David Chang

@chang2301

A Review of Streamtime, an Intuitive Project Management Tool

Project management is a keyword that has substantially appeared in our working life. No matter you are with a large multi-national company, or a medium-sized design studio, managing projects with efficiency and keeping budgets in control are two crucial factors for project managers to constantly taking care of. With new technology, we are having tons of project management tools varied from full-features project management monster to simple zen products that aim to tackle specific niches. With so many players in the market, we find Streamtime an interesting contender to be talked about.

Streamtime is an automated project management software that manage projects, teams, and tasks. It was founded by Aaron Green in New Zealand and has undergone several changes of its product since the launch of 2002. The ease of use, intuitive interface, and elegant product design provide a brand new experience of being organized when it comes to the topics of project management and workflow.

Features

  • Auto-schedule tasks based on estimated time and deadlines
  • Create and plan jobs quickly: pick staffs, estimate hours, and set deadlines
  • Visual indicators to track project progress and budget
  • Convert project plan to job quotation in on e click
  • Drag and drop task manager to arrange to-dos between staffs on the team schedule
  • Automated time entry when to-dos are completed
  • iOS and Android apps available

Pricing

Streamtime’s pricing model is extremely simple: $15/user/month. There are no other pricing schemes you need to waste time to compare and tryout. Just as their product design, you can find simplicity everywhere on Streamtime.

Design

Streamtime’s interface design was like no others. Its dashboard is clean and feature-less. On the contrary of contemporary design trend, texts on Streamtime are oversized. It’s clean and simple, but the spatial alignment is definitely not the best role model of the minimalistic design. However, all the elements live in harmony with one another throughout entire Streamtime product.

Besides graphic design, the UX design of Streamtime is fabulous. It takes away many redundant features that most people never used but have been included in most of the modern project management products, and only focuses on the things that make project management simple and easy to use. In another word, it does not compete with other competitors on the volume of features, but redesign the process to make project management an easier practice that everyone on the team won’t find it difficult to adopt. With their efforts to redesign Streamtime into a better and easy to use project management product, Streamtime has won a Pinnacle for Digital Applications in the AGDA Design Awards last year. (Check out their offical blog post here)

Getting started

Before jumping on board, Streamtime has developed an intuitive tutorial process for every user to get used to its interface and workflow with ease.

When you first time login to Streamtime, it will greet you with a visual friendly sample project which you can start playing around. The training process won’t take you much time to understand how Streamtime works, and it shows that they care about customers and wish to promote the redesigned Streamtime workflow and let you experience the best of it. The greeting page also include basic tutorials of its core features that you can explore and learn. Most of the tutorials are accompanied by video clips that you can view and learn in a simpler way.

Because Streamtime redesign its workflow and its general use cases are different from ordinary project management tools, tutorials are crucial for first time users to know what Streamtime is about and what it can offer them to change their workflow and enhance productivity. Streamtime has done a great job to explain and showcase the difference in its greeting tutorial, so every beginners can learn Streamtime without being scare away by hundreds of features writing in jargons that they have never encountered before. Since it’s extremely easy to setup your Streamtime work space to get started with your first project, the learning curve of your team members to adopt Streamtime will by low and the adoption time will be short also.

Workflow

As a project manager or designer, there is high probability that you want the workflow/admin side of your job as hassle-free as possible, so you can focus on the most important task: doing your job better and start making money!

In the traditional workflow, when there is a project request, you meet with your client to discuss about the project scope and details in several meetings. Then you’ll send a follow up email with them to offer a project plan, list of items that need to complete, and a quotation. Streamtime has implement this workflow in a intuitive and clear-defined pipeline for project managers to working with their team members and clients. First of all, you need to create a new job with budget in Streamtime. Then you will need to decide to charge your clients by your team members’ hourly rate or by a set price. After all are set, you can start listing tasks to the project plan and assign different team members, estimate hours, and set deadlines to each task. Both project and task have budget options, which allows you to setup and track the cost of each task and keep everything under control.

When the project and tasks are created, you can transform your project plan into a beautiful quotation for your client to review. You can directly send the quotation to your client or download the PDF file. Luckily, if your client agree with your proposal and the project kickstarted, Streamtime provides clear visual indicators for you to track your team’s progress, and let you know that whether your project in on-time or on-budget.

To-do

Streamtime is a visually focused product, so their to-do list must be something unusual and eye-catching? Definitely!

Streamtime has an innovative to-do list: a drag and drop weekday calendar view which is enriched with large texts and colorful boxes. Above the date line is the todo area. Tasks can be manually added or automatically scheduled based on estimated time and deadlines in the project. Today’s to-dos are colored from bottom to top by priority, and you can increase or decrease the size of each task box just like adjusting the shape in Photoshop, if you want to adjust the estimated time of the task.

On the other hand, below the date line is the done area. You can drag a task from the todo area and drop the task box in the done area when you complete your tasks. When the task is done, Streamtime automatically logs the time you have worked on the task to the project, so you won’t need to waste your time filling out separate timesheets.

The visual calendar is an amazing way of mapping out daily as well as weekly tasks on the schedule and help you to keep organized of the time and budget. The view feature allows for realistic targets for jobs to be managed rather than just planning without executing.

As for team management, Streamtime creates a drag and drop Team Schedule for you to see every member’s tasks in one clear view. You can review your team schedule and evaluate the capacity of output. To manage your team’s time and resources, you can drag and drop tasks between members for task reallocation, as well as edit each task for new deadline. The visual way to see all members’ schedules enables better job distribution and time tracking, boosting efficiency and project management.

Integration

Streamtime integrates with Xero, a New Zealand based accounting platform. You can turn your project plan into invoices and bill your clients with a few simple steps.

Streamtime has reintroduced a better way to manage working blocks rather than small snippets of time which might wasting our time in the end. If you are with small or medium size creative companies that consistently looking for an effective way to plan jobs, manage progress, teams and tasks, and run analytics to spot opportunities, Streamtime is a good prospect for you to consider adopt. You can start a 14 days trial here.

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