Thursday, September 18, 2008

Zapproved Update

Back on August 19, I wrote a post about Zapproved. To put this into perspective, here's what they say about themselves:

Zapproved is a lightweight Web tool that makes group decision-making faster, easier and more accountable. It is a unique solution that introduces peer-to-peer and organizational techniques to improve the process of building consensus.

I haven't had a chance to try the site yet, but it just announced some improvements:

Since our beta site went public a month ago, we have been overwhelmed by the phenomenal response Zapproved is getting. Thanks to everyone who has visited and tried out Zapproved!

Our community of users is exceptional and has sent us dozens of ideas at Our aim was to engage users to help us make Zapproved better, and they delivered. Big time. We have been working hard to implement those ideas and today we pushed many of them out to the site. Here’s a list of the latest updates:

* New Message Center – We’ve cleaned up the dashboard to make it easier to see the status of your projects at a glance.
* Email delivery options – Choose how many or how few emails to receive to stay on top of your approvals.
* Editing proposals – You have more control being able to edit your proposals at any stage for more flexibility.
* Archiving capability– Want an empty inbox? Move proposals to Archive whenever you like.
* Save as draft – [Lets] you start a proposal and come back to it later.
* New “Create Proposal” button – An easy starting point is always available in the nav bar.
* Updating contacts – We have added the ability to edit your list of contacts.
* Better Webmail – Now users receiving proposals via Webmail will have fully formatted messages for better readability.

Try out these new features and let us know what you think!

Plus, we have more features in the pipeline. We are continuing to work diligently on expanding the functionality of Zapproved. At the moment, our dev team is working on the following list of items:

* Create contact groups
* Print and email function
* Search bar
* Adding “business cards” and having multiple email addresses per account
* Custom logo and “skin”
* Hierarchical approval process
* Gadget
* Integration with Outlook
* Zapproved for the iPhone

If you have new ideas that you would like to see, please send them to us at!

Now since I haven't tried Zapproved myself, I can't intelligently comment on the improvements. Unfortunately, to date I can't find anyone else who has commented either. But I did find a September 10 review on the AppGap:

The great thing about Zapproved is its simplicity. Here’s how it works: on the Zapproved website, create a project proposal by filling out a form like you would a regular email. The “Approvers” text box is for email addresses and the “Proposal Title” is the subject line. Write a brief message explaining what the proposal is all about, and hit Send. That’s it.

The Approvers will each get an email about your proposal, asking them to categorically choose one of the following: approve, deny or comment on it. Since they have to pick one of those 3 options to respond, it becomes clear where each person stands on the proposal and bottlenecks can easily be traced and sorted out. If you’ve ever read a long letter of response that still left you scratching your head (“So, uh, was that a Yes or a No?”), you’ll be happy this tool came along.

And the AppGap post addressed one issue that made me reluctant to try it:

Only one person really needs to sign-up on their website (let’s say the project leader) to manage everything, and the rest of the team can just receive notifications via email, wherein they can directly reply to the proposal. All of the conversations can be tracked on the project leader’s Zapproved account. The minimal effort required to set things up is fantastic, and will probably make convincing others to adopt the system an easy task.

So if you're in San Francisco next week, and you get a really weird question from me, now you know why.

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