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6 Ways to Use Stop Tasks to Improve Your Team’s Workflow

Process Street is the easiest way to create workflows for your team and track their progress. Our simple process creator helps teams build checklists for everything from employee onboarding to content promotion.

Often, processes are too delicate to handle in a free-for-all checklist, and you need more control over the order tasks are completed.

That’s where stop tasks come in.

Put simply, stop tasks prevent users from working through a checklist until the stop task has been completed.

In template view, stop tasks are indicated with a ✋-style icon just underneath the task number.

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Productivity vs Efficiency: How to Analyze the Performance of Anything

productivity vs efficiency - header

Productivity vs efficiency; which do you think is more important?

A colleague asked me this the other day and I had to catch myself, because my initial response was:

Aren’t they the same thing?

That’s the problem – the words have become so overused and confused that they are almost taken to mean the exact same thing in casual conversation. There are, however, key differences between the two that you should know in order to correctly analyze the performance of something.

Simply put, productivity measures output over time whereas efficiency measures input versus output. Together they can tell you how quickly something is completed, the resources it takes to get there, and (through analysis) whether the whole thing is worth your investment.

There are also dangers associated with these metrics. For example, I tried to spend an hour every night working on one of many projects. Monday was playing guitar, Tuesday was physical drawing, Wednesday game development, Thursday digital drawing, Friday playing piano, and the weekend dealer’s choice.

Not only did I give up within a week and a half, but I couldn’t muster the motivation to do any work on any of my projects for weeks following. It doesn’t matter if you’re using the best productivity apps around; when you’re using productivity and efficiency as your goal, rather than the method to reach it, something will inevitably break underneath you.

productivity vs efficiency - inktober

So, in this post I’ll go through:

  • What productivity is
  • The pros and cons of productivity as a metric
  • What efficiency is
  • The pros and cons of efficiency as a metric
  • When to use each of them
  • The problems and dangers of both

It’s time to analyze performance and improve your workflows without all the meaningless jargon. Let’s get started.

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How to Analyze an Article: Don’t get Fooled by Terrible Advice


how to analyze and article don't get fooled by terrible advice headerThere’s a lot of advice on the internet. Some of it is good, some of it is terrible, and some sits in the gray area between.

Within the fields of tech and startups, a lot of what people do day to day is influenced by what they’ve learned online; I doubt many people reading this article learned in school how to effectively market a product over Instagram!

Sorting the good from the bad is a challenge we all face, and one we have to become better at as individuals and as a society.

Improving our ability to analyze information doesn’t just mean identifying fake news, though we will look briefly at it. It also means being able to take a second look at informative journalism and the reporting of research; the kind of information which you might use to inform big business decisions. We’ll look at:

  • The importance of recognizing the gray area in complex issues and reviewing the source text.
  • How media reporting of studies can often obscure the real points
  • Why certain models of investigation can have inherent flaws, and why you should be wary of that.

At the end I’ll follow up with the 10 step process you can use to improve your analysis. This process is pulled from the recommendations of Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, and Michael Shermer, and repurposed for your professional needs.

But first, let me tell you a little story…

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User Feedback: 3 Methods We Tested to Better Understand Our Users

I’ve written before about how we collect feedback on our marketing material and how that helps us write useful posts for our subscribers, but the other reason we gather user feedback focuses on expanding and improving the Process Street app.

With user feedback data, we can:

  • Choose which features to build based on the frequency they’re requested
  • Get data on bug reports which helps our engineering team build fixes
  • See the most common industries and use cases for our product, which guides our marketing in the right direction

Whether you’re in software or not, you still need to be gathering and processing feedback from everybody possible: leads, prospects, free users, and paying customers.

In this post, I’m going to outline the three methods you can use to gather feedback for your company. These are three methods we’ve used ourselves in the past as our business has evolved, so the complexity and usefulness of each method is higher than the last. Which method is right for you?

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The 17 Best Apps for Business: A Look at Our Team’s Home Screens

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With today’s fast pace of living, it’s vital to have on-the-go access to everything that’s important to your work.

Rather than staring blankly out of a window on your train or bus to work, you could then instead be planning your day and organizing meetings, or commenting on tasks and sorting through your inbox to avoid getting distracted at the office.

However, with the sheer variety of technology on offer it’s also difficult to know what mobile apps you should be using.

That’s why I asked the Process Street team to share the best mobile apps for business they have installed and how they use them.

best mobile apps for business - intro to post

From the most valuable apps across our entire company to one-off niche cases that could do with a little more exposure, in this article I’ll highlight the apps that let our team stay productive and make every moment count.

