The Turkey’s Cooking!

11/22/16 Kallie

We can barely wait for the Turkey and the stuffing at the look on our friends’ faces when we present our newest Thanksgiving recipe to the table. We’ll be out of the office Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25th. We can’t wait to help you as soon as we’re back in action on Monday!

We hope you have a relaxing Thanksgiving!

-Paste

The Holidays Are Upon Us

12/23/15 Kallie

We have no clue how it’s the end of December already, but it’s time for our holiday break, so our response time will be a bit slower than usual. We’ll be spending time with our families and friends, hanging out with our kids, and maybe even working on some personal projects here and there.

We’ll be back in action on Monday, January 4th, so if you have an emergency, shoot us an email at support@jumpchart.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as we’re at our desks!

Happy holidays!

-Paste

Demo or Don’t!

09/30/15 Kallie

Have you ever had a moment where you’re sitting there eating lemon pie and thinking about the moon and then you’re like, “what even is the moon?” And so you start calling all of your friends and asking them questions like, “do you think the moon was actually part of earth?” and “Isn’t it wild that it takes the moon the same amount of time to rotate on its axis and orbit the earth?” and then you wonder whether the other side of the moon has a different face and whether that face is actually  a reflection of your own soul. And then you look down and all the lemon pie is gone and your puppy is running through the house, full of pie and happiness.

Many moons ago, the first version of Jumpchart was sort of like a little cuddly baby. We loved it, of course. We cooed it to sleep at night. We washed its hair with lotion. We fed it a lot of words and hugs and lemon juice. Cut to today: Jumpchart is no longer a baby. Now it’s a bit more sophisticated. Now it wears fancy white fancy pants and reminds us of a bit of our favorite vintage goods, only sleeker. Now we go around showing pictures of Jumpchart to people who don’t even know us and we say things like, “but look! Doesn’t Jumpchart’s hair look like white diamonds?”

Anyhoo. We built an all new interface for Jumpchart, and we’re letting a few people try it out. If you want to be one of them, sign up here:

Sign up to try the Jumpchart demo.

It’s Our Birthday and We’ll Celebrate if We Want to

09/29/15 Kallie

It’s finally here. The day we’ve been waiting for. The one we’ve been dreaming about. Today, on the 29th of September in the 2015th year of the Gregorian calendar, Jumpchart turns 8. Ocho. Otto. VIII. Stay a moment to hear all about how we were birthed (we spared you the gross details. Promise!)

In a land far far away in a place that looks a little bit like the world does today, there existed something that we used to call paper [pey-per]. Paper was a tool that people used to write with. For centuries upon centuries, men and women and boys and girls lost hours upon hours searching for the single paper that they needed to send to their friend or colleague.

The world continued like this until, one day, a little boy came along and thought, “there’s gotta be a better way.” So he invented what he called the “folder.” It was a little accordian-like tool that was used to house documents.

As young bucks, we used to go to that boy’s house and play a game called, “I call out a folder and you run around the folder library looking for it until you find it and once you find it, you pull it out and give it to me so I can open it and use the documents.”

Despite the long title, it was quite a fun game. But after years and years of this, and after papercut after papercut, that little boy (who was now a venerable grandpapa) decided to abandon his charts and papers and collaborative tools (jump ship, really), and dedicate his life to clementine farming.

In 1984, we scooped up the dream and we put it in a little jar and we watered it every day with love and hope and milk (whatever, dreams like milk!). Finally, 8 years ago, we looked and noticed that our dreams were too big to stay in the jar. So we put them online, where they could be safe.

Jumpchart grew a little bit in these 8 years, and we’ve done some cool stuff. Like all the other 8 year olds you know. Only Jumpchart lives inside a computer and not your house. Oh yeah, and Jumpchart doesn’t scream at you to get us a bowl of cereal every morning, so that’s gotta count for something. Check out our stats.

  • Users: 132k
  • Projects: 192k
  • Pages: 1.6m (That’s right. Million!)


Fun Stuff You Didn’t Need to Know But Now You Know:
  • Jumpchart users are most active on Tuesdays. They create about 309 thousand pages that day.
  • Our single most loyal active user has been with us since September of 2008, and they have over 7 thousand pages written!
  • The largest project in the app has 2315 pages.
  • Saturday (not Sunday) is the slowest day for page creation.


