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10 Fun New Ways to Use Your Backlog
Wrike Tips 7 min read

10 Fun New Ways to Use Your Backlog

We’re always looking for fun and creative new ways to use Wrike. The backlog may seem pretty straightforward: stash stuff in there for a rainy day, or if you solve problems with Agile, use it for sprint planning. But there are actually quite a few interesting ways to use the backlog that you may not have considered. Here are 10 different ways to make the most of your backlog: 1. Track High-level Goals.  Looking for a product backlog example? Not everything you put in Wrike will be tied to specific projects or individual action items. Keeping quarterly goals, product ideas, and long-term plans in the backlog makes it easy to remember the big picture and see everything you want to accomplish — which can help you prioritize wisely. And if you put these items on your Wrike Dashboard, they'll never be “out of sight, out of mind.” When life gives you a window of opportunity or the stars align, you can instantly say, “Now’s the perfect time to _____!”  In the same vein, you can use these backlogged goals as parent tasks. Create every actionable task as a subtask to at least one goal. This shows which long-term effort the work is supporting. Using the backlogged goals this way will help make sure all your time is devoted to worthwhile efforts. 2. Complete Creative Projects.  Compose song lyrics or creative writing pieces in your backlog, letting them marinate until inspiration strikes. They’re always at hand when the perfect lyric or headline pops up, and you can take full advantage of the Time Slider (revision history) tool. Since Wrike tracks every keystroke and lets you revert to previous versions, you can let your creativity off the leash and just play without worrying about losing any of the good stuff. The revision history slider is also a pretty cool way to get a timelapse view of your unique creative process.  3. Write Routine Lists.  Keep track of wish lists, grocery lists, movies to watch, books to read, bands to check out, and more in your personal backlog. Once they’re in Wrike, it’s easy to share these lists if you choose, and you can view them from your mobile devices.  4. Plan Trips and Events.  Say you start planning a trip to one of the destinations on your backlogged “Travel Europe” bucket list. You can easily create a folder to keep track of the growing number of details like itineraries, confirmations, packing lists, maps, guides, and more. And since it’s backlogged, your info is always at hand when you need it (like at the airport).  The same goes for planning events: a task called “Plan Jen’s Surprise Party” can easily grow into a folder with invite lists and RSVPs, menus and recipes, gift ideas, music playlists, and more. 5. Stash Your Read Later/Watch Later Items.  One of my personal favorite uses for the backlog is to make it my virtual back pocket. I often come across interesting articles, videos, and TED Talks that pique my curiosity while link surfing, typically when I’m researching an unrelated project, or a link shared by a colleague or friend. It’s the kind of stuff I want to keep for reference, or save to peruse when I have more time. Instead of bookmarking it or emailing myself the link, I use the Wrike Chrome Extension to automatically create a task in my dedicated "Back Pocket" folder of Wrike. I backlog the task, take a screenshot of the page if I want, and always have it right there to look at later. 6. Store Your Knowledge Base.  The backlog is the perfect spot to keep useful tidbits, whether you’re logging personal reference items (think Emergency Maintenance numbers, contact info for doctors and dentists, a list of good babysitters, that article on magical baking soda cleaning solutions) or sharing professional ones like notes on competitors, administrative passwords, routine IT/troubleshooting tips, vacation schedules/PTO request forms, best practices, and templates.  7. Track Inventory (Like a Librarian).  This one we picked up from our customer Tisso Naturprodukte: make Wrike your office librarian! If your office has a stash of books to borrow, you can easily keep track of them using the backlog. Here’s how Tisso Naturprodukte’s system works: each book gets its own task. When someone wants to check it out, they assign it to themselves and set a due date for when they plan to bring it back. Once they return it, they unassign themselves and clear the due dates again. You can also use folder tags to keep track of equipment or supplies, tagging backlogged tasks with their specific location or status. 8. Keep Agendas and Meeting Minutes.  If you have upcoming meetings with clients or colleagues, the backlog can be a great place to stash agenda items or reminders for things you’d like to bring up. If they’re shared agendas, two mouse clicks can bring someone else into the loop. Now you can avoid that nagging “I know I was supposed to talk to her about something” feeling, and use the backlog as your personal book of reminders. 9. Log Research.  Some projects just don’t conform to a set timeline. Long-term, ongoing research is one of them. Instead of trying to shoehorn these items into rigid deadlines or constantly rescheduling them, simply set up a backlog of tasks. Log every piece of acquired knowledge as a backlogged task in your "Project Research" folder, then rearrange your tasks to create a mind map. You’ll be able to see all the pieces of the puzzle, make new connections, and organize your thoughts or process. A new breakthrough could be just around the corner! 10. Collect Personal Interests/Reminders.  Keep a running list of potential weekend activities, personal best mile times, good habits you want to pick up — anything that’s ongoing you want to track or be reminded of. I like to keep a task at the top of my backlog widget on my Wrike Dashboard called “Sit Up Straight!” It catches my eye every time I check my Dashboard and reminds me to work on my posture. Once I’ve kicked that bad habit to the curb, I can replace it with a new one.  Your turn! How do you use your backlog? Share your genius tips in the comments!

