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Best Project Management Software to Streamline Your Workflow in 2022

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Best Project Management Software to Streamline Your Workflow in 2022

Project management is the alpha and omega of your business development. The better you can set up your workflow, the more you’ll succeed at the outcome. But the truth is, unless you’re a solopreneur, the project doesn’t revolve around you only. You’re just one element in a more complex chain that consists of other team members, executives, and clients.

It’s not enough to keep things in order for yourself and call it a day. As a project manager, you must streamline the processes for everyone else on your team.

Are your teammates stuck in the maze of countless tasks, with new stuff showing up every single day? Are they moving in the opposite direction because project updates don’t reach them in time? Is there no decent communication on your team, which causes a lot of misunderstandings and slows down the process? To handle these and other setbacks, you need project management software.

You’ve probably heard the names like Trello, Asana, and Wrike or even used some of these tools. But there’s actually a much wider choice on the market. At the moment, Capterra has 1,375 items in the category of project management software and employee time tracking. And imagine how many other developers haven’t added their products to this business directory yet…

If you’re open to trying a new tool with its own sophisticated features and flexible pricing plans, you’re in the right place. Check out the best project management software that will help you become a better PM in 2022.

Geekbot

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Geekbot is a go-to tool that enables easy, effective, and transparent collaboration with all of its tricks and turns. The main goal of Geekbot is to automate routine tasks like running standups, conducting surveys, polls, reporting, and everything in between. It takes like a minute to add it to Slack or MS Teams but can save hours every day.

Having to complete a few tasks here and re-do a few more there, you can easily forget about something important on your agenda. That’s why Geekbot lets you set friendly reminders for yourself and your teammates. Due to the support of local time zones, they’ll receive such reminders during working hours, not past midnight.

You never know what’s on your teammate’s mind until it’s too late and they send you a leave notice. Powered by AI algorithms, Geekbot can give you more insights than your intuition does. It analyzes natural language responses to keep you up on everything happening on your project – people’s mood, topics discussed, achievements, blockers, timeframes, anything. For convenience, this information is illustrated on a Team Happiness graph, Sankey diagrams, and Gantt charts.

To track engagement on your team, you can check a participation overview. It reveals who’s involved the most, based on their reporting activity, and who’s procrastinating. The bot also prompts the latter to catch up with the others by submitting their reports.

Float

1662601462 515 Best Project Management Software to Streamline Your Workflow in 2022

Float is a resource management software for taking a people-first approach to project planning. It brings together your team members, projects, and all of their variables like availability, skills tracking, budgets, billable rates, and more, so that you have one single source of truth to plan and assign your work.

While project management tools are great for organizing and collaborating on tasks, resource management software like Float ensures that you schedule workloads based on your team’s actual capacity.

Float can give you a centralized view of your team’s time so that everyone knows who’s working on what, when, and from where. With real-time project tracking, you’ll get live insights that will help to assign the best person for the job (based on their skill set and capacity), balance shared workloads, monitor utilization rates across your team, and forecast your capacity for future projects and hiring needs.

Plan ahead with project planning features like phases, milestones, and linked tasks. Manage everyone’s availability in one place with work hours, time off, and synced calendar events. Customize workflows that fit your team with flexible permissions to specify who can see, edit, and approve what. Add time tracking to monitor your budget spend (billable hours worked) in real time and to plan your future projects for optimal profitability.

The team at Float provides 24 hour support, with an impressive average response time of under 30 minutes.

Office Timeline Pro+

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Office Timeline Pro+ is the right software for reporting on your project management efforts to teammates, executives, or clients. It is an intuitive PowerPoint add-in that will quickly turn any complicated project data into visually appealing and easy-to-understand timeline slides.

Just import your project or program plan from your favorite PM tool (Microsoft Project, Excel, Smartsheet, or Wrike), and the add-in will automatically transform it into a PowerPoint timeline, roadmap, or multi-level swimlane. Whenever the data in your source file changes, you can refresh your slide at the click of a button to reflect the most relevant progress. To visualize schedules of long-term projects, you can add up to three timescales to a single timeline.

As for functionality, Office Timeline Pro+ comes with a rich set of features to add, edit, duplicate, or even hide swimlanes and sub-swimlanes. The higher-ups are usually too busy to go through loads of data, so you’ll have an opportunity to show them what matters only. Thanks to a drag-and-drop functionality, it’ll be easy to do all the rearrangements and updates across your projects.

To make sure the look and feel of your slides match your brand identity, the tool provides a bunch of styling options. With their help, you’ll be able to set colors, fonts, and shapes in line with your corporate style.

SwiftEnterprise

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SwiftEnterprise is an Agile project/work management platform based on a visual, multi-board hierarchy of programs and projects. It runs a user-friendly STaRT system to help you handle all your tasks. You can plan, schedule, reschedule, and automate repetitive tasks, making all the necessary updates along the way.

SwiftEnterprise provides timesheets in two views: one for logging time against work items and another for approving or rejecting timesheets submitted. The document management module can take good care of all the data in your workspace. Everyone on your team will have access to the latest versions of your docs and easily manage them with review, sharing, and approval options.

Resource availability reports can help you distribute the workload among your team equally. Due to the integrated database of skills, you’ll identify the right person for a certain task and have realistic expectations of your team in total.

