You’ve got a whole row of remote controls lined up on your coffee table.
Each one with different buttons and capabilities.
But all you really want is one, functional remote control to zap your TV on.
All the options and extra buttons are overwhelming you and cluttering up your coffee table.
There are tons of project management platforms out there.
And too many are cluttered with tons of extra features and functionalities you don’t care about.
Some have so many darn bells and whistles that you can’t find what you really need—or you’re completely dependent on documentation and video tutorials to get around.
Trust me, I know how that feels.
I hate it when I can’t find the right buttons to get the job done.
But I also hate the thought of my boss or coworkers finding out that I’m floundering around or making mistakes.
So, I end up trying to fend for myself for hours upon hours. I scour websites and forums, go back to the documentation, futz around with the features—ultimately wasting precious time, all because the user experience sucks!
If you’re like me, then I bet that you’re tired of tools that you’ll never use.
You only want the essentials.
You only want what matters.
You want it done right—and you don’t want to pay for anything more than you’re going to actually use.
In this area, I’ve found Brightpod to be the perfect solution.
For starters, Brightpod is a project management tool that takes the chaos out of managing several projects and helps you focus on what matters.
Never heard of this magical tool before? No worries!
In this article, I’m going to share with you my review on Brightpod and how you can use it to get your tasks and projects done right.
Getting Started with Brightpod
Creating a Brightpod account is fairly easy. To get started, type your name, company name, email and password. For this example, I’ve used “Freelancer” as my company name.
After you’ve started your trial, you’ll immediately be directed to the Brightpod dashboard. Like I said, fast and easy! I particularly love it when I don’t have to check my email to confirm my account or decide whether or not I should place my credit card information.
After you’ve viewed the dashboard, you can view a short tutorial on Brightpod.
In my experience, the short main tutorial is the only thing that you’ll ever need. Brightpod’s design and dashboard is consistent with the most popular content management tools. This means that it’s easy to determine and identify the location of each feature and its functions.
Brightpod Features That Give You Total Control of Your Projects
Brightpod has four main features that are essential for any content marketer: pods, tasks, calendar and insights.
In this blog post, I’ll discuss these features and show you detailed instructions on how to get started. Since it’s easy to use and navigate across the software, you’re guaranteed to be a pro in no time.
1. Pods: Tracking and Completing Projects
The first thing you need to do is to create a new pod. Each pod is one of your projects.
These pods are composed of a series of tasks. For instance, one pod can be your content marketing strategy for this month, a specific social media campaign or this week’s email marketing campaign.
To get started, click the Create a New Pod button at the bottom of the search bar on the right-hand side.
You can either start a pod by creating a blank pod or you can create a pod from a workflow—which we’ll talk about next, hang tight.
For this example, I’ve chosen Create a Blank Pod to better illustrate the basics. Here, you’ll be asked to create the pod name, start date, due date, budgeted time, client, pod lead and color.
Make sure that the pod color that you choose doesn’t have the same color as other active pods. The colors are used to label the tasks related to your pod or project in the calendar, which we will discuss later.
If you have another project with the same color label, it will be hard to distinguish the tasks associated with each project in the calendar view.
When you return to the dashboard, you can view all the pods you’ve created on the pods tab. You can make a pod a favorite by clicking on the heart on the upper-right hand side. The heart turns from white to red when it’s chosen as a favorite.
The benefits of the favorites feature is that it allows you to filter the pods and only view your favorites on the dashboard.
Now, you might be thinking that other project management tools have similar features. Does Brightpod stand out from the pack in terms of its framework? Let’s compare this whole setup with other popular tools in the industry.
Still, as a content marketer myself, I’ve found Brightpod to be the ideal tool for content strategy at large.
After all, as a content marketer, my job is to create plans and tasks for social media platforms, SEO and email marketing. In these areas, Brightpod gets a five-star rating. I’ve already got a decent system in place elsewhere for social media management—and it’s not a major focus for me at the moment.
If you’re just looking for a platform to plan and schedule your content strategy, ideas and schedules, without getting too interconnected with your other publishing and posting processes, then Brightpod is a fine platform to use.
2. Workflows: Make a Routine
You can assign a workflow, a template with a set list of tasks, to each pod. They’re ideal if you’re looking to create pods with routine tasks, like a weekly pod for each week’s email campaign.
Note that you don’t need to create a workflow first in order to get your project off the ground—it’s an option. You can also customize existing workflows provided by Brightpod or add your own new ones to work with. You can even turn one of your pods into a new workflow for future reference.
Yup, to get back to that first point, Brightpod offers ready-made workflows that you can use to create new pods. These workflows encompass SEO checklists, Tweets, Facebook advertising, LinkedIn ads and much, much more. You can tell that they have their ear to the ground when it comes to what content marketers typically need to get done on a daily and weekly basis.
Take advantage of workflows to streamline your work, set routines and minimize how much time you spend setting up your pods and tasks.
3. Tasks: Get Through Your To-do Lists
As I’ve mentioned before, pods are projects composed of a series of tasks.
You can view tasks by clicking on the Tasks tab. You’ll then find that the tasks section is similar to Trello, with boards where you job down individual tasks that are related to one another.
