New TaskRay Version - Release Schedule

Dreamforce 2015 Release

Once a year Salesforce enthusiasts get to share in the excitement of all things Salesforce at the world's largest tech conference, Dreamforce. Part of the draw is Salesforce's annual unveiling of awesome product features in their "Dreamforce" release.

This year we have a few Dreamforce surprises up our sleeve as well, but one thing we want to share with you early is what is coming in our TaskRay Dreamforce release, because it is a big one and we want you to be ready!

New Features

Some key features in the Dreamforce 2015 release include:

  • Record Type Redesign - We have completely overhauled record type support, bringing you a new way to map your project & task record types as well as filter your TaskRay board by a single record type.
  • Project Favorites - A new sortable, favorites section making it super easy to find the projects you work on most.
  • New Left Sidebar Navigation - We added a left sidebar for a more intuitive project navigation experience.
  • New Right Sidebar Functions - We didn't get rid of the right sidebar, rather we added some new functionality including a new Team (formerly Contributors), Feed, and Files tabs full of fun new features.
  • Email to Task Support - One of our favorite things to do is mark our most popular feature requests complete. This time we have tackled your idea Forward emails into tasks.

Read more in our release notes or stay tuned for our follow-up blog outlining each feature in more detail.  Click here to subscribe to our blog.

Existing Customers Alert

  1. Sidebar User Change: We have added a navigational sidebar more classically positioned on the left. This will be a big user adjustment (we hope for the better)! We encourage you to share the live webinar links below with your team. We will also release additional blog posts, training, and user guide information on August 15th.
  2. Record Type Set-up: If you currently use Record Types in TaskRay, we have made significant changes in this release to enhance the user experience. Part of this change will require a mapping between project and task record types. We will send a detailed follow-up email outlining the changes.

Release Schedule

  • Saturday, August 15th: Automatic upgrade to Sandbox and available on AppExchange
  • Saturday, September 5th: Automatic upgrade to Production

Live Webinars with Q&A


TaskRay Veteran?

Join us for a look at new features from the Summer 15 release of TaskRay.

Perfect for existing TaskRay users and teams.

Date: Thursday, Aug 20th  Time: 9 am PT / 12 pm ET / 4 pm GMT   Register

Date: Wednesday, Sep 9th  Time: 3 pm PT / 6 pm ET / 10 pm GMT   Register



New to TaskRay?

Join us for a demo overview of TaskRay and learn how TaskRay project management can help your users quickly track, manage, and communicate all of their work in Salesforce.

Perfect for new users or teams considering TaskRay for their organization.

Date: Wednesday, Aug 19th  Time: 3 pm PT / 6 pm ET / 10 pm GMT   Register

Date: Thursday, Sep 10th  Time: 9 am PT / 12 pm ET / 4 pm GMT   Register


User Adoption: Ideas to Get Your Team Using New Technology

Everyone knows change is hard. Humans are, after all, creatures of habit. It helps us to have stability in a chaotic world. Generally speaking having good habits can be beneficial, allowing us to be productive.

However with the rapid explosion of technology, the pace of change is increasing, and we have to change at ever increasing rates to stay competitive .

This can cause a problem in the workplace where systems are being introduced at breakneck speed to modernize and grow 21st century companies and markets.

A True Enough Story

We’ve all been there before—someone (maybe you, but we’ll call him Todd Jones) is tasked by the VP to find a solution to a business problem. Todd goes out and does thorough research about the solution set. He vets four different products on usability, price, other user reviews, and even talks to consultants and salespeople. He makes the best decision he can with the information at hand. The tool is purchased and implemented at the company.  Todd thinks his job is done. He got the best solution for the best price and everyone should be treating him like a hero.

But, that’s not exactly how our story ends.  A few weeks into the tool being introduced, the teams are grumbling about how hard it is to use, the increased workload of learning a new tool, the time required to use it, and that the tool itself is riddled with problems that the old system didn’t have.

Todd isn’t being lauded as a hero. In fact he’s getting heat not only from his team about the new system, but from his boss because the results the VP was looking for aren’t materializing.

Todd’s future at the company isn’t looking that great.

