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New Year's Resolutions are Worthless Without These 4 Things
Productivity 5 min read

New Year's Resolutions are Worthless Without These 4 Things

Most of us make work-related New Year's resolutions knowing we'll probably fail within the first four weeks. But we do it anyway. Because the beginning of a year is always an optimistic time, and working toward a promotion, or a salary raise, or inbox zero, or improving communication is a noble aim. But the numbers are against you. According to a survey of over 3,000 people conducted by British psychologist Richard Wiseman, 88% of all resolutions end in failure. So those New Year's resolutions you posted on Facebook and bragged about at the office holiday party? They're likely to fail — unless, by sheer force of will, you're able to do the following: 1. Cure yourself from your need for (or addiction to) instant gratification Kelly McGonigal, Stanford University health psychologist and author of The Willpower Instinct, posits that people who are having a tough time sticking to their resolutions aren't experiencing difficulty because their goals are flawed. Merely that it takes a lot of willpower to stick to long-term goals. This is particularly tough when we (and our entire culture) value the gratification of short-term desires. It's always a struggle between giving in to the "future self" versus the "immediate self." TIP: Keep your "future self" in mind. Remember the kids put to the marshmallow test? If you can decide against instant gratification and tolerate temporary discomfort, you will be more fully able to stick to resolutions that have long-term benefits.   2. Remove yourself from situations of temptation And speaking of the marshmallow test...  original researcher Walter Mischel figured out that the children who were successfully able to delay gratification weren't wired any differently from the unsuccessful kids. They simply adopted a better strategy, something Mischel dubbed the “strategic allocation of attention.” The kids stayed under the table, or covered their eyes, or tied and retied shoelaces — any activity to get their minds off the marshmallow or to obscure it from their view. TIP: To resist the temptation of your own personal "marshmallow," you have to remove yourself from its presence, or from situations which trigger you wanting it.  3. Stick with it for at least 66 days Roy Baumeister's book Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength suggests concentrating on only one goal at a time. Baumeister explains that willpower is like a muscle that we can exhaust, so you have to concentrate on one goal at a time for success. But alongside this, every resolution boils down to reprogramming your mind to adopt a new habit. And researchers say that new habits require an average of 66 days (or a little over two months) to fully form. In fact if the behavior is particularly complex, it may take up to eight months! TIP: Don't throw in the towel after just a week. Give your new habit an actual chance to make a change in your life. Learn more from our Slideshare about productive habits: 4. Limit the amount of stuff you're memorizing In an experiment led by Baba Shiv at Stanford University, two groups were tasked with memorizing a number. One group was given two digits, and a second group was given seven digits. Then they had to decide between eating a slice of chocolate cake or a bowl of fruit salad. The students who had to memorize the seven-digit number were nearly twice as likely to choose the cake as students given two digits. It's a concept called cognitive load —  the idea that the total amount of mental effort (the need to memorize extra numbers, for example) saps our ability to do other things, such as resist high calorie desserts or stick to resolutions. TIP: Instead of keeping stuff in your brain, unload your ideas and to-do items into a trusted organizational system that you can refer to anytime you need. It's a fundamental principle of David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) productivity method. What makes your New Year's resolutions worthwhile? What advice do you have for sticking to your resolutions? Hit the comments and help us out by letting us know what keeps you in line after the new year!

Download Get Things Done with Wrike (eBook)
Productivity 3 min read

Download "Get Things Done with Wrike" (eBook)

  You read our How to Set Up GTD Using Wrike post. You've been following the conversation around our interview with David Allen, father of GTD. Still can't sate your thirst for everything related to the popular "Getting Things Done®" productivity process? We don't blame you. GTD is a great method for organizing everything on your mind so that you can stop worrying about "what's next?" and focus your energy on completing work. A New GTD Guide Our productivity coach, Errette Dunn, created a step-by-step guide for setting up Wrike to help you implement your favorite productivity process. It introduces the GTD methodology, discusses the three key principles, and outlines the exact process for taking your project from concept to completion within Wrike. Our "Get Things Done with Wrike" eBook is now available as a FREE download. Share it with your productivity-loving co-workers so they can improve their workflow as well. Did you know...? GTD and Teams David Allen says that GTD is not something you can just apply to teams. Instead, it is a process and a mindset that you must teach to the individuals of a team in order to facilitate a more productive organization. If you want to improve your team's results, try out "Getting Things Done" and Wrike. Download our free GTD+Wrike eBook, and if you still aren't using our productivity-enhancing tool, don't wait any longer — you can start your own free Wrike trial today.

