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  • Review of our top productivity posts for a summer of getting thing done

    • By jennifer
    • |
    • Friday, June 21, 2013

    Today marks the start of summer. The long sunny days and too-short weekends often leave us wanting to get more done - outside the office.  Yet, we also realize that the more productive we are, the more potential we'll have to reward ourselves and optimize summer.

    To help you out, we're recapping salient, summer-appropriate points from five of our top productivity posts. Our hope is that with the right productivity strategy, you'll be able to more readily step away from the keyboard and literally "spend" your summer time most enjoyably.

    lifehacks1. Eight #lifehacks that will allow you to spend more time doing the things you love.

    • Keep a laundry basket in the back of your car to use whenever you go shopping. Makes bringing things in the house much easier.
    • Wish you could shut down your PC by sending a text message? This hack lets you do just that and it saves you time from having to walk over to your computer.

    2. Top 5 winning CommHacks featuring workflow updates for the communications industry.

    • Ramsey Mohsen's "time quilting" strategy. Identify the small blocks of time you do have: a five minute break mid-day, 10 minutes waiting in line somewhere, 20 minutes at the doctor's office, etc. These are your time quilts. Use those little scraps of time to tackle the un-done things on your work or personal to do list: research for a blog post, learn a new skill, reply to a tough email or move a side project along.

    2. Nine social media #workhacks to make your company more likeable online.

    • Quell the power of distraction and instead, schedule short bursts of work for your social media strategy (or any other regular task). Instead of tweeting, liking, posting and sharing throughout the day, schedule a 5 - 15 minute swath of time a few times a day to engage your audience, build relationships and share great content. 
    • Put the internet to work for you with IFTTT. Create recipes that automate, or at least reduce, time spent on tasks. For example, you can create a trigger like email, text message or phone call to take place when your favorite website shares a new post.

    get more done in less time3. How to get more done in less time for PR and marketing pros.

    Learn how to run your social editorial calendar without a spreadsheet, monitor online news stories faster than 99% of your peers and more.

    • Get out of email and into a productivity platform (see slides 31 - 45). Tip: group everything. Figure out what email works for and what it doesn't. Get the non-working tasks into a platform.
    • Optimize your content marketing strategy. Stop emailing and using spreadsheets and instead, use an online, sharable editoriable calendar (like Tracky's editorial calendar module that you can copy and make your own) to store great content ideas, create and share documents, assign tasks to team members and guest contributors and more.  (See slide 28 for where to find content ideas).
    • Bonus: allow your research to double as social media content, in real-time

    share with your boss4.  Selectively share your awesome productivity skills with your boss.

    This is for the "doers" out there who want to showcase just how much they get done. Hey, it might even help your chances of getting a raise. (Not guaranteed, but it's worth a shot).

      • As Sarah Evans shares, his first mentor taught her, "Nothing is done until the people who needed it done know it’s done.” 
      • Don't fear your performance review, make it rock! When you implement a process to regularly share what you're getting done (like this free module), you'll amp up your authority and give your boss even more reasons to give you a raise.
      • Plus, it's a great way to boost your own self-confidence and career building initiatives.

    5. How checklists can make you smarter

    • Use checklists to help motivate you to get repetitive stuff done.
      Create a master Daily To Do List to add more structure to your day and help you keep track of all that you're getting done.
    • Define what's most important for you to accomplish in life. Make checklists for personal, work and future projects. Outsource some to do's to facilitiate teamwork and discipline.
    • Tracky's new checklist view optimizes the intent of quick tasking while giving you the ability to assign tasks, set due dates, create and share files within a simple to do heading.

    Since it's the first day of the summer and the weekend is upon us, maybe the first step you should take for a productive and enjoyable summer is to sign up for Tracky (if you're not already a user) and create a "Productivity Tips" track. Link to this post in the Disucssions area and "pin it." Set a due date for it to remind yourself of these and other great workhacks.

    productivity track

    Now, go sip something cold and enjoy your weekend!

  • Why is the least happiest generation the most happy with their work life?

    • By sarah
    • |
    • Monday, April 15, 2013

    According to a report from Prosper Insights and Analytics, Millenials (born between 1979 and 1994) are the least happiest generation overall, but they’re the happiest with their work like.