The Next Chapter: Changing Behavior by Changing Habits

We last left Todd in a hard spot. He’s not the most popular guy at his company at the moment; And he’s not sure what to do.  So he talks to his mothera prominent organizational psychologist (lucky Todd).

She tells him that he has a user-adoption problem, and that his job is far from over. He needs to get in there and work with his team to build new habits and increase adoption. Luckily she has some tried and true methods to help him pull out of the technology-implementation-death-spiral!

She shares five techniques for him to help his team get onboard with the new system (and probably save Todd’s career).

1.    Find a champion(s)

On any team there are a spectrum of personalities, go find the people who are genuinely excited about the new system.  Sit with them. Ask them what they like about it. See how they are using the system beneficially. Document it.  Start sharing that information with the rest of the team in the forum(s) that are the most efficient.

If that person doesn’t exist, become that person.  Recruit more champions to help you recruit more champions. Also, make sure you get a senior person as a champion early on.

2.    Carrots and Sticks

People like rewards. It is one of the best ways to change behavior. In the beginning, set-up a metric that will illuminate system usage. Define a prize for the person or people who reach or supercede those goals. As more people use the system, switch the reward from one based on system usage to one based on desired results for the team.

While rewards are good enough to change behavior most of the time, sometimes pairing a reward with an undesired consequence is enough to get people moving in the right direction.  Making the new behavior something people are evaluated on for merit-based compensation or for a promotion can work as well.

3. Make it About Them

One of the best ways to get people using a new system is to personalize the benefits for them. Think a little about how this is going to help Joe Thompson and Jane Smith on your team.  What specifically will he or she gain from it?  Will Jane gain extra hours in the day? Will Joe face decreased resistance from another department?  Will this be a transferable skill that will help them grow their careers?  Helping people see their individual upside AND acknowledging them for it will go along way towards building new organizational habits.

4.    Training and Support

It might sound trite, but you can’t blame people for not learning a system they have never been trained on. It would be like getting mad at a child for not knowing his or her ABC’s, if no one ever took the time to teach them.  Hopefully when you were vetting the product you selected, you took the time to see if the company had a good reputation for ongoing support, and if the aforementioned company had tools in place for learning, training, and/or certification.

Build time into your team’s schedule for them to learn and train on the new system.  If you don’t do this step, your team will more than likely not create new, successful habits. A little upfront investment of time, will pay dividends in the end.

Use the product company’s support system.  If they are worth their salt, they will build a relationship with you and help you embed the technology into your business and process.

5.    Don’t Settle For What The Box Says

Just because a brownie box doesn’t tell you to use pretzels and peanut butter with the mix doesn’t mean that those accoutrements aren’t an amazing improvement to the original product.

Continually, find ways to make things better, more fun, easier, and less intrusive to workflow.  There are businesses and whole industries popping up around how to make work easier all the time. Find them, try them.

The Moral of the Story

Luckily this story has a happy ending. Todd listened to the wisdom of his mother, and got to work on the five steps above. He worked with his team over a 30 to 90-day time period (the time period most psychologists say you need to create a new habit) to get the new system adopted.

And although nothing is ever perfect or all-positive, his team got onboard with the new system, began using it, and began getting results. The old system has been retired and the VP is pleased with Todd’s moxie.

The next time Todd is tasked with implementing a new business solution he’ll plan for the human aspect of the implementation. He’ll build the time into his plan upfront to get a group of super-users off and running, to train and support his team, and not consider his job done until the new habit has been molded and begins to take off.

But what Todd really learned is that although all of us are busy and would like to be able to insert the newest technology into our work and move forward like nothing has changed, humans aren’t wired that way.

No matter how intuitive a technology solution might be everyone needs a little encouragement, a little tough love, a little training and support, and a little ego boost to create a new habit and be successful.

More Resources
Here are some more resources for ideas about how to manage organizational change:
The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business, Charles Duhigg

"Ten Ways To Get People To Change", Harvard Business Review

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference, Malcom Gladwell

TaskRay Tip: Exclude Weekends from Date Driven Templates

Nobody likes to work weekends so why should our TaskRay Tasks have a deadline date of a Saturday or Sunday?

As you know, it's possible to automatically set task deadline dates when cloning Project templates as noted in this awesome post

That workflow rule and process is great, however, occasionally it may cause a task deadline to automatically be populated as a weekend day.

