Software

How to set up SquidHub to make mobile collaboration easy

If you've been searching for just the right mobile project management tool, Jack Wallen believes SquidHub might be the one. Here's how you install the app and create a new project.

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Image: Jack Wallen

Mobile business users collaborate. In fact, in many sectors, it's a bread and butter task. We work better together and often find ourselves working with others on projects of varying scope. Fortunately, the tech industry is rife with tools that help enable collaboration. You'll find free tools, open source tools, and tools costing thousands of dollars. Surprisingly enough, some of the free tools do as good a job as those costing significantly more. One such tool is SquidHub. This particular take on mobile collaboration might well be the best option available. Not only is it easy to use, it offers a wide range of features that are certain to meet your collaboration needs.

With SquidHub you can:

  • Create new projects
  • Add members to projects
  • Work with a shared calendar
  • Create new to-dos and meetings
  • Assign to-dos to members
  • Upload files
  • Create share links
  • Create a new Google Doc/Sheet/Slide
  • Link a document to Google Drive
  • Message team members
  • Work from mobile app (Android or iOS) or Web
  • And more

Best of all, SquidHub is incredibly simple to use. With a very shallow learning curve, you can have your team up to speed in no time.

I want to walk you through the installation of SquidHub and the creation of a new project. In the end, the free service and app should impress you enough to have you scrambling to use the tool.

Installation

Installation of SquidHub is simple. I will demonstrate on the Android platform.

  1. Open up the Google Play Store on your Android device
  2. Search for SquidHub
  3. Locate and tap the entry by SquidHub
  4. Tap Install
  5. Allow the installation to complete

That's all there is to the installation. Once it completes, you'll find the SquidHub launcher on the home screen or the App Drawer. Tap that launcher to open the app. Upon first run, you'll be asked to sign into your account, or create a new one. Do note, the account is free and the app does not contain ads.

I do highly recommend you do the signup process on the web-based version—it'll make the process a bit faster. After you enter an email address to sign up, you'll be sent a verification email. Click on the included link within that email and your default web browser will open, where you can fill out the necessary pieces of information (your name and a password) as well as the selecting of a template for your first group (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

Selecting a template to serve as your first group.

This template will populate a new group with sample data (To Dos & Meetings, Files & Links, Message - Figure B). This serves as a quick way to get up to speed on what SquidHub can do.

Figure B

Figure B

Our new sample group.

Creating a new project

Strangely enough, you don't actually create a project. As you've witnessed upon signing up for an account, you actually create a group. That group will serve as your team for a project. You can create one umbrella group that will serve all projects, create groups that will serve related projects, or create a single group for each project.

To create a new group, go to the SquidHub home screen (Figure C) and tap the + button.

Figure C

Figure C

The SquidHub mobile home screen.

You will be required to give the group a name and an optional name for the team. Depending on how you plan on using SquidHub, you might name your group on a per-project basis, name it after your department, name each group after a function (web, security, network, PHP, etc.), or just get creative. You can also associate an icon for the group (Figure D).

Figure D

Figure D

Adding an icon for your new group.

Tap the Next button to continue. In the resulting window, you can then scroll through your list of contacts and add members to the group. Select as many members as you need and then tap the Create button. Every member you add will then be sent an email with a link. If you want to skip adding members, simply tap Create and you can add members later.

At this point you can then tap on your newly created group and start adding members, files, to-dos, and sending messages to the group. To add new members to the group, tap the menu button in the upper right corner, tap Add members, and then scroll through your contacts to add them.

The caveats

You were expecting this, weren't you? There are two caveats to SquidHub. The first is that you cannot assign user permissions. So if a user is in a group that user will be able to see all files, to-dos, events, and messages. This is why it might behoove you to create separate groups for different projects. Using SquidHub that way would ensure you could isolate users, so that they could only see the data they needed to see. Otherwise, it's a mad free-for-all.

The second caveat is that the web-based interface offers much more in the way of features than does the mobile version. For example, linking a file from your Google Drive account to SquidHub can only be one on the web-based version. From within the mobile app, you can only upload photos (not documents, spreadsheets, or slides), so the mobile version does suffer from significant limitations compared to the web-based platform. To get the most out of the service, you should make the web version your primary point of entry and use the mobile tool as an on-the-go-only solution.

A must-try

SquidHub should be considered a must-try for anyone needing to add a bit of project management to their mobile devices. It's incredibly easy to use, offers just the right amount of features, and it's free. What more do you want?

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About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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