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Retrospect V2

Retrospect V2

Retrospect.team was first launched in June of 2018, a little over two years ago! Hard to believe it’s been that long already. Today we are officially announcing all the new updates and features and calling it version 2 of Retrospect. Read on to learn more…

Introduction

For those of you not familiar with Retrospect.team, Retrospect is a real-time collaboration tool for Retrospectives, Tasks and Ideas. It’s a Kanban board of Sections (topics), Cards (ideas/thoughts) which you create and share with your team members, friends, family or keep it private to yourself.

It’s perfect for remote, distributed teams who need an easy way to quickly collaborate on ideas and to easily run retrospectives after sprints. It’s also flexible enough to use for personal use as a task list, note system, daily planner and countless other uses. We’d love to know how you end up using it.

Board Templates and Pricing

To make it easy to get started, we offer 6 board templates to choose from. Don’t worry though, you can completely customize it to your needs after the board has been created.

We recently released a Pro feature which allows you to save your own custom board templates that you can re-use over and over, makes your life much easier!

We believe in providing quality tools at an affordable price, to get you started we offer a Free Account in which you get 3 boards, unlimited sections and cards. Use this level of account for as long as you want, when ready, you can upgrade to our Pro Account.

For a limited time, we are offering a Pro Lifetime Account for a one time payment of $48. This gives you unlimited boards, advanced permissions and all current and future upgrades. It’s a great value that you shouldn’t pass up!

Members and Organizations

Over the past two years we have continued to steadily grow, we are happy to announce that we now have over 6,000 members and organizations who utilize our services. Over the next two years, we expect to grow significantly faster as more and more people discover us and bring their entire teams onto the platform. We are excited to learn from our customers and always encourage you to provide feedback. 

Public Boards

We released the ability to make any of your boards publicly discoverable, this allows anyone to find your board from our site and if you allow them, they can login and modify your board with their own content and updates.

Have a cool list of resources you want to share with people? Just add them to a board, make it public and share the link. The the type of content you can quickly share with anyone is nearly limitless, we hope you take advantage of this functionality.

My Board

The most important piece of Retrospect of course is your Board, each board contains Sections and Cards which you can modify as needed. We have worked hard to improve the experience and design of this page to make it easier to use while adding new functionality without cluttering up the workflow.

Some new functionality includes:

  • More Permissions for Pro Users
  • Re-arrange Sections
  • Save Board as a Custom Template
  • Export to Excel with ability to Import back into the Board
  • Toggle Edit Mode, which allows you to hide the editor if you want a larger area to show content. Great for presentations.
  • Downvote card option.
  • Lots of other little refinements with more to come!

Permissions

Pro users have the ability to adjust permissions for each board, this includes Section and Card level permissions. We also provide you with a private URL you can send to anyone or make the board public for all to see.

Team Upgrades

This is one of my favorite additions we have added – Team Upgrades. Let’s say you are the manager of a team and you have 10 team members, if you upgrade yourself to our Pro Lifetime plan for $48, you then unlock the ability to upgrade your team members as well and for a much lower price of just $12 each. Each team member you upgrade needs to already be a free member, once they are, simply add their email address/s and then checkout and pay. The next time the login, they will have a Pro account, it’s easy!

Wrapping Up

That is a quick overview of some of the changes we have made over the past couple of years, there are lots of things we have improved and added and will continue to do so moving forward.

  • Added Markdown Support
  • Re-arrange Board Sections
  • Date Modified Ordered Boards
  • Improved Advanced Permissions
  • “Downvote” option on Cards
  • Toggle Edit Mode
  • Save Custom Board Templates
  • Added 10X Planner Template
  • Export and Import Full Boards
  • Improved UI and UX
  • Public Boards

We encourage to swing over and give it a spin, whether you are on a team or need it for personal use, we are certain that you can find a use for Retrospect.

Thank you! 

Podcast Interview with Milestone Hackers

Podcast Interview with Milestone Hackers

Recently I was interviewed for the Milestone Hackers Podcast where we talk about working on Side Projects | Exploring Time Management, Ideas, Validation, Marketing and Growth.

About Milestone Hackers: “A host (meee), Paolo interviewing various types of entrepreneurs or founders both technical and non-technical. Each entrepreneur has their own unique story that resulted in learning or experiencing something that can benefit the audience who may be in a similiar position! Check out the Milestone Hackers website for additional interviews.

