069 – Hostful – Our Favorite Production & Agency Software

In this Happy Hour podcast, John and Ryan are chatting about software that they use to keep productions running smoothly.


  • (6:31) Studio Binder.
  • (18:43) Frame.io
  • (27:46) Dialpad.
  • (40:02) Basecamp.
  • (46:27) Notion.


Ryan Freng 2:18
What’s up world? I’m Ryan Freng, co creative director here at backflip. And joining me as I say always, but most of the time, John Shoemaker, other co creative director, what’s up, John?

John Shoemaker 2:31
Yo, hello.

What’s the humidity?

It’s I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready for

Ryan Freng 2:42
these questions. These great just mind bending questions are going to be coming constantly during this. So for anyone who is looking at the title above, I believe I was able to change it as well as the image. Lynne was not able to jump on today, she has a sick kid, so they gotta take her to the doctor, take him to the doctor. So we totally understand. We’re sad. We can’t hang out with Lynn today. But since we have this standing, happy hour, we thought we continue to, to drink and talk about stuff so. So we’re still here. You pretty happy about that, John?

John Shoemaker 3:20
I’m, I’m very happy.

Ryan Freng 3:24
So we briefly talked a little bit before about what we were going to talk about but before we get to that, this is a happy hour. Are you are you drinking? I saw you had like a mug. What do you got?

John Shoemaker 3:34
I’m like, I’m set up with your typical like, the whole desk has mostly drinks down. Nice. So I just have coffee from this morning. Wrapping in my wishing mug, wishing Wisconsin State Health Information Network. If you’re a consumer, there’s nothing you can do about this but if you’re a business if you’re a hospital sign up then we got here this this is a the leftover smoothie that the kids rejected. Oh, it’s it was made with almond butter and they decided that that made it you know in edible

Ryan Freng 4:18
Yeah, it’s not as good as peanut butter for most people, but I thought that was like a White Russian or something.

John Shoemaker 4:27
No. And then because I have that almond butter smoothie. Follow that up with the urge tracker. Nice peanut butter cup. Stout.

Ryan Freng 4:36
You’re repping carbon for real hard I’m also reppin carbon for Hello fantasy factory but check this out. hazy. So this is in their variety pack. What is their hazy mosaic? And smash or crush or something? Like a lie? One

John Shoemaker 5:01
sit citron.

Ryan Freng 5:03
Yeah, that sounds right.

John Shoemaker 5:05
I don’t think I tried that one.

Ryan Freng 5:08
Yeah, so all I’ve had this morning is eggs in the now I’m drinking beer. So it’s a good day. Torrential? Did you get rain over there? Because sometimes we get rain and you didn’t do don’t? Yeah, we did. Okay, we got like torrential rain for like, one minute. It was very intense. I looked outside and it was just kind of flying off the roof. And I was like, I think it’s okay. And I checked in the gutters, were okay. But for those two minutes, I thought we were gonna drown. Yep.

John Shoemaker 5:41
No, it was good. It wasn’t very much of anything over here.

Ryan Freng 5:47
This is really good. I like hey, z’s. And I do really like fantasy factory. But yeah, I think Zack has mentioned it. I don’t know if he said like, if this is actually a version of fantasy factory, or if it’s just the hops or I forget how it’s related. Obviously, it’s related in branding. But I do really like this hazy. From carbon for all right. So if you’re drinking at home, let us know. And we’ll send you stuff. We did send out coasters. Can you believe it?

John Shoemaker 6:18
I couldn’t believe it. When these were having a scintillating discussion. Made them on my own posters. I need coasters over here. Now,

Ryan Freng 6:35
I know. And I did say she had some extra. So I have to steal them from her. And then we’re going to mass produce them from some swag company. So that should be pretty great. But if you are on share what you’re drinking, love to see that and hear that? Participate. And you can get some free swag. We’ll send you stuff. So John 15 minutes before this started, what did we decide to talk about today?

John Shoemaker 7:02
We decided to talk about our favorite tools of the trade. And then that was specified into software because I was starting to think about other tools. And then that’s like, yeah, so I’m talking about some software today. I think. I’m sure that I have answers for stuff that I like. It. Just the first thing that came to my mind when you mentioned that was a flood of all the things that have been annoying me lately about things that haven’t been

Ryan Freng 7:33
working. Yeah. So yeah. Let’s see, we kind of shared a list. So why don’t you just kick us off? So we’ll start off maybe a little bit more production focused with studio binder.

