Bridge24 - Toby's Review

Inspired by our Top 10 Productivity Apps for 2019 blog post, Bridge24, a tech company who have developed a time saving tool that works alongside other productivity apps (including Trello and Asana) wanted to collaborate with DeskLodge on a tried and tested review.

DeskLodger, Toby Beresford is a hotdesker at DeskLodge Old Market, founder of rise.global and Head of Client Engagement at Magic Freebies.  As a keen trello and Osana user, Toby was kindly up to the task of reviewing this new time saving tool.  (Thanks Toby!).

Find out Toby’s thoughts on productivity apps and what he really thought about the Bridge24 tool below.

Toby’s Review

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The slow gradual demise of Excel is being heralded by an emerging crop of reporting and dashboard tools that convert data from real time sources into useable management reports.

Most tools are specialised in a specific area, for instance Google Analytics has a suite of reports that most Desklodge businesses will be using to track activity on their websites.

Some, however, are more general. These tools fall into the category of “Business Insight” tools. Their role is to give business managers the power to slice and dice their data to create reports useful for running the business.

The leaders in the category are Microsoft’s Power BI and Tableau (sold this week to Salesforce for $15bn). Also rans include specialised single visualisation tools like my own rise.global which outputs leaderboards and scorecards for individuals.

In 2011 I created a generalised task management tool where you moved team tasks between buckets – it was called Pailz. It died a death when a year later both Trello and Asana launched backed by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.

Interestingly, while both tools have matured in terms of ease of user experience, neither has really added the enterprise features that bigger organisations need to turn a useful tool into an effective software platform to run the business on. Monday.com is a more recent entry to the market (formerly Dapulse) but it too lacks automated reporting.

While all tools allow export, assuming perhaps that the granddaddy of report making, Excel, will do the job for most use cases, there is perhaps a gap in the market for automated reporting – you connect up the data source, define the report structures, and let the software do the rest.

This is the space that Bridge24 is looking to fill. Bridge24 is a project of Web Systems, a Quebecois company that provides Ace Project. The tool provides reporting functionality on top of other cloud project management software (Asana, Trello, Basecamp and of course Ace Project).

At rise.global we’ve used Asana for years so we’ve got lots of tasks that certainly could do with some tidy visualisation. I plugged in Bridge24 and after a bit of crunching managed to output a few useful charts...

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For a $12 / month tool, Bridge24 does what it sets out to do – provide a simple reports interface for project management tools.  I’m still not entirely sure how useful this is on generalised project management tools like Asana – the tasks are just so disparate in nature. It’s a bit like trying to make sense of someone’s daily task list transcribed from their paper notebook.

I can see the tool being useful in more defined scenarios – such as when Asana is being used just as a CRM or support desk. I’d like to see connectors for dedicated CRM’s that lack their own reporting suite. Pipedrive springs to mind.

Overall a good start but still some way to go before it becomes a necessary part of the project management stack.

DeskLodger of the Month - Richard Lowe

Meet Richard Lowe, Director of Training and Digital Learning Solutions at Hewlett Rand and Virtual office user at DeskLodge House. Richard likes travelling, eating out and keeping fit.

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What do Hewlett Rand do?

We’ve been delivering bespoke training and digital learning solutions to meet the needs of local, national and international clients, since 2006. We design bespoke training programmes and e-Learning content to meet the needs of your business. We can help with enhancing leadership, management or sales team skills to improve performance and productivity or creating tailored e-Learning content for product or compliance training.

 

How long have you been coming to Desklodge?

Ever since DeskLodge House launched (January 2019). It also happens to have been my old office when I headed up Training for Unum!

 

What is your favourite thing about your job?

Seeing the transformation from our work with our clients. Supporting businesses to develop their people to adapt to change, so they can thrive in an ever more, fast paced world.

 

What is your favourite thing about DeskLodge?

The service, the warm welcome, the creative and comfortable working environment.

 

What do you do in your spare time?

