Thursday, October 15, 2015

Help Others Get Organized and Increase Productivity with the GQueues Referral Program

When we discover something really useful, we naturally want to share it with others. For many of you GQueues is essential to your process of staying organized and accomplishing your goals, both at work and at home. With the new GQueues Referral Program you can now get rewarded for sharing the tool you love with others!

Getting started is easy. Join the program and you'll get a unique URL which you can post on your website, include in a blog post review of GQueues, or share on social media. For every person who clicks on your link and eventually purchases a subscription you'll earn $5 cash. There's no limit to the number of referrals you can make, so the more you share, the more you can earn.

The GQueues Referral Program is currently available to anyone based in the US. Read more about the program details here and start benefitting when people in your network sign up.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

How to Use GQueues to Maximize Productivity with Getting Things Done® (GTD)

The productivity system Getting Things Done (GTD) by David Allen outlines a simple, powerful way to organize your life and accomplish your goals.

GTD is a five-stage process that helps you effectively take action on everything you need to do, with the least amount of stress possible. A central concept in GTD is creating a trusted system that stores, organizes and tracks all of your tasks, so you can feel confident nothing will slip through the cracks.

In this video, you’ll learn how to use GQueues to help maximize your productivity and accomplish your goals along with Getting Things Done.

Watch the video below to get started!

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?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Customer Spotlight: Food for the Hungry Boosts Efficiency with GQueues

This blog is part of the GQueues 2015 Customer Success series. Every week through May, we will feature a valued customer’s experience to showcase how their organization increases productivity, collaboration and efficiency using GQueues. To view all the success stories, please visit

Food for the Hungry (FH) is an international Christian relief and development organization providing emergency food supplies, sanitation solutions and leadership training to impoverished villages in 18 countries. Last year, FH helped to establish sanitation programs in over 600 African villages and helped nearly 5,500 children continue attending school.

Sarah Dalrymple, International Employment Services Manager for the organization's HR department in Arizona, noticed that her team struggled to work with employees on different schedules and time zones. She needed a tool to help them organize tasks and improve productivity. In 2009, Dalrymple began using GQueues to organize her work, and liked it so much she asked IT to purchase a business license for her team.

Dalrymple loves the' tagging feature which helps to customize her workflow and group similar tasks. Since integrating GQueues in the office, Dalrymple's team collaborates more effectively and respect everyone's work schedule. As she noted, “GQueues allows our team to accomplish a large volume of work efficiently.”

To learn more about how Food for the Hungry benefits from GQueues, read our full case study here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Customer Spotlight: Bean Life Science Museum Coordinates Educational Shows with GQueues

This blog is part of the GQueues 2015 Customer Success series. Every week through May, we will feature a valued customer’s experience to showcase how their organization increases productivity, collaboration and efficiency using GQueues. To view all the success stories, please visit

The Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum is located on the Brigham Young University campus in Provo, Utah. Founded in 1978, it houses more than 2 million insects, plants, reptiles, birds and fish and attracts over 100,000 visitors every year. Student educators give live animal shows to the public, both on-campus and in local schools.

After the museum transitioned to Google Apps in 2012, Katy Knight, Museum Educational Administrator, needed a task manager that would be easy for both staff and student educators to learn and that would integrate with Google. Knight discovered GQueues and after reading its reviews, decided to use it to coordinate her students’ live animal shows.

Knight’s favorite feature is GQueues’ Calendar integration with text message reminders. Students’ accountability for animal shows has improved since they can now check tasks right from their cell phones.

Overall, GQueues has helped the museum provide higher quality educational shows to the public. “The system we have runs so smoothly that we don’t have to worry about every little show that comes up. We know students will be reminded of their events, which reduces stress,” Knight commented.

To learn more about how the Bean Life Science Museum benefits from GQueues, read the full case study.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

2015 gCON 360° Conference Recap

We were happy to sponsor last week’s gCON 2015 Conference which offered 15 info-packed sessions designed to help organizations use Google Apps more effectively.

Presentations were led by Googlers and leaders of the Apps ecosystem with topics ranging from data security in the cloud to mobile workforce management to training users more efficiently. If you missed the conference you can still check out the session recordings here.

