Question

What is the best software you started using in 2019?

Even if it's not brand new software that first came out in 2019, what new tools have made you more productive this year?

Mentioned
#Project Management #Email #Notes
Share
MelanieCrissey's avatar
2 years ago
Gong

Gong totally rocked my world in 2019. I imagine it's probably designed for Sales managers, but I've found it super helpful from a Product Marketing / Customer Experience standpoint.

With Gong, I can:

  1. Search for mentions of competitors or key themes and listen to hear how our customers or prospective customers speak about them, in their own words and;

  2. Replay my own customer calls and re-read transcripts, which is helpful for managing the customer experience (i.e. recalling customer needs or details for follow-ups) and even learning how to improve my own communication-style on the phone (good grief—do I really "like" and "um" THAT much?!)

Total gamechanger.

11 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @MelanieCrissey )
2 years ago

Oh wow, listening to call recordings sounds scary—but that's a clever way to improve communication skills! Does Gong automatically offer advice on what you said on the phone (which would be magical, like Grammarly in real life) or are its automated recommendations based on written communications?

4 points
MelanieCrissey's avatar
@MelanieCrissey (replying to @maguay )
2 years ago

Oooh, great question. I'm not aware of automatic advice, but it does look like the system has Scorecards and Coaching features available, so there might be a way to pre-define areas of improvement and then see how your calls stack up. Seems possible!

4 points
el_delongo's avatar
@el_delongo (replying to @MelanieCrissey )
2 years ago

I had something else in mind at first, but seeing this post reminds me that Gong definitely was the most impactful software I started using last year. As a product marketer beginning on a new product, it was great to hear what salespeople were saying on calls and using what resonated best for our content messaging.

4 points
NBNite's avatar
@NBNite (replying to @MelanieCrissey )
2 years ago

I was introduced to Gong earlier this year and really loved everything that I was reading about the tool and its capablities - it seemed incredible and super valuable.
The turning point for us came when I finally received some transparency on the pricing, as the service was incredibly expensive (I'm not sure if that's changed since) and was ultimately a deal breaker.

I just took a quick glance at their site and the pricing page still requires you to request a quote from the team (generally speaks to higher priced tiers) - are you able to share any information regarding their current pricing tiers?

Thanks in advance!

3 points
jamoses92's avatar
2 years ago
Twitter

No, I’m not late to the party. I’ve been using Twitter since 2014. However, I’ve noticed a significant improvement in quality content and feed algorithms. Twitter’s core advantage is that it’s always been the best real-time source for information and updates (still unsure why Google hasn’t acquired them). That said, they’ve finally implemented controls that ensure my time on platform yields the best ROI. Reading through Twitter used to be a task. Now it’s simple, enjoyable, and actionable.

7 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @jamoses92 )
2 years ago

You have a really good point there. I was incredibly hesitant about switching to the algorithmic feed—enough to use 3rd party apps by default for the longest time—but Twitter's core apps have won me over this year. They really are doing a good job at surfacing the best content.

5 points
nathansnelgrove's avatar
2 years ago
Figma

2019 feels like the year when Figma not only got good, it dominated the competition. It is smooth as butter on any machine, and both clients and colleagues love using it. It’s simply a sensational tool. My approvals for designs happen way faster now, and the prototyping stuff is great (even if it’s not terribly advanced).

Their latest feature, which lets you resize and reflow containers automatically for buttons (or entire UIs) is really incredible and has ended the year with a bang for me.

7 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @nathansnelgrove )
2 years ago

Agreed—it's made design collaboration as simple as Google Docs did for writing collaboration.

Do you find any missing features in Figma versus Sketch or other design tools? Or does it cover all your needs today?

1 point
apogeecoaching's avatar
2 years ago
Notion

Notion is simply a fantastic tool for capturing notes, organizing information, collaborating with team members, and managing tasks and data. It's like a set of content lego blocks that you can use as an individual or team to fit lots of circumstances, from an online notebook, to a company intranet, to a light-weight crm or project management platform. I love it!

