10 Best Knowledge Management Systems & Software Tools
Information organization in a company can often become overly complicated and challenging, but with the technology in today’s world, it doesn’t have…
Information organization in a company can often become overly complicated and challenging, but with the technology in today’s world, it doesn’t have to be! Knowledge management systems are a fantastic way to collect, store and access information for your employees to streamline your productivity.
The best knowledge management systems are designed to be modular and intuitive. They allow large teams to work together on projects, keeping everyone on the same page. These platforms can also be used to compile research, organize meetings, and document projects.
What Are Knowledge Management Systems?
Knowledge management systems refer to a specific type of enterprise content management designed to make the process of finding, storing, and distributing information simpler and more efficient.
The goal of the software is to extract and construct knowledge through the use of managed information–hence the term “knowledge management!” They can include a wide variety of tools and methods of managing information, including:
- Concept building tools
- Visual search tools
- Information classification tools
All these tools, and more, are usually built into a convenient interface that should be as straightforward to use as possible!
Benefits of Knowledge Management Systems
What are the benefits of using knowledge management systems for your business?
- They allow information to be organized and accessed much quicker than manually organizing information.
- Employees are able to use information in a more convenient and streamlined fashion
- Expedited decision-making and problem-solving.
- Employees often feel better equipped for their jobs, allowing more employee growth over time.
- Improved enterprise-wide communication by automatically managing information, enabling more efficient collaboration and better customer service.
Types of Knowledge Management Systems & Tools
Knowledge management systems software comes with a large variety of different tools and functions.
They usually include some sort of knowledge base, which refers to the repository of information in which the system stores your company’s information. Knowledge bases come in two types:
- Machine-readable knowledge bases: Machine-readable knowledge bases can only be analyzed by machines through artificial intelligence analytics.
- Human-readable knowledge bases: Human-readable knowledge bases can be accessed by your employees.
Other knowledge management systems tools include:
- Content management tools
- Real-time document editors
- Learning management programs
- Specialized search tools
- Concept building tools
- Visual search tools
- Content aggregation tools
What Makes a Good Knowledge Management System?
When looking for a knowledge management system, it’s important that you choose a system that offers the best end-user experience for your company and your employees.
The platform should be more than just a way for your employees to store and access information, but provide easy and convenient tools to manipulate and use information in their day-to-day jobs.
Features that help with this goal include:
- Systems with a low learning curve so your employees can quickly adapt to using the system
- Customization options of accessing information
- Collaboration opportunities
- Cross-platform accessibility
And a lot more! Who does this best? Let’s take a look at the top knowledge management software systems.
The 11 Best Knowledge Management Systems
When talking about the best knowledge management systems, it’s impossible not to mention Almanac. One of the most modern and streamlined knowledge management systems examples, Almanac was designed and built around online and remote work.
Almanac: Creating the most vital documents out there.
While Almanac is primarily a collaborative document editor, it does much more than just document storage and editing. Though it is still in Beta, there are few knowledge management systems that can beat its combination of features, ease-of-use, exemplary customer service, and performance.
Take a look at how Almanac compares to other softwares:
- Almanac takes advantage of powerful productivity options such as
Command Line, which allows you to perform any action by simply typing
- Dynamic embeds with 15+ integrations
- Rich text formatting and custom fonts
- Document analytics
- Bi-directional links
- Threaded commenting and formal approval requesting
- Real-time editing, editing history, and read receipts
- Activity feed
- Bulk change permissions
- Custom workplace landing pages
- Bulk import
- Password protection
Starting at only $99/month for a team of 20 or less, it’s far cheaper than some of its competition. This makes it a great choice for growing teams!
Guru provides users with an easy-to-use interface for automatically sharing information enterprise-wide between employees to allow for better collaboration and communication. Its knowledge management functionalities include:
- Automatic onboarding
- Customizable alerts for internal communications
- Integration with both Slack and Microsoft Teams
However, you won’t find the same powerful document editor in Guru that you get with Almanac, and collaborative functionalities are limited to organizing and distributing company information.
Guru offers a free service tier if your company has less than three employees, and then:
- An additional $5/month for organizations that need more core users on Starter
- Builder: $10/month, billed annually
- Expert: $20/month, billed annually
Slite offers a well-developed and minimalist user interface to provide users with a clean and simple knowledge management system. The service offers:
- Collaborative enterprise-wide access to projects
- Real-time discussion and meeting note functionalities
- Customizable, personalized notifications
The document editor built into Slite is less powerful than the one in Almanac, but it does offer a familiar set of tools and features, such as the ability to perform simple work formatting and organization.