How to Create Project Templates in Wrike
Project Management 7 min read

How to Create Project Templates in Wrike

Are you a marketing manager making a daily SEO campaign for each new client you take on? Or are you a project manager who has a complex product development workflow that takes hours to set up? You know there has to be an easier way to manage all these repeating projects without banging your head on walls. And we have the answer: project templates. Project templates are a great way to easily replicate work within Wrike, and can be set up in just a few minutes. But before we jump too far into Template Babylon, let's really make sure a template is what you should use. How to Decide If You Should Use Project Templates Step 1: Determine the complexity of the project on a scale of 1-4, with 1 being very simple, and 4 being very complex. Step 2: Determine the frequency of the project on a scale of 1-4, with 1 being very infrequent, and 4 being a constantly recurring project. If your score is over 3 in each category, you should definitely use templates. If your score is over 3 in frequency, but is less than 3 in complexity, you could benefit from a template. If your score is under 1 or 2 in both categories, then you're better off using tasks, subtasks, and custom workflows to manage your work. Still unsure? Here is a list of common use cases for creating templates. It's just a few examples, and not meant to box you in. If your situation lies outside of these examples, but you think you could benefit from templates, we encourage you to try it out and see if it works for your team! Common Use Cases for Creating Templates: Purchase Orders Implementations Marketing Campaigns Product Development Workflows Application processes (applying for patents, etc.) Any repeating projects with multiple steps Decided you need templates in your life? We're here to help! Read on. How to Create Project Templates in Wrike Now that you know you need a template, let's get started actually building them out. Step 1: Create a folder and call it "Templates". You can create this folder under your root folder, or if you have multiple teams from different departments in Wrike, create this folder in your specific department folder (e.g. create the Marketing Templates folder inside your main Marketing folder). Step 2: Inside this Templates folder you've just created, create a subfolder for a project you are constantly repeating. Start building out the tasks within this folder from your project's inception all the way through completion. Be sure to put a lot of detail into each task description so that anyone receiving this task for the first time will know exactly what to do. Once you're done with this step, you should have tasks for each necessary step in your project, including all relevant subtasks. Step 3: Go though all of the tasks you've just created and set the proper duration for each task. (e.g. Task X will take 2 days to complete.) You don't need to set a specific date yet — that comes later. Step 4: Determine if you have any dependencies within your project. If your tasks can all happen at the same time, you won't need dependencies, and can move on to the next step. But most likely, your tasks will need to be accomplished in a specific order, which means you will need to set up dependencies.   To start with dependencies, assign the dates of each task to today's date. From there, switch over to the Timeline View, and begin dragging and dropping tasks to reschedule them and set dependencies between them. For more info about how to set up specific dependencies, check our help page. Once everything is rescheduled and dependencies are set, you should have something that looks like this: Step 5 (optional): If you choose, you can make the last task in your template a milestone, as it will serve as a firm deadline for your project. You can also add assignees to your tasks if it will always be the same person repeating those tasks. But we don't recommend this, as you could easily overload someone's workload by forgetting to reassign those tasks after duplicating the template. Step 6: Now that you've set up all the dependencies for your template's workflow, the last step is to change each of the tasks statuses to "Deferred." This ensures that a task residing in the template folder won't be confused with any duplicate tasks holding the same title. You can do this by jumping back to the List View, selecting all tasks, and changing the task status to "Deferred" on the right-hand panel of the page. And voilá, you've now created a project template in Wrike! How to Start a Project from a Template Now that we've created your template, let's talk about how to use it when a project lands on your desk. Step 1: Duplicate the template. Go to your templates folder and right-click on the template you want to use. Click "Duplicate Folder." When prompted, you'll want to copy the folder with the task descriptions, assignees (if applicable), custom field values, and then reschedule the new project. If you used a milestone as your last task in the template, schedule the end date as the final completion date for the project. If you did not use a milestone, schedule the start date for whenever you want your project to begin. You should also rename the folder to accurately depict the name of the client, project, or process that you will be repeating. Step 2: Drag and drop the template into its appropriate folder. You should then move this folder to where you have previously stored projects of this same nature (e.g. a duplicated marketing campaign should live in the active campaigns folder). Step 3: Assign the tasks. Go through each task in the template and assign it to team members with available bandwidth to complete the tasks. The Workload View is great for this function, as you can see who is available to take on another project, and who is already booked. You're done! Go through this process for all other repeatable projects. No banging head on walls required! Have questions about creating project templates in Wrike? Ask us in the comments, or contact our Support team — we're here to help!

