Networx Brisbane Workflow Tools Event Highlights

Monday 28th August 2017 10:00pm
By Lachlan Kirkwood

Does your work day run longer than it should? Are you constantly being swamped with counter-productive disruptions like unnecessary emails notifications? If this sounds all too familiar, then the recent Networx Brisbane event sought to offer you the perfect solution!

Held at the Brisbane Powerhouse, the evening’s discussions were channelled around workflow tools and how to efficiently increase your productivity. This events rock star panel included the likes of Conslid8’s Tanya Titman, Kemistry’s Caroline Starecky and 6YS’s Sam Forbes, each bringing with them a wealth of experience across an assortment of industries.

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The night kicked off by firstly discussing the importance of maintaining a reasonable work-life balance. Each panellist shared their insights into what a standard day looks like within their busy schedules and all agreed that it’s crucial to just ‘switch off’ once you leave the office.

So how can you make sure work doesn’t follow you home? Sam from 6YS explained that by eliminating the potential for any distractions, he’s able to maximise his productivity throughout office hours. As a manager, Sam recommended creating an open calendar between yourself and colleagues as way to identify time slots where you’re not to be distracted, as well as times where you’re open for engagement. By eliminating the chance of being disrupted, you’re less likely to lose your train of thought, therefore saving unnecessary time used trying to regaining your focus.

Conversations flowed into workplace distractions, which lead to acknowledging one of the biggest time consumers of everyone’s day… Email. To best explain how frustrating email can be, the panel shared this sardonic video:

Managing your email efficiently was a topic that Tanya strongly preached. She’d mentioned that she had only once in her life achieved the almighty ‘inbox zero’ status… when she’d accidentally deleted her whole inbox. Tanya has since made it her mission to reach inbox zero each day. By taking advantage of tools like Slack and SaneBox, Tanya is able to categorise important emails and isolate them from other spam mail that create unnecessary inbox clutter.

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Caroline also explained some insightful ways to reduce time spent on emails. She introduced one of her favourite books, ‘Getting Things Done’ by David Allen, which delves into the art of creating a means of stress-free productivity, including effective email management.

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Caroline also touched base on how beneficial it is to run meetings efficiently. There’s no denying that superfluous meetings are a major time killer for all organisations. Caroline advised that the most productive way to coordinate an office meeting is to identify clear objectives between team members before even entering a meeting space. By allocating specific roles to each participant and setting strict timelines, it allows individuals to extract only necessary and relevant information from the meeting.

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When talking about best practices for meetings, Tanya recommended that organisations should adopt an approach where they use a time tracking tool to measure meeting durations and record what employees take part in those meetings.

“When you have all of the managers participating in regular meetings where they’re not needed, their billable utilisation is wasted as they’re not being productive on other tasks that they should actually be doing. This is a great way to understand how much time and money you’re wasting on holding unnecessary meetings”.

So what are the best workflow tools to utilize?

Below is a list of the top tools that the panel recommended to increase your productivity:

  • Slack: Slack brings all your team's communication together, giving everyone a shared space where conversations are organized and accessible.

  • Trello: Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process.

  • Google Calendar: Google Calendar is a time-management and scheduling calendar that allows users to create and edit events. Reminders can be enabled for events, with options available for type and time. Event locations can also be added, and other users can be invited to events.

  • Basecamp: Basecamp organizes your communication, projects, and client work together so you have a central source of truth.

  • Dapulse: Dapulse is a smart collaboration and communication app you can use to get your team members working in sync in one place.

  • Wrike: Wrike is a project management tool that allows users to manage and track projects, deadlines, schedules, and other workflow processes.

After identifying useful workflow tools, the panel wrapped up the evening by briefly highlighting the importance of not only managing your own organisations time effectively, but also your clients. By setting realistic expectations from the beginning and maintaining effective means of communication, it can ensure that client expectations are met in the most productive and efficient way.

Key takeaways:

Are you heading along to our next event? Join us at The Loft West End on the 26th of September to uncover what it takes to build connected and engaging partnerships. You can find out more about the event here.

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