Quote of the Day

We couldn’t agree more with this quote by David Allen: “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” Holding is what Producteev is for. Whether your ideas are for private or public viewing, we’ve got you covered. So go on and be brilliant!

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Task Management Software Changing the Way Teams Work Together

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As the use of task management software increases, so does the gap between the new and old way of working in teams. Gone are the days where your only option was to spend hours of your day sorting through emails, in meetings to follow up on action items, and searching through to-do lists to figure out your priorities. There’s now a better way to work, and people are starting to demand change from their employers. What are they looking for? A way to connect with each other. A way to be more efficient, spend time on things that matter, and work from anywhere.

While task management software is just one of the technologies changing the tone of the workplace, its impact is undeniable. Apps like Producteev enable teams to work together on projects by dividing up and collaborating on tasks in one cloud-based platform. What’s truly superior about this solution compared to old way of working in email is not just that all project content and activity is organized in one place, however. It’s that tasks are actually made actionable and team members held accountable for items assigned to them. With Producteev’s task audit trail feature, for example, everyone involved in a project has visibility into who’s responsible for a task, the status of that task, and whether or not action is being taken to complete it.

Other benefits of task management software include:

  1. The ease of finding exactly what you’re looking for via filters that allow you to sort and view tasks by project, person, category, priority, due date, task status, task type, and more.
  2. Accessibility provided by apps available for a variety of devices: iPhone, Android, iPad, Mac, Outlook, and web.
  3. Real time push notifications that keep you informed about task activity and remind you of upcoming due dates.
  4. Integration with products like Dropbox that let you to attach files to tasks from any device.
  5. The elimination of version control issues caused by people not “replying all” or responding to outdated email threads.

And it’s not a select number of use cases this software works for. Task management apps solve business problems that extend across departments, industries and even country borders: duplication of effort, workflow inefficiencies, lack of transparency and communication, inability to find content, late deliverables, travel interference, dispersed teams, and difficulty with organization and prioritization, all of which affect productivity.

With technology now a deeply integrated part of our everyday lives, it’s never been more critical for companies to adopt systems that allow people to work the way they want to, using apps that make their lives easier. Task management and team collaboration software is no longer a foreign concept. It’s a proven method. It’s the new and better way to work. Thank you to all our users who help spur this change!

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Practical Productivity

You’ve got your to do list of tasks, priorities set, and are ready to start executing in a “Producteev” way. You start off on a roll but then you hit a task that’s a bit on the boring side. Here are some tips you won’t find in the Producteev feature section about how to be productive even when tasks are mundane.

1. Review your goals

  • Sometimes it’s important to remind ourselves of how tasks, however small and unexciting, help us achieve our larger goals and enable us to work on the “fun stuff.”

2. Read your mission statement

  • Whether it’s for your company, department, product, or something else, reading your mission statement is a great way to get re-energized about the work you’re doing, why, and the impact it’s making.

3. Browse your company’s social media pages

  • This is an easy resource to turn to for inspiration. Regardless of whether the content you find is good, bad or a mixed bag, it will be motivating.

4. Add subtasks

  • Adding subtasks to that mundane task you’re working on can help you feel a sense of progress (and that an end is in sight) and accomplishment when you get to cross items off your list.

5. Set a target and give yourself a deadline

  • Most of us work faster and more efficiently when we know we need to finish x by x time (in the near future). So why not use this quality to your advantage? Set an achievable but still aggressive goal and go, go, go!

6. Reward yourself

  • You gotta mix things up sometimes and give yourself a break. If you employ tip #5, reward yourself for hitting your goal by allowing yourself to work on a pet project for 30 minutes.

7. Go for a quick walk

  • It’s been proven that walking gives you energy, makes you happy and increases creativity (among other benefits) so when you’re starting to feel sluggish and your productivity is dipping, get up for a quick lap around the office at the very least.

8. Listen to upbeat music

  • If all else fails, pump yourself up with some upbeat tunes!

That’s all for now,

The Producteev Team

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Productive, but Passionate?

The idea of apps and little tricks to make you instantly more productive is great and all, but can anyone really be their most productive if they’re not passionate about what they’re working on?

This article, by Warren Berger posted on Fast Company, does a great job of asking 8 thought-provoking questions to help you find your passion. What would you answer? Are you doing what you love?

  1. What is your tennis ball (the thing that pulls you)?
  2. What am I doing when I feel most beautiful?
  3. What is something you believe that almost nobody agrees with you on?”
  4. What are your superpowers?
  5. What did you enjoy doing at age 10?
  6. What are you willing to try now?
  7. Looking back on your career, 20 or 30 years from now, what do you want to say you’ve accomplished?
  8. What is your sentence (that sums up who you are and what you aim to achieve)?
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The Producteev Team’s Best Practices

While every team has their own way of doing things, there are some standard best practices to keep in mind:

 1. Establish naming conventions

To help keep things organized and easy to quickly find, we suggest you and your team establish and follow naming conventions for:

Projects

  • TIP: If you work cross-functionally, it might be helpful to name projects starting with the department abbreviation.

