There are a lot of different proofing solutions out there, and finding the one for you can be an overwhelming endeavor. It’s an even bigger undertaking when you consider that many project management tools also include proofing capabilities. We’ll be taking a look at one such project management tool, Cage App.
Cage App is a project management and media collaboration tool founded in 2011. We’ll be focusing on Cage App’s function as a proofing tool in comparison with Ashore. We will be comparing the two with regards to some of the important functions of any proofing tool: collaboration, documentation, organization, feedback, customization and automation.
Collaboration is a key feature when choosing a proofing tool. You want to be able to work with your own team internally as well as your clients externally.
- Role-based permissions. Each user and reviewer has their own permissions on what they can and cannot view – keep your company and clients’ privacy!
- Project Messages. Outside of commenting on a proof, collaborators can have discussions using the project message feature, keeping everything out of email.
- Accounts. Everyone using Cage App needs an account, from collaborators to clients.
- Non-approvers. Keep team members up-to-date with proofs by adding them as non-approvers – they don’t need to approve the proof, but they get all the same updates the sender does.
- Notes. Write down internal comments to appear on the proof’s timeline, for your team’s eyes only.
- Accounts. Approvers don’t need an account to use Ashore; all they need to do to review is click the link they receive and start commenting away!
Documenting the steps taken on a proof is important for both external and internal audits as well as for working with the client in the future – you can already start the next project with an idea of what that client is looking for. As well, documentation regarding the times actions were taken and how long it took to receive approval can be helpful regarding your own work process.
- Timestamps. Comments and approvals both include the date that the action was taken.
- Version control. View all previous versions of a proof and see how the document has changed.
- Overview. See what actions your team has taken recently regarding the proof.
- Timestamps. Comments and decisions (approved or not-approved) include date and timestamps so you know, down to the second, when something was done.
- Version control. View all previous versions of a proof and previous comments to ensure changes were made.
- Timeline. The timeline tracks all actions made on a proof with timestamps and include a preview of all emails/messages sent out, so you know what was said.
One of the key benefits of using a proofing software is the centralized organization – no more digging through files or emails to find proofs. You can also keep track of which proofs are approaching deadline and need a bit of a nudge.
- Projects. All files are located under individual projects, which can have as many files as needed.
- Folders. Organize projects into folders.
- Tasks. Assign tasks on files and create a to-do list.
- Proof archive. View all of your proofs in one location, and sort by approved, not approved, deadline, etc.
- Tags. Personalize your organization by tagging proofs – tag projects, people, whatever works for your company.
- Color-coded. Icons on the archive are color-coded for easy status viewing.
The entire point of proofing software is to get feedback and achieve those approvals. The best proofing software will help you improve the quality of feedback you receive, cutting down on the countless revisions and speeding up approvals.
- Markup tools. Sketch directly on the proof, or highlight, draw boxes or draw circles.
- Contextualized feedback. Comment directly on the proof so there’s not confusion about what your reviewers are talking about.
- Comments with attachments. Attach relevant files to comments for reference.
- Contextualized feedback. Understand what your approvers’ comments mean with comments placed directly on the proof.
- Markup tools. Draw boxes, arrows, or just comment on the file.
- Edit documents. Edit Word documents directly in Ashore.
- Reply in Ashore. Reply to comments within Ashore, keeping communication out of emails.
- Multiple decisions. Know where you stand on a proof with your clients able to not only comment but make a decision on the proof, either approved, not approved or approved with changes.
- Decisions per file. Allow your approvers to approve files individually, keeping all of the files you need for the project under one proof while also giving greater flexibility in decision making.
No proofing software is going to fit all of your needs, so customization options are important. What features can you change to fit your needs best?
- Groups. Group users and reviewers together for easy add-on to projects and proofs.
- Enterprise customization. Need more customization and closer support? The Enterprise plan offers more customization.
- White-labeling. Brand emails and the review page with your logo, making the process look much more professional to your clients. On the Enterprise plan, white-label your domain so the review screen URL points to you.
- Templates. Save time by creating email templates that you can use over and over again. Save even more time using our template variables which will auto-populate with information when the email is sent out.
- Checklists. Create a checklist that your approvers need to sign off on prior to approval.
- Email Integration. Part of white-labeling, but special enough to merit its own mention – integrate your email so that everything comes from you for that in-house look.
- Proof options. Allow approvers to view all comments, download files, edit or add another decision option to a proof; these options are per-proof and you can change them at any time.
Let’s face it, there’s a lot going on with the approval process. High-volume companies can have a lot going on at once and it can be hard to keep up with all of your proofs out in the world. Automating certain processes really helps get approvals faster.
- Reminders. Send a reminder with a click of a button.
- Tasks. Turn feedback directly into a task, without having to type out a new idea.
- Automatic reminders. Ashore sends automated reminders at a frequency of your choosing just pick the days of the week and the time the reminders will be sent out. You can also customize the automatic reminder template.
- Workflows. Once one stage’s approvers all approve, the proof will automatically move on to the next stage and so on until the entire workflow is completed.
The Line Up
Ashore focuses on proofing, because that’s what we do best. We want to make our software the best proofing solution you can ask for. Cage App does a wonderful job at being a project management software that also has a proofing component, but it does mean that their focus is split. Whichever one you use, both would still be great in their own right due to the fact that the developers are backed up by their experience in FileMaker Training.
But don’t just take our word on what we do best – check Ashore out yourself! Sign up for our free account to get full functionality with Ashore.