break-up-with-email-and-spreadsheets

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Say "No" with email.
Say "Yes" with Trello, myXteam

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1. Why Managers Need to Break Up with Email & Spreadsheets It’s Not Me, It’s You:

21. APPENDIX: [1] Wrike. “Email as Project Management Software.” 2015. https://www.wrike.com/articles/email-as-project-management-software.jsp [2] McKinsey Global Institute, “The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies.” July 2012. http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/mgi/research/technology_and_innovation/the_ social_economy [3] David Allen, video interview. “Is Information Overload Real? Or Are We Just a Wimpy Generation? (Video)” https://www.wrike.com/blog/information-overload-video/ [BONUS] The Oatmeal has a lovely webcomic called “Feeding the Email Monster.” It is awesome. http://theoatmeal.com/comics/email_monster

14. 14 SHARE PART IV. Presenting My New Workspace I’ve found a better way to manage my work, not to mention make collaboration a seamless experience. And it’s called Wrike.

9. 9 SHARE PART II. Spreadsheets: You Make Me Do All the Work Dear Spreadsheets, The honeymoon is over, and I see things as they truly are. You, my dear, are terribly high-maintenance. And to make matters worse, you never tell me anything. It's time for us to go our separate ways. Allow me to explain why:

20. It's time to take team collaboration to a whole new level with Wrike. Start a Free Trial Award-winning collaboration and project management software. High-performance teams rely on Wrike

2. 2 SHARE Ever since the dawn of this modern age, there’s been a difficult and painful relationship between managers and their first loves: email and spreadsheets. Managers of all stripes have resorted to using the most easily available tools to coordinate their teams and manage work — typically Outlook and Excel. But things have gotten way out of hand. Instead of managing the work, many end up simply managing the tool. There are now better ways to lead a project to success, and it’s time to send a breakup letter to your old work style. Because seriously, managers, this relationship is going nowhere fast. Why You Need This Ebook

4. 4 SHARE Dear Email, You know I’ll always need you, but lately my passion for you has dimmed. This is because you are TERRIBLE FOR COLLABORATION. Let me tell you why: PART I. Email: Why Do You Have to Make Things So Difficult?

13. 13 SHARE So... thank you, email and spreadsheets, for all the good years and the successes we shared. But you can take back the headaches, the wasted time, the hassles, and the failures you brought me. It’s time to move on. Sincerely, Your Manager PART III. Time to Move On...

3. 3 SHARE TABLE OF CONTENTS PART I. PART II. PART III. PART IV. 4 9 13 14 Email: Why Do You Have to Make Things So Difficult? Spreadsheets: You Make Me Do All the Work Time to Move On... Presenting My New Workspace

12. 12 SHARE Reason 5: You Crash and Wipe Away My Work How many times have we spent late nights making sweet edits and revisions together? And then suddenly, BOOM ! You crash, destroying hours of blood, sweat and tears. It's almost as if you're purposely sabotaging our relationship!

17. 17 SHARE Reason 3: I Can Coordinate Teamwork With spreadsheets, I waste a lot of time on keeping the plan up-to-date and ensuring the team’s work is aligned with the project priorities. Instead, I can trust Wrike to show us a project’s status in real time. It updates automatically when someone makes a change. End result? We know what we need to do and when the deadline is by looking at the My Work dashboard. No more excuses like, "But no one told me!”

8. 8 SHARE Reason 6: You Make Everything Urgent Here’s a final difficulty with you. I never know which of your messages are most urgent and which I can ignore. I end up having to check EVERY new message, wasting lots of valuable time. David Allen , productivity icon and author of Getting Things Done , calls this problem, “drowning in potentially meaningful information.” [3] I can’t determine which emails contain fires I need to put out — and that stresses me out, because they could ALL BE EMERGENCIES. But you never tell me in advance.

19. 19 SHARE Reason 5: I Can Save Time In Wrike, there is less time wasted on maintaining the project plan or asking for status updates because dashboards show me where projects stand. Overall, it gives us better team communication, which minimizes errors and increases our velocity.

18. 18 SHARE Reason 4: I Can Improve Team Performance With spreadsheets or email, I can’t see people’s workloads, which makes it difficult to manage my team. With Wrike, I have access to powerful management tools : visual dashboards give me richer insight into the team’s workload, making it easy to recalibrate when needed. I can see how the team is performing. If a project schedule needs adjustment, I can drag and drop timelines. I can even balance project resources and track performance via a burn down chart.

