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WizeHive: Collaboration tool for busy people


Because I work almost exclusively in remote-based teams, I'm always looking for new tools and services that can help me manage my daily tasks and effectively collaborate with my team members. One of the biggest problems I have with some collaboration systems is that they require everyone to login and collaborate using the web app itself. This is great if you are always in one place or in a more traditional office environment, but it becomes less problematic if you are on the go frequently and already have tools and practices in place to try to manage your life.

This is why I think that WizeHive has real potential. WizeHive was launched in late 2008 after its founders, who were unsatisfied with the current crop of web-based collaboration and task management tools, decided to scratch their own itch and launch their own service. Over the last six months, WizeHive has rolled out additional features and today, WizeHive is releasing a bevy of new features and enhancements with the aim of bring WizeHive to the masses.

I talked to WizeHive's co-founder, Mike Levinson on Monday about the product and its development and what the new release brings to the table. I was most impressed that Mike and his team use WizeHive internally to manage various projects and activities not just including WizeHive's development, but for other business tasks as well.

After playing with WizeHive a bit, I think the best way to describe the service would be that it is Basecamp meets Backpack, with a dash of Yammer on the side. Unlike some collaboration solutions like Box.net, which really do an excellent job of replicating or replacing SharePoint, WizeHive is a more streamlined way to share files and communicate details back and forth, or to keep track of task management.

After creating a WizeHive account, you can create a different workspace for various teams or projects you might be working on. Within that workspace, you can choose who you invite to collaborate in that space. Once you have invited someone to your space, they can share documents with you, make comments, assign or complete tasks, etc.

You can also create pages within a workspace to further drill down your focus. In my DLS (for DownloadSquad) workspace for instance, I can have pages for Posts, Features and Ideas. Each page can contain its own task and its own set of comments.

The thing I like best about WizeHive is how easily it integrates with other services. You can create a new task (or even a new page) using e-mail, but you can also send messages, tasks and reminders using Twitter. By sending a direct message to @wizehive, after your account is verified, you can communicate directly with your workspace and the people in your group will get notifications and can reply by e-mail, Twitter or using the web site.

Here are some of the new features WizeHive has introduced with this release:
  • improved UI for tracking and managing a large numbers of shared files
  • enhanced file management and version control
  • an increase in the number of files that can be uploaded at one time to 50
  • bump in the maximum uploaded file size to 100 MB
  • embedded image viewer
  • streamlined collaborative editing of documents and spreadsheets
Although you can create and edit documents using ZoHo (it is integrated) and you can save revisions, the real focus of WizeHive seems to be on tasks and communication.

WizeHive is still in beta, so you can sign-up for a free account with unlimited users. You're limited to 50MB of storage space (an additional 3GB is $8US a month), but you get every other feature and you can use the service at least until the end of 2009. Personal accounts, limited to 3 users and 50MB of space are also free. Teams or Small Businesses can get an account with support for 10 users and 3GB of storage for $39 a month.

I'm going to give WizeHive a try and see how well I can integrate it into my life.

Tags: backpack, basecamp, box.net, collaboration, false, group, productivity, project management, ProjectManagement, remote work, RemoteWork, saas, tasks, twitter, wizehive, zoho