People who work on an assembly line don’t struggle with knowing what to do each day when they come into the workplace. On the other hand, workers who sit in front of a computer all day can go into the office with a fresh coffee cup without an idea of what they need to get done for the day. Why is that? Their tasks are spread across to-do applications, separate emails, and sticky notes.
Why Tasks Belong In Your Inbox
Our recent upgrades to the Spike platform unifies workflows by adding Tasks and Notes to the Email Inbox. Apps like Outlook have included tasks as a completely separate section inside the app, so it’s clear that companies have acknowledged the idea of users wanting a simpler solution for their workspace needs. What makes Spike into a productivity powerhouse is the use of the Inbox. Instead of switching to different windows inside a single app, Spike’s Inbox includes everything in a single feed, so you can clearly see what needs your attention, and what needs to be worked on by. By combining your essential tools in a single place, you can triage notifications, updates to documents, and task requirements in a single location.
Email is how business is communicated, so why would we want a separate system when the majority of our tasks come in from our primary communication method. Before we discuss why tasks should live in your Inbox, let’s first examine how tasks are assigned.
How Are Tasks Assigned?
Here are the four ways that tasks come your way:
Some tasks come through your email or another form of communication, such as text messaging.
Face to Face Communications
Others come in through talking to people at work, communicating with your spouse, or receiving a text message. These tasks come to you. And you need to be ready to document them.
Lands In Your Lap
Tasks that land in your lap throughout the day. They “land” because you didn’t ask for it, and you didn’t plan for them. George decided it’s your job to complete them, or suddenly your boiler broke, and you need someone to fix it. They LAND on you.They weren’t on your radar before, but they have to be handled now.
Tasks You CreateTasks that you add by yourself as you going throughout life. These tasks might include reservations for a restaurant, home maintenance, projects you came up with, financial related, etc.
When Are You Going To Do It?
Knowing when to complete a task is just as important as knowing what to do. We all have thousands of things we could be doing, but it’s impossible to do them all. Being realistic about what you can do on a given day is very important. If you have a task land in your lap that you know you won’t have time to handle until tomorrow, there is no reason to stare at a task item that you have no chance of doing today. You should set a Note for tomorrow to work on it then.
Now that we’ve set the groundwork for how tasks come in and how you decide to work on them, let’s look at a typical day. You might have three things on your tasks list in Spike’s Inbox that you plan to work on today. As you get started on your day, you quickly knock out one of your tasks. You mark it as complete in Spike and then archive it. As you begin on the second task, you get a phone call from your boss. While you’re on the phone with her, you get an important customer email that will require you to drop everything. After you hang up, you document the tasks your boss gave you as Spike Tasks. As you stare at your Inbox, you see the two tasks you had from this morning, the email from your customer, and your boss’s tasks. You know there is no possible way to complete them all in a day.
Spike Snooze To The Rescue
Instead of staring at a long list of tasks and emails you know you won’t be able to handle, you decide to clean up your Inbox by being realistic about what you’ll be able to do today. You quickly Snooze your two items from this morning until tomorrow, snooze your boss’s task until the afternoon, and all you are left with is the email from your customer. You can focus on that task as you know exactly what you need to be working on, but trust Spike to bring the other tasks back into your Inbox at the chosen time to get your attention. The Snooze function works great with recurring tasks as well. If you have a task to change your air filter in your home, after you finish it, a quick snooze to three months from now will remind you to complete it again.
There’s no need for a separate task manager or reminders application. There’s no need to switch back and forth between email and multiple other applications to get a clear view of your day and to know what is in front of you.
A Final Word On Spike And Tasks
Your Inbox is where everything in your digital life can live, and you can have a clear understanding of what is demanding your attention at any given time. Using multiple applications for email and task will not give you a clear picture of your day, what’s demanding your attention, and really understanding what needs to be done. By having a single view into all of your incoming communications, tasks, and updated documents for review, Spike becomes a virtual assistant that helps keep you focused and helps get everything done on time.