It's 1989. I'm 14 years old. Half way up the Grand Canyon. My brother and two cousins are a good distance ahead of us. My mom is struggling. "I need one of those mules," she says.
"I'm not going to make it," she says. Groups of people that had opted to take a mule-guided tour kept passing us. There were no riderless mules that she could catch a ride back up the canyon with. So she pressed on. It wasn't pretty but we made it. Though not without a good dose of regret. "I should have known better. I should have gotten the mule." She still talks about that trip to this day.
For hundreds of years mules have helped people with tedious back-breaking work. If you're reading this now - chances are that's not the type of work you do. So while fighting through the fear and physical exertion required to make it the top of the Grand Canyon without the help of a mule at least has the upside of building character, pushing personal boundaries, and overcoming fear - doing repetitive mindless busy work while sitting in a cubicle does none of these. We should know - we used to do that work every day - and as a group we are totally devoid of character and are plagued by fear*.
Anyway - to make a short story long, we built the Mule because we needed to. We were making the same reports. Day after day after !@#$%^&* day. Nathan said - there has to be a better way. Cody said - trust me, we've looked, there isn't. I agreed with her. Nathan said - fine I'll build it myself. And he did.
That was an amazing tool that we used internally for years (along with a handful of awesome users outside our company). Nathan's since gone on to share his genius with a new company. Peter and his team stepped in, took what we'd built, and reimagined every piece of it to make it faster, easier to use, and able to create even better looking reports.
We've poured a lot of love into this project and hope the result can help make your work a bit easier too...
Report Mule is a DIY utility to help you put reports together yourself. If you're interested in the professional services company that's behind Report Mule - at ITK Information Services we create media monitoring reports for companies which have a significant amount of press coverage on a daily basis. Fun? Yeah... we love what we do. And so do our clients.