How Podio saved our Christmas lunch

Podio can be an unlikely hero. Never more so than when it saved our Christmas lunch from turning into an administration nightmare.

This story is set in late 2011. Podio was new to us and not everyone had yet embraced the miracle of webforms. And so it was that we came to organise a Christmas lunch for the team. We chose a restaurant with a menu to die for and they asked us to kindly order in advance, so that they might better manage their plentiful larder.

An Ovalite (we shall call his name 'Bob' to preserve his anonymity) sought to manage the task of gathering menu choices from the team. Feeling confident about embracing the digital age, he created a spreadsheet featuring the menu options and thereby emailed it to everyone in the team and urged them to choose their feast and get back to him. Simple.

However, Bob was still revelling in the satisfaction of creating his wondrous spreadsheet when it began to dawn on him that what he would get back would be a hailstorm of emails and attachments - some helpfully named - others not so much. No amount of proficiency at the art of ctrls C and V would compensate for the overall laboriousness of the task. As the digital chaos began to unfold, an eagle-eyed colleague spotted the error of his ways and sought to help.

And so it was that Webform, one of Podio's finest features stepped unto the breach. We spent a couple of minutes creating a 'Menu Choices' app and served up the webform link with the team.

As each hungry Ovalite filled in their form, their responses dropped into the app and settled there like snowflakes from the winter sky. Furthermore the default Podio reports told the story of how many of each dish was required; and once at the restaurant, a quick glance at the mobile app reminded the merry munchers of their chosen feast. Bob rejoiced in how little work he'd ultimately had to do to shepherd the project, and the team ate and drank until they were satisfied.

Podio is great. Knowing how and when to exploit its features, makes it greater!

The end.

Webform Reform

Those of you who are already entrenched in Planet Podio may have spotted that this week, Podio webforms got a makeover.

Actually, it goes a bit deeper than that; they've been re-engineered from the ground up and this release bundles together a few neat changes that we think you'll love.


Our favourite highlight is the fact that Podio have included a range of new themes that are aligned with the Bootstrap responsive design framework. This is pretty cool and it drags Podio webforms kicking and screaming into 2016. We wonder if in due course we'll see elements of Google's Material Design making an appearance?

The changes are summarised below, but please head over to Podio's own blog for a more in depth exploration of the new updates.

  • Email and phone field: now supported by webforms
  • Relationship fields: select multiple items, search, no more 300 item limit, can be configured to create a new item instead of selecting one
  • Structured location field: now supported by webforms, both single line and structured format
  • New theming: added brand-new, modern themes for you to choose from
  • Help text: more prominent to help people fill out forms correctly

One thing we'd like to see tweaked, is to allow us to set the default setting for the email field to something other than 'Other'. We'll put in a request for that and will see what happens.

A side-effect of the updates is that we've temporarily had to take our own Webform Styler tool offline. This free tool gives you a click and drag interface for building your own custom CSS, which you can then copy and paste into your own webform. It will be back soon!