Working together with your team in the same room can be noisy and chaotic, and odds are you’ll get a lot less done thanks to constant distractions. People will stop in to tell you what they’re working on, or ask for help, or your manager will want updates on what you’re doing. That’s one of the many things that make remote work so enticing: it lets you find your own quiet zone to do your best work, and shut out all the distractions. Of course, then it’s tough to know what everyone’s working on.
That’s why the MetaLab Design team built the new Peak app. It’s the automated way to keep up with what everyone’s working on, and more, without taking up any of your team’s time for needless questions.
Most teams these days — and especially teams working remotely — rely on web apps to get their work done. You’re saving files in Dropbox, pushing code to Github, communicating over Gmail, crunching numbers in Google Docs Spreadsheets, and planning your projects in Basecamp or Flow. Everything you’re working on is out there and likely already shared with your team, so there’s no reason for anyone to need to ask what’s been going on. You just need something that’ll pull that data together — and that’s exactly what Peak does.
You just integrate it with the services your team uses — right now, it works with Github, Gmail, Dropbox, Google Drive, Harvest, Ballpark, Flow, and Basecamp — and let it work on its own. It’ll take the data your team puts into all of those apps — the number of emails answered, time tracked in Harvest, tasks completed in Basecamp, code committed in Github, PSDs and documents saved in Dropbox — and turns them into automated reports that let you easily see what everyone’s working on at a glance. Each app integration is unique, so you can see image previews from Dropbox while just the number of emails answered in Gmail, for instance. Odds are, that’ll cover a decent portion of the apps your team already uses — especially since any native app that saves files in Dropbox or Google Drive is covered — but hopefully it’ll bring on more apps in the future to cover everything everyone uses.
There’s more, too: Peak will track the time your team is working based on inputs from all of those apps, and will show you when your team members are working, how long they’re working, and the time’s they’re usually most active. That’ll give you deep insight into your team’s productivity, help you know when’s best to get ahold of them or when you’d better not bug them, and ensure work’s getting done without having to take up anybody’s time. It’s a really neat idea.
Interesting, along the veins of 37signals’ new Know Your Company, Peak isn’t something you can just go try out yourself right now. Instead, you’ll need to contact MetaLab and give them a bit of info about your company. That’s not too much of a hurdle, though, and it’ll likely insure that you’ll get the best setup for your team.
If you’re running a company — or, say, one focused team inside a company — and want to have a better view of what’s going on in your team, Peak is the app to try. It’s an innovative take on the time-tracking apps, reinvented for the way teams work today.
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