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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.

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.

  • I really like the idea of being able to work on a single page. For years I have used Internet Explorer or Chrome opening multiple windows on different tabs. When I need to go to a different area, I click on a different tab. So the concept of working one screen is awesome. I can see a bit of a learning curve to get use to the new method of day to day business, but feel it would increase productivity in the end. Time is money! The one thing I would add to the 3rd column would be a Snipping Tool, or Snagit kind of icon. This would give a easy way to capture a screen shot and attach it to a customer support case. Look forward to see and using this new feature thanks!

  • Brittany McClure Thompson

    I am excited about this update! Its going to be amazing to easily navigate everything on one screen and limiting the number of clicks i have to make to get to where I need to go. I am so excited about this! I also love the design over haul! well done guys!

  • Thomas Lawler

    This is awesome! I like having everything in one screen, as it makes it a lot easier to increase visibility between various stages of the project. Also employees won’t have to navigate back and forth between the various areas within work[etc]. The only concern I have is the learning curve between the proposed version and the current work[etc] version.

    Also, when can we expect this update to launch? I’d like to have some time to prepare in house training for the new version. Thanks!

  • Looks great, Daniel. As we’ve expanded our use of the tool, some of our team are struggling to take up the current version. This is 100% due to the complexity and non-intuitiveness of the existing interface (ok for techy types like me who can appreciate the TCO of the tool as a whole, but not an easy sell to anyone who just looks at the task in front of them).

    I’m keen to stay, but I can’t see us doing so if the upgrade doesn’t happen soon – any ETA?

  • Megan Vangelist

    I’m excited about this update. It will improve how I manage my installation projects and make it easier to update progress. This is going to be a great improvement. I love the new design.

  • The interface looks wonderful and the ideas behind it make sense. Like others, I typically work between multiple windows to accomplish what the new Workspace will offer. My extended team is just beginning to warm up to all of the capabilities offered in the current product. The new interface & functionality should up our adoption rate significantly.

  • Jordan

    I’m looking forward to this. I currently don’t use the project management side much. But this may just put me over to the PM side! 🙂

  • Work Etc is a powerful project management tool. It needs careful setup but once this is handled, the program can really help manage your business. It is quite focused on sales of products and handles this better than services but does have facilities to tweak the methodologies to your liking. Excellent user interface makes things easy to control.Integrating with Gmail is a huge timesaver being able to attach only relevant emails to the appropriate project/sub-project is great.Excellent for project management and support.

  • Donna Grindle

    I see this will definitely have a bit of a learning curve but one well worth it in the end. Going in and out of things can become very frustrating, time consuming, and confusing. This will certainly be a much better method of seeing your work, once you get used to it.

    The direction looks great but how much longer are we going to wait to see the changes? Our team will need time to adjust and adapt to the changes without it slowing us down drastically.

    It is a tight rope balancing act when you change something that is so much a part of our productivity as you are (and you want to be). If we get a total UI update just as everyone ramps up their 2016 projects things are going to get dicey for me around here.

    Still, great work and we certainly do appreciate everything you guys are doing to make the system grow and evolve on a constant basis. Thanks for all the effort!

  • There is a tremendous amount going on with this page….need to more fully digest it..its going to cut down on the number of apps we use other wise we have workspaces in our spaces.

  • That’s looking pretty good, I can’t wait. Right now, I hate having to try to navigate through to knowledge base without leaving my current screen. This will be great if I can just have the knowledge base as a subset of my screen while I can still view my timesheets (or whatever I’m dealing with).

  • It does look really good. It’s an exciting change and it’s time to get it out to the masses. When are we going to get a “hands-on” look? Touch it and see how it will truly make our lives easier? Don’t let the momentum slip away!!

  • Luke

    It is from May 2014 everybody is waiting for the new interface. You cannot run a serious business waiting for a software update for so long… It is really frustraiting.

  • Looks Great.
    The budget page seems much improved which is a great step forward since having taken the time to enter all the timesheets, it’s crucial this is both easily accessible and easy to read for the staff to keep track of their work and deadlines. This seems to have taken a big step in the right direction.
    Speaking of deadlines – one feature we would love to see is the possibility to stamp a marker on the timeline that indicates the deadline (project presentation usually for us) INDEPENDENTLY from the work period. We sometimes allocate a work period on a project between two dates (currently possible on the timeline) and have a deadline set further forward (not currently possible to clearly indicate). Since we have no way to indicate this clearly on the timeline across all our active projects and see this in one place we have to do this planning on excel at the cost of much duplication. The ability to put a clear marker like a red block on a specific date in the timeline (the “deadline”) would be a great step forward and much used – I wonder if this is included in the new UI or could be added if others are interested?
    As per the other comments… and ETA would also be good. I know how big an overhaul this though… and that good things come to those that wait.

  • Michael DeViney

    ETA?

  • Cyntia Larrieu

    It will be very helpful working in only one page. I think I will particularly appreciate this new update when I create contacts. Indeed, right now each time I am creating a contact, a new page appears. And when I create 5 contacts I have 5 new worketc pages so it will definitely be very helpful working on only one page.

  • This looks really good. I wonder if you fixed the weekends and holidays issue (not workable days option) on the gantt chart. I am excited to see these changes in production so I hope it’s coming soon.

  • Jorge C

    The new UI is obviously a major revamp from what we have right now. The idea of not adding new tabs as you click on different aspects of your project is the way to go, obviously. I don’t see a major breakdown in our company as many people here have already griped about the current status.

    As some other users have expressed, when will this be done?.

  • Tracy Anthony

    Hi Daniel. I did a trial of Worketc but found some frustrations. I’ve just returned to it again and am remembering the frustrations of how many clicks et it takes to make things happen. What’s the timeframe for this ???

  • I like the new redesign. I would like to know if you can create a project from a Gantt Chart? If so, that would be TOTALLY cool. Sometimes it’s easier to build things visually.

    • @discqus_permitplace:disqus I nearly always build Projects from the Gantt Chart – I won’t be allowing anyone to remove that functionality 😉

      • Yes, please. I didn’t know. The Gantt functionality is so small I just kind of ignore it. Thanks! By the way, I’m totally surprised that you monitor these boards. I”m so used to being ignored on Support boards. Thanks for answering back.

  • This is going to be great! The more you can stay focused in one pane of glass without jumping around and forgetting what you are doing is key to staying productive.

  • Just wanted to assure you all that we have seen the comments about ETA. We’re not ignoring them, but we’re not wanting to make any false promises either. We’re almost at a point where we can make a firmer announcement about this, and Dan will then respond to all who have asked.
    Really appreciate your patience and understanding, and very much look forward to sharing more news with you soon.

  • I really like the changes to the budget section. For me, this is the most important part of the project, but the current design is a little hard to understand. The new design will organize the data better, so it will be more useful to me.

  • This looks awesome.. I cannot wait for this to be released! WorkETC has made constant strives forward in making a great product. We have found many unintentional ways of integrating other applications that we use on a day to day business with Web Forms and utilizing the Knowledge Base. Thank you and your team for all of the hard work!

  • Any information on when this might be implemented? The images look great and it’s a big step forward for the interface as a whole.

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