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.
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.