What do you do when productivity is broken?

How our productivity tools are stacked to fail.

Whether you were new to working remotely in 2020 or you’re an OG WFHer, this year brought an increase in asynchronous work, and with that the piling up of tasks flying in from every which way. If you’re like me, you’re constantly getting pinged in Slack and email. On top of that, you’re juggling a ton of things you need to get done. You try your best to capture your to-dos in Google Docs and Sheets, Email drafts, as well as Apple Notes and Reminders. If I’m feeling really frantic I write quick notes on a piece of mail — drives my husband crazy 😅. On top of all those tools, I also use Linear for product development and Coda to keep documentation coordinated across my team. If you’re keeping count, that’s about 8 tools!

I’m going to guess many of you have more than a handful of tools in your “productivity stack” that you use to keep yourself organized. You spend a lot of time getting each tool setup and things still fall through the cracks don’t they? That’s the funny thing about our “productivity stacks.” They give us a place to capture tasks, but in order to stay on top of it all, we have to constantly keep these tools updated, which is exhausting. If you’re lucky, you get an email reminder for a task, but let’s be honest, those emails quickly end up in a nice folder I lovingly call “Trash” 😬.

That’s the funny thing about our “productivity stacks.” They give us a place to capture tasks, but in order to stay on top of it all, we have to constantly keep these tools updated, which is exhausting.

Anastasia Tarpeh-Ellis

As we all know, these workflows and systems we’ve cobbled together are far from perfect, efficient, or sustainable, but these tools are what we have to work with so we learn to live with them. What if there was a way to keep your current workflow and system, but not learn another app?

We’re building a team optimization tool that automates finding and completing tasks so that you can focus on the work that matters most. And instead of making you learn something new and completely upending the workflow you’re used to, we’ll meet you where you are. Our app, Bosa, is a Google Chrome extension that works inside of the tools you and your team already use, and puts everything in one place to help you and your team stay on track without any effort from you. Think of Bosa as a productivity layer on top of the tools you already use and not another tool you have to add to your productivity stack, because face it, we’re running out of fingers counting the tools we have to use for work every day.

"We’re running out of fingers counting the tools we have to use for work every day."

Anastasia Tarpeh-Ellis

Let’s take the following scenario: You’re in LA, you open Slack, and see multiple messages from your coworker based in London asking about the status of a newsletter draft. At the same time, your boss is sending emails from Austin, TX asking if you saw the Slack messages from your colleague in London.

Now imagine this: What if your London-based counterpart and your boss in Austin could both see in one place that the task was captured and that you’re currently working on it, all without disturbing you to find out? And what if when you opened Google Docs you got an instant reminder to work on the newsletter draft? What if this is how it was for your whole team? You could cut down on standups and check in meetings dramatically! You wouldn’t need to keep those project management tools updated every hour. This is the future Bosa is building, and it’s not very far away.

This crazy year is almost up for all of us, but I don’t see our to-do lists getting any smaller in 2021. What I do see is a way for each of us to spend less time making sense of to-do our lists, and spending more time actually getting them done. So here’s to more efficient ways to keeping your team on track, seamlessly collaborating, and not writing nonsense on the back of envelopes (that’s more for me, not you) in 2021.

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