5. 5 SHARE Reason 1: You Can’t Hold Context For one thing, when the team converses about tasks, deadlines, and assignments, communication often loses its original context. It gets harder to track who said what, which project we’re talking about, which tasks I need to accomplish, and by when! All of those emails starting with RE: and FWD: confuse me — especially if people respond with one-word answers. [1] Reason 2: You Don’t Give Me Visibility on Work Being Done Look, every good relationship is built on trust and transparency. And while I trust my teammates, YOU are never transparent with me. When I use you to manage my projects, I can never really see how far along the work is or how quickly it’s progressing. I don’t have an efficient way to track which tasks are done, outside of going over to a team member’s cubicle and asking, “Have you finished the ___ I asked you for?” Or worse yet, sending yet ANOTHER email to request the status of the task!

10. 10 SHARE Reason 2: You’re High-Maintenance Sure, you appear to give order by putting things into columns and rows so I can parse everything at a glance. But when we work on a project together, I have to painstakingly update you every day. When new tasks appear in my to-do list , YOU CAN’T add them automatically. When a status changes, I need to color-code it and then make a note. You demand that I spend time with you for all these LITTLE THINGS that you can’t do on your own. I’m just so tired of doing all the work in this relationship! Reason 1: You're Immediately Obsolete Everything on the spreadsheet is OBSOLETE the minute I input it. How am I to know if the task I'm marking "In Progress" was completed just minutes after I color-coded it yellow? Your outdated information means I have to go around asking people for status updates! I wish you could simply TELL me how much work has been done without the extra follow-ups, but no. YOU NEVER MAKE IT EASY.

7. 7 SHARE Reason 5: My Time is Spent Inefficiently You demand so much of my time! I spend 28% of my day interacting with you [2] — that’s pretty significant. And all those hours... for what? You use my time so inefficiently. Our time together does not typically move projects forward or cross things off my to-do list. In addition, you’re relentless! You make me respond to meeting requests, mark messages as spam, reply to endless status update requests, and do more tedious busywork. And no matter how much I get through, you keep giving me more new messages every minute! I check you in the morning when I wake, every few minutes when at work, before dinner, and even before sleeping. My family resents your control over me. It’s just way too much. I constantly have to hunt for important information — and I often can’t find it! I have to comb through your messages for the latest instructions, or files, or my colleagues’ comments and approvals. Not surprisingly, searching for and gathering information takes up 1.76 hours a day , or 19% of my workday! [2]

11. 11 SHARE Reason 4: You Allow People to Create Multiple Versions of the Truth I thought we had an exclusive relationship and that I was the only one who could update you. Then I found out that my boss and my coworker both made copies and we've all updated different versions of you. Now I have the EXTRA PAIN of reconciling all these versions into one. Oh boy.... Reason 3: You’re a Time Sink Instead of managing projects, I’m managing you. Your column widths, your row colors, your pivot tables, your text formatting, your formulas. I’m tinkering with you, updating you, all day, every day. I’VE HAD ENOUGH!

6. 6 SHARE Reason 4: You’re an Attachment Black Hole I have a problem keeping tabs on all those little gifts you attach to your love letters. Not the photos, those are fine. I’m talking about spreadsheet attachments, PDFs, slide decks, Word docs. After a while I can’t tell where the ATTACHMENT is, which version is the most up-to-date , or even what I need to work on at any given moment! If I had a dollar for every time I asked a colleague to simply email the attachment again because I couldn’t find it, I’d be the richest person in the world. THIS ISN’T WORKING FOR ME. Reason 3: With You, There’s No Accountability or Support Because you don’t give me visibility into work being done, there is not enough ACCOUNTABILITY for the people in our team. Granted, we each know our own roles and responsibilities, and try to make sure work gets done. But even then, there may be tasks where it’s unclear who’s doing what. And what if we want to know who else is working on a similar task so we can ask for help? Or if we simply want some feedback from the rest of the team on our work? YOU MAKE IT SO DIFFICULT to get the support we need. I mean, we might get some help, but it’ll probably be buried 7 emails deep.

16. 16 SHARE Reason 2: I Can Collaborate Efficiently Sending documents back and forth via email can ruin anyone’s productivity. In Wrike, my team can all be editing or writing simultaneously , creating perfect ad copy or clear technical requirements in a blink of an eye. Real-time document editing Clear communication It’s so much faster to get work done and follow-up on requests to others when my team can be reached easily by @mentioning them in task comments. When they respond , I’m alerted,and the comments show up in the task itself and so I know exactly what we're all talking about. Collaborative writing and editing New assignments New task conversations

15. 15 SHARE Unlike email, which gets confusing the longer the thread gets, my action items in Wrike are identified by project names and tags , with assignees providing task descriptions that help me understand my team’s work . Context Conversations Files With email, I easily get lost in threads and document versions. But in Wrike, all file attachments (from my hard drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, or Box) and conversations about work are connected to the tasks we're talking about. Reason 1. I Can Find Information Quickly Perfect context Connected data

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