Snowpal 2.0: Why use our platform when there are others out there?
A friend of mine asked me (paraphrasing):
Why should someone use Snowpal when there are other tools like Monday (Asana, Trello, Jira, etc.) out there?
It’s a great question. And not always a very simple one to answer either. At least, not succinctly. But, let me take a stab at it.
The premise of our SaaS Platform is Productivity, and our primary, almost exclusive, focus is to ensure that our users save time spent on their (sometimes, mundane and at other times, required) activities so they can use that saved time towards more important and more exciting things.
But, it turns out that explaining the value of time to folks is harder than one might imagine. To this date, I know people who manage their schedule (and a rather complex one, at times) on pen and paper. Literally. I haven’t done that since I was perhaps 20, and I can’t see how that’s even possible but clearly, it is. So, if you are someone who likes managing your schedule on pen and paper, it will surely take us a bit more convincing to get you off of that, and to something you will surely enjoy (hint, hint!).
If you are someone who generally takes a liking to tools but prefers to stay on one after you’ve found it, you present another set of unique challenges to us because you may sometimes be, can I dare say — Fixated, with the tool you are used to, and may not necessarily receptive to doing things slightly better. Slightly differently.
If you fall into a 3rd category (I want to believe I belong to this category) where you are always looking for better ways to doing things, and aren’t generally reluctant to give something a shot, we LOVE you! Because, you are our primary & secondary market.
It has taken me a few paragraphs to set context and get to actually answering my friend’s question but, I promise, we are getting there.
If you either don’t use a tool or use one but could entertain a better one, read on. I’ll tell you what makes us different, and why you should actually give us a shot.
Monday, Asana, Trello, etc. are targeted almost exclusively towards businesses, and not so much individuals. If I am not wrong, for some of them, you need a work email address to even begin with (whatever that means).
While you can use our product for the very same reasons (we do it at Snowpal — to build our products, and platforms), we actually target the individual a bit more than the company.
What that means is that as an individual, I’ve to manage a few different things:
- Managing Snowpal work (including aspects of it that are private to just the investors)
- Paying Business Taxes
- Paying Personal Taxes
- Managing our Home (and investment properties)
- Planning our Retirements
- Creating AD Campaigns
- Collaborating with YouTubers
- Publishing Podcasts
- and the list goes on…
I certainly can’t do this on pen and paper. I could theoretically use the other tools but I’ll have to find creative ways to help them address my specific needs as they were fundamentally built to solve slightly different problems.
We set out to build very specific problems so we find ourselves constantly in a position where we can excel at that.
We have a rich set of features, some of which are illustrated here. While there may be some overlap with the other offerings (hard to avoid that since we are in the same/similar line of business), a number of our features are distinct and even there is an overlap, there are subtle variations (that soon enough become not so subtle as you use the platform more).
With that said, let me highlight some sizable differences:
- Some of them support only Kanban Views (which not all of us fancy, at least not all the time).
We offer Kanban Views and Regular Views. You get to pick.
- Others have limited ACL support (share all or nothing under a Project).
We support Read, Write and Admin access on resources but what sets us apart is that you can either share a piece of content individually, or a collection of resources, or you can share the parent with all children underneath them.It is super flexible.
- They hardly ever speak specific language and end up being a bit too generic (lack of verticals, in other words).
We offer 4 different Key Types (and there's a lot more coming) that are meant to address specific problems: Custom Key, Project Key, Teacher Key, and Student Key. And we continue to add more Key Types to cover more aspects of our lives.
- They do not offer rich charts to illustrate your content. Have you seen our charts? We love them, and we hope you do too.
We have Mind Maps, Sankey Diagrams, Chord Diagrams, Pie Charts, Radial Charts, Line Charts, and more.
- We support
In App Conversations. A lot of the platforms don’t provide much support for chatting and while we don’t aim to replace Slack (heck, no!), we believe that a lot of the initial conversations should be had in app before you take them to exclusive chat platforms. We’ve seen that it increases productivity (think LinkedIn messaging — don’t you use it?).