Switching to Wrike: Implementing Change Management Across Distributed Teams
Leadership 7 min read

Switching to Wrike: Implementing Change Management Across Distributed Teams

Meryl Johnston, Founder & CEO, Bean Ninjas Bean Ninjas is an online bookkeeping firm that caters to online businesses. They’re not your traditional bookkeepers. Bean Ninjas were named Xero Bookkeeping Partner of the Year (QLD) in 2017 and were finalists in the Bookkeeping Firm of the Year at the 2018 Australian Accounting Awards. Meryl is a Chartered Accountant and entrepreneur. Prior to Bean Ninjas she ran a cloud accounting consulting firm, worked in both commercial accounting roles, as an auditor (BDO), and as a lecturer in accounting and audit. Process is the backbone of productivity. Teams thrive on routines and processes to keep work organized and goals on track. However, sometimes poor processes are detrimental to productivity. If processes are inefficient or ignored, things fall through the cracks and people start pointing fingers. When it came time for us to evaluate our processes, we found a lot of room for improvement. As a team of 12 distributed across six countries, it was extremely important for us to establish an efficient process for getting work done. As the number of managers grew across teams, so did the need for automatic reporting. Since Trello wasn’t able to provide that level for reporting, we decided to look into changing our processes and tools altogether. Coordinating across time zones is a project in and of itself. Requests, approvals, and revisions can take weeks just corresponding back and forth. The three biggest challenges for our distributed team when we considered why work from home pros and cons were: Uniting on communication and culture Finding and accessing important information Rolling out and learning a new tool We needed to figure out a way to streamline our processes so our distributed team could function like a well-oiled machine. Embracing change management It can be a difficult and time-consuming project to change the software that underpins your business. Giving your team the option of using a new tool can result in a less than 30% adoption rate—at which point, there really is no point in having it at all. So it’s very important to get the right buy-in upfront from everyone who will be using the new software. We found there are three distinct phases of change management and key steps to successfully get your team on board with a new software: 1. We involved the team in the buy-in If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. Have an open discussion with your team from the start and involving them in the process of evaluating a new tool will increase your chances of adoption and usage. Here are the steps I recommend: Obtain feedback: We had everyone in the loop from the start. We discussed why we planned on changing tools and how we thought everyone would benefit from it. Conduct a survey: We created a survey that asked our team what their biggest pain points are with the current software. What do they like? What would they like the change? Agree on qualifications: We decided what capabilities are a must-have in our new software and aligned on how this tool was going to help us achieve our goals. Rank contenders: We listed out the softwares we were vetting and ranked them based on which ones met the most qualifications. Test software: We chose a couple to test out. Then had a team member check out the areas of the software that were most important to our team. Select software: Once our team came to a consensus on which tool is best, they were motivated and excited to start using their new tool. Our Wrike implementation was easier because we received upfront buy-in on why we needed to change systems. We also understood the pain points of different team members and were able to explain how the new software would solve them. 2. We prioritized implementation Implementation is such a crucial process when changing work management tools. Wrike is a flexible tool and we wanted to ensure we set it up so that we could map it to our goals in the best way possible. Here’s how we onboarded with Wrike Identified our internal Wrike Champion: Scheduled an initial kickoff call with our Wrike Champion and managers to go over goals and expectations. Tested Wrike: Identified an accountant who would be the lead in rolling out the first test. After two months of testing, we rolled it out to the team. Set up training: We set deadlines for everyone on the team to complete the training and created our own training videos on how we want our team to use the software. Once training ended, we had different team members present a screenshare in Wrike so we could make sure they understood the new workflow. Obtain feedback: We frequently touched base with our team and asked for their input on the new setup. They’re much more likely to follow a new process when they’re involved in creating it. 3. We continually monitor & optimize Be patient and don’t expect everyone to learn and adopt the new software in a week. We continue to monitoring our team’s usage and feedback so we’re open to new ways of using the tool. We’re constantly asking ourselves: How can we optimize new features? What existing integrations would be useful for our team? We want to ensure we make the most of our powerful new project management software. This means seeking to review the way we are working and to make incremental small improvements. Key lessons learned Change management doesn’t have to be hard. Here are some key lessons we learned when implementing a new tool. Devote time for trainings. We significantly underestimated how many hours it would take us for implementation which created internal resourcing issues. Diversify trainings. Schedule group training, but also host one-on-one sessions to ensure that each team member is understanding the nuances of the new system. Motivate teams to use the tool. Encourage managers to lead their team with the adoption of the new software or set up some reward for their first completed project to incentivize them. Be patient. Understand that adopting a new tool takes time, but continue to monitor and make sure usage is improving. Be open to feedback. Where there is push-back from the team about the new software listen to their concerns and look into whether there is a better way to organize work by automating repeatable tasks.

