by Stephanie Faris
Published on 23 October 2013
Technology has made collaborating on projects easier than ever, but businesses are still faced with one major challenge. How do they share files and documents despite e-mail file size limits and version control issues? Podio provides a central hub for posting documents, meeting notes, and more.
This Podio review looks at the features and ease-of use of this collaboration tool to determine which businesses will find it most useful. We'll look at its features, as well as its variety of suggested uses.
Think of Podio as a large bulletin board in which multiple team members can share everything from project notes to large video files. Purchased by Citrix Systems in 2012, Podio became popular with small businesses with its free lite version, which provides all of the app's core features for up to five employees.
Users set up a workspace for each project, with each space allowing owners to create tasks, add calendars to schedule meetings, and choose from a wide variety of apps. Once owners have set up a workspace, they'll have access to Podio's full suite of apps that include lead management, expense reports, and more.
Podio creates a central place for workers and/or clients to meet to share all information relating to a project. Because the information is accessible via the Internet, workers can also post and view notes and messages from mobile devices, allowing for 24/7 accessibility while on business trips or working from home. But using Podio can also cut down on productivity-zapping meetings, since workers and clients can collaborate quickly through the Podio interface.
When you first log in to the free version, you'll be asked to name your workspace.
Once you've given your workspace a name and entered brief keyword information, you're ready to begin. Here you can add fields to your workspace to make it work better for your organization.
Click on the icon in the left-hand corner to manage your team. Here you'll be able to invite employees or share information with those who are in your network. This includes uploading documents or simply typing a short project status update.
You can also begin adding apps that help you manage projects, organize leads and clients, share ideas, schedule meetings, and track expenses. Once fully operational, the workspace should look something like this.
In addition to a comprehensive help centre, Podio provides help via support tickets. Users can also send issues via Twitter.
The free "Lite" version includes support for up to five employees and five outside users. For more seats, businesses can pay $9 per employee per month for a plan that includes everything but personalized training and support. For this level of support, businesses must contact Podio for customized pricing.
By using Podio's Cloud-based collaboration tool, businesses can improve efficiency and save money by allowing workers to collaborate from anywhere, using any device. Podio's free version makes it a great deal for many small businesses, but its interface can be complex and difficult to navigate at times.
Ratings: ease of use 5/5, features 4/5, value 5/5