what kind of team tools does a technology media team use

Posted by trammel at 2020-04-08

This is a comprehensive evaluation article on team collaboration tools that I wrote and published in tech2ipo. In order to summarize the creative spotlight product observation project "team collaboration", I listed the common team collaboration tools on a large scale, and introduced the usage of asana in detail. Each product involved in this article has a separate introduction. The text is as follows:

After a month's evaluation, we have made a zero distance trial and experience of 21 kinds of team collaboration tools, and organized our experience into the first nine articles. Before this article, the editorial department had a heated discussion, and finally decided on the collaboration tools of our team. Before introducing why we don't use it and why we use it, we present our final choice for the readers of acuteness: asana (Project Management) + hackpad (meeting and brainstorming) + onedrive (file sharing) + Google Calendar (schedule management)

The choice we finally made does not mean that it is the best combination, because the work done by each entrepreneurial team and the corresponding team collaboration needs are different. Here we will explain why tech2 IPO will choose such a combination for your reference. If you are interested in one of these products, clicking on the link in the article will go back to our previous detailed evaluation of each product, with more objective (regardless of our team's own limitations and needs) comments on the pros and cons.

Why not?

First of all, the core of team collaboration is project management, which is applicable to media teams such as program development and tech2ipo. Other tools need to be selected in cooperation with the project management platform. So the first thing we voted on was project management. The project management that participated in the creative spotlight evaluation this time included: asana, taskworld, tower, worktile, windmill, Mingdao, yammer, pushpad and teambization.

The first thing we eliminated was windmills. Because the project management function of windmills is relatively weak, they are more like personal GTD software, although the team of tech2ipo is not large at present. But sometimes the same project needs to be broken down to many individuals to complete different steps. Windmills without subtasks and follow functions do not meet the needs of tech2 IPO. One of the advantages of windmills is that they can easily see the progress of the project, which our final choice asana can't do. But for creative media teams, almost all of our projects are long-term projects, which cannot be "completed" or "archived" or even measured by progress. So the current schedule of the project is not our first requirement.

The second one is tower. The problem that tower brings to us is that the limitation of free version on the number of projects makes the members of tech2ipo feel uneasy (although the actual projects being implemented now have not reached 20 of tower), and the price of tower's charging version is unbearable for us. In addition, tower imitated Basecamp's hierarchical structure to make a member of the team of die hards suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is manifested as: Why did their dahsboard flower? Why don't different modules have boxes or split lines? Why discuss this feature at the top? Why can't discussion, task and task list be dragged and arranged?

Next, we discussed that the team of worktile and tech2 IPO currently meets the conditions of free version of worktile, and we can afford even the paid version, so there is no pressure to pay. But the problem with worktile is that it's a new platform just launched. Although the huge revision of the interface between worktile 1.0 and 2.0 optimizes the experience to a certain extent, it also gives us the potential worry about whether we will have a major revision at any time in the future. In addition, the mobile version of worktile was just launched last month. Although it basically meets the requirements, it is not excellent in experience and interface. Think about the reason why the parent company of the team abandoned Mingdao in silence. We cruelly rejected "worktile".

We feel like worktile. Although the online chat function is very good, considering that we have a large number of part-time writers and translators besides the core team, we are unlikely to move all the communication tasks to the worktile. As a result, we have no choice. (however, maybe we will try to use fleet to connect with the author in the future.)

After that are Mingdao and yammer. In fact, as mentioned above, the tech2ipo team used to follow the whole company to use Mingdao for team cooperation. Mingdao has also provided preferential schemes for start-ups like us. Thank Mingdao for its support to SMEs. However, when we tested Mingdao for writing creative spotlight this time, the Mingdao in our factory was already full of grass. There are two reasons for this. One is that until last year, Mingdao's mobile terminal was very weak, its function and interface were not satisfactory, and sometimes it got stuck on Android, which is intolerable as a tool to improve efficiency. At this point, we agree with Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote:

Another common reason for rejecting Mingdao and yammer is that we believe that adding a large number of social elements to team collaboration, or even expanding outwards based on social interaction, is putting the cart before the horse. We need a pure project management, and social functions (such as non task reminders brought by social interaction) will affect the efficiency of the tool.

Even if you gave me several screens of user guidance, I can't remember, OK?

