C4: Content, Context, Collaboration & Community
What I Have Learned as an Oracle WebCenter Consultant in My First Three Months at Fishbowl Solutions
This post comes from Fishbowl Solutions’ Associate Software Consultant, Jake Jehlicka.
Finishing college can be an intimidating experience for many. We leave what we know behind to open the gates to brand new experiences. Those of us fortunate enough to gain immediate employment often find ourselves leaving school and plunging headfirst into an entirely new culture a mere few weeks after turning in our last exam. It is exciting, yet frightening, and what can make-or-break the whole experience is the new environment in which you find yourself if. I consider myself one of the lucky ones.
I have been with Fishbowl Solutions for just over three months, and the experience is unlike any that I had encountered in my previous internships, work, or schooling in Duluth. I moved to the Twin Cities within a week of accepting the position. I was terrified, but my fears were very soon laid to rest. Fishbowl welcomed me with open arms, and I have learned an incredible amount in the short time that I have spent here. Here are just a few of the many aspects of Fishbowl and the skills I’ve gained since working here as an associate software consultant.
One of the things that really jumped out at me right away is how a company’s culture is a critical component to making work enjoyable and sustainable. Right from the outset, I was invited and even encouraged to take part in Fishbowl’s company activities like their summer softball team and happy hours celebrating new employees joining the team. I have seen first-hand how much these activities bring the workplace together in a way that not only makes employees happy, but makes them very approachable when it comes to questions or assistance. The culture here seems to bring everyone together in a way that is unique to Fishbowl, and the work itself sees benefits because of it.
Over the past three months, one thing that I have also learned is the importance of working together. I joined Fishbowl a few weeks after the other trainees in my group, and they were a bit ahead of me in the training program when I started. Not only were they ready and willing to answer any questions that I had, but they also shared their knowledge that they had acquired in such a way that I was able to catch up before our training had completed. Of course the other trainees weren’t the only ones willing to lend their assistance. The team leads have always been there whenever I needed a technical question answered, or even if I just wanted advice in regard to where my own career may be heading.
The team leads also taught me that not every skill is something that can be measured. Through my training, we were exposed to other elements outside of the expected technical skills. We were given guidance when it comes to oft-neglected soft skills such as public speaking and client interactions. These sorts of skills are utterly necessary to learn, regardless of which industry you are in. It is thanks to these that I have already had positive experiences working with our clients.
As a new software consultant at Fishbowl, I have gained a plethora of knowledge about various technologies and applications, especially with Oracle technologies. The training that I received has prepared me for working with technologies like Oracle WebCenter in such a way that I have been able to dive right into projects as soon as I finished. Working with actual systems was nearly a foreign concept after working with small individual projects in college, but I learned enough from my team members to be able to proceed with confidence. The training program at Fishbowl has a very well-defined structure, with an agenda laid out of what I should be working on in any given time period. A large portion of this was working directly with my own installation of the WebCenter content server. I was responsible for setting up, configuring, and creating a custom code for the servers both in a Windows and Linux environment. The training program was very well documented and I always had the tools, information, and assistance that was needed to complete every task.
Once the formal training ended, I was immediately assigned a customer project involving web development using Oracle’s Site Studio Designer. The training had actually covered this application and I was sufficiently prepared to tackle the new endeavor! With that said, every single day at Fishbowl is another day of education; no two projects are identical and there is always something to be learned. For example, I am currently learning Ext JS with Sencha Architect in preparation for a new project!
Although we may never know with absolute certainty what the future has in store for us, I can confidently say that the experiences, skills, knowledge that I have gained while working at Fishbowl Solutions will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Thank you to the entire Fishbowl team for everything they have done for me, and I look forward to growing alongside them!
Jake Jehlicka is an Associate Software Consultant at Fishbowl Solutions. Fishbowl Solutions was founded in 1999. Their areas of expertise include Oracle WebCenter, PTC’s Product Development System (PDS), and enterprise search solutions using the Google Search Appliance. Check out our website to learn more about what we do.
In this video blog, Fishbowl Solutions’ Technical Project Manager, Justin Ames, and Marketing Team Lead, Jason Lamon, discuss Fishbowl’s Agile (like) approach to managing Oracle WebCenter portal projects. Justin shares an overview of what Agile and Scrum mean, how it is applied to portal development, and the customer benefits of applying Agile to an overall portal project.
