The Way I Manage My Projects with brightpod
We start our day at 9am with a cup of Michigan Cherry coffee and crank up the tunes to set the mood for the day. The music genre chosen for the day usually depends on what everyone's vibe is for the day and what's ahead, could be indie rock, jazz, contemporary singer songwriters, etc. We have a brief status meeting for what's ahead on the calendar for the day including deadlines, meetings, conference calls and important goals for the day. After that, we hit the ground running to make it all happen.
Our Researcher/Strategist/Project Manager is usually developing strategy, conducting R&D work, managing the production schedule or working with vendors to get projects completed. I work as the Designer/ Creative Director doing all of the design, creative, production, client management and meetings. We also just added a new Art Director to our team to help get projects out the door faster and more efficiently.
Every day tends to be different because we work with small and large companies in a variety of industries, so it keeps our work varied and interesting. There tends to be a lot of checking in with one another on status, progress, updates, changes to our schedule or impromptu brainstorming sessions. We're a small, but growing firm, so we all wear a lot of hats and juggle a lot of different responsibilities.
We end the day around 5pm with a quick recap of the day and a brief look at what's ahead for the next day.
1. As of 2 weeks ago, Brightpod has quickly become our number 1 productivity tool. We've only been working in it for a short period of time, but we're blown away at how much more efficient it's making our workload and internal process.
2. I try really hard to only check my email three times a day: first thing in the morning, just after lunch and at the end of the day. Otherwise, I find that it consumes my day and I end up not getting my to-do list done.
3. I also make an effort to schedule client meetings either first thing in the morning or near the end of the day. Since the work I do requires me being creative for several hours at a time, I find it difficult to have that creative thought process interrupted in the middle of the day with a meeting when I'm in "the zone".
Right now, we have 40 projects in Brightpod, but the list is going to continue to grow as we have several new projects coming up. We currently have 3 team members in Brightpod, but we haven't added our freelance team of programmers and copywriters in yet so that number will grow once we incorporate them.
The types of projects that we manage in Brightpod include: logo & moodboard designs, printed marketing collateral (like stationery suites, brochures, marketing kits, catalogs and flyers), packaging designs, websites, email blast campaigns, social media campaigns, blogs, promotional items and tradeshow booth designs.
We were using a mishmash of Google Calendar, Wunderlist, handwritten sticky notes and email. It was quite the mess and not very efficient. Our company is growing and more team members are involved now, so we needed a tool that could manage milestones, task lists, calendars and track time in one place.
Not yet. We're still new to using it, but I feel like the very nature of Brightpod's infrastructure allows you to use it however it makes the most sense to your process. There is a formal structure in place that remains constant, but it has so much flexibility at the same time that you can configure it in a way that best suits your needs. It's pretty much the best of both worlds.
There has been a bit of a learning curve on our part, which is to be expected with any new software, but it has been very minimal. We just needed to adapt our old way of doing things to doing it in a new way that is more efficient and streamlined, so the change has been for the better. Our team is full of pretty tech savvy people, so we have been able to adapt quickly, but I don't think you need to be tech savvy to learn how to use Brightpod because it's very intuitive.
1. We are a design firm, so the look of Brightpod's interface is very important to us. It is clean, easy to use and fits our firm's design aesthetic. We also greatly appreciate it's hierarchy and how things are organized.
2. Workflows have been a huge time-saver as many of our project types have the same steps that we go through, but we have the ability to customize as needed if something needs to be changed for each client.
3. Insights has been extremely helpful so I can get a bird's eye view of how projects and time are being used in the company.
4. Customer service – because any time we've ever had a question, concern, thought or idea that we've shared with Brightpod's team, we've received an immediate response that perfectly caters to our needs. It's been really impressive and quite refreshing.
I already can't imagine a day without Brightpod. That's how quickly we've come to rely on it.
Brightpod's customer service has been extremely impressive! Any time we've seen an area that could be improved in the software, we've made the Brightpod team aware of it and they've responded to us and fixed it within 24-48 hours. This was actually a huge selling point for us because when we were looking at other project management software companies and reached out to them regarding any questions, concerns or ideas to share, we would either never hear back from them, would hear back from them several weeks later, or would have to go searching on our own for some open source tutorials that were out of date. This made it impossible for us to make any productive progress. That hasn't been the case with Brightpod's team at all. We always get an immediate, personal response and it's made us feel really valued and taken care of. It's amazing!!!