All posts in Productivity


iOS 12: Shortcuts, Siri & Zapier – 10 Awesome Automation Ideas

ios shortcuts

Have you ever wished you could get some of those pesky work tasks done more easily while on the move, or out-and-about? Those routine tasks and emails that take so much time out of your day, that you would give an arm and a leg to be able to automate?

Or, picture this: you easily send a quick follow-up email, record meeting notes in real time, create new projects, send surveys, schedule meetings, and much more by simply talking to Siri.

You can do all of this and more with Shortcuts for iOS 12 in combination with Siri and Process Street, using the power of Zapier integrations.

Shortcuts, formerly known as Workflow, puts Siri in the control seat of your business workflows, with more power and usefulness than ever before. Using custom phrases recorded and added to Siri’s library of voice gestures, you can trigger a series of actions across multiple apps.

There are two ways to use Shortcuts. The best option is the Shortcuts app itself, which is where you can create your own workflows from scratch. The app also comes with a gallery of suggested shortcuts curated by Apple. Separate from this, Siri will recommend shortcuts based on your daily iPhone activity. You can see these in Settings under Siri & Search.

Here’s a quick list of all of the ideas I’ll be covering in this post, before we dive in:

  • 1. Dictate meeting notes straight to your CRM
  • 2. Send an electronic contract when timing is crucial
  • 3. Master your calendar in an instant
  • 4. Kickstart your client onboarding process
  • 5. Get paid faster by sending your invoices ASAP
  • 6. Assign your team members on the go
  • 7. Grab and archive snapshots of your working screen-space during a technical audit
  • 8. Jump straight back into your drafts, anywhere, any time
  • 9. Dictate an email to your assistant
  • 10. Manage your tasks with a dynamic to-do list

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6 Tasks We Automate to Make More Time for Work That Matters

automate tasks
Automation is on everyone’s lips right now.

And for good reason.

Deciding to automate tasks in your workflow can free you to focus on the things you want to be doing – the things which really create value for your business.

According to a report from McKinsey, Four Fundamentals of Workplace Automation, 15% of the average marketing executive’s time could be automated using existing commercially available tools and software.

Think of the productivity gains available if you could implement that company-wide.

More startling: that report is probably out of date.

Automation technologies are moving at such an incredible rate that new opportunities are appearing all the time. In this article, I’ll run you through a number of our real-life use cases for simple things in our business which we automate to either save time or improve processes.

Here’s a quick overview:

  • Automatically launch actions like Process Street checklists from moving Trello cards
  • Use dictation software to write at a higher speed and with less effort
  • Tweets containing our domain are automatically posted in Slack so we can see feedback in real time
  • Meeting notes are automatically posted in our Slack channel to update the rest of the team about the results of any meeting
  • Posting in Slack to automatically create a new entry line in our Airtable database
  • To book meetings we use Calendly connected with Google Calendar to make sure one-off meetings always occur when someone is available.

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5 Online Collaboration Tools That Glue Our Marketing Team Together

online-collaboration-tools

The days of a business being run on email and local spreadsheets are long gone. No more sending over files, losing data and waiting for hours to hear back from a co-worker.

Thanks to SaaS apps, the team here at Process Street are able to efficiently collaborate and consistently create a high volume of quality content.

Our main tool of choice is obviously Process Street itself, as it’s the easiest way to manage company processes. Our process templates allow us to approach each piece of work with a consistent approach.

A process template can be run as a checklist for one person, or involving multiple people. We use features like task assignments to make sure the designer creates a header image, the team can give feedback, and the editor can make final reviews and publish.

Process Street is like the spine for everything we do. Branching off from there you’ll find a host of other tools which help us do all our other tasks. We love tools which are cloud based, easy to use, and can integrate with Process Street to automate tasks.

These tools help us to produce our content and keep organized as a team.

Here are the five main online collaboration tools we use to do that — some you’ve almost definitely heard of, others may not be so familiar.

Regardless, I hope this toolbox helps you collaborate with your team!

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14 Essential Workflow System Features to Make Your Team Into Superstars

workflow system features

Whether you’re writing a blog post or building the world’s largest commercial aircraft, you need to be able to rely on your systems. To do that, your platform has to have a set of basic workflow system features.

That is unless you want to follow Airbus A380’s example and waste massive amounts of time and money because of a few simple oversights.

Building the Airbus A380… required production facilities from across the globe to build individual parts of the airplane… During installation, they discovered the parts designed by different teams didn’t fit together.

This cost the company $6 billion to put right and set the project back two years.” – Greg Bailey, 4 Famous Project Management Failures and What to Learn From Them

Here at Process Street we’re no strangers to what makes workflow and bpm software effective. That’s why we’ve collected a list of the 14 essential workflow system features that every team (and individual) needs to be useful.

Let’s get started.

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Freelance Tips: How to Use Processes to Stay Productive

freelance-tips

“How did I forget to follow up with that client?”

