Discuss and organize team projects with Dispatch

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If there's one thing the Web probably doesn't need, it's another project-management tool aimed at teams. I mean, hello? Basecamp? Bitrix24? Yammer? How the heck does start-up Dispatch hope to compete?

By keeping things simple, and by integrating cleanly with other cloud services you already know and love: Box, Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Drive. Also, by being free, at least for now.

Suppose you're developing a new widget with your team. You'd create a "dispatch" for that project, invite team members (who need only click a link to join in—no registration required), then share various items from various sources.

For example, the designer might include notes and sketches from Evernote. The sales guy might throw in links to competing widgets. The money guy might add financials stored in Google Drive. All that stuff gets shared under that single "dispatch" roof, where team members can view it and talk about it. And when items get updated within their respective services, they get updated in Dispatch as well.

All this happens within an admirably clean, straightforward interface. I found Dispatch extremely easy to pick up; the learning curve is almost zero.

That said, the service seems to be missing a few obvious features, not the least of which is live chat. There's no way to know when other team members are online with you, nor is there a way to communicate directly with them other than leaving comments for individual items.

What's more, I didn't see an option to share notes, links, files, and the like with others. What if I want to send an item to someone outside the team? Or tweet a discussion? Dispatch doesn't seem to support communication to the outside world.

I realize the service's primary goal is to "add a discussion layer to the cloud services you already love," but if those discussions can't happen in real time, that strikes me as insufficient.

Those are my thoughts. Now let's hear yours. Is Dispatch just the collaboration tool you've been hoping for, or does it sound a little half-baked?

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