It’s time to talk about sharing your Podio data outside of Podio…and in this awesome episode we welcome back returning champion Pete Cuff from Future Solutions.
This is a great episode, as we always talk about the power of Podio….but what happens when you want to take that data and share it with outsiders (contractors, customers…you name it).
In this episode Pete and Jordan talk about some of the ways you can share your Podio data with outsiders, and particularly focus on the pros and cons of each method.
If you have data in Podio you want to share with anyone outside of your Podio system – this is the option for you (also check out Jordan’s recent masterclass on this subject where you can see some examples on your screen).
Check out Pete’s amazing Podio consultancy at https://futuresolutionsonline.co.uk/
Have you checked out our Podio Masterclass? Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to get notified of new videos.
Please don’t forget to leave us a review and subscribe to the Podcast and if you’d like to be a guest on an upcoming show please register your interest at https://bit.ly/supercharged-guest
Welcome to the supercharged with Jordan Samuel Fleming, your weekly podcast dedicated to what your business can achieve when it’s powered by Podio. Join us each week as we learn from the top Podio partners in the world as we investigate system integrations and add ons and hear from real business owners who have implemented Podio into their business. Now join Jordan Samuel Fleming, CEO of smartphone for this week’s episode.
Jordan Fleming 0:28
Hey, everybody, and welcome to this week’s episode of supercharged I’m your host, Jordan, Samuel Fleming, here to talk all about the power of workflow and automation, when your business is powered by Podio. Well, this episode, this week’s episode brings back another returning champion for a very specific reason. I brought back Pete cough from future solutions. A Podio partner, just like I used to be does a lot of building inside of Podio. And we’re here to talk about a very specific thing that we get asked about all the time, which is how do I share Podio data with people outside of Podio? What are the best practices and Pete and I dive into this a little, it kind of goes along with a masterclass that I’m putting up right now. It’s showing you this in a more direct way. But what are the ways you can share data? What are the pros of each way of doing so? What are the cons? What are the best practices? What are the options you have available to you? You know, we all know, and certainly if you listen to this podcast, hopefully, you’ll hear my passion about how amazing Podio is to manage the business, do the workflow, you know, share information across your team. But what about those times when I need to show a customer something I need to bring a contractor in and show them something Podio is built for that in many ways. And we go through in this podcast, the kind of different opportunities you have, and the pros and cons around them. As always, please do make sure you head over the YouTube channel, give us subscribe, make sure you’re up to date on the masterclasses, go to your podcast platform, give it a like and a share, give it a rating, it really does help to spread the gospel of Podio. And, of course, as always enjoy this episode, very special episode talking about how to share Podio data outside of Podio. With Pete cuff, let’s have a listen.
So we decided that for this episode, we would focus on kind of deep diving into sharing Podio data, right? Like, you know, and for those who I should probably start out with today’s guest, as you’ve heard from the introduction is Pete cut from future solutions. And pizza, very old, old old photo partner, his company future solutions, build systems support systems. And when we were chatting about, you know, things that we thought would be useful for the podcast, we always try and make sure we come up with ideas that will be useful. We talked about this notion of sharing Podio data with other people. And that’s really where we want to kind of focus on today and discuss the different ways you can achievement. And also kind of pros and cons about it. Right? Yeah, so
Pete Cuff 3:27
one of the one of the kind of great things about Podio is when you’re in it, it all makes sense. But when you’re when you’re out of it, or you’re just starting to get into the first time, it can be very confusing, very overwhelming. And, you know, first and foremost, Podio is a collaboration platform, it’s meant to bring people together into one place, but sometimes that place can be a bit too big or too you know, you don’t want to share 100% of everything, you just want to share 1% of what you want that one person to see. So that’s when these different kinds of methods can come in handy.
