Ever get the feeling that there’s not enough time in the day? That you’re constantly behind with your to do list? That no matter how much extra effort you put into your work, there’s no light at the end of the tunnel? Well, you’re definitely not alone.
Today, we’re constantly pushing ourselves to be more productive. Searching for ways to stay focused, to avoid procrastination, to get more sh!t done! However, as is often the case, working harder is probably not the answer. Working smarter is where it’s at – and hacking your everyday workflow is the way to do it.
We are, after all, creatures of habit, and fostering good habits can make a world of difference to your productivity levels. Introducing even just a few work hacks designed to streamline your workflow can revolutionize the way you create, collaborate, and communicate on a daily basis.
But how to go about it? What tools will you need? How can you deal with ever-growing silos of information and the problem of constantly switching between apps? How can you turn all those daily distractions into degrees of efficiency? Well, the short answer is to download Spike! For the long answer, you’ll need to read on to discover a galaxy of productivity hacks packed into a single, unified workspace!
Productivity Hack No. 1 – Stay in the Loop
Keeping tabs on your communications is a tricky thing to do. You want to know your emails are being received and that they’re being read. You need to know your words are hitting home. That you can fire off an email and forget about it until you receive a reply. You definitely don’t need the extra stress of wondering whether your emails have ended up in the spam folder. Or, worse, that they’re just straight out ignored or deleted!
However, short of relying entirely on instant messaging, most email clients keep you in the dark. They shut you out, giving you no indication of whether an email has made it to the recipient’s inbox, whether they’ve been read, or whether or not you can expect an instant reply. Spike does things a little differently, and our real-time email awareness will keep you and your colleagues in the loop at all times.
Let’s say you need to chat with your colleagues about a new project. You want to get everyone onboard through instant messaging, send briefings and attachments through email, and you need to know that everyone has read and absorbed everything you share. Spike lets you do all of this from a single place, helping you to stay focused without constantly switching between apps.
Spike’s Conversational Email combines the best of instant messaging and email. We’ve ditched conventional headers, signatures, and the long and confusing threads to streamline your communications so you can connect…well…more conversationally. Spike also keeps you in the loop at all times, with real-time email awareness that shows when your messages have been received, read, and when a colleague is replying.
Productivity Hack No. 2 – Chat When You Want, Focus When You Don’t
The always-on mentality is killing us. Digital distractions are among the biggest contributors to poor productivity. It’s also bad for your health, and the temptation to be available to colleagues and clients at all hours is stretching our creativity to breaking point.
However, in a world of instant messaging, where teams are spread across time zones and individuals work flexible hours, how can you possibly claim back a little downtime to regroup and refresh your tired mind? Asynchronous communication is the answer, and Spike is built on it!
Adopting asynchronous communication as a productivity hack at work will change your life, boost productivity and help you find your flow. Spike balances instant messaging (synchronous communication) with email (asynchronous communication) so you can chat when you need to, and focus when you don’t.
Perhaps you need to communicate with your team first thing and share your to-do list. Just drop a message using Groups and ensure everyone responds and understands what needs to be done. After that, you can rely on asynchronous communication for any non-critical emails. Your team will know messages have been received thanks to Spike’s real-time email awareness, however, you don’t need to reply instantly, since asynchronous communication doesn’t require everyone to be online at the same time. Just let that sink in for a moment—and let that email rest in your inbox until you have time to answer.
Productivity Hack No. 3 – Keep Your Most Important Contacts Live
Most people, however busy, tend to have a set of core contacts who they communicate with every day. Whether you’re a freelancer with a pool of clients, a project manager with a trusted team, or a CEO with a few close confidants who deal with the day-to-day, keeping those contacts easily accessible ensures you can always get ahold of the right people at the right time.
Priority Inbox from Spike is the work hack you need to keep your favorite people front and center – and it’s as simple and intuitive as the name suggests. Priority Inbox “prioritizes” the contacts who you regularly communicate with, pushing them to the top of your inbox and sending everything you don’t need (newsletters, notifications, non-essential mail) to your “Other” inbox.
Here’s the scenario. You regularly sign up for new tools and interesting resources – you want to keep up with the latest industry news and test out useful new apps, however, you don’t want to deal with the mountains of email that come along with that. Spike’s intelligent Priority Inbox has got your back, and all of those non-essential emails will automatically go to your “Other” inbox for you to deal with at a later date. You can choose to add them to Priority Inbox at any time.
To make your life even easier, you can also pin important emails to the top of your inbox, star emails that need your attention, tag messages with your choice of keywords, and archive old emails that you no longer need.
Productivity Hack No. 4 – Schedule Everything
When it comes to work hacks, scheduling and automating processes rank high on the list. If you can schedule something for a later date, then you’ll be able to increase efficiency and boost productivity by ensuring that tasks are completed at the time you assign to them, and not as soon as they hit your inbox.
Luckily for you, Spike has a range of scheduling features built right into the app, so you can automate reminders, email replies, and snooze emails in just a few clicks. As an effective productivity tool, it’s super useful. As a simple way to hack your workday, there’s no beating it.
Let’s say you arrive at the office on Monday morning to a flood of emails. You need to arrange face-to-face meetings, update team members in another time zone on particular projects, and send some non-critical information that has been requested to the right people. Spike makes all this simple.
First, any less important emails, such as requests for non-critical information, can be snoozed by right clicking the email and selecting “Later Today”, “Tomorrow”, “Next Week”, or by selecting a time and date of your choosing – and they’ll pop back into your inbox so you can deal with them at a more suitable time. Next schedule your meetings in Calendar and share the appointment with the relevant contacts. Finally, if you need to update team members on the other side of the world (but you know it’s 3am there), just use Spike’s Send Later feature and schedule your email for a more respectable time. Easy.
Productivity Hack No. 5 – Get At-A-Glance Attachments
Sending email attachments is among the most popular features of any email client. Sharing documents, video, audio, and other files allows us to quickly distribute information and collaborate from anywhere in the world. However, for many email users, the way in which most apps deal with attachments can be frustrating.
Spike, on the other hand, has the perfect work productivity hack that allows you to send, receive, and view attachments seamlessly. In fact, once you’ve tried our File Management features, you’ll wonder how you ever got by before.
Here’s the scene. You need to send the boss a PowerPoint presentation that you and your team have been collaborating on. However, you have 10 working files (all named in a similar way) dotted throughout your hard drive and cloud storage. Don’t worry though, Spike has got your back.
Spike allows you to easily attach files from your hard drive or the cloud (OneDrive, DropBox, Google Drive) in just a few clicks. However, instead of opening each file to find the right one, you can simply preview the file directly within Spike, identifying it by its detailed thumbnail. The same is true when you receive a file, all the information contained is previewed directly within Spike – so you never have to download it (unless you really need to). It’s the easiest way to deal with email attachments, and it’s built right into the Spike app.
Whether it’s professional or personal productivity hacks you’re looking for, Spike’s all-in-one approach to email has plenty of options designed to streamline your day. Download Spike now and check it out for yourself. Discover more productivity hacks and tips in the Spike blog for everything on how to improve office communications to loving what you do every day!