9 Shiny New Objects


Do you love shiny new objects? As much as I do? Here are some of my faves – all tried, tested and now recommended…

Side note: Many, many, many hours (let’s face it, years) of testing various competitive platforms and apps went into these selections, so hopefully I can save you some time and trouble!

WORK FLOW APPS & PLATFORMS

  1.    PodioThis is a recent find suggested to us by the folks at ThoughtFarmer. At eGood, we were using so many platforms that it was tough to get everyone on the same page. We were using Workamajig, Basecamp, email, JIRA, Notable and a few others. Finding Podio was awesome, as it brought together many of those needs into one highly customizable and friendly platform that required zero team training. Although we still use a couple of the other platforms, Podio is our central platform for all communication, planning, task assignment and external alliance coordination. Say hi to Podio on Twitter.
  2.    Google Apps for Business – Email, Hangouts, Chat, Drive, Voice: A few years back, I was nearly sick to my stomach dealing with Entourage and the new Mac version of Outlook. It was a giant, disgusting mess. Then something beautiful happened. I switched to Google Apps and they’ve continued to amaze and impress me. From a better email experience to integrated Chat, Hangouts, documents via Drive and Voice, Google Apps has changed our business for the better. Say hi to Google Apps on Twitter.
  3.    Zendesk: If only all companies knew how awesome Zendesk is… When we started our search for a platform to manage support for eGood, we knew we wanted something that would aggregate all communication in one place (email, phone, chat, social & internal), and we wanted a system that would allow us to garner ideas and feedback from our community. We tested Desk.com, GetSatisfaction, Olark, and others. But we found what we were looking for, and so much more with Zendesk. The new beta web interface is beautiful, the iPad and iPhone apps are awesome, and best yet, it simply works – leading to happy eGood users. Say hi to Zendesk on Twitter.
  4.    Notable: Where shall I start with Notable? In our world, dealing with proofs and edits from clients and internal teams has always been a pain…until now. We’ve explored so many platforms for agency management over the years that fail in this area. Especially when it comes to digital. Notable gives a simple screen element grab tool, almost like a Pinterest browser tool. You start adding comments and share with your team members and alliances. Comments and replies are pinned to the proper location on the page. You can also group multiple screens into a folder for quick review of entire sites and projects. Say hi to Notable on Twitter.
  5.   Basecamp:After reading Rework by the founder of 37Signals, I had to test out Basecamp. Immediately, I loved the simplicity of how team members could interact with alliances and clients without any training. It was intuitive, and simplified issues we’ve had with Workamajig and email. Although I was once a huge fan, I did switch to Podio for eGood as we needed something more customizable. But, I’m still a fan and will keep an eye on Basecamp. Say hi to Basecamp on Twitter.
  6.    Workamajig: At SWIRE, we’ve been using Workamajig since 2008. It replaced our traditional paper/binder system for managing campaigns. It allows tremendous control and real-time financial management of projects, campaigns and clients. The downsides are a lack of speed, and an intensive training process. (This is partly due to being flash-based, which I hope they fix.) Because of this, we’ve utilized Basecamp for client-facing interactions. Say hi to Workamajig on Twitter.
  7.    Nimble: From the early days of index cards in a box, to Salesforce and Highrise, we’ve tried just about everything for managing relationships in building our business. But, none can compare to the simplicity and functionality we get from Nimble. As it integrates with our Google Apps account, it aggregates mail and social connections into one system so we can more effectively manage and keep in touch with our prospective clients. Say hi to Nimble on Twitter.
  8.    Wonderpage: How do I keep track of all these great tools you ask? Simple – it’s Wonderpage. I’m visual, so I love Wonderpage as it’s a visual bookmarking tool. It also has a browser plug-in for grabbing pages and organizing them. Yes, you can use Pinterest for this too, but I like to keep these separate. And, Wonderpage gives you the ability to create private folders for things like your personal finance pages, family pages and such. Say hi to Wonderpage on Twitter.
  9.    WriteThat.name: You know you don’t keep your contact book up-to-date. Nobody does. With WriteThat.name, you don’t have to. It scans all emails and autofills and updates your Google Apps contacts database for you and emails you a daily recap. So simple, so sweet! Say hi to WriteThat.Name on Twitter.

I hope you find some of these Work Flow platforms helpful! Love to hear your thoughts :) Coming next…SOCIAL APPS & SITES


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  • http://blog.goswire.com Zack Swire

    Another reason I love Podio – just got this via email this morning…they’ve further integrated with Google Calendar and their relevancy slider is incredible. This makes total sense! http://blog.podio.com/2012/07/17/calendaring/?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRokuazKZKXonjHpfsX%2B6O0pX66g38431UFwdcjKPmjr1YEAS8B0dvycMRAVFZl5nRxXHuma

  • http://twitter.com/shoutdrive ShoutDRIVE

    Definitely a toolkit for success! Podio is especially incredible, and deserves some hype!

  • http://twitter.com/dancemusicguy Anthony Ares

    Awesome toolkit for success! Podio seems like it deserves some hype- really incredible platform

  • Steve Seybold

    I’d add Disqus as another new ‘shiny’. What an easy way to easily integrate comments, discussions and community chatter. Love the new look they are now using.

  • http://flatcreek.com/ Allen Fuller

    Thanks for putting this list together. I’m a huge fan of Podio as well. The flexibility of the apps, as well as its sweet integration with other leading web apps, makes it a great core tool for internal and client projects alike.

    Regarding Zendesk, we took a look but just couldn’t get over the price point for our shop. So we started using Freshdesk (http://freshdesk.com/). The entry price point is much lower, and it’s still a full featured help desk. The one downside is that there is no iPhone app, but we have been promised that one is on the way soon. May be worth taking a look.

    • http://blog.goswire.com Zack Swire

      Hi Allen, Thanks for the comment and suggestion about freshdesk.com – we didn’t see that option in our search. Will surely take a look.
      We’re hoping we can find a solution within Podio for SWIRE. Right now, it’s used primarily by our eGood team, but it’s missing just a couple items for SWIRE. Mainly traffic control for agency projects. But, I did have someone reach out to me recently via Podio asking about building custom workpaces and apps for agencies. So, I’m hopeful there :)

  • Pingback: Podio vs Workamajig, Basecamp, email, JIRA, Notable and a few others.

  • WorkBook Software

    Most of the systems talked about in this blog only really covers smaller parts of what an agency with 10+ users should really be looking for. You’ll quickly end up having a lot of systems, all with different purposes which essentially will slow you down.

    If you’re getting tired of having multiple systems running your business, then take a look at WorkBook.

    http://www.workbook.net

    WorkBook is an end to end business system tailored to creative agencies, digital and PR. It’s feature rich and contains both CRM&Pipeline Management, Project and Resource Management, File sharing and Client Collaboration as well as integrated accounting. If you are running multiple companies/currencies we have your back on that issue too.