Behance, a portfolio site and network focused on creative types, has released a new version of Action Method, its productivity suite for creatives. The service began as a “scratch your own itch” project that the Behance team decided to release as a full-fledged product after development.
Available on the Web, iOS, and Android phones, the Action Method update is a complete rewrite of each application that took a year to complete. Behance focused on speed with this release, improving each apps’ responsiveness and the cloud-based backend that keeps each application in sync with the others.
The Action Method suite feels fast. Many browser-based applications can feel slow, especially when you work with many open tabs, but I didn’t notice any slowdown despite the 16 Chrome tabs running on my laptop. The same can be said for the iOS versions of the app, which synced via the cloud quickly and without a hiccup.
“We really want creative people to be more productive,” Behance founder and CEO Scott Belsky says. ”One of the big-picture sides of Behance is helping creatives work better and stay productive.” Action Method is viewed as an auxiliary product of Behance’s set of portfolio creation tools and creative community, the micro to Behance’s macro.
Many productivity apps sport a design “inspired” by the famed Moleskine notebook, but Behance is the first to take this passion for paper a step further with physical notebooks. ”We always say that the way you manage tasks needs to be medium-agnostic,” Belsky says. “[It] needs to work on mobile, online, and on paper.” So Behance did what any company that builds and releases a multi-platform task management system on a whim does, and designed a series of notebooks to complement its digital products. ”You can argue that, if you’re really going to have an ecosystem for people to manage their tasks, to not have a paper version – where that’s the medium for many creative people – you’re failing,” he says.
The Action Method notebook is designed for meetings and ubiquitous capture, a notebook that is always ready to be whipped out of a back pocket (or backpack) and scribbled on. Popular at conferences and events – Belsky says TED organizers have been handing Action Method notebooks out for years – the company’s paper product is a marketing tool and a key element to the Action Method ecosystem.
Behance hasn’t worked any black magic into the Action Method notebooks to synchronize tasks between the offline and online worlds, but the notebooks are an important part of the Action Method ecosystem. Instead of scribbling notes into a notebook and then having to beat them into a project management system, Action Method notebooks keep the design and methodology consistent across multiple mediums.
Originally designed for creative types, Action Method has become one of the fastest, low-friction productivity suites around. Behance has successfully leveraged high and low tech to create a compelling service that has morphed from an internal project to an entire product line.