“I just finished my beginning test of a software program that can digitally capture a full variety of brainstorming, planning and project tracking approaches with both words and pictures” I said to the assembled crew.
Chris, the Digital Director in our midst said, “You must have liked it or hated it or we wouldn’t be hearing about it!”
I agreed saying, “I liked it. It is not as fast as sticky notes and white boards but it has the advantage of being saved in a form that a group can work with even if they are geographically and time separated.”
Rick asked, “What is it called?”
“Cardsmith,” I replied to our direct marketing expert. I told my friend Ron about it. He speaks on planning and project management all over the country. His e-mail said:
I love my sticky notes and this adds to the usefulness.
One thing it does better is making the sticky-note planning accessible to remote locations… and thus the one thing it does worse is removing the in-room collaborative MESSY brainstorming benefits. I think it might limit what people are willing to “post” as a “good-enough-to-see-daylight” idea.
But it has a solid use and I think it offers some great opportunities for delivering and controlling shared work items.
Thanks for calling my attention to it. I’m going to play with it a little.
Kate our resident sales doyen asked, “So how does it work?”
“The best analogy I can give you is if you had a deck of 3 x 5 cards and you were trying to figure out how to organize something whether it’s a sales meeting, a book, a team building a product or even how to structure a complex web site. You’d jot something on a card and put it on the table, do the same for the next major step and put that on the table in relation to the first.”
Gail, our writer and editor said, “this sounds like a piece of software that was part of an offering to Mac users that were writers I once looked at. I was set up so you could structure a story arc for a book or a TV show and add cards to fill in plot data and character sketches. The whole system was based on a manual system that used 3 x 5 cards!”
“Exactly,” I said. “But this product is more flexible even in its fresh-baked version. For instance, you can put the cards in relation to one another side by side or above and below one another or even arrange them in a spiral if that floats your boat. The best part, as Ron said is the ability to keep everyone in a team on the same page. One consultant I know claims it has improved his productivity by several orders of magnitude!”
Cardsmith is worth a look if you ever get involved in planning or process management of any kind that requires keeping track of lots of connecting information. It adds productivity at low cost with a minimal learning curve.
Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Sign up for the blog and other publications at: www.JerryFletcher.com/Profit.html
Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com
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