The Golden Collection of Tips and Tricks
Wrike Tips 10 min read

The Golden Collection of Tips and Tricks

Congrats! You’ve just found the scroll of wisdom that unveils all the wonders of Wrike. Some of these tips may be familiar to you, and others look like an astonishing discovery, but all of them serve the same goal — to increase your productivity and the convenience of using Wrike. So look through this list and learn more about what Wrike can do for you. Collaboration tips: A friend in need is a friend indeed 1. Use @ to invite teammates to discussions In the comments, add the @ symbol, followed by the person’s name. No matter if the person follows the task or not, he or she will immediately receive an e-mail with your comment and can instantly reply with an answer.Tip’s details 2. Invite colleagues to follow a specific task People who follow a task see each and every update in the Activity Stream and can optionally receive notifications via email. If you want someone to keep a close eye on a task, look for the “Follow” button in the task actions panel.Tip’s details 3. Invite your teammates to follow the folder This way, you’ll draw their attention to all of the tasks in a specific folder. The chosen follow option automatically applies to all the subfolders and tasks in this folder, so you may decide to change them for each subfolder. If you’d like to stop tracking task updates for a particular subfolder, choose “Ignore” in its follow options.Tip’s details 4. Share your workspace with your team Your entire workspace is not automatically shared with anyone. Others see your project plans in Wrike only if you have shared your tasks and folders with them. If you want to have a location shared with all of your peers, create a folder (e.g., "MyCompanyName"), move all other folders there and then share it with your whole team.Tip’s details Efficiency tips: Time is money 1. Track project updates on the go Install the mobile app on your iPhone or Android and take Wrike with you wherever you go, and invest in tools for remote teams in your organization. 2. Edit multiple tasks at once In the task list, tick the checkboxes to the left of the avatars to make bulk edits to the chosen tasks. You can mark them complete, convert to backlog, move to another folder, reassign, reschedule or delete them.Tip’s details 3. Track your time Keep track of every minute spent on your tasks with a built-in timer. When the tracker is on or paused, it stays within eyeshot at the top of the workspace wherever you navigate. Once you put a timer on, an update about this activity will appear in the Activity Stream. This way you'll keep peers who “walk by” in the loop of your progress.Tip's details 4. Cross-link tasks and projects Click “permalink” in the task actions panel to get a direct link to the task. Then paste it to another task description or in the comments, and it will automatically appear as the task name. To get a direct link to a folder, go to the "Folder info" and click on "Permalink".Tip’s details Email tips: Magic bullet for your email chaos 1. Email a task into several folders Put the folders’ titles in square brackets in the subject line of your email and separate them from each other with a comma. For example, [Marketing, Tradeshow]. Don't forget to add [email protected] to the recipients! Super-important for those who use folders as tags.Tip’s details 2. Update a task via email  Reply to the change notification about a task from Wrike, and your answer will be added as a comment to the task’s Activity Stream. If there are any attachments to the email, they will be automatically attached to the task in Wrike.Tip’s details 3. Fine-tune received email notifications There are two options available: 1) Check and adjust the follow settings of tasks and folders to ensure you’re tracking only important items. 2) Set the email notification frequency. By juggling these two factors, you may optimize the number of notifications and still stay on top of your projects.Tip’s details 4. Edit tasks from your inbox Install Wrike’s Outlook add-in or our Apple Mail add-in and get Wrike’s task view right in your inbox. Tip’s details for Outlook users and Mac users. 5. Leverage your Gmail with Wrike's gadget If you use Wrike as a Google app, pay special attention to the Gmail gadget that brings Wrike to your inbox. By default, Gmail’s Wrike gadget is switched on for all Google Apps users, but your domain administrator can remove it for you if you want.Tip’s details Search tips: Seek and you shall find 1. See tasks included in two folders at once First, choose one of the folders in the left-hand pane. Then in the middle pane type the second folder’s name into the search field in the following format: folder: name. So you’ll see tasks included in two folders at once.Tip’s details 2. Narrow the range of search When you type your query in the search field, by default it will be searched in all task titles and descriptions. To find a task by a keyword only in the task title, description or comments, use the commands title:keyword, description:keyword or comment:keyword accordingly. 