People say that ideas are easy, but execution is difficult. When I started penning my book, The Coolest Startups in America (find it here on Amazon) last year, I had a simple thesis: there should be a book that introduces people to startups. But in practice, it was not so straightforward. To write and publish a book, there are hundreds of moving parts and dozens of players.
After six months of writing and hours of interviews (Producteev CEO Ilan Abehassera included!), my idea for The Coolest Startups in America book became reality, available to delight readers around the country on the best startups in the nation. As I reflect on my process, there was one tool with me at every step. That’s right, my Producteev account.
Here is how I used Producteev to move my project from goal to reality:
1. Use Producteev to Brainstorm
Inspiration can come from anywhere. I used my Producteev account to collect quotes, notes and images that would be useful in the writing process. Because Producteev focuses on cross-platform fluidity, I was never pigeonholed into using Producteev.com specifically, instead adding to my account on-the-go via Producteev’s iPhone and iPad apps.
2. Use Producteev to Land an Agent or Publisher
I decided to pursue finding a literary agent and publisher early on in my book-writing process. Because Producteev allows multiple Workspaces within each account, I could keep my writing work in one Workspace and use another for the purpose of securing representation.
While Producteev won’t magically get you interest from an Agent or Publisher, it can help coordinate your outreach. As a first-time author, agency names and publishing houses were esoteric and niche, so I used each “task” in Producteev to store notes on the organizations. And, for each Publisher rejection (happens to every writer like a right of passage), Producteev lifted my spirits because I could cross a name off the list to see a pretty green check mark indicating that I was only getting closer to my goal, never farther from it.
3. Use Producteev to Organize Research
Over a span of about two months, I conducted 50+ interviews with startup CEOs, government officials, academics, thought-leaders, and journalists for The Coolest Startups in America, so staying on top of scheduling could have become a fiasco. Not so with Producteev! Rather than create calendar alerts for checking in with PR reps and sources, I could schedule reminders within Producteev so that the contact information, notes, interview questions and scheduling for each person remained centralized.
I also put Producteev’s labeling features to good use. With 72 startups featured in the inaugural volume of The Coolest Startups in America, organized into 18 categorical sections, colored labels helped to keep the content tidy so I could easily navigate around the tasks for the many chapters.
4. Use Producteev During Editing
When it came time to involve my editor in the book process, Producteev was a gem. I could “assign” chapters to my editor as I finished working on them. If there were items within the chapter for me to review, he could seamlessly assign the task back to me within Producteev.
5. Use Producteev for Publicity
Among bookers, producers, articles, friends & family outreach, volume sales (Plug: Want to order 10 or more copies? Email me for a discount code! ;) and more, there is so much for authors to do after the writing process is complete. No matter whether an author decides to use a traditional publisher or go DIY, book promotion always has the author in the driver’s seat. Producteev is helping me stay on top of publicity for The Coolest Startups in America. In fact, I’m off to cross off the to-do item for this article right now; using a spreadsheet is so last century.
Producteev was named one of “The Coolest Startups in America.” Buy the book to find out about the best new companies around the nation in the first-ever mainstream book about entrepreneurship.
Author Doreen Bloch is an entrepreneur & writer in New York City (hometown: Palo Alto, CA). Her first book “The Coolest Startups in America” was released in February 2012. She is a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council and a former Analyst at SecondMarket, where she worked on the auctions for shares of Facebook Inc. and other leading private companies. Her personal website is http://www.DoreenBloch.com.
Once set on your Home screen, the widget allows you to quickly view your tasks (status, title, due date, priority, repetition). Use the arrows to navigate it in your task list. You can check done or undone tasks directly on your widget. If you need to do more actions, just click on a task and you will be led to the task details for full control of your task.
The Producteev icon opens the app and the top right icon opens a dialog to quickly create a task in your to-do list. The widget’s task list is also customizable. Click on the widget’s title bar and an option panel allows you to select a workspace, a filter or a label, and a sort for the widget tasks list.
As a first version and still in beta, we need your feedback to improve our Product, so please contact us if you have anything to share.
Now, go update it on the Android Market!
We get that question pretty often, so let us try to clear that out.
Here are a couple of things you should know:
LOCKED MODE (Default mode):
1. When you collaborate with other users on a specific workspace, by default, everyone will be able to see all tasks posted by the members of this team (members who got invited and joined the workspace). Note that except the creator, the assignee and the administrator of your workspace, no one else can EDIT them. They can only view them, and post comments on them. They can’t change a deadline, edit labels or change the person in charge for example.
2. If you want more open collaboration, and let everyone from your team interact with all of your workspaces’ tasks, we recently launched a new setting for that, it’s called an “unlocked” workspace. Once that feature activated, anyone from your team can : complete a task, edit labels, set deadlines and reminders, change the assignee, etc. Anyone can do anything! Your workspace is not public, just editable by all the members of that workspace.
PS: TASK LEVEL PRIVACY:
On Producteev, you can also select who’s seeing each and every one of your tasks if you want to. Click on the ‘privacy’ feature in your task detail panel. If you want to hide that “get my boss a birthday present” task in your team’s workspace, you can do it :)
Those settings are only available from the web app for now, but obviously reflect on all of the other apps once approved.
