27 May 2011

Publication management tools

Here are a couple of tools I have been using lately for document production that might interest you.

1. http://www.flatplanapp.com/
This is a simple tool to create flatplans (layout diagrams). You can register all members of the team, from editorial to design, and use it to track the status of each page and individual elements (stories, pictures), make comments, flag issues, etc. I got positive feedback especially from the design side that found it very helpful in understanding our intentions for the publication. It is relatively new so may add features over time. It is also free.

2. http://www.webproof.com/
This is an online proofing tool aimed at designers who use it as an interface with their clients. From a client perspective, it provides tools similar to PDF markup. You can see the entire flatplan, leave comments and corrections and proof individual pages and review their history. You can also export pages or the entire document to PDF at any time. All members of the team can be involved, from authors (if you dare) to proofreaders. Different levels of authority let you consolidate and approve corrections and comments, and ultimately sign off the pages.

I use MS Project for planning, but it would be nice to have an online, dynamic and collaborative alternative. There are a lot of choices (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_project_management_software). Can you recommend one and for what reason(s)?