    Happiness Score
    (Photo Credit: MarketingCharts)

    It’s no coincidence that early adopters of open social collaboration platforms, like Tracky, tend to be Millenials. Why? Because this generation values communications in the workplace (or remotely) and those interactions “serve to create and maintain work relationships among team and organizational members, and between those members and key organizational stakeholders.” (Myers 2009; Sias 2009)

    Communication is the highest held work-related value because it is directly linked to the quality of workplace relationships. (Herriot 2002) Happy work relationships equals a happier Millenial employee. And, happy employees are more engaged, deliver better results and tend to stay at a company longer. (Jablin and Krone 1994)

    If happy Millenial employees are important to you and your business’ bottom line:


    • Give them the tools and equipment to do their job (e.g. laptop, phone)
    • Offer a better way to communicate electronically, like open social collaboration
    • Create a great employee culture and take new hires seriously


    • Abuse email
    • Schedule pointless meetings. No meeting should take longer than 50 minutes. Ever.
    • Force company bonding. Offer experiences to let it happen organically (e.g. ping pong table in the office).

    Want to get started on making better communication a priority in your office? Email or to get started.

  • 34 social collaboration tips to help you get ahead in business

    • By sarah
    • |
    • Tuesday, October 30, 2012

    By: The Tracky Team

    1. Use an open, social collaboration platform. Platforms, like Tracky, allow people to work together, better and develop a more efficient workflow.
    2. Give your existing content life through scheduled posts. Work with your team to schedule older, evergreen blog posts to be posted via social networks at ongoing intervals (e.g. once every three months). Use a tool like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to schedule.
    3. Plan a weekly social editorial calendar. Editorial calendars are an essential part of your content marketing and engagement strategy. Don’t forget to plan earned and paid social tactics to promote it once live. (Here’s a resource to help you get started.)
    4. Keep remote workers connected. Don’t only rely on email for staying in touch with remote workers. Integrate video meetings, phone calls and instant messaging into the mix. Another great exercise? Collaborate on something real-time using Google Docs.
    5. Funnel social media response opportunities to the most appropriate person. No one is an expert in all areas of business, so why would you pretend? Set up a group track where your community manager or social media editor can funnel response opportunities from other key players on the team. If someone tweets you about a technical question, have your lead developer respond.
    6. Change your email work flow. Experiment with only using email for: launching a project, urgent requests and important, but not task-oriented communication (e.g. company memo). If you have a quick question, pick up the phone or use instant messaging. Try this for one week. Everything else? Route it through your social collaboration platform.
    7. Define your quadrants. Work better, not more. Read up on Covey’s four quadrants and make sure you live in quadrants one and two.
    8. Break down social sharing into bite sized tasks and delegate appropriately. For example, remind team members to always tag (e.g. @)
    9. Make collaborating and work more fun, in general, by integrating tools that are fun. Fun = productivity, too.
    10. Set up your social PR tactics under these umbrellas: Content marketing and inbound marketing (producing content, lead generation/acquisition, establish authority, SEO, etc…); Engagement (making connections you might not have otherwise made); Collaboration and productivity; Proactive and reactive media opportunities and Monitoring (self, clients, partners and competition).
    11. Schedule your social posts. Why waste all your good information at once? Spreading out your social shares means more opportunities for online interaction. Create a shared place where you and your team submit ideas, links, etc... Then use Buffer (it’s already integrated with Tracky) to schedule and share.
    12. Check out IFTTT to see if integrates with stuff you already use. Automate certain tasks that should be automated and make your life easier. Get out of the minutia and concentrate on the really important things, like collaborating with other doers.
    13. Use Statigram to manage your Instagram accounts. Include links (and archive them) to photos team members should share on social accounts. Create a track where you can easily delegate.
    14. Know your social sharing strategy and house it where team members have easy access (ahem, like in a track).  Here goes: 1) mention (@) company name, co-founders, co-workers, investors and/or advisers (depending on the post); 2) include essential hashtags (if there are a lot of associated hashtags focus on most important first, then include others in future posts); 3) DM people who might like to share, with a request to RT; 4) Share post two to three times over 2 weeks, then once a month for 3 months, then once every other month (from company account and work-affiliated accounts).
    15. Track your progress with milestones. Spreadsheets can be too heavy and aren’t “living” documents. How about using a milestone marker to alert team member of progress?
    16. Take collaborative notes. Use Google Docs to keep a live note-sharing activity going during meetings. When the meeting is done assign one person to extract follow up tasks and archive the document. (We use Tracky to do this. Duh!)
    17. Think community! People don’t like to be preached to. Rather, they like to be engaged with things that interest them. Whether using collaboration for marketing, development, planning or other - make the tasks, ideas, events etc. fun and engaging. Think: unicorns and rainbows for all.