John Shoemaker 7:53
Right. So studio binder is a piece of software that we came upon a few years ago. There’s tons of things that you can do in the software. But what we really use it for mostly is call sheets. And it’s kind of funny, because it’s like way overkill for what you would need for call sheets. But the reason that we we like it, is because there you go, there’s there’s some some behind the scenes view of of some of the projects we have in there. The reason that we like it for call sheets is you can manage all of your contacts in a contact area. And then when you go in and create a call sheet for a shoot day, you can just select which people you need on the shoot. And you can set their call times. And then when you populate the schedule, on a call sheet, everything just comes through basically, it makes a nice layout for you a nicely designed call sheet and you can add dynamic information like the address the weather, parking areas that you want people to use all that fun stuff. And then when and then when you send out the call sheet it actually will give you an area where you can see who has interacted like who’s who’s viewed the call sheet. If they respond, they get a little green checkmark. So you just you know who you need to follow up with. If you need to see who you know who has seen it who hasn’t yet. So it’s pretty slick in that way. Pretty slick. You know, like I’m straight out of the 70s I love it. It’s pretty nice to use for that. If you want to get more in depth, there’s tons of stuff, you can put a script in it, and you can line the script, break out the scenes, you can create lists of props list of actors. All of that stuff is dynamic. So it all dynamically links in to the call sheet, you can pull, you can create your schedule based on like, a strip board. These are all very like industry terms. So if anyone’s watching, because of our usual banter, this stuff might be things that you’re not you haven’t heard about. But basically, it just kind of, you know, gives you the ability to do things of like a larger production team, by yourself. There you go. You’re getting coffee,

Ryan Freng 11:05
in like four clicks, you know, I added us and I had us here and, you know, you kind of get the basic information. You know, you can do shooting locations, but then schedule, that’s always really nice for everyone to see.

John Shoemaker 11:19
And it just breaks up the contacts into different categories so that when people are looking, you can very quickly just see, okay, here’s the client, here’s the different crew members, here’s the area of these are the talent. You know, you can include information on the call sheet, like include people’s phone numbers and things if, you know, just just kind of sharing information. So you can do all this stuff. In a spreadsheet, you could manually email. Yeah, or but that can get messy. And then it’s like, Wait, where’s that one piece of information that I need? You know, it’s just so yeah, we, we’ve liked it. It has other features? I have used them on some bigger productions. Yeah, I mean, I have a lot of positives for it. But my my one kind of big negative right now is that it does not integrate with other tools, like I expect most modern software’s to these days. So I can’t like if I create a calendar and a schedule in there, I can’t link that into another calendar system, like a Google calendar system, there’s no hooks into systems that we use for task management and things you know, where I want to, like, create a task and be like, oh, let’s have you know, songs, I’ll do this. And so that’s the, the one downside to me right now. But otherwise, especially compared to there’s some industry, like some old filmmaking, Hollywood industry standards out there. And they’re all like, Windows 95 software. So, you know, it’s, it’s quite, quite advanced, really nice in comparison to those. But it’s got some stuff that could be better.

Ryan Freng 13:39
Yeah, I was gonna say to, when we’re looking and thinking about tools and this type of thing, it really comes down to repeatable processes. So back in the day, we just had a spreadsheet, and we would populate the spreadsheet for a call sheet. And really, the purpose of the call sheet is just to keep everyone informed of what’s going on the day of a shoot for instance. And you know, it’s easy to duplicate a spreadsheet, but when you’re constantly doing that, and you constantly need to have contact information and repeatable information, it can be very useful to have that saved in a certain way that you can reuse it. So a tool like studio by new here allows us to save contacts information, and reuse that and repurpose and you know, spin up a call sheet in like one minute even send it off and like John was saying the kind of check in features like you get confirmations everyone has to click confirmation that they got there. There we go. Sorry. I had my audio boosted all the way that they got their call sheet. And they saw it because schedule is so important on our shoot days and I need everyone to know when we’re trying to have A company move or when we’re the breaking for lunch, or when we’re shooting this scene or that scene,

John Shoemaker 15:06
I would say as well, if you have a, if you’re doing a multiple day production, like a film, short film or, or feature, whatever, anything where you have a multiple day production with the same crew coming back, you know, for many days of shooting, this software is extremely useful. There, it’s a little bulky for like a one and done, you know, small shoot for a little commercial project or, you know, quick corporate video,

Ryan Freng 15:42
because it’s, when it’s you, me and Luke, we don’t use a call sheet.

John Shoemaker 15:46
Yeah. But anything where you know, you’ve got the same people coming back, because then it’s nice that you have all the project cracks in the project. But when you’re just making one, even if even if it’s not just the three of us, and you’re just making one, you have to like go in and import each contact or make sure that they’re in the system, you know, even to just start going so. But yeah, that’s uh, it’s, it’s still still pretty nice.

