8 Samepage Features That Help You Manage Projects Better
Samepage was created because our company needed a way to manage projects between offices that spanned the globe. How do you keep an engineering team in the Czech Republic on the same page with sales and marketing in the US, UK, Russia, and Australia? You write an app called Samepage. And you fill that app with all of the features you need in one place so that you don't waste time switching between apps.
This guide gives you a look at how we use Samepage at Samepage, and offers ideas on how you can start using Samepage to get your team on the #samepage with you. We use each of these features every day, and we think you will too.
Every team needs to communicate. Apps like Slack and Hipchat help keep teams connected in a way that email just can’t. At Samepage, chat isn't just about communicating. Chat is about moving work forward. Which is why we have 3 levels of chat built-in - team chat, 1-to-1 chat, and page chat. You might wonder, why three? Here's how we use each of them, and why.
Team Chat. Team chat is a great place to start conversations and post questions to the whole group. We use team chat to share news, start team meetings, and of course recognize birthdays.
1-to-1 Chat. Need to catch up with a co-worker one-on-one? Samepage makes it easy. I was having trouble with the html on this blog post, so I reached out to our web guru. Since you're reading this we were able to figure it out ;).
Page Chat. Page chat is my favorite. Page chat lets you easily tag your coworkers with information about the project. The chat bar on the right side of every team keeps the entire conversation so you always know what’s going on. Is a coworker calling you in to review something before publication? Easy. No need to dig through email threads to see what's going on.
I like to use page chat to reach out and get feedback on posts I'm working on. You can @mention team members, and get their attention to the content on the page. Page chat is a great way to combine conversation and content - something missing in most chat tools. Now that's productivity.
Each chat tool is different. So if you're not sure how we stack up compared to Hipchat and Slack, check out our business chat app comparison.
2. Team Pages
Team pages are virtual workspaces for your team. Team pages are about bringing the right groups of people together for projects. Your team could be a whole department like Marketing, HR, Accounting, or something smaller, like the content marketing team. Team pages can even be private workspaces where you can work on ideas by yourself, or with one or two close colleagues. Teams are as open or as closed as you want them to be.
We use team pages to run our company meetings - from department meetings, to all-hands, to 1-on-1s. These pages are great for scheduling the meeting using our calendar feature, outlining the meeting agenda, linking to key reports using our file feature, and scheduling follow-ups using our task feature. These pages are also great records that we can reference at the next meeting.
Team pages are great for more than meetings. They’re excellent tools for managing projects and campaigns. Our in-house brewery startup created a team page to gather all of the critical items for their 10110 IPA release at SF Beer Week 2016. The team page lets them collect important dates, milestones, tasks, and assets for the launch, all in one place.
Those are just two examples of what we use team pages for. We also use team pages to report KPIs, track our weekly metrics, track vacation time, and tons more. We built these pages with enough flexibility to help you accomplish anything you want to do.
We all have tasks that we need to get done. And there are lots of dedicated task tracking tools. You probably have 3+ apps capable of tracking tasks right now, and it becomes a task managing tasks. That's why we built task management into Samepage – so you can keep your tasks right alongside your work.
With tasks in Samepage, you can keep track of all of your to-dos, all of the to-dos you've assigned, and all of the to-dos assigned to you. You can also comment on tasks, share progress percent completion, and visit the pages associated with each task, all without switching in and out of an application.
How do you keep track of your calendar? I bet it's through email or another calendaring software. What do you do with the rest of your team? Lots of calendar invites sent through email? You need to get your team on the #samepage. At Samepage, we have one calendar to rule them all. The Master Calendar shows all public events, deadlines, and meetings in one place. "My Calendar" shows all of the calendars you subscribe to, so if the Master Calendar gets too busy you can cut out the noise and only see the events you want to see. This way, you always have a roll-up of relevant events and meetings. You can even sync the Samepage calendar to your favorite calendar software - so you can take all of your events and deadlines with you.
5. Working with other people (ETMs)
One of the biggest gaps that we identified when building Samepage was the need to integrate contractors, freelancers, and other remote members into the company workflow. We work with creatives, consultants, and advisors across the world. Without help from external experts, we'd just be working with ourselves... and that isn't fun.
The problem is that a lot of teamwork software treats everyone as a company member. That means adding an external member to your software gives them the same view as an employee. That's oversharing. Samepage's team-based approach makes sure that you're only sharing the right information with your team, whoever or wherever they are.
6. Collaborative Editing
Getting feedback and work-shopping your marketing copy, website copy, or a script for that new cool product video you're filming has never been easier. With Samepage you can see revisions, make in-line recommendations, and see all of the updates live, meaning you get work done faster, and smarter. You can write the first section, while your teammate gets started on the second. Or you could draft text while a coworker adds the story board to the post.
We find this feature especially helpful for meeting notes. You can take notes in real-time, and have them on the same page as the agenda. That way, after the meeting you can always come back and know exactly what happened. You can even add tasks and calendar events as you go along, so there’s no need to take time after the meeting to catch up on all of the new to-do’s from your notes.
7. File Sharing
How do you share files? Slack? That's good. Email? Less good. Dropbox? We can work with that. You probably have files spread out across multiple services and devices, which may lead you to ask the question, "Where did I see that file?" We used to ask ourselves that question a lot here, too. That's why be built file sharing and versioning in to Samepage.
Now you can keep your files, right next to your notes, chat messages, and everything else you need for every project you're working on. So instead of thinking about which email has that file you're looking for, you can just go to a project page with all of the detail in their right place. We also integrate with Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive, so you can link right to your remote files from a page. No need to sort through file sharing folders; the right files are always accessible from within Samepage.
When we needed to update our social media banners, we created a page to share the files with our social media team. Not only can we keep the final images right there on the page, but we can also keep the latest versions of our art in Creative Suite format. So if we need to make an alteration, we have the art files right there on the page.
And when you need to update that file? Open it from Samepage, make changes, save, and close your file. The page always shows the most up-to-date version of the file so you're not looking at five versions trying to figure out which one is final.
File sharing works with any kind of file you might keep on your computer - from MS Office to Creative Suite, to any file type you work with. This means you don't need to hunt through your email every time you need the art file, or the final product.
Samepage is full of useful tools. But many people have favorite tools for different tasks. So we thought, why not bring those awesome tools into the same pages we're using to run our projects. We have tons of integrations with popular tools so you can get the information you need in Samepage, from Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Google Apps.
One of my favorite integrations is Google Apps. If you spend a lot of time working with Google Analytics or Adwords, then you have to use Google Sheets. I can embed a live link to a Google Doc, which will open a new tab, or I can embed the document right in Samepage and edit it from the page I’m working on (assuming public editing permissions are set on the Google sheet). With Google Sheets support, we don't need to sort through Google Docs each time we need a certain sheet - we just go to our project page, and have all of the info at hand.
If you want to see how Samepage stacks up against a wide range of other collaboration tools: Compare Samepage.