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A look at Podio, the collaborative work system Citrix just bought

I'm liking +Podio a lot. Have you tried it? Here's a look at the system with +Kasper Hulthin, co-founder. Congrats to the team for selling to Citrix, too (that was announced right after we did this interview).

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Podio is an online work platform. It allows people to manage their work better, smarter and in their own way. Podio is currently based in Copenhagen, with a multinational team of German, French, British, and Danish employees.

You can work with everyone on Podio - your co-workers or your clients, contractors and suppliers. Podio adds structure to any type of work. Pick an app to fit your specific needs and start to work the way you want. More than 45,000 apps have been built or modified by Podio users.

Or you can build your own app on Podio, without technical skills. Apps have been built to manage sales leads, execute projects, deliver software, recruit talent, and perform thousands of other company-specific business activities. Apps come with social activity streams: comments, likes, edits and status updates. Use them to collaborate with your team and clients, for projects, and within functions like sales, recruiting, marketing or any other area of your business.

Kasper Hulthin, co-founder of Podio says, "Podio is super flexible and allows you to build a tool that fits the way that you want to get work done. Podio is about getting work done and not just talking about it. The Employee Network will connect your team so you can set up work space to manage the work tasks. Small teams can manage everything in Podio."

And all the Podio apps you choose or build yourself work on your mobile.

Podio URL: https://podio.com/
Podio on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/podio
Podio on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Podio/127439993968574
Podio on CrunchBase: http://www.crunchbase.com/company/podio
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35 comments
 
You mean Citrix, right? Podio got bought by Citrix, not Cisco.

I can't talk; I've gotten Socialtext and Socialcast confused more than once.
 
Podio is amazing, I've used it for a few small projects, and I really see it's potential.
Unfortunately I can't really get my work to embrace it...
 
Great interview. This may be useful to some project teams within our company. I will definitely look at this as a potential solution to solve some of our collaboration issues.
 
I'm using it a lot. Its feature richness is great for geeks and power use but overwhelming for the rest. I'm still very impressed but found it difficult to get my co-workers on board.
 
I really enjoyed that interview. And Podio sounds like a really great idea that would have been useful for my last company because it would resolved a lot of the issues people were having with working between Microsoft Office and Google Docs in the various departments.
I'm interested enough to see what I can do with it in order to have a strong case for using it in my next company. Great share
 
Nice interview with +Kasper Hulthin who I had the pleasure of meeting a few months back at one of +Podio Future of Work events.

I use Podio every day, and am both happy and a bit nervous about the Citrix deal. Happy because it validates how special of a platform Podio is. Nervous just because it is unknown what this acquisition will do to Podio ultimately.

Thanks +Robert Scoble for featuring Podio.
 
+Fritz Feger Can you elaborate on "the rest"? Even engineers and co? We are looking at it and would like to find something intuitive and easy to use right away. Is it configurable, i.e. removing the overwhelming stuff?
 
tnx +Alex Schleber yes +Fritz Feger thanks for your comment. Complex trade-off between features and customizing possibilities versus ease of adoption. A collaboration tool is as strong as its weakest user so to speak. +Anders Drejer Madsen´s comment seems to point in the same direction.
I checked Podio´s website and it could be a perfect integration of our workflow.
 
I love love love Podio - have tried it all before (including Basecamp, Trello, 300mg, etc.). Really love the ability to quickly mix and match forms to build your own "apps". We decided to use it for everything from tracking bugs, mockup galleries, business plan brainstorming (have apps for tracking competitors, ideas, etc.). Great stuff!

Loved it so much I though about doing a clone of it (just to be able to correct a few small things that were annoying me about it). Hey - imitation is the sincerest form of flattery right? ;-)
 
+Max Huijgen just started testing it, seems pretty pedestrian overall, except for the "simple customization" aspect, which is very interesting as it relates to something I am working on. Will have to try that out further.
 
The problem is that it´s only free to test with 5 users +Alex Schleber
+Veljko Sekelj that´s a lot of love :) Currently using Trello but that lacks the intranet like discussion and calendar / time line views. Furthermore I would love to move a Trello card to a next stage and have it inherit a new checklist or other properties of that list / stage.
Is this achievable in Podio?
 
Yeah I believe so - just go into the app builder editor and you can drag and drop different checklists/forms together - its really easy and the quickest way to get a feel for it.

Discussions/notifications is what Podio is all about (maybe a bit too much even) - its like an internal Facebook for your own company. You can even build external embeddable forms that post into your apps (like Google Docs poll/forms). Calendars are there too + the ability to export/subscribe them (to Google Calendar for example). So is the ability to import stuff out of Dropbox or Google Docs. There are a few quirks as I mentioned - but a lot less then with other similar systems I've used.

Yup its 5 users only free (or 1GB) but thats not an issue for me - we're just a small startup.
 
+Max Huijgen not from what I've seen so far. Their Tasks are more monolithic than in Trello, and I don't see a clone function anywhere. Podio does have multi-user assignment however, one of your key reqs.

Played around in the (pre-arranged) Project Management app now, and I tend to think this is too extensive for your more quick-reaction editorial process tasks.

The only way it makes sense to add tasks in such an in-depth PM system is if the individual task is substantial, else it quickly becomes very mind-numbing to fill out all of these forms.
 
Thanks +Veljko Sekelj but I don´t want to add checklists and forms, but I want them to inherit these from the phase / or in Trello speak List where they move to.
The rest of the stuff you mention seems an excellent addition, but like +Alex Schleber says I want multiple assignments and that´s how we selected Trello. It´s the only one I know of which can have two persons responsible for a task apart from Podio.
However is it still lean and agile?
 
