Software review: Podio
Name: PodioVendor Citrix SystemsHosting options available: OnlineCosts & plans: Lite version for up to 5 employees is completely free The Teams version costs $5 per month per employee. The Teams version costs $5 per employee per month.
Building projects: Basic features
Click the Add Project button from the Projects tab. A form will appear that allows you to enter basic information about the project, such as title, owner (sponsor), dates, goals, and so on. You will be able to enter the following information: stage (which is the status of the project like ‘in process’), dates, team and goals, as well as stage (which is the status of the project as it is). Here you can also upload files, which could be useful for attaching your Project Charter and initial business case.
You can add tasks to your project by clicking the New Task button. The same process applies: enter all details about your task, and then save it. It’s so easy.
Podio allows you to add tasks. However, you can’t add dependencies or milestones. You will need to add an app to the Market Place if you want milestones to your project. I didn’t do this. Although it looks easy to add this app, I think milestones are an important feature for project scheduling.
Dependencies are not supported. There are many people who would love this feature. One representative from Podio stated that it is great as a database and can store almost any structured data. However, it was not designed to be a project manager system with the features that MS Project has. This means that dependencies and Gantt charts are not supported. However, the good news is that representatives are available to answer questions and offer suggestions. There are many user guides available. If you still have trouble finding what you need, you can submit a ticket.
Other features: budgets and timesheets
Podio has timesheet features, but it’s quite complicated. Podio recommends having two workspaces. One is private for recording wage information, and the other public for people to record hours worked. The App reference field must be used to ensure that both workspaces point to one another.
The problem is that after all the timesheets have been submitted to the public app, someone with access to the private app will need to spend time relinking each timesheet to each project/deliverable/budget in order for calculations to process. It would be much easier to have a single workspace that allows you to keep some information private. Or, delinking the requirement for recording salary information and only recording hours?
Other expenses can be added to the project, but I was unable to figure out how to change the currency from US Dollars to Sterling. You can add the entire project budget information to your project. Despite that, I was unable to effectively manage the project budget because this product is so dependent upon apps.
What about collaboration features?
Although there are many great collaboration features, you might find that you receive too many updates if you are part of a workspace. You can unfollow any app that you don’t wish to receive updates. If you don’t follow the apps, you won’t receive updates. You will need to tell new team members what to do so they receive the updates you want. This can be difficult for new users and you don’t want them missing anything.
You can use the chat feature to chat with your friends instantly. The conversation is also saved in Podio. You can also make a video call.