Podio

A preview of a Podio activity streamRecently I discovered Podio whilst looking into Client Relationship Management and Project Management systems. During this summer break from University I was invited to carry out work for Lingo Design. Among other things, I was tasked with finding a good piece of software to replace their existing solution. The main trait that I was looking for was extensibility, after looking through many free and paid services I found Podio (in the Chrome Apps store, of all places).

I was given a good idea of what I was looking for by @LingoLiz and I had already done a little work on their current Access database. Also I’ve always been fairly interested in CRMs and productivity tools in general. So, when I found Podio there were a lot of reasons to get a bit excited about it!

The Danish pair behind Podio have taken a novel approach to building this platform and have baked in some very interesting concepts. The main two that I’d like to talk about are:

Social

Podio focuses on collaboration. It is a virtual workplace, connecting people across an office or across the planet. In the relatively little amount of time I’ve spent using it I’ve been surprised by how many people have commented on how “very Facebook” the style of the site is. This is a huge thumbs up like from me. Every item and status in the application gives users the ability to add their two cents by commenting or liking something. They’ve also followed suit of Twitter by allowing you to follow items too.

I don’t see Podios use of Twitter and Facebook’s ideologies as imitation (or, if it is then “imitation is the greatest form of flattery”). It’s a great move on Podios part in terms of user experience, everyone is familiar with commenting, liking, and following things these days so users will automatically be able to engage with Podio at a basic level right from the sign up.

Apps

Everyone has different needs. People work in different ways, store data in different formats, and see content as more vital as others. Podio isn’t a software package that you have to bend your workflow to fit around, Podio is a platform allowing you to make your own (or use pre-built) Apps.

Again, everyone is familiar with what an app is and their a big thing at the moment, so it makes sense on many levels for Podio to utilise this approach.

After working with Podio for a bit, I thought it would be good to experiment with setting up a workspace for University. I created Apps for projects, modules, books, and references. I think this will help me greatly in my final year at University in becoming more organised and having a consistent place for my thoughts and resources. I’ll let you know how it goes on when I get back to University in October.

Podio is free for up to five uses so I see no reason why shouldn’t check it out if you’re looking for a new system, or just interested. Let me know how you get on with it. Also sorry for making this post seem so much like to advertisement, I just really love this product felt like I should share my experience of it so far.