By adjusting our workflow rule formula we can ensure that deadlines never fall on a weekend when cloning a project.

To do that we'll go to:  Setup | Build | Create | Workflow & Approvals | Workflow Rules and select our "Project Templates: Create Deadlines" Workflow Rule.

Then click edit to edit the workflow rule action and copy/paste the below to replace the formula with:

CASE( 
MOD(TASKRAY__Project__r.TASKRAY__Project_Start__c - DATE(1900, 1, 7), 7), 
0, (TASKRAY__Project__r.TASKRAY__Project_Start__c) + Days_from_Start__c + FLOOR((Days_from_Start__c-1)/5)*2, 
1, (TASKRAY__Project__r.TASKRAY__Project_Start__c) + Days_from_Start__c + FLOOR((Days_from_Start__c)/5)*2, 
2, (TASKRAY__Project__r.TASKRAY__Project_Start__c) + Days_from_Start__c + FLOOR((Days_from_Start__c+1)/5)*2, 
3, (TASKRAY__Project__r.TASKRAY__Project_Start__c) + Days_from_Start__c + FLOOR((Days_from_Start__c+2)/5)*2, 
4, (TASKRAY__Project__r.TASKRAY__Project_Start__c) + Days_from_Start__c + FLOOR((Days_from_Start__c+3)/5)*2, 
5, (TASKRAY__Project__r.TASKRAY__Project_Start__c) + Days_from_Start__c + CEILING((Days_from_Start__c)/5)*2, 
6, (TASKRAY__Project__r.TASKRAY__Project_Start__c) - IF(Days_from_Start__c>0,1,0) + Days_from_Start__c + CEILING((Days_from_Start__c)/5)*2, 
null)

Once activated here's an example of how it will behave:

 If we have a project that starts Friday, July 10 and the deadline for task 1 should be 2 business days from project start date then the days from start field value would be 2 and the formula would result in a deadline date of Tuesday July 14 (two business days from July 10) and not Sunday July 12 (two days from July 10).

Test it out, see how it works then sit back, relax and enjoy the weekend!

Note: At this time it's not easy to exclude Business Holidays (e.g. Christmas and New Year) from formula's without doing some kind of APEX trigger. This is due to the fact that the Salesforce Holiday object is not accessible for formulas and workflows. Feel free to vote on this Salesforce idea to help enable that feature: https://success.salesforce.com/ideaview?id=08730000000BpWdAAK

TaskRay Teams Can Now Include Queues

Queues in Salesforce have been a long-time customer favorite. They are typically used to help teams manage lead and case assignment. In TaskRay we see our customers most often use queues to manage Unassigned tasks in templates.

While it has long been possible to assign a queue to a task, it required 4 clicks. As TaskRay designers we feel 4 clicks is 3 too many when it comes to frequently used actions. Today we are releasing additional queue support that now allows you to drag and drop assign queues to tasks!

Queue Availability

Here are all of the places you can now use queues:

  • Add as project contributor
  • Drag and drop reassignment (Queues can even receive assignment emails.)
  • Task Owner custom filters
  • Project View As custom filters
  • Bulk add contributors
  • Bulk remove contributors

By expanding Queue support we hope we can help your teams manage the distribution of projects and tasks. Whether your queue is...

  • empty, such as an Unassigned queue, perfect for tasks contained in templates and not ready for owner assignment

-or-

  • full, containing a groups of users, such as a Customer Success or Support queue, where members of the queue can view tasks available for assignment

...we think queues add additional collaboration and distribution options for your project workflow.

Set-up Note

Please note queues must be connected to both the TaskRay Task and the TaskRay Project objects. This is a slight change from the current set-up requirements which only you to associate to tasks or projects. For complete setup instructions visit our customization guide.

Ready to Get Started?

This release is available now in the AppExchange. If you are a current customer and would like this release, please send a quick note to Support letting us know you would like to receive the upgrade now. Otherwise, you will be seeing this feature available in a mini-release scheduled for early July.

If you're not a TaskRay customer yet, we offer a free trial so you can see for yourself why TaskRay is the #1 rated project management app in Salesforce. Install the free trial directly from the AppExchange.