Jordan Fleming 4:01
That and I think you know, because so many of us build, you know, Podio becomes usually a real powerhouse of your business, right like it, it ends up kind of touching and bringing in so much of your day to day kind of business that you end up having a lot of data in there that you may want to share with someone outside of your organisation, an accountant or a consultant or contractors or whatever that is customers. And because Podio is so powerful at that part. The next logical step is how do I externalise some of the amazing things I’ve done in my Podio How do I get the results are the information into someone else’s hands? So it’s it’s not even just about you know, about the somewhat kind of convoluted onboarding. It’s all So about, you may never want people to know what Podio exists, sometimes, and sometimes you do want them to know Podio exists, or sometimes you don’t care that Podio exists. And each use case has its value. So if it’s okay with you, Pete, I’m going to drive the the first part of this to say, I want to focus on this in two parts, that’s using the word part way too many times I understand. So, part one will be an, you know, I want to focus on sharing Podio with other people. And part two will be sharing Podio data using an external vehicle of some sort. Because there are a multiple different ways of using Podio. And sharing things with the native Podio kind of structure. And there are pluses and minuses all of them. So if I think about a Pete, I’m thinking of, you can share an item, you can bring people into Podio into a workspace, and you can use a native webform. Those would be the three that I would class as part one, right? That is you’re using Podio. And you are exposing people to Podio in a in a certain way. So let’s talk about those first. Why do you think you know, if we go through those three, where are they good? When are they bad? When are they in between? What do you think? Okay,
Pete Cuff 6:25
well, let’s start I suppose with probably the easiest one, which is to share an individual item, interact with with somebody else. So firstly, the logistics of how you actually do that is typically on say, the comments field on the right hand side, you can just do an act symbol, and then start typing in somebody’s email address. And that will start sharing when you then send that message, you write a comment to them, send them that message, they will then receive an email from Podio with Polios, branding, polios name, etc, on it, saying, you know, Jordan shared this with you or Jordan said this to you. And then it will have a, you know, a snippet of what’s going on. And it will have a button saying click here to reply or click here to go and have a look. And that, in itself is brilliant, because it puts everything that you need just onto one email, everybody knows and trusts email, it’s very familiar. And of course, it’s it’s read only as well, at that point, they can’t they can’t change anything, they can’t do anything with it. Now I’ll kind of spare the details of once they’re in, you can change those permissions and so forth. But what it will then do and drive is that that person, then in order to see that item needs to come and open a Podio account.
Jordan Fleming 7:46
And that’s where it all falls down. Yeah, that
Pete Cuff 7:49
Citrix is model. Yeah, that makes sense. Right?
Jordan Fleming 7:53
I mean, it makes sense. But it is a massive weakness of this type of sharing. Because a it drives the necessity of I gotta create an account for this shit. Like, you know, so you know, there’s that problem. And the second problem, I think, because, you know, we could spend 40 minutes just on this bit, and other and nobody will learn anything. The second problem is, it’s really a clunky way of sharing information, because there’s no filtering, or sorting or organising that which as you have shared with you. So when that person even if I’m a Podio user already, but I’m in a different company, if you share me something an item, it goes into my shared with you section. And there’s no filtering, no sorting, no searching. And so beyond a handful of things, it becomes a fucking pain in the ass.
Pete Cuff 8:53
I knew it wouldn’t be long before various exclusive left your mouth when it came on about that process. Yeah, you’re right. It’s really annoying, it’s fantastic. If you’ve only got one or two things that you want to share with the person, that’s where it comes into its own. That’s great. And also it works well. If you’re able say to talk to that person first. And say by the way, you’re going to receive an email, it’s from our system Podio you’ll need to open an account, don’t worry, it’s all free, follow this stuff on on screen and you’ll be fine. And as long as you can kind of give them that warning that this stuff is about to happen, then it can probably start to make sense. I accidentally shared an item with a friend recently sorry, way back in the day. And he replied back saying So go on, then what’s this Podio thing and I had to kind of explain it’s this big old system. Sorry, I didn’t mean to do it. I couldn’t pull it back. And it was just like well, it would have been a lot easier. If it was he was on the phone at the time that I did it. I mean I said that check your inbox now you’ve got a link Yeah, so that’s that’s the that’s the first one but yeah, the downside is most definitely that you go on to the Citrix is Citrix is onboarding journey, which is clunky as hell, and doesn’t make sense, and they try and explain what everything is, when really, it’s just pointless. Well,
Jordan Fleming 10:10
there’s that. And then that leads us into what I would class as the next step up, which is sharing bringing someone into a workspace right? Now that is a big step up in that it can become a truly collaborative tool with an external group of people, you can very successfully and I have myself and seen many of our customers very successfully bring in external teams into workspaces, and have them start to love Podio, you know, and save them really get you going. So this, this is a definite step up in that what you’re doing at this stage is you’re actually bringing them into a workspace or multiple workspaces, but usually just one. And you’re essentially when you do that, you’re giving them the opportunity to use the workspace, the apps and everything, see everything as though you they normally would. And that means that they can collaborate with you, like any Podio user can. But of course, as Pete, I’m sure we’ll both point out. The downside of that is if you’re bringing people in who don’t need to be in Podio, very often, you’re essentially going to be a Podio helpline for them, because they’re going to come in every month to see the one thing you need them to see. And they’re going to be like, What the hell? Where do I go? How do I you know, that that whole onboarding process when you get a new staff into Podio, and the time it takes for them to learn it? You have to do with everything? Everybody over and over again?