Today, we also congratulate our gCON 2015 raffle winner James C. of North Carolina, who now has a brand new pair of Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones. Congratulations James, and enjoy the added focus at work!

Thanks to everyone who attended this year’s conference - we look forward to the next one and helping you find the best Google solutions for your team.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Customer Spotlight: Martinovsky Law Doubles Case Load with GQueues

This blog is part of the GQueues 2015 Customer Success series. Every week through May, we will feature a valued customer’s experience to showcase how their organization increases productivity, collaboration and efficiency using GQueues. To view all the success stories, please visit

Martinovsky Law is a four-person law firm based in San Francisco, CA, representing cases in personal injury, civil litigation, international business and more. Michael Martinovsky, Attorney at Law, leads the team with two Attorneys of Counsel and the Operations Manager.

In 2011, Martinovsky Law faced a growing client base with a relatively small team. The firm needed a solution that would help them collaborate and organize case information more effectively to prevent work from falling through the cracks. Martinovsky introduced GQueues as the company's task manager and the team improved their ability to handle large volumes of work with GQueues' shared queues and task assignments feature. They now stay up to date with all their tasks, cases and assignments in the office or on the go using the GQueues iOS mobile app.

Since integrating GQueues into the firm, Martinovsky Law has doubled their caseload. The whole team works more efficiently and now provides higher quality service to clients by easily accessing tasks and collaborating through GQueues. Martinovsky stated, “Because we’ve organized our assignments, we’ve been able to grow without fear of things getting lost.”

To learn more about how Martinovsky Law benefits from GQueues, read our full case study here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Customer Spotlight: Ministry of Supply Improves Project Management with GQueues

This blog is part of the GQueues 2015 Customer Success series. Every week through May, we will feature a valued customer’s experience to showcase how their organization increases productivity, collaboration and efficiency using GQueues. To view all the success stories, please visit

Ministry of Supply is an apparel manufacturer designing high-performance, innovative business wear. The startup was founded in 2012 by three MIT graduates and currently employs 15 full-time employees in their Boston location and San Francisco pop-up store. All of Ministry of Supply’s clothing is uniquely designed with the same materials used in NASA space suits to regulate temperature, prevent wrinkles and odors and keep dry in the rain.

After switching to Google Apps in 2012, Ministry of Supply’s greatest challenge was collaborating on projects with teams in different time zones. Dan Weisman, Director of Marketing, needed a tool where his team could collaborate easily, share work in real-time and break down large projects into tangible, weekly goals.

After discovering GQueues, Weisman implemented it company-wide to meet these goals. His team benefits most from GQueues’ shared queues and subtasks, which helps them organize tasks for big projects and long-term goals. Weisman finds the assignments feature useful for updating his team in the office or on the go with the GQueues mobile app.

GQueues has helped Ministry of Supply’s employees improve accountability for their work and accomplish projects more efficiently. As Weisman noted about his team, “GQueues makes it easy to collaborate on projects and keep everyone on the same page. That visibility of the big picture is helpful.”

To learn more about Ministry of Supply’s results from using GQueues, read our full case study here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Customer Spotlight: Swimelar CPA Grows Client Base with GQueues

This blog is part of the GQueues 2015 Customer Success series. Every week through May, we will feature a valued customer’s experience to showcase how their organization increases productivity, collaboration and efficiency using GQueues. To view all the success stories, please visit

Swimelar CPA is an accounting and payroll firm in Frisco, Texas. Principal and founding member Michael Swimelar leads their four-person team to provide on-site and remote tax preparation services to clients nationwide.

In 2012, one of Swimelar CPA's key challenges was being able to effectively manage a growing client base with a small team. That year, Michael Swimelar decided to help his team organize state payroll regulations and more easily meet client needs.

After adopting GQueues, Swimelar CPA relied heavily on its tagging feature to organize client information. Team members now tag payroll tasks by each state in which their clients reside. They then process payroll for all the clients under a given tag, and know they have accounted for that state's payroll regulations.

By using GQueues to organize client tasks and payroll deadlines, the team is now able to accomplish larger volumes of work. They also are able to prevent careless mistakes and government fines for missed deposit dates. This reduces stress in the office, and helps the team improve the client experience.

"With GQueues we're able to deliver much higher quality service. The collaboration it enables for our business is huge - I’m really happy with it.” Michael noted.

To learn more, read our full case study with Swimelar CPA.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Follow this Advice to Hold Your Teams Accountable

A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of interviewing Darcy Morgan, CCO of Enerjet, a top-rated Canadian charter airline. Enerjet began using GQueues one year ago to help its teams collaborate better and manage tasks in the cloud.

The most notable benefit Enerjet has gained from using GQueues is greater accountability among its 100+ employees and delivering higher levels of service. Here are the key steps the company took to help teams get there.

Enerjet’s 3 Steps to Better Accountability:

1. Find an easy-to-learn tool. No matter how adept a tool may be, teams need to be able to use it intuitively to reap the benefits. Enerjet teams started working on GQueues shortly after its introduction to the company because, according to Darcy, “It's almost as easy as a sticky note, but much more valuable, since tasks in GQueues are shareable, trackable and manageable.”

2. Build on current systems. To be most effective, a tool must integrate with core existing systems in the workplace. Enerjet has been committed to Google Apps since their launch, a platform many businesses are using to enhance collaboration. Since GQueues integrates with Google, Enerjet easily coordinates teamwork through Drive, Gmail, Chrome, Calendar and Contacts, improving their efficiency without added effort.

3. Make collaboration automatic. When assignments are visible to all team members, there’s no question of who’s responsible for completing work on time. Enerjet teams use GQueues’ shared queues which allow them to create, share and assign tasks all in one place. This helps team members stay organized and accountable for completing their work.

To learn more about Enerjet’s success in holding teams accountable and improving their productivity as a whole, read our case study with them here.

Friday, April 3, 2015

6 GQueues Updates to Spring You Into Action

We’re always working to improve GQueues so you can have the best experience. This spring we launched several updates to the web version and Android app to help you navigate tasks more quickly and easily. Here they are!

New Web Features

Back and Forward - You can now navigate queues using the back and forward browser buttons. For example, if you were in your Projects queue, then went to your To Do queue, you could just click the browser's Back button to go back to Projects. There are keyboard shortcuts for this as well.

Custom Web Addresses - Each queue now has a unique URL for making links and bookmarks. It's another way you can keep track of important pages, save them for later and navigate seamlessly on GQueues. (The URLs are specific to your account and require you to be signed in, so others will NOT be able to see your data just because they have a link).

Open Queues in New Tab / Window - You can now easily open queues in different windows or tabs by holding down the shift-key and clicking the queue name. This allows you to see work side by side and focus on what's important.

New Android Features

Saved Searches for Android - You can now view your saved searches in the Android mobile app. Users have wanted this functionality for a long time, so we’re happy it's now available.

Design Tweaks - While most of the updates were functional, we also made a few design tweaks. A new left-side drawer lets you jump to different types of queues, and Active / Archived buttons are now in the top menu to give more space for your tasks.

Bug Extermination - We squashed a number of outstanding bugs to make the app more robust and an optimized experience for you. Thanks to our great beta testers for helping us verify all the improvements during the last several weeks.

Visit GQueues on the web or your Android device to enjoy these new features!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Here's a Quick Way to Create Tasks On the Fly

Did you know writing down your tasks boosts productivity? Experts also say note taking strengthens the part of your brain that records important information. With the GQueues Chrome Extension, you can record ideas and turn web pages into tasks from your browser, so nothing falls through the cracks.

In January, we updated the Chrome Extension to make it faster and easier to use. Along with the update we recorded a brand new tutorial video which shows you how to install the extension, create tasks with a single click and adjust settings for maximum efficiency.

Watch the video below and install the extension to start working faster and smarter.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

How Improv Made Me a Better Entrepreneur

Today, employees and teams have access to endless gadgets, tools and tips to increase productivity. Their goals? Accomplish more in less time, “work smarter, not harder” and create a bigger return on investment.

However, focusing too much on how to be more, get more and do more can lead to being busy, instead of productive. On the other hand, learning how to be in the moment and mine all its worth is a strategy that can foster long term happiness and success.

I learned this, funny enough, through improv classes at The Second City. For those who aren’t familiar, improv comedy is a form of theatre where everything is made up on the spot. Doing improv forced me to get out of my head and make strong, confident choices using all the information available at that moment. It helped me see that success depends on my willingness to accept the current circumstances and support my team.

There are three improv rules I learned that have helped me shift my outlook on business and improve relationships with customers.

1. Listen.

To improvise well, everyone on stage needs to hear what each other is saying. You have to listen like your life depends on it and focus your attention on what's going on around you. Simple, though not always easy. My biggest challenge was resisting the urge to plan what I was going to say while other people were talking.

This intense listening skill applied a lot in my business, especially when it came to handling customer feedback - support issues, bug reports and feature requests - on the GQueues' forum. Whenever I jumped to conclusions (ie., "That's not a bug," "You're not doing it right," or "That won't work because of X, Y, Z...") I rejected the input, and missed the opportunity to apply it in a constructive way. When I used improv listening skills instead, reading each message as openly as possible, I understood the underlying issues and could respond appropriately. In practicing this skill, I have been able to create a better product and serve others more effectively by offering real value.

As Richard Branson says, listening in this way is key to success for entrepreneurs.

2. Say Yes.

How many times does your day go exactly as you plan it?

Not often, right?

Anything could happen - from getting a call from a frustrated client, to having a mixup with the conference hotel, to having an awkward conversation with your boss. These things happen. No matter the situation, we have two choices: resist and fight, or accept the circumstances as a way to grow.

You may have heard the core improv rule, “Say Yes.” This can sometimes be misinterpreted as always having to agree with what's happening around you. Really, though, saying yes is about acceptance. Accepting whatever situation you are in, and expanding it with your choices.

For example, if someone runs up to you in an improv scene and says, “The bombs are gonna hit! We’re going to die!” you might respond, “I just stocked my panic room with tuna! Let’s go!” validating her statement and adding to the scene. If you stand there with your arms crossed and say, “Stop. Those aren’t bombs. You look crazy,” you’ve rejected the scene.

Learning how to say yes really hit home with the evolution of the GQueues mobile app. For two years I clung tightly to an HTML5 mobile web app version I'd developed. It was built on technology that was supposed to revolutionize mobile apps, but it never lived up to expectations. Customers were complaining about poor functionality, so I finally accepted this and built new, native Android and iOS apps that would deliver a better experience.

Had I kept denying the circumstances, I would still be stuck, and customers unhappy. Instead, moving forward helped me build an app that people love and can use easily, giving me greater ownership of my work.

Ultimately, I learned saying yes takes courage, helps you develop more positive relationships and gives you power to move forward in your career, no matter what.

3. Roll with it.

One of my favorite things about improv is there are no mistakes. Every word and action taken on stage is fair game for a scene. For example, if someone gets tongue-tied and says, “I just got back from the barket” instead of “I just got back from the market,” they just made up a quirky world where Barkets exist - perhaps a national chain of grocery stores run by dogs.

These “slips” made on stage are gifts opening the players to limitless creativity.

Similarly, great leaders and entrepreneurs understand that mistakes are gifts - opportunities to gain insight and build a better business.

I’ve made a number of blunders working on GQueues - from bugs, to poorly designed features, to being inconsiderate with team members. While I regret the results, improv has helped me immediately start an action plan that can apply the mistake positively in my life. I accept what happened, make amends, then take time to explore what I can learn about myself and the situation. Writing this down helps me commit to growing and hopefully not repeating the mistake again.

The improv practices of intense listening, accepting circumstances and embracing mistakes helped me grow both personally and as a leader of my business. Although I was terrified at first, I learned to really connect with others in a bold and meaningful way that isn't often touched on in the real world. They taught me how to use everyday life to improve my weak spots and turn them into strengths.

If you haven't before, I highly recommend taking an improv class. After all, when you can grow your business in these ways and more and have fun, there's only something to gain.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Just Released: Business Transformation Guide for Google Apps

The Cloud Alliance for Google Apps just published a 40-page, comprehensive Business Transformation Guide for Google Apps.

This document is completely free and can be downloaded here:

The guide provides a change management plan for teams and workplaces transitioning to Google Apps. As outlined on the website, it is particularly useful for:
  • An executive looking to guide your organization through the biggest IT shift in decades. 
  • An IT administrator who wants to make a difference and make your own life easier. 
  • A Google Apps reseller seeking insight on helping your customers adopt the platform. 
  • A tech-savvy employee looking to drive change from the bottom up. 
As a proud member of the Cloud Alliance, we couldn't be more thrilled to recommend this powerful new business tool to our community. Please, check it out!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

3 Ways to Optimize Work Flow with GQueues

Since the start of the New Year, I've noticed a lot of new interest in task management applications. Organizations want to make the most of 2015 and with one month already down, an urgency is growing. While many promise productivity and efficiency, task managers do not often make clear how they drive tangible results for business and thus, their importance.

To offer clarity on the subject, I'd like to share GQueues' case study on Krengeltech, a software development and professional services company, known for DocuTransfer.®

A majority of Krengeltech's 15 employees work across the Midwest, and one reason they sought a task manager was to improve central communication within the team, thereby producing higher quality deliverables for clients.

Over the past three years, here's how GQueues helped Krengeltech achieve their goals.

Task One: Integrating with Google Apps

In 2011, Quentin Krengel, founder and President of Krengeltech spotted GQueues for its complete Google Apps integration and ability to create, prioritize and share tasks with his entire team. Having just switched Krengeltech to Google Apps, he chose it as the best fitting task manager for the company.

Two: Managing the Flow of Business

Krengeltech first and foremost needed to improve their communication structure that started in internal strategy and poured into client relations.

GQueues offered a way to optimize the team's process of collecting, translating and implementing data from client intake to high-quality deliverables.

First, Krengeltech employees created queues for each step of the process - Estimators, Statement of Work and Projects - in the company's GQueues account. With the Shared Queues feature, all Krengeltech employees were able to prioritize and assign tasks in these queues with Google Contacts, keeping everyone on track. Krengeltech now had access to a smoother, seamless client-to-staff connection.
"GQueues keeps us on track so nothing falls through the cracks."
- Chris Franz, Professional Services Manager

Task Three: Making Teamwork Simple

Next, Krengeltech wanted to streamline the way teams worked together. This meant clear, consistent communication regardless of location or distance from one employee to another. It also meant giving employees a way to optimize their time individually so they could meet goals and deadlines together.

With GQueues, teams began to create agenda queues that contained tasks and items to be discussed in weekly conference calls. They attached files from Google Drive to these queues, organizing information relevant to the upcoming call and sharing it with all participating team members. When it was time to meet, participants were already informed of the purpose and focus of the call and could utilize their time together effectively.

Employees were also able to optimize their individual work flow with the GQueues for Gmail extension, turning relevant email content into actionable tasks. Being able to sort emails from personal, to group, to “junk” made it easy to focus only on relevant tasks.

In the same vein, teams used the GQueues Chrome Extension to add spur of the moment ideas and web content to their tasks without logging into GQueues. This was more productive than sharing a link and having recipients scan through the entire web page to find the relevant content. It also allowed team members to create tasks instantly, a shortcut to the full GQueues interface.

Over the past three years, we've been thrilled to help Krengeltech improve collaboration and communication and achieve more client-focused results. Chris Franz, CEO of Krengeltech noted the app’s simplicity and integration with Google Apps as, "pretty much a no brainer," so we're glad to hear the process was simple.

If you’d like to learn more about GQueues features, how they can optimize your work flow and drive results, take a moment to view our other case studies across several industries. No matter your line of work, we hope this information helps you make key decisions for a productive, purpose-driven New Year.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Focusing on the Essential in 2015

Surrounded by family and friends, I find the holidays are a great time to reflect on what really matters. While I’m fairly clear on the current direction of my life, I noticed a disconnect between what’s important to me and how I was actually spending my time and energy everyday. This reminded me of a key point in Greg McKeown’s latest book Essentialism which I read this past fall:

“Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done.”

That’s it! Even though we know what’s important to accomplish, our daily activities often don’t match up and we squander our time on the non-essential. To be productive is not enough. In order to make our highest contributions both personally and professionally, we must consciously direct our efforts to do the “right" things.

Here are 4 practices to help focus your energy on what is essential, every day.