Ryan Freng 16:22
I think we wish to and maybe the studio binder folk who are watching can reach out to us, I think there’s some ways that we think we can improve it like editing a call sheet is kind of janky. Because you can’t just edit and save, you have to like preview and exit and then automatically saves. And so some of those paradigms are kind of confusing. Yeah. And then also, just kind of how it thinks about your project can be kind of confusing. Like, you can only have one primary script that plays into your strip boards in your call sheets. Yeah, you can have multiple scripts in here. But only one is like the master. So when we’re shooting multiple scripts, we’d have to create multiple projects, which is annoying, as opposed to just having one project, multiple scripts, and then you could pull any of those scripts into a strip board or a call sheet. And then I think, and you might agree, John, that I think we would use this a lot more if we could actually do that. Because a lot of times with these bigger projects, we’re doing multi script, you’d have shoots, I fully agree,

John Shoemaker 17:27
because it’s really, I don’t know for sure. But it feels more like when people build software’s like this. They’re thinking about film production, they’re making them for film production. And, you know, we do a little bit of that. We need all the same tools, but but our projects are for corporate clients or whatever. And we have, yeah, we just got done a couple of weeks ago with a massive production for shoot days, a prep day, lots of pre production, tons of crew talent, lots of things to juggle. But I had 12 scripts for that project. So I did not use the script tool. I did not use the strip board. I didn’t use any of that stuff. Because I’d have to like combine them all into one. And then put it in that way and then re label things so that it’s like they’re broken out is like scenes. You know, like, yeah, you can like shoehorn it in but yeah, it’d be super janky. You know, then it’s just more confusing. Because you’re trying to do things that it’s not really built for. But yeah, it’s a lot of the stuff that we do in the corporate world. And this is probably similar for a lot of a lot of commercial companies are multiple scripts when we’re shooting.

Ryan Freng 19:02
Right. All right. So that’ll be studio binder for us. Let’s see. What do you want to go next? You want to go to frame it seems contextual? Sure. All right. Here let me pull this up. Let’s see. And if you have questions, do throw them in the chat. We can delve, you use them oh my gosh. Yeah. If you if you have better recommendations, that’d be awesome. Yeah. Let’s see. Present a tab.

John Shoemaker 19:40
Kids are crazy by the way this this is this is amazing.

Ryan Freng 19:45
Here we go. All right. Next up we’ve got frame this is I mean, I don’t know if we’re a little too indie but frame Just got bought by Adobe so go them it’s it reminds me of that. Is it real big fish song sell out? Sell out with me. Oh, yeah, sell out the record companies in a given me lots of money and everything’s gonna be

John Shoemaker 20:15
if Adobe offers to buy our company I’m selling just

Ryan Freng 20:20
yeah for like $1.6 billion or something they just bought well out. Yeah, no, it’s great. I mean, that’s success, but I hope it doesn’t ruin the app because we had been doing so frame IO. Let’s see, maybe I could pull this up first. Am I Oh is a let’s see modern video workflow redefine. So for us. It’s a review tool, and kind of a management of deliverables, in terms of finalizing footage and centralizing commentary. And before we used frame, we tried Vimeo, what else did we do? I think we tried YouTube for a little while. But you know, nothing really worked. That’s kind of a cool scroll feature. Nothing really worked until Vimeo allows you to do reviews and then frame came along and just made it so much more easy. Where our editors just upload stuff, and we get notifications, and then we can jump in and comment on any device. And I’ll show you that. It’s been fantastic for us, I think it’s been fantastic for our clients. So we can take a look at let’s see, let’s go into the film. Here we go, let’s see different versions of the human trafficking films that we’ve made. Let’s go version nine, maybe. So you got a player here, you can scrub, you can actually use keyboard shortcuts. You know, which is really great. And then let’s see, see if I can just start typing oops. You just start typing a comment.

And you see in the timeline, you get a little indicator there. And then you get a comment over here. So you can actually click around and it takes you right to where those comments are. Frame also integrates with DaVinci premiere Final Cut. So you can actually have this window in your edit, which is really freaking cool.

Oh, did I lose you? I lost your audio. There you go. I,

John Shoemaker 22:57
I’ve got a button on the microphone that is convenient. And then I forget that I have it turned off. When you when you have that LinkedIn tied into the software, I think it actually if you have that window up, it’ll push these like comments in into the software. So like, if you’re doing a lot of stuff and like the editors are staying in the software a lot like they can actually see a comment come in. And I think they can like click on the comment. It’ll take them to that spot on the timeline. Pretty cool things

Ryan Freng 23:38
when it’s working. Well, and now that Adobe bought them, there’s going to be greater integration, I’m sure with Premiere, but they’ve also promised to keep the DaVinci and Final Cut, integration updated. So that’s really cool. Yeah, so this you know, it also helps us keep everything very straight. You can have a status, right. So Needs Review in progress approved. We use that sometimes. Let’s see. Yeah. And this interface is so nice. And we’re studio binder was clunky frame is not. So it’s got folders, you can Auto Upload to folders. You can transfer from Google, Dropbox. Let’s see.

