I run a market research firm with a virtual office. My two partners and I have 20 employees around the country. Until recently, we collaborated using only Google Docs and Google Calendar. In January, we began using Mavenlink, a more sophisticated online tool.

To create a workspace on Mavenlink, I click a button to start a new project and give it a name, budget, and finish date. Then, I can invite employees, contractors, and clients to join the workspace via e-mail. We can chat in a real-time message feed and upload documents directly from Google Docs. We can also create and assign tasks, which appear in one list, and update the status of each one. Due dates sync with Google Calendar.

Each morning, my partners and I have a conference call to review the status of projects on Mavenlink. On my account homepage, I can view timelines and changes made to workspaces and peruse a list of tasks assigned to me. During the day, I receive e-mail updates when someone adds a message to a workspace feed. If I reply by e-mail, my message appears in the feed.

We pay $39 a month for our account, which allows me to create unlimited projects with unlimited collaborators. It also includes 20GB of file storage.

Paul Gladen
Founder, Muzeview
Missoula, Montana

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