I tell by my own example how to build work and increase productivity using a simple tool from the Russian team.
Foreign online services are leaving Russia at the speed of light, losing customers, reputation, market share, and let them go. We believe in our guys and girls who can make the replacement just as good.
Today I would like to talk about one such domestic tool for planning personal and work tasks, as well as full-fledged work in a team, and to understand in detail how it will help you personally become more productive and gain time for what you love and appreciate: family, rest, travel, and maybe a second job to increase income 🙂
Briefly about task schedulers and their types
Both in Russia and abroad, there is a huge multi-billion dollar niche in online business services that help plan tasks and projects.
Any processes in business can be represented as a pipeline, where each team member has his own area of responsibility, his own tasks and clear criteria for their implementation for further transfer.
So, task schedulers or task managers, as they are also called, are an attempt to make such work transparent, to transfer the pipeline to the screen of a laptop or even a phone.
There are simple and complex schedulers, which, for example, include Jira, Asana, Wrike. They are designed for advanced users, teams and organizations. In order to fully use them, you need to invite a specialist customizer who will select and implement the configuration of this software you need. You will most likely need to install them on your own servers.
But the average user often just needs to pump up personal efficiency:
- not to be exhausted by the middle of the week and adjust the workload on different days;
- do not break deadlines, forgetting about tasks;
- do not waste time looking for important input data in different places.
For all this, simpler tools that you can master on your own will suffice.
The tools that are both simple and 100% useful include the task scheduling service Shtab Russian development. I myself use it, now I’ll tell you what’s what.
Getting started with Shtab
The headquarters is built on the principle of the Kanban board, that is, the same pipeline with tasks that we talked about earlier looks like a board with sections along which tasks move from left to right to the final execution point.
To create such a board, you need to create a project and enter its name. You can create any number of tasks within a project.
We open the card with the created task, write the title and description, we can immediately create a checklist in which our task is divided into small stages-tasks, for example.
You can add a due date (deadline) and priority to the task, as well as other additional parameters for easy filtering of tasks in the list. It will be convenient to observe the due date in the calendar format in the future. That is, our conveyor board can be turned into a calendar with a flick of the wrist.
This is convenient for me personally, since I plan the release of reviews on my blog in advance and can distribute the workload.
Next, we return to the tasks in the kanban board and see that there are several stages of working on a task, these are the basic stages: To Do List, In Progress, and Done. Our tasks will travel along them, or rather, we will drag them from one stage to another and see a cute animation of the task hitting the last column. You can leave it as it is, you can split it into more stages, for example, add “Checking” after “In progress”, or after “To-do list” do “To-do for this week”.
For people who do not part with their phone, like me, for example, the presence of the Headquarters mobile application for iOS will be relevant, so far without Android (you can use the PWA application), but the developers promised to bring it soon. In the apple application, you can do all the same described actions as from a computer.
How to use Shtab at work
I’ll start with what I actively use myself, these are task templates – if you have them of the same type, then you can create a bundle of pre-filled tasks with a description, a checklist, those responsible for the task and files in advance. They are created in the section of the same name in the upper right corner and further, when you want to create a task from a template, then also go to this section and click on the three dots to the right of the task.
I use task templates, like templates, for example, contracts, where all the necessary text is already there and only all the details are replaced from document to document.
Access to tasks for editing and viewing
Another thing for advanced users is to assign an artist from your team’s list. It is clear that if you use the service alone, this is not very relevant to you, but if at least one person appears, then you can share tasks with each other.
Your colleague just needs to send an invitation to the project and he will see all the tasks and be able to interact with them.
You can also give access to individual tasks, including “observer”, without the right to edit. Such access can be given to your client so that he does not constantly tease you with questions “how is it going.” In the task card, he will see all the updates and even the time spent on the task.
If you think ahead, then you will definitely need collaboration in the planner.
The next feature of the Headquarters is time tracking, a functionality that will allow you to measure the time spent on the task and write it down on the task card.
Now I will explain why this is necessary. For example, you are working on a task and would like to estimate how much you will spend on it, for example, in order to understand, plan your working time if you plan tasks of the same type in the future. It’s also useful when you want to know how much you work and how much you get for it.
You can record the time on the phone’s stopwatch, and then add them to the task and see the results in the reports. Only you need to first go to the settings and turn on the switch here so that you can enter time data.
Shtab also has the ability to track time through Tracker, a stopwatch program that also records the screen, well, this is a solution for monitoring remote employees.
Own fields in tasks
Remember when I talked about fields on task cards? So, in addition to the basic fields, you can add your own to each project card at once. This is done for more flexibility and further sorting or filtering tasks when there are a lot of them, but not only for this.
For example, add the date and time of the next call on the task. This is done through the three-dot menu and selecting the desired field.
There is a section with a report on tasks and finances and salary payments for piecework workers. This is functionality intended for teams, and to a lesser extent for personal use.
All information is securely stored in the cloud and is available only to you and your team members. Also, the Shtab team can deploy its service on your servers for full control on your part, this is again relevant by and large for companies.
Today I told you about this super simple Shtab tool (Shtab.app) to maintain a to-do list and bring your personal and work tasks to some kind of system, to order.
First of all, constant tension will leave you: do I remember everything, what do I do tomorrow, and what should I do now and stuff like that. Keeping tasks in a place specially designated for this calms me down.
I think that for an inexperienced user, the information from the article will be quite enough for a confident start of productive work, and if you want to learn more about the Headquarters or see reviews of other tools, just write about it in the comments.
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