With many teams now working remotely on their projects, ReviewStudio is proving to be more valuable than ever in helping teams and clients collaborate effectively and stay on the same page through the course of their projects. In this post, I’d like to discuss a few of the techniques and features of ReviewStudio that are particularly useful for supporting remote teams and workflows.

Live Review Sessions

Perhaps the aspect of the physical studio we miss most is the inspiration and support we receive from our colleagues sitting together for a live charrette of the creative works in progress. While nothing can quite replace that experience, you can still effectively engage and collaborate live with your team by using ReviewStudio’s “Presentation Mode”.

To start a live review session, simply set a time and share the Review link with the people you want to meet with. You’ll be able to see who’s online by opening the collaborators menu and looking for the green dot next to their names.

Kicking off the live session is as simple as clicking the“Start Presentation” button. Whoever clicks that button becomes the active presenter and controls which file everyone should look at together. When the presenter plays a video or turns pages in a document, it is synced in real-time for all participants.

As you discuss the content together, participants can use the “laser tool” to make temporary marks and visually indicate specific issues they want to highlight. As issues are discussed and resolved, only the presenter can add regular annotations and comments that show up for all. This is a great way to keep notes on the discussion and assign responsibility for changes in real-time (see the Task section below).

Whether for internal teams or clients, live presentations can be a highly effective way to present work in progress by providing the opportunity to control the narrative and context of your work. Adding notes on the client’s feedback in real-time, ensures their alignment and buy-in on any revisions requested. Of course, you can always provide the client the opportunity to add further feedback on their own time but for situations when time is of the essence or you want to augment the narrative, a live feedback session can be the most effective approach.

Notifications

When working on a project with a remote team it’s important to keep all the participants informed and up to date on any feedback that requires timely action or followup. This is where the notification functionality in ReviewStudio plays an essential role. There are three general notification options available depending on the circumstances of the activity.

A general Review notification can be sent to all Review participants from the “Notify” tab of the Review share menu. This notification option is appropriate when you first upload your files or upload new file versions and want to inform your collaborators that the files are ready for their review. It can also be used to set up a live presentation or complement the automated reminders for pending (or late) approvals or tasks.

When you want to address a Review comment to specific collaborators, you can use the @mention functionality to visually indicate who the comment is directed to. Using the @mention will also trigger an email notification to the people selected so they can immediately view the comment and provide a response. To use @mentions, simply type the @ symbol in a comment and a drop down will appear allowing you to select from the list of possible users on the project.

Automated notifications can be set by each user in their user profile to receive updates on any new comments, tasks or approval decisions that occur in any Reviews they are a part of. To avoid a flood of emails, you can also specify the frequency of the notifications – from daily to hourly (if you have a project deadline coming up).

Task Management

To keep your project development moving efficiently through your production pipeline, it’s important that everyone involved understand clearly what work they are responsible for and what work others are handling. This becomes particularly important when multiple people are working on the same content from different remote locations. ReviewStudio’s task management functionality provides an excellent solution for helping you manage this important aspect of project coordination.

Once all the stakeholders have completed their review and added their comments, the creative director or decision maker can review the feedback and flag all the comments that require revisions as “tasks”. Clicking the “task” icon in a comment, enables you to turn any comment into a task, with the option to assign it to any user who is a part of the project.

Individual users on the team can then identify the comments that require their attention by a bright orange bar displayed in the comment headers. The tasks assigned to others on the team are shown in purple. As changes are implemented, tasks can be checked off as “completed” and the bar changes to green to indicate to all that the task is finished.

A long list of tasks can also be filtered so that all the completed tasks drop off the list. You can also filter by “open tasks” “completed tasks” “my tasks” and “all tasks” for easier project oversight.

The system remains flexible so that anyone involved in working on tasks can reassign them to others if appropriate. Each user’s dashboard provides the ongoing status of all Reviews with open tasks providing a clear picture to everyone on the team of where any work is required.

What makes ReviewStudio’s task management functionality so much more effective than other generic project management tools is that it lets you view and track all the potentially hundreds of large and small changes directly on content and in context. This provides everyone on the team – from creatives to account teams – a clear and current picture of where things stand, ensuring that even in these unprecedented times, delivering your projects can remain a positive and engaging experience for all your teams and clients.

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