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Introduction Dubbed the “productivity platform, ” Hive is a project management tool that allows marketing agencies, creatives, and teams across different industries and sizes to plan their projects. It offers a centralized workflow management
Dubbed the “productivity platform, ” Hive is a project management tool that allows marketing agencies, creatives, and teams across different industries and sizes to plan their projects. It offers a centralized workflow management system that offers project and time management tools such as collaborative notes, task tracking, in-app messaging, document/video proofing, and approval workflows.
Over the last several years, there have been hundreds of project management tools released to the public. Some of the more well-known brands (e.g. Asana, Slack, and Monday.com) have each grabbed a large market share with Hive quickly on their heels. Each offers its own unique interface and workflow management tools that help teams ultimately become more productive.
Hive comes in a web, iOS, Android, and PC version.
Keep reading to learn more about Hive, who it is for, what you can do with the software, integration/reporting features, and our closing thoughts on the platform.
Hive is used across a variety of company sizes, industries, and team types – including marketing, design, creative, program, and project development teams across different agencies and brands. There are virtually an endless number of use cases, such as managing caseloads for public services firms and workflow management for startups.
Another popular use case for Hive is with time tracking. Staff managers can benefit from its extensive time-tracking suite by tracking time spent on actions and projects. Time tracking data can also incorporate hours worked.
In short, Hive can be used by anyone who wants a solid alternative to other task and project management tools out there, such as Monday, Jira, Smartsheet, and Wrike.
Setting up a Hive account is very simple. It involves 8 steps that starts with creating a workspace and adding example projects. Adding example projects allows users to select from multiple templates that fit specific to their projects such as content calendars, strategic plans, product roadmaps, and new hire onboarding workflows.
Once users have selected a template, users also have the option of using two default messaging types – Hive Messaging, the brand’s built-in messaging platform, or a user’s existing messaging app. Existing messaging app integrations include the popular Microsoft Teams and Slack. After connecting colleagues and connecting file storage (choose from Google Drive, Box, and others), an account is fully set up.
All of the processes above incorporate a simple checklist, which users can mark off as steps are completed.
Once a project is created, a workspace is created. Users have the option of sending direct messages to colleagues, view a summary view of each project, and refer to a My Actions list for all actions that are assigned to you. A top panel also provides helpful at-a-glance info, such as incoming notifications, inviting a colleague, or initiating a new action, such as a meeting or task.
One of Hive’s most intriguing benefits is its messaging panel, which allows users to send email invitations to groups and projects. It works very similarly to Teams and Slack, with the ability to turn a part of a conversation into a task using an intuitive drag and drop feature.
Another one of our favorite features is Hive’s project panel. It allows users to grasp a project’s tasks and features from one centralized view. Every project can be assigned virtually any unlimited number of tasks. Views are also plentiful, with the choice of List (default) and Kanban views. Kanban view is a drag-and-drop-heavy approach to managing workflows, using a card-based structure to display movable cards below each stage of your pipeline. This way, team members can view all project stages in real-time.
Other views Hive offers include Status, Team, Calendar, Label, Gantt, and Table. Each offers its own strengths and weaknesses in terms of being able to track the status of an action, viewing actions by a teammate, watching actions by date, and more.
The two methodologies Hive is very adept with are Kanban and Agile. Kanban boards use customizable cards to visualize a workflow with the standard status’ – unstarted, in progress, and completed. Workflows can be managed by dragging and dropping the cards across the different statuses’, which works great for visual people.
Agile, popular with software development teams, manages projects by cutting them into different stages, allowing teams to work in sprints or increments. It means frequent iterations cycles with constantly changing deadlines, which all require a unique presentation that Hive offers.
Pros, Cons, & Features
Flexibility with Views. Hive offers outstanding flexibility in converting workflows to different views. In addition to offering six views, Hive allows users to flip from Kanban to project to calendar view and vice versa to help you achieve the exact view you feel most comfortable with for your particular project.
Extensive Integration Tools. Hive is compatible with 1000+_ applications using its own native API. That means users can sync activity from other platforms into Hive. For example, its Google Drive integration allows users to upload and attach files to projects, tasks, and messaging.
Some of the more widely used integrations belong to Slack, Salesforce, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and Gmail.
Healthy Number of Layouts. Hive allows users to view projects in six ways – status, team, calendar, label, Gantt, and Table. Each view offers its unique benefits depending on how teams wish to view and organize work. Some are more visual and better at organizing and managing sprints than others.
