Hot! Central Desktop Review

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centraldesktop logoCentral Desktop is a managed project management product that is available online via the web and sits in what is now a competitive market for on-demand, software-as-a-service (SAAS) project collaboration applications.  As a product, it is simple to use and its interface is intuitive, allowing users to be up and running within a matter of minutes, although, as you work through the interface, Central Desktop offers a range of tips, video tutorials and useful views to guide you, making the most of its features.

The project workspace is the most commonly used feature and allows the creation and maintenance of project information.  Other workspaces can be created, too, including corporate blogs, wikis and there’s also an ‘a la carte’ option allowing you to customize your workspace to your specific needs. Workspaces can be personal (available to authorized users) or public (available to anyone).

When creating a new workspace, Central Desktop offers the option of populating it with sample data. This is useful for newer users, to give an idea of how to structure the content of the workspace and can be updated to fit your needs or simply deleted.

The project workspace view is organized into tabs covering tasks, milestones, people, files and discussions, amongst others.  Central Desktop offers a single location for managing project files and documents. Loading information to support a project is simple and once centraldesktop screenshotavailable in Central Desktop, associated discussion threads allow project team members to collaborate on files and links, without the need to send lengthy documents by email.  The functionality keeps track of document changes so your project team will always know which is the latest version, often difficult to manage when circulating documents using email. An added feature allows the creation of new online documents with a text editor offering perfectly acceptable formatting capability.

Tasks are organized into task lists. Recurring tasks can be created and, where tasks are allocated to team members, they can be notified automatically of allocations and changes by email, making sure everyone in the project team is kept informed. With email being the primary source of project notifications for larger projects, inboxes can become swamped and this can, in fact, have a counter-productive effect.  To find the balance, it’s important to ensure that notifications go only to intended recipients rather than all team members.

centraldesktop milestones

Tasks created in Central Desktop can be linked to milestones and milestones provide the basis for the included project reporting, but there isn’t the facility to create a task hierarchy with sub-tasks to represent a traditional work-breakdown structure that might be needed for more comprehensive project management.

The corporate database workspace is ideal for managing company contacts and essentially allows a forms-based view of the stored data, which could be clients, suppliers, etc.  It does lack the more advanced ability to apply any logic to fields but that doesn’t detract from the general usefulness of the basic database capability.

With remote working integral in many companies, today, the web meeting facility is a valuable addition to the Central Desktop toolbox and is quick and simple to set up.

Offering a month-long free trial period, Central Desktop lets you try before you buy, but it does require you to give your credit card details up front and ongoing pricing starts at £99 per month.    Be ready, though, for some persistent contact from the Central Desktop team during your trial period, by both email and telephone, to make sure your needs are catered for.

As a product, Central Desktop is a comprehensive tool for managing projects and their associated team collaboration, with central storage and management of project-related information, contacts and calendars.  Useful for small and large projects, alike, the interface works at any level of project complexity. Definitely a recommended product!

Author

Greg Katkin

In the 30′s a pack of wolves found him – Greg Katkin – an abandoned baby boy. At first he had blue eyes, but they changed all that. Those wolves raised him good, raised him right. Learn-ed him. Showed him how to write those wolves did. Greg, an expert in small business development writes for Zincubate as well as manages another local small business.

5 Comments

  1. Some businesses think the same way about project management software.
    There are significant advantages in a project management system integrated with your CRM.
    A paid software project allows you unlimited user-access and storage
    which is an essential component of a successful marketing
    strategy.

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