Wrike is an essential part of VOCO's 100% virtual office: Uniting Creativity and Productivity
Marketing & PR Services
Organization. Internet marketing company, specializing in creating and supporting unique branding strategies for its clients.
Challenge. Organizing a 100% virtual office
Solution. Neatly structured piles of emailed tasks in one shared online-workspace
Result. Fundamental increase in productivity
Interview with Erin Blakemore, Director of VOCO Creative
Erin, please tell us about VOCO Creative and describe your business.
I'm co-owner and director of VOCO Creative, LLC. We're a marketing and brand strategy firm that goes beyond cookie-cutter solutions to create unforgettable brands for our clients. We help our clients to find out who they are by providing them with unique strategic vision and savvy analysis. We are based in two cities, Denver and Boulder, Colorado, so effective communications matter a lot to us. Our clients find email the most convenient way to communicate on projects. With several projects running simultaneously, you can probably imagine the amount of emails we have to dig through in search of necessary information. We felt we needed some kind of tool that could help us solve this inbox chaos problem. Both Juli Dimos (my partner) and I are creative personalities, and sometimes it can be hard for creative people to stay organized. So our second need was to find a tool that could help us structure our work and make us more productive.
And that's how you found Wrike?
Well, yes. My business partner and I found Wrike after a long search for the perfect collaborative tool to help us get organized and communicate in our virtual office. We tried Basecamp, wikis, AceProject...you name it! Wrike turned out to be the only project management software that could help us carry out our needs.
What exactly changed in VOCO Creative's workflow after adopting Wrike?
Our biggest problem was wading through piles of emails without really having a sense of priorities or action items. This brought distraction into our work and tended to ruin our efficiency. Now, Wrike helps us eliminate the e-chatter and focus on the next step. We cut off lots off unnecessary tire-kicking. We talk and develop priorities and tasks, then enter them into Wrike to mesh with our project timelines. Wrike's Interactive Gantt chart is a great way to view all our projects and tasks at once. It helps us to better estimate priorities and deadlines. As we interact with clients, we update tasks in Wrike and add new ones to make sure clients' needs are met. It can be done with a couple of clicks, as we reply or forward our email conversations to the right project folders in the system.
We mark how many hours we spend working on each task. Once we're done with a project, we review our time logs and use them in invoicing.
Can you give us an example of how Wrike helped you to deal with a challenging project management situation?
Sure! I recently coordinated a Web-development project for a client that occurred while my business partner was out of the country. With Wrike I was able to thoroughly organize all aspects of the project, document my own progress, and give her follow-up tasks to complete upon her arrival. When she got back she could get down to business immediately without having to unpack a box full of confusing emails. I saved her so much time with Wrike's help!
What do you like most of all in Wrike? What's your favorite feature?
My favorite Wrike feature is the daily to-do email. It keeps me focused on task-specific duties instead of global worries and anxieties, and I love clicking on tasks and wiping them off the map! I also love knowing what has been sitting there undone...it lets me know when I need to do a push to remove all of the undone tasks that tend to weigh a small business owner down. It also helps to indicate the tasks I will soon need to delegate - that's a sign that our business is growing. :)
Do you plan to extend the use of the Wrike services in the future?
Absolutely! As our team grows, we will definitely be making use of Wrike in bigger and better ways. We are also planning to bring our many subcontractors into the system as needed.