Introducing the Workspaces Gallery View

16 Sep

One of the most popular features we’ve introduced is the Gallery View of files and wiki pages.  This thumbnail view complements the standard list view of files, and makes it easy for you to visually pick out the files you’re looking for.

However, files within a workspace aren’t the only list that could benefit from a Gallery View.  Over time, we’ll be adding visual Gallery Views to other parts of PBworks.  We’ve just taken the first step in that process by introducing the Workspaces Gallery View.

The Workspaces Gallery View lets you switch the Workspaces tab from a list view to a visual grid.  To make the switch, just click the Gallery icon next to the “New” button.  The visual grid uses the workspace logos you’ve uploaded; in cases where you haven’t uploaded a logo, one of the default textures will be displayed.  To upload a new workspace logo, go to the Settings tab and click on “Branding”:
https://docs.pbworks.com/w/page/27482896/Branding

Clicking on a workspace logo (or texture) takes you to that workspace.  To bring up a workspace card, mouse over the name of that workspace.

Like the Gallery View of files, the Workspaces Gallery View is a “sticky” setting–once you switch the Workspaces tab to the gallery view mode, it will stay switched until you switch it back.  Whether you’re viewing the Workspaces tab in list view or gallery view, the number of workspaces shown per screen remains the same.

To learn more about the Workspaces Gallery View, visit our user manual:
https://docs.pbworks.com/w/page/42027946/Workspace%20Listing

“Talk To The Software”

23 Aug

Sometimes, the best salesperson is an error message.

One question that often arises for SaaS companies that sell to the enterprise is whether they should funnel customers through salespeople, or offer a self-service product.

Usually, the partisans of the two sides are like opposing factions in a holy war.  The Church of Sales insists that human salespeople are better at selling software than any order form, because they can understand the customer’s needs and help them find the right (and more expensive) solution.  Meanwhile, the Self-Servicists argue that buyers hate salespeople, whom they consider a waste of time, and that anything that comes between the buyer and an order button is a waste of time.

Both sides have a good point; salespeople are critical for consultative sales, and it’s a rare company that will sign off on a 6- or even 5-digit purchase without talking to a human being.  On the other hand, many buyers screen any phone calls they receive from vendors, and view negotiations as about as pleasant as a dentist appointment.

Our experience at PBworks is that you need to try to leverage the best of both worlds.  Ultimately, we’re agnostics who combine self-service and sales in an ecumenical strategy that I call, “Talk to the Software.”

Here’s the secret: Your goal should be to play “Good Cop, Bad Cop” with your salespeople playing “Good Cop” and your software playing “Bad Cop.”

Once upon a time, we were members of the Church of Sales; we wanted to learn as much as possible from every deal, so every communication went through our Sales team.  The problem was, this put our salespeople in the position of being the bad guys.  Customer over their storage limit?  Have Sales call them.  Customer needs to buy more user licenses?  Have Sales call them.

The net result is that customers start avoiding your Sales team.  When we became agnostics, we turned enforcement over to the software.  Now our software plays “Bad Cop” and blocks users who violate their licenses, leaving it to our sales team to play “Good Cop” and help them get back in compliance.  Our Sales team has better, more productive conversations, and because they don’t have to act as enforcers, they also have more time to find expansion opportunities.

Don’t make your salespeople play Terminator–let the tireless, ruthless servers in your datacenter handle your dirty work.

Coming August 26: Updated Naming for Roles and Permissions

20 Aug

Here at PBworks, our powerful and flexible system of custom security and user permissions is one of the key capabilities that makes our collaboration suite enterprise-grade.  When you’re a PBworks customer, you have the ability to specify exactly who should be to do what and where.

The downside of this highly granular security has been a certain level of confusion about terminology.  When someone says that they’re an admin, does that mean they are a Network Admin or a Workspace Admin? (depends)  Can you grant a Page-Level Only user access to a particular folder? (yes)

Because more and more organizations are using PBworks more intensively, we’ve decided to update the names we use for roles and permissions to eliminate the confusion.  For example, rather than wondering about the difference between a Network Admin and a Workspace Admin, you’ll be able to distinguish between a PBworks Admin and a Workspace Moderator.

Starting on the evening of Monday, August 26, these changes will be reflected throughout PBworks, including dialog boxes, menu items, and even tab names.  For example, the current “Everyone” tab on your network will be renamed “Users,” and the current “People” tab on your workspaces will be renamed “Members.”

(If you’re an advanced user, and you’ve already modified these tab names, don’t worry, we won’t overwrite your changes)

For a complete list of changes please visit our user manual:
https://docs.pbworks.com/w/page/68348268/Terminology%20Change

Introducing PBworks Reporting

26 Jul

PBworks is pleased to announce its newest feature, Reporting.  This feature allows you to define, save, run, and download management reports from a new Reports tab.  The goal of Reporting is to allow you to generate an instant, high-level snapshot of some aspect of your business.

Here’s how it works.  When you define a report, you select which workspaces you want to report on.  For example, you can select all the workspace in a particular network collection, or all the workspaces of a particular type (e.g. “Project”).  From there, you can select which columns are going to appear, and drag and drop columns to organize your report.  When your report is complete, you can download the results into a spreadsheet for distribution or for further formatting.

Here’s just a few ways you might want to use Reporting:

  • See you hottest prospects at a glance
  • Monitor the status of all your active projects
  • Check which workspaces are consuming the most resources

Your network now includes a Reports tab with one or more sample reports.  You can modify and run these reports to see how they can help your business.

