I am a cyclist at heart. I ride everywhere I can. Work. Meetings. Coffee shop. Farmers market. But there are limits to my pedal-powered circumference, times when I have to jump in the family car and motor to my destination. The multitude of online time tracking, task management, and project management software tools are of a similar purpose. There are the silo apps that operate much like a bicycle, connecting the dots between the few online needs a small business might have. And there are a new class of tools evolving, much like cars, designed to transport the small business into the great wide open more intuitively and efficiently than has ever been possible. (Before I continue further, I’d like to apologize in advance for beating the metaphor to a bloody pulp)
A bicycle is not a car
An example of this would be Basecamp. While it is a great task management program for getting small teams on the same page, it is not a project management tool. It will get you down to the corner store for some milk just like a bicycle would, but don’t think you can take the lane on the interstate with it. Basecamp just wasn’t built for this purpose, and they would be the first to admit it. The beauty of an application like Basecamp is that it has taught many small businesses how to use web-based productivity tools, creating a culture of customers unafraid to venture online. They’ve taught a market how to ride a bicycle, and now the market is evolving and asking for the keys to the car.
A car is not a bicycle
The inverse is also true, and Intervals would be an example. Intervals was built to do the extra hauling required by some projects — finance and time tracking, reporting, payments, expenses and invoicing. The goal is to pick up where other silo apps have left off and reach deeper into the market for small businesses who need more than a fleet of two-wheelers. With time tracking and task management at it’s core, Intervals is like a car with a bunch of bicycles loaded on the back of it. Not only will it get you to greater small business destinations, it also gives you the mobility to move about your immediate surroundings.
Every mode of transport has its alternative. The same is true with online project management software. However you choose to ride, the important thing is to be properly fitted with what works for you and your small business.