6 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @apogeecoaching )
2 years ago

Notion's been one of the best tools I've started using regularly this year, too. Curious: What do you use it for most? And have you found an effective way to organize Notion for your needs? I'm still struggling with the latter.

1 point
apogeecoaching's avatar
@apogeecoaching (replying to @maguay )
2 years ago

I use it with two ventures I'm a part of and in both cases it's being used primarily as a knowledge repository/internet.So, mostly a place for information I or other team members are likely to need in the future, that is easy to organize and collaborate on. That said, in both cases we also use it from some task/process management, by taking advantage of the Kanban-type features of tables.

3 points
irrvrntVC's avatar
2 years ago
Superhuman to rule the rest

Superhuman by far. I spend 40% of my time in email so being able to be 10% more efficient there (time-saving) + 10% better (about follow-ups, connecting dots) > almost 10% improvement to my time alone.

Also starting using 4Degrees (https://4degrees.ai/) which I have found to be better (for me) for tracking deal flow, surfacing reminders to connect w/ contacts, and informing me of deals that ppl in my network are doing.

5 points
kil0ran's avatar
2 years ago
Microsoft Teams

There, I've gone and said it. I've never been an MS fanboy but Teams is so close to being perfect for how I work with my team. I'm an analyst/author/blogger/speaker so the integration with the rest of Office makes me really productive and the open ecosystem lets me link in with other key apps such as Trello & Zoom

3 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @kil0ran )
2 years ago

That's awesome it fit your needs so well. Did you use Slack previously, and if so, where have you found Teams better than Slack? Or is the Office integration the killer feature for you?

1 point
kil0ran's avatar
@kil0ran (replying to @maguay )
2 years ago

Well, I was kind of forced into it kicking and screaming but it's mainly the integration with Office that wins, and having one place for all team conversations. I actually preferred ClickUp but lost that battle because it was "just" a planning tool. Teams has got a huge way to go before it's genuinely best of breed across all use cases (Planner still sucks and is missing basic functionality like converting a chat thread into a task, or being able to route emails to it). I guess it's an example of a tool that's "good enough". A bit like having a Ford station wagon rather than a Volvo.

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @kil0ran )
2 years ago

Haha! Seems the default way people start using Teams is being required to do so as it's part of the Office suite. And now it's fremium so might see it spread beyond that.

I didn't realize ClickUp included chat too; that's neat. That and Basecamp both look like they'd be great solutions if you don't mind having chat living inside another product.

I think it's the "good enough" plus being bundled plus a Microsoft twist on the "you never got fired for buying IBM" corporate perspective that's helping Teams grow right now. But hey, apparently the Office integration alone was enough to get you to come around and be a fan!

1 point
brainsparker's avatar
2 years ago
CloudApp

I work for a tech company and its very fast paste. I usually am working with anywhere from 6-10 engineers and designers, trying to explain what line of copy needs to be moved or where an H1 should break on the mobile viewport.

CloudApp allows me to cmd+shft+a, create a screenshot in the cloud, annotate it with a block of text or circle the issue I'm seeing locally, and send anyone a link. They can open the link in the browser, and neither of us need to save this scribble-explaination to our hardrives. Its a great chrome extension and mac app saves me a ton of time screenshotting, resaving with annotation, and uploading back to a cloud service. Its great for distributed teams and for quickly explaining in a picture, animated GIF or a Recording of what you want to communicate.

3 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @brainsparker )
2 years ago

I use Droplr in similar ways to share files and screenshots quickly. Annotating to highlight issues is clever!

My favorite thing with Droplr is that it instantly copies the share link to your clipboard, even if the file is still uploading. Makes sharing so fast.

1 point
Blakejmyer's avatar
2 years ago
Loom

It's now 2020 — but I started using 🎥 Loom (https://www.loom.com/) last year and plan to use it more this year.

