I spent time on the front lines with Microsoft SharePoint, and I know there is room for a challenger to SharePoint. Even still, when I first met with Alastair Mitchell, CEO of Huddle, I was struck by how confident he was that users would adopt the collaboration platform.
Now that I've been following Huddle for several months and have had access to a review environment where I can keep up with new features and other developments from the company, I can understand why he feels that way. One of the best signs for Huddle adoption is how easy it is set up a workspace.
Huddle is an ideal platform for decentralized collaboration management. Any team member with the right privileges and even a little web application experience can learn the workspace creation and management tasks.
In this tutorial on how to create a workspace in Huddle, I assume you've already installed the platform. Also, click the images to see larger copies of them. (When writing this post, I'm using a workspace manager account.)
Create your first workspace
1. Click Create A New workspace. The Create A New workspace dialog box will appear (Figure A).
Create A New workspace
2. Select a template from the Template drop-down list (Figure A) if you want to base your workspace's layout and design on another workspace residing in your organization's Huddle. I selected None from the Template drop-down list, so I can point out the full options that are available when creating a workspace.
3. Enter a title for the workspace in the Title field (Figure A).
4. Add a description of the Huddle workspace for your users in the Description field (Figure A), if you like.
5. Click the Create Workspace button (Figure A). Huddle creates a new workspace similar to Figure B.
A new Huddle workspace
Invite people to the workspace
1. Click the People tab (Figure C).
2. Click Invite People. The Create A New Invitation screen will appear (Figure D).
Create a new invitation
3. Select the workspace to which you want to invite people from the Choose A Team To Invite People To Join drop-down list (Figure D).
4. Perform one of these options: (1) enter email addresses for the users you want to invite to your workspace in the Enter Email Addresses For People You'd Like To Invite field, or (2) click Add From Address Book link and follow the prompts to add users from your address book (Figure D).
5. Edit the Personal Message (Figure D), if you want.
6. Select Send Me A Copy Of The Email (Figure D) to send yourself a copy of the invitation you send users.
7. Click the Invite button (Figure D) to send the invite.
Add files or folders to your workspace
Huddle gives you the option to upload single or multiple files to your workspace. Here are the steps for how to add files.
1. Click Files. The Files tab will appear (Figure E).
The Files tab
2. Click Add New Files/Folders. The Upload dialog box will appear (Figure F).
Upload files to Huddle
3. Perform one of the following options:
a. Click the Browse button and select a file to add to Huddle. Click Open to add the file to the Upload dialog box. The file appears in the Browse field of the Upload dialog box. Or, add a description of the file and click Upload.
b. Click Multiple Files And Folders. Drag and drop folders you want to add to Huddle.
Note: The Uploading Multiple Files and Folders feature is Java-based, so it doesn't play well with Chrome.
Sharing files with other Huddle users
1. Click Share With Others. The Share dialog box will appear.
2. Perform one of these options:
a. Type the name of the person with whom you want to share the file(s). Huddle searches for the person in its directory.
b. Select a group or person from the list.
3. Click Share to share the file with a person.
4. Click Done.
Adding tasks to a workspace
Huddle enables you to capture and manage tasks on a per workspace basis. Follow these steps to add tasks to a Huddle workspace.
1. Click Tasks to open the Tasks tab (Figure G).
2. Type a task in the Add A Task field.
3. Click More Details to add a note to the task, if you want.
4. Select a status for the task from the Not Started drop-down list.
5. Select a Start Date for the task.
6. Select an End Date for the task.
7. Click Update to set the task's start and end dates.
8. Select a workspace member to which you will assign the task.
9. Click Update.
10. Click Add to add the task to the task list.
Managing workspace settings
1. Click Settings. The Huddle Settings page will appear (Figure H).
2. Click Edit Workspace Settings. You now have the option to edit the Title, Description, and Logo elements.
3. Select or deselect User Privileges, if you want.
4. Select or deselect Invitation Privileges, if you want.
5. Click Update to update the workspace settings.
Huddle settings also include options to manage teams, users, and invitations.
Click Features to open the Features options, where you can select or deselect the features you want to add to your Huddle workspace.
Note: Custom Task Fields isn't covered in this article.
Easy setup of workspaces for departments, projects, or teams is one of the key usability benefits of the Huddle platform. This should translate into broader adoption of Huddle.
Will Kelly is a freelance technical writer and analyst currently focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consumerization of IT. He has also written about cloud computing, Big Data, virtualization, project management applications, Google Apps, Microsoft technologies, and online collaboration for TechRepublic and other sites. Will also works as a contract technical writer for clients in the Washington, DC area and nationwide. Follow Will on Twitter: @willkelly.