And yet another tutorial video, part of our ongoing effort to create a bunch of learning materials for new users! This one is about getting a lot done, which means using Kerika for large scale projects.
Kerika’s Highlights feature help you zoom in on what really matters, even when you are working on a Task Board or Scrum Board board with hundreds of cards.
And Kerika’s Views feature helps you stay on top of things no matter how many projects you have underway at any time.
Here’s a quick tutorial video on how to get the most out of Kerika’s Highlights and Views:
We recently found and fixed an odd bug related to the optional 6AM Daily Task Summary email that you can get from Kerika: if you had toggled the preference setting for this email — from ON to OFF, and back to ON again — the email was getting sent at 8AM instead of 6AM.
Essentially a coding mistake on our part, and one we didn’t notice (and none of our users noticed, either) for a long time because no one would try changing this preference setting very often.
Views are unique to Kerika: no other work management system provides such an easy way to see what matters, across all the boards you are working on.
These Views make it easy for organizations to really scale up their use of Kerika across multiple projects and many ongoing projects at the same time.
We have now added a very useful new View: What’s New and Updated. As you might guess from the name, this View lets you catch up on everything that’s new and changed, across all the boards you are working on — as a Board Admin, Team Member or Visitor.
This View can work very effectively as a Dashboard for managers who need to keep track of many different boards, all working at the same time: instead of constantly revisiting each board one-by-one, this View is a simple, comprehensive way to see everything that’s changing across all your boards.
The updates are shown in Kerika’s unique “heads-up” notification style: the blue New tags highlight cards that have been newly added to your boards (that you haven’t opened yet), and the orange highlights show you precisely what’s changed on your old cards.
The new and changed cards are sorted into columns, with each column containing all the new and changed items within a particular board. The newest changes appear at the top of a column, and if a board has nothing new to report, the corresponding column is not shown (so your View doesn’t get cluttered up.)
(Cards that are moved to the Done or Trash columns on a board are not included in the View, to help avoid getting the View cluttered.)
As with all Views, it’s easy to operate on all the cards within a column, by selecting the Column Actions button that appears on the top of each column:
The Mark All Cards As Read action is useful if you want to ignore everything that’s going on in a particular board, e.g. when you have just returned from a status meeting where you got fully briefed on what’s happening on a particular board.
Another way to temporarily ignore individual boards is to Hide Column: this collapses the column from the View, and let’s you focus more intently on the handful of boards you care most about.
Selecting a card in this View lets you open the card within the View itself, or to open it on the board where the card actually sits:
(Sometimes it’s easy to deal with cards just by themselves; sometimes the View Board action is more helpful, if you want to be sure you understand the full context in which a card changed.)
Using your mouse’s right-click action will also bring up a bunch of useful actions for that card:
In addition to all the other actions you can perform on cards, you also have the option to get the URL (address) of card using the Get Link action. Every cards, every canvas and every board in Kerika has a unique address, and using these URLs anywhere on a board, e.g. in the board’s details or chat, will automatically set up a link between the two cards.
When you mark a card as “read” on this View, it remains on the View until you click on the Refresh button (shown at the top-right corner of the View).
And, as with all Views in Kerika, the What’s New and Updated View includes the “For Me” toggle button on the top-right corner: clicking this will quickly filter the View to show you just those items that are personally assigned to you.
This feature is available to all our users, just like every other feature in Kerika: it doesn’t matter whether you are still in your 30-day free trial, you are working on the free Individual Plan, or are benefiting from Kerika’s free Academic and Nonprofits Accounts. Everyone always get the same Kerika goodies 🙂
We have improved our Views feature to include a simple toggle that lets you filter the entire View to show just those items that are assigned to you.
This new toggle appears on the top-right corner of the View, and we have added a Tip to help you understand the function:
Clicking on the toggle will immediately shrink the View to show just those items that are assigned to you:
All the other items are hidden from the View, and a simple count at the bottom of each column shows you how many items are assigned to others. In the example shown above, 1 item is assigned to someone else, and is due today.
It’s a simple, fast feature that we think shows the best of Kerika’s design approach 🙂
This feature has been added to all of our Views that need this:
Traditionally, in a Kanban or Scrum board the priority is denoted by the position of the card within a column: cards that are higher priority are placed higher within a column, and the card at the top of the column is the highest priority at that stage of the workflow.
For example, in this view of a board the highest priority item for Planning & Design is the card on top of that column:
This method has the advantage of simplicity and clarity: there is no ambiguity about what is the most important work item at any stage of the workflow.
The disadvantage of this method is that as many cards start to move across the board, especially on boards where the workflow is complex (i.e. the board has many columns), it becomes harder to track all the cards that are especially important.
In other words: the simple method doesn’t scale well, and our goal with Kerika is to provide the simplest user interface on top of the most capable work management system, so we realized we needed to do something more.
With our latest version, Kerika makes it easier to explicitly tag each card with a priority of Normal, High or Critical:
Along with assigning tags to a card, you can now set the priority of the card as well: by default all cards are Normal, but they can alternatively be flagged as High Priority or Critical.
Viewing all the High Priority and Critical Cards
We have also extended the Highlights function for Task Boards and Scrum Boards to make it easy to quickly see all the High Priority and Critical cards on a crowded board:
When you are looking at a board, the High Priority and Critical cards are also highlighted with small stars: a solid red star for Critical, and a hollow red star for High Priority:
The Normal Priority cards don’t have any star; we didn’t want to crowd the design which would have made it harder to spot the more important High Priority and Critical cards at a glance.
High Priority and Critical Cards across all your Boards
We have made it easier for teams to manage multiple Due Dates within the same project, especially when a single work item (as represented by a Task Board or Scrum Board card) contains many different sub-tasks, each of which could have a different Due Date.
Where a card has multiple tasks, each with different Due Dates, the range of dates is shown on cards to make it easier to understand the “time footprint” of the work item as a whole.
Here’s an example of a card with two open/remaining tasks, one of which is due today and the other tomorrow:
When viewed on a Task Board or Scrum Board, Kerika will show the range of dates involved for this card:
This provides better context, better usability for users who work with due dates: at a glance you can see the overall “time footprint” of a work item that involves several sub-tasks.
The What’s Assigned to Me and What’s Due Views are now smarter about handling multiple due dates for the same card: if just one task within a card is overdue, even though the card as a whole isn’t yet overdue, this is shown in the Overdue column in these Views.
Your 6AM summary email (which you can turn on optionally) now lists the due dates on individual tasks within cards, as these become overdue or due this week or next week.
With our latest version, a task within a card (on a Task Board or Scrum Board) can now be assigned to multiple people, just like the card itself.
This makes it easier to handle more complex work items that contain a large number of tasks, each of which may require more than one person to handle.
To make this work, we have also updated the What’s Assigned to Me and What’s Due Views to make sure everyone who is assigned to a task, where tasks have multiple people responsible for them, sees this clearly.
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