Liaise stakes its niche in the crowded project management field between personal information managers such as Gist and Threadsy, and full-blown group project management tools like Microsoft Project, Basecamp and their many competitors. Liaise claims that its users do not need to make changes in work habits in order to benefit from the software, since users can participate in, and manage, projects and tasks directly from Outlook.
The system automatically captures action items and issues (called “KeyPoints”) as users type emails to others, and organizes them by person, initiative, date and priority. A summary of these action items are available on demand, and they are also integrated into Outlook calendars.
As Liaise enters public beta, it is offering several new enhancements, most notably the ability to sync between users in various locations via the cloud. Cloud storage allows organizations using Liaise to sync project status, due dates, priority and other information with suppliers and customers. For security reasons, only pointers to project data are stored in the cloud, not the data itself.
The updated version of Liaise also gives users more control over whether, and how much, project data is displayed in emails to specific email recipients, even those who aren’t using Liaise or Outlook. One can also choose to have project data display immediately as one types an email, or have it show up after a message has been composed. Other enhancements include the ability to receive an emailed daily summary of project progress and items due.
The Liaise service is free during the beta period, but is planned to be priced at between $4.95 and $9.95 per month per user when the final version is released.
If you’ve tried Liaise, let us know how it worked for you in the comments.