Pete Cuff 11:38
Absolutely. And it’s complicated, because it’s unusual. People aren’t, you know, people don’t know how to use Podio out of the box, you don’t know what workspaces, yeah, the first time I logged into Podio, and took out an account, I didn’t get it. And I nearly closed my account and walked the other way. I’m very glad I came back a few years later, and gave it another try. And it finally started to make sense to me. But there’s a huge learning curve. And you either get it or you don’t. And most people don’t, in my in my experience, and the thing that when you add someone into a workspace, if you are getting them in my my advice would be whatever that workspace is, in the first instance, make it as simple as possible. So for example, one of our clients used it as a way to have a forum for their, for their customers. And they had several 1000 external users in that in that workspace. And yes, most of them didn’t engage with it, but some really got it. And you know what it’s like when you go into a forum, and you see, you know, the same old names over and over and over again, it’s like it did, there were people who got it, and they, they just need to get to a certain point to make it work. But it’s a real challenge, I think, to get people to understand it. And one of the ways that you could seek to improve that, as I’ve said before, firstly, ideally have someone on the phone or in person and show them through it. But for purposes of scale, why not record your own onboarding journey, why not record your own video showing them this is the workspace that you’re going to be a member of, or a sample of it. This is what you click on, this is an ad, this is the activity stream, etc, etc. And then you can really target your message and get those users to only see the stuff that you really want them to focus on.
Jordan Fleming 13:18
I agree with that. And the second thing I would say about that is that this is really in my opinion, this is really only applicable for the people you want to be working in Podio with on a very regular basis. You know, it doesn’t really matter how simple you make the workspace, if they’re only going to see it once a month, find us one of our other methods we’ll talk about because it’s not worth the hassle. But like if you’ve got I’ve seen people bring customers in very successfully to Podio and contractors, subcontractors etc. And as long as you have a, a clear and an obvious workspace with a very few set of apps that make complete sense. And they people are working in there all the time, it can be incredibly powerful, because you suddenly have all the collaboration that you’re used to, but you’ve got it with people who are outside of your organisations, you got subcontractors who are managing a project with you, and they can see everything and comment and assign tasks and do tasks. And so there’s huge value to that. And I can’t stress enough the fact that Podio is business model is to its credit in this way, you can bring an unlimited amount of external users into your organisation and for free, and that is not something that most of these systems have. And that means that if you can get this model working, you can actually bring a lot of people into your system, have them fully working inside it, and you are not paying a monthly fee for those people. So that’s a huge benefit to that model.
Pete Cuff 14:53
Absolutely. Yeah. And I’d like it also a bit to say Google’s model which is you know, you can You can attach a Google doc to a email. But what you really want to do is open a Google account. So you can now collaborate on that item life. It’s kind of that similar model of if you can get them in and explain to them what this is, then that you really start to reap the benefits on the other side.
Jordan Fleming 15:15
100% 100% agree with that. And, you know, and just to round out the internal kind of Podio bits, because I don’t, I want to get through all of these today, if we can. There’s one final one, which is kind of using the internal bits of Podio, which are pre populated web forms. So if we think about it, the first one is the one I never recommend, which is simply to share an item. It is the worst case, you know, in my opinion, bringing people into the workspace is the second one, which can be hugely powerful, and has huge benefits, but has to be done in a specific and controlled way. And then the third one is the individual prefilled webform. So Pete, why don’t you tell us a bit about that.
Pete Cuff 16:00
Okay, so the prefilled webform, that’s the one where you’re going to need the most level of, I’d say coding slash planning to make this work for you. But that the flip side of that is that it’s very, very powerful, if used correctly. So every single app in Podio can be turned into a webform in just a couple of clicks. That means that external users can populate the whichever fields you set to be shown with the data. So it’s like they’re in Podio, and putting in the data themselves. But it’s all done at arm’s length outside of Podio. Looking in. Now, how you pre populate fields on a webform, because when it first loads, it will be blank. How you pre populate it is your pins, a query string. So that’s a set of parameters and values to the end of the URL, the website address for that, for that webform. And it means you can do things like let’s say you’ve given each customer or client of yours an ID that you want them to cite or a code to put in to get a discount or something like that, it means that you can pre populate that field so that when they arrive, it’s already there. Now the details of how to do that are documented more in the Podio help documentation, I think I’d recommend working through that in person rather than trying to explain it over a podcast. But the basic premise is you have the the URL of the webform, a question mark, and then you set like field X equals ABC field y equals 123. And it will populate.