Here’s some 15 and 30s. We’ve been doing and you can see approved, approved, approved, approved, approved approved the group. So it’s got great mechanisms to let you know when something is all good. And if it’s not, you know you can set needs review or something like that. Another cool thing is this version that you can do. So you upload them and then version them. And we can see that there’s differences there. And, and then you can also sorry, where’s the split screen I just know S key. So you can play the previous one and the current one. And you can compare. So now you can kind of see some changes that we made from the first to the second. You can switch which audio you want to hear, in case you’re working on audio. It’s cool, what other what other features do you love John?

John Shoemaker 25:52
I don’t use it a ton. But you can get a little brush tool. And you can circle something like in a shot when you’re when you’re working on you know, because sometimes there’s a some specific thing that you need to point out to your editor and just say, hey, you know, I see a thing right here. Can we do something with that, you know, is that, uh, whatever if it’s a graphic or you know, or even if it’s like color correction, like, hey, this right here, can we can we do a little brightening or do a little tweak on that? That’s kind of cool.

Ryan Freng 26:30
Yeah, I use that a lot.

John Shoemaker 26:33
It’s just, it’s also just nice to be able to, you know, just be watching it and then just start typing like, because I think there’s other systems we tried to use in the past where people are like taking notes over somewhere else. So then you’re like going in, you’re trying to hit pause, you know, to get the so that you’re stopped while you’re typing. This one, when you just start, I think you have to have the cursor in the box. But when you just start typing, it will pause it.

Ryan Freng 27:04
Yep. And then as soon as you send it resumes, and then you can start typing oops. Normally, you can start typing again. Yeah. So

John Shoemaker 27:20
that’s pretty cool. And then you can actually, it’s probably not ideal, but you can let people download from there. So when you share out to a client, there’s a couple different options for whether you’re sharing the ability for them to download that you can have them download the original or some proxy version, you can set password, you can set an expiration date for that link, you know, if you want to share it, but then it’s just nice, because then there’s like less stuff to try to manage.

Ryan Freng 27:56
Yeah. So yep. Yeah, I think for some small things, we’ll use the download in here. Otherwise, we’ll use Drive Google Drive, just because we have unlimited space. You’ll notice in here, too. You’ve used 92% of your plan. Like we’re constantly there, and I’m constantly getting upgrades and paying more so. Yeah. All right. Well, that’s that’s a quick overview of frame. What do you want to go to next?

John Shoemaker 28:26
If let’s see, we could go

Ryan Freng 28:32
I want to save notion for last. Yeah, yeah. So let’s it’s like my baby.

John Shoemaker 28:38
I mean, I can talk about either Dialpad. It’s kind of cool to talk about as something that’s not totally Yeah, we probably go a little quick on it. But let’s do it. So Dialpad is another thing that we use. And there might be some people that don’t don’t need this sort of thing, that it’s not necessary. I think it’s interesting as a small business, thinking about what do you do with your phone? Like to me it’s always been like, the last thing that I think about it always has been like in the history of our business is just like, oh, yeah, and I guess we should have like a phone number or whatever. But like, yeah, we’re not big enough to have some like big complicated corporate, industry phone system. But we’re, we are big enough that it can’t just be all of our personal numbers. I mean, that they that does get used a lot, you know, personal numbers all the time. But way back when we used to use or at least some of us did, but we had Add a Google Voice. And you could you could claim your own phone number. And then we, you know, there were a couple of features that were able to do there. So we, you know, claimed a number for the business. And then I think we claimed some other ones for ourselves. And then Dialpad came along I think they actually came out of Google Voice. I think there was some Oh, yeah,

Ryan Freng 30:27
I think it was the founders, the founders of Google Voice Split out to create Dialpad, yep.

John Shoemaker 30:32
So those founders went along and created Dialpad and basically, it’s just like a is VoIP, right? Yep. And it it gives you this virtual, you know, full featured call center sort of thing. So we can have our, we can have our team looks like and disappeared. I’ll continue talking and we’ll see if he comes Shawn shows back up. So we’ve got we can have our whole team we can have departments. We can. There is

Ryan Freng 31:17
I tried to share my Dialpad screen and then everything blew up.

John Shoemaker 31:23
So we can have departments. We can designate operators who answer the phone line. Yeah, Dialpad is not happy with Ryan every time he’s trying to share. They’re like, No, you can’t, you can’t share apparently. So the nice thing is when people call the main line at backflip, we can have that push out to operators. So like when somebody calls backflip they are ringing my phone during ringing Ryan’s phone and they’re ringing Scott’s phone, wherever we are like Ryan and are both working from home today, respective homes, so But if somebody calls the office number, like my phone’s ringing, so I can pick that up wherever I am. And then I can even if I pick that up, and they want to talk to somebody else, I can transfer them to a phone. So it does work with some physical desk phones that we have in the office. Or if anybody else in the office has it set up on their phone, I can, you know, send it over to Hannah. And then she could pick it up, pick up that phone on her desk. She could pick it up on her computer, or she could pick it up on her cell phone.

