Multiple Monitors can Improve Productivity!

The University of Utah  did a study were they financed $50,000 worth of monitors by NEC Display to various companies. The study concluded that productivity was higher with two monitors than with one. In today’s society we have multiple windows and applications open at the same time including, e-mail, internet, I.M, etc. making it hard to keep track of them all at once. People save about “10 seconds in every 5 minutes of work” which adds up over time and does not break the flow of work.  On the contrary having too many monitors can feel like a boundary isolating you from your colleagues and can make you feel more over whelmed.

  With that said, you’re better off just having two monitors because you’re eyes don’t have to focus on too many things at once. Your eyes can just sweep over all the tasks without interruptions.  This way you will definitely have room for Producteev ;-) on your screen for maximum work productivity.

^Carolyn

Interview with Producteev user @tonymorganlive!

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Tell us about yourself
 I’ve been married for 20 years. Emily and I have four kids ranging from ages almost 7 to 17. I used to be in local government. I was a city manager. In 1998, I transitioned into church ministry. I’ve worked for three large, fast-growing churches each with several thousand people attending. It was through those experiences that I began writing and speaking to leaders. In 2009, I launched my own business to provide consulting and leadership coaching.

What do you do?
  I’m the founder and Chief Strategic Officer of Tony Morgan Live, LLC. We help leaders and organizations get unstuck. The solutions we offer include consulting to help organizations get healthy and have highly effective leadership teams. We also offer leadership coaching. Of course, most of the engagement I have with leaders happens through the daily content we deliver at TonyMorganLive.com.

  How do you manage your busy schedue?
 Well, I mentioned I’m married and a dad to my four kids. On top of that, I’m in my third year of launching my own business. I’m very involved in the ministry of my church. And, I’m active with social media to stay connected with leaders throughout the world. I’m always busy, but I’m super-committed to staying healthy. That begins with setting priorities. My faith comes first. My marriage and family come second. Making money to put food on the table comes third. Staying healthy begins with priorities, but it’s executed through systems. The systems are where Producteev comes in.

How did you find out about Producteev?
 I found Producteev when trying to search for a solution for task management. I needed a web-based solution that provided access on my Mac computers and Android phone. I was also looking for something where I could track all my tasks for family, ministry and business. The bonus feature that I really love in Producteev is the ability to delegate tasks to different people depending on the “workspace” I create. As a leader trying to empower other people on my team, this has been a real important feature.

How does Producteev help you?

 I’m always explaining to leaders that “Teaching has the potential to shift thinking, but systems have the potential to shift behaviors.” Because of that, systems are very important. Producteev is flexible to support my task management systems. And, like I said, I can use that system with other people on my team. That’s the advantage over many other task management solutions that are available. My favorite features include the ability to assign tasks, create separate workspaces for different areas of my life, use labels to group like tasks, set up recurring tasks, and sync tasks across my Mac, my Android phone and my Kindle Fire.
 What do you do when a task is overdue?

  If it’s overdue, my first question is, “Do I still need to do it?” Many times a task ends up in the overdue category because it’s not a priority. When that’s the case, the best option is to use the delete button. The next question I ask myself is, “Who else can do this?” Again, most of what I do is empower other people. Leadership isn’t leadership unless it’s released to other people. Finally, if I determine it’s still my task, I prioritize and reschedule the task for the future. Of course, all of these filters are easy to implement using the tools built in to Producteev.

[Guest Post] How did I use Producteev to Write & Publish a Book

This guest post is contributed by Producteev user Doreen Bloch, an Entrepreneur & Author whose new book “The Coolest Startups in America" was just released to the public.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Android app: Our widget is out!

To all of you Android fans, we’ve got great news, our Producteev Android app, now has beautiful widgets!
Thank you very much for your patience. We tried to make a widget as elegant as useful.
You can choose between 2 versions, or 2 sizes to be more precise: Large and Medium.
The large one displays 6 tasks and 2 tasks for the medium one.
 

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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.

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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.
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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!

Thanks,The Producteev Android Department ;)

How does “privacy” work on Producteev once I am collaborating with others?

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.

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UNLOCKED MODE:

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.

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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 :)

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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”!

Producteev launches new apps for Android, iPhone, Web and Windows!

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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.  

 

Android App : Download here : https://market.android.com/details?id=com.producteev.android.alpha22

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!

Don’t Waste Your Weekend! #HowTo Stay Productive

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?

You are Stronger Than Twitter!

Don’t let Twitter snatch you away from your tasks!

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What is it about Twitter that gets us hooked? According to Twist Image President, Mitch Joel:

  • The short messages (tweets) happen in bursts. This is both addictive to watch and so “snackable” that it’s hard to resist.
  • It’s easy to bang out a tweet in a couple of seconds… and it feels good to let people know what you’re thinking/what you’re up to.
  • It happens in real-time, so whenever you’re engaged with Twitter, you are "in the moment."
  • People say, do and share interesting things.
  • It’s the ultimate in reality programming. What’s more interesting: to watch the story of people we don’t know (or those that are made up) verses the story of people we do know or are interested in?
  • It’s highly mobile. Tweeting or following Twitter is something that’s easy and mindless to do when you’re standing with one arm wrapped around the pole in a subway or have a handful of minutes while in-between meetings.
  • It’s an easy way to follow and connect with new and interesting people.

 

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?

Stay Focused at Work With These #TipsAndTricks

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!


