I’ve been on the Produceev team for over 4 months now, but I first fell in love with the service over a year ago. The feature that first hooked me in was the ability to turn emails into tasks. I hate having a full inbox, but with just a few keystrokes in Gmail I can forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org and archive it for good. In around a minute I can clean out and tag around 15-20 emails. By assigning stars, labels and deadlines for all these tasks directly from my email client, (just add “##Follow Up 5* Tomorrow” to the subject,) I have effectively curated a task list that I can scan at a glance.
At the time of this writing I have 8 workspaces. Two of these are used for testing new features, one is for personal tasks, and the remaining five are for collaboration and other projects.
I keep between 2-3 of my workspaces open during my day at the office. I leave them in separate tabs and use the “pin tab” feature in Google Chrome to keep it tidy.
Neat Tip: Ctrl+1 in Chrome will display your first tab, Ctrl+2 will display the second, etc.
Having these always open eliminates any incentive for me to jot down my notes on paper. Besides—paper notes don’t have push notifications.
When I’m working on projects, I create new tasks as new issues arise and ideas pop up so I don’t forget about them. All the ##bugs that are introduced are prioritized and tracked, and all the ##issues that I have to bring up to the team are dealt with quickly.
At this point, I’m left in a very comfortable position. Since the software is handling all of the dates and priorities while I’m working, I don’t have to worry that I’ll forget about anything. If I sort by deadline or priority I can see exactly what needs to be done first without having to go through my email account, notes, and various other online services. Most importantly, throughout this whole process Producteev isn’t sucking up all my time dealing with project management since adding and editing tasks are quick processes.
My Personal Workspace gets a lot of traffic from me during the day, too. I drop in articles to read later, set reminders to catch up with friends, and add an occasional note to check out new technology or videos. I also use it for more the important things, like making sure I pick up my son’s records from school and getting my taxes done. Personal time is hard to find sometimes, so breaking things down into really small tasks is what makes this workspace feel less overwhelming.
Since the Producteev service is centralized on the web, it synchronizes with native applications, like the iPhone application. There’s also a light mobile web version that you will see automatically by going to Producteev.com from your phone. I’m using both. I love the notifications and offline features of the free iPhone app, but I also keep bookmarks directly to my most used dashboards on my home screen.
Lastly, I am still able to create milestones and a basecamp-eque workflow with my fluid style of working. For instance, in a major release cycle I can just create a new label (e.g., Version 1 Release) and assign it to all the tasks that fall under that milestone. If I need to see all the tasks within that milestone, I can just use that label’s filter. I find that Calendar view on the web app helps out a lot here by letting me drag tasks around for this.
Producteev is Indispensible
The burden of managing the tasks lies on the software. It rarely takes more than 15 minutes per day to manage my tasks, so I can focus on what I love doing (programming) rather than worrying about what I need to work on next. I automatically get reminders and notifications when I need to do something. I also don’t have to worry about sorting through notes, meeting minutes, emails, and a countless number of online services to remember what I need to get done. It’s all in one place.
If I have to meet a critical deadline, I can sort tasks by due date to make sure I hit my personal goals for the day, and if I’m running behind schedule, I can judge that quickly by looking at my list. On the other hand, if there’s no rush, I know I have some extra time to work on less critical, lighter tasks; this is stuff that normally get pushed around for ages. Additionally, the mobile and web apps are available virtually anywhere for a lot of platforms, so I can— and do— use it anywhere.
I’d like to go into more detail about my day here, but I’ll save that for another time. There’s just so much to get done!
For those of you that want to know what we’re all about This is 10% luck, 20% skill 15% concentrated power of will 5% pleasure, 50% pain And a 100% pure hardcore #hustlesesh baby!
Today I’m passing on the torch to the stunning Farhana Rahman, our new social media / community intern, but not without saying a few parting words. ;) I’ll leave her to fully introduce herself in a moment, but just to give a sneak peek there will be a lot more content on the Producteev blog.
“The pivot is arguably the most important part of a startup.”
Well, in this case, it was the most important aspect of my internship. I was primarily brought on for content creation, but Ilan and Judi recognized my talent at evangelizing our app, and thanks to them I was able to pivot and run with this in hopes of getting even more market recognition for our brand. I quickly started hustling and evangelizing Producteev to every living soul around me! Even your mother - is she liking Producteev, btw? ;)
I learned how to pitch our product in a casual conversation and give sales presentations (thanks Made to Stick!) This even eventually helped me turn a “no” hiring decision from Producteev into a “We’re sold! Let’s try out your crazy marketing plan and hire you again” (more on that in a future blog post).
I’ve done everything from co-founding a new meetup group for techies to helping with copy for our web redesign to going out and attending networking events almost every night, promoting our app like crazy (and having fun while at it!)