Yeah you can have multiple people responsible for a task, even attach them to a workspace (which would make the task visible to everybody with that workflow - so like groups... for example you assign a task to accounting - and subsequently to everyone within accounting), etc. It all depends how you use it - what I like about Podio is that it lets you create your own workflow and doesn't conform you to what they feel is best (like everybody else does).

I like Trello too - but ultimately I wanted more than simply assigning tasks i.e. we work remotely most of the time and I wanted to be able to login from anywhere and have access to different company-related data and instantly see whats new on different fronts.

+Alex Schleber my 2 cents - don't use existing apps. Like you mention they're often bloated and adapted to other peoples workflow. Create your own app instead - its incredibly easy and just drag and drop.
 
+Veljko Sekelj actually, they specifically don't have Checklists in the App Builder as far as I can tell. They have Categories, which I guess could be hacked to serve as a quasi checklist in "Multiple Choice" mode. They also have a Progress Slider

Problem is that there still isn't a real state change from "App" to "App" (schema entities really).
 
+Alex Schleber I wouldn't really call changing the label hacking ;-) Its made flexible by design - adapt it to your likes and needs. As for checklists heres for example a screenshot of a simple "app" we use to track competitors (this is how a new item looks like http://bit.ly/JyLpj2 + a filled out item http://bit.ly/JSMQea) ... both question and category have a multiple choice option ...
 
+Veljko Sekelj that's just jargon for non-obvious uses...

OK, I see now that the "Question" actually creates a Checklist of sorts. Doesn't cross out or have a progress bar attached, and slightly non-obvious again, but fine.

There is actually a weird semi-bug with it: If you don't select any of the "Question" items on Add, or unselect the last one, the entire List disappears from the (editable) standard view unless you hit "Edit".
 
+Max Huijgen, Podio has nothing a Facebook, say, user cannot get. But FB is overwhelming for the novice as well! This does not, however, prevent truely non-geek folks from becoming FB power users, that is.

I guess every team adopting a platform like Podio has one or a couple of enthusiasts. If these avoid a few mistakes the complexity issue can be reduced greatly. For example:

+ restrict yourself to as few spaces and as few apps as possible
+ build and test a space with all apps with your "early adopter" peers before inviting those you are afraid to overcharge

Podio does not show off if you just drop by and start working; it needs someone who dives into it and creates THE environment for his team. When this has happened, Podio is a killer.

My favorite features: Dropbox and Google Docs integration, a rich and deeply integrated collaborative to do / task management and calendar, cross-app referencing.
 
Sounds good +Fritz Feger and thanks for digging deeper +Alex Schleber and +Veljko Sekelj
The Google docs integration, calendar, build your own app and the intranet functionality to have group discussions all sound very good. Its a pity that for a startup like us where we would like to use it +EuroTech which has many writers and developers in its pool there is no free version to start with. Testing it with only 5 people just doesn´t make sense for our use case: editorial usage.
Maybe something to consider +Bill Jarrett! A startup package which is free for the first year or so but has a much larger number of seats.
 
Podio is a great product. I am surprised people are not looking for more products like http://orchestratormail.com which provides a coordination platform over any email. Collaboration is realtime, but at the end of the day, you need to coordinate with internal and external stakeholders to get your work done. None of these tools do it. The other is web-based tools for corporate America, are still not in vogue, when they spend more than 50% of their time in Outlook.
 
Yes, you can say that, it's one of the companies that I founded called +OrchestratorMail
 
The idea to add an organizational layer over good old email is excellent +Ritu Raj If it´s enough to stop people from more dedicated organizational tools has to be seen, but with email being the lowest common denominator it´s easy to implement in large organizations.
For the new breed of geek startups it´s probably too expensive and too limited. I guess you know that ATOS with over 70.000 employees just dumped all internal emails as it was considered a waste of time. With your organizational layer they could have reconsidered.
 
Max, the place, or group where we found viral growth was inside large organizations, Supply Chain department, where reducing miscoordination meant much higher efficiency.
 
Podio, has found a niche and has things other tools do not have. Equally, it lacks functionality other tools have. And that is the thing with collaboration tools: they are all different, despite some being very similar to others. This is leaving companies extremely confused when time comes to choose a collaboration tool. What sets all the existing tools apart? What things should they be considering when picking a tool?
This is exactly the reason why Knowman is organising Social Now - an event with a unique format that will allow participants to understand the differences between collaboration tools. Podio will be there. Sharepoint, Connections, Spreadd, Teepin, SocialIBIS and XWiki will also be there. Another big name will be joining the programme this week.
Do check out the programme at http://socialnow.org . Will I find you there +Robert Scoble ?
 
Does anyone else see potential synergy between Citrix and Podio? They now have both video conferencing and activity streams under one roof. Mash them together and you get a powerful combo.
 
I have been using +Podio to run my film/video production company for months now, and it's incredible. I honestly believe it's the single best web-based application period, let alone work collaboration/project management application. You can do anything with it. I think some people get scared away because there is a bit of a learning curve - once you take some time to just learn how to use it, it's extremely easy, and you can customize everything to fit any workflow. +Robert Scoble I've been waiting for you to do a video on Podio for a while now, just because I am happy to see you discover it! (I mean I'm sure you knew about it but now you knowing about it is on video and I get to hear your thoughts).
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