Jordan Fleming 17:42
Now hugely powerful this hugely powerful,
Pete Cuff 17:45
because you can make it do really clever stuff, especially when you then combine it with a little bit of styling, so a little bit of HTML and CSS styling. And that’s basically what makes the form look the way that it does. So it comes with forms out the box comes with lots of different styling options that you can choose from a drop down. But then there is an option also on that styling bit to to add custom styling to Custom CSS. And that’s where you can do things like hide a field. So you could use your query string up in your in your address bar, to say that you want to set the ID fields to 123. And then you can set your CSS your styling to say and hide field ID so that it’s being populated that they can’t, the person looking at the webform, when the filling in can’t see that the ID is already populated. And most importantly, they can’t remove the ID, they can’t hide that they can’t change it accidentally. So it’s really powerful say to, you could you could populate it with somebody’s first name and last name so that they know that they’re that you know, you’ve got their data or you know that their name or their email or whatever, but you might want to hide how you got to that point. So
Jordan Fleming 18:56
I’ll give you a great example of real life example, which shows just how this little thing can can make your system so easy. And that is we build a system years ago for a training company that like did outdoor training and adventure stuff. And so they would have, they would have a customer, they would have people who register for their stuff for their events. And then they will want to maybe get dietary information and sizing and whatever. And so we simply used globey flow PW Citrix PWA to create the URL by dropping in tokens, right by but by dropping in. So I could get the name from one app and the event ID from another app. And I could do all that because again, you’ve got the power of Citrix PWA to grab information from all over the place, create this URL, which meant that when they clicked we got they got the automated email that said, hey Jordan, it’s time for you to your event. Just two weeks away, it’s time for you to give us your fucking dietary information. They clicked on the link, and it populated and it’s like Jordan, the name is Jordan Fleming the event is, you know, camping inactive, the dietary requests or beer, beer and meats, and etc, etc, etc. And it was all prefilled with the information about the event and me. And then I could simply do the bits that I needed, and update bits, like my contact information and choose that. And then it went into Podio. And we knew exactly what it was what event it was for, we got everything in for there, they didn’t have to type in a bunch of fields they are they didn’t have to do their name. Again, they didn’t. And more importantly, they didn’t have to do things where they could fuck up the results I needed. So like an event ID or Person ID, you know, when I needed to make sure that this was going to register as Jordan Fleming, I don’t want to put that in their hands. And that’s one of the powerful things about web, the web forming elements. The way Pete’s talking of is, if you really take it to the way it can be done, you can take information from all over your Podio system, pre fill the bits in the form, and give someone a really guided experience where all you need to do is gather a bit of data. That’s all you need. Okay, hands up who’s using Podio for real estate, and they don’t want more Leads. Nobody. You want more Leads closed, well check out smartphone for Podio, the only phone system fully built for Citrix Podio. With an fully integrated power dialer and our amazing mobile apps, it means wherever you are, you can make more calls, love to Podio, send more texts, love to Podio and close more deals all log to your Podio CRM, click the link, check it
Pete Cuff 21:46
out. But then that leads us simultaneously so nicely on to the kind of con of of this approach, which is that web forms are just catch tools, they only receive information. So whilst you might be able to pre fill them for them, you are still then receiving information, you’re not updating anything, it’s creating a new item. Yeah, it creates a brand new item in the app populated with whatever they have submitted on that form, whether that’s prefilled or not. And therefore that a important consideration, I want to think about when using prefilled, or blank Web Forms is generally speaking, it’s best to just remember everything, there’s a catch, and therefore there could be duplicates. And if you are wanting to update a record as a result of receiving a webform, you need to use either manual, but more preferably an automated approach to check that the first thing that you get through then goes off and updates the master record, wherever that may be somewhere else. And just treat it all as like a big intro, and then work out how to deal with each one as it comes in.
Jordan Fleming 22:53
Yeah, it is much better, as in my opinion, it is much better as a way of gathering information rather than updating. So you can use it to like, hey, update your contact details, you know, this, you can do that. But it’s gonna require you to create a new item and then check and replace, or whatever and, and there are better ways that we’ll talk about in a second to doing that sort of thing. But where this comes into its own are things like the use case I gave you where, you know, I’ve got an event I’m running, and I’m trying to gather, you know, information from someone about their next of kin and their dietary, those are perfect, because what you’re really doing is you’re using the prefilled bits to identify the parts you need to ident like this, it’s this person for this event on this date, etc. And you pre fill in that bit so that you they can’t touch it, and you’re gathering new information you’ve never had. That’s where this use case fucking flies in my opinion.
