Monday.com does its best to eschew built-in hierarchies, allowing users to create their own, but some kind of predetermined data organization is inevitable. Like other project management tools, it starts with the Team at the very top.
Below that are what Monday.com calls boards. This is akin to different company departments, or different clients for service-based businesses. Within each board are ‘pulses,' which (as we explain below) can be used for single tasks or entire projects. Pulses can also be grouped together to create lists.
Monday.com offers a dashboard view, allowing users to get a global view of their various boards with bar charts, timelines, and so on. Other key features include helpful global and board-specific search tools, and the ability to share boards with people outside of the company (such as freelancers).
Here's a look at three key features of Monday.com.
Monday.com doesn't have tasks – at least, not as we usually understand them. Instead, Monday.com uses what it calls ‘pulses.'
Pulses are blank slates that can accept all kinds of information. You could, for example, use one pulse for an entire project, and then use the integrated checklists feature as your task list, or attach a simple text file with all your tasks. That approach wouldn't be ideal for huge projects, but might be ideal for simpler ones.
Each pulse also features an activity log, comments, a section to create an FAQ, and the ability to attach files. Monday.com also lets you customize pulse columns, making them act more like templates. The “People” column, for example, can be renamed to “Assignee” or “Lead” depending on what's appropriate for the situation. Better still, i your tasks needed to have both assignees and leads, you could add two people columns to your pulses. The bottom line is that you can mold pulses into a container of information that suits your needs.
Monday.com can also carry out particular actions when something happens through a feature called automations. Like customizations, automations are similar to IFTTT, and allow you to create an automated task in plain language. For example, you can set up an automation that will notify your manager when a pulse's status changes from “in progress” to “done.” This automation is what Monday.com suggests you can use in lieu of dependencies, but it had its problems in our tests. In the version of Monday.com we used, you couldn't set automations for specific pulses, such as “when Task 1 is done, alert person in charge of Task 2” – although this help page suggests you can.
Instead, we could only set automations to work with entire boards. Our way around this was to add a new status column, rename it “dependency”, and then edit it to have only two statuses: “not ready” and “ready.” We then created an automation to notify another team member when the dependency column changed from “not ready” to “ready.” That way, only tasks using the dependency column would activate this automation.
The downside to this approach is that it limits you to notifying only one person per board, as opposed to regular dependencies, where you can notify different team members on a task-by-task basis.
Monday.com doesn't offer traditional third-party integrations the way other services do. Usually, you hook up services like Gmail or Slack, and then start using them with all supported features available. Instead, Monday.com's integrations are another extension of the company's “customize everything” ethos. Each supported integration includes various features that you can activate a la carte, using plain language scenarios similar to the website IFTTT (if this, then that).
The Gmail integration, for example, allows you to create a new pulse when an email is received from a particular contact. Alternatively, you could use a Slack feature that notifies people in a particular channel (chat room) when a new pulse is created. If all you need from Slack and Gmail are these two features, then that's all you have to add.