Wunderkit Beta: Virtual Workspaces Redefined

Crowded space. A comment on other task management systems. Something about Getting Things Done, or Pomodoro or Zen or discipline. You know how these sorts of reviews generally go: we want to get more things done, you want to get more things done, and developers want to make some money. While I enjoy reviewing productivity apps, a part of me has grown a bit bored with keeping a task list.

Luckily, that’s not all Wunderkit does. The new product from 6Wunderkinder, the evil masterminds that have released and updated the task-keeping Wunderlist for some time now, Wunderkit is collaborative working redefined.

On That Beta Label

Yes, technically Wunderkit is still in the beta stages. We don’t know what types of accounts or discounts will be available, or where exactly it will go in the future. 6Wunderkinder have been kind enough to let people in on the beta and experience their latest software, but with the expectation that this is a beta.

All of the beta users get to see this cool badge. It's nice and shiny.

All of the beta users get to see this cool badge. It's nice and shiny.

As such, this review is meant to comment on the service as a whole. I’ll be more accepting of some small problems (not that I’ve run into any, which is amazing) than I would be if this were final release software. All of that said, I believe that Wunderkit could be used, right now, as the prime task management and collaboration app for most teams.

How This Works: Workspace

If you work multiple jobs, chances are that you aren’t going to work from the same place. My fiancée used to work at two different stores in the mall; while they’re connected positions and she is performing both jobs, it’s not like the stores are occupying the same area. There are clear physical boundaries between the two work environments, and within those physical boundaries are cultural differences and a set of different expectations.

Showing the main view with the different Workspaces and accounts.

Showing the main view with the different Workspaces and accounts.

This occurs naturally in the physical world, but it’s something that we’ve struggled with as we turn into a virtually-based economy. I can keep all of my tasks in one spot, even if I’m writing for different sites, about different things, or with different styles. Add all of those different factors in with having to work with a team and you’re going to be drowning in information quickly.

Instead, Wunderkit divides everything into different Workspaces. I have a Workspace for my iPhone.AppStorm work as well as a Workspace for my own personal book project. Keeping them separate allows me to work with different people on the one end and group all of my tasks on the other.

The Concept: A Dashboard for Your Team

I was surprised the first time I launched Wunderkit on my iPhone. Where Wunderlist focused on keeping lists of tasks, Wunderkit seems to focus on keeping lists of tasks and helping groups work together. In order to talk about Wunderkit, I’m first going to talk about something like Twitter or Basecamp.

How my sad, lonely Workspace looks.

How my sad, lonely Workspace looks.

Both systems utilize many of the same features as Wunderkit. If Basecamp is the conference room where everyone can speak about tasks and getting things done, Twitter is the water cooler where you can connect with other workers, take a breather and have some more open discussion. Both approaches tend to work for groups, but it would be nice if something like Basecamp didn’t feel quite so formal. Communicating is a relatively easy task, and it should be enjoyable.

That’s where Wunderkit comes in. It takes the ease-of-use and low friction of Twitter and combines it with the workforce mentality of Basecamp. While you’re capable of using the service to talk in any way that you wish, the entire point is staying in contact and in context. By putting the conversations next to the tasks, Wunderkit has done something to really improve the virtual working environment.

Keeping Tasks

Now, most people are going to want to use Wunderkit to keep tasks of some sort. Whether it’s because you enjoy the application, work with a team,and have good experience with 6Wunderkinder, or because you think that Wunderkit will be around the longest out of all the task management/collaboration apps, you’ll be throwing things into the application.

Keeping track of my tasks.

Keeping track of my tasks.

This works about as you would expect, especially if you’re familiar with other task management apps. Tasks can be assigned to different Workspaces, to different lists within each Workspace, a due date, and a tag. There’s nothing new here, but it’s worth using because it does what other applications do well and within the Wunderkit environment.

In short: nothing’s new, but nothing’s broken either.

Performance

Wunderkit performed amazingly quick during my tests. Syncing with the 6Wunderkinder servers was reliable and didn’t seem like it took long at all (which I can’t say about other services — Flow, I’m looking at you). If speed is important to you — and let’s face it, it’s important to just about all of us — Wunderkit won’t let you down.

Animations felt smooth within the app, everything registered appropriately, nothing broke. I’m shocked that this is a 1.0 app for a beta service, as everything works so well. This must have been in development for some time, because it feels like a mature service.

Conclusion

I don’t know if we’ve seen all that 6Wunderkinder have to offer, but even if we have Wunderkit is a compelling service. Everything is absolutely gorgeous each and every pixel has been sweated and placed in appropriate spots. The application works, syncs quickly and makes sense in the evolving workforce.

While it’s still a beta, I would love to have a team of workers just to have the opportunity to take advantage of all that Wunderkit has to offer. It’s that good.


Summary

Wunderkit allows you to work with your team in a beautifully designed, functional environment. The service is currently in beta, but works well and is worth a trial.

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  • Tim

    “… but it would be nice if something like Basecamp didn’t feel quite so formal.”

    This is exactly why I would not use Wunderkit. I need a project management tool that includes my clients, not just people on my team. I don’t want to add or communicate with clients through Facebook or Twitter. And I need to be able to share documents with those clients in a professional manner.

    • Marc

      +1

      I’ve been looking forward to this app for a long time. I read their blog, and got more and more excited: ‘The Wunderkit show is about to start. Grab a front row seat!’

      They have been working on this for ages, and this is all there is?

      I’m really disappointed… It seems like Wunderlist (their more than excellent todo app), with an extra feature for writing notes, and with some Facebook and Twitter integration – which I don’t need. No document sharing, no calendar, no time tracking, no nothing.

      For real project management I’d recommend http://www.projecturf.com or something.

      Hope the 6 Wunderkinder will add some fireworks, otherwise I think it’s just not meant for me. At least not in a professional environment.

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