#TBT: A Toolkit For Workflow Management

In most cases, an organization’s efficacy is only as strong as its internal cohesiveness.  But how do we create this environment?  There are many technological tools available that are designed to ease organizational communication and workflow management, and through the years AMT Lab has written product reviews and articles featuring several of them.  This week’s TBT is a toolkit for managers thinking about implementing new communication or workflow processes, or even reviewing their existing processes to see whether they have the best tools for their projects.

Don’t see a tool you’ve been using or wanting to learn more about?  Let us know in the comments below so we can feature it in future product reviews!

How Technology Can Support Artistic Collaborations (Research Update 1 and Update 2) by Nora Fleury 
Arts organizations do not exist in a vacuum, and in an increasingly connected world many find there is a need to collaborate with other organizations for joint shows, festivals, or even to share resources.  But how does one ease the messy workflow involved with bringing together multiple organizations?  Nora’s series investigates how organizations have used technology to do exactly that.  This series of research updates culminates in a final white paper that will be published later this summer.

Calling All Nonprofits: Talk Smarter With Slack by Sarah Murphy
In Sarah’s review of Slack, she introduces her own background of difficulty trying to lead a team through email alone, citing how easy it was for important messages to get lost in the shuffle.  Slack is a cloud-based communication solution that houses all organizational messages in a single location, allowing for things such as both group and individual messages, “channels” that pertain to specific subject matter, and tags that allow you to notify an individual when you are directly addressing them.  

ToDoist: An App to Manage Your To-Do List Anytime, Anywhere by Nora Fleury
This article reviews ToDoist, Forbes’ #1 ranked to-do list app for 2014.  The app is a clean to-do list that can be synchronized to multiple platforms.  Within the app, there are tools for prioritizing and categorizing items, as well as assigning deadlines.  Aside from the individual free version, Nora also discusses the paid business version, which allows for optimal collaborative ability.  

Coordinating Decentralized Teams, Clients, and Projects With Basecamp by Kristen Sorek West
Basecamp is a tool for teams working on projects to track tasks and conversations in a single app.  What makes this tool unique is its ability to be used for extending project access to clients, so they can also track the processes that are occurring.  It also allows users to create project templates, so if there are certain projects that involve the same people and processes each time, they can start with a base instead of having to input these tasks each time a new project begins.  Basecamp allows for a free trial, followed by a paid plan for ongoing use.  

Task Management Software: Asana by Caroline Brent
Asana is another version of a to-do list, optimized for breaking down a larger project into individual tasks that can be assigned to different team members.  A cited advantage to this system is the ease of creating subtasks within tasks.  This collaborative tool is free for up to 15 members per project, and a single user can have multiple projects with different team members assigned to it.

When Post-Its Won’t Do, Try Trello by Graciela Kahn
As the title suggests, Trello is a good tool for those who like a sticky-note or sub-folder approach to task management.  Users create an organization, in which they can create boards.  Each board has lists which users can then create cards for.  Boards are collaborative, and cards can be assigned to specific members.  

Online Workspace Solutions for Nonprofits: Podio by Caroline Brent
Unlike any of the other tools mentioned here, Podio is unique in its ability for organizations to create customized apps that cater to the organization’s needs.  Meant to function as a centralized online workspace, the options available range from creating “workspaces” for certain team members to creating timesheets from ready-to-use apps.  This tool is ideal for organizations that haven’t found a single “right” tool for their team’s needs and would like to have one customized and adapted to their own workflow.