Team Collaboration Tools. Hive offers some of the more intuitive team collaboration tools we’ve reviewed in a project management software. Its flagship messaging feature is Hive Chat, which allows teammates to message one another in real-time. Slack accounts can even be imported into the software for a seamless integration. Other features include commentary (on each action or subaction) and Hive Mail, which loops in your Gmail or Outlook inbox. This allows users to create tasks from emails, great for email-intensive teams.
Limited Mobile App. Hive’s mobile app continues to lag behind the desktop version, offering limited functionality. Its user interface could also be improved.
Steep Learning Curve. Hive is a highly complicated software for even the most experienced of project managers. Its learning curve extends itself to customization, particularly with ongoing project management. Its Kanban view can be a chore, requiring constant toggling and drag and dropping – all at the expense of having a more visual interface.
Permanent File Deletion. Unfortunately, Hive users have no way of retrieving an image file, document, or other assets once it is deleted from the servers.
Limited Notifications. Hive could do a better job of managing notifications. They appear as popups are not organized inbox-style, which could offer an excellent advantage for busier projects. Additionally, they are not categories and are grouped into one, making it hard to distinguish which notification to pay attention to more than the other.
Hive carries a very robust analytics suite that allows project owners to view individual and team statistics across several KPIs. On offer are three standard dashboards: My Productivity, Team Productivity, and Time Tracking. My Productivity provides a comprehensive view of your personal productivity and Team Productivity lets you view productivity across your teams. Time tracking is just as it sounds – analytics on time and estimates.
Our favorite feature with Hive reporting is its various charting options. Users have the option of line and bar graphs that can depict everything from tasks completed within the last 30 days to actions completed by week by team. Right-clicking into any item (e.g. a Product Release bar) gives additional insights that may include a combination of the project name, assignee, action titles, and more.
On the integration side, Hive is very agile as well. It can connect with more than 100+ applications using native APIs or through the Zapier app, such as Google Drive, Gmail, Outlook, and Salesforce. Each integration offers its own benefits. For example, integrating Hive with Google Drive allows users to upload/attach files to actions and share messages. Unfortunately, only one account per service could be linked up to Hive. Hopefully, this changes in the not-to-distant future.
Other popular ways to use Hive workflows include linking to Google Calendar events, creating Hive messages from Gmail emails, and using a Hive message to share new Twitter mentions. By integrating with 1000+ platforms. Hive has created a seamless experience for working with other applications without having to commit to one.
All in all, Hive’s integration and reporting works very seamlessly.
Pricing & Membership
Hive has two pricing tiers: the Professional plan and the Enterprise plan. As of July 2021, the Professional plan costs $12 per user per month and comes with the tool’s most important features, such as desktop./mobile app access, unlimited projects, standard integrations, and access to the Hive API.
The Enterprise plan is tailored to individual company needs, including all the features of Professional plus a few add-ons such as Hive Analytics, external users, and a dedicated account manager who offers on-demand assistance to virtually any type of workflow and interaction question.
Additionally, users have the option of purchasing Workspace Addons, which can be applied to all of a workspace’s users. These add-ons could be integrated as part of Professional or Enterprise packages and include proofing and approvals, inviting external users, use of timesheets, and advanced enterprise security features such as SAML and Single Sign-On.
Any of these add-ons can be purchased for a set price per user per month, which is added on top of the base price. consider this an a-la-carte option for your organization’s more important needs, all without breaking the bank with an upgraded package.
As of this writing, Hive offers a 14-day free trial. After the free trial period, pricing plans start at a fixed price per user per month. If more than 14 days are needed to test out Hive, customer support is open to extending it if you reach out to them. Non-profit companies are also eligible for a discount on the Professional subscription.
Used by companies small and large across different industries and team types, Hive is a very well-rounded project management tool that offers a fresh and intuitive layout. It offers visual and text-based views, powerful Kanban workflows, and can be integrated with more than 1000 applications to merge all of your productivity tools into one mega-suite.
Additionally, its centralized communication system uses both Hive’s native messaging system and Slack, email, chat, and other third-party tools. It is an excellent way of avoiding crossing multiple communication channels, where an important directive or deadline could get lost in the shuffle.
Thirdly, we are big fans of Hive’s two pricing plans – Professional and Enterprise, along with its a-la-carte options that allow users to take on an add-on for a modest fixed price per user per month. This allows teams to not have to purchase the next subscription tier to take advantage of only one or two upgrades at a substantially higher cost.
However, we would have liked to see Analytics incorporated as part of the base package. With 50+ interactive dashboards and advanced analytics into team productivity and risk assessment, it is a feature many larger teams can use.
If you do not mind a nascent smartphone app with limited functionality, permanent file deletion, and a steep learning curve associated with starting a new product and managing your workflow with lots of initial trial and error, then Hive can become an integral part of your team’s workflow for years to come.