Podio Project Management
| App Market offers a phenomenal amount of features
|| User interface difficult to understand at times
| Simple to invite others
|| System is slightly sluggish
Podio is an extremely modular project management system with a predominant “App Market”. Additionally, another prominent benefit of using Podio is it is easy to invite other users and store contacts. Users have the option to connect their Gmail, vCard, or Outlook address books and then invite people from there. It pulls all this information from the respective programs and presents it to you in the system, and all you have to do is select the users you wish to invite. Of course, it also offers the ability to manually type in extra email addresses and create a message to send through to each person.
While the interface looks quite appealing, color variances are minimal and this can cause slight issues with navigating the page many sections of the layout are not clearly defined. While this can be considered to make the layout look more fluid as well as simplistic without any overpowering sections, it also may be confusing for some users. It goes without saying that in a project setting, efficiency is important to meet deadlines.
On the plus side, the main screen of the user interface presents project managers and users with a good overview of many important aspects within a project. These include a list of workspaces, activity stream, employee directory, tasks, calendar, marketplace apps and employee network files.
Some sections could use a bit more detail, for example, the tasks sections seems a bit simple. While you can click into a selected task for more detail, project managers often like to have a solid overview of details of tasks within a project to gain a greater understanding of their status and how they will affect the entire project’s progression.
Adding and creating new tasks is incredibly easy by clicking on the “Create task” option shown above. Users will see a popup window where they can add details, assign a user, set a deadline, and even attach files that pertain to a particular tasks such as a set of detailed instructions, an email from a client or other team member, or any other supplemental information that might be useful to a particular task or project.
Similarly, adding and creating projects is also easy and follow the same format as creating tasks. As shown below, users can access the “work space” panel on the left hand column to add and create new projects. Then, the prompt allows users to set deadlines, add and assign users to follow the project, choose a status, and even add tags so users can search the system for any open tasks or projects under certain categories.
On the performance scale (in relation to alternative online project management systems), Podio comes somewhere in the middle. Page loads are typically around 2.0 – 2.5 seconds, quick enough to not worry too much about the time that it takes to load. Again, like with many online project management systems, this wait time is important and significant when accumulated over a period of time; however, the positive experience from the rest of the system is more than enough to negate the slowness.
Ease of Use
Podio is rated as an average project management system. All the necessary functions to project management are present, however, the system as a whole isn’t incredibly robust. While its simplistic look and feel doesn’t hinder performance, its lack of intuitiveness might slow down some users when using and accessing the system.
On the other hand, some teams and users might find Podio’s simplicity a major benefit as some may prefer logging simplicity rather than logging into an online project management system that throws an overwhelming plethora of functions and tools and expects them to know everything like the back of their hand.
When first signing up for Podio and loading the system for the very first time, it is fairly empty and you may wonder what you signed up for. However, once you begin adding tasks, projects, and even visiting the App Market, your thoughts are likely to change—and you will be sure you landed in a positive place. Right in front of you will be more apps than you can poke a stick at you and you will begin installing all the apps that you will require for your project(s). Just try not to go overboard! As for the system in general (once fully loaded with apps) is highly functional and appropriate for almost every sort of project.