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An Inside Look at WORK[etc]’s Upcoming Workspaces

WORK[etc] already lets you manage your entire business using only the one app. The upcoming Workspace feature will let you do the bulk of your work on the one page.

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Most CRM and project management software are little more than glorified dumping grounds. Yes, they collect a lot of info, but all of it mostly just gets dumped into a text field on the page. Maybe users can filter them, do a little slicing and dicing, add some visualizations — but that’s usually it.

What WORK[etc] has always tried to do is be more than this, to be more than the average CRM. We want to be more than being just a place to store your business data, we want to be the place where you actually get work done. No data dumping. Just actual working.

Introducing WORK[etc] Workspaces

Here’s a preview of the Projects Workspace:

WORKetc Projects WorkspaceClick for full view.

You’ll notice that the Workspace is divided into three columns. The first column (1) should be immediately familiar: it’s an improved version of the current Project Tree View, a simple relationship hierarchy of the subprojects and tasks within a project.

The second column (2), the Timeline, will also be familiar if you’ve seen our video demo of the upcoming Contacts page redesign. Here you’ll find all items attached to the project, subproject, or task highlighted in the first column.

WORKetc Workspaces Timeline Filters

Similar to how the Timeline works in the Contacts page, you can easily choose which items are visible by clicking the item icons at the top of the column.

Finally, the third column (3) shows project, subproject, and task details. Like the second column’s timeline, what you’ll see here will depend on what is currently selected in the first column.

WORKetc Workspace Detail Icons

The Details column is where you’ll be doing the bulk of your work. The row of icons at the top of the column let you:

  1. pop out the details box
  2. get the project / subproject / task permalink
  3. bookmark the project / subproject / task
  4. edit the project / subproject / task
  5. create and attach a new item
  6. delete the project / subproject / task

Do All Your Work on the One Page

In the screenshot below, the Planning and Analysis subproject is selected in the first column. As such, all items attached to it as well as the subprojects and tasks under it can be seen in the timeline. The third column, meanwhile, displays the selected project’s details.

WORKetc Project WorkspaceClick for full view.

This contextual approach to the column displays is a much better use of screen real estate — you don’t have to load a new page or tab whenever you need to check on a different subproject, task, or any other item in WORK[etc]. Just click any item in the first two columns and you can update, edit, delete, or attach anything to it on the Details column.

The whole point of this layout is that it lets you quickly switch between items with as few clicks as possible without having to load a new page or tab. It takes the focus away from wrestling with the interface and keeping track of numerous tabs and. Workspaces put the focus squarely back on what is important: letting you get your work done.

Here’s an example. In the screenshot below, clicking on the RE: Keyword Planning – Final List message opens the entire Discussion thread in the third column. What if you need to check a different task or subproject to get back up to speed on the discussion, though?

WORKetc Project WorkspaceClick for full view.

In the current incarnation of WORK[etc], you would open the task or subproject in a different window or tab and just switch between the two. Fast and easy, but Workspaces makes it even faster and way easier.

Just pop out the Discussion thread from the third column, click and drag the modal popup, and click the task or subproject that you need to check in the first column. The third column would switch to that item’s details, but the Discussion thread stays open in the modal popup.

For example, let’s say you’re currently working on the Planning & Analysis task in SEO Project. While working, you suddenly find that you need to check a few details found in the root project and the Evaluation subproject. Just click those items in the Project Tree Column and pop them out.

Let’s say you also decide to make sure the logo of the company you’re doing the project for is correct, so you click on the logo attachment file in the Timeline column and pop it out as well for a closer look.

In the screenshot below, you’ll notice that the Details column still shows a Discussion thread but there are now three popped out detail boxes. All of the details you needed in the sample scenario above are in these popups so there’s no need to switch between tabs or pages; you can easily get all your work done on the one page.

WORKetc Project WorkspaceClick for full view.

Gantt Chart and Budget Tab Redesigns

WORK[etc] Insiders will remember getting a very brief preview of Workspaces in the form of the upcoming Gantt chart redesign.

Some of the feedback we received at the time mentioned that the project details box in the preview ate up a lot of the space available for the Gantt chart. We’ve since decided to expand the available space for the Gantt chart in the upcoming redesign. Check it out below.

WORKetc Project Workspace - Gantt ChartClick for full view.

The more efficient approach we’ll be using in Workspaces has also let us expand the Project Budget page. The redesign should make it easier to keep track of project expenses, timesheets, and receivables.

WORKetc Project Workspace - BudgetClick for full view.

What we want for the upcoming Workspace feature is for you to take its name literally: if WORK[etc] is the one app that lets you manage your entire business, the Workspace is the one page where you can do all of your work.

You have instant access to all the data you put into the system without having to switch between tabs and pages, letting you focus on actually getting your work done.

What are your thoughts on the upcoming Projects Workspace feature? Let us know in the comments section.

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