3. Search files by name or extension The command file:keyword allows you to easily find task attachments containing the keywords in their name or extension. For example, find all “jpg” files attached to any task by typing file:jpg in the search field. 4. Use asterisks and quotation marks Use * in the query to search tasks by a part of the keyword. For example, creat* will find you all tasks containing “creat,” such as create, creative, etc. If your search query contains two or more words, put quotation marks around them (e.g., “smart solutions”). This way, you’ll search for the exact phrase in the task description or title. The command comment:“smart solutions” searches tasks containing the exact phrase “smart solutions” in the comments. 5. Search tasks assigned to you To find all tasks created by you or assigned to you, just write #xme in the search field. If it happens that you need a list of tasks that are not assigned to you, then use the command #notme. Want to search in subfolders, too? Simply click on the "Descendants" button. Tips for managers:  Organize and succeed 1. See backlogged tasks on the workload view By default, only scheduled tasks are in the workload view. Press the "Show Backlog" button in the top right-hand corner to see all tasks that have no due date.Tip’s details 2. Create a series of repeating tasks Click on "Make task recurrent" in the task actions panel. In the pop-up dialog window, specify the recurrence pattern, select the recurrence time range and click on "Save."Tip’s details 3. Create a new task on the Gantt chart or workload view There is no need to switch from the Gantt chart or the workload view to create new tasks. Just hold the "Shift" key and the left mouse button, and pull your mouse to the right.Tip’s details 4. Create dependencies and lags between tasks Build even more complex project schedules with the help of different types of task dependencies on the Gantt Chart. For extra accuracy in project schedules, you may create a task date constraint. Just drag the dependent task on the timeline to the proper start date. 5. Adjust time reports Fine-tune your time reports by changing the order of columns and choosing which of them you'd like to see in your report.Tip’s details 6. Slice and dice your data with filters to keep full control of your tasks A wise use of filtering options allows you to check out your team’s weekly results, monitor tasks due this week, adjust schedule hitches, overview important events, pick up valuable ideas and much more.Tip’s details Folder tips: For experienced Wrikers only! 1. Add custom statuses Bug tracking, life cycle management, approval processes, etc. often require tasks marked with customized statuses (e.g., “Closed,” “Opened,” “Resolved,” etc.) In this case, create folders with the corresponding names and put the relevant tasks there.Tip’s details 2. Tag tasks and folders The function of tags is assigned to folders in Wrike. Tags are extremely useful for organizing your tasks so that it is easy for everyone on your team to find the data they need.  You can move tasks from one folder to another to change tags and include a task in several folders to assign several tags at once.Tip’s details 3. Use folders as project templates This is a huge time-saver if you have a lot of similar projects. You simply create a new folder, say "Client order," and duplicate it with its milestones, tasks and subfolders in just a few seconds the next time you receive a new order.Tip’s details 4. Include a task or folder in several folders A task or a folder in Wrike can be put in as many folders as you need. For example, a task called “Trade show in New York” may be included in the folders called “Marketing” and “Upcoming events,” and it will be the same task, not a copy.  This lets you have different views of the same piece of work and easily adapt Wrike to any workflow.Tip’s details 5. Sort tasks in a folder By default, your tasks are sorted by due date. Feel free to change the sorting criteria and choose an option among title, status, importance, start date and priority.Tip’s details 6. Change the color of folders Highlight the most important folders with colors so that they can be easily found.  The “person” icon is particularly useful for indicating folders with leads.Tip’s details 7. Attach a file to a folder In addition to attaching files to tasks, you can attach files to folders, so you can keep your file base at the folder level.Tip’s details Download the list in pdf format.