Still have questions? You can always mention us on twitter, post on our facebook wall, or send us an email at team@bracketlabs.com.

Bracket Labs Celebrates Its 5th Anniversary

Bracket Labs at Coors Field in June 2015.

Bracket Labs at Coors Field in June 2015.

On June 10, Bracket Labs celebrated a huge milestone for the company—it's fifth anniversary. We are grateful to all of our customers, partners, and friends for an outstanding first 5 years.

As the new(ish) Director of Marketing, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Bracket Labs is an awesome place to work, and not just because we have great snacks on hand at all times. It is a great place to work because of the people. The culture is hands down the best one I’ve ever experienced.  We are committed to excellence, committed to our customers, and committed to helping each other grow as professionals.

I’ve been working long enough to know creating a successful company with a stellar team and culture doesn’t happen by accident.

So while we were celebrating the anniversary at Coors Field, new members of the team were lucky enough to hear the “origin story” of Bracket Labs firsthand.

It’s a great story worth preserving and sharing.

“A little over 5 years ago Eric was working as a consultant at the company where Blakely was working. They realized they had many similar values and experiences in the working world. (Not all of them as positive as they would have hoped.) They talked a bit about starting a company together that would be a place where they themselves wanted to work.

The talk was pretty high-level at first since Blakely had small children and Eric was expecting his first child at the time.  But things progressed quickly and about three months later they were signing the papers to formalize the business to be known as Bracket Labs.

Fun Fact: The name Bracket Labs came from a vibrant strategy conversation where Blakely and Eric were talking about what product to develop first. They were kicking around ideas for building different apps for Salesforce when Eric said,”You know what salespeople want in Salesforce? They want an app that will allow them to manage their March Madness brackets!”


The newly formalized company moved quickly to develop its first productCampaign Calendaran app that allows marketers to schedule and manage campaigns more easily in Salesforce. They were working with a contract developer at the time using Blakely’s basement as office headquarters. Within the first few months customers started signing up (and paying) for the app.

 Hard at work at Bracket Labs first office in Blakely's basement aka "The War Room".

 Hard at work at Bracket Labs first office in Blakely's basement aka "The War Room".

As all entrepreneurs will tell you the first few years are exciting, challenging, fun, terrible, hard, and everything in-between; And like all entrepreneurs Blakely and Eric have many funny, scary, and inspirational stories to share (the next time you see them you should ask).

But to keep this to a Reader’s Digest version, we’ll move ahead to a couple of years later. The bootstrapped company is growing and a new product has been addedTaskRaya modern project management app for Salesforce.

Right away they realize they have a hit.  It starts taking off and quickly becomes the lead product of the three offerings (MyDay being the third). Blakely and Eric have worked with a few different contract developers when they hit a development snag. No one can seem to figure out how to solve this particular problem. Enter the missing piece to the Bracket Labs co-founders’ team, Mike Tetlow.

Mike is a fastidious developer who believes in doing things right. He solves the problem, joins the team, and begins working to solidify the foundational elements of TaskRay. He and Blakely continue to push the product to greater levels of performance and usability while Eric continues selling. All three of them are also doing several other jobs including customer support, marketing, and taking out the trash when necessary.

That brings us to almost present day.

As the company continues to grow Blakely, Eric, and Mike realize they need more help to get to all the different parts of the business that need attention. In the first half of 2014, they have so much business they decide to add a new team member to help. Enter Darren Geary customer support and sales manager at Bracket Labs.

It also marks the first time Bracket Labs has office space outside of Blakely’s home. The team sets up shop in beautiful downtown Louisville, CO (right outside of Boulder).

At the end of 2014 they begin looking for a marketing resource. I joined the team in winter of 2015. In early spring of 2015 it was time to focus on bolstering the development team. Aaron Marks and Laura Hasemeyer joined to make the Bracket Labs’s team what it is today.”

And this team is fired up!  We’ll be headed to Dreamforce for the 5th year in a row, but this time in a booth (come find us). We are ready to take this company to the 10th anniversary and beyond all while maintaining the wonderful culture, outstanding product offering, and unwavering customer support that Bracket Labs has cultivated over the past five years.

Thanks again to all who made these first five years possible.