We’re offering two free webinars to show you how to use Reporting to better understand and manage your business.  You may register for either or both.  Even if you can’t attend, you can register, and we’ll send you a recording of the webinar afterwards.

For specific instructions on how to use Reporting, visit our manual: https://docs.pbworks.com/w/page/67622741/Reports

Customers who want specific help and advice should contact their account representative to set up a professional services engagement.

To create new reports or download report results, you’ll need to buy the new premium Reporting package, which lets you create and run an unlimited number of reports.

Why We’re Letting Accelerators Give PBworks Away

19 Jun

This morning, we announced our “PBworks for Startups” program.  We’re working together with five different startup accelerators, TechStars, 500 Startups, Acceleprise, DreamIt, and Lemnos Labs, to offer PBworks Starter Pack licenses (normally $1,995 per year) free to any of their portfolio companies.

While giving away premium licenses may seem like it contradicts the principles of the freemium business model, we believe that it actually represents a more highly-targeted version of freemium, and that it will help us make money.

At its heart, the mechanics of the freemium business model are that you provide a version of your service for free, and then make money when the free users encounter the limits of the free product, and decide to upgrade.  Its benefits are that it generates greater awareness of your product and lets you demonstrate your value to potential customers before hitting them up for money.

PBworks for Startups is simply a highly-targeted, high-value version of this model.  Our general freemium product features limits on users, storage, and the number of workspaces.  Most of our upgrades come from people who encounter the storage or workspace limits, after they’ve been using our product for a while.

PBworks for Startups offers 100 GB of storage and unlimited workspaces; the only limitation is the 20-user limit.  So why does it work?

The program works because it targets a very narrow market for whom the user limit is critical: High-growth startups.  Startups may start in a garage, but when the growth hits, it hits with a vengeance (along with large amounts of venture capital, and, hopefully, revenues).  If a startup adopts PBworks when it is in the proverbial garage, it is likely to want to keep using PBworks as it grows.  The easiest way to win the next Facebook as a customer is to get Facebook to adopt you when it is still in its corporate infancy.

We’ve targeted startup accelerators because they provide a convenient, high-volume channel for reaching this kind of startup.  500 Startups, for example, has 450 portfolio companies–far more than a typical venture capital firm.  But the guiding principle is simply to plant seeds at high-growth startups.  We’re certainly willing to work with VC firms, law firms, or other partners who can help us reach the next Facebook.

So if you think you can help us plant the seeds of PBworks at the next Facebook, apply to join the PBworks for Startups program.  Simply email us at accelerators at pbworks dot com.

Introducing Page and File Properties, Copying Tasks and Task Lists, and the Network Collection Picker

14 May

We’ve got three new features for you to try, all of which are available immediately (to all business users), and at no extra cost.

Page and File Properties

Page and File Properties extends the concept of structured properties from your Workspaces to the Pages and Files within those Workspaces.

We believe that structured data is one of the key ways that PBworks helps you manage your business processes.  Workspace properties help you do things like filter your projects by client or status.  Page and File Properties let you do the same at the workspace level; for example, you can label all your call notes with a “Page Type” property with the value “Call Note.”  This makes it easier for your to view all your call notes on a single screen.

Unlike our tagging system, which lets users enter any value for a tag and creates a “folksonomy,” Page and File properties are defined by network administrators who can define a specific set of options.

You can modify the properties of a page or file from the “Properties” section, right next to the “Tags” section.
https://docs.pbworks.com/w/page/36586108/Tags%20and%20Properties

To define properties for Workspaces, Pages, and/or Files, visit the Properties screen under network Admin settings.
https://docs.pbworks.com/w/page/36732314/Properties

Copy Tasks and Task Lists

One long-standing request has been the ability to copy tasks and task lists.  Now, that feature has arrived.  The Copy Task feature works just like the Copy Page feature; from any Task or Task list, click to pull down the options menu and select “Copy Task” or “Copy Task List” as appropriate.  You can use this to set up repeated tasks, or use copy a Task List when you have a process you need to duplicate.
https://docs.pbworks.com/w/page/27368599/Creating%20a%20Task

Network Collection Picker

Here at PBworks, we try to apply a set of consistent user interface approaches throughout our product.  One of the popular features of the “Files” interface within our workspaces is the ability to navigate using a tree structure, rather than simply having to click and drill down into sub-folders.

The Network Collection Picker applies the same principle to your Workspaces tab.  Some of our customers have many network collections on multiple levels.  This can make it hard to find the specific collection or set of workspaces you’re looking for, or to navigate between collections.

The new Network Collection Picker acts like the folder tree in our workspaces–you can use it to navigate to any collection within your network.
https://docs.pbworks.com/w/page/32472113/Workspace%20Collections

We hope you enjoy trying out these new capabilities!

Introducing Task Colors

2 Apr

The Task improvements just keep on coming.  In the wake of our Tasks 2.0 release, drag-and-drop Tasks, and Personal Tasks, we’ve now shipped Task Colors.

Task Colors offers a visual way to organize your tasks that is especially helpful in the Calendar View of tasks.

For any task, you can now set a task color.  This color appears in all the different views of the task.  For example, on the Calendar View, the entire task is colored in to make it easy to see.

The task color can mean whatever you want it to mean, and is independent of Task List, due date, or any other bit of task information.  For example, you can highlight your critical tasks in red, then sort by task color on the Sort View of tasks to find all your important tasks.

All your existing tasks will be set to “no color,” and if you don’t want to use Task Colors, simply don’t set any.

Task Colors is a no-cost upgrade to all business plans.

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