How to organize goals and milestones in Wrike
Project Management 3 min read

How to organize goals and milestones in Wrike

One of the best ways to organize your project effectively is to interconnect the tasks with the project goals. Thanks to this, tasks become meaningful for your team, people become more motivated and thus you get things done faster. For example, if you manage an online ad campaign, you can create top folders named after your goals: increase  CTR, increase traffic, increase conversion rate. If you often create tasks via e-mail, it will be more convenient to name folders with shorter titles and describe exact goals in the folder details. Thus you get an important advantage: you can specify goals with numbers, such as: “Increase conversion rate from 5% to 20%.” Similarly, you can organize your tasks by the project milestones: In both cases, your tasks will include concrete steps to achieve the goals or the milestones. For example, these tasks can be: “try different landing page,” “specify keywords,” "create text ad for the new keywords," etc. As you can see, Wrike is very flexible. You can organize your plans conveniently and easy. If you are intersted in other ways of organizing your tasks in Wrike, you can read about How to organize work of departments, How to customize statuses, How to better organize projects and events, How to organize client projects.

First Things First: Watch A New Video on How to Prioritize Your Work in Wrike
Project Management 3 min read

First Things First: Watch A New Video on How to Prioritize Your Work in Wrike

Have you ever wished to be saved from the pressure of looming deadlines? If so, prioritizing project work is exactly what you need! Explicit and timely prioritization helps your team focus on the most important and urgent tasks, fight off distractions, and avoid deadline panic. If you drop by our blog, you already know how easy it is to prioritize tasks in Wrike project management software, as it takes only a mouse motion to set, adjust and share task priorities with your team. Prioritizing tasks is so crucial for efficient project management that it deserves more attention, and we decided to shoot a video on this topic. Our new video will help you refine your priorities and let important and urgent tasks make their way to the top of your team’s to-do lists: Now that you know our suggestions for avoiding the stress of a hectic schedule, please tell us about your practices for defining and sharing work priorities. What tricks do you use to keep the most important and urgent tasks on the radar?

Road Warrior Productivity: Must-Have Tips & Tools
Productivity 5 min read

Road Warrior Productivity: Must-Have Tips & Tools

You're sleep deprived, hungry, cramped, surrounded by distractions, and stuck on a 6-hour layover in a tiny commuter terminal. The last thing you want to do is power up your laptop and dive into some work, but that deadline is tomorrow and it's not going to move. When you'd rather sit through yet another in-flight showing of Taken 3 than even think about your inbox, use these tips and tools to stay productive and get things done.  Productivity Tips for Business Travelers 1. Don't tackle high-priority tasks. Instead, use layovers and shorter flights as a chance to burn through some busywork. Respond to emails, compile expense reports, update your budget, organize your desktop folders, etc.  2. Carry extra business cards. You never know when a delay, fortuitous seat assignment, or waiting in line for coffee will lead to a great networking opportunity.  3. Plan for no wi-fi. Although it may seem like a major inconvenience at first, being forcibly unconnected can be a blessing in disguise. You won’t be distracted by incoming emails or social media, so you can focus on the task at hand. If you absolutely must be connected, bring a personal hot-spot, fully charged.  4. Pay attention to what you eat. Traveling is already exhausting, and airport or gas station food isn’t exactly going to give you a burst of healthy energy. Bring snacks that will boost productivity like nuts, fresh or dried fruit, and plenty of water, or try to keep your restaurant orders on the healthy side. 5. Leave your charger in your bag. Use the dwindling battery as motivation to race the clock and get tasks done before the bar turns red.  6. Podcasts are your friend! Take this opportunity to listen through a few episodes of a series that will advance your work skills, or an educational podcast on a hobby or topic of interest. It’ll keep your brain active, and you’ll be learning something new. (I personally like Radiolab!) 7. Apply for TSA Pre-Check, Global Entry, or another Trusted Traveler program to speed through airport security and get settled at your gate faster.  8. Bring a tennis ball or beastie ball to roll under your feet or along a sore neck/back during a long flight. You'll feel better when you land. 9. Fight jet lag by staying hydrated and eating meals on the same schedule as your destination.  Productivity Tools for Business Travelers  1. Helios Solar Charger  90 minutes of direct sunlight is enough to fully charge your smartphone. If the weather calls for rain, you can also charge it via built-in micro USB port.     2. ZUtA Printer This pocket-sized printer is only 10.2 cm around and 7.5 cm tall, and connects to your smartphone, tablet, or laptop via WiFi to print on any size paper.  3. Plastc All your business credit cards, debit cards, loyalty cards, and gift cards on one card. Enter your unique pin to unlock, swipe to select the card you want, and then use it as you would a normal credit card. If your card is lost or stolen, you can completely wipe your data via your phone.  5. Logitech Keys-to-Go Keyboard Work in comfort with this durable keyboard. It pairs via bluetooth and runs on a rechargeable 3-month battery.  4. Anker Astro Portable Charger No open outlets at the airport? No problem.   6. Livescribe Echo Smartpen Record and replay on-the-go voice memos or reminders, and transfer handwritten notes to digital text.  7. Powerbag This backpack contains a portable battery for charging your smartphone or tablet.  8. Gigs2Go Portable Flash Drives This tear-away USB pack is made of recycled paper and plastic: it’s shockproof, waterproof, and doesn’t need a cap. What are your top tips for staying productive on the road?  Share your secrets for spotting a coveted airport outlet, scoring free wi-fi, or securing an invite to a business lounge in the comments below! Sources: money.usnews.com, FastCompany.com, Mashable.com, Inc.com Top photo credit: Nick Harris 

