pexels-photo-30814

Tips & Tricks: Create Projects by E-mail

Even if I’ve worked with Twproject for several years I get surprised every day by  its number of hidden features. The one that I show you today could really help you, if, for example, you cannot access the application and you have to create a task to save information that you can loose otherwise.

Twproject is able to create a task, with document attached and assignments simply reading an email written in a specific yet simple defined format.

Example:

Email Subject
NEW PROJECT Twproject Mobile Release 3.0
Email Message
CODE TW_MOB3.0
START 08/11/2016
END 15/03/2017
A complete redesigned user interface and functionality for Twproject mobile app.

This email will create a task with name “Twproject Mobile Release 3.0” and code “TW_MOB3.0”. As you can imagine this task will start on the eight of November and it will end in the middle of March.
All the text of the message will be saved inside the description, and last but not least, in case you attach documents to this e-mail, those will be saved as document in the task.

Twproject security model works also in this case, the sender e-mail, in fact,  needs to be related to a user with task create permission.

ScreenShot005

Is that simple, isn’t it? You can even create a template of your message that you can use to compose it in seconds!

 

 

ScreenShot069

Software Development Project Template – Free Download

Even if every company has its own peculiarity, we find, in our experience, that company with same business share also the same internal processes.

This is probably the reason why, often, our customers, ask us for project’s template that they can import and adjust in their own Twproject instance. This helps them starting with Twproject easily, refining processes on the go.

We got then the idea to share all these templates in a series of blog posts where you will find the template file free to download.

Which is the project?

Today we create a typical software development project template. Software, but also a different kind of product. We created this with one of our customers that has lunched its product on kickstarter, of course, we simplify the project, removing all tasks specific for its project.

This project is a great example, in fact, we recognize in it, all the common phases and dependencies of a  software development project. It could work for our software house too. Of course, once imported, you can change it to best fit your company’ production process.

The first step of the project is to analyze competitors and collect ideas and requirements. This steps for example could be different if the software is owned by your company or if it is created for a specific customers, in this second case you will probably skip competitor’s analysis to focus on collecting requirements from your  customer.

Second step is “development”, in this case we are talking about a web application, but it could work for a mobile app too.

Testing phase is not included but you could add if it is done internally instead of by your customer.

Last but not least we have documentation and the marketing Phase, which starts immediately and maybe before the beta launch.

ScreenShot068

The structure of the development phase is probably the most variable, for example you could have a series of beta releases instead of one, you could have internal testing and also a customer approval step. This are just some ideas of this project possible changes.

How can I import it?

Download the file below and open your Twproject instance. In the project list page there is a button with two arrows that will open a menu with the import functionality.

 

ScreenShot067

 

How does it work?

In Twproject every project could be a template for creating a new one. The copy function, in fact, is available in every project details page.

The best part, is that you can create really complex projects with a click but, at the same time, you can decide to copy/clone only small part of a single project, and re-use it in the same project or in a brand new one. Its up to you.

Our file is a complex project that you can just import and transform in your own template, adjust names, task duration and you are ready to go.

Ignore start date and task status, because your project will be relocated in time once you copy it.

Great right?

Click to download the template

If you created your own template in Twproject and you want to share it with us you can send them at info@twproject.com!

Our template can be exported in MPX format too, if you want it you can send us an email at  info@twproject.com.

 

photo-1468971050039-be99497410af (1)

3 Productivity Infographic You Need to See

Perhaps your are the busiest person you know….. in this case you will probably need some help to stay productive and focused on your main tasks and goals, so go ahead and read this post 🙂

Global research and studies have pointed out  some great new data in order to help us  understanding what prevent us to be productive. We have recently found 4 interesting info graphic that you really need to check. Nothing about procrastination or interruptions, these 4 info graphic, with a touch of irony, show us something new.

Identify what makes you less productive

We have talked about productivity enemies several times: multitasking, interruptions, notifications, procrastination, these, and many other reasons, force you working by breaks, reducing hugely your productivity.  A recent study pointed also out that time management systems, focused only on tracking minutes, can reduced it even more. This is one of the reason that convinced us to create a software focused on helping people working better instead of simply tracking data. Why getting things done is so hard, if we are always so busy? Of curse it’s a matter of how we manage our time across projects and in particular our energy. Are we focusing on the right tasks? Check here how Twproject can help you work better.

ScreenShot057

Take a serious break

The study brought to us by the first info graphic told us that in the past few years the number of cases of work related stress, depression and anxiety are grown, and that 60% of British employee (probably not only in Britain) work beyond their contract hours, that said, the importance of breaks is grown as well. Successful people recognize the need to dedicate time to what is really important and fun and tell us how they manage their week-ends. Nothing surprising, it is just interesting to understand how important it is, for your productivity, to dedicate time to yourself and to what makes you happy.

ScreenShot059

Get inspired!

