As a small team, we’re often looking for ways make our office run a little bit more smoothly. Parkway tried a lot of new apps and gadgets over the last year in our quest for less chaos, and more projects delivered ahead of schedule and above expectations. We’re not claiming to have it all figured out, but these are some of the tools making us more productive throughout the week.
We thought that because we love Google’s, well, everything, Chat was the best way for us to communicate with one another. It turned out that Slack’s customizable channels, search feature, and app integrations were a better fit. Missed calls, completed files and copyedits are all sent through Slack now. That alone seriously cuts down on the emails hanging around in our inbox (just like all those display ads promised).
2. Google Drive
A lot of the projects we work on have tons of moving parts, which means we all have a hand in the final project. Sending ginormous files back and forth is a waste of time, so we use Google Drive to make sure we can all access everything we need to get ‘er done.
At the start of 2018, we invested a lot of time in making Wrike work for our team’s task management. But it was just so complicated. We’re now 100% into monday because it does what Wrike did except better. The colorful layout, straightforward workflow and lots of room for notes are exactly what we need to get stuff done.
So long time-tracking spreadsheet. At first, Harvest’s ticking timer sitting at the top of our screens really stressed us out. After a few weeks, it was comforting to see exactly how many minutes went into the perfect Instagram Story or in-depth research on Google Analytics. Now, we track how long it takes us to finish both client work and internal projects.
5. Boomerang for Gmail
We lose track of some of our emails, even with Slack and Drive helping to clear out our inboxes. Boomerang (a Gmail add on) lets us send emails at a time we know is more convenient for the recipient, tracks whether we got a response or need to follow up, pauses our inboxes on days we really need to focus, and more.
6. Google Calendar
This is the last Google product on this list – we promise. We always have everyone’s calendars pinned to our Chrome windows so we know when coworkers are meeting with clients, traveling or stopping at the doctor’s office before heading into the office. Honestly, we know couples who are less informed about their partner’s whereabouts than we are about our coworkers’. As creepy as that sounds, it helps us plan ahead!
7. Sonos Control App
We almost always have a Spotify playlist on in the office – if not two or three. Our newest gadget is a trio of Sonos One speakers we can all control with the Music Control App, no matter whose Spotify we’re listening to. We don’t need to worry about which computer is paired with the speaker or asking someone else to turn down the volume before making a call anymore.