How Workona can transform your team collaboration

How Workona can transform your team collaboration
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Let’s get real for a minute: Much as the companies that create productivity apps would like to think otherwise, most of us don’t work and live entirely within any single software ecosystem.

Sure, maybe you use Google Workspace for your email, word processing, and file storing. Or maybe you consider Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office) to be your home base.

If you’re anything like me, though, neither of those environments is where your virtual office ends. Perhaps that’s because you use Slack for your professional communication. Perhaps you rely on tools like Trello, Notion, or ClickUp — or, heck, even some combination of ’em! — for more advanced info organizing and project management.

Whatever the case may be, by the time you sprinkle in a pinch of WordPress, a dash of Todoist, and a healthy dusting of Miro, you’ve got yourself quite the cross-platform collaboration cocktail.

And here’s what’s really wild: For as often as many of us work that way, our virtual environments almost seem designed to make it difficult. That’s true even as an individual, as anyone who’s ever juggled two dozen browser tabs across seven different services can tell you. And once you add a team into the equation, it becomes an even greater exercise in frustration to keep track of all the different pieces connected to a typical project puzzle.

A service called Workona might have found the answer. Workona, founded in 2017, has slowly been chipping away at the gap between how we actually work these days and the types of work our desktops are designed to handle. With its latest improvements in tow, the service has created a deceptively simple solution for a complex-seeming and maddeningly common problem.

The core Workona concept

It’s easy to think of Workona as a mere tab manager for your browser. In fact, it is also that — via a free extension you can install into Chrome, Edge, or Firefox. (The company says a Safari extension is planned.)

But while that tab manager nomenclature may be the fastest way for an average user to wrap their head around Workona’s offering, it’s really just the very outer layer of what the service represents.

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At its core, Workona is all about organizing workspaces within your browser, based on either project or purpose. It’s designed for people who spend their time working across a range of different and typically disconnected-from-each-other web apps. And while it could be useful for just about anyone, it has some supremely effective tools for team-centric collaboration in particular.

In fact, that’s how its founders describe their inspiration for creating the service in the first place. After working together as early employees of Lucid Software (the since-acquired company behind the web-based publishing program formerly known as Lucidpress), Quinn Morgan and Alma Madsen realized that the browser was a pretty lousy framework for the purposes it had evolved to handle.

Plain and simple, pulling up a bunch of disparate services and web pages every time you start working on a project just isn’t efficient. Toggling among all those elements as you’re working wastes time. And trying to keep your co-workers on the same wavelength with all those perpetually shifting pieces is a disaster waiting to happen.

So instead of trying to force you into using only a single productivity platform — an answer that just isn’t practical for most businesses at this point — Workona tames the chaos by acting as a connective tissue that ties all your productivity puzzle pieces together.

Notably, that approach won’t make sense if you’re in an organization that leans heavily on traditional local programs instead of their web-based equivalents. Workona works entirely within your web browser, so if, for instance, you prefer or are required to use the locally installed versions of Microsoft’s productivity apps and all of your work is contained within that one platform, it probably wouldn’t be the right fit for you. But as long as you’re willing and able to open projects on the web at least some of the time, it could go a long way in making those projects more cohesive.

And a more cohesive-feeling, efficient work process is ultimately what Workona is all about.

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Filling in the missing spaces

Workona’s chaos-taming philosophy revolves around the concept of spaces. At their simplest level, spaces are centralized work canvases for every project you’re working on, and they exist right within your browser by way of the Workona extensions on the desktop front or the companion iOS app for iPhones and iPads and the mobile website (no dedicated app yet — grumble, grumble…) for Android.

Certain services can also be connected via a direct API-level integration so that they’re accessible in your spaces regardless of whether they’re actively open in a browser tab. This manner of integration is available for Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides as well as for Slack, Asana, ClickUp, Monday, and Trello. But beyond that, so long as something can be opened in your browser — as most of Microsoft 365 services can, to provide one particularly high-profile example — it can be brought into Workona and associated with your spaces.

You might, for instance, create a space called “Website Redesign.” Within that space, you could store Google Docs with in-progress copy for different pages, Word files from a client with thoughts and feedback, Drive folders with assorted design assets, Figma files with under-development visual mockups, and collections of live web pages from a private staging site.

That same space could have natively stored notes about goals and timing, lists of specific tasks around different priorities, and even an embedded Slack channel for website-related discussion right within that same area.

JR Raphael / IDG

Anyone with access to the space sees the same view, in real time. You can search across all the connected elements right then and there, too, as well as create new elements in any associated app with a couple quick clicks.

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Workona even autosaves progress as everyone within a space works, so the canvas is always complete and current and can also be restored to any earlier point as needed. You can open all tabs from a space with a single click, if you’re so inclined, or you can just use a space as a launching pad and selectively fire up individual items as you need ’em.

It’s a lot like the same-named “spaces” feature within the buzzy new browser Arc, only it works on any platform and with any browser you want — no awkward (and often impossible, especially in an enterprise setting) switching required. And it’s much more robust in the possibilities it allows, particularly when it comes to collaboration.

To wit: Workona’s latest innovation is its introduction of automatically created unified spaces for teams. That option, rolled out earlier this year, allows teams to create consistent templates that then instantly populate new spaces with specific sets of folders, documents, task lists, and other relevant resources — with the idea being that companies working on projects with clients tend to use the same basic starting points over and over again. And this way, they can create an organized, ready-to-roll workspace involving all their pertinent browser-based tools with a single click and about seven seconds of effort.

Workona is available in a limited free individual plan. For a fully featured experience without any limitations, you’ll be looking at $7 per month for its pro plan, $10 per user per month for its collaboration-ready team plan, or $20 per user per month for its admin-friendly enterprise arrangement.

Hosted on Google Cloud, Workona is SOC 2 compliant and uses 256-bit TLS and AES encryption to protect data in transit and at rest. Read more about Workona’s security practices.

It’s no stretch to say that the web has become the bedrock for much of our modern work. And Workona really does feel like the unifying layer that’s traditionally been missing from that framework. It’s the operating system you never knew you needed, within your browser — and you might just be surprised by how much easier it makes your web of virtual puzzle pieces to manage.

Collaboration Software, Productivity Software

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