When try­ing to think of some­thing to write about this month, I began to think of all the things I could poten­tial­ly com­plain or rant about.  I know, that sounds ter­ri­ble, but those two thoughts are usu­al­ly a good source of inspi­ra­tion for me.  I start­ed to real­ize that, while work has been fast-paced late­ly, we are total­ly man­ag­ing! How is that? Truth­ful­ly, it’s in no small part because of a few new tools we’ve been using late­ly that have total­ly changed how we man­age projects.



Track­Duck is a feed­back and bug track­er that also inte­grates with oth­er plat­forms, like Asana and Slack (to name a few favorites). For any dig­i­tal stu­dio, feed­back on web­site designs are an inte­gral part of the process and can dras­ti­cal­ly affect the final prod­uct if han­dled incor­rect­ly. Your feed­back loop is where your cus­tomer ser­vice skills are put to the test and try­ing to keep track of every­thing can be over­whelm­ing. What I like best about Track­Duck is the com­bi­na­tion of sim­plic­i­ty and thor­ough­ness. When a client clicks on a bug or indi­cates a revi­sion some­where on the site, you get the com­ment, who sub­mit­ted it, what time, and a screen­shot of what they are refer­ring to, with the brows­er type to boot! As if you couldn’t ask for more, it’s inte­gra­tion with Asana is seam­less. Every time there’s a com­ment sub­mit­ted, you get all that infor­ma­tion sent straight to what­ev­er Asana project you choose. Per­son­al­ly, this gave me the abil­i­ty to reg­u­late, pri­or­i­tize and del­e­gate inside a plat­form that I already use every day which was a huge time saver right off the bat.



Like Track­Duck, Gath­er­Con­tent han­dles an equal­ly fun­da­men­tal (and poten­tial­ly frus­trat­ing) phase in the dig­i­tal build process: the acquir­ing and orga­niz­ing of the client’s con­tent. I think we have the ten­den­cy to get caught up in the design that we for­get how no site is com­plete with­out its con­tent. That is the whole point! By the time you can shift your focus to the con­tent, it can take for­ev­er to wran­gle every­thing need­ed and could end up cost­ing you more time than you had allot­ted. Gath­er­Con­tent helps you keep your con­tent orga­nized in a way that cor­re­sponds to the out­line of the web­site. You set up as many “buck­ets” as you need to rep­re­sent the pages and sub­pages of the site, and then you can upload or copy/paste your con­tent into that bucket.Not only does it per­fect­ly cat­a­log each and every bit of your web­site meat, it vir­tu­al­ly elim­i­nates the count­less emails of going back and forth send­ing numer­ous docs that run the risk of get­ting lost in your inbox.  You can bring your client into the project and have them upload their con­tent as they cre­ate it. On your end, you can see how much progress has been made and even make com­ments on what the client has put in there.



Although we have been using Wip­ster longer than the pre­vi­ous two life savers above, it has been worth its weight in gold. This tool is a sta­ple in our video pro­duc­tion arm and it isn’t hard to see why. When we send clients Wip­ster video links for feed­back, all it takes is just a point and click inside the video, while it is play­ing to leave a feed­back com­ment at exact­ly the moment you want it. Before Wip­ster, which offi­cial­ly launched in the fall of 2014, it was an extreme­ly tedious task to record feed­back, let alone try to relay it to the edi­tor. Now, mem­o­riz­ing time­stamps are a thing of the past. There is a con­ve­nient feed on the side of the play­back win­dow that shows you all the com­ments in order of appear­ance in the video. With­in the com­ments, you can reply and “like” them for even more inter­ac­tion with the client. This is a total­ly hands-off solu­tion that works every time and takes under two sen­tences to explain (anoth­er project man­age­ment win!).  

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