Workspaces is a free, built-in project management feature on the PhotoShelter for Brands platform that allows individuals and teams to group, share, and provide feedback on creative project or campaign assets by clicking a simple button (👍or ❌,) or leaving detailed written feedback through commenting.
Three facts about the post-pandemic workplace that the pre-internet workforce could never imagine:
- We can get more done with less
- Most people can work efficiently and successfully in a hybrid and/or remote setting
- Emails and meetings aren’t necessarily vital to an individual, team, or a project’s success
One truth about communication that’s remained since scrolls scribbled and messengers delivered the news from on high: short and concise feedback is paramount to individual and team productivity.
In the early 2010s, digital project management tools focused on delivering automated, data-driven solutions popped up on the SaaS market in droves: Basecamp, Asana, Trello—you name it, we all ‘Demo’ed it.
The biggest problem with premium digital project management and messaging platforms for teams? The high cost associated with the investment: the financial commitment and the time-consuming process to onboard a team of individuals who all learn and work differently, isn’t always worth it. Investing in digital project management software and/or messaging apps makes sense for some organizations, but for teams that don’t have the luxury of funds or time, sending feedback via email works just fine…until it doesn’t.
In 2016, The Atlantic published an article asking ‘What Comes After Email?’ positing that though email is a ‘reviled’ technology, its effectiveness comes from the user’s ability to choose their own adventure: they can customize their notifications, search and filter for the exact info they need, and respond at will.
But, everyone knows what it feels like to be part of an endless email thread, and in short: it’s frustrating! Digging through an endless scroll of indented information to find what you need to do your job is just unnecessary.
Your team and organization at large probably use a combination of platforms to deliver feedback—Microsoft Teams, Slack, email, or something else, but keeping feedback attached to specific projects and files in one platform is just as important as where the files are stored.
PhotoShelter for Brands was built to centralize the creative workflow from end to end and help creatives thrive, so most of our key platform features are derived from real problems creatives have, and Workspaces is no exception.
What are Workspaces?
Workspaces empower individuals and teams to curate and share files for other internal or external collaborators to view, share, comment on, and/or approve all in one place—without ever leaving the PhotoShelter for Brands platform.
Users can gather assets from different Galleries and add them to a Workspace, then invite other users to work with, comment on, or approve those assets, and all those asset actions get logged in real-time, so others see comments and approvals as soon as they’re made.
Keep reading to learn how to create, use, and manage Workspaces for creative projects, how to add comments and approve assets in a Workspace—and how Workspaces keeps project management in one place, just like the creative assets in your DAM Library.
How to Use Workspaces
A few quick important feature access notes before you get started with Workspaces:
- In order to create or use a Workspace, you must have a PhotoShelter account.
- Every PhotoShelter for Brands user except taggers can create, edit, and/or share a Workspace.
- Before Invited Users can add files from the Portal to a Workspace, someone with Admin or Editor access to your Library must move the Workspaces navigation button to the ‘Visible Nav Items’ column in the Portal Navigation Settings.
How to Create a Workspace in Four Simple Steps
- Once you’re logged in to a PhotoShelter for Brands Library, click the Workspaces tab (pictured below, also showing how to access Workspaces from the Portal) in the left pane.
- Click the New Workspace button to create a Workspace.
- Next, name your new Workspace and add a description so your collaborators know what the content of the Workspace will be used for, then save your new Workspace by clicking the Create button.
4. Voilà! Your new Workspace will appear in the left pane of the Workspaces tab in the Library, under the Created by Library Staff group.
How To Add Files to a Workspace
Admins, Editors, and Invited Users can add files to a Workspace by browsing and selecting files from Galleries in the Library, Portal, or from a simple Library or Portal search.
When selecting files to add to a Workspace, use the Add to Workspace icon (pictured below) to add a file or file(s) to a Workspace.
Once you’ve selected all of the files you want to add to a Workspace, depending on where you’re adding your files from (your Library, Portal, or a direct upload,) your selection method will be different, but the last step will always be to click the Add to Workspace icon to add your asset(s) to your Workspace.
From there, you can add either a) add your file(s) to an existing Workspace by typing in its name or b) create a new Workspace to store your files.
Managing Files in a Workspace
Depending on your Workspace Visibility and Access settings, you might be able to upload, download, leave comments on, or approve assets within a Workspace.