It was an accident that taskworld was killed. It was expected to appear in the final battle, but it only ended up in the third place. The reason why we eliminated it is shown in the figure above: there are too many buttons, the structure is completely flat, and people with intelligence quotient such as Xiaobian can't use it!

However, taskworld has also been supported in the team, with the view that "these buttons should be displayed, how well they can be pressed directly, and how many times they need to be repeatedly clicked to complete when there are more levels."

Another reason for the elimination of taskworld is that it performs poorly in the network environment of our factory and often fails to list tasks.

Well, taskworld is a typical victim of the religious war, just a little bit of wax.

The rest of the projects are teambiion and asana, and the editorial department has been debating for the longest time about which platform is better or worse. As a small editor of domestic entrepreneurship report, the author is actually a party supporting team building. Team building is the most powerful project management team building tool we have tested in China, which basically meets all the needs of the team. For a detailed introduction, we can go back to the creative spotlight of team living alone. However, asana, the enemy of teambization, is not a small minion. To some extent, it is the ancestor of project management collaboration platform.

Let's talk about the reasons why teambiion is eliminated: first of all, the project dashboard of teambiion is also displayed by module rather than directly by task flow, so there is less intuitive and effective space. What we hope is that the order of the four modules shown here should be self arranging, or even x-dropping. Because not all projects need to share and file, which wastes the screen and distracts the focus.

We need to remove or hide at least two pieces that should be sortable

What's more, it's crucial that teambization can't create "personal tasks that are shared with the team, not part of the project". This function can be well implemented in asana. We can create a personal task in a team. This task will not appear in the team calendar when no follower is added. This function realizes the perfect combination of personal task management and team task management. In addition, although we enjoy the sharing function of teambiion very much, at present, the sharing function of teambiion needs manual copy and paste, which is more like a forum in essence, but what we need is a Team pocket, later we used impression notes to achieve this requirement.

Why asana?

After saying why not, let's talk about why we chose asana.

First of all, the level of asana is clear and complete. In asana, you can build a workspace, which we call a team. After a workspace is established, several projects can be established, i.e. projects. Tasks can be directly established under a project, or multiple tasks can be merged into a section (we call it task list). Under the same task, multiple subtasks can be established.

Each task can be further divided into multiple subtasks, which can be assigned to different people

Projects below the project level can be assigned to someone. This function cannot be achieved in many project management projects tested before: we can assign the entire section All tasks are assigned to someone, but not all of them are completed by him. He can assign different tasks to different people. At the same time, a task may require more than one person to cooperate to complete different steps, and each sub task can be assigned to different people.

Take a simple example to deconstruct this process: for example, take the cooperation between tech2ipo and angel exchange, a venture capital platform, as an example. The cooperation itself is a project, and then "mutual promotion of daily entrepreneurial projects" (corresponding to "non daily entrepreneurial project report") we will establish a section, in which each task It's a business report. In the process of writing each report, communication with different people is divided into subtasks. When all subtasks are completed, the task is completed.

The advantage of this way of breaking down into specific execution details is that in asana's personal calendar, we can clearly see what "I" want to do in the team, in my to do list The direct display of "I want to write an article" or "write a part of a special draft" instead of "I want to participate in this project" is a vague and unenforceable concept.

Everything on my calendar is really what I have to do, not a vague task to break down

Another advantage of asana was mentioned in the comparison with teambization before. Asana can manage team and individual time in the same tool, and the two systems share common prosperity. There are two ways to create a private task in asana, one is to create it in a virtual workspace called "personal projects". The other is to create a task in the my task interface of the team without adding it to any project or any follower. Then the task is invisible to the team. The main differences between the two are:

Personal projects is a virtual team. It has a complete four-tier structure (project, section, task, subtask) below it. Any operation done in it is independent of the team and cannot be assigned to anyone other than yourself (after assignment, this task will disappear from your personal projects and be transferred to the other party's personal projects Projects, if the task is completed, there will be a notification to the task assignor that the task has been completed.) , but you can add external followers to share the progress of your personal tasks.

It is more convenient to set up non subordinate tasks in the team, which may be converted into team tasks. It has two levels: task and subtask. Our suggestion is that all work should be established in this way. Once necessary, you can transfer this task to a project or section of the team at any time.

