Productivity Tools & Workflows WordPress Meetup

At this Metro Detroit WordPress Meetup, several different presenters talked about their favorite productivity and workflow apps/hacks. Here’s a short summary of each presentation with links to their recommended tools.

First Presenter: Anthony Montalbano on his favorite productivity hacks (slides).

  • Break things down in to measurable pieces
    • 1-3-5 list: (1) big thing, (3) medium things, (5) little things. Do this every day.
  • Build better habits!
    • Way of Life app. This tool helps you set up daily check-ins to build better habits.
  • Manage your time!
    • RescueTime – helps you maintain work-life-balance to help you focus and better use your time.
    • Bonus: use a button, with IFTTT and RescueTime to lock self out of computer to maintain your focus time.
  • Accountability – putting things on a calendar helps keep you accountable.
  • Record Everything – you never know when you’ll need it.
    • Evernote / Voice Recorder – record everything!

Second Presenter: Deborah Edwards-Onoro talks about using Harvest for invoicing and time management.

  • She chose Harvest because it was easy for her as a small business owner to use.
  • Bonus points that Harvest does both time tracking AND customer invoicing.
  • A benefit of Harvest is that it is all online, it can be accessed anywhere on any device that can get to the web.
  • Within the customer invoicing feature, it allows you to link to a payment page for your customers to pay online.
  • Harvest has built-in support for PayPal and Stripe payment processing, and integrations with tools like Asana, Trello, Slack, Basecamp, QuickBooks, and over 100 other services.
  • Invoices are customizable, you can add custom messages to your invoices, and you can set up Harvest to sent late notices when payments are past due.
  • Time tracking is a lifesaver, you can track by clients, project, and tasks individually, and creates itemized invoices for you.
  • They have two plans, a Free plan and a solo plan.
  • Downside is they don’t have 24/7 support.
  • They have Android, iPhone, Windows and Mac apps, as well as Chrome and Safari extensions.

Third Presenter: Eric Malcom talks about Trello

  • Of note, just today it was announced that Trello was purchased by Atlassian.
  • Eric gave us a nice walkthrough of the Trello UI, he uses it for managing his work tasks through multiple boards and cards.
  • Trello is a nice drag-and-drop UI to manage your tasks.
  • Eric utilizes one board with a backlog swimlane, and swimlanes for every day of the week to manage his day-to-day work. When something from a project needs to get worked on, he’ll pull the specific card from the project onto his in-progress board, on the specific day he plans on doing the work.
  • You can use the Power-ups to add things like a Calendar, Gantt charts, etc.
  • You can find lots of examples at

Third Presenter: Amit Rathi – Pomodoro-ish

  • Tried using phone/watch to manage time, as well as harvest.
  • Now with Ambr, uses Liquid Planner.
  • What is Pomodoro?
    • Pomodoro is a time-tracking technique where you set small amount of time to maintain focus on single tasks in a single block.
    • Typical block is 25 minutes.
    • If you get an interruption, you write it down and log it, and get back to task at hand.
    • At the end of your 25-minute interval, you take a 5-minute break.
    • After 4, 25-minute intervals, you take a 10-minute break.
    • Forces you to look at projects in small, manageable blocks.
  • Use your first 25-minute interval to set up your future intervals and plan them out.
  • Cons of using Pomodoro
    • You are supposed to stick to the timer even if you finish the task early.
    • It is more difficult to implement for teams, it’s best for individuals.
  • Last bit of advice: don’t overthink it!

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