I am Taylor Hageman, mother, Army wife, and a proud member of the nerdy team at Your Nerdy Best Friend. Because I work with such an amazing and tech savvy team, I also try to stay up to date on systems and programs to help everyday workflow. Also, I am pretty nerdy myself and have a slight obsession with systems and planning.
I use Monday.com for just about everything. From personal to nonprofit work and professional work, I try to keep all ongoing projects and ideas in there. It helps me toss ideas back and forth with people, as well as keep me organized and on task. I find it robust but user-friendly, which makes it easier to bridge the gap between professional projects and personal projects.
However, just like with anything else, there are some great pros and some various cons to watch out for. For the sake of time, and so I don’t bore you to death, I will keep my pros and cons list to three – four each.
This is an easy system to jump right into. We are not talking Saleforce level expertise to use this tool. Once you create an account and log on, you can easily create “folders” and “boards.” Folders are just an area to keep alike boards together.
For example: Events could be a folder where you have individual event boards. Boards are basically your projects. Easy enough – barely any set up and you get right to work. As time goes on, you can use more robust tools within the system to track money spent on projects and time spent. But, it is your choice on how detailed you want to get.
I love templates. Sometimes you need to create a project, but you just aren’t really sure how to structure it. Thankfully, the folks at Monday.com have quite a few amazing templates and ideas.
You do have to customize them to fit your needs, but they do a great job of adding the columns I need and even ones I wouldn’t have thought to use.
For this article, I created a dummy project called Sprint Example. I also love that Monday.com implemented some Agile and Scrum focuses in their templates. Since I typically use this methodology, it helps me out a ton.
I used the Sprint Planning template, and then went in and reworked each “pulse” (Monday talk for project line). I added the date field so I would have a due date, and I also added an automation, which I will highlight below.
The current integrations available work like charm, and, thankfully, more integration options are coming. With other programs, I felt the integration could be very clunky or you needed a Computer Science degree to understand it. Also, I ended up having to use Zapier a decent amount to make things work (which also might require a Computer Science degree). Monday.com makes the process smooth and easy to follow.
One of my favorite is the email integration feature. You can add this by individual boards, so it is specific to the project you are working on. Additionally, you can link other email addresses not just the email you registered on your Monday.com account. This comes in handy when you have several email addresses you’re tracking, but just one Monday.com account to rule them all.
I use this feature to catch updates about events I am monitoring. I set up the integration to only add emails to my specific event board from specific email addresses or with certain words or phrases. For example, if I am tracking an event call Cat Show Rodeo, I can set the integration up to only add email updates to my board if they have “Cat Show” in the email body or subject line. Works perfect! (Also, Cat Show Rodeo is not real, but it should be…)
I really love how they have an easy to use way to help you quickly update your projects. For example, you can set automations to add specific due dates – either by the date or by a certain amount of days from when you add the “pulse.” My example is used in my Sprint Planning project. I added an automation to add a due date of 5 days from when I create the pulse. Now I don’t have to add a due date for everything I add to the board, but I can change the date if needed.
There are automations for tons of situations: notifying teammates of status changes, reminders, and another big one: Discrepancies. This is a big one for planning, as many times one task can’t begin until another ends. This makes it easier to say, “Don’t start this pulse until after this other pulse is over.”
Fine, I lied. One more pro. The cost is pretty reasonable if you are a smaller team. You and four of your teammates can enjoy Monday.com for about $40 a month, which really isn’t too bad when you break down all of the integrations and capabilities. If your team uses Slack, you can easily incorporate it into Monday.com too making your communication even more seamless.
Obviously, all systems have a few kinks to work out. Additionally, I always think it is important to remember that we all use systems the way that best fits us. Some of the areas where I am super jazzed could be of no use to you. Cloud based systems are great, but they often take some jerry rigging to make them work the way you want. Anyway, on to the cons!
I can’t say I am 100% pumped about the Monday.com app. I find it a little clunky and extremely difficult to use if I need to create a new board. It works well if you’re updating a project or if you need to check on some information, but I do not recommend trying to begin a project through it.
This one can be said about learning any new system. I do believe Monday.com is very straight forward and user-friendly, but there is still a time commitment in learning something new. Additionally, there are little quirks that cause a bit more time when creating projects.
For example, we know I love the templates. But, they do come with a lot of prefilled information. Prefilled information you have to rework for your needs. I think they could just show one example on the template rather than 4 or 5 that you then end up deleting and reworking.
It drives me crazy when systems will not let you share with people unless they are under your account. There are times you might need groups of people to be involved in one project but they do not need to be a part of your long-term team (and, you don’t want to have to pay for them!).
Monday.com does have a “Shareable” board area. This should mean that you can share any board in this group with anyone – sans team member status. However, it actually means you can only share it with 4 people and be charged for one member, so you still end up paying some money. Unless you upgrade to their pro account (highest price point), then you can add as many “guest” as you wish.
I don’t love this at all. I work with a lot of folks either as clients or clients’ clients. And it would be nice to send them a project for review. But I feel like Monday.com’s system ties your hands a bit until you upgrade to their highest priced account.
Last Word: Highly Recommended
I don’t want to sign off on a negative note! So, let me say there are honestly 20 – 25 more pros I could add to this article. I didn’t even dive in too deep! There are checklists, and areas to store documents, and real-time communication tools – and more! So, the long and short of it is I highly recommend this tool.
Thanks for riding the Monday.com wave with me! I look forward to hearing your experiences with this tool, and any questions you might have about ways to use it!