Travelling, eating out and then burning off the calories at the pool and gym.

 

Who is your biggest celebrity crush?

Pass!

 

 

DeskLodge Company Profile - Vlog Series

Modular Digital

We are really excited to share the first in a series of vlogs for our DeskLodge Customer Profiles.

First up is one of our long-term residents at DeskLodge Old Market - Emma Millington from Modular Digital.

Find out why Modular choose to work from DeskLodge, how they use our spaces & what keeps them productive in our Company Profile vid!

If you are a DeskLodger and would like to get your business featured in our Customer Profile Vlog series, please speak to emma@desklodge,.com and get involved!




 

Company profile - All Interactive

Creative digital designers All Interactive have been regular hotdeskers at DeskLodge Basingstoke, as one of our longest standing DeskLodgers since we opened two years ago!

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With an impressive set of clients including the BBC, Channel 4 and Legoland, we caught up with the All Interactive founder James Goadby, to find out more about his business and how coworking at DeskLodge works for him.

What does your business do?

To provide digital design for companies, attractions, football clubs etc. Our aim is to use creativity to help improve fan and visitor engagement which increases ticket sales and put bums on seats.

 

How long have you been at DeskLodge?

Around 18 months, I think I have been here pretty much since it opened.

 

How do you use our space?

I am a hot desker usually. Due to what I do I don’t need a fixed office, and hot desking is much better for me as I love the flexibility of it.

 

Why did you choose DeskLodge and a co-working environment?

I came from a very corporate company before coming to DeskLodge, it was nice but very boring. I prefer DeskLodge as there is a good atmosphere and it is conducive to productivity. It is an inspiring workplace and a lot more comfortable in comparison to a generic office.

 

How does DeskLodge work for you and are there any successes?

Clients love the space and are impressed by all of the different rooms. DeskLodge has lots of good facilities and is in a great location. It is all round, a really enjoyable place to work. I am looking forward to meeting the new companies that are joining the DeskLodge Basingstoke site!

 

DeskLodger of the Month - 1TW - May

Meet Sam Daly, Lead Host at DeskLodge Old Market. Sam has been at DeskLodge for 3 years, likes; finding absurd news stories online, talking and going to the gym.

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What is your role within the company?

I am a Lead Host but I also class myself as the “odds & ends guy”, as I go all the way from admin and spreadsheets to using power drills and fixing bits around the place! I also like to think I hold great (and sometimes completely ridiculous) conversations without a lot of our DeskLodgers here, which I like to think inevitably keeps everyone happy, including myself.

 

How long have you been coming to Desklodge?

I have been coming to DeskLodge far too long.. just kidding. I have worked here for coming up to nearly 3 glorious years and I’m still enticed by what is to come next! It’s the people in DeskLodge that I see every day and my team that keeps me put, and so far it’s the most positive place I have ever worked.

 

What is your favourite thing about your job?

I love that my job is so eclectic. One moment I can be hidden in my little cave staring deep into spreadsheets and figures but then within moments I can be up on my feet doing more physical tasks - and of course my favourite job… ordering the sweets.

 

What is your favourite thing about DeskLodge?

The people, 100%. Don’t get me wrong, the environment and décor is amazing as we all know and it’s a big reason why we all are here BUT it’s not as easy to find as many great people all in one space.

 

What do you do in your spare time?

I find I go from hobby to hobby, indulging into things and giving it my all (usually spending lots of money on whatever it may be), but usually for short bursts of time and then find something new and exciting! Blame the internet folks! At the moment, what has really stuck for me is going to the gym as much as possible and watching my health/diet – again, maybe blame the internet!

 

What would your perfect holiday be?

A permanent one.

 

National Coworking Day 2019

Have you ever been curious about using a coworking space?

Ever wanted to know what happens at DeskLodge?

Join Desklodge on Thursday 6 June for National Coworking Day!

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As part of National Coworking Day, many coworking spaces across the UK will open their doors inviting companies and individuals to experience coworking for free for the whole day!