Remote Team Etiquette: 11 Rules
Wrike Tips 5 min read

Remote Team Etiquette: 11 Rules

If you’ve started using Wrike and are wondering about “proper manners” when collaborating with remote team members, then allow us to suggest these 11 rules of Wrike etiquette. Incorporating these rules into your daily work should smoothen collaboration and make it much more pleasant for your team, no matter where they may be working.

How to Use OKRs in Wrike: A 6-Step Guide + Templates
Wrike Tips 10 min read

How to Use OKRs in Wrike: A 6-Step Guide + Templates

Use this 6-step guide to integrate OKRs with how your team already works in Wrike. Keep OKRs organized, track progress, and keep the process headache-free.

How to Use Wrike for Goal-Setting and Tracking
Wrike Tips 7 min read

How to Use Wrike for Goal-Setting and Tracking

The end of the quarter (and another year) means it's that time again: time to set new goals. Not just annual business goals, but also quarterly goals, monthly goals, and especially personal new year resolutions. One part of your mission when setting goals for your company, departments, or teams should be to share those established goals with the rest of the company. It will let everyone know what direction they should be rowing. If you're already working in Wrike, you and your team can also use it to create visibility into established goals and track progress on the way to achieving them. Building Annual Plans in Wrike Annual planning is an essential part of a successful business. It provides direction for the entire organization, defines what teams will focus energy on, and synchronizes activities of different departments to maximize resources. But in order to do all that efficiently, the entire company needs visibility into the annual plans. You can build annual plans in Wrike following our suggestion, or using your own format. Our recommendation: Create a folder called "2016 Annual Plans" at the top level of your account and right-click the folder name to share it with the entire company. Inside that folder, create project folders or tasks for all of the different priorities and big initiatives of the year. You can assign responsible directors or managers to the work, so everyone knows who to talk to if they have questions about that objective. From there, you can drill down into immediate key actions by building out tasks, setting deadlines, and assigning the steps to the appropriate parties. Finally, use Custom Fields to make notes on budgeting — data in Custom Fields can be restricted to only show for certain user groups in your account, so your private information stays that way. If you don't have access to Custom Fields, just write information you'd like to share with the entire team in your task descriptions. Establishing Quarterly Plans in Wrike Since quarterly plans only cover 3 months instead of an entire year, it's easy to brainstorm new ideas right in Wrike. On the Wrike content marketing team, we create a project folder called something like "Q2 Ideas", and then individuals on our team can create a new task for every idea they have inside that folder. Inside their task descriptions, team members can add pertinent details if their idea requires a more detailed breakdown, or they've suggested a completely new undertaking and they've already thought out a majority of the work and substeps needed to make the idea a reality. This method of brainstorming and sharing also allows our team to see if someone else has had a similar idea, so we can combine efforts and dump our parallel brainstorms into one big task. After everyone has input their ideas, we have a meeting to vet those ideas for go-no go decisions. We project the "Q1 Ideas" folder onto the big screen in our meeting room, and then discuss all of the propositions as a group. We can assign task owners and schedule due dates for ideas we definitely want to proceed with; defer ideas we think are good for a future quarter; or cancel tasks that just aren't in line with our overall vision. Once we decide what ideas we're moving forward with, we reorganize those tasks into our main work folder structure, and build out complete project plans with subtasks for the big ideas. Tracking Progress Using OKRs If you're someone who loves quantifying goals and hitting numbers, consider implementing OKRs and using project tracking tools to monitor progress. "OKRs" stands for "Objectives and Key Results." It's a system for setting goals (Objectives) and the steps necessary to achieve those goals (Key Results), popularized by Google. It's something we do at Wrike. You can set up an OKR like this: O: Publish regularly on blog KR: Write at least 3 blog posts every week KR: Research 10 new post ideas at least once per week KR: Build a backlog of 10 posts to publish later when inspiration fails Notice how the Objective is broad, and the Key Results are more direct supporting steps toward reaching that goal. You can read all about OKRs in our post on using OKRs for quarterly planning. In the meantime, here are a few quick tips on OKR creation: Start every O and KR with a verb. This ensures they are actionable. Make sure every KR includes a number. This ensures it is a measurable action that you can finally mark as complete. Make sure your goals are slightly out of reach. They shouldn't be laughably hard to attain, but if you make them just a little more difficult than you typically would, it will inspire you to work harder to go the distance. We wrote an entire post detailing exactly how you can implement the OKR system at your company using Wrike. Take a look. Setting Personal Goals Using Wrike It can't always be about work, work, work! Every person should set some personal improvement goals to help maintain that work-life balance. When you decide on what yours will be, track them where you're already tracking the rest of your work — in Wrike!   You can create a private folder at the top level of your Wrike account that no one else will be able to see. Turn each of your resolutions into a task, and if you know what it will take to turn those resolutions into a reality, break down those steps into subtasks. Create recurring tasks for things you know you'll need to do every week to reach your goal, assign them due dates for the end of each week, and mark them as complete as you make progress. Are you one of those people who never knows what to set for your New Year's Resolution? Here are some examples of what Wrikers are aiming to improve in 2016: Practice a new language at least 3x week using the Duolingo app Get better at doing Read 10 business-related improvement books Volunteer at the dog shelter at least 1x per month Keep one plant alive all year Reconnect with old friends Using Wrike for Goal-Setting Are you using Wrike to set and track your goals? Tell us your story and share how it has helped keep you on track in the comments below! If you have questions about best practices for goal-setting in Wrike, ask away in the comments and we'll get back to you with our advice.

