Archive for the 'Torch Best Practices' Category

Using Torch WebHooks for Bug Tracking

Friday, January 29th, 2010

WebHooks in Torch Project Management are really flexible; Google Apps Scripts are really flexible. We've used this combination to help track bugs.

We have a feature in Heap CRM called "Search Reports." It's a really complicated feature. That's why we have a feedback form on the bottom. But, people put all sorts of things in this form: feature requests, confusion about the way things are calculated, etc. While we need these things they are obviously not as important as an actual error. In that case I want the message pinned to me and I want a task setup. I do this by simply including:

[category:Search Reports: Bug]
[pin:Ben Smith]
[event:Possible Search Report Bug]

in the webhook payload when the script detects the word "bug" or "error". The full example is here.

I hope this gets you thinking about the tasks in your workflow that could be automated; you might be able to do it with a webhook.

Visualizing Torch Budget Data Any Way You Want

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

One of the great things about Torch Project Management being a Google Visualization Data Source is that people see their information in a way that works for them.

Let's say I'm responsible for three employees: Joe, Ben and Jane. Let's also assume I'm a visual person and prefer charts to numbers. Well, I could get pie charts showing what projects my team is involved in (I did this visualization in iGoogle, but I could do it any enlivenment that supported Google Gadgets):

But, what if I'm not responsible for people but a particular project. Well, here I just want to keep an eye on all of the projects (showing the numbers instead of a chart of some kind) and showing a detail view on one particular project:

But if neither of these work for you, that's ok, you can use any visualization you want. How do you visualize your data?

Torch Project Management: Best Practices #1

Friday, June 20th, 2008

So, here's a few tips on how to use Torch better:

1) Use Pins

Pin's are a way to mark an event or task as something special for you. When you pin something, you are only pinning it for yourself (though other users can pin the same item).

I use them to mark tasks that are my responsibility. Then on the dashboard I can toggle between uncompleted items and uncompleted items that I need to do.

2) Categorize Everything

Messages, events and Google Docs can all be placed in categories. They can also be created without a category, but try to place every item in a category. This may seem pointless early on, but it is immensely useful once the project is of any size and you are trying to find something.

For instance. If I'm trying to find a bit of text, I can search for it limiting to just search a particular category (by typing something like "search phrase category: category name"). This will produce a much shorter search result.

3) Archive Old Projects

By archiving old projects, you not only get them out of the way, but you lower their priority. So when you CC or forward e-mail into Torch it assigns it to an active project. This is particularly important if you have multiple projects with the same name or multiple projects with the same external users.