Every year, I like to ask the leaders of our GAN Accelerators to share their favorite productivity hacks–the tools and practices they use to increase their efficiency, be productive, and keep going–with one another. This year, I also extended the question to our GAN Team.
And the answers are far too good to keep to myself. I loved what came my way, and want to share them with all of you. Some of them are tools we use on the GAN Team; others are new to me, but ones I look forward to trying out.
Some of these ideas may not be the craziest or newest, but they continue to be tried and true methods of keeping us sane (and productive). Thanks to everyone for sharing!
“My number one time-saver is a solution that helps remove things from my to-do list and frees up brain space: email snoozing. Especially when you send an email to someone busy, email behaves more like a river than a lake. Meaning, if it isn’t at the top of their inbox, it can essentially be gone (downstream) forever. Snoozing, then, means there’s need to write sticky note reminders to yourself or stress out by keeping hundreds of email threads in your head.”
“Simple but amazing.”
“I remove email notifications from my phone since they’re constantly distracting me.”
“Calendly lets people book a time directly with me at a time that works on both of our calendars. It has easily saved me hours of valuable time and makes setting up meetings so much easier.”
Project Management and Productivity
“I use my notebook (bullet journal) and Microsoft planner (equivalent to Trello) to operationalize the “Getting Things Done” methodology. But there are some apps that have created integrated solutions such as OmniFocus.”
“We recently used Untap–a Flat6Labs Cairo startup–to manage and analyze applications for our recent bootcamps. It was very easily integrated on our website, and the backend is straightforward and has an in-depth stats page.”
“It gives me the possibility to create different boards to organize information and tasks…to delegate and keep live control of things.” — Damián
“Trello allows me to send emails directly to my own custom to-do lists/columns, wherein I can prioritize and track the work I need to do based on my emails.” — Georgina
“It’s a time management and timekeeper, too. We use it to measure time dedicated to startups and entrepreneurs.”
“I love Asana. It’s a project management tool, with which you can also organize your personal tasks.”
“We use it to facilitate our online payment requests (via WhatsApp, Messenger, online store, etc.).”
“Piesync connects cloud apps via intelligent two-way contact sync and shares data between a company’s favorite marketing, CRM, invoicing, and e-commerce apps.”
“It’s a simple to-do app created by designers (so it’s pretty to look at) that has all kinds of fun features, like the ability to drag-and-drop list items onto different days, automatic ‘pushing’ of undone tasks to the next day, and backburner static lists for long-term task management. My favorite feature, though, is that an 8-bit cat with goggles and a cape flies across the screen when you mark items as ‘done.’ Plus, it’s only $2 a month.”
“I use Focus@Will to listen to great music that helps me concentrate and Headspace to help me keep pace and prevent overwhelm.”
Regan Smith, GAN
“Every morning, I do one hour of reading or journaling. Every Sunday, I reflect on my ‘yeses’ and ‘no’s’ for the previous and upcoming week, then find out where I felt ‘busy’ or overwhelmed and how to avoid it again.”