The Most Important Update, since the Dawn of Q.

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tl;dr

From Q. to awork. On 04/02/2019, we will be launching our new website and brand at www.awork.io. Overall easier, more understandable, and closer to the core of our vision of good software. At the same time, we are revising Q. (or awork), in order to implement our users’ feedback. Easier, clearer, faster, and smarter. A few highlights:

  • A new time tracking widget makes fast tracking of worked hours even easier
  • The revised navigation allows you to quickly jump between tasks and projects

From Saturday, 02/02/2019, at 10:00 CET until Sunday, 03/02/2019, at 23:00 CET, maintenance intervals may occur, in which Q. turns into awork and is temporarily unavailable.

What is the point of this big revision?

Since over 3000 teams have registered on Q. in the last months, you can imagine the amount of feedback that came with it. Even though, we as a team have over six years of experience with business and productivity software in Q., it is only when you are placed in real-world conditions that you find out which new concepts truly work well.

We have made it our goal to quickly and consistently adapt Q. to the needs of our users. This includes getting to the bottom of fundamental concepts, such as navigation and time tracking. Now it is time to put these insights into practice – and to keep the core of the app in mind: more productive work.

New in design: more intuitive and easier to read

To awork, good design doesn’t just mean “a good-looking app”. It also means quick and simple to use. It is not only our website that will be getting a complete makeover; awork will also be refined further.

Intuitive use of colour

We slightly altered our colour scheme in order to create intuitive combinations (green for confirmation, red for refusal, blue for navigation and interface, etc.).

Better use of space

By improving the main navigation system and by revising the structure of detail elements, e.g., in projects and tasks, the available space is used much better, especially on smaller screens, such as phones and tablets.

Sharper contrasts

To improve legibility and recognition of inputs, etc., under different circumstances and also on older screens, we have increased the application’s display contrast.

Easier to read font sizes

To improve legibility, larger font sizes were added to the app with immediate effect. This is especially noticeable in input fields.

Simple menu and layout for faster navigation

Just one menu level

We have reduced the sideways foldable menu to one level, to make all menu elements visible without having to jump between the main and submenu. This way, people have a better overview and get to their objective faster.

Lockable main menu

The main menu can now be locked to bigger screens, so one does not have to expand it to navigate it every single time.

By the way, the menu shortcut for this is the “m”-key😉

Directly selecting projects in the main menu

We added the option to directly select projects in the main menu, so you can head on over to your active projects at any time from any place.

New action bar at the top

The previous, slightly unremarkable action bar has been fundamentally reworked and moved to the top of the screen. Here, helpful information, such as the name of the current page, is instantly noticeable. It is also clickable and helps you navigate to your latest projects, tasks or pages.

To make sure the bar is not annoying, it disappears when scrolling on and only appears when you reach the top of your browser or when you scroll to the top.

No more project numbers

Thus far, the complex project number method has not been very helpful in regard to greater project clarity. Therefore, to ensure more clarity, we now organise projects according to their initials and no longer according to their number.

Improved list overviews and detail pages

Easy-to-understand lists

We have optimised our project, user and client list views, making them easier to understand and faster to work with.

Better “split-view”

On larger screens, the split-view (e.g.: the project lists on the left and the project details on the right) already exists. We have optimised this and have replaced the fixed list by a foldable variant instead. This allows you to quickly switch between projects on smaller screens and tablets or lets you simply hide the list, if it bothers you.

Clearer detail pages

Detail pages of project, user and clients are now more tidy, easier to edit and take up less space. Specifically, you will be able to edit a lot of information on the overview page directly, without having to open a new window first. You’ll love it!

Intuitive time tracking

Better start/stop functions

A big part of our user base uses the time tracker’s start/stop functions. This is why, we had another go at them: The start/stop button for tasks and projects was optimised and is now more present and easier to understand.

awork's simpler start stop buttons

The new time tracking widget

The new time tracking widget is now always visible at the bottom right of your screen. With just a few clicks, you can start, change or edit your running time entry – it’s super intuitive!

Time tracking types have been replaced

The time tracking types and task types have been merged together. Now there is only the “activity type”. While it does not include the workflow (task status) anymore, it does still serve as a means for categorising tasks and time tracking analysis. If you start time tracking a task, the same activity will automatically be allocated to that time entry.

No more tags in the time tracker

The additional option to tag time entries did not get used very much and had caused quite a bit of confusion. Hence, the function was dropped.

Working with tasks more productively

Tidy task details

To ensure a task can truly be tracked in the blink of an eye, we tidied up and simplified the details-view.

Intuitive lists

The act of creating and sorting task lists was designed to be more intuitive and fast, so projects could be divided into different blocks even more easily. While this function is unbelievably productive for large-scale projects, it makes the private tasks rather unclear. Which is why the list classification concept was omitted here.

What about the Smart Lists?

The option to create task lists according to your own criteria, which updates automatically, is what we consider one of Q’s best tools, for keeping track of important tasks across many projects. Sadly, this feature hardly ever got used: it was hidden away and too complicated to configure. For this reason, we will be subjecting the Smart Lists to a thorough revision. And so, Smart Lists will not be available in awork, until they are ready. But do not fret: they will be back. And this time even smarter and even more productive.

Better Kanban boards

Up until now, every single task list could be separately shifted to “Kanban” mode. It’s very flexibly, but not exactly practical for obtaining a good overview of the project tasks and their status. That’s why every project now has a collective Kanban board, so you can view all tasks clearly at once. Much more practical!

Simplified use thanks to task types and workflows

Up until now, global task types were created in Q. with different (but clearly defined) workflows (= task status). These clear definitions have made things rather complicated – mostly they have prevented the uniform Kanban view. In awork, the workflows (status options) of tasks within a project are arranged according to freely creatable columns on the Kanban board. In other words: All tasks within a project now have the same status options to choose from.

Better communication for projects and tasks

Better presentation and loading speed

We have completely refurbished the presentation and clarity of the comments and activity, to improve team communication within projects. This also includes the technical improvement of comment loading speeds. This makes collaborating on projects and tasks much more clear.

Tagging in comments (@lucy)

One of the most anticipated features: it is now possible to tag other users in the comments by using the “@” symbol. When hitting that key, a list containing the available users will automatically appear. Tagged users will get a notification about that comment and thus learn about relevant changes first-hand.

Automatic preview of links

When a link posted in the comments, awork now automatically generates a pretty preview of that link.

Attaching and previewing documents in the comments

From now on, files can also be added to comments. Provided that the file can be previewed, awork will generate an automatic preview image in that comment.

Companies = Clients

Our goal, when managing companies in awork, is in the first place to assign projects and analyse times based on our clients. For this reason, we have chosen to go for a clear simplification: “Companies” are therefore now “clients”. This is why we have deleted the complex numbering and company type systems. Sometimes less is more.

Google Assistant integration

Anyone who already owns a Google Assistant (whether it is at home, in the office or on your smartphone), can talk to awork using voice commands and can, e.g., create projects and tasks in no time at all 📢.

Summary

On the 4th of February 2019, we will be releasing our largest update by far, since we have had the pleasure of welcoming our first awork users back in June of 2018; and we will increase the speed at which improvements and new features are released. So, you, the user, can be sure that awork grows in line with your needs. This is exactly why your feedback is so important to us. Send us an email, chat with us, post something on our Facebook page, tweet at us – don’t be shy, give us your opinion!

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