- Our initial intent was to port over a small portion of the Web Functionality to Mobile but we surprised ourselves when our Mobile App ended up doing upwards of 70% of the Web.
So, you can use us on the go as well.
Project Keyoffers just about everything you will need to manage projects. If we can manage Snowpal’s Web, Mobile and API Platforms (and the entire Product Business really) using Project Keys, I am quite confident you can too.
Teacher and Student Keysare meant for Teachers and Tutors (as much as they are meant for Students). If you are Tutor teaching STEAM to high school kids at a grocery store (or online), you should really shift to using us to manage your class.
- Symbolic Links — sometimes, you want to create content once but have it reflected numerous times for a variety of reasons. Sure, you can use our Copy/Move feature to facilitate this but we have something one step better to solve this specific issue:
Linking. You can create content once, and link it as many times as you like.
Dashboard— will provide a quick summary of just about everything that’s happening in your world. Either through Grids, or better yet, through Charts.
Collaboration— here’s where our rich ACL comes into play. Create content, share content. Grant Read, Write or Admin access.
Scheduler— your system events show up here so you don’t miss a thing, and in addition, you can create Standalone Events as well.
Notifications—You will be notified on your devices when something is due, when someone shares a resource with you, or sends a message. So, don’t worry about missing anything, ever.
System Keys— What content did you create? What was shared with you? What did you share with someone? What content did someone else create that they shared with you and some other people? Lots of questions but all of them will be easily answered by going to your System Keys.
Relations— We also refer to them as Scoped Bookmarks. There are times you need to relate content (whether it is related content, or even unrelated content that has enough commonalities for you to want to group them together) and the simplest way to do it on our platform is by using the Relations feature. Note that this is different from Favorites (also, something we support — surely!).
Customizable Forms— We support a large number of attributes ranging from Id, Name, Rich/Simple Descriptions, Tag, Start Date, End Date, Due Date, Attachments, Comments, Notes, Checklists, and more, and they are customizable in that you can choose to hide/show certain attributes at the resource level.
Comments and Notes— If you want your collaborators to see it, add as a Comment. If you want something for your eyes only (even on shared piece of content), use Notes.
Checklists— This is one of our newest features. Alongside Tasks, you can now create checklists and assign them to manage your task or task-like items.
Scales— Create custom scales, and rate your resources. Depending on what resource it is, you can assign custom ratings, and then see it reflected beautifully on Charts.
Resource Types and Levels— This is what essentially defines our fundamentals: Keys, Blocks, Pods, Block Pods. A lot of our competitors do not offer nearly as many levels and we’ve seen (after plenty of deliberation) that the number of levels we support hits a sweet spot, and should allow you to perfectly break down any problem into manageable pieces.
There’s more to the platform than all this but you get the idea.
Our platform has a rich set of features, and we discussed a few of them above. It is meant to be generic. We call them Horizontal Features.
But, we pride ourselves in our Verticals. And our aim is to keep building more and more verticals to solve very specific personal and professional challenges.
Being generic is alright but, sometimes, inadequate. So, expect to see a brand new service all the time!
Real Life Requirements
We do not pull our requirements out of thin air. Every feature you see, every enhancement we deploy, every tiny thing we integrate into the platform is a direct result of actual, real world challenges either we or our users have run into. So, there is absolutely no manufacturing of requirements.
What this means to you is that you will also likely run into the same challenges, and can therefore directly benefit from our releases.
Pace of Delivery
We are a startup. And a very ambitious one. We are extremely passionate about what we do. In a nutshell, what that collectively means is that we will be churning out enhancements and features, and given that we have zero red tape or bureaucracy, we usually have a pretty good turnaround time even for really large deployments!
To quote my favorite poet, Robert Frost: “…and miles to go before I sleep”.
Thanks for reading. And thanks for checking out our Project Management (and beyond) Platform.