Collaborative Project Planning Helps Avoid Micromanagement
News 3 min read

Collaborative Project Planning Helps Avoid Micromanagement

Micromanagement can be a serious problem for a person who is in charge of a project or a whole business. It can hamper the development of a company and prevent managers from taking advantage of the creative initiatives of their teams. Engagement of collaborative planning can help with this problem and allow you to discover the full potential of the team. At the same time, it’s important for the manager to keep control of the team’s actions and to guide them. Only with the combination of bottom-up collaboration and top-down leadership can the business be truly successful. LearnItFirst.com, a fast developing online IT training company, found a way to create and maintain such a combination. Read the story, told by Scott Whigham, the founder of  LearnItFirst.com, and find out what helped him to make the business more productive.

How to Use Wrike for Content Planning
Marketing 5 min read

How to Use Wrike for Content Planning

It is crucial to plan ahead so you always have ideas at the ready. It's even better if you have finished and recyclable content pieces that can be published at a moment's notice. That's the purpose of this blog post: to walk you through a three-part process for planning out your content in advance of deadlines and sudden needs.

Simplified Way to Manage Folders
News 3 min read

Simplified Way to Manage Folders

Today, we are glad to tell you about the simplified the way to create, rename and delete folders in your Wrike workspace. All these actions can be made easily with the help of a right-click in the left pane of the workspace. Let me describe it in detail. 1) To create a folder, right-click on the folder in which you want to create a new folder and choose the “Add folder” option. Enter the folder name and hit the “Enter” key. That is easy. 2) To rename a folder, right-click on the folder and choose the “Rename folder” option. Edit the folder name and click off the field. 3) To remove a folder, right-click on the folder and choose the “Delete folder” option. If you want to share a folder, attach a file or create a folder description, you can do it by clicking on the "Edit folder" link in the right pane of the workspace and editing the folder properties. The next step planned to improve the convenience of working with folders in Wrike is drag-and-drop for folders. We are currently working on a feature that will allow you to easily move folders within the hierarchy.

