One of the biggest challenges for work groups whose members work remotely is establishing real-time collaboration and the ability for teams to effectively manage projects and tasks. There are a number of applications in the marketplace that claim to enhance remote worker’s productivity and collaboration but few offer the number of robust and customizable features that Podio provides. Purchased by Citrix in 2012, Podio is a web-based application designed to help teams organize projects, assign deliverables and track milestones from a workstation or through their app for smart devices.
Teams collaborate in customizable workspaces that can be accessed from the main dashboard. Workspaces essentially offer a centralized location to communicate and collaborate with a defined set of contacts that you “invite” to the space. The main dashboard of the workspace is designed to show at a glance all of the elements of the project. You can see Frequently Used Spaces, Contacts and Calendar on the right, with an activity stream of all actions on the left. Podio offers an App store, where users can add App bundles for specific workflow purposes like project or CRM Management or individual Apps that can be customized to manage or monitor everything from social media to HR functions. Podio has also integrated with other workflow and storage tools in the enterprise including, Box, Campaign Monitor, Dropbox, Evernote, FreshBooks, Google Apps, Google Docs, Google Alerts, Instapaper and Zendesk. There are also downloadable apps for Android and iOS to organize on the go.
Podio streamlines and facilitates team communication with a number of useful features including unique email addresses so that emails can be stored within the application and can be attached to projects or tasks. Teams can be updated simultaneously on new project developments in real-time with Podio’s @mentions for workspaces. Users can quickly show approval for tasks or gauge interest through a “likes” feature. Finally, Podio offers a real-time chat and video chat for either on the fly face to face discussions or multi-point team video meetings.
Podio is user-friendly with great how-to videos, best-practice suggestions and application bundles of the most popularly used apps to get you started. As users integrate app customizations and add sub-levels for their projects they can really begin to take advantage of how robust and flexible the program really is.
Persuading users to work and communicate solely in Podio may necessitate a paradigm shift within your remote workgroups but once teams realize the benefits of working in Podio they will wonder how they survived without it. Podio offers a free Podio Lite plan for up to five users and a more robust paid plan that runs $9 per users a month.
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