You know how the monster in a horror movie is always considerably less scary after you finally see it? It’s because of uncertainty. When you don’t have a full picture of something, it can seem way worse, way more intimidating, than it actually is.
It’s kind of the same thing with a workload. If you don’t have a way of organizing the projects you’ve got going on, they all seem to accumulate into big, scary work monster.
On FormAssembly’s Marketing Team, we’ve got multiple ongoing projects, from blog content to event planning to email marketing to website design, at any given time. You already know that FormAssembly is a remote company, and our marketing team is spread out across three states: Tennessee, Virginia, and Indiana. (We haven’t all been in the same place since the company reunion).
Needless to say, we needed a productivity tool that could keep everyone on the same page without becoming a chore to manage. We started using Kanbanchi at the beginning of this year after trying out a few other project management/organizational apps. None of them really met our unique needs; then we found Kanbanchi.
Amazing Google Integration
Right off the bat, I can tell you that if you’re familiar with the Google suite of apps and frequently use Google Docs, Sheets and Calendar, Kanbanchi makes the most sense to use. Frankly, it feels like using a project management tool that Google would create. Because of its visual similarity, there’s less of a burden involved with learning how to use a new tool. The result? We were able to get up to speed faster. Major win, Kanbanchi. There are a few other things I like about the Google integration:
- Google Calendar Integration – It’s not some far-fetched pipedream. Kanbanchi lets you seamlessly schedule due dates for projects in your Google calendar. The projects immediately appear in your Google calendar.
- Google Drive Integration – Here’s how my workflow used to go for most of the content I write. (1) Consult to-do list or content calendar to see which blog post or piece of content I should work on. (2) Open Google Docs in a new tab and either search for a document or scroll through my docs to find the one I need. I know what you’re thinking. “Cry me a river,” right? I know it doesn’t seem that hard (and it didn’t to me until we started using Kanbanchi) but Kanbanchi allows you to attach documents directly from your Google Drive or your computer to cards within Kanbanchi. This simple addition turns an easy process into an effortless one.
This wouldn’t be a critical review without at least one critique, so I can also say that I would LOVE to see Kanbanchi allow users to tag teammates in comments (similar to the functionality for Google doc comments) so they could immediately be notified of any items requiring their attention.
Intuitive User Interface
Even without the Google integration, Kanbanchi is a sleek, intuitive tool for organizing projects. We love the visual layout, ability to drag and drop cards into different to-do lists, and all of the neat features within cards, including:
- Assigning cards to different people
- Adding tags to cards
- Linking similar cards
- Adding descriptions and comments to cards
- Setting card priority
- Adding checklists to cards (my personal favorite)
How We Use Kanbanchi
Currently, we have seven different Kanbanchi boards for different areas of our marketing, including content marketing, website, general marketing, social media,and more. On our content marketing board, we have several lists to organize all the different projects we have ongoing.
To-Do: These are projects we want to do but aren’t quite ready to schedule or don’t yet have the time for.
Doing: These are projects we’re actively working on.
Editing/Review: generally this is where I’ll put pieces of content that someone else has to review or weigh in on.
For Ashley: If there’s anything I need our Marketing Director Ashley to look at, I have a specific list for her. That way she doesn’t have to sort through multiple lists and projects to find the ones I need reviewed.
Ready for Design: After the content of an ebook or white paper is done, it moves on to design. We have a list where all of the content that’s ready for design goes.
Done: Pretty self-explanatory. We store all finished projects here. Why not just delete them? We like to be able to go back and see details of any tasks we’ve finished. To keep the board clutter-free, I usually collapse that list (and any others that are either empty or don’t have any urgent tasks).
Now vs. Then
It probably goes without saying that Kanbanchi is an excellent tool for turning chaos into calm when it comes to organizing your work tasks. Before, maintaining a productivity tool was an extra to-do, now, it’s almost seamless.
Long-term, consistent use is going to be key for our continued adoption of Kanbanchi. But with great features like the easy drag-and-drop card interface, the Google integration and all the neat organizational tools for cards, that shouldn’t be a problem. Learn more about Kanbanchi on their website.