Running a startup (GoKid) and working day to day with New York International is a big task, placing a greater importance on daily productivity and effectively managing your time. In this post NY Intl Co-founder Stefanie Lemcke discusses the secret tools to better productivity for 2016 as inspired by a recent interview of Stacklist:
1) Trello. The easiest of all productivity tools for all of us. Movable cards / to-do lists that can be highly customized. Their mobile app is almost better than the desktop version, as its super easy to upload pictures / screenshots. We set up separate boards to communicate with clients and partners.
2) Google Drive and 3) Dropbox: We probably should only mention one of them, but in reality we use both services to share documents and to work on documents together. For reviewing documents and working on one version we prefer Google Drive and Dropbox we use to share larger files and photos.
4) Slack: Slack is dubbed the email for companies. It sorts the internal (and sometimes external) conversations into channels – e.g. Marketing, Finance, and Technology, which different team members can join. At first I hated Slack and couldn’t get used to the semi Twitter style @joebloggs please do this and that. But I’ve also been fighting with overflowing email Inboxes and have a terrible time finding attached documents to a conversation that might be very relevant still. So I forced myself to use Slack more and by now really like it. I like how I can go back and see what we’ve discussed a while ago. It’s like having an extra brain. But the team has to be disciplined and deadlines and to-do lists can vanish in a stream of conversations. That’s why we still use Trello (for Marketing) and Jira (for Tech development). The downside of Slack: It can get costly quickly.
5) WhatsApp: Our tech advisor recently started a Whatsapp channel for the team. Whatsapp is still free and the easy and fun way of using it on the way, makes it appealing. But it’s really more for casual conversation.
6) Evernote: is a place to store long-term projects and reference information, such as articles we’ve read and want to reference later. It is our library of information. At first I didn’t quite understand how to use it. But now I love knowing that I have an outsourced brain that I can come back to. Team members need to learn how to “tag” topics – because even Evernote can get confusing.
7) Skype and 8) GoogleHangouts: our team is often NOT in the same place or even time zone, but we need to look at documents, charts and flows together. And we need to interview new members. This is when Skype comes into the play. The downside: One needs to add the contact first before being able to use the free version. Skype has recently introduced a screenshare feature which I love. And the conference setting works decently too. We use it more often than GoogleHangout and the latter requires you to share a link first. We often don’t find the link and end up in different Google Hangouts. For when we’re not online, we use the service of FreeConference Call which if always find reliable, never a dropped a single call.
Overall it still takes a lot of discipline to talk to communicate right. That’s why we do treasure the rare occasions that everyone is at the same place (number 9!!). And yes, there are occasional email and text messages. And even a good old fashioned phone call. Happy collaborating in 2016!