Searching for the be knowledge management tool is like searching for the top vehicle manufacturer—a simple search turns up countless recommendations. You can find a lot of best-this and best-that lists online, but many lists fail to mention the ‘best’ solution listed isn’t the best choice for everyone. The ‘best solution’ sounds good….but best for what use case, for what budget, what variable was used to put the list together?

Many software products contain a knowledge component, so to knowledge management tool you select should fit inside the knowledge management system you have designed; some solutions are long-term investments, others not so much.

How to choose the best knowledge management tools

To select the best knowledge management tools, first understand the categories of knowledge management solutions on the market; some tools like knowledge management platforms enterprise-class and integrate easily with other products; other solutions like knowledge bases are inexpensive and designed for small businesses.

Understand your position on the knowledge maturity curve

Your knowledge management system may outline the people in your organization, the processes for maintaining knowledge—and a tool like a knowledge base.

As you grow, you may need to migrate to another knowledge management tool; these different ‘levels’ of knowledge management—are what we at Shelf have coined the knowledge maturity curve.


From left to right, most companies start with a simple knowledge base that stores information; as companies mature their knowledge requirements chance. Since B2C enterprises must thousands of customers, they eventually will need an enterprise knowledge management platform that can surface knowledge—not just internally—but wherever customers need answers.

Note: Knowledge automation is a subset of the KM platform that represents the future of knowledge management—where companies can use their knowledge management tool to automate knowledge work.

Check our our blog post, 7 types of knowledge management tools for a more in-depth overview of all the best knowledge management tools out there—like the difference between a knowledge base vs knowledge repository, and everything in-between.

Questions to answer before you select a knowledge management tool

  • Are you searching for a single source of truth as a knowledge manager? (Your company has too much knowledge siloed off in different applications)
  • Is the use case internal or external?–will customers or employees benefit most?
  • Must the knowledge solution include other, more important features like ticketing?

Once you’ve sure of the knowledge solution you need, check out our list of the top knowledge management solutions broken down by category.

1. Shelf

Knowledge category: knowledge management platform; knowledge automation platform

Best Knowledge Management Tool for:

  • Enterprise contact centers; Serving answers to agents and customers
  • Complex interactions, large B2C customer bases
  • Automating answer delivery after ingesting customer intent signals (chatbots, other platforms)
  • Companies looking to eliminate knowledge silos
  • Creating a knowledge infrastructure; a source of truth for all other solutions that require knowledge

Top features

  • Enterprise-class content maintenance
  • Simple and advanced content types
  • AI-powered Answer Assist
shelf screenshot


Shelf’s enterprise-class knowledge management platform that helps brands surface great answers anywhere and automate knowledge work. As the first knowledge automation platform, the Shelf platform serves as the knowledge hub for brands with contact centers and large customer bases like HelloFresh, Glovo, and Gerber Life. The product’s API-first architecture enables companies to centralize their knowledge silos to one location, integrate directly with support channels agents use, and serve better answers over time using Shelf’s award-winning AI engine.

As the best knowledge management tool designed to support enterprises, Shelf offers the knowledge authoring, maintenance, and machine learning capabilities a knowledge manager needs.

2. Zendesk for Service

Knowledge category: Help desk

Best knowledge management tool for:

  • Growing companies needing an out-of-the-box way to manage customer relationships from one place
  • Businesses that need a powerful help desk solution
  • Serving customers articles prior to ticket submission

Top features

  • Integrates with multiple platforms, data sources
  • Ticket creation and UX
  • User collaboration, great for teams
zendesk screenshot


Zendesk provides customer service software designed to give customer support teams a simple front end portal to manage tickets and share information. The software includes a knowledge base for organizing information specifically within the support environment.

The AI Survival Guide for Knowledge Managers Read this guide to future-proof knowledge management in the age of AI.

Zendesk serves knowledge to customers primarily using articles and predefined ticket responses; These articles can either be added natively or integrated from your company’s source of truth—where it adds or updates articles and other content types.

3. CloudTutorial

Knowledge category: Content management

Best knowledge management tool for:

  • Small and growing companies that need to organize knowledge
  • Anyone that needs a simple self-service knowledge base, not a help desk
  • Creating customizable templates to match your company’s brand

Top features

  • Personal knowledge management feature
  • Customizable templates
  • Custom roles and permissions


cloudtutorial screenshot


CloudTutorial offers a simple, easy-to-use product to help companies create a knowledge base for the first time. This solution can serve as an internal or external knowledge base, corporate Wiki website, FAQ or Help site, or used personally for storing notes, documents, and other files.