Ryan Freng 32:44
Yep. Yeah, wherever, wherever you are. And I think that was one of the big reasons we switched to it, like Google Voice kind of worked. But there was a delay when you’re talking on it, as there can be with VoIP. And it was just too too annoying of a delay. And we found the guys who created Google Voice created. It wasn’t actually Dialpad what was it first. It was something else. And at the first we looked at it, and we’re like, it’s not that different. We’re not going to switch over to it. But then we switched over to it. And immediately they rebranded as Dialpad and you can kind of just tell from their branding here. They take a lot of care and what they do, and they do it really, really well. So I occasionally look at competitor VoIP products. And for what we do, it seems like Dialpad, it’s just by and large, way ahead of the game. You know, like here, any device anywhere, any mode, like I’ve talked to people through my computer, through my phone, my cell phone, through my desk phone, through a tablet, you know, and no one really knows the difference of, you know, what I’m talking through, which is really cool. And I’ve switched, like, I’ll get a phone call when I’m walking around the office on my cell, I sit down on my desk, and I just take it over with my desk phone, etc. So I think that’s why I like Dialpad a lot is because it’s just so ubiquitous. It’s a ubiquitous experience across all your devices, wherever you are.

John Shoemaker 34:22
Yeah. And it has some smart features too. I probably don’t have all of them turned on are working the right way. But like right now Dialpad actually knows that I’m in a meeting like it’s it knows on the calendar that I’m have this podcast on my calendar. And so it’s connected to my Google calendar. And so I think, I don’t know for sure I’ve definitely had things ring before but I think it would, it would do like a Do Not Disturb style. Ring where It would just ring be silent or whatever. And notify me that there’s a call coming in.

Ryan Freng 35:07
Yeah. And talking about smart features. It’s it’s aI enabled. So Dialpad works great for small companies like us, but they also work for call centers. And they do automatic transcripts of your calls live. So when I’m on the phone, it’s transcribing our conversation. And it actually creates it can create to dues, it can create little notes. If you say, Alright, here’s what here’s the action items, here’s what I’m gonna do. It’s smart enough to know that and then say, Okay, here’s the five things you said you were going to do on that phone call, which is really, really cool. And a little creepy. If you don’t like that sort of thing, but I think it’s, it’s so cool.

John Shoemaker 35:53
I did I actually use this to the feature on some call a little while back. And I can’t remember what it was for sure. But I was looking for some information that I was like, Ah, shoot, I don’t remember if I took that down. And I was able to go through the, through the transcript, and try to, you know, it had some areas where it’s like, here’s the different things that were kind of talked about. And yeah.

Ryan Freng 36:26
Also, maybe I need to update my app, because my app does not look as good as this right here. Let’s see, maybe that’s the Android version. That’s, that’s a cool thing that it does. So androids probably had this for a while. But now Dialpad will actually ring through my normal phone. And if I call someone I can choose to either use the regular phone line or my Dialpad phone line. So it’s, it’s now very integrated into iOS in a way that I’m sure it was integrated into. And whatever I go,

John Shoemaker 37:04
I think I’ve always I always have it ring my phone, because the data can be a little unreliable. You know, like, if you’re somewhere, you always get to make a phone call, but like, can’t always get like, secure enough data connection to, you know, basically, if you’ve ever tried to do like a video chat, like on the road, I mean, you know, problem with doing it through data. So

Ryan Freng 37:33
yeah, it’s also got, so Uber conference they bought. So now it’s got conferencing features, which we don’t actually use because we have Google meat, but that’s pretty cool. Like here. conferencing and stuff. It now has, like Slack, like features. I don’t know if anyone’s actually used it. Let’s see. Okay, so you jumped in, I created a general channel, and I’m like, no one probably knows about this. And you jumped in yesterday and said, Hey, I saw it. But it’s like a chat system as well. You know, I feel like they’re kind of taken over the world. And, and I’m okay with it.

John Shoemaker 38:15
You know, this conversation about software is interesting, because I don’t, I don’t have like a summary idea of this thought yet. But there’s so much stuff out there right now. It can be a little overwhelming and a little mind boggling. Because every piece of software comes out, they have like, Okay, this is what we do best. And then they start adding features to become everything. In a way, I like that I wish that there was one thing to just be like, just perfect integration, and just all the things that I need works, you know, that’s a little unreasonable, because this is so specific to every company. Right? Um, but it starts to like, break my brain then when it’s like, like, you know, they talk about this is a completely tangent point. But like, there’s business leaders that write books about decision fatigue. And then people like, you know, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk Obama, you know, they all have these capsule wardrobes where it’s like, I just wear the same thing all the time. That way, it takes one more decision out of my day. So I don’t have to think about that. Yeah, the software’s that we’re using are creating more decisions, like, how do I contact that person? Should should I, you know, do a Google meet? Should I use Dialpad and use the conference feature there. So I chat with them through Dialpad and, you know, it’s like, okay, that’s kind of cool. But it’s also kind of like, you’re overwhelming me with all these things. Right.