I'm a UX designer and basically I was looking for a way to easily record presentation / prototype walkthroughs without the hassle of screen recording through quicktime, interpreting the footage correctly in after effects, and then recording a VO to go along with it. Loom became my answer.

Now if I don't get the chance to guide someone through new prototype updates or try to sell a client on a new tweak or alternative approach on a call. I can, without going through scheduling bingo, just quickly record myself as if I were to do it on the call and share.

It's true you don't get the live back and forth interaction and QA — but for some small things that's just perfect + viewers can comment in context so that's helpful.

I also love that viewers can 2x my video since sometimes I'm a slow presenter ( a lot of us are tbh). And that I can make the video of me talking into a little bubble on the screen that I can move around however I wish.

With Tik Tok and Instagram Stories showing that candid video has traction, it seems that Loom is the new business analog solution.

Loom for the win 💫

3 points
kil0ran's avatar
@kil0ran (replying to @Blakejmyer )
2 years ago

Love Loom, I've found I've had to nudge myself to use it - I have a little note by my screen prompting me - "Maybe Loom rather than email?". I find it great for sharing notes and ideas - tend to limit clips to around 2 minutes max.

3 points
max_hodges's avatar
2 years ago
Monday.com

We switched from Basecamp to Monday.com, it's a really great product.
Basecamp just hasn't kept up with the times. I wrote at length about it here:
https://medium.com/@maxhodges/hey-jason-d8ee5146811b

2 points
MorganJLopes's avatar
2 years ago
Strava

The metrics and feedback it gives me as a runner are great. It tracks per run, compares across runs, and shows me where I rank in relation to others. There is a social aspect and I appreciate the fact that in order to 'post', you have to actually engage in an activity.
A full feed means people I know and trust are engaging within the real world. That's motivating.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @MorganJLopes )
2 years ago

It's funny, but seeing other runners' times on the route I ran (even when it's people I don't know) does motivate me to keep at it—as do the graphs showing performance over time.

1 point
hirodusk's avatar
2 years ago

Fathom Analytics. Simple, clean, privacy-oriented website stats (use in place of, for example, Google Analytics). Love that they've thought carefully about how to offer anonymized tracking that complies with GDPR but also doesn't require me to display annoying cookie pop-ups to European users.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @hirodusk )
2 years ago

That looks really nice. Does it run on your server, or is it still a hosted service just one built around privacy?

Their demo reminds me a bit of Mint analytics, the self-hosted analytics I used to use on my blog before it quit being supported. Loved how simple and clean it was—and miss it every time I struggle to find something in Google Analytics' increasingly messy interface.

1 point
hirodusk's avatar
@hirodusk (replying to @maguay )
2 years ago

It's a hosted service, you embed a bit of JS in your page. If you view source on our website and scroll to the bottom you'll see it. Then you get a little dashboard at app.usefathom.com.

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @hirodusk )
2 years ago

Woah Muse looks really nice—almost seems like it'd fit into this discussion about whiteboard apps!

1 point
hirodusk's avatar
@hirodusk (replying to @maguay )
2 years ago

😎

1 point
ondrej421's avatar
2 years ago

Tandem. We're a fully remote team and I can't imagine going back. It makes everything feel like we're all much closer together than we are. One click to talk, video, and join any other conversation going on.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @ondrej421 )
2 years ago

Neat! What were you using before? And are you still using Slack and Zoom (or other text and video chat apps) as well?

Does your team use the shared cursor feature much?

1 point
How do you manage your chat inbox?

Hey guys, first post here. As part of my work, I have to deal with and respond to a lot of incoming messages from different chats: Linkedin/WhatsApp/Signal/IG. I try to use Unreads/Archive features...

The Capiche Markdown guide.

Markdown is the most popular way to format plain text. Add common characters like asterisks and dashes to text, much like how you might format a quick store list in your notes app or add emphasis ...

The community for power users.