“This is my first large project being managed with an Agile-like approach, and it has made a believer out of me. The Sprints and Scrum meetings led by the Fishbowl Solutions team enable us to focus on producing working portal features that can be quickly validated. And because it is an iterative build process, we can quickly make changes. This has lead to the desired functionality we are looking for within our new employee portal based on Oracle WebCenter.”
Staff VP, Compensation and HRIS
Large Health Insurance Provider
The post Fishbowl’s Agile (like) Approach to Oracle WebCenter Portal Projects appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions' C4 Blog.
What is RequireJS and why is it important?
Require was born out of the need to reduce this code complexity. As such, it improves the speed and quality of our code. At its heart, RequireJS was designed to encourage and support modular development.
What is modular development?
In this module, we call define with an array of the dependencies needed. The dependencies are passed into the factory function as arguments. Importantly, the function is only executed once the required dependencies are loaded.
What does Require look like in Oracle JET
In an Oracle JET application, RequireJS is set up in the main.js (aka “bootstrap”) file. First we need to configure the paths to the various scripts/libraries needed for the app. Here is an example of the RequireJS configuration in the main.js file of the Oracle JET QuickStart template. It establishes the names and paths to all of the various libraries necessary to run the application:
Next we have the top-level “require” call which “starts”our application. It follows the AMD API method of encapsulating the module with the require, and passing in dependencies as an array of string values, then executing the callback function once the dependencies have loaded.
Here we are requiring any scripts and modules needed to load the application, and subsequently calling the function that creates the initial view. Any other code which is used in the initial view of the application is also written here (routing, for example). Note, we only pass in the dependencies that we need to load the initial application, saving valuable resources.
Using RequireJS in other modules/viewModels
Taxonomy is a Sleeper. The reasons from A to ZZZs that taxonomy hasn’t been a part of your most important projects—but should be!
I’m a taxonomy practitioner at Fishbowl Solutions who has worked with many companies to implement simple to sophisticated document management systems. I’ve noticed over the years the large number of obstacles that have prevented companies from establishing taxonomy frameworks to support effective document management. I won’t review an exhaustive alphabetic list of obstacles, in fact, there are probably far more than 26, but I’ll highlight the top culprits that have turned even the best, most sophisticated companies away from taxonomy. Don’t fall asleep. Don’t hit snooze. Make sure you don’t miss one of the most important parts of a document management software project–taxonomy. Taxonomy is a necessity to deliver effective document management solutions in Oracle WebCenter Content, SharePoint, or any other enterprise content management solution. You’ll get the most out of the software and your users.
Authority. Who owns taxonomy? Does IT own the taxonomy or a Quality Management Department or all departments own a piece? Determining decision-makers and authority to sign off on taxonomy frameworks can be difficult. After all, taxonomies are best when they are enterprise-wide solutions. Then, users have a familiar context when working with documents for all business purposes. Don’t let challenges with authority prevent you from establishing taxonomy for your project. Plan on establishing a governance team to own the taxonomy practice for the current project and in the future.
Bright. Shiny. Object. Taxonomy is not a bright shiny object. It’s not as fancy as the user interface of the new software. It doesn’t have the “bells and whistles” that hardware and devices have either. So, too often document management projects end up focusing on the software and not the necessary taxonomy that makes that software a rock star. Don’t be blinded. If you want users to have a great experience, work with documents effectively, and generally adopt your new document management software, you must ensure you define a taxonomy. Otherwise, your bright shiny object may easily be replaced by the next one as it loses appeal.
Complicated. I often hear from customers that a business taxonomy is complicated. It can seem insurmountable to sift through existing taxonomy frameworks (or identify new ones), synthesize frameworks, identify new requirements, and really come up with something comprehensive. Regardless, it’s necessary. If a taxonomy effort is complicated, think of how complicated managing and searching documents is for your users. Help your users by including taxonomy in your next project to simplify their experience. It’s the foundation for browsing, searching, contribution, workflows, interface design, and more.
Glamour. Unfortunately, taxonomy is not glamorous. It’s hard, investigative work. It entails identifying stakeholders; meeting with stakeholders to really understand documentation, process, and users; generating consensus; and documenting, documenting, documenting. On top of that, it’s invisible. Users often don’t even notice taxonomies, especially if they’re good. But if a taxonomy is non-existent or poorly designed, your users will notice the taxonomy for all the wrong reasons—unintuitive naming, missing categories, illogical hierarchies, and more. Even though taxonomy is not glamorous, it demands an investment to ensure your project is successful, at launch and thereafter.