There was a time when I used to think that as another golden opportunity passed me by. It’s tough enough being a freelancer and having to both find clients and secure them in such a competitive scene without adding human error into the mix.

Nowadays, I’ve largely mitigated the frustration that comes with making avoidable errors, letting me massively boost my consistency and productivity, and it’s all thanks to process documentation.

Having a documented process to work through is insanely useful. I’m here to tell you exactly why you need to be using processes in your work and give some freelance tips on how you can start noticing the benefits in no time. Let’s get started.

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Productivity Software for Beginners: The Ultimate Stack

productivity software
It’s easy to fall prey to the pursuit of productivity.

All too often we’re too preoccupied with finding the “perfect” productivity software to see that we’re wasting time doing it.

If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done” – Bruce Lee, 30 Productivity Quotes I Wish I Knew 10 Years Ago

You don’t need to test 101 apps. All you need is a solid base to go from and tweak your performance.

That’s what this post will give you.

From time-keeping software to writing apps and process management, read on to see how to see which business apps everyone should use to stay productive without pulling their hair out.

Let’s get started.

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Bullet Journal Ideas to Create Routines for Work and Life

bullet journal ideas headerBullet journals are an amazing way to boost your organization and productivity, and to just de-clutter your mind.

Using bullet journaling can really help when it comes to reducing stress, being more efficient, and generally getting more done.

I’ve been bullet journaling for a while now and I want to share with you how I’ve used bullet journals to create order and structure in regular life and, in particular, in my professional life!

You see, I write about how businesses can better organize themselves and how to make sure the work which is being done is at a high standard every time.

In short, I write normally about something called business process management.

And it occurred to me that I could pull together everything I know about processes and my experiences with bullet journals to really accelerate my work.

I realized I could use my bullet journal to discover my most important repeatable processes, and then use the principles of business process management to improve how I approach these processes.

The two fit together perfectly.

That’s why, in this Process Street article, I’m going to cover:

  • What is bullet journaling?
  • What is process management?
  • How you can turn bullet journals into processes
  • Bullet journal ideas for work

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How to Build a Better Purchase Order Workflow with Process Street

The importance of efficient purchase order management

Effectively managing purchase orders is a critical component of any business with vendor relationships. And yet, according to the founder & COO of Procurify, Kenneth Loi:

“Many organizations unwisely forego purchase orders because they perceive the paperwork to be a hassle that slows things down.”

He’s right. Paperwork is a hassle and does slow things down. However, this is not a good enough reason to forego purchase orders, hence the word “unwisely”.

From creating a requisition to gaining approval and receiving an invoice from the vendor, there are up to 7 documents involved in the purchasing cycle. That is a lot to keep track of for a single purchase.

And this only gets more complex as a business grows.

Maintaining a paper-based system at the enterprise level is virtually impossible. For smaller companies, it’s do-able, just incredibly inefficient.

The frustration and inefficiency that comes with managing piles of paperwork is no longer an unavoidable obstacle to overcome. By establishing an automated purchase order workflow, you can centralize documentation, seamlessly track progress in real-time, and shorten purchasing cycles.

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10 Simple Tips to Boost Work Motivation and Stay Productive All Day

Everybody has good and bad days – the trick to being successful is making sure that you’re consistently motivated enough to keep the bad days to a minimum.

Without motivation it’s not only difficult to do as much work as usual, but even starting a new task becomes a herculean effort. If you can get started and make some progress then you might be able to build momentum up off of that, but otherwise you’ll be left floundering for the rest of the day.

I’ve struggled with this exact problem over the last three years of working remotely – it’s especially hard to stay motivated when you’re working from home without a physical team to back you up and keep you focused.

After trying everything from browser extensions to complex business systems, I realized that I was over-complicating things. The best to do list template in the world won’t help you if you don’t have the basic practices behind motivation down.

So, to save you from going through the same troubles I’ve collected nine tips which I’ve found most useful in staying consistently motivated all day every day.

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Task Management Techniques: 7 Lists To Get Shit Done On Time

Task Management Techniques

Maybe you’re the sort of person who sits down at their desk for 8 hours solid and hammers out as much as possible.

Maybe you use the Pomodoro method or your own task management techniques.

I don’t know what sort of person I am yet.

I used to give it no thought — wake up, lob a coffee down my throat, sit down and start typing.

Lately, my tasks are harder to define and I find myself having trouble with time management and prioritizing.

Right now I’m using Pomello, a Pomodoro timer that lives in Trello and times my work on each card. Click here to get it.

Pomello Task Management

Tomorrow I’ll probably be sick of it and defiantly hammering on the keyboard until it’s time to sleep…

In my seemingly neverending quest to get shit done, I’ve seen a ton of strange methods and lists. And, let me tell you, working at Process Street — a task management system for businesses — I’m making myself practice what I preach.

Here are some of the task management techniques I’ve come across.
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