Hope that helps!
UPDATED ON MAY 7, 2012: Thanks to @stoweboyd for helping find the right terminology for “Locked’ and “Unlocked”!
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NEW YORK, NY, January 24, 2012 – Producteev, a leading cross-platform task management provider for teams and individuals, today unveiled a slew of new apps that are more hyper-connected through cloud services, desktop OSs and mobile devices. Now available as a web app, iPhone and Android mobile app, and Windows and Mac desktop app, Producteev is moving closer to its goal of enabling universal task management. Today, people need to create and store tasks across a multitude of platforms, devices, services and locations from email and IMs to voicemails and notes, traversing cloud services and sites on work-based PCs to personal laptops, tablets and mobile phones. Leveraging the cloud, Producteev’s new apps sync, capture and manage tasks and to-do lists across the broadest list of platforms, devices, cloud services, and locations.
Note: it’s a public beta, we know the app is not full featured yet, but it’s already a VERY good start, and will keep improving from now on.
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iPhone App : Available here : http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/producteev/id306289289?mt=8
New UI, new back synchronisation engine (no more sync issues!), new features!
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Windows Desktop App : Download here : http://hostedapps.producteev.com/windows/producteev-windows-v1.zip
First app on Windows Desktop, let us know what you guys think!
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New Web App :
New UI, new features like sub-tasks, printable task lists, integration with TaskRabbit, cross-workspace notifications, cross-workspace search, new onboarding process for teams, and so on and so forth. Just log on and try it out!
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This is what we’ve been baking for you guys for the past few months, hope you like it!
Weekends are generally meant to be a time to unwind, rejuvenate, and focus on the other aspects of life that matter- but do you find yourself wasting valuable weekend-time?
For those of us who don’t have weekend jobs, or plans to visit family/friends, and all household errands have been completed; there are still ways you can be productive during the weekend!
Give in to Your Creativity
Write out a list of creative things you would like to do, but don’t quite find time for during the work-week. Teach yourself to sing/play/dance to a favorite song. Create something thoughtful for loved ones. Experiment bold new recipes. Post some how-to videos on YouTube. It’ll feel so good to cater to the side of you that you normally set-aside. You may learn more of yourself in doing so!
Give in to Your Inner Child
Go ahead and relive the joy of filling the pages of a coloring book! Disregard your grown-up diet, and indulge in your favorite childhood treats! Go to the park with a child, and play to your hearts content! Or maybe you can play with slime, or clay. Nothing wrong with it, no one will judge you. It’s all quite humbling.
Give in to What You’ve Abandoned
Come on now. Don’t let ‘writers block’ be your excuse for not finishing your novel, or posting new entries to your blog- you know you want to continue, but you’ve become too comfortable with not! You may have many messages waiting for you in one of the social media accounts you signed up for and later neglected- revisit those!
Surely there are tens of hundreds of thousands more ideas that can be added to this list. What are some of your suggestions?
Don’t let Twitter snatch you away from your tasks!
What is it about Twitter that gets us hooked? According to Twist Image President, Mitch Joel:
Be cautious of your Twitter activity- don’t get sucked into the vortex of multiple endless exchanges! You would be so much better off if you were to take that very same energy, enthusiasm, and zest, and place it towards your own tasks!
How good are you at resisting the temptation?
Regardless of the size of your office setting, it is sometimes difficult to remain focused at work. One may typically find other co-workers to blame, but we each have the ability to greatly reduce the disturbance factor by tweaking our own actions. Entrepreneur Dave Cheong came up with a fantastic list of tips and tricks that are sure help you make the most of your day and get stuff done!
What else would you add to the list? Is there anything here you strongly agree, or disagree with? Sound off and let us know!
Have you ever been caught red-handed, using the Internet for personal reasons at work? Well you’re not the only one (you sneaky sneaky thing!) After breezing through this interesting infographic from CareerBuilder- get back to work!
Does your workplace block the access of certain websites? Are you free to post whatever you wish about your company via social media? Let us know in the comments below!
Hi everyone, Ilan here.
I just wanted to take a minute to talk about the iPhone app. A couple of people complained about the fact that our app is getting old, and doesn’t alway sync. You’re right on both fronts.
Getting old : why is it getting old? The reality is that we only have one (brilliant) iOS and Mac developer (for now), and he’s been working on the (successful) Mac app ever since the iPhone app has been released. The good news is that he started again baking the brand new, shiny and fast iPhone app V2 for a couple of months already, and it’s simply going be out of this world. Sneak peek :
I can’t give out any release date (even though it’s set), for PR purposes. More about this soon.
Sync: When such a technologically complex app gets older, you find out about ‘bugs’ over time, and sync is one of them. What happens is that when a Producteev account is getting bigger and bigger, the iPhone app is having a hard time to sync it. This issue is obviously fixed in the new version, since we built a brand new sync engine. Again, having one developer on this platform is not always easy to manage, but that’ll change.
Overall, a lot of things will change in the next couple of weeks, since we’re obviously working on something big that involves A LOT of improvements, more platforms supported, and a couple of surprises.
We’ll open private betas seats soon, on a one-to-one basis.
Thanks all for your support in the meantime!
Ilan, co-founder and CEO