Pete Cuff 23:52
Yeah, absolutely agreed. Yeah, as I said, Remember, it’s a catching tool. It’s not an updating tool.
Jordan Fleming 23:58
Yeah, absolutely. Now, a last one I’m going to touch on although I think this will deserve its own, I’m gonna do its own. I may get Andrew and maybe you on a group one to talk about it. Because I want to dive in more into the capabilities of a PWA External Link. Because I don’t want to I’m not gonna dive too much into it on this episode, because it’s a long fucking narrative that we could drive it for a while. But the last kind of internal the podium, one, in my opinion, is an external link. And it’s the this is the one that bridges the gap between using just Podio tools and kind of externalising them and using some of the other tools we’re about to talk about and an external link is something that you can create in globey flow in Citrix PWA. And essentially, it creates a unique link that can be clicked on. And you can actually make the page it goes to do almost anything. So you can display data, you can display tables, you can Get referenced items from all over your Podio create tables and buttons, and links to new web forms, you can create it as a holding page or as a sort of a splash page, which then links to a bunch of things. It can be amazingly powerful. But it also is slow. Very. So if you the warning is it’s great to use in some circumstances. But if you push it too far, and we’ve pushed it too far, if they’re on like a 3g, 4g connection, it is not a sensible option, would you agree
Pete Cuff 25:36
completely. And in its most pure form, when you say in PWA, I want to create a new external link for this for this app for this item, the first brick that it automatically puts in on on the flow is a web a web page, brick. And what some people don’t realise is that as you’ve just then said, whilst it puts it in at the top, and then you can put more things underneath, you can change that order. And put in your get referenced, you can build tables, you can build variables, you can do whatever the hell you like, and then show the web form, sorry, not the web form the web page. But that’s the problem is that whilst anything that you’ve put above the web page is going on the web page is not loading. So the person at the other end is waiting for a process. So all they’re seeing is a blank white page, waiting for the web page bid to be triggered and come in. And so it’s yeah, it should be used carefully and infrequently would be my steer,
Jordan Fleming 26:36
I have a great success in using this in where we’ve maybe sent an email. And in that email, we’ve got an action button. You know, do you want to confirm that you love cheese? Yes. So you know, and they action button is yes. And when they are now let’s give a real example, a property management example where the lease is up for renewal, and we’re going to send them a 90 day notice that it’s up for renewal, is it your intention to stay another year, you know, and click here to tell us you want to stay another year, click here to tell us who you don’t. And when they click here to say they want to stay in the year, we’re using a Podio. A CD is Citrix, PWA, external length, which then we know who clicked it, what they’re clicking. So we can do lots of actions. But we can also take them to a page, which shows them in from a branded page, which shows them maybe great, you want to stay another year, you know, to review your bubble, blah, click here to review, you’re this click there. And we’re giving them some information there. So we’re getting an action from the click, and doing something. But we’re also then showing them something that is branded, that’s to me, one of the simplest use cases where this flies,
Pete Cuff 27:59
it does with one caveat, which is you need to be careful, because some some email clients automatically scan and ping and check email links that are inside them. And so we’ve seen use cases where for example, someone said, you know, you send out a link going click here, if you want to stay a year. And for argument’s sake, all of the Gmail addresses instantly responded saying that they wanted to stay another year. Ah, looks like Google automatically checks each. We’ve never had that. So yeah, I can’t remember which emails, which email provider it was. But we’ve certainly seen that and it’s been,
Jordan Fleming 28:36
that would be irritating. Yeah, we’ve never had that. But, but that is, I think it’s a good example of where External links can really help you where you’ve got something, you’ve got an action you want them to take. That can also be by the way embedded on a webpage, if you don’t want to, like there’s lots of ways of doing it, you’ve got an action, you want them to take something to click, and it’s going to show them a bit of information, maybe some links to new things. And those are going to be dynamically generated each time based on the context of which bit of Podio you’re linking to. That is a great use case, but it can be super fucking slow. So you have to be very careful in how you build, we’ve built really complex ones that we’ve had to walk away from eventually, because the load times were like, now we’re going to have to we got to find a better way of doing this.
