Project management tools are supposed to make us communicate more easily and effectively. Unfortunately, as we copy links from Google Drive to different project management tools, adding comments within the document, then on the project management tool, and then the email or message sent to your teammate to notifying them the document is ready for review — through all of that hubbub some part of communication gets lost. Multiply that dumpster fire to multiple members of multiple teams all doing the same thing and that document you so nicely linked to with comments over so many platform, is lost in an abyss. So, your coworker has to ping you asking you where it is, making you stop what you’re doing to find it for them.
Gosh, I’m out of breath simply saying the whole thing.
Here at Ripley, our entire goal is stop all that nonsense. Companies use our tool to avoid the above. And so, we asked some of our top users to share their tips to save time — not only on our platform — but on Trello, Asana, and a bunch of other tools. Here are our findings below:
Slack: A messaging alternative to email
Slack is one of the most popular tools used by startups and small businesses to communicate on an everyday basis. You can easily organize discussions into various channels by project or topic. For example, one for design, another channel for coding, etc.
With Ripley and Slack, our team no longer communicates over email. Each morning, we receive our automated email from Ripley with all the tasks assigned to us and then any other communication happens within our working documents when a task is assigned to us via Ripley or over Slack. This cuts down all the unnecessary noise of back and forth emails — and is especially effective for us working remotely.
Trello: Team Communication
In Trello, communication happens on the “cards”. So within each card, you can write a stream of comments, attaching files and notes, and collaborating on your Kanban board. You have to click into the card to see the comments. When you @ someone from your team, it shows up in their notifications in the top right corner of Trello. However, it’s hard to keep track of all your tasks across multiple boards, this usually relies on a follow up email or message on slack. Also, you do get reminders as deadlines approach.
Asana: Team Communication
In Asana, it’s a similar structure that’s very much like a group text discussion, with everyone chiming in on a project. Messages to team members can also be viewed in their Inbox.
Unfortunately, Asana sends email reminders multiple times for each deadline. If a task has a due date, you will keep receiving email after email as the deadline approaches and then every day for a week after the task was due. More emails doesn’t mean more organized!
Ripley: Team Communication
In Ripley, the discussions happen within your document where you are actually doing the work. There’s no need to copy comments over to the project management tool — You can use all the benefits of Google Documents. You also have the feed outside each document which lists where each person made specific edits, so that you can find the specific areas that have been modified within drafts easily instead of wasting time scrolling through a Google Document looking for changes.
In the feed, you can also assign a task to a specific team member with a due date. We were sick of how with Google Drive, every single edit is sent to the owner of the documents inbox. I don’t know about you, but if I’m editing a document, I hate it when someone gets all these notifications and is in the document watching me work. With Ripley, we eliminated this by removing all of these as-you-go emails and instead automating a message only when a task is assigned at the end of a working session.
If you do use Slack, Ripley has an automation option where you can automate task notifications to automatically be posted to a specific Slack channel. That way, you assign the task on Ripley, notifying the assignee is automated, and you can immediately move onto your next task.
In summary, the important thing is to have a system that everyone can use and a project management tool that fits that system. The goal is to not to communicate more, it’s to communicate less and let your project management tool automate all the reminders (ideally in a way that doesn’t send too many notifications so they all get lost). And if you haven’t tried Ripley yet, you can try it here for FREE.