by Stephanie Miles
Published on 11 February 2014
CatchApp Review - Worthwhile tool if you use business apps on a regular basis
When you've got an office full of colleagues working at warp speed, it can be difficult to keep up with what everyone has going on. Although popular business tools like Basecamp, Box, Google Drive, and Yammer help individuals stay on top of professional projects, using so many separate applications can sometimes make it even more difficult for large teams to work together efficiently. CatchApp has developed a solution that makes it easy for people to catch up on everything their colleagues are working, wherever they're located in the world.
In this CatchApp review, I plan on trying out the popular business application and seeing how it functions in a real work environment. Paying close attention to features like real-time monitoring, lists, commenting, and push notifications, I will describe my experience using the app and recommend whether large teams should give the tool a try.
CatchApp brings data from many of the most popular business applications under one roof, making it easier for managers to get a solid understanding of what their employees are working on. Essentially serving as a "newsfeed for the workplace," CatchApp monitors the activity in connected applications in real-time and then brings that information together into a single stream for teams to review. These newsfeeds, or streams, can then be broken down into lists to track individual projects.
Start monitoring your team's progress by connecting the business apps your company uses to CatchApp. CatchApp currently integrates with more than 20 file sharing, project management, coding, and task management applications, with even more integrations coming soon. Once you've connected the apps that your team regularly uses, CatchApp will begin bringing the information from those apps, such as status updates and deadline information, into your CatchApp newsfeed.
Drill down into the data that CatchApp is able to gather by creating separate lists for various projects. Make a list titled "Softball Team," one titled "HR Issues," and one titled "Acme Corp. Project." Each list that you create will monitor specific folders, notebooks, and tags from connected applications. Team members can give feedback on the activities they see mentioned in the company's CatchApp newsfeed. CatchApp's direct commenting feature allows users to offer their two-cents without logging-in to the original business app where the update was made.
If you're the type of person who never wants to miss out on an update, then download CatchApp's mobile app and sign up for push notifications. Push notifications let you know immediately when something happens, like if a colleague is running late or an important project milestone has been met. CatchApp even lets you turn push notifications on or off for individual lists.
Whether or not CatchApp is useful depends on which business applications your company currently uses and whether CatchApp integrates with those tools. Thankfully, CatchApp already integrates with more than 20 of the most popular business applications, including Evernote, Google Calendar, Twitter, Trello, Desk.com, and RSS. In the coming months, CatchApp will continue to add even more integration options. Users who are concerned about privacy will be happy to hear that CatchApp does not store any passwords from integrated apps.
Another benefit to using CatchApp over competing applications involves the web version of the site. Users that log-on to the web version of CatchApp can keep the application open on a large second screen all day long. This makes it possible for people to follow along with a constant stream of updates and see what their colleagues are working on-and help with any challenges they may be facing-in real-time.
Manually connect CatchApp with all the apps you'd like to integrate with the service. In many cases, you can select the specific folders or files you'd like to add to your CatchApp account, while still keeping other folders private.
Create a list as a way to filter your newsfeed by issue or topic. Each list gets a title and a unique color to help it stand out. Then you can select the individual notebooks or apps that should filter directly into your list.
The more apps you connect and the more lists you create, the most robust your CatchApp feeds will appear. New updates appear at the top of your screen in real-time, and you can scroll down to quickly review anything you missed while you were away from your computer.
Getting notifications from the feeds
CatchApp offers an in-app support center, powered by Desk.com, with articles that detail the answers to many frequently asked questions (FAQs). For the answers to questions not covered in the support center, users are encouraged to contact CatchApp representatives by email.
CatchApp users with Standard accounts can access up to 100 updates per month for free. Suggesting CatchApp to friends increases that quota up to 1,000. Heavier users will want to upgrade to CatchApp Premium. Premium plans cost $4.99 per month, or $49.99 per year, and include unlimited updates, premium apps (like Desk.com, Evernote Business, and Trello Organizations) and direct commenting features.
CatchApp is a worthwhile tool for any company that uses file sharing, project management, coding, and task management apps on a regular basis. The service makes it possible for managers to track what's going on in dozens of business apps without keeping dozens of browser tabs open, or logging into and out of multiple services all day long.
Employees will also appreciate being able to use CatchApp, not only for the organizational aspect, but also because the system makes it easier for people to know immediately when their colleagues are having trouble and may need some feedback or support. Having the combination of mobile capability along with a web version makes CatchApp useful for professionals who work both inside and outside of a traditional office.
Ratings: ease of use 5/5, features 4/5, value 5/5