Pete Cuff 29:26
Sure. Another another kind of variation, I suppose at the external link is kind of related is that PWA can use a create a CMS so content management system function. And that’s where you can say that you want PWA to create either a single item or a table or a click through table or you a click through to the detail of that table from from an app or an item in an app. And again, it’s it’s pretty basic. It’s quite good. It’s an easy way to get information out. You can use it in conjunction with external links as well. So you can, you can say, you know, here’s all your stuff and click on here to go and do something about each one. But to be some of the kind of cautions about it is that the CMS is technically I think, been in beta for about 10 years. And that the the refresh time is something like every 15 minutes. And so it can lead to confusing results when especially you’ve got automations that are running on something that someone’s done. But then they look back at the CMS version, and it’s all cached, it’s still showing what was true one minutes ago, or 14 minutes ago, let alone what’s true right now. So tread slightly carefully on that.
Jordan Fleming 30:43
Yeah, my honest opinion is, if you’re gonna start to the CMS functionality, isn’t that useful. I think if you’re gonna really want to show that you’re gonna have to do it with your own custom web application. If you really want to show you really want to play in that. And which takes us to the next kind of the final level of this, just, you know, we’re going to today’s podcast is really a broad overview of the ways the pitfalls, etc, that you can do it. We’ll dive probably in the each of these in more in particular, I will in the master class as well. But the third category is really this, you know, where you are taking Podio data, and externalising it using some sort of third party system. You know, whether that is third party system that you build or third party system that you’re using, via some other bit of software. So let’s start with you know, you you identified it as sort of skins in middleware. And then and I would say skins middleware and custom builds, would be would be the three. So it from a skins point of view, we’ve got things like proc foo, and then low code, no code systems like bubble.io. Let’s start with proc foo, what are your thoughts on proc foo is this you know?
Pete Cuff 32:06
I think I think profit is brilliant. So prop foo have a, an option in the plan called Mini Apps. And the idea and the basic premise of a mini app is you want exactly the kind of use case that we’re talking about here, which is Podio is overwhelming, what you really want to do is just show three fields, not 100. And you know, don’t have to navigate through load of workspaces and a load of apps to get what you want, you want to turn it into a mini website. That’s basically you’re saying, like a nice little mini website that you can brand however you want, structure however you want. And so that’s the kind of gap that many apps have gone into. They’re they’re insanely customizable. The, you can build incredible processes both on the front on their front end, and also, as a result in your your back end in your in your Podio platform. That the biggest advantage that that I think that proxy Mini Apps has over everything else now, really, is that it was built for polio first. So it was built by Andreas who, originally, so I get and the price. And the price, I’ll come to that price, don’t you worry. But yeah, it was built by Andreas who originally built globey flow, which is now Podio, workflow automation. And it’s the you will struggle to find something that is Podio centric. Podio targeted, Podio compatible out of the box for the price that you get, which is starting off as free, and then going up to a dizzying $9 When you start paying for it. And then you know,
Jordan Fleming 33:48
when you get the Mini Apps
Pete Cuff 33:50
bid, is it 25? Yeah, sorry,
Jordan Fleming 33:52
$25 $25 a month to be able to do many apps is is just insane. And a good use case. So we’ve we’ve done a lot of a tonne of Mini Apps over the years we did a tonne when we had game changers going. And I’m sure that Andrew and his team are doing a tonne still. And I’ll tell you, I’ll show you I’ll tell you one really like simple example, a timesheet. So we built we used to have companies that had external field teams, like I’ve said before, and those guys don’t want to fuck around Podio they don’t want to fuck around Podio. And and so we simply had a timesheet app, we built a mini app on top of it, where anybody could take we give them the link. They could simply select themselves as an employee, you could make it more complex and make them login and do all that shit. We didn’t need to. We just were like, here’s here’s a link guys save it on your phone every day. They click that little icon on their phone, it pops up, they select their name, they click and then they say I’m starting and then they they click and say I’m stopping And it was a mini app. And it was. And it was super simple as externalising, as someone who wasn’t in Podio could just be, bam, bam, bam. But internally, we got exactly what we needed. We got, here’s the employee start time, here’s the employee’s end time. And we could use the genius of Podio, to work out all the billables in the employ doubles and all the rest of it. But for the user, no Podio, no nonsense no Podio app on their phone, trying to navigate it, just a very simple form they could fill in.
