Here is a free enterprise 2.0 tool that is focused on the average business user. It is not a heavy duty project management application or something for the consumer web. It is designed for the typical business person who is juggling ten to fifteen things at once. Many people, myself included, use pen and paper to keep track of stuff. Some use email folders but these are disconnected. With Manymoon you can manage your own tasks and projects and also assign and share them with others and get activity updates. It can work within and across companies. The name comes from the observation that some people have used phases of the moon to track various aspects their lives. You can use Manymoon to track and manage your work life.
I spoke with Amit Kulkarni Co-Founder and CEO of Manymoon. They are located in San Francisco with offices in Union Square, lucky them. Amit said that Manymoon is designed to avoid the chaos of email. It is a social productivity tool that allows business people to share information (e.g., tasks, status updates, projects) with their connections (e.g., co-workers, partners and customers) in secure workspaces with control over access. The current version is free. They plan to offer an enterprise version on a subscription basis soon but will always also offer a free version. It is a SaaS application.
Amit walked me through the application. There are five major components: your bulletin, your project, your tasks, your documents and your connections. Everyone that you work with becomes a connection. This allows you to build a skilled based contact list that you can leverage at a later time on projects and tasks. The bulletin lets you see what is currently going on across your projects and tasks. You can see an example below. The bulletin looks a lot like the LinkedIn activity or the Facebook feed where you can view at a glance all the activity across all your projects, tasks and connections.
If you look in the upper right corner of the screen you will see a box with the question, “What are you working on?” This is a Twitter like micro-messaging feature. I really like that it is not a standalone application but integrated into the Manymoon platform. So you can tie it to tasks or projects and use the built-in permission levels and also have the security needed for an enterprise application. Messages occur within the context of your other work. Here is a screen shot of the micro-messaging window. You can see that you can limit who sees the message or you can share it with everyone. This can eliminate unnecessary email, IM and phone exchanges with colleagues to find out what they are working on.
The next function is tasks. Here you get a view of all your tasks across all projects. You can filter them by due date (today, this week, this month, overdue) and other priorities. You can set email notifications for yourself and others. It is also integrated with Google calendar. There is an email-to-task creation capability. You can forward any of your emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will automatically be converted into a private task for yourself. The task page is seen below.
The next function is a page that organizes your work around projects. You can get an overview of all your projects and then drill down to the project home page for more details. The project page has the same four tabs (bulletin, tasks, projects, and documents) but now they are project centric, instead of person centric. I like the consistency of interface. You can also see the project team members and add new ones. You can rearrange the order of your projects through drag and drop. Here is a sample project page for an individual.
Manymoon also allows you to upload documents and attach them to tasks or projects. This works through Google Docs but Manymoon gives them extra context. In the upcoming enterprise version they plan to allow for uploads independent of Google Docs. Here is a sample document page.
You can see through these four views a consistency and simplicity of interface design. I think this can be the tipping point in using a tool like this. I have experienced some other tools that frustrated non-technical users and/or made the bar to high for them to get involved. Amit said they spent a lot of time on user testing to get to the current interface design and it shows. I think this simplicity may be a greater differentiator for applications in this class than features, as long as they cover the basics in a transparent enterprise 2.0 manner. Manymoon accomplishes this. It is listed on the Google Solutions Marketplace and has acquired some excellent customer reviews.
Manymoon has been in private beta for some time. They provide some examples of how the tool is being used base don this beta. I am always glad to see more enterprise 2.0 use cases so here are a few that have a social aspect.
An office manager has been using Manymoon to track and close the various tasks that all his co-workers have been assigning to him. They include: organizing an off-site meeting (reserving rooms, renting a projector and easel, ordering lunch) and preparing for an email campaign (get the list of recipients, get graphics from the designer, sign-off from the CEO).
A C-level executive is using Manymoon to gain visibility into and track the action items from a strategy meeting. He has setup a project called "Q1 Operational Plan" where revenue tasks have been assigned to Sales, lead generation tasks have been assigned to Marketing and product delivery tasks have been assigned to Engineering.
A sales executive goes through the same 15-20 tasks with each potential customer to ensure a consistent process. He uses Manymoon to setup a project for each customer and share it with internal team-members. This allows his internal team to help complete the tasks and also provides sales management with detailed visibility into each sales opportunity. Some of the tasks include: develop presentation, gather customer requirements, present to customer, send data sheet to customer, demo to customer and send quote to customer.
A customer who has a project out for bid has been using Manymoon to track the engagement with multiple vendors. The customer can now quickly view the status of each vendor engagement and comment appropriately. There's a project assigned to each vendor and the customer can now securely track tasks (vendor sends the quote, vendor send the data sheet, he reviews the design, etc.).
I think Manymoon is a welcome addition to the enterprise 2.0 space. I like the mix of ease of use and sufficient functionality in a secure, but transparent, platform. It will be interesting to see how it evolves with its upcoming enterprise version. They have just released Manymoon Pro: it adds 3 GB of storage and SSL encryption for a small monthly fee.