Time. It’s common to hear in projects that there is just not enough time. Customers may say “We need to complete X with the project by date Y.” Or, “The management team really needs to see something.” Frequently, the most important milestones for projects are software-related, causing taxonomy to lose focus. The good thing about taxonomy is that projects can work concurrently on the software build out as they work on taxonomy frameworks. You can do both and do them well. Resist the urge to scope out taxonomy in your next project and consider creative ways to plan in taxonomy.
What? Yes, taxonomy has been around for a long time, but still often in projects I see that it’s just something that people are not aware of. It’s existed for years in the biological and library sciences fields and has had application in IT and many other fields, but often it is just not understood for document management projects. If you’re not familiar with taxonomy, see my previous blog post “Taxonomy isn’t just for frogs anymore.” and consider hiring a reputable company that can guide you through the practice for your next project.
ZZZs. It’s often perceived as a boring practice with tasks that are in the weeds, but some of us do love it. Actually, we even find it rewarding to solve the puzzle of the perfect categorization that works for the project and the customer. If you’re new to taxonomy, you may find that you like it too. If not, find a resource for your project who has a passion for taxonomy because a good taxonomy is so important to successful document management projects.
It’s time to have your eyes wide open. If you’re considering a document management software or improvement project, consider how important the underlying taxonomy is for your project and plan taxonomy analysis and development as a required effort. Your users will appreciate it and your business will see increased software utilization. Remember the old adage, “Technology cannot solve your business problems?” It can’t. But technology + taxonomy can.
This blog is one in a series discussing taxonomy topics. Watch for the next blog coming soon.
Carrie McCollor is a Business Solutions Architect at Fishbowl Solutions. Fishbowl Solutions was founded in 1999. Their areas of expertise include Oracle WebCenter, PTC’s Product Development System (PDS), and enterprise search solutions using the Google Search Appliance. Check out our site to learn more about what we do.
Taxonomy can be a nebulous term. It has existed for years, having probably its most common roots in the sciences, but has blossomed to apply its practices to a plethora of other fields. The wide application of taxonomy shows how useful and effective it is, yet its meaning can be unclear due to its diversity. We identify with taxonomy in library sciences with the Dewey Decimal System and we identify with taxonomy in the scientific use when we talk about animals (Kingdom: Animalia; Phylum: Chordata; Class: Amphibia; Clade: Salientia; Order: Anura (frog)). These are familiar uses to us. We learned of them early on in school. We’ve seen them around for years—even if we didn’t identify them as taxonomies. But what is taxonomy when we talk about subjects, like documents and data, that aren’t so tangible? As a Business Solutions Architect at Fishbowl Solutions, I encounter this question quite a bit when working on Oracle WebCenter Content document management projects with customers.
The historical Greek term taxonomy means “arrangement law.” Taxonomy is the practice in which things, in this case documents, are arranged and classified to provide order for users. When it comes to documents, we give this order by identifying field names, field values, and business rules and requirements for tagging documents with these fields. These fields then describe the document so that we can order the document, know more about it, and do more with it.
- Document Type: Policy
- Document Status: Active
- Document Owner: Administrator
- Lifecycle: Approved
- Folder: HR
- Sub-Folder: Employee Policies
- And so on…
Defining taxonomy for documents provides a host of business and user benefits for document management, such as:
- A classification and context for documents. It tells users how a document is classified and where it “fits in” with other documents. It gives the document a name and a place. When a document is named and placed, it enables easier searching and browsing for users to find documents, as well as an understanding of the relationship of one document to another. Users know where it will be and how to get it.
- A simplified experience. When we have order, we reduce clutter and chaos. No more abandoned or lost documents. Everything has a place. This simplifies and improves the user experience and can reduce frustration as well. Another bonus: document management and cleanup is a simple effort. Documents out of order are easy to identify and can be put in place. Documents that are ordered can be easily retrieved, for instance for an archiving process, and managed.
- An arrangement that makes sense for the business. Using taxonomy in a document management system like Oracle’s WebCenter Content allows a company to define its own arrangement for storing and managing documents that resonates with users. Implementing a taxonomy that is familiar to users will make the document management system exponentially more usable and easier to adopt. No more guessing or interpreting arrangement or terminology—users know what to expect, terms are common, they are in their element!
- A scalable framework. Utilizing a defined and maintained taxonomy will allow users to adopt the common taxonomy as they use the document management system, but will also allow for business growth as new scope (documents, processes, capabilities, etc.) is added. Adding in a new department with new documents? Got it. Your scalable taxonomy can be reused or built upon. Using a comprehensive taxonomy that is scalable allows for an enterprise approach to document management where customizations and one-offs are minimized, allowing for a common experience for users across the business.
