[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.

Q & A: How app helps Super Mom “crank out the tasks in a technologically harmonious wonderland”

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Michele K. is a suburban super mom. She and her husband Howard have three beautiful children: Alyssa, 11;  Alex, 9; and Jared, 7.

Michele was delighted to have discovered Producteev through Android’s Astrid add-on. She finds much to love about Producteev and quickly became a hyper-user because it’s free and has an attractive, “simple” interface.

Q: How do you use Producteev?
Michele: I share a workspace called “Command Central” with my husband. I love that it helps my man and I are see the most up-to-date list at all times. Having a single repository is awesome. We’re able to see the same Google calendar, which makes the kids’ chauffeuring needs crystal clear. Also, we’re both on the same page when it comes to household duties, and even simple little questions that we would forget to ask otherwise. 

The convenience of our tasks showing up on the Gmail page, where we are already synced with a calendar for each person in the family, is great!  We are looking at it all day, anyway. Google tasks is woefully and pitifully inadequate. 

With all this info at our fingertips, we waste a lot less time and mental energy having purely logistical conversations about “remember to do this” or “where is the party” or “what is left on the yard work list” or “who do I give it to at school” and so on. Thankfully, we now have MORE time for the good stuff.

My husband is hooked and has started his own account now, with one tab for Command Central and another for work!

I have other workspaces just for myself. For example, I have a “Packing Workspace” with our packing list for family vacations. The labels represent the people in my family and the rooms in my home.

Q: Tell us about your experience with Producteev.
Michele: I especially love being able to assign tasks to each other. Leaving notes, questions, or web links for clarity is also pretty awesome. And the smart prioritizing of tasks, including being able to star each other’s tasks to indicate our opinion of its priority. And the ability to give a task many different labels! I think the label icons could be more exciting.  I love the colors.  But it would be even more fun to add stars, hearts, pluses, and other basic shapes that could also be custom-colored.  I would color-code every person in my house and maybe see things at a glance easier. 

I like having Producteev available on my nice, big desktop for major editing. And if I am out of town on vacation or waiting for an appointment, it’s right there in my hand. Woo hoo!

I’m super excited to crank out the tasks in a technologically harmonious wonderland. Especially once we get recurring tasks going!  I think we’re going to have a long and meaningful relationship!

Q & A: How Producteev is “pretty awesome” for committed college student

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Pierre-Simon Ntiruhungwa is a business student at ESCP Europe, in Paris. Like most over-achieving college students, Pierre-Simon is both a juggler and a hustler. He uses Producteev to get a hold of his academic projects, student job, and internship.

Q: Tell us about your experience with Producteev. 
Pierre-Simon: Producteev really helps me organize the enormous amount of work I commit to doing. One of my favorite features is [GCal sync] the possibility of setting deadlines to tasks and then seeing them in my google calendar.

This is really helpful because I have an overview of all the things I need to do and when I have to do them. Producteev helps me balance my workload everyday. Above all, it helps me actually remember to do things, thanks to the reminders I am able to set.

Also, I just discovered natural language processing (NLP) on Producteev to help me set deadlines more quickly, and this is great! In addition, I like responding to Producteev emails once tasks are created. This is also great! I haven’t tried the other NLP capabilities, but it’sproven to be pretty awesome.

Q: How do you use Producteev?
Pierre-Simon: I’m currently at the end of my first year so I’m doing a three-month internship at an internet start up in Paris. At the same time I am working for a professional union called Junior Enterprise. I will resume school in a few days, and I look forward to using Producteev for my business school assignments! 

Before I used to put assignments on paper without being able to keep track of their deadlines. I can’t imagine how any student, especially ones in universities as challenging and demanding as mine, can accomplish all of their assignments without a tool like Producteev.

Even at our age, it is good to practice organization and task management. Everyday, I have friends telling me how they forgot to do something. And the more I do group work, the more I will encourage my fellow students to use Producteev so that we can mutually benefit….

All this, is of course, aimed at one thing: getting things done as quickly and efficiently as possible in order to spend more time having fun. Because we’re still young!

Thanks @psntir! If you’re looking for help with the parts of your life that you juggle, give Producteev task management that works the way you do, a try.

Q & A: How Producteev is “best match” for typical city dwelling married couple

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Jessica and Calvin Gilbert are your typical city dwelling married couple that recently moved to the country and purchased a fixer-upper. Jessica is a recent graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Education.Calvin is a graphic designer, web developer and social media strategist for a large non-profit organization.

They chose Producteev for simplicity and flexibility. They use it for just about everything, from getting household chores to web mastering DONE!

Q: Tell us about your experience with Producteev.

Calvin: I started using Producteev at my job to keep my day in order. Once we purchased our house, my traditional office job converted to a home office position.

I researched and tried many different task/project management tools and felt Producteev was the best match. What really sold me on Producteev, apart from the visually appealing interface, was the ability to control my tasks and projects via e-mail and instant messenger.This was HUGE! Before Producteev, I had to take my e-mail task and retype it into various online tools.

Q: How do you use Producteev?

Calvin: After using Producteev for two weeks I realized the site had way more potential than just keeping track of my work projects.

Jessica and Calvin: We created a shared workspace named “house”. In this workspace, we keep track of all the TO DO items we need to get done around the house. From painting the bathroom to dropping off donations at Goodwill, Producteev helps us get things done.

Tagging [labeling] projects and assigning them priority has helped simplify our lives. It is really nice to tag things we need to purchase “BUY” and things I need to do as “TO DO.” Being able to filter views by tags really helps us stay focused and complete items one by one.

Calvin jokingly: I also use Producteev to hunt zombies in the evening so….you’re welcome.

There you have it, another example of Producteev in the real world. Sign up today.

We hope you liked this first interview of a small team, in this case a married couple, in action! Thank you, Jessica & Calvin!  

Q & A: How Producteev works for a busy dad who wears many hats

An introductory interview of Robert (Bobby) Travis, aka Chilyn, was featured in a recent newsletter. Here is more on his real-life experience with Producteev, in his own words.

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Q: Tell us about yourself.
Bobby: I am a father and husband first, as well as a writer (blogger, fiction, SEO web content, contractor), musician, tech and game fanatic, and entrepreneur. I have many projects on the go at any one time, and several more on the back burner, waiting their turn. You can get some bio info in brief at: http://www.40tech.com/bobby-travis/.
Q: Tell us about your experience with Producteev.
Bobby: As a bit of a project and task management platform nut, I had discovered Producteev on my own in its first iteration. I was impressed by it, but had a few questions and was directed to sign up for the new version’s beta call…. I decided to try it out thoroughly and decided I really liked it. 

Q: How do you use Producteev?
Bobby: I now use Producteev exclusively, for everything from blog, article, and novel planning, to personal tasks, to finding new things to do with my little girl, to running the day to day and development of my different business interests.
I am immensely pleased with the continued steps forward that have only increased its ease of use. It integrates very well into my use of Gmail and mobile. There are still a few things I would love to see, but it is beyond functional for me and highly recommended!