Some of the most successful people have and had a very accurate schedule to follow day by day. Has been proven that a consistent habits helps being more productive, waking up early, having an healthy breakfast and exercise every day at the some time are just few example. Having a routine is reassuring and allows you to be more relaxed and better focus yourself on what needs to be done. Check the schedule of these 20 famous people and get inspired 🙂
ScreenShot061

 

Sources:

First info graphic from Make It Cheaper.

Second info graphic from Lifehack.

Last info grafic by   When I Work

 

Increase productivity with Twproject

photo-1454165804606-c3d57bc86b40

5 ways to get a more productive environment

Staying productive is the hardest and compelling task for all employees: be focused at your desk closing task for all day long. It isn’t simple. Isn’t it?

Productivity is a famous topic, covered in hundreds and hundreds of posts, most of them giving a lot of interesting hints to keep up a high energy level at work. However, in my experience, I’ve found that most of them are not effective, and useless in time, if you work in a non productive environment.

But what does that mean?

It means that all your effort could be useless and tiring if for example you work in an intrusive and interrupting office, on a uncomfortable chair, or on a completely messed desk. It could be obvious but it isn’t, and what if your tasks are boring or extremely difficult? Those require even more effort.

First step: Get your place clean. A new study from the Florida State University suggests that inadequate amount of stimulation in the workplace and an unclean working environment can both affect your brain functions on the long run. First thing in the morning clean your desk from all the old papers collected the day before and reorganize your docs.  This works great for me because I’m quite a messy person and, at the end of the day, I leave my desk cluttered.

photo-1454587399083-b11b22f48fb6

Second step: remove all distractions around you. This is the most famous suggestion for staying productive: reduce work noise like emails, cell buzzing and colleague chatting. I’ve found that this is probably the hardest one, because all of us, right now, are probably working on tasks but also with emails, in a team, having clients calling on your phone.

I solve this issue creating dedicated time slots, I check my email first thing first after cleaning my desk from old papers and first thing first after lunch. Once done I close it and never check it again until the next slot. I do the same with my phone, it remains turned off until its dedicated time slot. All the others unpredictable interruptions, unfortunately, cannot be manged. I found really useful to record how much time these interruptions stole to my work, this helps me identifying which is the one that really needs to be avoided.

Third step: Create an organized to do list. Once you have answered your emails and your phone messages it’s time to work on your real task.

Having them organized  is very useful. I found really helpful to use a sortable list of to-dos, organized by tasks. In my experience priorities can change day by day and checking this list every morning, sorting to-dos, and in the evening, closing things done is really encouraging. If you like to work with this approach I suggest you to take a look at our project management software Twproject, you will love it.

Fourth step: Stay healthy, hydrate yourself and take a break every 25 minutes. These are generic suggestions, but, taking care of yourself will positively influence your life, even at work. Check that your chair is comfortable, take a break every 25 minutes, drink and check your posture. Take a look at the Pomodoro technique to boost your productivity: 25 minutes of focused work and 5 minutes break. To get the best from this technique involve your team and try to follow all the same path in order to be on board and do not interfere with others timers.photo-1447875372440-4037e6fae95d

Last step: At the end of the day turn it off.  Try to avoid homework and leave work stress inside the office.  A good night of sleep is the secret of all the most successful people.

“To sleep, perchance to dream, perchance to… strengthen neuronal networks?”

A very interesting article from the Harvard University pointed out a list of suggestions and examples of why you need to get a good night of sleep to be more productive at work and happy in your life.

So these are 5 essential aspects of your habits that you need to check and maybe adjust to be more productive. I’m trying myself all of them with encouraging results.  Follow us on our social networks for other tips and tricks to get the best out of your work life, and send us your impressions and your experience in boosting productivity, it would be great to hear from you.

Manage your to-dos with Twproject

photo-1428954376791-d9ae785dfb2d

5 tricks to turn procrastination into productivity

Procrastination is one of the biggest weakness of nowadays, the worst person you could hire in your company is the procrastinator: not the one unable of working in team, not the one unable to make the right decision, not the one unable of organize his own work, just the procrastinator.

Just reading these few first lines you can understand how much attention has been given to this word, probably without a real reason.

Being a procrastinator could be a problem in a work environment but there are several ways to get it for the better.

I should probably start explaining what a procrastinator is and why procrastination is the big enemy of your productivity:

“to procrastinate: to keep delaying something that must be done, often because it is unpleasant or boring”

This explanation could sound really familiar, probably it has happened to all  of us to procrastinate something important that was felt as unpleasant or really boring, but what if you end up procrastinating day by day all your most important task?

The main reason of procrastinating is well explained in this post of Blake Thorne, I really suggest you to read it.

http://blog.idonethis.com/procrastination/

What I really love of this post was that at the end it comes with a very intuitive way to start beating your procrastination problem, a very simple approach to the problem, just ask yourself:  is this task really important or you could just delete it?