Now if you get asked to partake in a fun battle of Jumpchart Jeopardy, you can win. Follow us on twitter for a chance to win a birthday gift (with love, from us to you!)

Happy Holidays!

12/23/14 Kristin

Hey everyone! Once again the holiday break is upon us. It’s been an amazing year, but truth be told we’re ready for some good old fashioned downtime. We’ll be out of the office from December 24th until January 5th. Our response time might be a bit slower than usual during the break, so thank you for your understanding.

If you have an emergency during that time, though, just shoot us an e-mail – we’ll do our best to get you taken care of as quickly as we can.

Happy Holidays!

- Paste

Jumpchart for Writers: Plan More Than Website Content.

09/22/14 Kristin

A big part of what I do at Paste and Entermotion is write. I write website content for our clients, so I practically live inside Jumpchart anyway. Jumpchart is a great tool for writers for lots of reasons, but I’ve found additional uses for it, and I thought you might find them helpful, too.

The Old Way

Before, during and after the website architecture/content creation jobs, I’m writing other stuff, too, like blog articles, support documentation, internal communication, and newsletters. I used to have my own external system to keep track of research and notes for these projects. I won’t lie, it was messy. It involved a notebook here, a spreadsheet there, a list of URLs in an email somewhere else. One day, after searching for half an hour for a page in my notebook containing some crucial interview information, I knew something had to change. I needed an app, a tool, something to keep all my crap in one place. Then it dawned on me that I already had the perfect tool for this type of organization. Ever since my “duh” moment, I use Jumpchart for pretty much everything.

Blog Articles

When I write for blogs, my drafts all begin in Jumpchart. Yes, even this one! To streamline the process, I created a project titled “Blog Articles.” Then I made three primary pages, one for each of the blogs I write for. I decided to get even more specific to help with my (dis)organization. I broke my subpages for each blog into four sections: In Progress, Out for Review, Edits Needed, and Published. With this system, I can quickly see the status of each article. For me, this makes it really easy to jump right in on actual work without having to try and remember where each article is in the publication process. The best part? Organizing is done by drag and drop. It literally doesn’t get any easier. Keep Reading

WIP

07/17/14 Joe

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 1.30.44 PM

Staction – A History

06/19/14 Joe

Let’s cut back to 2008. 37 Signals had been on a productivity march unprecedented in web application development. They were the de-facto standard in most web apps, as well as the voice behind how the new web studio worked.

37s

We drank the Kool-Aid more deeply than most. We made our first foray into remote workers, our first pushback against meetings, and a concerted effort into being a next generation development studio. All of this was built on the back of 37s apps.

Sure, some of us seemed to struggle with the organization of the apps. Sure, the remote workers among us always felt slightly more isolated than the rest. Sure we split our time between multiple browser windows always wondering what was happening in the other.

We were logging our time in one app, chatting in another, keeping track of most things in another app, but a few others in another app still. Finally we were doing the bulk of our work in Jumpchart, and feeling even more disconnected for it.

Un/luckily we hit a relatively slow period in our design studio workflow, and we decided to see what we could do to fix the problem.

We started with chat, and built on top of that. We wanted to keep the keyboard central to the experience, and push the mouse to the secondary experience. (maybe because we’re primarily programmers?) What eventually evolved was “Staction” —a weirdly named app that was a sort of Twitter that also allowed you to tag jobs, and todos right there in the stream of the chat.

Early Staction mockup

No joke; Our workflow changed overnight. We were so much more connected, so much faster, and honestly, so much happier. Staction was our water cooler. Our meeting room. Our buddy chat.

Staction sales site

As much as we loved it, Staction was also a commercial failure, never making more than a few thousand dollars a month. We still use it today, but it’s apparent that it is on it’s last leg. Slower, weirder, and more out of tune with the modern web all the time.

Change the world?

Despite our effort to change world, Basecamp is still a world dominating force, and Staction is an aging novelty. Why? We built Staction for nerds. That’s not to say a niche product cannot be successful, it can! but it needs a unique marketing pitch, and a unique process to sell. We built a niche product, and marketed it like a mass market product.

