• Mapping Your Existing Tools to Qortex

    Kilian Muster

    Jan. 16, 2014 at 09:38

    Qortex works best when you use it to consolidate several or all of your existing communication tools. If your current mix of tools doesn’t work for you, don’t keep adding tools, but rather try to replace them with Qortex.

    With this article we try to give you an idea about how you could replace several of your existing tools with Qortex, and how some of the functions of these tools can be remapped to the functions Qortex has to offer.

    Replacing (Internal) Email

    Let’s face it, email is here to stay, but you can greatly reduce email traffic and improve your communication by using Qortex to replace your internal emails and emails with companies you have frequent exchange with. Let’s first look at replacing email with Qortex for internal purposes:

    • Instead of sending around emails, on Qortex you are posting entries or post comments on existing entries. This way conversations always stay together, nobody is ever forgotten (no missing to add people to your CCs) and nobody will get unneeded mails (users can decide which group to follow and which not).
    • Folders & Rules
      On Qortex topics and projects are organized into groups you can follow with one mouse click to get steady updates on the topic. No need to setup your own rules for sorting, content is neatly organized from the outset.
    • Attachments
      You can attach files to your entries and comments, or even insert images into your text intuitively via drag & drop on Qortex. Attachments are only downloaded if you decide to do so, and you can preview most of them before getting the whole file. To add a YouTube or Vimeo video (with player) to your entry, just paste the URL of the video into your text, Qortex will figure out the rest.
    • Flags
      On Qortex you can use the watchlist to simulate marking emails as flagged. To put an entry into your watchlist, simply click on the star icon in the right sidebar. Another goodie: Qortex will remind you of items that are in your watchlist, so you don’t forget to get back to them.
    • Message Priority
      In some mail clients you can set a message priority. This is not really a standardized feature for email, so not all mail clients can even necessarily display this, but if you need the undivided attention of your recipient, in Qortex you can do so by alerting him or her, requesting an acknowledgement or even setting up a To-Do for that person.
    • Private Mails
      Sometimes you want to send a message to someone that nobody else is supposed to read. For one-off communications like this you can use the built-in chat feature of Qortex, which also works when the other user is not online. You can chat via the browser or your own chat client. 1-on-1 chats are always private per default.
      If you need to communicate with a certain group of people privately on a regular basis you can simply create a private group, which is only visible to people you add to that group.

    Replacing (External) Email

    For any kind of first contact situation you will probably have to default back to email, but for clients and vendors you are working with frequently, you can set up Qortex shared groups with them.

    A Qortex account for shared groups is completely free, as long as it is only used to join other shared groups. For these Shared Group Accounts there is also no limit on number of users, files or disk space used. You can use shared groups for things such as:

    • Frequent collaboration/communication with a client/vendor on a larger or ongoing project
    • Project management for the above
    • Support requests from clients
    • Frequent and secure file sharing with clients & vendors
      (proposals, spec sheets, mockups, internal data)
    • Bug tracking, bug reports

    This also makes it quite clear that Qortex is also an excellent replacement for Basecamp, adding full project management and other extras to the mix.

    Getting Mails into Qortex

    When receiving an email from a client or vendor you can easily share and discuss it on Qortex. Just forward the mail to the address of the group you want to post it to (in the group in Qortex click on the Post via Mail link to create a new email with the address pre-filled).

    Replacing Wikis

    Wikis can easily replaced by using the Anyone Can Edit function and the Knowledge Base in Qortex.

    Mark any entry as Anyone Can Edit from within the Editor and work collaboratively on a document, just as you would with a Wiki. To give your wiki entries a more permanent and easy to find place, also mark you entries as Knowledge Base and they will show up in the knowledge base tab for that group. There you go – instant Wiki.

    The Knowledge Base tab for each group will functions as the “Wiki” for that group. You can easily move new content into it by simply marking entries as Knowledge Base. Adding links and images is very intuitive via the styled editor, no need to learn any cryptic Wiki codes to style your content neatly.

    You can even discuss the content of entries via comments to the entries. So you could discuss changes to a Wiki entry, find consensus and then do the edit to the actual main text.

    Replacing Forum & Bulletin Board systems

    This seems somewhat obvious, but you can of course replace bulletin board systems (such as Lotus Notes, phpBB, JavaBB) and forum software (e.g. SimpleMachinesForum, JForum, vBulletin) easily with Qortex.

    Create groups for topics, have discussions in the timeline in these groups, and create Knowledge Base entries for fixed content like official documentation, rules, files to be shared with explanations, etc. (you can uncheck Anyone Can Edit for individual entries to restrict editing to just the original author).

    Replacing Dropbox

    File sharing can be accomplished by attaching files to entries. The advantage here is that with Qortex you can add an explanation or complete documentation on the purpose of the attached documents and how to use them.

    Also the organisation of entries into groups helps people to find the files they are searching for by topic, client or project. Proposed changes to files can then be discussed in comments. Everything relevant to the shared files stays in one place.

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