We have 50 spaces on offer at each site with an opportunity to hotdesk for free, meet all of our lovely DeskLodgers and try out our amazing spaces!

You are welcome to join us as a lone hotdesker or as part of a team.

DeskLodge has three UK locations in Bristol and Basingstoke and we shall be opening our doors at each site.

If you are interested in a free bit of hotdesking, then find out what’s happening at your local DeskLodge!

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Bristol Old Market

The day includes lunch, a panel discussion featuring current DeskLodgers from private office users to hotdeskers, who will be sharing their experiences on why coworking works for their business.

Come and meet the DeskLodge Old Market community and find out for yourselves what a welcoming, inspiring and inclusive environment our coworking spaces really are!

Sign up here  

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DeskLodge House, Bristol

There will be lunch and a chance to hear from successful DeskLodgers who have used our space and flexible working ti enable them to be there best. We will share the DeskLodge love and why coworking just works.

There will also be a prize and giveaway on the day of a free months unlimited hotdesking.

Sign up here

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DeskLodge Basingstoke

We would love to welcome DeskLodgers & their friends to join us for pizza, soft drinks and of course the opportunity to have a super productive day from our space. If you’d like to or know someone else who should give coworking a go, here’s your chance!

If you’re a local business or a company who have staff commuting out of Basingstoke or just need a change from usual office, why not give your team the chance to work closer to home and more time to focus on the good stuff.

Sign up here 

DeskLodger Of The Month - Basingstoke - June

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Meet Nick, a product architect and software developer with hotdesking team BookNow at DeskLodge Basingstoke. Nick likes Djing and used to be a gymnastic coach!

What does BookNow do?

BookNow Software is a tech start-up offering booking systems, capacity management, ePos and online payments to the leisure industry. Specifically, we deliver booking, CRM and EPOS management solutions for trampoline parks, health clubs and spas.

Our solution is built on Salesforce.com and we have the power of infinite scalability and reliability of cloud managed software. This is powering us on the really rapid expansion – albeit we also need to work really hard at it!

How long have you been coming to DeskLodge?

BookNow Software started at DeskLodge in August 2018.


What’s your favourite thing about your job?

I love working in a close-knit team where the work I do really matters. It’s great to see how a change, I’ve made, affects us positively as a business.

What is your favourite thing about DeskLodge?

I enjoy the bright, open working spaces to induce productive working. The hosts are always friendly & fresh fruit is always provided!

What do you do in your spare time?

I like long walks by the water. Kidding! In my spare time I can be found producing music & attempting to DJ. I’ve played at a couple of small festivals and events.

Tell us something funny or unusual about yourself.
I used to be a gymnastics coach, and one of my party tricks is doing a backflip. I once did this at a music event and landed on my face. Spent the rest of the night in hospital.

 

Thanks Nick, good luck with the DJing!

The DeskLodge Top Productivity Apps 2019

Building on our productivity series we would like to share our Top 10 Productivity Apps for 2019.

DeskLodge thrives on keeping you productive and we are always looking for new ways to improve productivity and to share new tips and hacks.

We have spoken to a few members of the DeskLodge Bristol Team and to our DeskLodgers about the apps that they are loving right now.

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ToDoist

A favourite of DeskLodge Operations Director Jamie Ellis, this app is perfect for list writers and people looking to organise their busy workload and life all in one place.

All you have to do is write down a list of all the things you need to get done and then todoist will categorise a list for you, even sending you prompts and message before meetings and daily tasks.

Jamie says

“I was fed of scribbling notes I couldn’t actually read and was told about Todoist. After trying several other apps, I found it the most simple and easy to use. It just helped me unload thoughts, tasks and notes and I haven’t looked back since”.

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Trello

A visually pleasing project management app that breaks down your projects into tasks, known as ‘cards’. Each card breaks down into columns so you can monitor your progress as the task (or card) is carried out, until you get to the last column where your task is then completed.