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How 4 Top Startups are Reinventing Organizational Structure

organizational structure headerWhen a city doubles in size, the productivity per person increases by 15%. When a company doubles in size, the opposite happens.

Companies like Zappos see this as a fundamental problem to solve. For them, the root lies in organizational structure.

With the opportunity to be dispersed remotely and to build complex products without factories and production lines, the tech industry is particularly able to pursue innovative approaches to structure, management, and organization.

Increased self-management, remote working, and task forces instead of departments, are all emerging trends which lend themselves to growing businesses.

Elon Musk talks about his businesses innovating the production process as much as the product. Mark Zuckerberg describes Facebook’s structures and organization as its biggest asset.

Ethan Bernstein, Assistant Professor of Leadership in Organizational Behavior at Harvard Business School, adds:

…[O]rganizations who are increasingly thinking about structure as an advantage and a form of making their employees more productive, will continue to evolve and innovate in this direction. And that’s something I think we’ll see across all organizations, regardless of whether they are trying to deliver “wow” to customers, or trying to do something very different.

So what are the competing philosophies which are driving these trends within the industry? Which companies have implemented the most extreme reorganizations and how have they dealt with the changes?

In this article we’ll look at:

  • Zappos: How they implemented Holacracy, with a why and how explanation.
  • Buffer: The steps they took to prioritize the individual within the company over management structures, with the challenges they faced and the lessons they learned.
  • Zapier: How they reflect these general shifts and why they chose not to dive in to extreme organizational innovation.
  • Basecamp: The marriage of many competing philosophies documented through their company handbook.
  • Process Street: The tool which helps you build the machine which builds the machine.

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Study: How 4 Highly Profitable SaaS Companies Market to Enterprises

Are you ready to market your SaaS product to enterprises? Do you know what makes or breaks a million dollar deal?

There’s a huge segment of SaaS companies that target only SMBs, and an increasingly well-funded bunch that go after the enterprise market from the outset. Some, like Dropbox, Asana, and HubSpot, have gradually scaled their products to meet the needs of enterprise customers. By looking at their enterprise-specific landing pages, we can isolate the key factors these companies have chosen to persuade enterprises, and find out what works.

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A Legal Guide for Bloggers: Copyright, the DMCA, and Fair Use Images

legal guide for bloggers fair use images - header

Can you afford to pay $8000+ for using an image in one of your blog posts?

If not (or if you’d rather use images for free) then you need to know the laws surrounding blogging.

It’s easy to fall prey to copyright and disclosure issues if you haven’t read a legal guide for bloggers, and so that’s exactly what I’ve created here.

Whether you’re a veteran blogger looking to secure yourself against surprise lawsuits or a fresh face who doesn’t want to be run out of pocket when building a blog, keep reading to find out:

  • What copyright is and how it affects your writing
  • How to secure your work legally
  • What you can and can’t use
  • How to find fair use images that are free to use

So, if you happen to like not being sued for honest (and avoidable) mistakes, keep reading.
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How Toyota Saved Children’s Lives with Process Implementation

process implementation toyota headerWhat connects a 75% drop in infection rates, a 48% increase in home rebuilding speeds, and an extra 400 hungry families receiving the supplies they need to get by?

Have you guessed yet?

That’s right. Effective process analysis and implementation. Specifically, the Toyota Production System process analysis and implementation.

In this article, we’re going to look at some of the heartwarming success stories of process implementation carried out by the Toyota team.

The human side of organizational systems demonstrate the importance and effectiveness of learning and understanding how to create continuous improvement in your processes.

Throughout these examples we’ll see a number of key Toyota concepts employed and how they worked in practice:

  • genchi genbutu – to “go and see”, to embed yourself in the system and observe,
  • kaizen – to employ ideas of continual improvement, making small iterative changes,
  • muda – to identify waste, and to recognize that what constitutes waste is contingent on your situation.

From disaster relief to pediatric hospitals, the benefits of strong process analysis are clear for all to see.

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How We Built and Launched a Successful Microsite on Product Hunt

On August 25th, we launched a library of 1000+ real sales and emails from the top 280 SaaS companies.

The library was hosted on a microsite, Inside SaaS Sales, which allows users to browse the full sales cadences, organized in the order the message or voicemail was sent.

The launch landed us almost 800 votes on Product Hunt, 10,000+ site visits, a mention in Hiten Shah‘s SaaS Weekly, and publicity from the SaaS and VC community.

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