Documentation

The Top 10 Software Documentation Tools You Need in 2022 

Don't let your hard-earned knowledge get lost in the backlog. Here are the top software documentation tools to improve your quality control and keep teams aligned.

Introduction

Creating documentation is often pushed off, or when it is completed, done in a half-hearted or disorganized way. Explanations are incomplete, steps are missing, and stored in messy folders (or worse, through email). 

But when you’re trying to onboard a new hire, an experienced team member decides to leave the company, or your team is met with a complicated choice to make, having the appropriate documentation available (and easy to find) can save the day. 

We don’t have a solution for eliminating documentation entirely — but we can promise that with the right tool, the process can be a lot more efficient. 

The best software documentation tools for your team 

  1. Scribe
  2. Nuclino 
  3. ProProfs Knowledge Base
  4. Notion 
  5. Document360
  6. Confluence
  7. GitBook
  8. Bit.ai
  9. Dropbox Paper
  10. Tettra

What is a software documentation tool? 

A software documentation tool helps make creating, managing and distributing important internal and external documents more efficient. Using a documentation tool makes the process easier, lowering resistance to creating complete and comprehensive documentation. 

Documentation tools also take care of housing and distributing materials to relevant team members, customers, and stakeholders. It creates a centralized location for individuals to refer back to whenever they need to find or access a document — cutting down on time spent sifting through folders or searching their email inbox. 

Benefits of using software documentation tools 

The key benefit of using a documentation tool is productivity. The right tool cuts down on the amount of time spent creating and finding documents, as well as makes it easier for team members to do their job.

But additional benefits of a documentation tool include: 

  • Improved quality and process control. When team members are all working from the same documentation, processes are completed the exact same way each time. Your team will be more consistent and professional. 
  • Increased clarity with a single source of information. Without documented processes or systems, you’re relying on word-of-mouth to relay information. As details pass from person to person, they can become jumbled or change entirely. A documentation tool creates a single source of truth, providing clarity and reducing confusion. 
  • Easier onboarding and training. Whether you’re bringing a new team member on or you’re introducing new skills or responsibilities to existing employees, documentation can improve the onboarding and training processes. Documentation provides clear instructions that create opportunities for self-service onboarding and training. 
  • Reduces knowledge loss. It’s great to have people you can depend on to do the job the right way each and every time — but if that individual leaves the team or even just takes a day off, does the rest of your team know how to perform the task correctly? A documentation tool reduces knowledge loss, providing instruction regardless of experience level. 

Key features of software documentation tools 

Documentation tools can be as simple or feature-rich as you need them to be, but there are a few key features you should consider when looking for a new documentation tool.

  • Accessibility and sharing. Different team members or customers will need access to different documents. Having permissions or sharing settings will make it easier to ensure everyone can get the information they need without having access to the information they don’t. 
  • Visual and multimedia compatibility. When documenting processes, having the ability to add images or videos can make documents clearer and easier to follow. Choose a documentation tool that has multimedia capabilities. 
  • Intuitive search. Finding documents needs to be just as easy as creating them. Look for a documentation tool that has an easy-to-use search feature that delivers accurate results. 
  • Collaboration and feedback. Documentation needs to be a group effort. If team members aren’t able to contribute to the documentation process, it could lead to inaccurate or incomplete content. A documentation tool with built-in collaboration features makes it easier to ensure all your boxes are checked. 

The top 9 documentation tools of 2022 

Here are the top documentation tools to check out in 2022. 

1. Scribe 

G2 Rating: 4.9/5 stars

Capterra Rating: 4.3/5 stars

Scribe Pricing: Free plans available

Scribe Features: 

Scribe automates the documentation process by instantly creating shareable step-by-step guides. Are you tired of manual documentation? If you've got a desktop cluttered with screenshots, or a google doc that's miles long, Scribe is your next favorite tool.

All you need to do is:

  • Turn on the extension.
  • Go through your process.
  • Watch Scribe instantly create a visual guide — with text and screenshots.

In just a few seconds, you’ll have a step-by-step guide to share, embed or combine with videos, images and more.

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As a documentation tool, Scribe puts full control in your team’s hands. It’s easy to create, so any member can create documentation, freeing up supervisors and managers to focus on more complex tasks. Because Scribe is so simple, team members can quickly and easily build educational docs, train teammates and answer questions.

software documentation tools

2. Nuclino 

G2 Rating: 4.7/5 stars

Capterra Rating: 4.6/5 stars

Nuclino Pricing: Free version available

Nuclino Features: 

Nuclino is a “collective brain” for your team, providing a modern, simple, and fast way to collaborate on knowledge, documents, and projects in a unified space. It’s primarily used for internal documentation and knowledge sharing but can also act as a project management system and planning tool — helping you keep everything you need right in one place. 

Nuclino keeps things simple with a clean interface, making it an easy-to-use tool for everyone on your team. Supervisors and managers can easily create processes without depending on a technical user to lead the way. Team members can edit and save in real-time, making it easy to get feedback and input from key stakeholders as you go. 

software documentation tools

3.ProProfs knowledge base

G2 Rating: 4.6/5 stars

Capterra Rating: 4.6/5 stars

ProProfs Knowledge Base Pricing: 

Public Help Center: Starts from $30/author/month

Private Knowledge Base: Starts from $2/user/month

ProProfs Knowledge Base Features: 

ProProfs Knowledge Base is a simple and versatile tool with out-of-the-box features that work together to help you create a stunning knowledge base, documentation, user manuals, and much more. You can set the documentation’s access as public or private depending on your target audience. 

The tool comes with an intuitive interface and requires no specialized training to get started. You get a wide variety of expert-designed templates to choose from and extensive customization options to tailor the documentation just the way you want. 