Ryan Freng 39:53
Right. Well, and that’s a good point. And we we’ve actually created a document in our office some kind of training stuff. So when new hires Come on, and he talks about the hierarchy of communication, and how you should communicate, depending on your needs, so if you need something, right now, the best is just to call someone or text someone. If you can wait a little bit, you know, and this is on our team, then you could slack them, you could send them a message, and then they’ll get back to you. If you need to include people outside the organization, well, then email can be very good if we don’t have a Basecamp project. Which might be a good segue into our next rule.

John Shoemaker 40:41
Could be which, which one are we talking about? Because we have a couple. Okay.

Ryan Freng 40:48
Yeah, I’m pulling it up. There we go. Let’s see. I think I’ve got it.

John Shoemaker 40:57
Yeah. So I haven’t had

Ryan Freng 41:05
Yeah, you can keep talking.

John Shoemaker 41:07
I have a love hate relationship with Basecamp. Probably more love, I guess. But. So Basecamp is as our project management tool. A place to kind of keep everything all together, keep everything organized. We can interact with clients through it by adding them into the sort of client portion of each project. And then when we send a message on the message board of a project that will hit people in their email inbox, so like, sometimes, sometimes clients want to be in the software, and looking around and seeing what’s there. And sometimes they don’t want to. So that’s kind of nice that it can hit them in their email, if they just hit reply from their email inbox, it will come right back in to Basecamp as the next, you know, reply in that, that message thread. So that’s kind of a cool feature. There’s areas to put documents and files. There’s a chat area for real time, kind of quick back and forth. Chat and discussion. What else there’s a calendar that is horrendous. But yeah,

Ryan Freng 42:35
it’s one of those things that doesn’t do exactly what we needed to or even remotely and so it’s just not useful.

John Shoemaker 42:40
I’ve never seen a calendar tool. Like that’s that ridiculous. And any other software

Ryan Freng 42:45
that handicapped? Yeah, I agree. I agree.

John Shoemaker 42:49
Maybe they’ll fix it. They’re working on the next version of this. Yeah, that’s

Ryan Freng 42:53
right. Also, I pulled this up, too, because this is in backflip, how we provide customer service. So this is a document about it. But then we’ve got this section, use the right tool for the right job, phone, text message, Slack, Basecamp. Email. One thing that Basecamp does really, really well. Is It centralizes communication? Because excuse me, I don’t know how many times people think it’s okay, just to send five different emails about the same same event or same thing. And how confusing that gets. I don’t know if anyone at home experiences that. But for me, it’s the worst. And I’m like, can you just send me one communication with all the details instead of five. And that’s largely what we use Basecamp for as well. So there’s always one place. We’re not tracking down emails, like the other day, I got a quote, Jeff and I were in a call for server hardware. And they sent Jeff the quote, even though I’ve been the one who’s been the main contact for several contacts, and set up the meeting, for whatever reason, they sent it to Jeff. And a week later, I’m like, Hey, guys, can I get that thing? And Jeff’s like, oh, sorry. They only sent it to me. And I assume they sent it to both of us, you know, it’s like, oh, well, people, you know, don’t use email. Well, make mistakes. You know, I probably wasn’t intentional to exclude the decision maker. But with something like Basecamp you post it in here, everybody gets the alert. Everybody sees it. You’re not trying to track down and figure out which email chain it’s in.

John Shoemaker 44:33
Yeah. I mean, it’s got its downsides like anything. I mean, it only works as well as people use the tool and try to you know, like, there’s different ways that people work. So like, you know, when you create a message about some topic, you start creating a thread and then people We’ll talk about that in that thread. But then if somebody starts talking about something else, it’s just a work philosophy thing, like, really, that should go into a new thread, create a new topic, you know, and then that’s where it can get. That’s the downside is that well, things can get confusing, right? People can start. And then you’re in the same place. You’re like, Where was that thing that they talked about?

Ryan Freng 45:27
Whatever. Yeah, people are still the problem. So if we just get rid of people and just get those Tesla robots? Yeah. Right. I think we’ll be fine. Right. But it

John Shoemaker 45:38
is a nice place that that’s where our, our hub for like, task. not public, what’s the word, you know, company wide, like task management. on an individual basis, everybody plays using their own task management system. For their writing, and in a plant where that you’ll talk about in a little bit. Yeah. But, you know, if there’s something public, or sometimes like tasks that are, like shared between us and our clients, that’s a way that we’ll put them in, like, this thing needs to get done. And then I’ll tag, you know, myself and my client, because, you know, we’re both working on aspects of that, or something, just kind of a good public place for like, we need to see that these items are getting done.

