There are no shortage of online collaboration tools. From free and comprehensive suite like Google App to premium product like OfficeMedium, Huddle or Yammer, you have no lack of choices. Podio is yet another social collaboration platform, and I think it is really impressive.
Once you have created and logged in to your account, you will be prompted to create spaces. Each space is an area dedicated to a group of collaborators. You can create different spaces, each with different purposes. For example, in MakeTechEasier, I can create a space for authors to collaborate on topic ideas and another space for editors.
Just like any other collaboration platform, you will find email, contacts, calendars and tasks in every space. There is also a Twitter-like activity steam where members can post status update.
The most impressive feature of Podio is the app store. Here is where you can find plenty of apps to add to your account to increase its functionality. All of the apps are free and they covered categories from business development, project management, education, Sales and CRM, to Internet, Property and Retail Sales. I didn’t count the number of apps, but it seems to be an endless list and you could just keep scrolling to the next page and next page and next…
If that is not good enough for you, you can even modify the app to suit your liking. Feel that the team blog app is lacking a Google Map field? You can add a field to it. Feel that the Sales app is too complicated to use? Remove some of the fields to make it easier to handle.
The best thing is, if none of the apps can satisfy your needs, you can even build your own app. There is no programming knowledge required. As long as you know how to drag and drop, you can instantly build your own app.
Without a doubt, what really set Podio apart from the rest is definitely the app store and the app builder. Just like Apple’s iPhone. Without the app store, it is just a plain phone with a great design. But with the app store and hundreds of thousands of apps, it becomes a device with infinite possibilities. Similarly, the ability to create and add apps to the Podio platform makes it more than just a simple collaboration platform, and everyone can customize it to suit your own needs.
Podio is currently in closed beta and it requires an invite to get in. It will open its door to the public on 24th March 2011 (9 days as of this post) and you will be able to get your hands on it. The platform is free for company with less than 10 users. Those with more than 10 users will pay at a per-user basis.
Did I also mention that Podio also has an iPhone app? Check it out now.