I’ve had 7 internships so far and I never get tired of them. In fact, I highly recommend them as they’re a great learning experience. When else do you get your own personal mentor for free?!
And because this time I was working from an office as Judi’s (Producteev’s community manager) apprentice - who was already ingrained within the world of social media and community management - I got access to a wealth of information. I thought I knew all there was to know about social media before starting at Producteev, but to my surprise there was still much to learn. More importantly though, I got to make amazing connections (and eat lunch at Googleplex East) through Judi’s network. I’ve lived the startup life nonstop for the past year, with humble beginnings at Social Bicycles. Working out of an established startup’s offices every day of the week, however, allowed me to bounce ideas off Judi and get invited to impromptu outings - the best part of my job.
As of today, I’m embracing a new role as a Community Developer and heading up a new, stealth project codenamed Krazy Kangaroo. If you’re a student (or one at heart) and would like to get a taste of the life mentioned above or be involved in helping a startup expand, you can do just that by working with me! Apply here: Krazy Kangaroo
This summer’s internship has been the most exhilarating, challenging, and awesome experience I’ve ever had… and now it’s your turn, Farhana :)
Hi! My name is Farhana, and I am the new interning Social Media Manager!
I was born and raised in New York, was a writing prodigy, and was quite the social butterfly growing up. I now enjoy all things tech and all people tech! What cooler way to combine these elements than a career in social media?
When not on social media platforms at work, you would find me engaging my wonderful like-minded buddies on Twitter. I have a reputation for being an ‘ego-booster,’ am adored for my self-depreciating humor, as well as my zany content on Twitter. I also work pretty hard to maintain a decent Klout score - my goal is 84.
Don’t be shy to drop me a line, and let me know how I may assist with your experience using Producteev!
Updated: Support's not moving, it's getting a makeover!
A new Producteev help center with fewer but hopefully better organized and more helpful articles will soon be available.
In the spring, we thought it would be a good idea to relocate support. While that may be accomplished in the future, for now we’re making it our priority to:
respond in a timely fashion
decrease the amount of incoming requests with better documentation
The above are possible even without relocating, so although we had planned to move the support center (in order to combine it with the idea forum), it is instead staying right where it is at: http://support.producteev.com/. And like the envisioned relocation, the made-over Producteev Support will be “streamlined, simplified, and easily searched.”
Just aiming to make it leaner, meaner, and having it better serve you! Stay tuned via blog this month. :)
Early stage of makeover process
Thanks for your patience with our recent growth and new users, and sorry for lags with our back-to-back releases. Summer’s been busy with the launch of our mac desktop app, mobile web app, crowdsourced tasks, and email sync for outlook and google tasks. More improvements across the board — support, community, and especially product — to come!
We <3 # 5-8: Make Your Team Happy to Increase #Productivity
Are your employees happy and productive?
Or do they waste inordinate amounts of time complaining and procrastinating?
Employee productivity is a challenge that faces all companies.
Are your employees happy?
And more importantly, what are you doing about it?
Happy is Productive
When was the last time your company made an effort to keep its employees happy?
Too often companies neglect their employees’ well-being.
Many leaders think a touchy-feely issue like “employee happiness” is better handled by the HR department. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Employee happiness is not an HR issue. It is a leadership issue.
Good leaders know that happy employees are productive ones.
Yes, times are tough. And money is tight.
However, that doesn’t mean that you have to make your employees live a miserable existence. Good leaders know that taking care of their employees leads to increased worker performance.
Happy employees not only work harder but have higher feelings of company ownership.
Unhappy employees often will not go the extra step when it comes to work.
Happy employees have higher retention.
And despite what HR will tell you, unhappy employees will leave. Yes, even in this economy. (And the good ones leave first.)
So, when was the last time that you (or your company) did something to make employees happy?
Productive and Happy About It
There are some HR types who will argue that happiness does not equate to productiveness.
And it doesn’t by itself. It takes leadership, purpose, and drive.
However, in the same situation, who do you think will perform better? Happy employees or unhappy ones?
I guarantee that happy workers will out perform unhappy ones every day of the week. (Especially on Mondays)
Here are just a few tips to help “Keep Your Employees Happy and Productive:”
Recognize Them – Most companies are very poor at this. In fact, a large number of companies have no employee recognition. Publicly recognize your best employees and reward with something that is important to them. (Danger: Recognizing the wrong employees can be an explosive issue. But, that is a topic for a different leadership article.)
Thank Them – Sometimes you don’t even have to recognize them, how about just thanking them. Employee happiness is not tied to awards and rewards. Sometimes a well-placed and sincere “Thank You” is all it takes.
Listen to Them – Want your team to be happy and productive? Listen to them. Leaders sometimes think they have all the answers and fail to listen to the team. Not only does the team often have the “answer,” but sometimes they just want to be heard.
