Sunday, 27 February 2011

Several small improvements to Insightly

This week we made some small improvements to Insightly from users requests that we thought we'd highlight below. A couple of the changes are exposed via the user interface, and a couple are changes to how Insightly works under the covers.

 Pick any color for Categories

The first small change we made this week was to Categories. Previously all categories within Insightly for tasks, opportunities, projects and files were shown with white text on a black background. The human brain can discern and process colors faster than text, so we thought it would be great if users could set the background for a category to any color they like. Categories like 'overdue' might have a red background, or administrators might even choose a different color for each user to make visually sorting tasks easier. We even engineering the system to analyse the background color chosen, in order to display white text on dark backgrounds and black text on lightly colored backgrounds. Colors for categories can be changed under the Categories section within Settings.

Search by ID for Contacts, Opportunities, Projects and Organizations

Several users have noticed that each contact, organization, opportunity and project within Insightly is automatically given a special reference number for identification within the database. You can see the ID number each item is given by looking in the URL for that item (it's the number at the end, as shown below). Some of our clients use standards like ISO9001 internally within their workplace, which operate best when each item has a reference number that can be easily found. We already had the reference number, but we just made it a lot easier to search for and find an item within Insightly given that number. Searching using either the top search box, or within the list for contacts, organizations, opportunities, or projects for a given ID will now find that item with the corresponding ID in a flash.

Task Delegation and Activity Set Task Editing

Previously in Insightly a task could only be delegated once. That is - someone could create a task and delegate it to someone else, but they in turn could not re-delegate it on. We've changed Insightly so tasks can now be re-delegated multiple times, and upon delegation Insightly will now display who delegated the task to the current user responsible (as shown below).

We've also made a change to tasks in Activity Sets in response to user requests. Previously if a user added an activity set to an item like a project or opportunity - that user could not then go ahead and edit those tasks just created (those tasks were only editable by the user the task was assigned to). From now on, the user who adds the activity set can now also edit the resulting tasks created (and reassign them to others if required).

Rather use a .com than a .ly for Insightly ?

We've had some customers come to us to ask if we have an alternate domain name to our '.ly' domain that they can use. Some firms block .ly domains, and some just prefer the good old fashioned .com - so for those users we have:  It's the same as the normal Insightly in everything other than the address.

Account Owner control extended to all data stored in Insightly

We also made a change to Insightly to extend what items the account owner can see and delete. We've had a few instances in the past where account owners have come to us and identified emails in Insightly that they thought were inappropriate to store in the system. Previously only the user who sent the email to Insightly had the permission to delete the email, but we now allow the account owner to do so too. We also made it possible for account owners to view and delete all notes and tasks, even when the permissions were set to 'Only Me' for those items.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Improved email management in Insightly

In this weeks update to Insightly we improved the how emails are displayed in managed within the Emails tabs. The email list had not seen any improvements for some time, and consequently did not have any of the advanced features that the lists for other items like contacts and organisation did. In fact it only had one thing you could do with an email after selecting it - delete it. The new version of the emails list allows you to do much more - and brings it up to parity with the feature set of the other lists within Insightly.  (Old emails list shown below for prosperity)

Speed Improvements
If you store a lot of emails within Insightly, the old email tab used to chug along a bit before displaying the initial list of emails. The engineering team worked on this and the list now displays much faster (105% speed increase) than the old version. Moving between pages in the list is now super snappy - even for huge email archives.

Searching Emails
Searching your emails or emails shared by others is now super easy. We've included an email search box so you can start searching as soon as you hit the tab. Just start typing and Insightly will search the senders name, senders email address, subject and body of the message in real time for your search criteria. It brings back results and conveniently highlights matches, in a similar fashion to how search works within the other tabs.

Display Enhancements
We took a leaf out of Gmail's book for this one. Gmail displays emails one per line like Insightly including the senders name, the subject, and the date of the email in each line. But Gmail also subtly includes a snippet of the email body in the line too, grayed out so it does not conflict with the subject. That helps with being able to discern between similar emails at a glance, and provides more information about each email in the list in an unobtrusive way. We thought it was a neat feature so we decided to employ it for the email list within Insightly too (underlined in red below).