In addition, in the whole asana, where there are lists, there are calendars. The level of calendars is also very clear. We can see the calendars of the whole workspace (team), project and individual. What is presented on the personal calendar must be what I want to do, no matter whether the task belongs to the team, a project or a subtask under a task. The specific differences are as follows:

My tasks calendar - all asign calendars that I perform tasks for my needs and that I personally create without subordinate tasks

Project calendar - calendar of all tasks under the project and section

Team calendar - calendar of all open tasks in this workspace

All tasks calendar - all open tasks in this workspace, calendars without subordinate tasks created by myself

Second, asana surprised us a lot outside of task management itself. Click the apps integrations page of asana, and you can see that asana supports massive integration of efficiency tools. For example, tech2ipo team almost uses impression notes at the same time. Asana can automatically create a task in asana when I create a new note in the notebook designated by impression notes, which makes asana become an administrative assistant working silently in the background (because what asana supports is Evernote It's not impression notes, so this specific process is to use zapier, e-mail for jump). In addition, asana supports embedded in worddress, which is also very convenient for the cooperation of media teams built by WordPress (small notice: tech2ipo will be moved to WP platform in the near future).

Due to its popularity and influence in Silicon Valley, asana supports almost all commonly used foreign cloud services, which cannot be ignored. Asana's own perfect API also ensures its scalability. In the domestic products of the same kind, no one can achieve this. This will provide convenience for us to select supporting services (such as cloud storage, documents, etc.) and replace relevant supporting services in the future.

Finally, asana is not the most beautiful, but it has a third-party client to ensure the user experience on both IOS and Android. Before we tested Asana, we had make complaints about the "conservative" style of Asana mobile terminals. However, after we decided to use asana in depth, we found that because asana has opened all its APIs, we can find other clients to replace asana's own clients. In this way, different aesthetic needs of Yan Kong are met.

Disadvantages of asana

Asana, of course, is not the perfect product. First of all, it is a little slow to use from home. In addition, asana's powerful interface design is slightly complex, and there is no Chinese version, so it will take a while for the domestic team to get started.

Asana is a tool for us to constantly find unexpected surprises in the test. Moreover, asana is not a platform with obvious highlights or favorable aspects, but an excellent platform for every aspect. Basically, apart from the interface design, all the indicators of asana are considered to be the best in the projects participating in this evaluation.

On the day when we decided to use asana, that is, April Fool's day, asana launched a new April Fool's Day feature: snaptask - create a burn task after reading, and it will be automatically completed ten seconds after anyone sees it. Although we are unlikely to use this task, it is still interesting for all of our team.

Talk about the others

Well, we've spent 70% of our time talking about why we chose asana as the project management collaboration platform, so let's talk about other options in our portfolio:

Hackpad (meetings and brainstorming) + onedrive (file sharing) + Google Calendar (schedule management)

First of all, hackpad is a product that is not easy to describe for people who have not used it. It is a wiki platform for team collaboration. Anyone can edit it at the same time. Version control and detailed modification records are its main features. Our team's scenarios for using it are meeting minutes and working with documents from members outside the team.

The advantage of hackpad is that multiple people can modify it at the same time without any conflict. Its simultaneous editing function is more powerful than Microsoft's office online and Google Docs. At the same time, we use it to share the draft of the article to people outside the team, so that they can edit it directly in the draft of the article, and we can see the modification record at a glance. This avoids that when using word to share drafts in the past, many members outside the team do not open the revision mode, resulting in editing and proofreading again after the document is returned.

The product in the same application scenario as hackpad should be moxtra. If hackpad is a speedboat, moxtra is an aircraft carrier with meeting minutes and data processing. The main reason why we don't use moxtra is that moxtra is too heavy. We don't need moxtra's chat function, meeting schedule function, data presentation function and split screen meeting function. Moreover, moxtra is a relatively closed-loop design as a folder. It is easy to add and export data and documents, which does not meet our needs, because our focus is on whether the task is a document.

We choose onedrive to sort out the archived documents (some long-term unmodified copy, work system, editing rules, external public relations relations relations, publication rules, logo, etc.). This choice is extremely simple: only onedrive among Dropbox, onedrive and Google Docs is completely free from the wall. Although the rollover technology is the standard configuration of the editorial department, we always have to prepare to use files in emergency situations where we can't, so we chose onedrive.