- A fully-enabled document management system. Lastly, defining a taxonomy will allow for full utilization of your OracleWebCenter Content, or other, document management system. Defining a taxonomy and integrating it with your document management system will enable building out:
- logical folder structures,
- effective browse and search capabilities,
- detailed profiles and filters,
- advanced security,
- sophisticated user interfaces and more.
Clearly, a taxonomy is the solution to providing necessary order and classification to documents. It creates a common arrangement and vocabulary to empower your users, and your document management system, to work the best for you. Now hop to it!
This blog is the first in a series discussing taxonomy topics. Watch for the next blog entitled “Taxonomy is a Sleeper. The reasons from A to ZZZs that taxonomy hasn’t been a part of your most important projects—but should be!”
Carrie McCollor is a Business Solutions Architect at Fishbowl Solutions. Fishbowl Solutions was founded in 1999. Their areas of expertise include Oracle WebCenter, PTC’s Product Development System (PDS), and enterprise search solutions using the Google Search Appliance. Check out our site to learn more about what we do.
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This post comes from Fishbowl’s president, Tim Gruidl. One of Tim’s biggest passions is technology innovation, and not only does he encourage others to innovate, he participates and helps drive this where he can. Tim likes to say “we innovate to help customers dominate”. Tim summarizes Fishbowl’s Hackathon event, held last Friday and Saturday at Fishbowl Solutions, in the post below.
What a great event to learn, build the team, interact with others and compete. We also created some innovative solutions that I’m sure at some point will be options to help our customers innovate and extend their WebCenter investments. This year, we had 3 teams that designed and coded the following solutions:
- InSight Image Processing – Greg Bollom and Kim Negaard
They leveraged the Google Vision API to enable the submission of images to Oracle WebCenter and then leveraged Google Vision to pull metadata back and populate fields within the system. They also added the ability to pull in GPS coordinates from photos (taken from cameras, etc.) and have that metadata and EXIF data populate WebCenter Content.
- Slack Integation with WebCenter Portal and Content – Andy Weaver, Dan Haugen, Jason Lamon and Jayme Smith
Team collaboration is a key driver for many of our portals, and Slack is one of the most popular collaboration tools. In fact, it is currently valued at $3.6 billion, and there seems to be a rapidly growing market for what they do. The team did some crazy innovation and integration to link Slack to both WebCenter Portal and WebCenter Content. I think the technical learning and sophistication of what they did was probably the most involved and required the most pre-work and effort at the event, and it was so cool to see it actually working.
- Oracle WebCenter Email Notes – John Sim (Oracle ACE) Lauren Beatty and me
Valuable corporate content is stored in email, and more value can be obtained from those emails if the content can be tagged and context added in a content management system – Oracle WebCenter. John and Lauren did an awesome job of taking a forwarded email, checking it into WebCenter Content to a workspace, and using related content to build relationships. You can then view the relationships in a graphical way for context. They also created a mobile app to allow you to tag the content on the go and release it for the value of the org.
Participants voted on the competing solutions, and it ended up being a tie between the Google Insight team and the Email Notes team, but all the solutions truly showed some innovation, sophistication, and completeness of vision. A key aspect of the event for me was how it supported all of Fishbowl’s company values:
Customer First – the solutions we build were based on real-life scenarios our customers have discussed, so this will help us be a better partner for them.
Teamwork – the groups not only worked within their teams, but there was cross team collaboration – Andy Weaver helped John Sim solve an issue he was having, for example.
Intellectual Agility – this goes without saying.
Ambition – people worked late and on the weekend – to learn more, work with the team and have fun.
Continuous Learning – we learned a lot about Slack, cloud, email, etc.
Overall, the annual Hackathon is a unique event that differentiates Fishbowl on so many fronts. From the team building, to the innovation keeping us ahead of the technology curve, to all the learnings – Hackathons truly are a great example of what Fishbowl is all about.
Thanks to all that participated, and remember, let’s continue to innovate so our customers can dominate.
Hackathon weekend at Fishbowl Solutions – Google Vision, Slack, and Email Integrations with Oracle WebCenter
It’s hackathon weekend at Fishbowl Solutions. Fishbowl’s consulting and development teams – the hackers – along with members of the sales and marketing teams join forces to collaborate on and develop new software applications. While the overall goal of the hackathon may be to produce usable software, the event also is a great learning opportunity for participants and results in a lot of fun.