Before you do anything, check what you’re allowed to do (your permission settings) in Workspaces. Below are images that show exactly where you can see this in the Portal (left image) and the Library (right image):
- To independently upload a file to a Workspace, click the upload icon in the footer of the homepage to bring up the Workspaces uploader. From there, you can drag files directly from local device folders into the upload window, or you can click the Select Files button to choose files to add individually. Allowing internal and external collaborators to upload assets directly to a Workspace ensures that all your creative project assets will live in one centralized place. Read more on our Support Center to see how to add files individually, in batches, or from a simple search in your Library or Portal.
- To download all the files within a Workspace, click the download icon in the footer to download all the assets in the selected Workspace.
- To download a single file within a Workspace, click the file thumbnail and click the download icon in the footer.
- To download multiple files within a Workspace, select the files you want to download and click the download icon in the footer to download the items you want. Select the file format and file size, then click the Download button.
- To leave feedback on an asset, click on the asset to enter the Single-File viewing page. Click the Comments tab on the right to view or leave comments on that asset. Assets that folks have commented on will appear with a message icon below it. Also, all comments update in real-time and they cannot be edited. Your only option is to delete the comment and to do this, you’ll simply hover your cursor over the comment you want to remove and click the trash icon. Leaving comments on assets in a Workspace is as easy as that: click an asset, type your comments in the space provided, and share constructive feedback instantly. If you have any questions about how to leave comments on assets in a Workspace, read more on our Support Center.
- To delete a file from a Workspace: Select the asset you want to remove by clicking the checkmark icon on the thumbnail. Once the asset is selected, find and click the trash icon at the bottom of the page to permanently delete the file from your Workspace. Unfortunately, files that are deleted from Workspaces can not be recovered at this time. ⚠️ Make sure to back your assets up in your Library before deleting anything from a Workspace. NOTE: Only Admins and Editors can delete files at this time, not invited users.
👍 Want to see how you can quickly approve assets in Workspaces? Read more about Collaborating in a Workspace in our Support Center.
Adding Team Members and Creative Collaborators to a Workspace
Library Staff (Admins and Editors,) and Invited Users that have permission settings to ‘Allow user to invite’ may add team members or collaborators to a Workspace. Taggers can not add users to Workspaces.
- First, identify which existing Invited Users should be able to invite other collaborators to a Workspace.
- Update the permission settings for those Invited Users to ‘Allow user to invite.’
- If you’re logged in as an Invited User with the right access, navigate to the Workspace on your organization’s Portal that you want to add a collaborator to and click the ‘+’ sign to open the Visibility and Access Settings window.
- In the Visibility and Access Settings window, type the email address of the Invited User you wish to invite to your Workspace, then click the toggle buttons next to each type of access you want them to have: view, upload, download, or share.
Note: Invited Users can edit permissions for any user they invite to a Workspace, but only a Library Staff user can delete a user’s permissions from a Workspace altogether. Also, Invited Users may only give access to other Invited Users based on the permissions assigned to them. For example, if an Invited User doesn’t have download permissions, they can’t invite another user and give them access to download files in a Workspace. Also, Invited Users can edit permissions for any user they invite to a Workspace, but only a Library Staff user can delete a user’s permissions from a Workspace altogether.
If you or any other Invited Users need additional access to view, upload, download, or approve assets in a Workspace, click the yellow lock icon to open the Visibility & Access Settings window. Then click the toggle buttons for the permissions you’d like and submit your request by clicking the blue Request Permission button (pictured below).
How to Access and View Files in a Workspace
Admins + Editors
Click the Library tab in the navigation bar at the top of your page. Next, click the Workspaces tab in the left pane of your PhotoShelter for Brands Library to view the Workspaces that you’ve created and that are shared with you.
- Log in to your organization’s Portal site: organization.photoshelter.com (e.g. https://specialolympics.photoshelter.com)
- Click Workspaces in the navigation bar at the top of the Portal homepage.
- Click the ‘+’ to expand the Shared with Me tab in the left pane.
- Select a Workspace from the options available and view the files within it.
Frequently Asked Questions about Workspaces
Can I rename a Workspace after it’s been created? Yes, you can! To rename an existing Workspace, open the Workspace in your PhotoShelter for Brands Library and navigate to the right pane to edit the Workspace name. Click the ✅ checkmark to save your changes.
Will I get notified when images are added or removed, or if comments are made, in a Workspace? In the Portal, you can choose to turn on notifications if you want to be updated when an asset in your Workspace is newly added or updated with comments or approvals.
See how to turn on notifications in a Workspace below:
More Workflow Hacks Please!
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