Pete Cuff 35:33
And all completely customizable, right and all branded, however you wanted,
Jordan Fleming 35:37
completely branded to them, customizable. E for most of them, what we did eventually was actually give them a kind of login, they could log you can set different ways of logging into a mini app, we gave them a username and a password, they logged in, and they could see all their timesheets for the whole year, they could review them, click on them, see the information, update them, et cetera, update them when if we let them or not. And all of that driven in a kind of more web based environment they were familiar with. And that
Pete Cuff 36:09
gets over that that initial learning code, you don’t need to put them through the Podio journey, you don’t need to explain what this is everyone knows how to use a website. So this basically turns your Podio data into a website. And one critical thing that it also allows you to do, again, as a differentiator between there say opening the Podio app on your phone, and entering a timesheet via Podio native process is that if you are a member of a workspace in Podio, you can see all the apps, all the data, all the submissions in the timesheet app, all of that stuff, not just yours, you can kind of make it get that way. But at any point, you can say now just show me everything. Whereas we’re probably many apps, if you set it up in the way that you want to and if this is your use case, then you can just say I only want to see today’s records for me.
Jordan Fleming 36:58
Yeah, and and I actually want to broaden this right now, because I don’t want this pod This podcast is gone for four hours. And I don’t want it to so I’m going to say this is going to this is going to be cheap and nasty, just like me. And if we think about externalising Podio data, I view it as there’s the the I don’t know the Ford Focus. There’s the the Jeep Wrangler. And then there’s the Ferrari, I don’t know, whatever, there’s basically the cheap to the expensive, right? The cheap is going to be proc for many apps, is going to be kind of proc foo miniapp type where you it proc foo is very affordable, it’s very easy to create your cheap is going to it’s not as customizable. It’s not to get it going working really fast with lots of large data, you’re going to have to do some sort of sequel sync in there to make sure that happens. That the sort of cheap and I don’t want to say cheap and nasty, but the cheap and quick and wonderful is the Mini Apps. At the super expensive Ferrari fucking McLaren f1 side, you’ve got build your own web application, where you are literally taking Podio data building some sort of sequel sync, so that data flows back and forth. And then you are building an environment in a web, you know, in a web application where you are. And that is your Rolls Royce type where you want someone to log into hub.mydomain.com. And they see a beautiful web application with all their orders and their customer information. And they can update it. And we’ve built lots of those. But they take more time and a lot more expensive. But of course, they give a much better user kind of interface, a brand experience. And in the middle is sort of your bubble.io. Where I think actually bubble.io is the is the least of those, because proc foo is brilliant and cost effective. The other one is amazing and expensive. And bubble is kind of the worst of all worlds in some ways. And I don’t mean that as disrespectful as it sounds, because it’s good. But you’re not getting the flexibility of building your own shit, it’s a lot slower. And it’s gonna take you a lot of time.
Pete Cuff 39:19
So and you need to work out how to make it linked to your Podio data, because it’s not built for poEdit. It’s not built for polio, it can talk to polio, but you need to make it do it. Whereas a proc foo is built to talk to polio, your custom Ferrari isn’t but the person putting together would be doing Podio integration for you.
Jordan Fleming 39:39
And I think you if you’re going to really think about a use cases where say you’ve got customers and you want them to log in and see information in their orders or their projects and, and be able to give you updates and all that but you don’t want them in Podio you’ve really got those two pillars. It’s either a proxy mini app, or a custom web application. My opinion and are really the ways you want to look. One is going to cost you a lot less, but be less functional and, and slightly less, you know, design wise, you’re gonna have slight restrictions and all that, but it’s gonna be quicker and cheaper. And one is going to be where you really care about a brand experience, etc. And you’re building you’re expecting to spend 15 to $20,000 to build a web portal, like those, like, to me, those are the only two that matter in my opinion, what do you think?
Pete Cuff 40:30
Yeah, I completely agree. I think I think I want bubble IO. And I like it to be more Podio leaning than they are, but they’re not. So you know, the strength that that things like bubble might have is that they are more suited also say to dovetail straight into the Google API and, and track maps all over the place or integrate to a payment gateway or because again, that what bubble? What bubble does is it saying we’re going to be your own low code, no code, App Builder service, you just link it to what you want. And then you can drag and drop this stuff around. As I said, though, but Podio isn’t out of the box. So it can’t do that for Podio. It doesn’t.
Jordan Fleming 41:12
Yeah, and I gotta say, I mean, we did a project a couple years ago. And you know, that’s a project we did a couple years ago, using bubble.io. And it may have improved a lot. But it, it wasn’t very, the problem is, and particularly if you’ve been used, so used to using Podio. If you’re really used to building in Podio, you used to being able to do almost anything with Citrix. PWA like spoils us, because you can do almost anything, add in proc foo and fucking you can do anything. And do it quickly. And the problem is when you that, that sets your expectations, that everywhere else their workflow automation can be done that quickly and that brilliantly and bubble simply wasn’t there. It maybe it is now maybe it is now but it just wasn’t there. And so we ended up with I we ended up like feeling like we were walking through treacle, you know, like molasses when you were trying to do this. So really, I think your best options are proc food. I think proc for many apps, if I was going to say to anyone who wanted to get started on externally externalising Podio data right now proc foo.com. Fucking buy an account and read up on many apps because I can I and I don’t build in Podio anymore, and I haven’t built in Podio. Really for three years, I can still put together a mini app in 20 minutes, which does what I need it to do. It’s not gonna have lots of bells and whistles, but it’s that sort of it’s got the Podio do it yourself, feel. But your results can be really quite nice.