Q&A with Errette Dunn, Principal Consultant at Wrike
News 7 min read

Q&A with Errette Dunn, Principal Consultant at Wrike

A common question we hear from new Wrike users is: "How do I maximize my ROI when I implement Wrike?" The answer is Wrike's consultation services. With our own in-house specialists, we can help take you from problem to sustainable solution in less time than ever before. We spoke to Wrike's Principal Consultant, Errette Dunn to learn more about the challenges faced by digital teams, and how Wrike's Consultation Team can help. Why does Wrike have a Principal Consultant? The reason I’m here, and why my team of consultants is here, is that we want our mission of making teams insanely productive to extend beyond just building software. Teams who come to Wrike aren’t necessarily looking for project management software. They’re looking for a solution to a problem that they can’t quite pinpoint on their own. So our job is to help them visualize their workflow, identify the problems, coach them through implementing a better version of that workflow in Wrike, and — through adopting Wrike — to sustain the improvement. Why do you think there are so many challenges in the digital workplace? Online tools allow us to do something that was never possible before, which is visualize our flow of knowledge. Since the traditional tools used by teams are fragmented within companies, we see that the flow is broken for a lot of workers. The reason is that internet-based knowledge work is very new. To put it in context of the industrial revolution, we’d still be in the Cotton Gin age. Manufacturing has had over a century to focus on process and efficiency. For digital workers, we’re still in the early stages. Wrike is part of a movement to fix digital work. What are some of the problems? Put simply, I think it boils down to keeping track of our commitments to others. That includes colleagues, customers, and managers. A significant amount of day-to-day work is about providing visibility into our commitments, which a lot of organizations do very inefficiently. Ever prepared a report for management? A report is a way to give higher-ups visibility. Ever attended a status meeting? That’s just a way to give a team visibility. Ever sent someone an email to ask for an update on a task? That’s you trying to gain visibility. So, by improving visibility into work, we can reduce the need for all of those time-consuming activities dramatically. So, how do you solve those problems? Like everything, we first have to admit that we have a problem. If you’re here with Wrike, you might be at that stage. A tool like Wrike, one that gives you status visibility and a searchable database of your company’s knowledge, is a huge step forward. But software isn’t a silver bullet. Anyone who has bought Rosetta Stone and never gotten around to opening it (guilty) knows what I mean. We need to implement software in a sustainable way that makes sure users are active and enthusiastic, and simultaneously make sure we’re not just using the software to replicate our existing problems. Workers need to ask themselves: Where does my work originate and where does it end? By mapping that process (even in simple pen and paper) we start to understand how others play into our work, where waste enters the process, and where we can make improvements. That’s the part I specialize in from my time at Toyota and Airbus — and that’s what our consultants do here at Wrike. If a customer uses Consulting Services at Wrike, what should they expect? In the spirit of what I’ve said so far, they should expect some introspection. We want to know what you do, why you do it, how you do it, and who you do it for. If you can’t answer those questions, don’t worry, you’re in good hands. This is especially valuable for anyone who has never worked with any sort of outside process consultants. Once we learn that about your work, it's time for goal setting. We’ll hone in on exactly what improvements you want to make, and work with you to decide how you’re going to quantify your success with Wrike. This helps you determine if the deployment was successful, and it also helps us measure if we’ve done a good job for you. Once goals are set, we help you configure Wrike in a way that will make sure you meet those goals. This may mean building project structures, designing templates, getting integrations in place, and making sure that what we set up together is scalable over hundreds of projects. Finally, we spend some time training your teams on the new procedures, because the human element is the most important in making sure you meet those goals. "Teams who come to Wrike aren’t necessarily looking for project management software. They’re looking for a solution to a problem that they can’t quite pinpoint on their own." What’s your favorite part about the consulting process? My favorite part, and the most rewarding part for all our team members, is when you see in a client’s eyes that they are having an “A-ha!" moment about a better way to work, and when they become confident that they can sustain the improvement in the long term. Imagine someone who has worked in a job for years, and has experienced the same challenge for years. They may have felt a little defeated, and had the mentality, “That’s just the way we do things here.” When you leave their office and know that you haven’t just changed their one work day, but you've really changed their attitude about work and reduced their stress - that’s rewarding. If people would like more information about Consulting Services, where can they go? Your Account Manager or Account Executive on our sales team will be the best place to turn. They’ll be happy to give you information and help connect you with a consultant. Interviewee Bio: Errette Dunn is Principal Consultant at Wrike. Prior to joining our team, he worked in process improvement for companies including Toyota and Airbus. He holds an MBA from the IESE Business School, and has studied Management at Stanford and MIT, as well as Engineering at Universidad Panamerica at his home town of Guadalajara, Mexico. He currently lives in Silicon Valley with his wife and 4 kids. If you're interested in using Wrike for your team, start a free Wrike trial today and contact us at https://www.wrike.com/contact-sales/.

3 Step Process to Building a Project Work Plan Template in Wrike
Project Management 5 min read

3 Step Process to Building a Project Work Plan Template in Wrike

A project work plan allows you to outline the requirements of a project, project planning steps, goals, and team members involved in the project. This provides visibility to everyone involved, keeps project deliverables organized in one place, and helps you stay on track to reach your objectives.

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