Ryan Freng 46:37
Yep, yeah. And it’s one of those things where we make the distinction the software doesn’t, where Basecamp is a great place to, to manage to dues with the client. So if there’s two dues for the client, or there’s two dues that are relevant that the client should see, that works really well. But even even so we probably use that. I don’t know once every 10 projects. So not super, not not a huge use there. But it’s a functionality that we do have. So we got about 13 minutes left. Well, we’ll end at one. Great thanks, Windows for popping up some screen. I don’t know what this is. Oh, now it’s opening Edge browser. Great. Thank you windows. Alright. So next up is one of my current favorites. And I’m still I’m still very much enjoying it. And I’ve been slowly getting the team into this. And this is notion. So we pull this up. This is a note taking tool, database tool, organization tool that you can use to kind of organize information however you want, which is really cool. So at the very least, you can just start typing a note. This is a note. So Ever Note or notes or any any of those tools, it can do that. But where it becomes really powerful is its interoperability and kind of database system. So you see, I’ve got a calendar here, right? So this is a quick look for me. Okay, we just were in Oklahoma last week. Next week, I’ve got actually in this has gone. So this got moved, so I can delete that. But then Tuesday, we’ve got to shoot. This looks like a calendar. But really, it’s just a database with information, and then there’s a calendar view. And I can pull this calendar view, wherever I want, I can pull it here are like these two dues. So backflip assign tasks, John was talking about how we manage tasks, let me make sure we can see that. We created this task table over here. And you can add a task with a person a date, priority, etc, etc. You can actually make whatever parameters you want. And then you can pull this information anywhere. So in my case, I pull it to this backflip homepage that I created. And this shows me my backflip tasks. And I have it filtered assigned to me and is not checked. So it’s not done done is not checked. So these are my outstanding backflip tasks and right now Max uses this to tell me when I have reviews that I need to review with him. Over here are notes that I’ve created recently. And here’s Doc’s that I’ve created recently, over here, kind of in our backflip area where we have clients task stocks. And again, it looks like a table. But you can pull this data out in any way that you want. And create really nice little views into all your notes. So you can see that let’s see, today, home, this is this is kind of like my personal note, area. So it looks kind of similar to backflip. But it’s just got some different information. So this is BakFlip. Here’s home, here’s a bunch of pages that I use regularly, it’s got weather, movies to watch books to read, put a little comic in there, through my Michigan DNR fishing license. So you can interconnect everything, and then it’s all searchable super easily. So fishing is a pull up all the things that I’ve written about for fishing, so Michigan DNR fishing license, camping 2021. And this tool is such a great documentation tool that I think it’s going to take, take over a lot of kind of our document, document, documenting functionality that we do in Google Drive, and Basecamp and other places that you’re you’re always trying to remember Well, where was that? Is that in Drive? Is that in Basecamp? Is that an email somewhere? We’ll just create a doc in here.

Like drone rates, you know, everyone can pull that up color grading, notes on color grading, and how we do that type of thing. So that was a huge torrent of water from the firehose. John, you’ve been starting to use this over like the last month, what’s kind of been your experience.

John Shoemaker 52:04
It’s really nice.

Ryan Freng 52:09
Here at big ol booty coming,

John Shoemaker 52:11
it’s not a it’s not a but it’s okay, so the backstory that what this is kind of replacing, at least the first replacement it was was making was replacing Trello. So Trello is like a another kind of task management software. And you can get a couple different views, but their main one is a Kanban. Board view. So you just move cards down a list, and kind of there’s the view that right that we’re talking about.

Ryan Freng 52:44
Yeah, I spent about 10 minutes trying to do it with some projects. But yeah, yeah. So,

John Shoemaker 52:51
um, the, the value that I Okay, so there were limitations in Trello. And so that’s, that’s why, you know, moving this way, is, is a good move. The challenge is how complex it is, there’s so much that you can do in notion that, like, I think that the challenge is just being in the middle of a lot of projects and a lot of work, it’s hard to like, be able to have the time to figure out how to use it. Like, there’s a lot there. And you’ve mentioned, you know, like, yeah, there’s great tutorials, it’s like, well, that sounds cool. I, I need to like you know, get into those spend time with them to figure out how to do anything. So sometimes there is a value in the limitation. You know, sometimes there’s a value, like, the only thing that I can do with Trello is make a card and move it over and archive it, you know, and that can be valuable sometimes. This clearly had like, a lot of potential, it’s going to be really good. But I’m also like, another comparison or another thought that I have is my wife loves this. This one author, Dana White, has some stuff about like, organizing and decluttering. But she talks about being a like she she wrote her book from the perspective of somebody who’s not organized. She’s like, the problem with all these organization books is that they’re all written by super organized people. So then if you’re somebody who is like, not that like, just you know, naturally, then it’s like here, just do these things like that. That sounds great. But my mind doesn’t even work that way. So you’re telling me I just have to create a whole system for myself and then follow it and then it’ll be great. It’s like so that’s that’s one of the struggles that I’m the I’m running into right now I’m trying to get myself using it more. I’m, I’m replacing Evernote with notion moved imported my, my note taking notes from Evernote in the notes working on real Luzia here we go, Oh, I saw the thing. So yeah, replacing Trello is what I use for my personal task management. But just the two things I’m dealing with right now. And I need to keep working on figuring out how to like, you know, I don’t come from a web background, I can play around and pretend that I know what I’m doing websites pretty well, but I don’t have the like, everything’s a database mindset. You know, like, yeah, it takes a little something to like, get yourself understand the philosophy that