Tasks

  • TIP: Use a short descriptive title, provide needed context in the notes section, and tag with a label(s) so that the task is associated to the appropriate category or workflow stage.

Labels

  • TIP: To keep the number of labels under control and searches simple and comprehensive, we suggest team leads own label creation and encourage team members to use pre-existing ones whenever possible.

2. Agree upon use cases

Who on your team should change due dates, move or delete tasks, revise assignees, etc. – or should this be up to each team member’s discretion? Figuring out and agreeing upon the usage of the following things could save everyone a headache down the road…

  • Creating/editing/deleting/moving:
    • Projects
    • Permissions
    • Tasks
    • Priority level
    • Assignees
    • Due dates
    • Reminders
    • Labels
    • Followers
    • Subtasks
    • Notes

*Helpful hint: action taken on all of these features will be tracked in the project’s activity feed and task’s audit trail.

3. Create processes

What types of tasks warrant high priority vs. high, medium, etc.? How should tasks move through workflow stages? When should projects be private vs. open? All of these questions + more are things we recommend teams work out as they get ramped up on Producteev. This will allow everyone to be their most organized, efficient, collaborative, productive, and GET WORK DONE TOGETHER – the better way.

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Celebrating Earth Day – The Producteev Way

Happy Earth Day All!

Just for fun, we asked a few of the Producteev team members what they were planning to do to celebrate Earth Day. Here’s what they said, and some answers may surprise you. Are they being serious or joking around? We’ll leave that up to you to decide…

Either way, enjoy the beautiful day!
-The Producteev Team

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How to Boost Morale When Your Team Is Around the World

Geo-dispersed teams have their perks — especially at technology companies, where it’s possible to get your work done from anywhere. The value proposition is a win-win. Leadership teams have access to top talent from anywhere in the world, and employees can even work poolside if they want.

The problem with geo-dispersed teams, however, is that the experience can feel lonely. No matter how you spin it, you’re all alone — you may have never met your colleagues, and you’re probably confined to your home office.

If you’re running (or managing) a geo-diverse teams, it’s absolutely crucial to boost employee morale by forging interpersonal relationships. Here are 5 tips for getting started.

Step 1: Incorporate plenty of face-time

Don’t do your calls on the phone — do them on video. On a high-definition screen, it’s almost like you’re talking face to face. Phone conversations can be awkward and clunky, especially if you and your team have never met in person.

The more that you can make eye contact and read one another’s facial expressions, the more of a human bond you’ll be able to build.

Step 2: Meet up in person

Plan a fun trip somewhere as a team. Even if you’re budget-strapped, it’s extremely important that you spend time together as a group. You don’t need to do this monthly or even quarterly — once or twice a year will suffice.

Step 3: Emulate coffee breaks

Force each other to take breaks. Talk about what’s happening in your lives beyond work. At the office, coffee breaks are powerful for getting to know one another. When you’re part of a virtual team, you don’t have the luxury of running into your office mates in the hall or kitchen. You need to force these moments.

Step 4: Bring your dog (or kids) to work

Seriously — bring your baby, puppy, or kitten to your next video meeting. ‘Cuteness’ always lightens the mood and functions as a powerful reminder that you all have awesome personal lives.

At some point in your life, you’ve probably bonded with a stranger on Reddit over a cat video. Imagine what real-life ‘cute overload’ will do for your next team meeting.

Step 5: Ask how people are feeling

Wondering whether your team members are feeling lonely? Don’t be afraid to ask. Regular 1:1 check-ins are an absolute must. In addition to talking about work, make sure to get a handle over how your team members are doing personally.

Encourage your team members to be completely open and honest. Make it known that each and every person is valued and won’t be penalized for giving constructive feedback.

Final Thoughts: Identify Gaps and Pain Points

Happiness doesn’t happen by accident. Your team needs to work towards it. Pinpoint specific things that your employees want to fix — and fix them.

What lessons have you learned from being a part of, managing, or leading a geo-diverse team? Share your thoughts as a comment below.

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Hundreds of Ways to View Your Tasks

Did you know that there are literally hundreds of different ways you can view your and your teammates tasks in Producteev? That’s right. When you consider the various filter options, combinations, and the number of people and projects in your company network, lots of possibilities open up. Check it out – you can sort by:

1. Project to see all the tasks and people involved
2. Person to understand their workload, task progress and status
3. Label to view the tasks that fall into a specific category

4. Creator of tasks within a project
5. Title of the tasks, listed alphabetically
6. Priority so you can address starred tasks in order of importance
7. Deadline either ascending or descending by date
8. Creation date to view when tasks were entered and their current status
9. Last changed so you can see when updates were last made to a task

10. Task status

Active

Completed

Active and Completed

Due today

Due this week

Late

11. Task type

Assigned to me

Created by me

I’m following

With files attached

What filter(s) do you use most?

Until next time,

The Producteev Team

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Announcing our long awaited iPad app, one-of-a kind Outlook integration, and more!

