“JibberJobber is too hard to use.”

I hear this from career coaches and outplacement companies. It’s what their clients have told them.  So the clients go back to their spreadsheets, plunking away at a temporary fix, hoping that they will be out of the dreaded class of unemployed people within months.

Yes, JibberJobber can be a bit overwhelming.  We take full responsibility for that, and over the last two years have focused on identifying things in JibberJobber that we can make more simple and more intuitive.  It’s a big job because, after over nine years of building, there are a lot of nooks and crannies to go into.  This is our task, and we’re up to the challenge.

The hardest part of designing JibberJobber was figuring out how to balance the immense complexity that a job seeker needs to manage with the ability to look at a page and immediately intuit what to do.  We, as developers, have the age-old problem of knowing what we mean, and assuming that the stuff we make will be obvious to you.  But that’s a fallacy. In our meetings discussing features we’ve constantly battled the “this will be really cool, and solve so many problems” with “how do we make it simpler, so people can actually get and use it?”

I created a short video to help people wrap their brain around JibberJobber, which you can see at the bottom of this post.

In addition to the message in that video, which is to simply take baby steps and use the features you need, and the rest will come at the right time, here are some other things I wish the coaches and outplacement companies would know and share:

  1. JibberJobber is a long-term tool.  Your spreadsheet will likely not make sense in your next, or next next job search.  But JibberJobber is designed so that you can step away from it for years (while you have a job, for example), and when you are in your next job search, login and all of your information will be there waiting for you.  You don’t even need to worry about losing your spreadsheet in a computer crash, or when you upgrade your computer, since JibberJobber is web-based.
  2. JibberJobber is easy to use, once you start using it.  Adding new Contacts, new “Log Entries,” new reminders (aka, Action Items), tracking how an interview went, etc. is pretty easy.  There are about nine different ways to add a new Contact, for example, which is all about convenience.  The easiest, most powerful tool in JibberJobber, is the Email2Log tool, which allows you to send an email to someone, BCC the JibberJobber server, and have that email get parsed by the server and have things created.  Things can include new Contacts, Log Entries, Action Items, and more.
  3. JibberJobber is about your productivity, not your confusion. One of the ideas behind JibberJobber is to give you a system that works right now, instead of you spending hours and hours creating and tweaking a spreadsheet that does about 1/2 of what you really need. Yes, we know you do that.  We did it too.
  4. There is no “right time” to start using JibberJobber.  Already have a spreadsheet?  Been in a job search for six months?  Neither of those matter.  You can start using JibberJobber today.  You can quit the spreadsheet cold turkey, or import it into JibberJobber, or use both for a month or so… we’ve seen it all.  But don’t think that just because you have a few hundred lines in a spreadsheet somewhere that you are married to it.  Switch over (we’ll even help you make the switch) and you should see immediate gains in productivity and time so that you can do what you need to, instead of tweaking technology.

Here’s the “don’t get overwhelmed” video:

Here’s a video on the Email2Log setup: