Tuesday, August 25, 2015

GQueues and the Field Innovation Team Help Nepalese Communities Rebuild From Disaster

You may recall this past April a deadly earthquake struck Nepal, killing over 9,000 people and injuring more than 23,000. While the event has fallen out of news headlines, hundreds of thousands of people are still in the process of rebuilding their lives after entire villages were flattened across the region. Several aftershocks and the fast-approaching monsoon season have made recovery from the disaster all the more difficult.

As a member of the 1871 startup community in Chicago, GQueues is able to attend a number of workshops offered by other entrepreneurs and leaders who are finding new ways to solve big problems. One such workshop we attended this past June was led by the Field Innovation Team (FIT), which works works with disaster-affected communities around the world, providing emergency relief as well as disaster preparedness training.

At the workshop we heard about several ways FIT is using technology to help in disasters, from using drones to map out mudslide topography to setting up mesh networks to facilitate communication where normal lines of transmission have been destroyed. We also learned that FIT would soon deploy a team to Nepal to support disaster relief efforts and we decided to get involved.

GQueues covered the costs to send one additional FIT team member to Nepal, along with funds for resources needed on the ground for the relief efforts. FIT’s plans for the trip included working with local organizations to build temporary learning centers, provide training to prepare for aftershocks, and lead youth empowerment activities to help counter the growing human trafficking issues in the region.

In addition to our donation, we also helped volunteers prepare to teach hygiene and sanitation practices in the disaster-stricken communities. Sweta Basnet, an infectious disease epidemiologist, travelled with FIT this summer to help address these sanitation problems. Before Basnet deployed, we worked with her to create a children’s game that emphasized the importance of washing hands. While this practice seems minor at first, in disaster-stricken areas where normal toilets and bathing facilities are destroyed, helping children still practice proper hygiene can greatly reduce the spread of diarrheal disease which leads to a considerable number of preventable deaths.

While in Nepal, FIT also partnered with Women LEAD, a leadership development organization for young women in Nepal. Basnet was able to translate improv games we created together at 1871 to empower local women and help them create solutions for challenges in their lives and community.

Sweta Basnet, pictured center.
To read more about FIT’s experience and impact in Nepal, read their After Action Report here.

Disaster survivors in Nepal are just starting to rebuild their lives and there is still a huge amount of work ahead. We at GQueues are grateful for the opportunity to help in a small way, and want to thank the entire FIT team for working alongside the Nepalese communities to help rebuild after disaster.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

3 Ways to Easily Create Task Templates in GQueues

Often in work and life, you end up doing the same sets of tasks repeatedly. To make this easier for you, GQueues provides several ways to make “templates” so you can easily recreate sets of tasks that you use often. Using templates saves you time and helps you keep track of important steps.

Today, we’ll show you three approaches to setting up templates in GQueues and when it's best to use each.

Watch the video below to get started!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Announcing 4 Huge Updates to the GQueues iOS App

We’re excited to announce four new updates to the GQueues iOS app that will help you create and navigate tasks more quickly.

New features:

  • Today Extension - manage tasks from your home and lock screens
  • Sharing Extension - create tasks from web pages and other apps
  • Background Syncing - data syncs with the web even when the app isn’t open
  • Saved Searches - view your saved searches on the go
We also fixed a number of bugs to make the app run even more smoothly!

The new version should roll out to your iOS devices automatically in the next 24 hours or you can get it here. To see how to activate the extensions and use the new features, watch the video below!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Why The Most Productive People Use Google Chrome Profiles

Do you use Google Chrome? Do you want to change your life?

Watch this video and learn how to create Chrome Profiles, so you never have to log in and out of another account again, save tons of time and easily manage your different activities.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

VIDEO: How Your Team Can Work Together in GQueues

Need an easier way to get your team on the same page?

GQueues Shared Queues enable real-time, collaborative task management with Google-Apps integration. Working on Shared Queues, your team can create meeting agendas, assign tasks and collaborate on projects from any location. Shared Queues also sync with GQueues for iOS and Android, so you can stay updated and work on-the-go.

To improve your team’s productivity, learn how to use GQueues Shared Queues in the video below!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Faster Way to Manage Your Tasks in GQueues

Do you want a faster way to manage your tasks?

Watch our new Keyboard Shortcuts tutorial video, where you’ll learn how to perform almost every action in GQueues with simple keyboard commands.

Keyboard shortcuts are not only easy to use; they also improve your productivity, saving you about eight work days per year.

To let go of your mouse and work more efficiently, learn the keyboard shortcuts below!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

How Taking Breaks Improves Your Productivity

To create extraordinary teamwork, you need to shake up your company's daily routine.

This is something I learned from a recent initiative we took at GQueues in Chicago’s 1871 digital startup community. I handle marketing and outreach in the office three days a week and work remotely the rest of the time. Like me, the whole team works across changing schedules, so our challenge is to maximize productivity when we work together.

To help this effort, we started GQueues Creativity Days where once a month, we leave the office to take a break from our normal routine and create new experiences that inspire our work. Yes, it sounds a little cheesy. However, as research shows, taking the occasional field trip with your team can dramatically improve office productivity. At GQueues, we definitely experienced this first-hand.

On Creativity Days, we spend time on activities that are not directly related to our end of week goals. For example, we went to see Sasheer Zamata from SNL and Phil Jackson from Key and Peele perform at the 2015 Chicago Improv Festival. Other entrepreneurs from 1871 also joined us to watch the show, meet the performers and learn about the benefits of improv comedy in business.

Another day, we trekked across downtown Chicago, taking pictures for GQueues’ social media presence. This was not only a fun way to generate content and simultaneously exercise, but also, we got to know each other and became better friends.

As you can tell, our unstructured time together isn't spent idly - rather, it helps us to build mutual trust, the root of collaboration. At the end of each Creativity Day, we are always more comfortable having conversations and sharing ideas. Team members mentioned they are able to focus on their work and collaborate more easily. Since we can better accommodate each other's work styles, we are more productive.

Even between monthly Creativity Days, we fit creative breaks into our weekly schedule. This includes using the treadmill desk, taking a walk by the Chicago River or having lunch with other entrepreneurs to learn about their businesses.

However you like, I’m an advocate for doing creative activities and building friendships within your company. Besides making work more enjoyable, it also presents substantial business benefits. Team members are held more accountable for completing tasks and contribute to a happier, more productive office culture.

OK, enough about us. How do you help your team break out of the ordinary and create truly great work?