Project management and collaboration solutions have matured greatly in recent years and today numerous robust, capable options exist. Having recently come across Binfire, I recommend it to anybody looking to add structure, accountability and order to their team’s collaborative efforts.
Binfire is a relative newcomer to the field, and may not be as robust as some of its other, more well known competitors. However, whereas some people might see this as a shortcoming, I would argue that for a great majority of projects the simplicity and ease-of-use trumps little-used features.
Binfire gives users 10 gigabytes of shared storage, loads more than pretty much any SaaS (software as a service) solution can be expected to provide. Binfire’s user interface is clean and minimalistic and stays in the background rather than being a distraction.
Binfire has done a great job of curtailing rapid feature development and has instead focused on doing few things, but doing them well. These few features can roughly be broken down as such: project management with tasks and milestone management including dependencies, an interactive whiteboard for brainstorming, daily status reports which are crucial for marking progress and accountability, group chat and file hosting with version locking capabilities.
Furthermore, Binfire has constantly upgraded and expanded these core features in subsequent releases while still keeping the service free.
Having previously used competing project management solutions, I must applaud Binfire’s approach as they have keyed in on the most important factors for project management. In my experience, the one Achilles’ heel of such solutions is oftentimes the asymmetry of usage between team members.
Put simply, with project management solutions, the more you put in, the more you can expect to get. If one member of the team does not report daily or prefers to send sporadic emails rather than through the project management solution, the entire team suffers as a result. This is not inherent to Binfire but rather to the entire crop of such solutions.
Having said that, Binfire has approached this challenge in a way that encourages users to contribute and enrich the team’s productivity. Key to this is the daily report and Binfire has elected to keep reports simple and to the point, limiting users to 140-character ‘status tweets’ thus bringing accountability to the fore.
Another pillar of Binfire’s approach is the ability to upload multiple files; old ones aren’t overwritten but backed up maintaining continuity should users need to revert to previous versions. Files can also be locked to prevent unwanted editing or overwriting.
In summary, Binfire presents a focused, attractive and capable solution for small-to-mid-sized teams that could greatly benefit from a collaborative project management solution. In particular, if your team works from remote locations, perhaps across different time zones or at odd hours of the day, Binfire can be a boon for your team’s productivity.
Rather than adopting one of the more complex solutions available, with features that your team may very well pay for and not use, I recommend trying Binfire’s simple, free solution and increase your projects’ success.
For more information on Binfire, see www.binfire.com.
Guide to updated software features via Binfire’s blog.