How Abovo Boosted Project Efficiency with MeisterTask.
Abovo: Helping Brands Shine Through Creative Innovation.
Abovo is a full-service design, marketing, and advertising agency based in North Dakota. Founded in 2017 by Andrew Young – who is also the company’s Creative Director – Abovo is all about innovation, quality, and delivering the best possible results for their clients. From videography to 3D modeling, web design to social media management, the team at Abovo have plenty of strings to their bow. With their digital expertise in high demand, a simple and effective way to execute their workflows is paramount. Since 2020, MeisterTask has played a fundamental role in helping them manage their projects effectively – so much so, Andrew says, that it’s now impossible to imagine life without it.
The Challenge: Losing Time to Inefficient Processes.
For many companies just starting out, keeping within a strict budget is necessary. It was no different for Andrew and his team. In Abovo’s early days, they relied on free tools to help them manage their tasks and projects. This led them to Wunderlist – a simple “to-do” list app that helped them stay organized but lacked the features they needed to manage more complex tasks and stay on top of their ever-increasing workload. The gaps in Wunderlist’s functionality became more apparent as the company grew, and then again with the introduction of remote working, which added another layer of complexity to their workflows. Andrew explains:
“We knew we needed an alternative to Wunderlist. I’d used Basecamp before, but it was never ideal. We needed something robust and customizable, something intuitive, with more features than a typical to-do list app. Because we rely on task management every day, finding the right platform was crucial. We tested 5 or 6 different tools, and ultimately MeisterTask came out on top.”
Founder and Creative Director, Abovo
As the team works on numerous projects involving multiple large files, they needed a tool where links to these files could be kept alongside contextual project information and task updates. Many of the tools Abovo tested didn’t meet this requirement. Without a space to centralize important files and documents, time was lost searching for information and following up on requests. Sharing project developments with clients was also a significant drain on their time.
“Before we used MeisterTask, we were updating clients via email. That took up a lot of time – around 10 minutes per email. Inviting clients into MeisterTask has reduced the number of hours our Account Managers spend communicating updates, so they can focus their time and effort where it has the most impact.”
The Solution: Robust Features and Customizable Workflows for Effective Project Management.
In deciding to use MeisterTask, Andrew and his team committed to making the tool central to their workflows. This long-term investment would inform their internal processes and help create organizational structure and efficiency. All of the pieces were there – now it was about adapting them to fit the team’s needs and working style. Andrew explains:
“We have projects for clients we work with consistently, one-off client projects, and internal team projects. For us, the ability to create as many projects as we want is key. Also, the amount of opportunities to customize our projects is incredible. This flexibility allows us to implement our internal language and processes so that our workflows are concise and easy to follow.”
Some examples of this customizability include the ability to edit project section headers as per the project board above. Andrew shares that this feature makes the platform feel instantly familiar to his team, and can easily be adapted as their workflows develop over time. He goes on to explain that here, OFA means “Out for Approval.” When a Task is moved to this section, the team knows it’s awaiting client feedback. The ability to see the project’s status and when it’s completed is extremely helpful: fewer check-ins are required as all project stakeholders have the information they need to work independently and efficiently. Color-coded Tags are also used so the team can quickly identify if project deadlines are flexible. This is particularly beneficial during busy periods when they need a quick overview of projects to inform strategic decision-making.
Keeping project-related information, documents, and assets in one place has improved alignment across the team – an essential benefit to any company continuing to embrace flexible remote and work-from-home policies. Along with collaboration features, such as comments, checklists, and attachments, Abovo uses MeisterTask’s custom fields to link to the server route (the location where files are stored) for large multimedia files. Andrew explains that the server route field is included in every new Task. It’s a constant reminder of the requirement to add it in, so nobody has to chase missing files. Agreeing on best practices and requirements like this has been paramount to the success of Abovo’s projects:
“When we started using MeisterTask, it was really important for us as a team to define and document best practices for using the tool. This helps keep everyone on the same page. Plus, When somebody new joins the team, they can read up on these straight away and get started quickly.”
The Outcome: More Structure and Efficiency – Fewer Meetings and Emails.
Since implementing MeisterTask, Abovo has greatly improved project efficiency, streamlined collaboration, and reduced time spent on administrative tasks. Communication with clients is optimized and transparent, so the team spends less time on emails and in meetings and more time on what drives the business forward – their award-winning creative work.
“Giving clients access to our projects has had a big impact on efficiency. They can have access to the project at any time to see how we’re doing, what progress is being made, if a deadline is being met… This has significantly decreased the amount of meetings and emails we have to manage.”
Now, MeisterTask is a fundamental part of their everyday workflows. With the whole team using the tool, they can get more done faster – without compromising on quality. The ability to maintain an overview of a project and track task progress ensures no detail is overlooked, helping them provide top-tier service to their clients.
“Our rule is that if there is an actionable item, there is a Task in MeisterTask for it. As a result, more gets done. It’s so easy to forget about little things – but they all add up. Those details are what really make a difference, especially to the client.”
Reflecting on their productivity journey, Andrew shares some words for those who might find themselves in a similar position to Abovo during those early days.
“If you’re a small to medium-sized business, MeisterTask might seem like an additional expense at first. However, if you haven’t used a task management tool before, you don’t have the experience of what it can do yet – how it can make your organization more efficient. I can’t think of a single industry that wouldn’t benefit from having a proper, robust task management system in place. MeisterTask is an incredible tool to help you grow your business.”