April 27th, 2022
Over the past year, we’ve been building out our task management system for Starter Story. 

Essentially, it’s Trello inside of our actual CMS.

Our team is global, in different time zones, and many of our freelancers work part time. We don’t have meetings or use Slack, so this task management system is our way of working async

How it works

We use the comments section on our blog posts to assign tasks, get work done, analyze performance, and general discussion.

Freelancers get assigned tasks, and people can reply to tasks, leave replies, tag each other, etc. Everyone also gets email notifications (which is useful for busy freelancers).

Let me show you a simple example.

When we have an idea for a new blog post, we create the empty post in the backend. 

Then, this comment gets created, and assigned to one of our content writers.

Essentially, this is a task, with a due date, to get an article first draft completed.

What’s so useful is that this is in the comments of the actual article, so we can always go back and see the history of all changes or projects around that article.

This has allowed us to build systems and processes around how articles get written and reviewed (first draft, editor review, final review), which we can delegate to other freelancers. 

This is how we are building a scalable asynchronous media company.

Additionally, this allows us to improve content in a structured way. If we see some content that has potential to move up in search engines, we create a task in those same comments, assigned to one of our freelancers who specializes in SEO.

Here’s a simple example:

Why we are doing this

Our goal is to build a scalable asynchronous media company.

There have been a lot of growing pains (mostly in our process itself), but we have been able to change how the thing works dynamically based on trial and error.

This is something I could see growing into 100+ freelancers, all working together. Right now we have about 15 people working inside this tool.

And, this would work across multiple sites (something we plan on doing in the future).

You could do this in Trello or other task management tools, but building this internally does give us an extra level of ownership, customization, and flexibility.

The key here is the process and systems you define that work for you, not the technology you use!

(if you thought this post was interesting, let me know, i'm curious if ppl are interested in behind the scenes stuff like this)