    18. Create tasks that are rewarding, fun and easy to check off. Teams scan through their tasks and look for the ones that will be fun, quick and rewarding. Keep that in mind when creating them. Break them down into bite-size morsels - yum! Your army will get tricked into doing more and love it!
    19. Get the whole team involved with your collaboration. Don’t just create tasks and leave them unassigned, break them down and assign a group to the effort. Better results will be achieved together.
    20. Set mini-goals and then reward the participants - often. As often as possible, create rewards for the doers. A Starbucks gift card, a lunch, a thank you comment on their Twitter stream. It makes a difference and stimulates participation.
    21. Practice real-time collaboration. Set a goal to complete a collaborative process such as writing a blog post using Google Docs. Define brequirements for collaborators and complete as quickly as possible without distractions. Everyone will be amazed at the work completed in short order. That’s how we created this list.
    22. Think long-term. For true, successful collaboration you need buy-in from the participants. There are so many productivity apps today; it makes it tough for users to commit. Find one that is person-centric, not company-centric. It needs to be your account for life and include discovery elements (e.g. other events, projects, people to connect with). It should be flexible enough to grow with you over time.
    23. First, define your objectives! Since collaboration = working together to achieve a goal, define your goals from the outset. This begins with at the top (the “WHY”) and trickles down to the daily, repetitive tasks that you and your team do but still matter in the context of the big picture. Plus, when you have attainable daily, weekly and monthly goals, you get that precious feeling of accomplishment
    24. Then, define your workflows. Since workflows are simply repetitive processes, you should be able to template a lot of what you’re working on. The key here is template within the collaboration platform that you’ve chosen (hint: make sure that easy templating of projects is available before you dive in).
    25. Use email as a facilitator, not as your collaboration team’s home base. Email is still critical for enterprise collaboration (146 billion corporate emails are sent per day, vs. 2.5 billion Facebook posts and 400 million tweets). BUT, it shouldn’t be the gathering place or the time-suck trap where productivity goes to die. Email should be used mainly for notification alerts of activity in your collaboration system to re-engage people.
    26. The social business is mobile. Don’t alienate collaborators with an either/or proposition of a great mobile app or a robust desktop platform. Go with a platform and workflow that allows flexibility. Mobile + web collaboration FTW.
    27. Be authentic. What’s the point of social collaboration after all, if you’re hiding behind corporate walls? You represent your own brand and your company’s objectives. Strive for authenticity, transparency (appropriate for your enterprise) and a certain level of judiciousness (meaning, don’t share TMI, but be real when you do share).
    28. Find your evangelists and let them ideate for you. Social collaboration is about connecting, working, sharing, learning and discovery. The right tools will help you identify the “doers” and the “sharers” inside and outside of your organization. When you find them, herd them like rare alpacas into groups all their own. And give them wings. Use the platform to provide objectives and direction but let your rock stars start a passion party of ideas and strategies all their own.
    29. Be a troll - to learn, not to pry. A great thing about collaborating is that the cream of the crowd to rise to the top and it can provide inspiration in ways you never imagined. Join as many groups/projects as you reasonably can, if nothing more than to listen to the conversations and gain insights into people, workflows, customer sentiment, etc.. Trolling isn’t creepy when it’s for your social business’ greater good.
    30. Be secret, private and public. An oxymoron? Nope. Tracky, for instance, has uber-flexible privacy controls so that undersharing and oversharing are left to kindergarten recess and Facebook, where they belong.
    31. Don’t be a file hog. (File) sharing is de rigueur in the social business. Email was meant for communication, not for file sharing. Your computer is a great place for you to find things, but doesn’t facilitate quick research for your team. And why would you use a separate file sharing system than the productivity platform that makes you the get-it-done rock star that you are? Securely store your files in the cloud (within the right collaboration platform, of course).
    32. Include your customers. You should be able to set up inclusive-yet-selective groups that give the crowd the ability to chime in. Set specific objectives and moderate these groups but you can make major inroads into better customer relationships by including the few in a transparent conversation.
    33. Find the others. Technology allows us to find and connect with other like-minded people and businesses. Find these “others” and collaborate with them. Even if it’s not direct bottom-line work, you might find that your greatest ideas stem from the candid exchanges that are philosophical, commiserate, disclosing in nature.
    34. Share what you’re getting done! Hoarding your progress is so web 1.0. It’s OK if you’re not done yet: just share what you’re working on, why and ask for input if needed. Again, transparency, inclusiveness and openness are keys to the social business. Make sure that you choose a collaboration platform that allows you to toot your own horn when you’re ready to share your next-big-accomplishment with your team and the world.


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