Upgrading from spreadsheets

Managing our contributors in the long run

I’ve been looking for a system that helps us organize our production process so we don’t lose so much time going back and forth between spreadsheets any more.

One option is Camayak: it’s a well known system for assigning things to contributors and receiving their submissions. It also automates notifications to writers, inboxes for editors and deadlines for our whole team. It’s purpose-built for collaboration so it’s much more intuitive than trying to do all of this directly in our CMS.

Their cheapest plan is $129/month for the basic package that organizes all our contributors. That includes a unified editorial calendar, revision histories, pitches, comments and instant chat with anyone in the account. We can even track writer performance to see when they submit on time.

If we want to publish straight to our CMS (i.e. no more copy/pasting into Wordpress!) that costs another $79/month. We could even pay our writers automatically through the system, which makes it $307/month for both of those extra options. Assignment templates come with the basic package, so they’re a free feature.


What’s the point in us spending money on this?
Camayak saves busy editors up to an hour each day and standardizes the way all our contributors submit their work so they’re easier to manage. After one year 93% of all content teams renew their subscription, so it’s a pretty solid system.

How does it fit in with our CMS / Slack / GDocs set up?
In terms of authoring and editing content, that would all take place in Camayak. Contributors can paste their work into the system if they’ve written it somewhere else first. Feedback, edits and questions would all be handled in Camayak. It’s different to Google Docs but the idea is that all the sharing and visibility is taken care of because in Camayak, you see what you need to see, automatically. We need to ask about their Slack integration to find out which notifications in the system can also be pushed to our Slack channels, if that’s something we want.

How long will it take to get us up and running?
We get two hours of free training and workflow auditing to set the account up, then everyone we invite can ask their support team for webinar training (they recommend doing it in groups). We’re looking at a one week implementation to move our operations into their system. After that, they offer unlimited email support during business hours.

Why is this better than the free tools we already use?

We built Camayak after we asked ourselves:

How much time do we lose each week, chasing incomplete information about assignments?

How easy is our process for new writers and editors to understand in less than 5 minutes?

How visible is our collaboration to the rest of the team, so they remain motivated?

Since we launched in 2010, we've helped thousands of editors, advisors and contributors get more from their workflows.

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