Storing and accessing digital documents is something you seldom think about if your company does document management properly. Activities such as document creation, editing, sharing, and collaboration can be as simple as logging in, clicking in, and getting started. However, unnecessarily clunky or rigid document management systems can make life hell for people who are going into and out of files throughout the day.
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In this article, I'll be comparing two of the most popular document management systems: Adobe Document Cloud and Zoho Docs. Although both systems share more similarities than differences, one outduels the other in several important categories.
1. Pricing and Plans
You can subscribe to Adobe Standard Document Cloud for as little as $12.99 per month with a year-long subscription, or you can pay $22.99 per month for the monthly plan. This plan gives you the ability to create PDF files and export to Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint. You can also edit text and images in PDF files you've created, and you can digitally sign forms. The Pro plan costs $14.99 per month for a year-long subscription or $24.99 per month for a monthly plan. It adds the ability to insert audio and video files to PDF files and to edit scanned documents. You can also use this plan to turn scanned paper documents into editable PDF files, and compare two versions of a PDF file to decipher differences. You'll also be able to edit text and organize pages on an iPad, and you'll be able to reorder, delete, or rotate pages on an iPhone. All Adobe subsciptions give you access to 20 GB of storage.
Zoho Docs offers a 15-day free trial plus a free plan for up to 25 users (which includes 5 GB of storage per user). The free plan also includes unlimited file and folder sharing, desktop sync, editing tools, user management, and version history. The Standard plan costs $5 per user per month with up to 50 GB per user. This includes features such as password-protected documents and role-based access. The Premium plan costs $8 per user per month for up to 100 GB per user. With this plan, you'll be able to email documents directly to a Zoho account, restore deleted documents, and transfer file ownership to another user.
Both account types can add 10 GB additional storage for $3. Zoho offers a 20-percent discount on all paid plans if you pay annually. Thanks to its lower price point, free trial, free plan, and superior storage capacity, the edge in the pricing category goes to Zoho. Edge: Zoho.
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2. Document Creation and Editing
Zoho Docs users can create and edit documents, track changes, add digital signatures, and access a number of advanced editing tools. You can also assign tasks and send reminders to team members who have access to the file. You can create macros, colorful charts, and pivot tables, and you can export documents, spreadsheets, and presentations to Google Drive, PDF format, and Windows. You can also edit files offline; changes will be synced once you're back online.
One cool feature that's missing from Adobe is the ability to edit a document concurrently with colleagues. The Zoho Docs app lets you access, create, and edit files on the go. You can view all of your folders, sort them by name or date, and search files. As I previously mentioned, because Adobe relies so heavily on PDF files, there is a limit to what you're able to do on mobile operating systems (OSes); this isn't the case with Zoho's platform.
Adobe is much better at storing and auto-filling information for later use than Zoho is. For example, Adobe's "Fill & Sign" feature lets you save commonly used fields, including your name, address, email, and phone number. It's also a much better tool in terms of signing and requesting signatures from people. Law firms, financial institutions, and people who rely heavily on the PDF format will appreciate how easy it is to enter and save information, and to get others to review and sign. However, the document creation and editing in Adobe isn't on par with Zoho. Edge: Zoho.
3. What's Missing?
We would love to see Zoho add chat-based support within the Docs tool. This is something that Adobe has that makes it incredibly easy to guide you through some of the more challenging elements of the document creation process.
Adobe, on the other hand, is missing elements such as group editing, shared folders, and the ability to make edits offline. It also requires you to convert stored files to PDF format, which is a huge headache for anyone who needs to convert to other formats (especially for people whose use Microsoft Excel formulas, which don't carry over to the PDF format). Edge: Zoho.
The Bottom Line
Although Adobe's document management tool is excellent, especially for people who work primarily in the PDF format, it's lacking in collaboration features. Plus, it doesn't have the robust file compatibility you'll need in order to work with people outside of your organization. Conversely, Zoho provides rich document editing, an excellent mix of collaboration and file shareability, and you can get work done on mobile OSes. Couple these features with a lower price tag and more storage capacity and you've got yourself an all-around better document management system. Winner: Zoho.