Why You Should Scrap Your Analog To-Do List

Bullet Journaling is the new trend piquing the interest of stationary lovers, productivity seekers, and the wanna-be-organized. Faced with an often overwhelming selection of digital tools in their workplaces, people are turning back to the traditional to-do list: a list of tasks on a piece of paper.

to-do list

The fascination is in its simplicity. Visit the original Bullet Journal website and you’ll find instructions for how to use a system of dots, arrows, and crosses to organize to-do items.

People are now used to downloading apps for work and learning to use them, synching them with a collection of other tools. To see a tool that simply tells you to “go buy a notebook” is such a blast from the past, it’s grabbing people’s attention.

It’s like the rise of vintage clothing and traditional teaching methods. In the quest for perfect productivity, people are tempted by the idea of a simpler time. Could going back to pen and paper really make us more productive than ever?

Continue Reading

The Hawthorne Effect is the Simplest Productivity Hack You Never Heard of

Something as simple as asking your team how their day’s going can deliver a huge lift to productivity in the workplace. Sound too good to be true? Science backs it up.

screenshot-2016-11-07-15-53-12

This is something psychologist Elton Mayo, pioneer of organizational theory, discovered by studying American factory workers in the ’30s.

The experiment was initially set up to see which factory conditions make workers most productive. The researchers began by brightening the factory light, which increased productivity. But once they dimmed the light, productivity rose again. They soon realized that it didn’t matter what the change was—productivity would rise when any change would be made to the work environment. Employees felt like the managers cared about them and their work environments, so they worked harder.

Continue Reading

The Science of Trust in the Workplace

A 2015 study at NYU Langone showed that when mice were given oxytocin—the hormone that enhances bonding—they started caring for other mices’ babies, as if they were their own. This behavior continued even after the mices’ oxytocin receptors were shut off.

trust in the workplace

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could give some to your manager?

It turns out oxytocin can actually teach us a lot about working together as a team and building great work relationships leading to more trust in the workplace. Here’s how it works.

Continue Reading

How to Make Sound Decisions About Your Product Design’s Future

Product design is all about tradeoffs—and when we designed I Done This 2.0, we had a lot to consider. We added new functionality, like blockers. But we also noticed a few patterns in our user behavior data that we weren’t quite sure what to do with.

We find, for example, that a higher volume of short entries helps people feel great about their work, and it’s more interesting for their co-workers to read. Does that mean we should encourage this behavior, and cap entries after a certain number of characters?

Ultimately, we set our default in I Done This 2.0 to shorter entries, but we added an optional button to allow longer entries. We don’t want to fall down the rabbit-hole of offering too many configuration options—but we also don’t want to lose customers who find our product useful. When it comes to exact entry length, we’re passing the baton to those who know their team’s needs best—team leaders.

product design

Continue Reading

I Done This: Short Post, Best Post?

The more you write on your “Done List,” the less likely your co-workers are to read what you write. 81% of educated people don’t even read what they see—they skim.

I Done This 2.0 automatically sets the default length of a Done List post at about 12 words. We’ll never limit the amount of words you post, but the default setting encourages you to fit your post on one line, like this:

idonethis1
Continue Reading

How Envoy Inspires Team Motivation with I Done This

What do some of the most well-known companies today (Pinterest, Yelp, Box, POPSUGAR, Asana, MailChimp) have in common? They all care immensely about their brand experience. What else do they have in common? They all use a service called Envoy to extend that brand experience to their front desk, creating a warm, delightful and quick check-in process for visitors.

Envoy is a visitor registration platform that’s been a game-changer for how guests are greeted in workplaces around the world. As part of the sign-in process, they automate badge-printing, host notifications and signing of NDAs and other legal agreements. Founded in 2013, Envoy now serves 6 million visitors in over 50 different countries.

team motivation As we learned recently, the small team of 37 people was able to inspire team motivation through high morale and fast growth, thanks, in part, to their favorite productivity tool. Here’s how they use I Done This.

Continue Reading

Zapier Brings a Chrome Extension to I Done This

Most SaaS companies use upwards of 20 productivity tools on a daily basis, some hitting as many as 50. We have so many tools that productivity boosters—such as Trello, Slack, email— ironically become productivity blockers. There’s only one tool that can fix that.

Zapier is a tool that lets you automate interactions between your favorite apps.You can auto-create spreadsheets, based on Salesforce data, or have Google calendar meetings automatically appear as “dones” on I Done This. You can even use it as a product management tool.

Now they’ve launched Push, a new Chrome extension that lets you access your favorite apps, without having to logging into the dashboard. You can now add “dones,” “goals,” and “blockers” to your done list without ever leaving your browser window. Here’s how.
done listContinue Reading

How to Burst Through Road Blocks To Maximize Your Team’s Productivity

Naming every minute road block—and then taking the time to fix them—makes your team more efficient and helps with team productivity.

team productivity

It sounds cumbersome, but resolving issues as they arise means faster problem-solving overall. Agile developers do this. They call road blocks “blockers,” and their teams grow revenue 37% faster, and their profits are 30% higher than non-agile teams.

Put simply, encountering blockers is great for teams. It’s a simple idea that any team can borrow from, but you need a process and tool to do it.

That’s why we’re adding “blockers” to our “done lists” here at I Done This. Putting all blockers in one place means that team leaders can help those who need it quickly. It also means that individuals can reflect on their own blockers, and see if they point to a greater issue that needs resolving.

All teams can benefit from using blockers to their advantage. Here’s what it can do for your team.

Continue Reading

A PM’s Guide to Managing Your Team’s Project Roles with I Done This

Over half of all managers in the US are concerned about their team’s time management skills, according to an Institute for Corporate Productivity study.

As your employees’ heads are tucked behind computer screens and they’re clacking away on the keyboard, it seems near impossible to know how they’re spending their time. Are they in a private Slack channel chatting away about the new hire, or are they working? Should the project you assigned Linda take as long as it has? And if you don’t know what your local employees are up to, you can forget about getting insight into your remote employees time management habits.

In the internet-driven workplace, transparency feels like a pipe-dream. Not only do you have no way of telling whether your employees are slacking off, but you can’t even tell if hard-working employees are being tripped up by obstacles outside their control. The natural response to this issue is to micromanage and hover over their shoulder, but you want to empower your employees in their project team roles, not control them.

project team roles

I Done This gives your whole team transparency without any of the negative side-effects. Here’s how.

Continue Reading

How MindMate Stays Mindful of Remote Team Success

It takes a truly noble cause to inspire three graduate students to put dissertations on hold so they can start a company. For the founders of MindMate, that cause was helping people who suffer from dementia.

The University of Glasgow’s Patrick Renner, Rogelio Arellano, and Susanne Mitschke created an app that empowers those with dementia to live as independently as possible. MindMate comes with cognitive stimulation games, reminder tools, and a “Getting to know me” section where people can save personal information.

Continue Reading