When I used to work at a large company I remember my work being spread across GitHub, Google Drive, Slack, Datadog, Figma and Dropbox, in that order. I pay close attention to my workflows and I noticed myself repeating a lot of annoying workflows to get to the files and information I needed.
I've observed and talked to dozens of folks about the SaaS tools they use on a daily basis; especially if their work depends on collaborating across many SaaS tools. Most acknowledge that the additional work of looking for files, information and updates is a frustrating side-effect of SaaS dependant work and easily claim they can spend upwards of 20 minutes a day in aggregate just looking for information across their tools. However, I never see a consistent approach people take to solving this problem for themselves.
I would love to hear about how many core tools you work across every day; and if/what you do to keep your daily work organized when you're collaborating across several tools?
Far too many, probably. On a daily basis:
Wiki/project management: Notion
Project management: Asana
Storage: Google Drive
Design: Figma, Sketch
Data viz: Mode, Tableau
Data analytics: Google Analytics, Segment
Customer support: Intercom
Eng management: Jira
And probably a ton more I'm forgetting.
To answer your question about "looking for information across their tools" -- a couple things I've seen work well together is:
At Esports One we actively use 8-10 tools, with the focus being around knowledge sharing and project management.
As a daily Product Hunt user, I’m always looking for the newest apps and tools that can optimize workflow and the spread of information. Notion + Monday are what we’ve come back to time and time again, while also spreading in Coda and Slack over MT.
Was also one of the early users of Clew and are testing it with Command E as well as FYI.
How are Clew versus Command E in your usage so far?
Clew doesnt seem to have the integrations yet. I'd still put FYI over the two for the time being.
Yea I'd agree with that!
We've been a little too slow on the integrations because we try to aim for deep integrations with a focus on security and privacy when we handle external data. But we're learning and speeding up; hoping to launch a bunch more soon. :)
At Capiche now, with a 4 person team, we’re using 8 apps for collaboration including:
G Suite Gmail almost counts too, since we have a Google Groups-powered team email for support emails that just sends the same email to all of our accounts. And then HR tools should almost count, and if you count random tools we individually use and occasionally share like whiteboarding apps, you’d easily hit a dozen. Then we each have local software we’re using and ... yeah. It adds up.
Since we tend to share everything in Slack and/or Notion, I typically search there when looking for something. Have tried Command E as well for unified search, but it doesn’t cover everything we’re using yet.
We started off with using just Notion for documents at Clew, my co-founder and I literally made a pact to consolidate on Notion; but two months later we're spread across Google Docs and Dropbox files for various situations - mostly when sharing with external stakeholders and collaborative editing since it just so well done and accessible on Google docs.
Yeah, it's tough to keep everything in one place. I still prefer editing longform content in Google Docs for suggested edits. The only trick I've used that helps a bit is to add a Notion note with a link to the Google Doc and enough detail to be able to find it via search again easily.
I use plenty of SaaS tools, i use them to try and compare but on day to day basis I use the following:
Storage: Google Drive
Notes and projects: Notion
Task management: Clickup, trello
Customer Interactions: Zendesk, Loom
Some additional ones are Jira, ticktick, bear.
And yes I have used Clew as well Command E for multitasking, switching and finding things easier and faster, but if i be honest i still go back to Chrome bookmarks for faster access, or navigate to my dock where i have these apps click away.
I'm solo and I use:
That's pretty interesting! I've actually never heard of some of there tools! Harvest and and.co look super useful for freelancing.
A few weeks ago I kept track of every app I interacted with in a 24 hour period. Here’s the list:
What's Double? Only one on this list I don't think I'd heard of yet.
I haven't used Roam so this isn't an educated comparison. But, the primary sell was that it works over local markdown files and it's free. I've used so many note-taking tools over the years and text files have outlasted some of the tools I use - so I actually love that it's just markdown with some backlinks.
I have it set to a local directory and I use Git to back up the notes occasionally. I don't think the app itself is as feature-rich as Roam; but I'd say they've got the basics of "networked note-taking" down and I use it almost every day.
