This review was last updated by
This CRM Review examines Planning Pod.
In-Depth CRM Review
9457 South University
Highlands Ranch, CO 80126-4976
Toll Free: (877) 266-3885
CRM Category: Sales Management Support – Cloud
Sub-Category: Project Management
Seats: Small/Medium Business
About the Company:
Before we ever dreamed of building online software for creative professionals, we ran a small marketing and branding agency in Denver, CO. In fact, we still run it in our “spare” time, mainly because the advertising business is as much an addiction as it is a profession.
Since we started our agency in 2001, we were always looking for tools to help us be more efficient and productive. Okay, that’s not the entire truth. We also hate the busywork required to run a business, and we wanted something that would take some of that crap off our plate. I mean, who really likes compiling timesheets, keeping track of your books or creating proposal after proposal?
We scoured the Web for something that would lighten our load. We found a few enterprise ad agency software platforms, but we’re three guys who barely have enough time to do our billing every month, and we collectively have the patience of a spoiled toddler. There’s no way we would spend more than 2 hours trying to figure out some convoluted piece of software built for big agencies.
So we made due with a dozen or so apps and software programs that sort of saved us time and sort of made us more productive. To be honest, I’m not sure juggling a dozen productivity and business applications every day really saves that much time; it almost seems like more work, not less.
Hence our desire to have an online app that pulls lots of important functions together into one convenient place. It seemed that nobody had yet grasped what a small creative firm or freelancer needs to run their business; thus we decided to build a tool ourselves.
So we went to work … 2,263 cups of coffee and tea, 5,947 hours, 23,131 lines of code and countless headslaps later, and Planning Pod was born. We released a beta version in April 2012, launched our first major update in March 2013 and continue to make upgrades and improvements based on our customers’ input and feedback.
Now we use Planning Pod every day to run our creative business, and we hope you join us in using it to run yours.
About the Product:
Built for creative firms and solo professionals
With our easy-to-use tools, boutique ad agencies, marketing & design firms, web development shops and freelance designers and programmers are simplifying how they interact with clients and stay organized. Try our app and see why your creative peers rely on Planning Pod every day.
A more efficient way to track and assign tasks
Any decent task manager gives you tools to create to-do’s, set due dates, assign them to people and include notes. Ours improves on the basics by simplifying how you organize your to-do’s, view them, change them and get notified about them.
Keep every project on budget
Nobody likes surprises when it comes to budgets. Our app gives you complete control over tracking the budgeted cost, actual cost, paid to date and balance due for each line item. You can add multiple payments for each item and track against an overall budgeted amount.
Account for every billable minute
For most creative firms, time counting comes before money counting. Our tools give you and your staff a place to track time for every project, and they also simplify pulling time entries into invoices so you can quickly convert time into revenues.
A familiar, fluid way to stay on schedule
Yes, you can manage all your appointments and events here. Set email and text reminders for yourself. Invite other people to events. Create additional, color-coded calendars. Use drag-and-drop to move events. Our e-calendar also lets you import files from other e-calendars (including Google, iCal, Yahoo! and Outlook) in a few clicks. It’s a calendar with added convenience.
Securely store and share all types of files
You can upload multiple files and documents for each project, and our system also tracks different versions of the same file using date and time stamps. Accepted file types include .pdf, .zip, .png, .tif, .jpg, .gif, .mov, .eps, .psd, .ai, .html, .xls, .xlsx, .doc, .docx, .ppt, and more.
Easily display images and photos and collect comments
Image galleries can serve a vital role in your creative review process. For each project, you can upload your images and give each image a title and description. Then staff and clients can provide their feedback for each image using the comments tool.
Collect critical input from clients
Need guidance on a new project? Want input for a creative brief? Or maybe you just need a few questions answered. Use our questionnaires to draft up a set of questions and quickly collect responses. Create templates for questionnaires you use over and over again.
Contacts and Permissions
Manage contacts, track leads and control account access
With the contacts tool, you can store information for all your contacts and even create your own custom fields. Store notes and set reminders within each contact for lead tracking and other contact-related activities. Upload files and documents related to each contact. And give contacts access to your account and control exactly what areas each person can and can’t see.
Dashboards and Alerts
Get an at-a-glance look at your projects – and your progress
Via the Daily Reminder dashboard, you know exactly what to-do’s and calendar events are on your schedule today and in the coming weeks.
When anything happens in your account – like users posting or editing information – the dashboard notifications and email alerts will let you know about it.
Integration with Other Apps
Plays well with Google and Facebook
Import contacts from other popular applications like Google, Facebook and Apple Address Book, plus import your Google, iCal, Yahoo!, Outlook or other electronic calendar into ours. Coming soon … more integrations with other popular apps.
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