Have a listen to my interview below…

How to Collect User Feedback using BugFeedr

How to Collect User Feedback using BugFeedr

As developers it can be difficult to collect feedback from our clients and users in a structured, meaningful and actionable way. BugFeedr makes this process much more simple, read more to learn how to use BugFeedr.

First Visit

When you first come to BugFeedr you are presented with a simple, one-page site outlining the features, screenshot of the submission form and details regarding pricing.

BugFeedr is geared towards developers, makers, entrepreneurs who are building both client software and SAAS applications for a larger audience. We have integrations with Slack, Trello, Jira, Asana and Azure DevOps to make it easy to push feedback from your users back into the tools your teams use every day.

Registration / Login

Throughout the homepage there are numerous ways to get to the registration page, we have very simple requirements to join. Simply enter your Name, Company Name, Email and Password and then Register.

If you prefer, we also offer the option to join with a Google or Microsoft account.

After you have registered and return to the site, it’s quick to Login as well.

1. Clients

There are essentially 3 primary steps to get setup to start accepting Tickets for your project. The first step is to create a new “Client”.

The Client is who “Owns” the project, so you may be a freelance developer who has several Clients you work with, you would enter their information on this Add Client screen so that you can easily reference their information later. (Nothing is sent to your client, this is for simply for you.) Alternately, the Client could be You, maybe you are an indie maker and you build a bunch of projects, you would be your own client in this case.

The “Vanity Name” is included in the Feedback Form Url, so it’s important to put a value here that is relevant to the client. Also keep in mind, one client may have multiple projects under them.

First Client

The screenshot below shows what the screen looks like after you have added your first client.

The icon on the far left allows you to edit client information. Then you can see the company name, email, client name, vanity url and how many projects and tickets each client has.

2. Projects

Once you have added a Client, it’s now time to add a Project under that Client.

On the Projects page click “Add a Project”, from here you can select a Client from the drop down list. Next, add a title for the project, this might be the name of the website, or code name you are using.

We’ll automatically generate a “Feedback form Url” for you, this url is what you will use to access the feedback form for this project. In some instances you may want to generate a new Url due to people leaving the team and you no long want them accessing the feedback form again, or maybe spammers got a hold of the url and you are getting junk feedback. Simply come back to this page, click the Generate new Url button and use that going forward.

Here you can see the form populated with content and how your first project looks on the page.

If you look below, there is a column titled “Feedback Form”, this icon will open a new window and display the feedback form for your project, this is the url you will send to your client, embed as a link on your site or use in an iFrame to embed on a site directly.

Feedback Form

Shown below is what our feedback form currently looks like…

  1. First we show the “Project Title” so you and your users know that they are using the correct form for the correct site.
  2. Next we have some basic fields, Title of the Ticket, their Email Address so you can follow up with the user about their ticket if needed.
  3. Next we have a couple drop downs to help define the type of ticket. The user can submit a Bug, New Task, Enhancement, Question or other. They can also define it’s Priority so you have a general idea of how urgent the ticket is.
  4. The next section allows the user to enter step-by-step directions on how to reproduce the issue, they can add as many steps as they want and even re-order if they had to add something they forgot when they started.
  5. We also provide an HTML Rich text area to allow the user to add free-form comments that may be helpful to you.
  6. Lastly, the user can attach screenshots to help you better understand the issues they are seeing.

Once, the user has completed the form, they simply click “Submit Ticket” and it’s sent to you for review. The user can continue submitting additional tickets if needed.

There are many ways to actually use the form, you can send a link to your client through an email, you can add a link someplace on your site (we often add it to the footer), you can use an iFrame and embed the form directly on your site, or if you have a native app, you could use a Webview and embed the form directly in the app.

Here you can see an example submission before it has been submitted.

3. Tickets

Once Tickets have been submitted, you will see them on the Tickets page. You can filter Tickets by specific projects so you can focus a bit easier. You can select multiple tickets at once if you want to bulk export them or bulk delete them.

You can use the “Eye” icon to go look at the Ticket in detail, we also show the Ticket number and date it was submitted. We also show a few more specific details plus a link to download all the attachments attached to the Ticket.

Ticket Details

The Ticket Details page shows a few auto-generated details like the Date and Ticket Id, along with all the specific information the user submitted through the feedback form.

At the very bottom, you can also see the attachments the user added, if you click on them the open up in a larger view.

