are ubiquitous, so it makes sense to have a dedicated software package that can not just work with these but also allow the widest range of editing features.

While many people will be familiar with the read-only PDF file, the Adobe Document Cloud allows the full range of creation and editing, even with existing PDF files. There are also additional features such as the ability to merge PDFs, password protect, as well as esign PDF focuments for returning agreements.

This makes the Adobe Document Cloud both incredibly versatile and useful as a document editing and management platform, allowing full control of your files in ways that common document formats either do not support.

Additionally, because so many businesses scan documents into PDF format for their digital archives, this makes Adobe Document Cloud an even more essential part of your office software range, even if you also use other programs for different tasks.

And as documents can be commonly exported into PDF format by other office software, this can make the Adobe Document Cloud something of a master controller for all your document editing and storage.

Also consider these document editors

Document overload in your business? eFileCabinet is here to help, by capturing, storing, managing and sharing files. It comes as a mobile app too, allowing users to click and upload pictures of documents then can then be processed and filed.

Microsoft wants to take care of your scribbles and shorter texts as well as your longer documents, with OneNote taking on Evernote in the world of note editing and management. Those already well embedded in the Office ecosystem may well opt for Microsoft’s version.  

You may think we’ve covered everything you can do with a document by now, but no. Enter e-signature specialist DocuSign, which lets businesses’ and their clients quickly and easily sign a full range of documents and forms online without the hassle of training or extra software to install.