Google Calendar, this is not particularly easy to say, because all our services choose foreign products, so we naturally choose Google calendar which can connect these services together instead of QQ enterprise mailbox calendar. In fact, after deciding to use asana, Google Calendar is basically behind the scenes. Asana can easily synchronize with Google Calendar, so it can synchronize the schedule to any other personal task management tool that supports Google Calendar.

In addition, we still use impression notes to do knowledge arrangement and writing outside the rules, so inevitably we will also use impression notes to transfer some drafts among members. Zapier, ifttt and Google Calendar ensure the smooth flow of files, tasks and schedules in the whole workflow. Team members can choose their own personal efficiency tools to improve their tool list.

What else do we need? (thinking about domestic project management collaboration tools)

In fact, the editors of tech2 IPO were surprised by the result of this selection. After all, after a series of screening, we didn't choose a domestic service.

This is not because the editorial department is obsequious about foreign things, or particularly concerned about their data security, but it is true Every domestic service has some shortcomings. Here are some opinions on the domestic team cooperation tools that we sorted out, not for a certain manufacturer. You can think of us as ordinary users to listen to our needs:

Don't be afraid of being accused of plagiarism, because there are such and such reasons at home, and sometimes foreign services are not good. If we are still using Sina Weibo, Renren and QQ, don't be afraid of being criticized by pixel level copy. On the contrary, if a fake can't be on the same level as its original in function and interface, then the wall can't save it. In the domestic projects evaluated this time, only a few can reach the level of original products.

The extensibility between services is not high, only a few domestic products provide API, and due to the environment, even the tools that provide API can rarely be used in combination with other services.

Grounding gas ≠ Sinologization. This is not inconsistent with the first article, which means that after the core demand has reached the level of the original product, what we need is not only the Chinese version of foreign services in China, but also to be able to truly meet some domestic needs.

On the issue of how to build a team cooperation tool that adapts to the domestic office culture, we consulted the senior experts in the field of personnel and administration who have many years of work experience (the administrative students of our factory have worked hard). Her opinions on team cooperation can be understood as follows after sorting out:

In addition, after divergent thinking, we also think of many wonderful ideas that can be combined with team cooperation (Project Management). For example, when setting up an out schedule, we can directly call the map query route (or even access the taxi service), or we can also add the ordering function in project management.

An ideal state of team collaboration is that its own page should be kept in the browser background of team members for a long time, which requires that the team collaboration tool is not only a thing to log in only when completing tasks and assigning tasks. Mingdao thinks of social communication in this respect, but this makes the social information noise cover the useful information, and eventually leads to gradual discontinuation. Our thinking is that we can do some articles on the tool attributes, such as integrating the pocket mode into the project, combining the alarm clock of tomato work method with task management.

The purpose of adding these functions is to provide more reasons for team members to log in to the platform while completing project management, but the information will not interfere with the core functions.

We also hope that in the near future, the tech2 IPO team will be able to use the team collaboration tools that tend to be perfect in China, and will not suffer from the suffering of network speed.

Appendix: recommended translation of asana common terms and description of shortcut keys

Section task list

Task task

Subtask subtask

Asign assignment

Due date

Follower followers

Personal projects personal space

Tag Tags

My task calendar

Project calendar

Team calendar

All task calendar

Shortcut key description


Delete the selected task

(other methods: press backspace when a task title is empty)

CTRL + complete selected task

CTRL + ↑ / Ctrl + ↓ move focus

CTRL + Shift + ↑ / Ctrl + Shift + ↓ move the cursor to the next section

CTRL + C copy select task

CTRL + V paste selected task

Tab + m will assign to itself

Tab + H select task

Tab + y mark to do today

Tab + U mark as next task

Tab + L to do later

Tab + Z archive completed task


Tab + C add comments for selected tasks

Tab + a assign the selected task

Tab + D set due date

Tab + F add follower

Tab + s to subtasks

Tab + / search a project, tag, person, or task

Tab + jump to task list


Move focus

Shift+Click range selected

Shift + ↑ / shift + ↓ range selected

CTRL + click select multiple tasks


CTRL + / show shortcut help

Tab opens the detail page for any selected item

ESC turns off open detail pages