Pete Cuff 43:05
Yeah, agreed. And again, it is like all these all these things, all the stuff we’re talking about. The more you delve into it, the more you unpick it, the more you pull it stuff, you’ll find more and more and more options, more and more possibilities. But equally, then the more complicated, you’re making it. So it’s more likely that you’re going to need to learn some coding elements as well in order to get the absolute most out of it. But you’re right, that it’s in various places. It’s kind of just dropship, press this button, and I think Andres has released the ninja that can build a mini app for you in like 30 seconds.
Jordan Fleming 43:43
Comparatively, if we’re talking about you know, I mean, you’ve got a Podio consultancy, you build Podio for people all the time. You know, you guys, I’m sure that, you know, you can build the time it takes to build a Podio miniapp even one that’s relatively complex, compared to the time it takes to build a web application from scratch. Yeah, even if you’re using a symphony or, you know, one of these kinds of coding structures, even if you’re using that the time, you know, in eight to 10 hours of of work, you can get an enormous amount done versus eight to 10 hours in a web application is like well, okay, we’ve gotten started this year, right and, and so really like that’s what I’m saying it’s I don’t I don’t mean it to be disrespectful when I say a Ford versus a Ferrari. Because actually, you know, that you’re all I’m talking about is you know, it’s more it’s not about Ford versus Frey so much as it’s, you know, one there are restrictions, but the cost and speed are a massive advantage. The other costs and speed go massively down but the results are up. Unbelievable. So you where’s your sweet spot? Do you You need to spend $35,000, building a web application a complex web application that is all singing, all dancing and is exactly branded and above law, when probably not, if you know, in which case, you know, five grand will get you a tremendous amount and a miniapp stage. Yeah,
Pete Cuff 45:17
you could do that, you know, a miniapp is a great, a great proof of concept, you can get there on an iterate quickly, you can get it to test out your processes and how it’s going to work in the back end. And if you really decide that you want more power, more grunt, more speed, more, whatever is missing, then you could take that mock up for want of a better way of putting it and so and give that to a developer saying make that but do it over here?
Jordan Fleming 45:41
Absolutely. All right. Well, listen, I think that’s a pretty good overview of the ways, I would sum this up by saying, you know, if you simply if you want to simply show people a bit of data, an external link, or a, you know, there, there are ways of doing that, that are pretty easy. I would say, only bring people into Podio. If you’re going to seriously bring them into Podio. If you’re not going to seriously bring them into Podio, investigate one of these other systems, other ways of doing it. And if you’re going to really try and externalise a lot of data, the best option is a mini app or a web portal, the miniapp being much quicker and much cheaper, with some more restrictions, the web portal being all singing, all dancing, and budget is your only limit. Right? So I mean, start to think about what you know, start, I would say, start to think about, what does it mean to me to externalise Podio data? Who do I want to see it? What do I want them to see? How do I want them to interact with it? And if you answer those questions, it’ll lead you to the way and if you’ve got any questions, just drop Pete a line, I’m going to drop his contact information into the podcast information, drop PETA line, or head over to we are game changers.com, you can fill in a Podio a partner request, I’ve got a whole group of partners in which Pete is one of them, where I can match you up. But Pete has a huge amount of knowledge in this. His contact details will be in the podcast information. So please do drop them a line.
Pete Cuff 47:21
Thank you very much.
Jordan Fleming 47:23
I Pete I gotta go. My daughter has a recital and I am not going to miss it. So So yeah, and I’m also heading off to Italy tomorrow.
Unknown Speaker 47:34
So I’d like to some of us say,
Jordan Fleming 47:38
Yeah, I’m going on holiday. So this, this will come out in a couple of weeks.
Pete Cuff 47:42
All right. Well, thanks very much, Sheldon, been great to talk to you.
Jordan Fleming 47:45
Thanks so much for joining us. And thank you guys, for listening. Please remember to Like share, click things that you’re supposed to collect and make sure that you spread the gospel of Podio via the supercharged podcast.
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