1. Learn to Say No

Your time is limited. Therefore, the only way to focus on the essential is to reduce time spent on the non-essential. This requires saying no to people or opportunities that distract you from what you value most.

These techniques can help you decide when it is in your best interest to say no:
  • Monitor what is on your plate. Your life is already full. You spend every minute of the day on something. When a new opportunity comes along, think about what it will replace and deliberately decide if this trade is worthwhile. If you’re not willing to give up something else (whether it’s another project, sleep or even relaxation time) then you can confidently and graciously say no.

  • Listen to your body and intuition. They are important! Saying yes to something that seems attractive, but leaves you feeling tight in the belly, or cramped in your back, merits reconsideration. Your body is your best ally in situations where an answer may not be apparent. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s usually a sign for you to first stop and think before moving forward. 

2. Always Give Your All

If you are saying no to the non-essential and focusing only on what’s important to you, it will be easier to bring your best effort to activities. With more time, energy and focus available, you can develop strategies to do higher-level work in a given time.

Here are 3 ways to give your all on a daily basis:
  • Be fully present in whatever you are doing. This requires staying in the moment, accepting the current situation as it is and then deciding how you want to respond and engage. A daily mindfulness routine can help you develop this habit – start your morning with meditation, watch a motivational TED Talk, spend 15 minutes making something with your hands (art, food, music, etc.), take an improv class, or anything else that helps you focus on the now.

  • Start your top priorities first. Since you can only accomplish a number of tasks each day, starting your top priorities first ensures they aren’t neglected due to fatigue. Instead of spending the first hours of your day archiving junk email, take that time to focus on the heavy hitters, such as finishing a business proposal.

  • Be open to feedback. Listening openly, without judgment and without taking things personally is one of the most valuable skills in the workplace and world today. It requires noticing your thoughts and letting defensiveness go while receiving feedback from supervisors, your team, your spouse, or anyone who provides it. First, consider if the feedback resonates with you. If so, put it into action – showing up earlier, sharing more ideas at meetings, spending more time with your kids, or anything else. If it doesn't, choose to continue in a way that is best for you.

3. Optimize Your Habits 

Often, we develop unintentional patterns that waste time, energy and money. Monitoring your daily actions can help you become aware of how you spend resources and how to maximize your ROI.
  • Review how you spend time, money and energy. Track everything for a short period so you have a thorough assessment. Use tracking apps to simplify the process.

  • Eliminate the unnecessary. Identify activities you can cut altogether. I’m no longer checking email when I don’t actually have time to respond. Last year I stopped keeping snacks at my desk, which led to habitual, mindless eating.

  • Replace unintentional patterns with efficient ones. I used to spend about $30 a week on subway train tickets instead of buying an unlimited monthly pass for $100. It took me four months to finally make the switch, realizing the unlimited pass would have saved me $80 in that time period, and countless minutes spent buying tickets every time I took the train.

4. Energize Your Mind and Body

Our minds and bodies need breaks. We put a lot of pressure on them to relentlessly perform, but they are living organisms that also require nurture and care. If you plan to give your all for the long haul, you'll need to keep your mind and body energized.

Here are three ways to sustain your energy on a daily basis:
  • Physical activity. You don’t have to climb Mount Everest, run a marathon, or even join a gym. But incorporating simple and stimulating physical activity in your daily routine will improve your energy level. Take power walks, do cubicle yoga, or jog on lunch breaks.

  • Change your work setting. Mix it up. Spend a few hours on your laptop in a communal space, then move to your desk to make your day’s phone calls. When you’re done, step out to a café for some relaxation, or choose another fun destination and keep the work going.

  • Connect with others. When the 3pm office slump kicks in, be the first to drum up a game of Catch Phrase with the team, lead a ten minute dance party, capture a funny group video, or make plans to grab a few beers together when the day is done. 
Taking time to connect with yourself and others stimulates you and helps your whole team accomplish more. Check out these tips for other ways to transform your office into a happy, productive workspace.

Now equipped with four practices for an essential life, how do you envision your year ahead? Whether you're ready to build your business, start a family, travel abroad or anything else, frequently check in with the actions you are taking to make sure they align with your larger goals. There are few things more inspiring than to accomplish exactly what you set out for, no matter what else comes up.