Ryan Freng 56:06
Yeah, absolutely. This is fun, too, you know, you can change different areas. So just help you kind of view things. But one of the really cool things, like you said, you know, web development and database mindset is that there’s also this, this functionality that you can create a page, and then share it with someone, and they can actually just see it on the web, like, it’s a web page. So you can create documentation. We started doing this for the whole chunk, shoot, but you know, I could send this to someone, and they could kind of see some of these things, you know, as a very nice page that is also responsive, which is really cool. But yeah, I think you’re right, there’s there can be a big learning curve. And not thinking in the mindset, or kind of the way that notion things can be very, you know, like an uphill battle. Also, this is great. Yes. Yeah. Let’s see. All right. So we got, we got like five people watching now, let us know your questions. Because otherwise we’ll wrap up here. I’m a huge fan of notion because of what it allows you to do, but also the simplicity. But in between, just like John saying, it can, it can be daunting to try to get even to hear, you know, like I’ve spent months reuse reusing and updating and changing this, so that it works really well for me. Those will take some time

John Shoemaker 57:50
perfect segue into a top level thought on this whole discussion, which is that anything that you’re using, still requires some, like system? on a, on a top level, like, when do I use this? When do I use this? You know, how do I take this piece of information that comes in? And where do I put that? How do we make sure that it’s shared with everybody? Where am I looking when I’m, you know, in the business, and I’m looking for these documents or, or calendar information or whatever. It all still requires some system. And that can be easy to forget. Because I think I’ve always talked a lot about how the the first people ever, you know, the first employee, other than us in our company, was a producer, project manager type. Because we’re like, yeah, I need somebody who is just like, system helps, like, put the system together. So it’s, you can’t, you can’t just replace that roll with like, a piece of software. Be like okay, right, make this run, make, you know, make everything run smoothly, it’s still you still have to know how you want to use it. And then that’s just gonna give you some shortcuts to make things easier. So you don’t have to do everything by hand or manually.

Ryan Freng 59:25
Yeah, absolutely. There’s still the human you still need a brain behind this stuff. And until you learn different takes over. Yeah, until those little tests or robots take over which you can run faster than and you can probably overpower. I think. So, all right, that’s what we got. It’s one o’clock at Chris one o’clock. My my hazy is out. So I think it’s time to end this happy hour. Any closing thoughts aside from I mean, those are some great closing thoughts

John Shoemaker 59:59
here Yeah, just keep on keepin on somebody, somebody out there in the world, a better software with all the things that I want it to be. That’s what I want. Yeah.

Ryan Freng 1:00:11
Yeah. So you can just email him at John at let’s backup.com Just get his feedback. I’ll let you know. Awesome. Well, all of you who are watching or just jumping on now thank you for joining us thank you for jumping in. I don’t know if you can like, follow subscribe, do the things that you hear in all the videos, but you should definitely tune in every week. We do this unless we’re traveling, we bring on really interesting guests. We’re sad that Lynn was not able to make it today. But we totally understand family comes first. We’re excited because we’re gonna get you on, hopefully sooner rather than later. And we’ve got other guests coming up. Matthew Pearson died diass Diocese of Madison seminarian, we’ve got father Tate, he works for the what is it CDF the it’s like the department or the department. The something of the Doctrine of the Faith. Sounds very something he works in Rome. He’s, he’s legit. Actually, I was hearing this on a podcast the other day, the CDF is the kind of modern version of the Inquisition. And if you think the Inquisition was just about torturing people, you should listen to Trent horns episode from like a month ago on the Inquisition and kind of the truth about it. So that’s really fun. But we’re having father Tate on in a few weeks, and we’ve got the podcast going. So there should be another episode up tomorrow. Subscribe to that, do all the things and hang out and just have a good time with us? Because I think together, we can create something better. You know, we’re better together when we share this information than when we hate it and hoard it. So that’s why we’re happy to share all this information for free. It just cost your time. All right. That’s what we got. Thanks, John. You may have frozen for me. There you are here on No,

John Shoemaker 1:02:20
I’m just sitting perfectly still.

Ryan Freng 1:02:23
During my monologue, my little monologue listening antenna. Yeah, that’s what we got. Thanks so much, everyone for tuning in. We’ll see you next time. Bye.

author avatar
Ryan Freng
Owner and creative director. Shall we begin like David Copperfield? 'I am born...I grew up.' Wait, I’m running out of space? Ah crap, ooh, I’ve got it...