Blake Thorne create list of few questions that you should answer about your task to know if it just can be avoided.

In case you can do that, simply removing  the task from the list, you are done. Otherwise you may have founded the value of the task you are working one having the right boost to start working on it. But what if that task is really boring and useless but needs to be done? How many times our boss give us a task that is pretty hard to close but with a very high priority?

This is a list of 5 tricks to avoid procrastination and start working on that awful task 🙂 and finally turn procrastination into productivity

1) Divide the task in smaller problems and analyze it

sometimes procrastination seems the only way out because you are overwhelmed buy a problem that seems to complex to be solved, well, dividing it into smaller tasks will help you defining the problem itself and identify which are the key point that really get you annoyed, if you identify these points you can even ask for someone help to complete them and get your big project done.

2) Prioritize things to do

The second step, once you have divided the big task in smaller ones, is just to prioritize them. This is another trick to identify those points that give you anxiety, in fact you will probably put them at the end of the list. Once you get those, you can even start with point one again, dividing them into even smaller tasks, the smaller you get the better.

photo-1435773658541-98cedf12d3cd

3) Be kind to yourself and pay attention to the future you:

This is a very interesting aspect, that I always use when I have to face big problems that I would really love to procrastinate. Think about your future you once the work will be done, so relieved, so proud of himself, this should give you the right mood to start that awful task, and even if you are not able to do that be kind with yourself, always remember to ask the help of your colleague for a task that you can’t accomplish, this is the meaning of teamwork.

4) Avoid interruptions

Try to avoid interruption as much as you can, if you are finally able to start working on your hard task being interrupted will put you again in the state of start.

5) Taste your small success

Every time you close one of these tasks be proud of yourself and take a moment to taste your success, be proud of yourself and keep this mood to close all your next tasks.

Be more productive with Twproject

84GOP2OAKR

No more notes on your desk with Twproject

If your desk and your monitor are full of notes and reminders it is clearly time to do something about it. There is a better way to collect your notes and to-dos and it’s called Twproject.
You are busy at work, we know that, and you have a lot of things to remember and do…
What? You are a wife/mother too?
Ok, you have tons and tons of things to remember and do 🙂

But we are here to help you, with Twproject you can finally remove all those papers from your desk and start being organized…yes, including the ‘buy the milk’ one.
In Twproject there is a specific place to collect your annotations, your thoughts, your to-dos and reminders, and the best part is that you can associate them to specific projects, to filter them, organize and prioritize them.
Finally the due date will be visible and you will be notified for the approaching ones. No need to cover your monitor with the most urgent one, Twproject will do the job.
ScreenShot010
Twproject is a project management software that is useful not just for creating Gantt charts and project plans but for managing your everyday work too.
We have finally won the battle against paper, and we know that you will agree with us once you will start using it. No more notes on your desk with Twproject, just a dashboard with all the information you need for closing your tasks, staying organized.

tour-get-things-done-51

And there is so much more than this, communication with your colleague will be easier too. Sharing information and thoughts about tasks, comments, messages, everything in one place.

 

 

 

woman-hand-smartphone-desk

Plan Your To-Dos with Twproject

Organizing work to-dos is probably the hardest part of self organization, we read every day so many articles about haw to stay organized managing time productively and creating effective to-do lists. Here at Twproject we face the same problem as you do, because we are developers, marketers, designers exactly like you. When we started redesigning Twproject 6 we sit around a table thinking about how to really solve this every day problem, how to really help people organizing their to-dos?

For this purpose we introduced 2 very effective tools, the to-do planner and the Kanban tool, but today I want to focus just on the first one: Twproject To-Do planner:

ScreenShot030

Let’s see what you can do with this amazing tool: first of all, at the top of the page you have a filter that gives you all the power to find and refine the list of selected to-dos. This is up to you, you can decide to organize your to-dos task by task, or all together, you may just want to see the most urgent ones, or the open ones, as I said, it depends on you. Twproject filters are really flexible and all filters can be saved and reused.

Your filtered to-dos will appear on the grid on the left, or in the box of the day in case you have already planned them for a specific day.

Now what you have to do is simply drag them to the day you want to schedule it.

Having your to-dos-planned will help you also keeping track of them, the impact bar will show you if you have expired to-dos, something that you should have done and that is still open.

ScreenShot031

This tool is helpful even more considering that you can then prioritize all the to-dos you have for a day.

The Twproject to-do planner is even more powerful because it can be used in a shared environment, so you can add more users to the list moving to-dos from one resource to another. This is very useful if you work in a smart team that shares thinks to be done.

Create your work list according to your tasks, plan your to-dos with Twproject planner staying always organized, prioritize them day by day, add comments, screenshots and get things done!

Convinced right? So just give Twproject a try!