I'm looking to improve my digital agency's workflow (about 10 people - web design, graphic, photography, etc), and hopefully it'll be something like this:

  • Mails sent to contact@myagency.com are piped through a ticket management system, and everyone in the team can answer it, or assign it to him to work on.

  • A user may create a project and this would create a natural way of communication with the client.

  • Some kind of dasboard exists.

  • Clients can be invited into his project workspace without additional registation, etc..

I saw how some people are using Gmail to build some kind of customized app (http://kainoto.com/bug-tracker-in-gmail-ticketing-system.aspx)

Any tips? Thanks


I'm not sure how accurate will fit a software for your needs... but I'd give a try to Attlassian's Jira.

I know it's a paid software, but it really worth the price.

The latest version I used (v4) had a fancy interface, was straightly enough for our clients and enough customization for our management. I really like this tool.

  • Looks good, but I think it may be an overkill. – Alain Jacomet Forte May 28 '12 at 5:26
  • Probably... Jira is powerful, and you'd be using only a subset of it for sure. – Tiago Cardoso May 28 '12 at 5:33
  • I'm worried about the pricing. JIRA indeed is perfect for <=10, but >10, $1200. Wow! But it has the better price structure I've seen. It's the only one that doesn't offer the "only 1 agent free" structure. – Alain Jacomet Forte May 28 '12 at 17:17
  • Well, I can only tell you that FOR OUR NEEDS it worth every penny! – Tiago Cardoso May 28 '12 at 17:28
  • We use Jira. It is fairly flexible, and is a powerful tool. – DmitryB Jun 28 '12 at 18:30

Question requester deems the below analytical information is less applicable now that the requester would like to narrow requirements.

Here's a shocking open source web based and email capable request management application i just found for you.


It is FREE - check Dashboard feature - check Email feature - check non user self service- check

I like that there are O'Reilly book on it for you to get the support you need.

*It let's you reply out of inbox, it is web-based so it goes across mobile platforms as well, non-user self service logging interface, organizing around projects/categories... almost too good to be true. I'd be very curious to hear your trial result if you decide to try it.

Shockingly also, great organizations use it: NASA, Merill Lynch, Kayak.com, Nike, MIT (spells out respectful and versatile to me)

I didn't find any info on image integration yet... which sounds pretty useful for your industry.

Sounds like there are three major requirements (ticket lifecycle processing should be included) : 1. a ticket logging email notification mechanism 2. dashboard 3. client engagement and participation

It's actually difficult to get all three things together. It's very easy to have a cheap notification system, even if it is a simple Google Form to get the ticket logged and distributed to all members. Then a CRM or a ticket management system can take care of the ticket processing lifecycle from open to assignment to close etc (generally included).

You need to specifically check Dashboard feature because most only have very basic table / excel like reporting. Dashboard can be an expensive feature.

Finally client engagement is even harder because you need to give them access to your ticket management system, involves a lot of user right specification and you need to train them how to... gets pretty messy

I would say since your team is still relatively small, try software-as-a-service providers then you don't have a to pay a high premium. If you want all your features together, may be salesforce.com CRM type of ticket and relationship management can be a good fit. I think their newly acquired Chatter is especially interesting that allows multi-staff collaboration and also can invite clients to join the chatter thread and view progress and get involved. But it may comes with quite a price tag. Their sales team can be aggressive in pursuing you during or post a trial.

  • Thank you for your answer. Yes, as I have searched and searched, it turns out it's expensive, and rare. Now I'm almost narrowing the search to a ticket/issue tracker with email integration so our clients can add feature requests, etc, and obviate the rest. – Alain Jacomet Forte May 29 '12 at 14:12
  • hi @AlainJacomet i updated the answer for you. I found this request tracker, literally Request Tracker (RT) supposedly free. Wonder how it pans out for u – Optanovo May 29 '12 at 14:50
  • @AlainJacomet wikipedia also gives wonderful comparison charts [Comparison of issue-tracking systems] (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_issue-tracking_systems) – Optanovo May 29 '12 at 14:54

Have a look at basecamp and highrise from http://37signals.com/svn. They seem to be the ones you are looking for - I'm not an active user of any them, but follow their life-cycle. Now, you can have a look how the developer company uses basecamp.


While I've never used it, a friend of mine uses Teamworkpm for his digital ad agency.

He showed me a video walk-through of the tool that he put together for his clients and I think it did everything you asked about.

Worth a look.

  • Hi, thanks for your comments, but I realize now that this is probably harder to find than I thought. So I'm narrowing the search (edited the question) – Alain Jacomet Forte May 28 '12 at 1:40

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