Although it’s been a while since our last update, we have been actively listening to what our community is saying on Social Media and working hard on lots of new features for Producteev. It’s safe to say that, since we joined Jive in November 2012, we’ve never been so innovative. Which brings us to today’s announcements!

1. The best free Task Management App just got better: Introducing Producteev for iPad

Yes, we’ve all been waiting a long time for this one, but we promise it’s been worth the wait. Producteev for iPad is fast, beautifully designed, HD, and consistent with the rest of our apps for iPhone, Android, Mac, and web. What’s better, it will come as an automatic update to the iOS app, which is now a Universal app (both for iPhone and iPad).

With iPads now part of our workflow, and quickly replacing desktop computers for a lot of workers around the world, we are confident that this great addition to our suite of apps will be a winner!

All that said, pictures are worth a thousand words, so here you go:

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Download the iPad app today from the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/producteev-by-jive-free-task/id306289289?mt=8

2. Productivity on Outlook just got easier: Introducing Producteev Task Management integration on Outlook

For a few years now, Outlook users have been asking us for a better way to handle their task, which makes us extremely proud to announce our one of a kind Task Management integration for Outlook.

With this integration, we’ve bridged the gap between email, calendar and tasks. In a unique way, Producteev for Outlook (available on Windows for Office 2007, 2010 and 2013) allows you to transform your email client into an actionable and collaborate inbox. Now, for the first time, you can:

  • Turn emails into tasks and assign them to team members.
  • Include action items in emails which Sync to Producteev.
  • Schedule time to work on your tasks right in your Outlook calendar.
  • Use Outlook as your desktop companion for your Producteev tasks, with seamless access to projects, people, and task tracking.

See for yourself:

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Download our brand new Outlook integration here: https://di0skkm50b972.cloudfront.net/apps/outlook/producteev-for-outlook.exe

3. Producteev’s offering just got bigger: Introducing Premium plans with Enterprise Grade features

Due to popular demand, we’ve rolled out new Premium plans for Producteev with Enterprise Grade features including Outlook integration, personalized support, and network interface customization. All our users can try the Outlook integration and Interface customization for FREE for 14 days! Login to your Producteev account to start your trial.

To learn more about our Premium plans, visit www.producteev.com/pricing.

One closing note: If you are an Outlook user and are excited about this integration, make sure to ACT FAST on our “Early Bird” plan priced at just $899 for lifetime access to Producteev for Outlook and network interface customization – it’s only available to the first 300 customers who purchase it! Buy it directly from here : https://producteev.com/settings/premium

Thanks for the ongoing support guys, and hope you like the news!

Ilan and the Producteev by Jive Team.

Life Hacks to Simplify Your Workday: Solopreneur Edition

As a solopreneur, you’re probably the worst boss you’ve ever had. Between running sales, managing clients, maintaining accounting systems, and doing all the work, you probably work close to 12 hour days.

You lose out on sleep — you drive your loved ones bonkers. No matter how rough it gets, however, you feel like you’re trapped. After all, you do have to do everything.

Don’t fall into this trap. Even if you’re a one-person-shop, you can still simplify your crazy, crazy days. Save time and restore your sanity by implementing the following productivity hacks.

1. Get a Virtual Assistant

Services like Zirtual are available to help you streamline administrative tasks — which really add up. If your job involves scheduling, basic research, or grunt work, get someone else to do it. It may feel weird at first, and you may not feel great about spending hundreds of dollars per month, but here’s the thing. A virtual assistant will save you time — freeing up your schedule to do more work (or get more sleep).

2. Limit Your Meetings

Especially if you work with clients, you’re probably tempted to hop on calls. Resist the urge.

Meetings disrupt your ability to focus — and get real work done. Try to cut down your meetings, or keep them condensed to 20 minutes max. You can start by creating meeting agendas to help structure your time.

3. Create ‘Focus’ Blocks

Block off your calendar to sit and focus. No meetings. No distractions. No Facebook. Give yourself dedicated chunks of time to truly sit down and power through your piles of work, emails, and whatever else is bogging down your day.

4. Communicate with Your Clients

Your clients care about you — more than you realize. If you think you’re going to miss a deadline, don’t over-stress yourself. Get your client on the phone. Talk to her. See if you can reach a good solution together. Take control of your time, and don’t let pressure eat you alive.

5. Learn to Say No

Entrepreneurs have a tendency to over-commit. Resist this urge by under-committing — and set strict guidelines for yourself. Make a spreadsheet for yourself if you have to.

Learning to say no will feel extremely weird at first. It takes practice, but with time, it will get easier.

Final Thoughts: Put Your Plan on Paper

Take the time to write out your thoughts. Make a spreadsheet— seriously. You may not have a boss to manage your performance, but you need to self-regulate. Having a track record of your improvement. Give yourself a performance review. Do whatever it takes to hold yourself accountable.

Simplifying your workday means taking control of your life — and easing up a bit. This is a priority. Everything else can wait.

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