  1. Write out a daily task list and plan your day. There’s nothing like a task list sitting next to you to keep you focused. When you have a list of the things you need to accomplish in a day, having that close to you constantly reminding you of what needs to be done is a great way of keeping on track.
  2. Allocate time slots colleagues can interrupt you. In a busy work place, people are moving and talking all the time. If you play a role in a team where others need to interact with you, try allocating a time slot they can interrupt you. Instead of having people stop by your desk every 10 mins and asking you questions, let them know of a time in the day, say between 2-4pm you can be interrupted. At all other times, you can really get some work done.
  3. Apply time boxing. Instead of working at something till it is done, try working on it for a limited period, say 30 mins. By that time, the task is either completed or you allocate another time slot, perhaps in another day, to pick it up again. This way, you keep your work fresh and engaging throughout the entire working day.
  4. Setup filters in your email. If you spend a lot of your time communicating and planning in front of your computer, chances are you deal with emails on a frequent basis. Setting up filters in your email client can be a great way of sorting out what’s important and urgent from personal stuff which can wait. Instead of dealing with a single Inbox with hundreds of unread email, you only need to deal with smaller folders categorised by project, priority and context.
  5. Do not check personal email in the morning. Checking personal emails can be very distracting even with filters setup. This is especially true when your friends send you links to interesting articles, jokes or videos on YouTube. If you’re not careful, you can get side tracked for hours. Instead of checking your personal email as soon as you get in, try starting work straight away. This will build up some momentum as you ease into your work day. You should check your personal email only after you have a few tasks completed or underway. Also, if you don’t want to perpetuate a particular distracting email thread, just don’t reply to it until after work.
  6. Set your IM status. If you use Instant Messenger, when you don’t want to be disturbed, make use of the status and set yourself as being away or busy. Your friends and colleagues will honour that. They can either send you an email or look you up later when you aren’t as busy.
  7. Listen to the right types of music. Music is a great way of settling into the working routine. In addition, having music can drown out office noises like printers and background chattering. Be careful though, depending on personal preference, some types of music are not particularly conducive to productive work. For me, I can’t work when listening to songs with lots of lyrics because the words interrupt my thinking process.
  8. Use the headphones but leave the music off. Some people prefer to have absolute silence when working. I think that also depends on what kind of work you are doing. If you’re doing some serious planning or something computational, having music blasting in your ears may not be the best thing for keeping focused. Try using headphones or ear plugs to block out the background noise but leave the music off.
  9. Fill up a water bottle. Keeping yourself hydrated is pretty important for all sorts of health reasons. Instead of going to the water cooler with your glass every hour, try filling up a water bottle at the start of the day. This does a couple of things – firstly, it limits the starts/stops associated every time you get up for water and secondly, it avoids being sucked into lengthy discussions around the water cooler.
  10. Find the best time to do repetitive and boring tasks. No matter how much you try to avoid it, you’re going to have to face doing things which are either repetitive or boring. For these tasks, I find it is best to choose a time in the day to work on them. For example, I’m more alert at the start of the day, so it’s better to work on things which require brain power early. Working on boring tasks that can be done via auto-pilot are better left towards the end of the day when I’m usually tired.
  11. Bring your lunch and have it at your desk. I’m not suggesting you do this every day, but if you really have to focus and are trying to meet a deadline, having your lunch at your desk really helps. The normal one hour lunch break can really interrupt any momentum you might have built up during the morning. I find when I’m eating lunch at my desk, my lunch breaks are shorter and I can get through a few emails while I’m eating. After I’m done, I’m straight back working on the next task.
  12. Don’t make long personal calls. Most of us have a good separation between our working and personal lives (or a least try to). I think we can all agree we should avoid having work intrude on our personal time as much as possible. The reverse of this also applies. Try limiting the time you spend doing personal things during work as they can be distracting and draining on your motivation. For example, you do not really want to be thinking about your weekend away with your spouse when you really need to get things done.
  13. Clean up your desk. Some of you may have desks which can only be described as ordered chaos. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as you can find what you need without too much digging around. However, if you can’t, I suggest cleaning up your desk. That doesn’t mean having an empty desk, it just means having neat stacks of paper, all filed in the correct location. It also helps tremendously having all the things you need easily within arms reach. For example, if you need a place to write, having your pen and notepad close by and easily accessible is incredibly useful.
  14. Get a good chair. If you sit for long hours at your desk and I’m sure some of you do, you might find it helpful to get a good chair. I find it’s pretty hard to stay focused when my neck and back are sore because I have a bad setup at my desk. A good chair can eliminate this, allowing you to work for long stretches without breaks and physical distractions.
  15. Use shortcuts on your computer. If you find you do the same thing with your computer more than once throughout the day, you might find it helpful to look for ways in which you can do them without too much manual repetition. For example, if there’s a project folder you access all the time, try adding a shortcut to your Explorer or Finder so you can get access to it with a single click, instead of expanding folder after folder in the tree panel.
  16. Close programs you’re not using. Instead of Alt-Tabbing constantly and fighting the computer to locate the program you need, try only having the applications you need open. Close everything else. For example, if you have already located a file and no longer need a particular Explorer or Finder instance open, close it. There’s no reason to leave it around at all.
  17. Limit time on Digg, Delicious, news sites and blogs. Digg, Delicious, news and blogs are great from an interest perspective, but they can really take you away from the work you should be working on. Try to limit going to these sites during the working day. If you really have to, try doing it during your lunch time. No, you don’t need to have your finger on the pulse every single minute of the day.

What else would you add to the list? Is there anything here you strongly agree, or disagree with? Sound off and let us know!

Don’t Use the Internet for Personal Reasons at Work! #Infographic

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!

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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!