When the workflow starts, a lot of issues usually show up out of the blue. For effective project execution, SwiftEnterprise can let you manage issues and report on their status, due date, and resolution method to other teammates or stakeholders. The same goes for risks. You’ll be able to identify, assess, and mitigate them before they affect your work progress.

Striven  

1662601463 712 Best Project Management Software to Streamline Your Workflow in 2022

Striven is a cloud-based, all-in-one business management software system that will set you free from the chaos of jumping between many different apps. Its full-featured dashboard can cover all your needs in one place:

  • set a project budget, deadlines, and keypoints;
  • create tasks with detailed descriptions, doc attachments or links;
  • collect e-signatures on important documents
  • categorize tasks with smart labels;
  • manage the task flow with a drag-and-drop functionality;
  • enable alerts for new tasks and those with close deadlines;
  • set private access to some tasks and share permission with pertinent employees only
  • turn emails into tasks automatically

It can be a challenge to organize team meetings, especially if you have remote workers from different parts of the world. Striven’s built-in calendar will help you identify and solve conflicting timeframes to arrange a meeting when everyone is available.

Special focus is put on assessing project profitability. With detailed reports, you’ll be able to analyze what brings profit and how that aligns with the time invested. When it comes to the project showcase, there’s a wide choice of Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and other ways that your project data can be viewed. Besides viewing the entire project, you can also zero in on any specific part by date, task type, or by assigned employee.

Effective collaboration between you and your clients is another strong point of Striven. It lets you share project access with them so that they can keep an eye on the progress and status of every task and assignment. By making your work transparent, the trust your client has placed in your business will increase, and in turn will help leave them more satisfied than ever.

Whenever there’s any kind of status update on a project or task, your clients will be notified to make sure everyone is on the same page. If you aren’t, they can send a change order for you to update project milestones and costs according to their requirements.

Bottom Line

As you can see, each project management software listed here provides its own gimmicks to play with and see how they can help you streamline your processes.

No matter which tool you’re going to try, you’ll have an opportunity to set your workspace in order, improve communication on your team, boost profits, and save a lot of time. With data visualization, you’ll also find it easy-breezy to track each project aspect and never miss a thing.

With such a wide choice, most likely you’ll find the best project management software for your specific needs. If you know about any other cool tools for PMs, feel free to drop a comment under this post.

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MARKETING

YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples [2024 Update]

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples

Introduction

With billions of users each month, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and top website for video content. This makes it a great place for advertising. To succeed, advertisers need to follow the correct YouTube ad specifications. These rules help your ad reach more viewers, increasing the chance of gaining new customers and boosting brand awareness.

Types of YouTube Ads

Video Ads

  • Description: These play before, during, or after a YouTube video on computers or mobile devices.
  • Types:
    • In-stream ads: Can be skippable or non-skippable.
    • Bumper ads: Non-skippable, short ads that play before, during, or after a video.

Display Ads

  • Description: These appear in different spots on YouTube and usually use text or static images.
  • Note: YouTube does not support display image ads directly on its app, but these can be targeted to YouTube.com through Google Display Network (GDN).

Companion Banners

  • Description: Appears to the right of the YouTube player on desktop.
  • Requirement: Must be purchased alongside In-stream ads, Bumper ads, or In-feed ads.

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Resemble videos with images, headlines, and text. They link to a public or unlisted YouTube video.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that play outside of YouTube, on websites and apps within the Google video partner network.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: Premium, high-visibility banner ads displayed at the top of the YouTube homepage for both desktop and mobile users.

YouTube Ad Specs by Type

Skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Placement: Before, during, or after a YouTube video.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
    • Action: 15-20 seconds

Non-skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Description: Must be watched completely before the main video.
  • Length: 15 seconds (or 20 seconds in certain markets).
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1

Bumper Ads

  • Length: Maximum 6 seconds.
  • File Format: MP4, Quicktime, AVI, ASF, Windows Media, or MPEG.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 640 x 360px
    • Vertical: 480 x 360px

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Show alongside YouTube content, like search results or the Home feed.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
  • Headline/Description:
    • Headline: Up to 2 lines, 40 characters per line
    • Description: Up to 2 lines, 35 characters per line

Display Ads

  • Description: Static images or animated media that appear on YouTube next to video suggestions, in search results, or on the homepage.
  • Image Size: 300×60 pixels.
  • File Type: GIF, JPG, PNG.
  • File Size: Max 150KB.
  • Max Animation Length: 30 seconds.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that appear on websites and apps within the Google video partner network, not on YouTube itself.
  • Logo Specs:
    • Square: 1:1 (200 x 200px).
    • File Type: JPG, GIF, PNG.
    • Max Size: 200KB.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: High-visibility ads at the top of the YouTube homepage.
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or higher.
  • File Type: JPG or PNG (without transparency).

Conclusion

YouTube offers a variety of ad formats to reach audiences effectively in 2024. Whether you want to build brand awareness, drive conversions, or target specific demographics, YouTube provides a dynamic platform for your advertising needs. Always follow Google’s advertising policies and the technical ad specs to ensure your ads perform their best. Ready to start using YouTube ads? Contact us today to get started!

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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