Improve Contact System
I have many improvements I would like to see in Podio: better Google Apps integration, task priorities, more granular permissions, etc. But there is one issue that is the biggest problem with Podio: the way it handles contacts.
Like many people I am using Podio for a CRM. Not because it's the best option; the way Podio handles contacts makes it ill suited for the task. I'm using it because I didn't want to be using yet another system for CRM. I am coming from Insightly, which gives you the ability to comment on, link to, attach files to, and assign tasks on contacts, something you can inexplicably do on every item in Podio except the contact themselves.
The problems with how Podio handles contacts now are simple:
You can't comment on, link to, attach files to, and assign tasks on Workspace contacts. This means that you can't look at a contact and see a history of your communication with them; which is the basic functionality of any CRM.
Workspace contacts cannot be used across Workspaces. There is no global address book.
Now I know what you are saying: Build an app! Well, I have, but the app creates it's own set of problems:
Webforms and app-to-email apps don't recognize contact apps; requiring them to be linked manually.
Whenever you are working with a contact that has not been created yet, you must open the contact app to create the contact before linking. So, if I have an inquiry that comes in on a new contact, my staff must navigate from the inquiries app to the contact app, create a new contact in the contacts app, navigate back, and link the inquiry. This is a usability nightmare.
The android app does not allow searching on app items, only contacts. That means even if my team is jumping through the hoops above I still can't see the contact history on my phone unless I am willing to scroll through 2k items in the contacts app to find the right one.
You can't give someone access to a podio item or add something to their calendar with an app reference field. You have to use a workspace contact field, which again prevents you from seeing the link between the item and contact.
Third party tools such as Podiomail and Podioflow don't work as well with app reference fields as they do with contact fields.
Podio, please, please, please, improve the contact system. I have seen other posts around the internet from other people frustrated with the issue. Give contacts the same abilities as other items in Podio so that it can be used as a full-featured CRM.
Hi Josh, good points. Many of us struggle with the same issues. I think that having an app for contacts is still the best way although functionality is not great.
I would like to add the suggestion for Podio to make some kind of hybrid-apps for contacts and tasks. Maintain the overall usage through the whole organization (unless it's marked not to do so) for adding contacts inside new items etc. But also have the sorting, filtering, categorizing as in the regular apps. This 'hybrid app' can be added to a workspace and have some unchangeable fields and beside those you can in the block add fields per workspace or organization.
This way we can have the best of both worlds.
I feel your pain, thanks for your feedback.
Just wanted to give you a heads up related point 2+3 (why you can't use an app for contacts) that will be solved soon:
2. We are working to improve the app reference field to make it possible to create a new item directly from the app reference field (make the creation faster using the app reference field).
3. We will hopefully soon add a real search functionality to the Android app (similar to what we already have for iOS).
I know this is not the full solution you are looking for but perhaps this can help a bit :)
Sara - Podio
Ditto to all of the above! Where this really adds a significant challenge is when creating a new workspace for each project - I have struggled with whether or not to continue with this model vs a single workspace for different types of projects or clients due to the Contacts limitation. Either way, I still have to recreate contacts regardless.
This is also why I have not yet integrated QuickBooks integration with Zapier, as I would have to make sure all of these contacts strewn across the various workspaces have the correct information so automated invoicing functions correctly.
Thanks for your post, Josh.
It is now possible to create a new item directly from the app reference field since our big release Monday :) Now you'll see you can scroll to the bottom of an app reference drop down to add a referenced item straight from there.
Hope this can help you!
/Sara - Podio
Glad to hear Brady, thanks for the kind words!
We have more new stuff coming soon:
//Sara - Podio
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