Product Update: Project Boards

Our new project boards give you an instant update on your website and roadmap whenever you need it, without waiting for a meeting.

Product Update: Project Boards

Time's precious and meetings are slow. I've always wanted Three Little Trees projects to be as seamless and worry-free as possible, so harnessing technology to make everybody's life easier was an obvious next step.

By using our new project boards, we can make sure that everyone has an instant view of where the develop- ment is, whether you want to get the bird's eye view or the nitty gritty.

What? When? How? Done.

The purpose of our boards is to make it faster and simpler to answer your questions about your website project.

Traditionally, a question about development would require an email or phone call to get an answer, which takes time out of your day and means you might not get the information exactly when you need it. By having a central project board you can find out what's being planned, what's being worked on, when it's due to be ready and what's already been launched in the time it takes for your browser to load the page.

A board helps you get a quick overview -- but you can open up a feature card for more detail too.

It's a version of kanban, a process monitoring system where cards are stuck up on a board under columns which show where those features are in the production process. It gives a really simple way to get an overview of the whole project. Of course these days there are digital versions — we use Trello, a very popular collaboration tool that people use for everything from complex manufacturing projects to holiday to-do lists. It's a great way for people to work together with a clear view of the whole project.

Your site as as service

Websites have changed; good dev companies don't just dump a site on you and move on to another client any more. They work with you as a partner, constantly helping you to improve and update your site so that it performs better for you and your customers. New web technologies have reduced the time it takes to add new features into your site and it's all done without any downtime, so you can seamlessly build up your site piece by piece, basing your decisions on actual customer data.

Boards make it easier to make lots of small improvements to your site, rather than waiting for a major release.

Our project boards support this approach better, as you can quickly see all of the planned features for your site, when they're being worked on and when they're put live. Any site bugs that get reported also show up on the board, so you can see as soon as they're resolved.

Take a look

If you're one of our customers already, you can explore your project board right now. Simply head over to your help page and follow the link. And if your boss wants an update on the project you can simply send the link on to them, cutting down the time spent re-explaining how everything's going.

I'd love to get your feedback on our new boards. Send us a message and let me know what you think.

3. Write a daily list

I’ve found that working straight from my Trello list tends to end with me getting distracted by my other tasks. So every morning I look at my task list and write down (using pen and paper like some sort of caveman) the three vital tasks that I MUST do that day.

This has been far more effective than I expected.

By physically writing down your tasks, you start your brain engaging with them, and you’re left with a distraction-free list of work to do. Only once those vital things have been done do you go back to the master list. Or take a nap. Whatever takes your fancy.

4. Kill the distractions

We can’t multitask.

Really, we can’t. Our brains just won’t work that way. And the nearest we can get — rapidly switching between several tasks — leaves none of them getting done well. In fact, studies have shown that after switching tasks it can take our brains up to 20 minutes to settle in to proper work again.

And we can only concentrate for about 25 minutes. Seriously, our brains are rubbish at focussing on lots of things at once AND at focussing on one thing for a long time.

So, we work with what we’ve got, using this variant of the Pomodoro technique:

NOTE: The original Pomodoro technique says to do four 25 minute sessions then take a long break, but I’ve found it easier to concentrate when I take my long breaks between tasks. Your mileage may vary.

Further reading

There are some more great tips for motivating yourself at work in this article from Toptal:

Triggering Productive Behavior: Motivation Tips for Work >