development

Podio, served seven ways

I assume if you’re here, it’s because you’re interested in Podio, the digital collaboration platform that enables teams to get more work done.

BUT, there are many ways to skin a cat - or to use Podio in this case - depending on your needs, goals, skill level, time and appetite! Here’s our quick guide covering seven ways to ‘Podio’. Enjoy…

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#1 Straight outta the box!

The most straightforward and low-effort way to use Podio, is to take it as it comes. Just grab a pack of apps from the Podio App Market and get to work.

Of course, with low-effort, come only limited rewards, so the chances are you’ll have a system that doesn’t quite fit the quirks and idiosyncrasies of your business. So, onto the second way…

#2 Chop and change

Rather than just accepting the default Podio apps that are bundled with your chosen app pack, grab the bull by the horns and start to ring the changes. You can modify your apps to change field labels, switch-up the field order, and add new ways to capture data. This way you’ll benefit from the headstart that a pre-made app pack can give you as a newbie, yet you end up with something tuned and tweaked to suit. This is a pretty efficient way to get started, as it’s all achievable within minutes. Nice work!

#3 Build from scratch

Do what? Is that efficient? Well, actually, yes. Once you've had a play around, you'll quickly realise it's easy to build Podio apps from scratch, using the drag and drop tools provided.

As you get more advanced, you can start to link apps together - even apps in different workspaces. Once you're at this level, you might also be feeling brave enough to experiment with calculation fields, and also with saving views, tiles and reports to make data more easily accessible.

You, my friend, are an App Builder. Kudos!

#4 Add simple automation

Thus far, you may well have built a pretty impressive suite of interconnected Podio apps. That's great. Doing so will have brought a whole raft of benefits, including greater transparency and enhanced levels of structure around your data (yet, with flexibility in terms of how you view it).

But to reap the benefits of significant time savings, you need to start building automation into the picture.

The easiest way to set about this, (you'll need to be on Podio PLUS or Podio PREMIUM), is to use Podio's native Workflow Management tool. This little gem offers a user-friendly interface within the main Podio application, and it allows you to set up 'if this, then that' logic. For example, in your Sales app, you can have a workflow which posts a new comment to the team, whenever you update a lead’s status field to ‘Sale made’. Yay! *does dance*

#5 Unleash the GlobiFlow!

You’ve built up some confidence. You’re sensing the potential greatness of Podio. You know you can get more out of it. How? It’s time to unleash the awesome power of Podio.

GlobiFlow started out as an external tool built by a Podio Partner. It has now been acquired by Podio. GlobiFlow does not sit within the standard Podio system, but connects to and exploits the Podio API to masterful effect, allowing for far more powerful workflows than the standard Podio tool can achieve.

Globiflow lets you use a whole range of triggers (such as when a new item is created, updated, or a field value matched) to initiate a range of responses (such as update a field, post a comment, send an email, create a PDF, send an SMS). It's powerful stuff and, when done well, can demonstrably save time and effort as well as bring consistency to business processes.

Note that, with great power, comes great responsibility ;)

#6 Get connected

Add potency and breadth to your Podio setup by integrating with other platforms. This can be another great way to save time and effort, to introduce consistency, and to allow your organisation to continue to use the correct, specialist tool, for the job.

External app connector tools like Zapier, allow you to connect other digital platforms to Podio - without the need for any coding skills. Winner!

This opens up more scenarios than you could ever want or need. Typical use cases might be something like raising an invoice in Xero when a particular stage is reached (field value match) in Podio, or creating a row in Google Sheets when a new item is added.

#7 The API way

Crack open the Podio API, and the world is your oyster, so to speak.

This option is for those of you who have (or have access to) coding skills. As such, the barrier to entry is naturally higher, but the rewards are that much richer. Oh yes!

By using the Podio API, you can pretty much build anything you want, in terms of leveraging your Podio data and orchestrating workflows. You can retrieve data from Podio for use in custom-built web pages, such as reporting dashboards. You can post data into Podio, from your other systems. You can do 'most anything. The only real limitations relate to a) your imagination, and b) the number of API calls Podio allows you to make.

So which way should you Podio? Maybe all of them. In many ways, these different approaches represent stops on a journey. You can zoom straight to number seven if you know what you want, have a clear vision in mind and just want us to go ahead and build it for you. If you’re new to Podio, get signed up and start with the first way. However you choose to Podio, we’re here to help!