While Slite’s user interface is extremely easy to pick up and understand, organizational tools tend to be limited due to a focus on simplicity, and Slite lacks the ability to easily organize and merge different versions of products in one spot. However, the tool has adequate built-in rich-format graphic tools.
Slite offers a free service tier for up to 50 documents, and then:
- An additional $6.67/month/user for organizations that need unlimited documents
- Premium: $12.50/month/user, billed annually
As the name suggests, GitBook is primarily built around its GitHub integration, with various tools such as:
- Markdown functionality
- Code snippets
- Rich embeds (to make editing code as easy as possible)
Documents can also be shared with collaborators, though you won’t find many complex document editing tools here beyond those that are meant for code. Collaboration is also asynchronous, though GitBook does boast version control, comment functionality, and an integrated search engine.
We’re not certain if GitBook is truly the “future of documentation,” but the system does provide some convenient features for those working with code.
GitBook offers a free service tier for unlimited public spaces, and then:
- An additional $6.40/month/user for organizations that need private spaces
- Business: $12/month/user, billed annually
- Enterprise: Custom pricing
First published in 2004, Confluence has come a long way in its more than seventeen years of development. The software offers a simple document editor, though it may lack some of the more complicated features available through alternative options like Almanac.
Confluence is still a decent knowledge management systems example, though, with the ability to collaborate and organize information in a centralized system for employees to access.
Confluence offers a free service tier if your company has less than ten employees, and then:
- An additional $5.50/month/user for organizations that need more core users on Standard
- Premium: $10.50/month/user, billed monthly
- Enterprise: Starts at $97,500/year, billed annually only
Notion is another similar knowledge management systems example, and it comes with:
- An integrated document editor
- A collaborative workspace, where employees can share notes and projects with one another
- A built-in engineering wiki and website publishing functionality
While it lacks in organizational features compared to some other knowledge management systems, high customizability and a convenient engineering knowledge base help make it a viable option.
Notion offers a free service tier for individual use, and then:
- An additional $4/month for organizations that need unlimited uploads on Personal Pro
- Team: $8/month/user, billed annually
- Enterprise: Price available on request
Slab claims to be “a knowledge base, pure and simple” and that pretty much describes the service. It’s a platform for sharing information and notes, without many additional bells and whistles. You’ll find that it’s missing:
- Organizational features
- Complex document processing
- Other specialized tools
Despite its bare-bones look and features, Slab does allow for integration with many other services that are bundled into other knowledge management systems, such as spreadsheets, task managers, and flowcharts.
Slab offers a free service tier up to ten users, and then:
- An additional $6.67/month/user for organizations that need more users on Startup
- Business: $12.50/month/user, billed annually
- Enterprise: Custom pricing
Helpjuice prioritizes simplicity above all else, making it a supremely easy software for employees to learn how to use. However, it lacks:
- More powerful word processing features
- Version merging
- Advanced commenting features
- The ability to link documents together
That said, live-editing is present, and you’ll be able to use its “Google-like” search engine to find documents.
Helpjuice starts at $120 for up to four users, and then:
- $200/month for organizations that need up to 16 users on Run-Up
- Premium Limited: $289/month, billed monthly
- Premium Unlimited: $499/month, billed monthly
- A barebones content organizer
- Workspaces to separate different users into groups
- A simple permissions function
- A document editor that allows users to perform basic word processing tasks
Despite the lack of advanced functionality to increase efficiency, the software is fairly affordable, which is a definite plus.
Zoho Wiki offers a free service tier up to three users, and then:
- An additional $2.70/month/user for organizations that need more users on Business
While a lot of knowledge management systems on this list are designed for remote or collaborative work, Lessonly is primarily designed around employee training. However, companies may find the software useful for other tasks as well, with tools designed for access to employee support and other communication uses.
That said, the software is not designed around remote work and lacks key features for collaboration, such as a real-time document editor. Instead, it’s intended for training more than anything else.
Pricing is available through Lessonly’s sales team.
Document360 offers users a fully-featured knowledge base portal with a built-in art editor, as well as analytics and category management tools. The service also provides an API for manual automation and various integrations to Google Analytics, Disqus, and HTML5.
Nonetheless, Document360 lacks the same document editing features and organizational tools as other competitors, making it fall short.
Document360 starts at $99/project/month up to 2 users, and then:
- $299/project/month for organizations that need up to 10 users on Business
- Enterprise: $499/month, billed annually
- Enterprise Plus: Price available through sales team
Which Knowledge Management System Should You Use?
While there is an abundance of knowledge management systems to choose from, Almanac is one of the absolute best options for an all-rounder knowledge management system with a focus on document editing and collaborative work.
With state-of-the-art organization and integration features, as well as the ability to use familiar Git-like version management, most employees will find Almanac highly intuitive and a great boost to productivity.