This is Fishbowl’s 4th annual hackathon and previous events have produced “beta” software that eventually evolved into shippable software components that benefited customers. Here are recaps on the 2012 and 2014 events.
This year there were over 16 different ideas, and out of those 3 teams were formed to develop the following:
- Oracle WebCenter Portal and Slack integration – Slack is a popular collaboration tool for the enterprise that enables members to communicate across channels (specific topics), send direct messages, and drag and drop files for sharing. Integrating Slack with WebCenter Portal brings its popular features and ease of use directly in context of a user’s portal session, ensuring that collaboration is easy and reducing the amount of switching between applications to communicate with others – leaving the portal to send an email, for example.
- Oracle WebCenter Content and Google Vision integration – This integration would enable the tagging of images upon check-in. The Google Vision API enables applications to understand the content of images by encapsulating machine learning models in an easy to use REST API. Using this technology, images are auto-classified into thousands of categories (e.g., “sailboat”, “lion”, “Eiffel Tower”). For example, you might check in a picture of a knit hat and it would be tagged with xKeywords of “hat”, “knit hat”, and “fashion accessories” without any human tagging. To further automate image discovery, the GSA can be used to map related terms so that searches for “beanie”, “stocking cap”, or “winter hat”, could also return the image. This tagging automation would have great implications for Oracle WebCenter customers that are using it for Digital Asset Management.
- Oracle WebCenter Content Email Check in - This integration would enable emails with attachments to be checked in to WebCenter Content automatically. Instead of the user having to check in the email itself, and then relating each attachment to the associated email, which results in additional check in steps, the emails and attachments would be parsed out and sent to a user workspaces in WebCenter. From there, users can tag and validate that the email should be checked in with the appropriate attachments – either from their desktops or mobile device.
The hacking commenced at 3 PM today and will continue until 4 PM on Saturday, April 16th. Each team will then present their developed integration/component, and the other Fishbowl team members will vote on their favorite finished product. Check back on this blog next week to see who won.
I’m thrilled to be presenting at Collaborate 2016 with my colleague John Sim, on the recently open-sourced Oracle JET! We front-end developers had been seeking a better UI/UX solution from Oracle for quite some time, and they have delivered in a big way.
Part of the beauty of JET, is in its modularity. It allows developers to use as much or as little as they need for a particular project. In addition, different libraries can be incorporated. As JS libraries evolve, and new frameworks are developed, the idea is that they can be incorporated, as well. Oracle JET’s flexibility ensures that it can change with the JS development world.
Fishbowl Solutions at Collaborate 2016: Demos and Discussions on Oracle JET, ADF, Documents Cloud Service, Controlled Document Management and Portals
Fishbowl Solutions is looking forward to Collaborate 2016. We have another full list of activities planned, and we are always excited to meet with customers and discuss their initiatives around enterprise content management and portals, the cloud, as well as front-end user design and experience. With the release of Oracle WebCenter 12c back in October, customers are also eager to understand more of what the new version has to offer. Fortunately for WebCenter customers attending Collaborate, Fishbowl Solutions will be covering all these topics across the 5 presentations we will be giving, as well as one-on-discussions in our booth – #1028.
We are also privileged to be joined by two WebCenter customers who will give presentations on their WebCenter use cases. The first customer, ICON plc (www.iconplc.com/) based in Dublin, Ireland, will discuss the process of improving the front-end experience of the WebCenter-based portal they use to manage the clinical trials process.
The second customer is Rosendin Electric (www.rosendin.com) based in San Jose, CA, and they will share how they implemented Fishbowl’s ControlCenter solution to automate the contract management process within WebCenter.
The best part and biggest benefit of attending Collaborate is hearing stories from actual customers, like ICON and Rosendin. Collaborate is truly a user group conference, and hearing case studies on WebCenter deployments, enhancements, integrations, etc., are invaluable for other customers looking to do the same or similar. Less marketing speak and sales pitches, and more learning. As you plan your schedule for Collaborate, look for Session Types denoted as Case Studies.
Here is a preview of what Fishbowl currently has planned for Collaborate 2016.
- Monday, April 11, 10:30-11:30 AM:
A Designer’s Introduction to the Oracle JET Framework
- Monday, April 11, 4:30-5:30 PM:
Integrating Oracle JET With ADF to Create a Modern and Engaging User Experience
In this session you will learn about the pros and cons of Oracle’s new JET framework and ADF and how you can combine them to create a modern development experience writing Modular Single Page Applications. Sim and Weaver will discuss how front-end designers can create modern, platform agnostic extendable interfaces with JET, and how developers can create ADF integrations and extendable services with the back-end to serve up small data snippets (JSON).
