deskaway

This is a “no office” era that we live in. Online project collaboration and team management tools that aim for clutter-free, no-nonsense approach to work collaboration online are sexy, if you ask me.

I couldn’t help but reiterate what Craig Caplan, the head of client services and project manager at Matan Media, had to say about deskaway.com:

“With Improved productivity comes improved profitability…”

Sign-up for Deskaway

There are 4 levels of membership for deskaway.com and I proceeded to pick up the free trial. The sign-up was as quick as it was expected and less than half a minute later, I am urged to click on the “Show me my Deskaway” button.

Information comes pre-filled for you, so that really takes a bit of that initial effort away.

If you are a company, a subdomain is created automatically for you. My company name is Fetchprofits, so I got http://fetchprofits.deskaway.com

The Dashboard

Enter the dashboard and you are ready to roll. You’ll see tabs on the top navigation. Create your “first project”. You may proceed to add “team members”, read the Deskaway “Blog”, review the “reports” section, or set up your “calendar”.

There are demo videos, tutorials, and help sections on every tab of the navigation panel – so for those who are new to project collaboration or new to Deskaway, help is always at hand.

Your first project (the only project possible for free members) is created by default. To begin, click on “Edit” and make changes as you need to. You can set a name for the project, assign a lead (if you have a team or pick yourself as the lead), give start and finish date, and set-up notifications (you can even go silent, if you want to) or set-up priority emails to notify you on updates.

Additionally, set up milestones for tasks you need to complete by specific time frames. You may then create a “task list” and link it to related projects. Add tasks.

After you add at least one task, the dashboard shows tasks under “My tasks tab”. The red warning band indicates any milestones or tasks due today.

Deskaway also features “templates” – preset configurations of projects that you can re-use (handy for projects that are repeated often). Please note that this feature is accessible only to paid members.

Review pending tasks at any point of time and they show up as below.

Calendar for you and everyone on the team

I particularly liked the calendar feature that automatically updates project deadlines, milestones, and tasks.

You can setup different colors (priority-based?) for projects, tasks, and milestones. If you use iCal on Mac, Mozilla Calendar you could automatically subscribe to iCalendar.

Advanced reporting, made easy

Keep a hawks’ eye on your projects, milestones, and timelines by using Deskaway’s instant reporting feature. I really liked the way it displays pertinent information.

Here’s how the timeline and overall progress of projects is shown:

Projects approaching deadline, overdue, completed, archived, on hold, and even category wise reports can be generated for different timelines as you deem fit.

Finally, add team members

As simple as it could get, click on “team” on your main navigational pane and begin to add your team members. You can set permissions for your team members too.

When they view their dashboards, reports, calendars, or any other features, they would only be able to view information or access files that they have clearance for (based on your permission settings).

DeskMail for Messages

Based on popular demand, Deskaway launched DeskMail for Messages (available for professional plans and above), which works as an internal messaging system. You can use your Gmail account to receive and reply to messages, of course.

If you use one single email for everything in your life, you’ll appreciate this feature since project related emails stay within the Deskaway system – always archived and stored so you’ll never miss an important email.

Have you used DeskAway Yet? If you did, tell me all about it. If you haven’t yet checked it out, do it right now.