Task Management and Time Tracking Software
SPG Interview with Tom Cameron, Founder of todo.vu
Tell us about todo.vu
todo.vu is a productivity suite designed for small teams and freelancers. It comprises a minimal CRM combined with task management, time management and tracking and billing.
How did you got this idea to have all the features – Project Management, Time tracking, Billing etc in one product?
I have been working in or managing small businesses for over 25 years and none of the products I found on the market were practical for how small businesses operate. Any of the products that offered all these features were extremely large and expensive ‘practice management’ solutions designed for large organisations with distinct teams or departments performing separate tasks. The other option was to piece together a solution from stand-alone apps like Asana, Basecamp, Toggl, Harvest, Freshbooks, with something like Zapier, but this quickly lead to 2, 3 or 4 separate apps, all with separate license fees and significant duplication of effort – far from ideal.
In some ways working as a freelancer or in a tiny team is more difficult than big business because all staff perform multiple roles simultaneously. Often you need to manage dozens or even hundreds of clients with small agile projects and on top of that you also have to handle administrative tasks such as marketing, sales, bookkeeping, HR etc at the same time. This requires a very specific type of systems that does not attept to silo information in different projects or departments, but allows you to keep track of everything you do in all facets of working life.
So todo.vu has been build specificly for this style of operation, helping small teams keep track of everything they do in one place.
Do you get feature request from your customers or it is your team’s own effort to enhance the product?
Very early on we looked to our customers for direction. We ran an early free beta program and sourced feedback – we then ranked all the feature requests and that set the direction for the next 12-18 months of development. Since then we have been constantly relying on customer feedback to help us prioritise what we build into the product.
How does a freelancer or company benefit from using todo.vu?
There are several ways this can happen. At the very least, if they start to capture their tasks in todo.vu they gain an insight about their workload and reduce the possiblity of errors or missed work. The ability to delegate and track tasks and keep all communication in one place will improve productivity and quality of work. The option to track time will improve their revenue position.
todo.vu also improves communication with clients by organisating information and improving transparancy of work and billing.
But more than that, over time, a business owner will gain insights into how they are operating, an understanding of how much time is invested into parts of the business and where the best returns come from. After using todo.vu for a couple of years, a business will have a valuable knowledgebase with which they can analyse their operations.
What were the key challenges you faced while building and promoting todo.vu
Time is a big problem – when our team is small and budgets are minimal, it takes a long time to build a high quality product and that makes it difficult to maintain momentum and keep customers pleased.
UX design is probably the most difficult thing to do – it requires lots of trial and error, lots of user testing and a willingness to accept criticism.
What makes todo.vu unique compared to other project management softwares?
todo.vu is focused on the notion that “everything is a task”
– sales leads, phone calls, meetings, are all considered tasks, so we don’t try to silo work into different parts of the system. By bringing it all into one place and then providing powerful tagging and filtering tools, we make it possible for a business owner to quickly analyse all aspects of their business in one place.
Also, the integration of CRM, tasks, time and billing is only offered by a few products and none in the same price range as todo.vu.
How did you come up with such affordable pricing strategy?
This was driven mostly by the desire to produce something that very small businesses would be willing to take on without having to worry about expenses. Obviously, it is difficult to maintain a very low pricing, but it is possible today with the very economical options for hosting and marketing globally.
Where are you based and write few words about how the tech/startup ecosystem in your city has helped you?
The todo.vu team works from a cool co-working space (Salt Space) in Brisbane on the east coast of Australia. I’ve lived in the UK, US, and Singapore and travelled quite a bit and I still believe that this is one of the best places in the world to live and run a business. The climate is very mild, we are close to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the economy is stable and generally there are great opportunites for families.
Brisbane is also quickly becoming a hub for startups with many incubators and co-working spaces so it is an ideal place to be building something like todo.vu. The startup ecosystem in this area is very inclusive and colaborative with many events being co-run by multiple incubators and co-working spaces. There are many opportunites to seek help and advice from others and to share experiences. This is very important as it can be a tough and lonely business if you don’t have that type of support.
todo.vu – Task Management Software Video
todo.vu Social Channels
Level 1, 888 Brunswick Street
New Farm QLD 4005
Phone: +61 7 3040 4440