Integrations

There are multiple ways to deal with Tickets one they have come in, you can simply view them and fix the related bug and then simply delete the Ticket from the system. You could export the Tickets to Excel and then remove from the system.

If you are part of a team, your best option is likely to setup Integrations with the tools your team is already using. We offer 5 common Ticket tracking tool to integrate with, Trello, Asana, Jira, Slack and Azure Dev Ops.

To make a connection, simple click the “Connect to…” button for the service you want to connect with, authorize the connection and that’s it!

If you no longer want the integration, simply click the “Remove Integration” button.

How to Use an Integration

Now that you have connected to your 3rd Party Integration, it’s time to actually use it, to do that, you need to go back to your Tickets page.

On the Tickets screen (assuming you have a ticket), you will see a new column called “Integrations”, from here you can select the integration you want to use for that specific Ticket. Can could, in theory setup all 5 integrations if your company uses them.

Integration Pop-Up

Once you have selected an Integration option from the drop down, you will be presented with a modal pop-up that will allow you to select where within that Integration you want to send the Ticket.

You can first select or create a new Board, then you can select or create a new List, once your options have been defined, simply click the “Create Card” button and off it will go to your other tool.

Integration Preview

If you jump over to your external Integration provider, for instance Trello in this case. You will see the newly created card with all the same Ticket details that you get in the “Ticket Details” page within BugFeedr. Now you can assign it to the appropriate developer to keep the process moving forward in the tools your team is used to working with.

Here is the Trello Card expanded to show the Ticket details you passed from BugFeedr. Something to keep in mind, the Ticket still remains inside of BugFeedr at this point, you will still have to manually delete it if you no longer need it in BugFeedr.

Notifications

What good is user feedback if you don’t know it exists? If you go to your Profile Settings page, we have a section regarding how often you will receive notifications regarding submitted tickets.

We offer 3 options, 1. You can get notified immediately after the ticket has been submitted. 2. You can get notified once per day, this will give you a summary of all tickets once per day. 3. You can turn off notifications completely, we don’t recommend this unless you are consistently using BugFeedr everyday (which would be cool 🙂

Pricing

We understand that you have countless other tools and services that you subscribe to and likely paying lots of money for to use those services. We see ourselves as a compliment to those tools and have priced BugFeedr affordably so that we are not a drag on your budget.

You can give BugFeedr a try for free for 1 Client and 1 Project for as long as you want. When you are ready to expand, it’s easy to upgrade to our $24 Per Year Plan, that’s only $2 per month.

We personally use BugFeedr on all of our projects, it’s been a helpful tool in collecting feedback from our clients and users. We hope you find it useful as well. Come give BugFeedr a try!

10 Scrum Retrospective Tools for Distributed Agile Teams in 2020.

10 Scrum Retrospective Tools for Distributed Agile Teams in 2020.

2020 brings some new Scrum Retrospective tools for software development teams to try out. We have collected a new top 10 list of tools for Agile teams…

Retrospect.team

Retrospect is a simple, real-time Kanban Collaboration Tool created by us, Krazier Inc. It’s easy to create a board, share it publicly or privately with your team members or friends, add cards and take action. Retrospect offers 6 default templates to choose from, including a 10X Planner for your daily life. One unique feature of Retrospect is that it offers you the ability to use Markdown within each Card, allowing for styled content that’s easier to read and understand. 2020 will bring additional improvements geared toward teams.

Cost: 3 Free Active Boards / $16 per year upgrade.

Outro

A retrospective is a candid, team-wide discussion about how the team is doing, both the accomplishments and the challenges. When done right, it creates more effective, more close-knit teams. Outro was created in NYC by Taylor Crane & Danny Pirajan. They have hosted retros weekly since 2011 (across many teams), and have seen over and over again the positive change it creates. This compelled us to turn what we love about retros into a beautiful product for any team to use.

Cost: 4 Free Boards / $10 per month upgrade.

Retroly

A fun simple tool for agile retrospectives. Retroly is a tool for teams that want to flourish and have impactful retros every single time. It helps improve remote or co-located teams improve their performance with retrospectives.

Cost: Free During Beta.

Sprintlio

Sprintlio is a powerful and intelligent retrospectives tool built to seamlessly fit between Slack and Jira for modern agile teams. Agile, Scrum, Kanban, Lean, Agile-ish, Waterfall – if you run retrospectives, this is the tool for you.