7 Ways to Bring the Holiday Spirit to Your Office
Productivity 3 min read

7 Ways to Bring the Holiday Spirit to Your Office

With the holidays quickly approaching, it's becoming more and more difficult to stay focused in the office. Instead of avoiding the holiday distraction and enforcing maximum productivity across your team, it's important to come to terms with the fact that the holidays are a busy time, and the month of December will probably not be the most productive month. *gasp*

The Wrike Playbook: 11 Unique Ways to Use Wrike
Wrike Tips 3 min read

The Wrike Playbook: 11 Unique Ways to Use Wrike

At its core, Wrike is an easy-to-use tool for streamlining the internal project management and collaboration processes between team members, whether they’re in the same office or separated by an ocean. However, even though Wrike began as a project management tool, today it is so multifaceted and flexible that our customers have started using Wrike to solve problems in other areas of work. We want to share some of these unique reasons to use Wrike, in case these stories hit a nerve for your team. You might just discover a better way to solve a problem your team is facing. Take a moment to browse The Wrike Playbook, and see how Wrike can help your business improve the way you work: The Wrike Playbook — 11 Ways to Get Things Done with Wrike Here are 11 great reasons we’ve seen customers use Wrike. Sometimes Wrikers even choose to implement several (or all) of these workflows into their account to accommodate multiple teams: Project Management: Manage projects large or small Team Collaboration: Have discussions right next to the related task Content Publishing: Build a complete publication workflow for blogs, multimedia, etc. Product Development: Map out a product lifecycle Event Management: Plan and coordinate all the moving parts at an event Onboarding/Training: Get a new hire up and running Simple To-Do List: List your quick-and-easy tasks and chores Productivity Aid: Capture all your thoughts and ideas in one place Objectives & Key Results: Track your and your organization's goals Reference Folder: Bookmark and share all your favorite sites Intranet/Informal Watercooler: Chat about the weather or latest cat videos Tweak Wrike To Your Needs If this post has inspired you to customize Wrike to more completely suit your needs, check out more unique Wrike use cases.

3 Proven Ways to Keep Your Customers Happy
Collaboration 3 min read

3 Proven Ways to Keep Your Customers Happy

How can you achieve customer service so fine that clients actually comment on it and spread the word about your company? Learn from the benchmark experiences of other companies, and benefit from the latest technologies to facilitate your work. So, what are client management tools? , a leading provider of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), has been offering a variety of robust, cost-effective EDI solutions since 1991. Projects of 123 EDI are typically complex and require coordination between sales, accounting and programming departments to ensure the company meets and even exceeds customers' expectations. According to Bernie Murciano, President at 123 EDI, the following principles, supported by Wrike's features, help to achieve top-notch customer service: Attention to detail Being thorough in performing clients' requests, minding the details, no matter how small they are, is crucial on the road to customer satisfaction. But can you take the load of remembering too many things off your brain and still deliver everything and more to your clients? Yes, you can! Wrike project management software stores all the short-term and long-term commitments of 123 EDI, providing "a view of the big picture without losing sight of the many details" says Bernie. Thus, 123 EDI stays ahead of the game and ensures that even minor customer needs are not overlooked. "Positive customer feedback doubled in a couple of months after we adopted Wrike," shares Bernie. Seamless collaboration To achieve excellent customer service, a unified effort of all the organizational departments is required. 123 EDI chose Wrike for teamwork with its enhanced collaboration features: real-time discussions, handy ways to follow tasks, and a cross-project newsfeed to track progress with ease. What makes Wrike especially convenient for collaboration is easy data-sharing on project progress with everyone involved. If you wish to connect remote teams, external partners and clients to the project, you can easily do so – the number of external viewers is unlimited.  Bernie confirms: "Wrike's user-friendly web application keeps everyone on the same page." Commitment to timelines When you deliver a project on time, customers appreciate it and come back for more. With Wrike's automatic reminders about tasks and updates, you never miss a deadline. Scheduling tasks is simple and can be done from list, table and timeline views in real time. Bernie Murciano values this ability "to more effectively prioritize tasks by revising due dates." Thus, 123 EDI quickly reacts to the ever-changing business conditions, so that no customer is disappointed by a missed deadline.