Out of all the knowledge options available, CloudTutorial offers an affordable solution for small companies starting to receive customer inquiries. The product doesn’t include integrations you’d expect with an enterprise-class knowledge solution, but has a few cool features out of the box, like basic workflows, customized forms, and customizable branding.

4. Notion

Knowledge category: internal workspace management

Best knowledge management tool for:

  • Managing internal articles and documentation
  • Team collaboration

Top features

  • Multiple visualization options
  • Easy to use text editor
  • Ability to share pages publicly and privately


notion screenshot


Docs, project management, wikis—Notion delivers on all three of these in a simple platform that makes working with your team easier.

Notion combines knowledge with every day work to give context to anything happening in your organization–from projects to vacation policies. Many people use Notion for personal knowledge management—things like organizing your reading list or organizing notes and ideas.

5. Insided by Gainsight

Knowledge category: Customer success and community

Best knowledge management tool for:

  • Building a user community
  • Organizing product-specific questions and knowledge
  • Publishing user-generated knowledge

Top features

  • Product feedback capability
  • Customer groups
  • Community engagement analytics



gainsight screenshot


InSided is a Gainsight product to help you organize community and product-specific knowledge. The platform is great if you need a place where your customers can start message board topics if they have a problem that requires specialized knowledge.

Outside of building a user community, if you simply need a searchable catalogue of articles to help customers self-serve, inSided provides some basic authoring tools you’d expect in a good knowledge product.

With InSided, you can gather product feedback, build a user community for the first time, and give customers an outlet to ask questions to your team and their peers.


Knowledge category: Work operating system

Best knowledge management tool for:

  • Organizing streams of content work
  • Sharing projects and leaving comments
  • Managing streams of work for content teams
  • Customizing the UI to meet your needs

Top features

  • Ease to use UI and mobile app
  • Timelines
  • Team invite and collaboration screenshot

Summary is perfect if you are looking for a way to manage a heavy content workload for your internal team. The platform allows you to upload files to create a basic knowledge base; if your team needs a place to store a handful of image files or docs associated with a project, Monday should have all the basic knowledge base functionality you need.

Search functionality allows you to quickly find a task or piece of knowledge linked to one of your project boards. Monday is a good out-of-the-box solution to manage any kind of project with a deadline, a project owner, and common file types like images. This grid-based solution also includes a lot of customization options for adding project statuses, and displaying all the columns you need for your project board.

7. Absorb

Knowledge category: Learning management system

Ideal for: Companies with corporate learning and customer education needs

Top features

  • Turn-key content library with tracking capabilities
  • Creating assessments and quizzes
  • Course builder screenshot


Absorb lets you create a custom look and feel for your company’s training programs, ideal for knowledge that is course or quiz-related related. With Absorb, can award learners for completing courses or learning paths with certificates and badges.

Choose from a library of pre-built courses, or create your own. If you need a simple knowledge solution to upskill or reskill your workforce, Absorb is an excellent option.

8. CMS Hub by Hubspot

Knowledge category: CRM and marketing automation

Best knowledge management tool for: Scaling companies who need to create an online content hub

Top features

  • Includes file hosting and theme creation
  • Detailed reporting
  • Drag-and-drop page builder
confluence screenshot


HubSpot provides sales and marketing team with a suite of products designed to store and manage customer-facing content. For website and content managers, CMS Hub is their content management product ideal for small teams who need to design and store images, files, and layouts needed to create great website experiences.

9. Helpjuice

Knowledge category: knowledge base; knowledge sharing

Best knowledge management tool for: Companies looking for a simple knowledge base

Top features

  • Easy content creation and formatting
  • Search functionality
  • Built-in analytics
confluence screenshot


Helpjuice offers a simple, customizable knowledge base ideal for small companies looking to create a library of self service articles.

This solution includes the internal integrations you’d expect from a knowledge base like Teams and Slack. For growing companies without an existing knowledge solution that need an out-of-the-box way to create a simple help center or knowledge base, Helpjuice fits the bill.

Before you purchase another piece software, be sure your company has established a single source of truth for knowledge—a central place your KM team can work from and maintain. Knowledge management tools do different things, and most have some sort of knowledge management function (or module).

Instead of creating knowledge silos, integrate knowledge where you need it. For example, B2C enterprises prefer KM platforms (like Shelf) because these companies must surface knowledge in a ton of locations, in different languages, and need access to more than cards or simple content types.


Read this Next

A Buyer’s Guide for Smarter Knowledge Management

Still exploring your KM options? Prepare your team for the future of knowledge management by viewing our knowledge management buyer’s guide.