From left to right: Aric, Jerome, Julien and Ismael
From left to right: Aric, Jerome, Julien and Ismael
Team Spotlight: Mark Hamilton- Developer, Musician, Fearless Martial Arts Warrior
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 email@example.com 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!
Team Spotlight: Ilan Abehassera — CEO, husband, father
In the past I’ve shared how you can use Producteev for your CRM needs, but this is what I am going to focus on now: how I use it in my daily workflow, focusing only on tasks.
Like a lot of you, I manage a great quantity of emails every single day. I personally hate that actionable emails sit on my inbox for ever, because there’s no way to rank them by priority or set deadlines.
Since I’ve been using Producteev in my work life, I simply forward those actionable items to firstname.lastname@example.org and let Producteev do the rest. I use our natural language processing features a lot, and that saves me time and ranks those emails into my task list automatically.
One other reason why I am using Producteev on a daily basis is: shopping lists. Of course, we can use pen and paper, and lots of people are using emails… I use Producteev so my wife can create lists for me, I get it automatically on my iPhone when I am shopping, AND I check off what I am buying one by one. Works like a charm. Simple, and collaborative. Remember, you can collaborate with one other people on Producteev for free! So try it out by inviting someone to your workspaces.
Desktop & Web
The way I am updating Producteev is really as multi-platform as you can imagine, I use pretty much all of our integrations: IM, Email, iPhone, Google Apps and Gmail Gadget, and the Mac app (yes you’ll have it too!). At the end of the day, I use Producteev as my task dropbox, and when I get to the office, I simply open the desktop app (formerly the web app), rank my tasks by priority (because this is mostly the way I get things done), assign some of my tasks to teammates, and get cracking on that to-do list!
Bottom line, I don’t use all of our features, but I certainly harness the power of the platform we’re creating. Producteev gathers all my tasks across other tools I use, and then lets me access and track them no matter where I am working.
Team Spotlight: Julien Rousseau — UI designer, front-end developer, pixel surgeon
Producteev is my sidekick in our quest to build a sleek graphic interface. Design has sort of evolved to create user interfaces packed with little details. Beyond the inherent creativity, the design process now includes organization and structure, as implementation is being considered during product development. A task management application is essential for these purposes and in our case, Producteev improves the flow involved with design.
A place for everything
We created workspaces for the developer team to integrate the user interface. At the moment, I’m working on the official Producteev Mac Desktop application. I share the workspace “Producteev/Mac” with a developer and our product manager. Tom, the developer, notifies me of missing elements. In turn, I ask him to tweak UI elements that need improvement. We do constant iteration on all of the UI elements, and the end result is a polished, sleeker interface.
Anytime we notice something that needs to be redesigned, we add the task in our Producteev workspace. This goes both ways, and no modifications are lost in translation. As an added safety, the product manager makes sure all tasks are completed and smashes every bug in sight.
I prefer to focus on the tasks at hand and spend time designing (versus managing tasks), so I force myself to use only a handful of labels. I usually have between 5-8 in a workspace, and I try to make task titles get straight to the point. This way, I can do more in shorter time.
Everything in its place
The starring system is the secret weapon of our slick interface and tells us what to do next. Tom adds 5-stars to all features currently in development. My job at that point is to design the feature and make sure Tom has all the elements in place so he can start work. Producteev keeps us totally in sync, and we don’t lose any time waiting on our partners to catch up.
I have a few ongoing projects with the rest of the developer team as well. I stay on top of them by watching my hot! tasks and completing to-dos by priority. For me, this works much better than setting deadlines!
The really awesome thing about our current project — the mac desktop app — is that the task list is getting shorter and shorter. It will soon be available for your viewing pleasure!