Managing Tags for Emails
You've been able to tag emails within Insightly for quite some time, but our tool set around bulk tagging of emails had been limited. With the new version, you can select multiple emails using the check box to the left of the sender name, then click on the 'Add Tag' link from the blue 'Selected Items' box that pops up at the top of the list - allowing you to tag multiple items at once. Insightly also displays a small tag icon next to each tagged email in the list, and hovering over that icon displays the tags assigned to that email as shown below.

Clicking on a tag in the right hand sidebar also bring up some extra options. You can rename or delete a tag entirely, and you can also select individual items and remove the currently selected tag from those items, or add another tag to just that subset (as shown below in red).

Linking multiple emails at once
One frequently requested feature from our customers that we've added is the ability to select multiple emails from the list and add a link to all those emails at once. So for instance, you can select all the emails that relate to a specific project, and link all those emails to that project in just one step. Just select the related emails, then click on the 'Add Link' hyperlink from the blue 'Selected Items' box that pops up at the top of the list (as shown below in red).

Index Listing
The last feature we added is the ability to list emails by the first letter of the senders name. This is a feature that exists on the other tabs, so we decided to include it here too. Click on a letter of the alphabet in the list header to see emails displayed from senders names starting with that letter (as shown below in red).

Along with the improvements to the new Gmail gadget a couple of weeks ago, we've beefed up the email handling  capabilities of Insightly and increased the efficiency with which emails can be added, tagged, linked, and managed. Hope you like the changes.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Introducing paid plans

Insightly has grown up a lot over the short 10 months since we launched, and we've added a ton of new features and capabilities to the product. We've grown from a small business tool that a select few users knew  and loved, to one of the most popular apps in the marketplace used by tens of thousands of businesses around the world. We've upgraded and expanded our server farm twice and had to move to a bigger data center in that short period, we'll probably have to do it again in the next year.

We've heard a lot of feedback from users and customers that they would like to have the option of paying for the service. Insightly has become a critical business tool for them, and they would like the reassurance that comes with paying for a quality service, and knowing the future cost so they can budget appropriately. So starting later this year we're going to introduce paid plans for new organizations that join the service, based around the number of users required.

We're huge supporters of small business, and we're focused on being the best Google Apps customer and project management tool for small businesses around the world. We realize that when a business is small and still growing, they don't have a lot of cash to splash around on fancy software, so we will continue to offer Insightly for free for up to four users. With that, new customers get unlimited tasks, organizations, projects and opportunities, the ability to store up to 1000 contacts, and up to 100MB of storage for files and emails, all for free.

We're going to introduce four paid plans. A 'starter' plan for up to 6 users for USD $29 per month that includes unlimited tasks, organizations, opportunities and projects, up to 5000 contacts and up to 6GB of storage for files and emails.

A 'plus' plan for up to 15 users for $49 per month will offer unlimited tasks, organizations, opportunities and projects, up to 20,000 contacts, and a huge 15GB of storage space.

A 'deluxe' plan for up to 40 users for $99 per month will include a massive 30GB of storage space for files and emails, unlimited tasks, organizations, opportunities and projects, and up to 50,000 contacts.

Finally we'll offer a 'max' plan for $199 per month for up to 99 users, including 75 GB of storage space and unlimited everything - contacts, tasks, organizations, opportunities and projects.

As a huge thank you to all our early adopters already using Insightly - you won't have to move to a paid plan if you don't want to when we introduce them and you can continue to use Insightly for free. You'll be able to keep all the users you already have on the free plan (even if it's way more than four), all the data, emails, files and storage, and all the contacts and organizations you've built up without having to pay anything at all. You might want to consider a paid plan in the future if you think you'll be adding more users, or need more storage space - but for the next four weeks or so we'll have no limits in place at all.

We think these plans are fair and represent great value for money and we hope you, our customers, do to.

Thanks for using Insightly.