Twitter eats Cleveland View activities, agendas, and time-tracking across your team with Co-op

Posted by maggie.hunsucker May 14, 2009

coop-logo

We’ve seen and reviewed many tools that help you manage project workflow. If all you really need is visibility into your worker bees’ activities (or if you are a happy bee and want to give the Queen or King a view of what’s going on), platforms like Basecamp and Liquid Planner might be overkill.

Try Co-op instead.  Co-op is a group communication tool, not unlike Yammer, an idea we covered in Everything looks like a nail. Simply set-up a group, invite members via email, then start logging status updates.  These updates appear as a Twitter-like stream on the group page.  You can also create an agenda (and view other people’s agendas in your Co-op) or make group announcements.

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That little extra something that makes Co-op special – and different from Yammer – is the ability to log time to your status updates.  Ideally, an employee would enter their current activity and start the timer.  So when you view his/her status in the Co-op stream, you can see total time spent on that activity.   While this is handy for any manager or group to see, it’s worth mentioning that Co-op is designed to interact with its sister product, Harvest.  Harvest is a time-tracking and invoicing platform, and coincidentally, offering a free trial if you would like to give a test drive for 30 days.

Co-op is great for freelancers or multi-office teams where communication is crucial to keeping everyone organized and on task.  From a management perspective, you can easily monitor your team’s productivity without having to disrupt the work schedule with those pesky status update meetings.    Since Co-op is free and web-based, it’s pretty easy to implement in your routine.

Co-op has an open API, so you can pull data regarding group, team statuses, time entries, and agendas. If you wanted to use Co-op, but not Harvest, you can generate custom reporting to suit your needs.

Harvest offers integration with Basecamp, our project management platform of choice. You can log time to Basecamp activities through Harvest or use Co-op and pull time directly from your status entries. We'll keep an eye on this partnership as a Co-op status stream that displays in Basecamp would be a powerhouse offering.

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