An email inbox filled to the brim with client folders and incoming messages. A Slack channel with one-off requests and bits of feedback. A few texts and phone calls with meeting notes you’ve jotted down on Stickies. As a designer, this may be your current method for organizing and managing your projects. While it’s possible you’ve made this function for you, you probably don’t feel like you’re getting the most efficiency or security out of this strategy. For instance, have you found yourself digging around for the latest piece of feedback from a client on a design or not working off the latest version of a design?
So what’s the fix? Maybe you’ve heard of project management — you may have even looked into a tool or two, but felt that they were created with tech, business, and other left-brained people in mind. Project management hasn’t traditionally been designer friendly, lacking critical creative elements like collaborative features and asset storage. But what if there was a tool that perfectly blended creative features with functional necessity, and could reduce your need to admin projects and free up time to focus on the design work at hand?
CROOW is an innovative project management platform, made by creatives, for creatives, and has already been adopted by creative marketing agencies like Sparxoo. Let’s look at what makes CROOW different, and how this project management platform can improve your workflow.
As business moved en masse from in-office to at-home in 2020, the team at Sparxoo realized that they were lacking a space for creative collaboration in this new remote working environment. Sparxoo CEO David Capece entrusted his team with locating a tool that could help manage projects and support team organization, but above all else, he wanted a tool that would inspire and maintain collaboration. When his team came up with solutions, features were split across products as opposed to being all-in-one. This set David on a mission to fill that gap, and CROOW was born.
CROOW features all the traditional project management tools, like Kanban and Gantt charts, task assignment and management, and organized workspaces. But one of the places the platform starts to go above and beyond is its collaborative tools. With features like Approvals, online proofing, brand asset libraries, and request forms so clients can include everything in a design brief within their request. Forms are customizable, and communication is baked into the tool so you can avoid games of trace-the-email-thread. The team at CROOW determined that the key to delivering valuable assets is the functional synergy of project and people management. Oh, and having an engaging, colorful, and modern design interface would probably help make everyone’s work day a little more enjoyable as well.
With these pain points identified, CROOW was developed to offer up solutions. The platform centralizes communications both internally and externally, allowing for clients to easily hop onto deliverables and provide feedback directly on the files all in one place. Through the Requests feature, clients can also provide detailed briefs of the projects and assets they need, setting designers up for success with clarity of vision at the outset. And best of all, clients don’t even need to have CROOW accounts to access the deliverables. Because you can create your own project and request templates, you can customize the information you want your clients to provide up front, meaning no critical details will be left out of a brief.
The Approvals feature in CROOW helps to streamline the feedback process and remove the endless back-and-forth email chain, too. Designers are able to upload versions of deliverables directly into the platform, and clients can leave comments on the exact spots they want tweaked. This can also help the team at large keep track of the evolution of a design, so everyone stays on the same page.
A brand asset library allows for designers to upload brand colors, fonts, logos, and other essentials directly into CROOW for easy reference and access. With familiar folder organization, you can keep all of your clients’ information in one tool.
Since users can leave comments directly on to-do’s, projects, and assets, you can avoid the harrowing email chains where focus and details can be lost, and easily keep everyone on the same page.
The design of CROOW itself was with creatives in mind. Featuring bright, bold colors and a user-friendly interface, it’s a platform built for easy onboarding.
Currently, CROOW offers a free version that provides for unlimited team sizes and guest sharing, so you can leap into the tool and add efficiency to your workflow right away. And if you want proof that CROOW can improve your creative workflow, look no further than the case study it did on Sparxoo.
Spending thirty minutes digging through email chains to find a specific piece of feedback is nobody’s idea of a good time. By adopting a collaboration-focused project management tool like CROOW, you can reduce confusion amongst your team, your account managers, and your clients, and spend time doing what you love — designing. Whether you’re a freelance team of 1 or a creative team of 50, the platform provides all the organizational and communicative tools you’d need in one place. CROOW is ready to increase your productivity and creativity today.