(Clew looks really smart, I'm looking forward to giving it a spin)
"SaaS tools do you collaborate across on a daily basis?" Short answer: 15, as the founder of a 13 person startup. But there's more collaborative SaaS tools the team uses that I don't... if you count those, about 24.
And at Unitonomy, we are focused on a similar problem: how to better connect people and connect knowledge workers to knowledge across their fragmented tools and systems. Our answer is GetCommit.com. GetCommit rescues colleagues by providing a seamless knowledge transfer system that sits across the tools the org already use. If Clew is about finding files, GetCommit is about finding nuggets of knowledge and information.
I signed up for Clew the other day, it looks promising. One tool that I've used recently is Command E which saves me a tremendous amount of time during my day.
Surprised I'm just seeing this now... I'm actually working on an app now to help people that work across a bunch of SaaS apps — I mention it because we take inspiration/features from a few other tools mentioned in this thread: Stripe Home, Go links (on the roadmap), etc.: https://cosy.app
There's definitely some overlap with Clew/Command + E/FYI as well, though we intend to be more of a hub (ala Stripe Home) and personal dashboard. Would love to chat more about the topic, please ping me if you have more thoughts!
Interesting, thanks for sharing! What are you doing unique with Cosy that you haven't found in other tools that pull SaaS together?
A few key differences:
- Although we search things like GitHub issues, calendar events, and eventually things like Salesforce leads, our focus is on knowledge retrieval: So we offer rich previews, snippets, etc.. More analogous to Google than Spotlight
- Along those lines, you can also add custom links, glossary entries, and eventually things like go/links, to really tailor the search UX to your company
- We play in the same space as "intranets" (ie. Stripe Home), but do so in a way which is extremely personalized. Every user can create a start page, including fun widgets, that best helps them start their work
Gottcha, that sounds super useful. Anything to help with the problem of data being scattered everywhere!
Everything we use is a SaaS platform....... We host nothing on premise.
GSuite (GMail, Google Docs etc.; Google Drive)
Lots of others that our marketing team uses but not sure what these platforms are.....
Although we try to use as few as possible, still quite a lot:
Neat, thanks for sharing! The same US-centric software typically gets shared in lists like this all the time, so nice to see Chinese-language tools that I hadn't seen before.
Curious: What do you find each of these apps do better than their competitors?
ZenTao is for applicattion lifecycle management with a test management feature which Jira lacks. Xuan.im can be integrated with ZenTao if you use their premium version. It is like a free and light version of Confluence.
Looking for a better way to plan remote meetings across time zones, and keep up with events. What software is doing that best today?
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Stripe Home looks really nice; almost amazed they haven’t spun that out as a separate product.
Zapier has an in-house tool called Async for collaboration. It’s basically an internal blog plus stats dashboard, and was originally based on WordPress P2 before being rebuilt internally. Basecamp’s check-ins feature seem like a stab in that direction too.
There’s absolutely a space for more internal dashboard+communication tools like that, especially as remote work’s become more normalized.
Indeed! Stripe home is an elegant solution for part of the problem. I've seen several large companies have similar internal tools for at least the wiki + project tracking and people directory portions. Shopify has a similar internal solution that's a lot more feature-rich and deeply integrated outwards. However, I'm yet to see a good service that centralizes data from external tools as much as replacing the functionality with custom tools.
Something interesting I've seen is that these custom tools have a lot of culture-specific terminology and features like rewards and badges built into them. It makes me believe these tools are custom for a good reason, even though you can just as easily get setup on just any forum x wiki x community tool for the same features.
That's a great point on internal tools reflecting culture. Might be where no-code app builders make the most sense, by giving a set of tools to remix into new tools that fit the way teams work best.
This also is a huge reason why there are so many project management apps, CRMs, and so on—each reflects the needs of the team that built it, and thus finds customers who fit the same profile (or, in the case of tools like Salesforce, they win by being so customizable that they can fit whatever workflow you need).