6 Reasons Home Alone's Kevin McAllister is a Project Management Genius
Project Management 5 min read

6 Reasons Home Alone's Kevin McAllister is a Project Management Genius

It’s the time of the year: everyone’s humming carols, organizing cookie swaps, and re-watching their favorite classic Christmas movies. During a screening of Home Alone here at Wrike HQ, we couldn’t help but notice the young protagonist's stellar project management skills, and started taking notes.

Is There a Way to Make Multiple Project Management 50% More Efficient?
News 3 min read

Is There a Way to Make Multiple Project Management 50% More Efficient?

Consulting and e-learning is a multi-project business. One of the major challenges of this business is that you need to keep track of dozens of projects simultaneously. What would it be like if all those projects with numerous tasks could be managed in one place? How much more productive would the whole team and business become? Wrike helped the team to overcome this problem. Today, ReachFurther’s distributed team manages its plentiful projects in a shared Wrike workspace. Read the full story.

The Power Behind a Click: Duplicating Folders
News 3 min read

The Power Behind a Click: Duplicating Folders

We all have projects that reappear from time to time: similar customer contracts, feature releases, regular trade shows, etc. And when a new project with basically the same milestones starts, we all would love to have a one-click way to set it up. As so many of you voted for adding a feature for qui?k duplicating of folders in Wrike project management software, today we are excited to roll it out for you!   The template folder will be copied with its subfolders and milestones by default, but you also have the option to copy the tasks (1) with their descriptions, attachments and assignees (2).   The last checkbox (3) in the dialog lets you adjust the new project's schedule. You set the start date of the first task in the folder, and the other tasks are rescheduled accordingly. They keep the same sequence, durations and time intervals between them as in your template folder.  If you leave this box unchecked, the tasks' dates will be identical to the schedule in the original folder.   The next time your prospective client calls you to tell you've won the project, you'll set up and customize a new project in just a few minutes. Then share the plan with the client or simply e-mail them an image of the project Gantt chart – you’ll look super-efficient!   We invite you to try the power of instant folder duplication and share your experience with us! If you are looking forward to having more new, handy features, let us know about them on our feature voting portal!

How to organize client projects in Wrike
Project Management 3 min read

How to organize client projects in Wrike

If you provide professional services, you may be wondering: What is client database management, and how can I do it right? It may be convenient for you to organize your tasks in Wrike in the context of clients. You can create a special folder for each client and share it with him only. That way you have a clear picture of all your clients’ information, while still keeping it private for every client: At the same time, you don’t need to limit yourself to such an interpretation of your plans. You can add the context of services that you provide. Think about what needs to go into a project dashboard that works for you. Create an additional folder for each service and share it with the appropriate team members.   For example, if you provide interior services, you can create the "Decoration," "Design," "Furnituring" and "Lighting" folders. If the client Brown&Co places a new order for decoration and furnituring, you can create an appropriate task and include it in both “Brown&Co,” "Decoration" and “Furnituring” folders. The task will be automatically shared with the representatives of the Brown company, your decoration and furnituring teams. The same rule applies to other orders. What is great, when the responsible party updates the task, marking it as completed, adding comments or updating the due date, your client is instantly informed about the order process. You don't need to spend time on creating special reports for your clients.  Moreover,your business becomes absolutely transparent for you in the light of clients and services. You can also read about: How to organize work of departments, How to customize statuses,  How to organize goals and milestones, How to better organize projects and events in Wrike.

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