Cost: 30 day free trial / $25 per month

Metro Retro

Metro Retro is a free web app that helps teams run productive, engaging and fun retrospectives. It uses real-time updates, adaptable templates and a quirky sense of humor to riff on the classic paper based retrospective but taking advantage of modern tech!

Cost: Free

Neatro

Neatro helps your team grow with a selection of effective and industry-proven retrospectives. Whether you’re leading a remote or in-person retrospective, pick the activity that matches your team’s context. Create action items and assign owners in realtime.

Cost: Free During Beta.

bttr

The agile retrospective tool. Organize your retrospective in an efficient manner. Constantly collect feedback. Focus on important topics. Improve sprint by sprint.

Cost: 1 Board Free, 10 Boards 25

Parabol

Parabol is a free, open-source web app for running engaging & effective retrospective check-in meetings that can run in realtime or asynchronously. Integrations with Atlassian Jira & GitHub and forwardable meeting summaries make follow-up a snap.

Cost: Free for Personal, Unlimited $6 per month

Self-Retrospective

Self-Retrospective. Do a self-retrospective to create a plan for improvements in different parts of your life. Get an email after a selected time period to track and improve your personal development.

Cost: Free

Team O’Clock

Empower your team for happiness. Focus on your team’s improvement and alignment by following well structured meetings for retrospective and daily stand-up. Interested? Keep reading.

Cost: 1Board Free / $29 per month “Starter” / $69 per month “Standard”

View All Retrospective Tools on: http://www.bestretrospectivetools.com

Makers, we are far more Mentally and Physically hurting than we realize.

Makers, we are far more Mentally and Physically hurting than we realize.

Mental and Physical health is becoming a common discussion point among Indie Makers and Entrepreneurs. As someone who is an entrepreneur working in both the Online and Offline environments, I wanted to offer my unexpected experiences in my mental and physical health.

To give you a bit of foundation, I should probably give you some background on my entrepreneurial life…

The Past Decade

Starting back in about 2008 I “officially” became a full-time freelance designer and front-end developer, I ran my own company, found my own clients and did 90+% of the work myself. I loved being at the computer, often starting my work day by 9AM and working until 1 or 2AM with breaks for lunch, dinner and a bit of family time. I almost always had “just enough work” to pay my bills and while I could have been doing a lot better, I thought I was living my dream and that true “success” was simply a matter of time and energy.

In reality, looking back on that time period of my life I have come to realize my excitement, passion, sleep, health and relationships were all gradually suffering and getting worse as the days and years went on. At the time, I simply felt the way I felt like because that’s how work is supposed to feel like as a freelancer. Grind until you succeed, at all cost.

During the middle of 2018 I decided to go to the doctor (after having not gone to a doctor in 10 years for a general checkup) because my knees were in constant pain (I have always had bad knees, but this was different) and being only 37 at the time it didn’t make sense for me to feel like I was about 70. To my surprise though, in general I was actually pretty normal. There is nothing structurally wrong with my knees, they mostly just need to be strengthened and some physical therapy. I weigh more than I should and have high cholesterol, but nothing that was unusual, especially for someone who basically sits around all day. In the end, my doctor told me I need to find a way to get more active.

2018

After meeting with my doctor and realizing that I basically hated doing design and development work and then quite abruptly getting let-go from the company I was working full-time freelance for. At first I tried finding a new full-time job, but had no luck at that. Then I decided to try getting back into the independent freelance world again and having my own clients, but after 6 months of basically no work I started crashing mentally and financially.

I was extremely stressed, irritable, short-tempered and not fun to be around, plus I was getting drastically deeper into debt and had about a weeks worth of money left. I was at the end of my rope, had exhausted all my resources and struggled to understand why I even wanted to continue doing design or development work anymore, I didn’t really like doing it, hated it in fact.

During August and the beginning of September of 2018, I decided to focus on what my doctor had said to me… “Get more active.” At that point I decided to 100% quit trying to find and push my design career, it simply wasn’t working and I simply wasn’t passionate about it anymore. Instead, I changed my focus to finding a job that was drastically different from what I had been doing and one that required me to be active again.

I had a few requirements that I outlined as things that would be optimal for being happier again…

  • I didn’t want to work for someone else.
  • I needed something that was flexible. (I still had a few freelance clients that needed my help, I wanted to be able to take my kids to school and pick them up everyday, I needed to be able to take time off whenever I needed to work on my startup projects and other things.)
  • I needed something that was very low cost to setup, remember, I was broke at the time.
  • I needed something that required minimal training or experience as I needed to be generating revenue quickly and not spending time learning.
  • I needed something with low overhead and minimal equipment.
  • I needed something that didn’t require me to work in the evenings or weekends so that I could spend more time with my family.
  • I needed something that got me away from my computer for most of the day.