The tool features a rich authoring system that lets you create compelling content and structure it in a logical way for easy navigation. Article versions can be compared, which helps you keep an eye on all changes made to your document. With a powerful reporting system, you can gauge content performance by measuring KPIs and uncover improvement areas. 

software documentation tools

4. Notion 

G2 Rating: 4.6/5 stars

Capterra Rating: 4.8/5 stars

Notion Pricing: Free personal plans

Notion Features: 

Notion is a flexible workspace that allows teams to customize pages, databases, tables, and more to fit their unique needs — making it a great solution for documentation. Notion lets users get creative about how they layout their information and data, giving teams full control over how they present their documentation. This is a great solution for companies with diverse teams with different needs but still want to use just one documentation tool. 

But Notion’s flexibility can actually be seen as a con to some. While it’s easy to create static text pages with embeds, tables, images, and more it may not be as intuitive as some more straightforward tools. Notion also doesn’t come with analytics or additional insights. 

5. Document360

G2 Rating: 4.7/5 stars

Capterra Rating: 4.7/5 stars

Document360 Pricing: Starting at $99/project/month

Document360 Features: 

Document360 is a knowledge base platform that easily creates self-service documentation for both internal and external stakeholders. The advanced editorial portal makes it easy to produce and review content while incorporating analytics, managing categories, and designing rich pages complete with multimedia blocks. 

Document360 also features a document difference viewer that lets you quickly see changes made to a page and who made those changes. Keep your eye on different versions and roll back to previous editions if necessary. With analytics, you can keep an eye on what documents are being viewed most frequently to gain insights into where your team might need additional support or direction. 

6. Confluence

G2 Rating: 4.1/5 stars

Capterra Rating: 4.4/5 stars

Confluence Pricing: Free up to 10 users

Confluence Features: 

Confluence is an enterprise-level documentation tool that is part of the Atlassian suite, making it a perfect tool for teams that already use Trello or Jira. Confluence makes it easy to build, organize, and collaborate with employees and teams, regardless of where they are physically located. 

Confluence prioritizes collaboration, making communication simple right within the platform. Users can tag each other, comment, share updates, and give instant feedback so all of your documents are up to date and accurate. Confluence also comes with built-in templates that make it easy to get your documentation process up and running. ​​

7. GitBook 

G2 Rating: 4.7/5 stars 

Capterra Rating: 4.5/5 stars

GitBook Pricing: $6.40/user/month for 5 users

GitBook Features: 

GitBook is a documentation tool designed for software teams to share knowledge and information with users and other team members. It makes it easy to publish clean, user-friendly docs using a simple but powerful editor. Docs are already designed and easy to publish, so users without design or layout experience can create appealing pages to share. 

On the back end, GitBook allows for user comments and async collaboration so team members can give input and insights to make creating documents a team effort. Powerful search makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for in just a few seconds. 

8. Bit.ai 

G2 Rating: 4.2/5 stars

Capterra Rating: 5/5 stars

Bit.ai Pricing: Free up to 50 documents

Bit.ai Features: 

Bit.ai is built for teams and individuals to create, collaborate, and organize knowledge and software documents, wikis, and guides. Using fluid workspaces built around projects, teams, or clients, you can keep all your information easily accessible and easy to find. You can even share or move documents across different workspaces. 

Bit.ai also has notification features and mentions to update specific team members on updates or new content they need to review. Add visuals like web links, rich media, videos, graphics, social media posts, and even surveys or file attachments. Co-editing and real-time comments also make collaboration easy so documentation can be a group process. 

software documentation tools

9. Dropbox Paper

G2 Rating: 4.1/5 stars

Capterra Rating: 4.4/5 stars

Dropbox Paper Pricing: Free 

Dropbox Paper Features: 

Dropbox Paper is a co-editing tool that keeps everyone organized, helps solicit feedback, and makes displaying all forms of content easy. Paper lets you link to videos, GIFs, and images, but also Pinterest boards, Google Map, and SoundCloud, so you’re not restricted in what kind of information you can share in your documents. You can also integrate with Invision, Sketch, or a Dropbox file to make your documents even more comprehensive. 

Dropbox Paper makes creating beautiful pages simple with a smart formatting feature. Spend less time focusing on the layout of your pages while still creating something visually appealing — you can even automatically turn your pages into professional-looking presentations. 

software documentation tools

10. Tettra 

G2 Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Capterra Rating: 4/4 stars

Tettra Pricing: Free up to 10 users

Tettra Features: 

Tettra is an internal knowledge base that integrates with communication tools like Slack or MS Teams to make answering frequently asked (often repetitive) questions easier. Tettra makes it easy to share documentation right where questions are being asked, keeping communication smooth and processes moving forward. Team employees can also submit new questions they need to be answered and an expert can give a reply in their own time. 

Tettra alerts you when pages are unowned, stable, or might otherwise need a refresh, helping you stay on top of your documentation and eliminate anything that is no longer necessary. Make it easy to identify knowledge gaps with page requests or allow team members to point out where information might be missing. This kind of collaborative effort to documentation can ensure everyone has exactly the information they need. 

software documentation tools

Make documentation easier with a software documentation tool 

The documentation process can already be a headache — don’t make it more complicated by using a platform that is hard to use or outdated. With a modern documentation tool, you can support your team in creating and managing the documentation they need to do their job effectively and support customer and external stakeholders with resources to improve their experience. We can all be honest here — documentation is a daunting and annoying task. Taking extra time to write out a process or explain the strategy behind making decisions is time-consuming, and when you have a to-do list miles long, it can feel like it’s just not a priority.