DeskLodger Rory Walker from Quadrotech says,

“I use Trello to maintain a list of all the things I have to do, when they need to be done by, level of importance, and associated files and attachments for each thing”.

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Slack  

This communication app has been around for a while but is still growing in users from small teams to corporate businesses using the app on a daily bases. This app was created as an alternative to group emailing.

At DeskLodge we use this app to share events, news and daily updates to all of our coworking space users and teams, in turn they can also share their news and views too. We also have a buy/sell/advertise channel where our Desklodgers can do just that without having to ‘spam’ the main DeskLodge chat channel.

The fun side of slack is that you can add videos, links and gifs to make your posts more engaging. Much better than an email!

DeskLodger Toby Beresford from rise.global says,

“I use Slack to keep in touch with people in various projects. It's especially good with distributed teams.

I use a variety of task tracking tools - one project uses Asana to track all tasks, another uses Monday for task tracking, both help us do a regular weekly reprioritisation of tasks to make sure we're aligned to business goals”.

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Hootsuite

A social media management app that allows you to schedule posts for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin pages all in the same post. You can schedule posts as far ahead as you need to and can easily amend scheduled posts content and the times/dates that they will be published.

You can connect all of your social media platforms to the App, which means you don’t have to sign in to each platforms individually. The app automatically posts your scheduled posts for you.

DeskLodge Content Media Manager Emma Gorton-Ellicott says,

 “Hootsuite is a social media game changer and I use hootsuite on a daily bases. I can schedule posts together on all platforms in one post, rather than manually adding a post to each platform individually (in real time) which is so time consuming, it’s exhausting!

I can also check in on what is scheduled in and other users can use the same account too to check what is already planned in. I’d like to see some improvements with Instagram on the app but other than that it’s a productivity winner!”

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Booksy

Booksy is an appointment booking solution app used by hairstylist, barbers, spas and salons that allows their clients to book their appointments, using the app, without having to contact the business direct. It offers appointment booking, calendar scheduling (for future appointments) and online payments.

DeskLodge Host Sabrina McCue says,

“I use Booksy, to book hair appointments, it’s a really useful app to use and sends me a notification to remind me of my upcoming appointments. It also lists my past appointments and who I had my appointment with, I am then able to book the same person again.  

“It shows me what days my preferred stylist is in the store and what times she is working until and has a star rating and reviews, their opening times, telephone number and location on a map. I use this app because it is so quick and easy, I also love the fact that I can find all the information I need and there is no need to ring up”.

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BrightHR

Sabrina also loves BrightHR a super-efficient HR support service for SMEs that is also used by DeskLodge!

Sabrina says,

“This is such a easy way to book annual leave and I like the fact that I can see if anyone is going to be off at the same time as me, how many days you have left of holiday and what days you have taken, including Bank holidays.

The layout is really simple to understand, and I can view my important employee documents at any time”.

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Toggl

A great tool for freelancers, Toggl keeps track on how much time is spent on each task.  Toggl also works for salary-based workers, keeping you informed on your productivity and helping you become more efficient and realistic when planning future tasks.

Although we do not have first hand approval of this app, it certainly seems like something that may be very useful to many of our hotdeskers!

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HelloSign

Tired of paperwork? Want to minimise the long process of documentation signing?

The HelloSign app is an electronic signature software app that puts an end to all that time-consuming document signing, scanning, printing and emailing. It can even be used within gmail, claiming to sign documents in less than 30 seconds!  Plus, it’s a paperless system which means it’s also great for the environment! What’s not to like here?

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Paypal

This app has dramatically changed the way we shop and run businesses. A small business no longer needs to set up a bank account or purchase a card reader to receive payments and as with all digital banking apps, you don’t need a card, just your phone or laptop and the name of the account you are paying.  

There are so many digital banking apps that are coming through but Paypal is still a front runner for todays online banking apps, by completely changed the way we make and receive payments.  