It took me a while to finally figure out what I wanted to do, but as soon as I did, everything fell into place very quickly. On September 11th, 2018 I officially registered my new company “Wild Fox Painting, Inc.” a house painting company. I had finally found something that I had previous experience with and met all the requirements I outlined above.

End of 2018

Fun fact, in general, starting a new painting company at the end of the year is a pretty terrible idea. Turns out, in November and December a lot of people stop working on their houses and focus on holidays with their families, who would have guessed?

Fortunately, I landed a few quick jobs from some friends and other referrals and was able to at least have some revenue coming in the door. And landed a big, well paying job at the end of January which really started to set things in motion.

 As I started 2019 I had some pretty simple goals for the company…

  • First was to do 52 estimates or an average of 1 per week. I figured if I won a quarter of those, I’d be able to survive my first year.
  • Second was to NOT be like many of the other painters in town, I’d focus on quality, customer service and not sub-contracting every job out to someone else.
  • Lastly, I wanted to focus on in-person networking and relationships.

Dude, I thought you were going to talk about Mental and Physical health? I am, I’m getting there…

2019

I’m not going to get into a lot of details about 2019, I’ll save that for another post. I did just want to highlight that I was able to meet and exceed all of my goals I had set, which has allowed me to finally see that I was more mentally and physically screwed up than I thought, here’s how…

With the success of my first full year, I have been fortunate enough to have the ability to take all of December off from painting this year, in fact I took half of November off as well. I’m literally more stable after one year of painting, than I have been in 10 years of freelance design and development work. This kind of blows my mind.

We are now in the middle of December (the 18th to be exact) and over the past couple weeks I have noticed something that has led me to writing this article…

I have realized that I hate that I’m not painting right now. Wait, what? Who hates time off and not having work and stress? As I look at it though, it actually makes a lot of sense and here’s why… I’m rapidly falling into my old habits and issues that I thought were “no big deal” before…

  • While painting, I was regularly going to bed around 11PM and was able to fall asleep quickly and slept well and could easily wake up around 7AM without an alarm. Now that I’m not painting, I’m going to bed again at 1AM, it takes me an hour to fall asleep, I don’t sleep well and I struggle to wake up by 8AM.
  • While painting, I was only at my computer for 2-3 hours per day. Now, I’m on my computer for 10-12 hours per day.
  • While painting, I was happier, had more energy and enjoyed spending time with the family. Now, I’m constantly tired and want to take a nap everyday, I have minimal motivation, I’m more stressed and family time (get’s in the way).
  • While painting, I managed to completely cut out coffee which helped reduce the number of headaches I had, it also saved me a lot of money and boosted my energy. Now, I drink coffee everyday again, I feel like I constantly have a headache and I feel more sluggish in general.

Every positive effect painting had on my life the first 10 and a half months of the year have all reverted back to where I was at prior to painting, all within less than a month. I thought I’d really enjoy my time off (which I have to an extent), but the negative effect it has had on me though has been shocking and opened my eyes to just how bad I truly was when I sat at my desk all day, didn’t exercise and rarely interacted with people in the real world.

Long story, short…

I had always assumed I was getting by “just fine” for the past 10+ years as I worked in the freelance and maker world. I saw other’s having breakdowns, or stress or every other issue you can think of, but no, not me, I don’t have any issues! Turns out I was simply too close to what I couldn’t see, I glossed over and ignored my issues and myself and everyone around me suffered for it.

Conclusion

Slow down for a day, get off your devices, grab a notebook and spend some time really evaluating your life, goals, emotions, actions, friendships, family and health. Stop thinking you are “perfectly fine”, I’m not sure anyone is perfectly fine and most people can’t even see the obvious issues in their lives. You aren’t as stable as you think you are, find your vulnerabilities and start working on them, today.

As for me, I don’t know if I will take a full month off again next year. If I do, it will be filled with travelling or something more interesting than sitting at my computer each day. I’m by no means done figuring things out, it’s a constant battle and requires constant evaluation day-to-day, and week-to-week. I can tell you though, I’m excited about the future and this new outlook on my mental and physical health!