Be Straight With Them – Employees want the straight scoop and they feel respected when they get it. Don’t wrap announcements in legalese or HR speak. Any leader that thinks that employees can’t “read between the lines” on corporate memos shouldn’t be in charge. Instead, tell your employees the truth.
Give Them a Day Off – Rewards don’t have to be trips and monetary incentives. (Although those are nice!) Try rewarding hard work with time. Time off that is. A simple day off can be the difference between a happy recharged top performer and burnt out jaded one.
Pamper Them – As I have mentioned, rewards don’t have to be expensive or lavish. Sometimes it is the little things. Go for the small ones. Sometimes they make all the difference. I once worked with a call center and one day we replaced all the workers chairs with brand new rolling ones. People were literally “rolling” through their day and were on cloud nine.
Remove Obstacles – Want happy employees? Then don’t put silly rules and obstacles in the way of them doing their job. As a leader, your job is to remove the things in their way. Except when it comes to safety, problems are not solved by putting “rules” in place. Want increased happiness and productivity? Remove the red tape! (See: The Difference Between Blue Tape and Red Tape.)
Surprise Them, In a Good Way – Surprises can be a great motivator for employees. Just make sure you are in tune with your employees or else you risk surprising them with something that could backfire.
Happy and Productive
When your employees are not happy, they are not as productive as they could be.
Unhappy employees are unmotivated and uninspired to work at their potential. Even your best performers will leave when they are unhappy.
Many companies do not make the effort to keep employees happy because of the assumed costs. However, most employees are not looking for expensive perks to encourage them.
They will be driven with a little recognition, support, and thankfulness.
Oh, and don’t forget to listen to them.
When was the last time your company boosted productivity by making employees happy?
After launching Producteev for Mac just two weeks ago, we’ve gotten a lot of awesome feedback - thank you! Things like:
There’s been a surge of questions lately, so we wanted to address those while working on the next update.Producteev for Mac crashes at launch?Deleting ~/Library/Preferences/com.producteev.Producteev.plist should do the trickI signed up for Producteev with Facebook, Yahoo, Google / Google Apps and don’t know my password to login to the app?We wanted to have our apps out to you as soon as possible! =) As such, unfortunately, some of our apps don’t have single sign on integrated yet. If you originally signed up with facebook, yahoo, google/google apps, and try to use another app (like Mac, Astrid, iPhone, etc.), you’ll have to create a password in order to proceed. Select the ‘forgot password?’ link on the website homepage and enter your email login. Follow the email prompts to create your password. You will then be able to access all apps.I’m loving your Mac app. Is there an iPad app on the roadmap, and, if so, when is it planned for?An iPad app has been started, but there is no planned release date yet. Follow our twitter for updates. Some of us at the office are pushing just as hard as you are, though =)Are you going to update the iPhone app soon to coordinate with super cool desktop app?Yes, we have started working on an update to the iPhone app.
And there are many more exciting things to come down the road for Producteev. Stay connected for more information =)
Release of the highly anticipated, native Producteev Android app is again post-poned. Now before you go all Angry Birds on us, you should hear us out.
The latest version of a Producteev Android app was indeed beta tested by a select group of superusers. Their verdict? The app, in its current form, is not ready for public release.
Like the previous two 3rd party Android developers, the most recent 3rd party developer is also unable to continue the project and make the necessary changes to improve the app and bring it up to par. Which leaves us right back where we started a year ago – still without a native app to complete our Google suite.
Before making the difficult decision of whether to launch the app as is – since we had no other viable option with this 3rd party developer – the team thought long and hard. Ultimately, we could not put the app on the market as is. Sorry to repeat another delayed release and for your disappointment and frustration with us.
Below, however, is just one example of beta tester feedback which speaks to the condition of the current app. I think you have the basis of what could be a good app but I really don’t think you should consider releasing it at the moment as I think you will get negative feedback from the majority of users…. I hope you find this email constructive as this is how I mean it to be.
ING New York City Marathon 2010
Now the reason a native Android app was not initiated in-house in the first place was because no one on the Producteev team had the related experience and skill set. Starting this week, however, a fully-dedicated in-house developer has begun a native Android app from scratch. He, along with the rest of the team and beta testers, are determined to see this project through to completion. Or Ilan, CEO, will have his head! ;)
We know that we dropped the ball, perhaps we shouldn’t have made launch estimates based on an app that was not being built by our team. We know that our Android users deserve more and are not secondary to our iPhone users. A native Android app is Producteev’s top priority – not just in theory but in practice. We can only hope for the opportunity to make it right and keep the community updated with its future development.
We really do want to make an app that is awesome! In the meantime, the new mobile web app may help make your wait more bearable.