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Doodlepoll

Never has arranging a meet up with your mates been so easy. This online scheduling tool allows multiple people (whoever you invite when you create the poll) to choose their preferred date/time to meet, with instant results that everyone can access.

There’s none of this, I can do this day, not this day or this day nonsense, no going back through messages to see who said what, just a simple tick on which date you can do and the most popular date wins.

This app cuts down on indecisive decision making and confusing lists of dates and times, offering a clear result instantly. It’s also got a fun name, that makes you want to like it however good it is! This app is a meet up with your mates game changer! (That’s also great for business meetings too….).

 

Thank you to the below blogs for app information sources.

https://www.getcloudapp.com/blog/productivity-apps

https://www.chanty.com/blog/best-productivity-apps/

https://www.chanty.com/blog/best-productivity-apps/

 

 

 

 

A few stats on the benefits of coworking...

We have gathered a few interesting statistics from a selection of UK based coworking and serviced office sources based on how coworking can benefit you and the way you work. From social networks to well being and productivity boosting, coworking can help more than you would imagine.

Social

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Coworking helps you to meet new friends and acquaintances, with different faces joining each day there is always someone new to meet, plus you can choose to move around and sit where you like, which broadens your chances of meeting new people.

Even if you are in an office environment within a coworking space you can still meet new people in the breakout areas, at lunch and at the spaces social events.

A coworking space provides lots of chances to meet new people, much more than working alone from your home office, which is isn’t good for your productivity or wellbeing. Coworking gives you that much needed contact with other humans!


Motivation

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Being able to move around a space and change where you work from frequently can help stimulate your brain. At DeskLodge our colourful and fun spaces aren’t just there to look pretty, they are there to motivate you and make you happy, so when you get tired of one view just try another!

Seeing others enjoying their work can also motivate you to become more productive too.

 

Wellbeing

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Both motivation and socialising with others can help with your wellbeing. Having friendly people around you and comfortable working spaces gives you that home from home environment, where you are made to feel welcome. Sometimes a little bit of company was all you needed to get the creative juices flowing.

 

Networking

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We have seen many collaborations happen throughout DeskLodge, whether its work related or out of work activities. You can meet unexpected people in unexpected places at DeskLodge and you didn’t even have to attend a networking event!

Grow your professional networks and maybe get your dream job or that big break, anything can happen.

 

Support

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Your fellow coworkers can help you out of a productivity rut, just starting up a conversation can make a world of difference. Laughter is a natural medicine and listening to a funny story can instantly change your mood.  Coworking environments are very friendly and positive places where people are happy to offer up support and advice; often sharing similar problems that they have encountered and how they have dealt with them.

Talking to others can stimulate your brain and make you feel inspired.  At DeskLodge we have a wide variety of coworkers, from many different backgrounds, you might find help from someone who is from a completely different line of work to you, who just might give you the best advise you ever had.

You wouldn’t get that in a regular office job or from working from home, would you?

Sign Up Today!

 

Sofar Sounds returns to DeskLodge

We were mega excited to have Sofar Sounds join us again at DeskLodge Old Market with their secret gig event!

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The Oak Tree filled up with a selection of lovely Sofar Sounds gig goers and DeskLodgers to enjoy the sweet sounds of acoustic and semi acoustic performances from Bath based Jonny Morgan, all the way from L.A Myylo and Falmouth based three piece, Oof.

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With a mix of autobiographical songs from the very sweet (all the way from L.A)  Myylo, to the regular Sofar Sounds performer, Jonny Morgan, who knew all the ‘singing and clapping along’ tricks for some audience participation, whilst Oof used drum machines, FX pedals and little synths to entertain us with a short but sweet lofi set.

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We would like to thank all the performers, the Sofar Sounds Team and the lovely gig goers for being amazing!

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The chilled atmosphere and love in the room for the performers was a great thing to be part of and we certainly hope to have Sofar Sounds join us at DeskLodge again in the near future, even if it is a big secret. Sssssssh!

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This blog post will self-destruct in 15 seconds……..

 

 

 

 

 

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