- Tuesday, April 12, 10:45-11:45 AM:
Developing Hybrid Solutions for the Oracle Documents Cloud Service (DoCS)
This session will provide an overview of Oracle’s Documents Cloud Service (DoCS), including its interface, security model, and how to embed the DoCS UI and integrate with the REST API and Applink Resource to create seamless hybrid off- and on-premise applications. As part of the lecture, Sim will provide live examples and code walkthroughs, as well as talk about hybrid application development and the best times to use the Applink Resource vs the REST API with Oracle’s new Oracle JET framework for developing cloud apps. The presentation will conclude with an overview of an integration that Fishbowl has created to support Oracle DoCs.
- Tuesday, April 12, 4:45-5:45 PM
ICON Enhances Its WebCenter Portal Design by Keeping the User in Mind
ICON Clinical Research Limited is a global provider of outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. They specialize in the development, management, and analysis of programs that support clinical development. ICON implemented Oracle WebCenter as the platform for its ICONIK portal, which will be used by the clinical trials team to manage, maintain, and share content created during the trials process. Come to this session to hear how ICON and Fishbowl Solutions leveraged next generation, best practice portal design concepts and technologies to provide a high-end and rich user experience to end users. Learn how ICON leverages WebCenter Portal and Content to surface personalized study documents, quickly manage content, and collaborate with other team members, whether on a desktop or on the go through a mobile device. We will also discuss how ICON has streamlined their business to solve problems that contributed to delays in the clinical trials process, impeding ICON’s customers from bringing products to market.
- Wednesday, April 13, 9:15-10:15 AM:
Rosendin Electric Pairs a Modern User Experience with WebCenter Content to Automate Contract Management
Rosendin Electric is the top-ranked private electrical contractor in the nation whose work spans preconstruction, prefabrication, building information modeling, and renewable energy. Join us to hear Rosendin describe how they leveraged Oracle WebCenter and Fishbowl Solutions’ ControlCenter to automate and improve their contract management process. Rosendin’s new contract management system provides an intuitive, mobile-enabled interface and dashboard view for their contracts team that shows working, pending, and executed contracts. This dashboard is specific for each user, enabling them to quickly take action not only on contracts, but also on associated documents such as non-disclosure agreements and corporate governance documentation. Come see how WebCenter Content has streamlined Rosendin’s contract management process, making it much more efficient while ensuring the lifecycle of contracts and related documents can be easily tracked, viewed, and archived within one enterprise repository.
We hope to see you at Collaborate 2016!
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As an Oracle WebCenter consultant at Fishbowl Solutions, I have a number of tools that I use that keep me happy and productive. Whether or not you are a software developer, these tools can do the same for you and your business.
Unless you’ve been hibernating for the last year or so, you’ve probably heard of Slack. Haven’t adopted it for your business yet? Here’s why you should.
Slack facilitates contextual, transparent and efficient communication for teams. Slack helps organize your communications into “channels.” Working on a project with Fishbowl Solutions on a WebCenter project? Create a Slack channel and centralize your communications. Quickly share files with the entire team, and “Slackers” can give instant feedback. On the go? Slack goes with you via mobile, of course. Slack provides direct messaging and private channels, too.
Even better, Slack lets you integrate dozens of apps, so that you can centralize all of the services you and your team use. Send calendar reminders and events, search for documents, even start a Skype call. Slack is team communication for the 21st century (with custom emojis!).
Twitter and Evernote
Trello is the application for list-making over-achievers (like me). I organize my to-dos into different “boards”, depending on the project. I have a different board for each project I’m working on at Fishbowl. As I think of something I need to do, I can quickly add it to the appropriate to-do column. When I’m busy with a task, I put it in the “doing” column, and then slide it on over to “done” when finished. I can keep up with my task flow, it’s motivating, visually appealing, and goes with me where I go. Trello also allows me to share tables with others for easy collaboration. Oh, and did I mention I can integrate Trello with Slack (insert custom Slack emoji here)?
Toggl is a fantastic little desktop timer tool my colleague Nate Yates introduced to me. We consultants at Fishbowl Solutions need to keep very accurate timing of the hours we spend on different projects. Toggl allows me to input my different projects, and then just click the appropriate button when I start working on it. It keeps track of my time for the week on each project. It makes keeping track of my time simple, so that I can focus most of my time on creating responsive single-page applications for Fishbowl Solutions customers.
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