So of course the history is written. Basecamp owns the world of productivity, so much that 37S is changing their name to that of their most successful product. Staction never owned a fraction of a percent of the mass market… But we still cannot give the stupid thing up. Here are a few reasons why:

  • We hate switching between apps, tabs, and keyboard to mouse.
  • Basecamp, apologies to the king of the world, feels like talking to a filing cabinet.
  • Speed.
  • We need to log time as we work, not as yet another thing to do.

So we continue to try out Basecamp, and a myriad of other apps. All brilliant at some facet of group work or more, but even more-so deficient in the next. And so we continue to use an app that we haven’t found time to update much since 2010 for our day-to-day.

Cut to today

We’ve been actively working on a new version of Staction for quite a few months now. It’s been a wild mess, and we’re having a blast digging into it. We’ve already got one failed demo under our belt, and we’ve started in on a few new exciting rounds of mockups. Maybe this is headed nowhere, but we want to share some of our progress with you.

Showing people your half baked ideas is terrifying really. It’s going to be great!

Something that didn’t happen.

06/18/14 Joe

For almost a year now we’ve been experimenting with the idea of resurrecting Staction. This is a look at one of the mockups that never went anywhere. It had some potential.

Staction-2-mock

Changing Things Up.

05/15/14 Joe

Paste. This blog. Our apps. Jumpchart. You might know some of them, most of you don’t know all of them. We’ve never been a “culture” type of company, so if anyone is actually reading this post, you are one of the few. We don’t push the blog, we don’t repeatedly email, in a lot of ways we do a crap job of running this business as a business in the normal sense.

There are reasons why. You see, although Paste is a huge part of our lives, our profits, and our vision of the future; it’s not what we spend most of our time on. Some of you may know this, but we’ve never broadcast it. Our main business is as a design studio called Entermotion.

This business has thrived since 2001, and it’s our bread and butter. Quite honestly, without the revenue from the studio, we couldn’t do what we do with Paste. But it’s tough to pretend to be all-in on one thing when you’re part way into something else.

This means the blog is often stagnate. Features are sometimes delayed. Support is fast, but not as fast as it could be. Etc. You’re distracted, you don’t do your job as well as you could. It only makes sense.

How did we get here?

When we started Paste, we didn’t do it on purpose. We made Jumpchart because we needed it, and decided to make it a product after the fact. When Jumpchart started to get a following, we decided to spin it off under it’s own brand. We didn’t want to confuse out new customers. and we really didn’t want to confuse our existing clients. We could almost hear it… “Are you working on my project, or your own stuff?” “Are you going to hit the deadline, or work on Jumpchart?”

Even now, the decision sort of makes sense. But fundamentally the path forward was based on an untruth. We pretended that we were two companies, but in actuality, the same employees split their time.

Not being able to be 100% open to either audience meant we often didn’t bother talking to them at all. Regardless of the justifications, it was a bad decision to “split” the businesses.

Cut to today

Today we know several new facts that might have changed our minds back then had we known.

  • Our design clients actually only respect us more knowing that we actually build the applications that help people plan websites worldwide.
  • We have over 100k accounts in Jumpchart! (many of which are dormant, —but still) and the reason is because we built what we need. Many people also need what we need.
  • The Paste users we have don’t care at all if we actually also design sites as a business. They don’t see us as competitors, but as fellow peers in their industry. That much more capable of creating tools to help them do their job.

Moving forward

We’re sick of having multiple blogs email newsletters and etc. to update. We’re one company (currently with 15 people) that build client websites, identity packages, and also web apps. We’re proud of that fact, and we don’t see a reason to gloss over it anymore. We want you to know what we deal with, what we suffer with, what we’re trying to do, and what we’ve just failed to achieve.

Honesty. Plain old. So look forward to a different tone here. We can’t promise to update any more often than usual, we’ve got a lot on our plate. Documenting that is not the top of the list. But when we do talk, expect more gravity. We’re a small business with a lot of challenges. A lot of goals, a lot of ambition. We fail more often that we succeed. And we think it’s going to be a more fascinating story to read.