"My First Experience With ChatWork"

What's it like to experience ChatWork for the first time? We put that question to the test by recruiting a business professional at random. We asked her to start at the very beginning by signing up for a free ChatWork account and progressing all the way through exploring the product in depth, without any instructions or information from us. We hope her story will give you an honest look at what your first experience with ChatWork might look like. And now, without further adieu, meet Nadine!

My First Experience With ChatWork

"Collaboration is the only way to take a group project from inception to delivery. Before my first experience with ChatWork, the words "group collaboration" would have me wincing in anticipation of missed deadlines and crossed lines of communication.

Even with collaboration software, teams can be tough. Many software platforms are clunky, difficult to use and non-intuitive. Some software includes all types of extra functions that clutter up your screens and get in the way of communication -- the real focus of good collaboration tools. ChatWork makes staying on task easier without a lot of extra steps.

Getting Started With ChatWork

ChatWork is deceptively simple but remarkably powerful. To get started, all I did was sign up for a free account on chatwork.com. The entire registration process took less than two minutes.

Tip #1: Be sure to sign up using a PC. The app offers great functionality, but it was faster and easier to sign up via a computer.

Exploring the Dashboard

After registration, there is a quick tutorial that shows you where to find functions to:

  • Add contacts
  • Create a new group chat
  • Search for a chat or message
  • Reply to chat messages
  • Add/manage tasks

These features are the most important for smooth collaboration, so as a new user I was pleasantly surprised by the concise instructions and easy-to-understand interface. The only slow down to getting started was adding new contacts. There is no automatic way to load contacts from my email, so I had to create an export file and copy/paste the list of email addresses.

Tip #2: Start with a test group chat, and be sure to add tasks. You'll get a feel for how everything works and avoid errors when using ChatWork for a project.

Tip #3: You can send out invitation links to join a chat group, but it is easier and faster to add names from your contacts list. Adding additional contacts after the group is open is a little clunky. You can only direct add from the Chat Members button using the edit function. Otherwise, everything works by invitation links that go out through email.

Using Communication Functions

Using ChatWork is as simple as it sounds. You invite specific people into a group chat and start talking immediately. Other members of the chat respond when they see your message. There are even notification settings that can tell you when someone mentions your name, which allows you to reference older chat messages easily, so the details don't get lost in the shuffle.

Tip #4: Add links to related documents when you create a new task. Unfortunately, there is no way to attach a file directly to a task notification (at least, I couldn't find that feature if it exists).

Tip #5: It looks like to me that If you are the team lead, be sure to always add yourself to every task. If you don't, the completed items won't show up on your task list.

Features, Functions and Premium Services

With the free plan you get a one user account and can add an unlimited number of contacts. Keep in mind that you can only create or participate in up to 14 group chats, limiting the number of projects you can work on at one time. If you upgrade to a paid personal plan, you can create and participate in an unlimited number of group chats; you'll also have the ability to add storage space for sharing file and images with other ChatWork users.

The paid businesses plan includes all of the benefits of the personal paid plan yet also provides special additional features for teams including:

  • Advanced administrative controls
  • Dedicated support
  • Storage capacity

Tip #6: Take a close look at the amount of storage you will need. You can always upgrade to add more if you want to keep projects open or work on multimedia projects with large file sizes.

Boosting Productivity With ChatWork

Using ChatWork let me stay in touch with team members outside my area, and I didn't need to worry about different time zones or missing any information. If I could add just one feature to make ChatWork better, it would be administrative tools to help track completion levels. For example, I might create 20 tasks and assign them. Then, when I log in, I'd like to be able to generate a quick report about completed and outstanding tasks.

Even without advanced reporting features, I get more done and spend less time working backward with ChatWork."