Published on 19 December 2012
As a freelancer, I am always on the lookout for an easy-to-use and accessible tool that helps a group connect.
Threads says it makes online collaboration simple. Let's take a look.
Some collaboration platforms are oriented to geeks. They say they do everything, and maybe they do, but they're so hard to figure out, it's tempting to revert to pen, paper and snail mail. But, Threads is based on a discussion forum structure, hence the name "Threads". Even the most geek challenged person never had a problem figuring that out! Getting your ideas down is as straightforward as using an online notepad. In addition, group members get just the data that pertains to their tasks so they aren't overwhelmed with notifications that have nothing to do with their current work.
By the way a "thread" is a "uniformly formatted information container", and can be anything: task, document, discussion etc, depending on additional properties (i.e. task will have a deadline, assigned person etc).
If your team has members who work at home, are freelancing, situated in an office across town or across the world, or work on the go, you can benefit from the online collaboration that Threads offers. You can use any computer or mobile device that has access to the Internet. This is your communication hub for project management, tasks, issues and information.
Since most of us understand the discussion forum model, there is minimal learning curve when you use Threads. Jotting down your notes and ideas is a snap with the notepad. Convert these to discussions with one-click.
You can include precisely the people involved in each particular segment of a project, on a task-by-task and even notification-by-notification basis. This means you are saved from starting one project for the group and another for the customer in order to be sure only certain people see just specific information.
You can start discussions to brainstorm and gather together ideas. Turn these into documents with one click on the dashboard. It's easy to then organize all this information into FAQs, wikis and case studies. Threads makes it easy to capture ideas and the knowledge of the group for sharing and as resources in future projects. Members have access to the information in a knowledge database using the Document tab. You can also attach documents to threads.
On the dashboard you can track the status of tasks and projects easily. The search feature uses powerful filters for users, tags, authors and other criteria.
It's easy for group members to comment on projects and tasks. Assigning them and creating deadlines is easy from the dashboard. Members use the MyTask and the Activity tabs to see precisely what they have been assigned and check progress.
Here is a look at the dashboard overview of a current discussion. It's easy to see who is participating and the tasks involved.
It is easy to search for the information you want using several filters.
In this case, the threads have been sorted according to priority.
Members can collaborate using mobile devices.
Threads makes it easy for a group that is working in multiple locations to share knowledge, keep on top of tasks, manage projects, brainstorm and document processes easily and efficiently. The platform is accessible to anyone who can connect to the Internet.
Information goes just to the people who need it. Group members aren't inundated with unnecessary notifications and customers get just the communications that you want.
There's basically no learning curve to figure out how to use it. You can jot down notes as you think of them, then later distribute them quickly to team members.
Help is provided in the forum, FAQs, video tutorials, plus online support.
Pricing is based on the number of open threads (tasks, documents, discussion…). Up to 1000 are free, with monthly subscriptions for more.
The free version is a generous offer and there is no restrictions on users/projects, other functions, or data. In fact for a small team a free version will suffice in most cases.
Treads still need some input in terms of configuration and housekeeping, but the upside is simplicity and clean interface (no additional buttons, menu items etc)
For example there are no milestones or task lists… but they can be easily set-up by applying the same tag to a number of threads, then searching by that tag and saving search - this will be your list of threads that you can access from top menu (saved search)
All in all, Threads is perfect for any group that wants to get up and running quickly with their collaboration platform. You can target your communication precisely; gather, share and store information; manage your projects and assign tasks. It's easy to learn, easy to use and accessible from any Internet-enabled device.
Ratings: ease of use 5/5, features 5/5, value 4/5 and ease of deployment 5/5