Afterwards, you’ll be presented with a Task list. Each list is composed of a series of related tasks.
For this example, I’ve used Brightpod’s default tasks lists which are: Ideas, In Progress and In Review. Since my tasks are centered on managing a content marketing strategy, these tasks lists were the most ideal.
You’ll then be presented with a box where you can type the title of the task, a description and a due date.
You can also drag a task across different task lists. This means that I can click on the “Asana Review Article” and drag it from the “Ideas” task list to the “In Progress” task list to the “Completed” task list.
Overall, I’ve found that creating tasks is fairly easy. What I love about Brightpod is that I can easily drag tasks from one task list to another, edit due dates and task details. The windows take a second to load and the experience is fast and efficient.
4. Tasks Details: Keeping Everything Together
Besides the task title, you can edit more details with regards to your task.
To view these details, click the task title.
You’ll then be presented with a new window where you can view the details of the task. Here, you can edit the due date, add a task description, change the task type and the status of the project.
What I love about this window is that you can add comments and attach documents from Google Drive and Dropbox. This way, you can easily view comments associated to a task and add related documents.
In the image below, you’ll find that I’ve added an “Untitled Document” to the task.
5. Timer: Making Every Minute Count
One relevant feature in Brightpod is the timer.
You can start the timer or add a manual time. This is particularly useful if you have users paid by the hour. For this example, I’ve chosen the Start Timer option.
Once you’ve chosen to start the timer, you can view the time on the upper-right hand side. If you want to pause or stop the timer, just click on the time and your desired buttons will appear.
If you’ve clicked the Stop and Review option, the Review and Submit Time window will appear. Here, you can view the time recorded and indicate whether the time is billable or not. This is ideal if you have employees paid by the hour.
Once you click the Submit Time button it will be recorded in the Insights section of Brightpod (which we will discuss later!).
What sets Brightpod apart from its competitors is the Timer feature and Filter feature. Unlike its competitors, Brightpod enables users to filter tasks by client or by a wide array of task types.
In addition, Timers are fairly easy to activate and view. Once you stop the timer, you can easily submit the time and indicate whether it’s billable or otherwise. This way, you can easily track the amount of time that your team has invested on a task and determine their salary based on hourly rates.
AceProject is a similar project management tool that has a more specialized, budget-oriented feature connected to projects and tasks, and it has a slight edge over Brightpod. If you’re fine with something simpler to give you a broad overview of time spent, then you can stick with Brightpod.
6. Calendar: Sticking to Due Dates
Once you’ve created all the tasks, you can view them in the Calendar tab. As I’ve mentioned before, the colors of the tasks in the calendar are dependent on the color label you’ve chosen, when you created the pod.
Since I’ve chosen, the color label green all the tasks related to the pod are colored green.
Again, if you have various projects or pods, it’s ideal to have a different color label for each. This way, you can easily identify related tasks in the calendar.
Note that color labels aren’t the only thing that you can rely on to determine related tasks. You can filter tasks according to the client, team member assigned or the task type. The image below shows the various tasks types that users can choose from.
7. Insights: Seeing Progress and the Big Picture
In the Insights tab, you can view the overall tasks. You can determine the number of active pods, milestones, tasks completed and the time spent on each task. You can also filter these tasks according to the type, status, persons assigned and deadline.
If you scroll down the Insights section, you can view the individual tasks related to the pod, persons assigned to the task and the due date.
I’ve found Insights to be useful since it provides an overview of my team’s progress, task due dates and time allotted for the project.
It doesn’t provide social media reports and analytics reports at the same level as CoSchedule—but, if you’re a content marketer with a small team, this might only be the Insights feature that you’ll ever need.
Brightpod Plans and Pricing
The upgraded versions of Brightpod are Professional ($29/month), Studio ($69/month), Agency ($129/month) and Agency Plus ($199/month).
Upgrading to Professional provides users with 15 active pods, 5GB of storage, 10 active users and access to task lists, milestones and calendar functionalities.
The Studio plan provides users with 45 active pods, 20 GB of storage, 25 users and access to time tracking, insights and trash recovery features.
Upgrading to more expensive plans, such as Agency and Agency plus gives users unlimited pods, increases the amount of storage and increases the number of users you can add in.
Brightpod is a lot pricier than Asana and Trello (both are priced $9.99/month/user), but the price point would be fairly the same if you add more team members.
Brightpod’s price point for the Professional ($29/month) and Studio plan ($69/month), are slightly similar to CoSchedule’s Solo Marketing ($30/month) and Team Marketing ($60/month) plans.
However, Brightpod’s Professional plan enables you to invite 10 users, while CoSchedule’s Solo Plan enables you to invite just yourself.
This makes Brightpod is the most cost-efficient project management tool in the market.
Final Thoughts on Brightpod
Brightpod has all the basics.
It has calendar features, tasks lists and insights, but what sets it apart is user experience.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, it’s fairly easy to navigate across the platform.
Unlike the other project management tools that I’ve used in the past, I didn’t have to keep viewing video tutorials to learn about the features. I just viewed the main tutorial and naturally got accustomed to the software.
I admit that it’s not as budget-oriented or social-media oriented as its competitors. But, if you only want to create projects and have a smooth user experience, then Brightpod is a dream come true!