We’re all given the same amount of hours in a work day. What separates market leaders from the remaining competitors, clawing their way upward but not quite reaching, is how they spend those hours.
You’ve all heard by now that you should ‘work smarter, not harder’ and that’s what workflow optimization tackles – how to improve existing workflows. What are the processes that need to be improved? Where can automation be introduced? How can departments achieve better results for all workers? Are there any processes that are fundamentally broken and need to be completely done away with?
Those are the questions workflow optimization looks at in order to reduce costs and increase the overall profits. Automation often acts as a bridge between processes. Through the right tool one can email, account for and notify about a report or other work task done without going through the motions of writing an email and then logging onto more platforms for accountability purposes.
Nowhere else in an office environment does brilliant workflow optimization shine than in results of joint team projects. Assigning roles and appointing the leader, designating tasks and bringing it all together with other productivity tools are crucial. That’s why the choice for the right tool carries added weight, because you want a material infrastructure working in the team’s interest.
Inoreader has developed its teams feature specifically to aid teams having to parse large quantities of information. Teams combine the curation and custom search capabilities of Inoreader with an intuitive distribution system that makes sharing articles effortless.
Anyone working within a team really. We’ve designed Inoreader teams with flexibility in mind as well as scale. As long as you have a team and have a lot of information to share with each other, then this feature is exactly what you need.
Just a few examples from the top of the head:
Let’s discuss a specific example – publishing. Journalists and magazine writers are often under a certain amount of pressure to complete deadlines on time. A tightly knit writer’s room in any news publication, magazine or even trade press has to perform a fine dance to put together issues and follow the content calendar. To that end, optimizing workflow and minimizing menial tasks and disturbances in communication become a high priority.
Slack removes barriers to the communication. Monday does well to manage workflow in terms of deadlines and task assignment, but what about the organization of materials and sources used as the basis for articles? That’s where Inoreader teams come to assist, because teams focus on how to better share information between team members. It’s not uncommon for teams to use services like Pocket or Evernote to pin important pieces and then notify in the channel, but that’s not quite as effective a way to get the job done.
For one, you’re contributing to general chatter in communication channels and links often get fully buried under all the talk, so it takes quite a few minutes to scroll to get the link. Layer this over and over again, there are issues of discovery. Inoreader teams don’t have this problem as they’re not meant to be used as messaging apps, but only as storage space available to everyone on the team. The messaging is restricted to only a base comment, which further assigns the piece or gives reason for its inclusion in the team’s feed.
We already covered teams, which require a high level of coordination in a fast-paced environment, so what about the teams working with enormous data sets. Pharma companies, finance companies and other research and development departments turn to Inoreader teams in order to manage the workload and effectively capture individual data points. RSS readers are already a tried-and-tested productivity tool in managing one’s work reading. With teams, no research-heavy task can stand a chance.
The main selling point of the teams feature is the control to curate a team-specific feed with news articles, think pieces and press releases selected thanks to automated filtering once and then a real person. The team feed can then be used by the person in charge to then put together data-heavy reports and send them out without much back-and-forth between team members thus reducing the data collection time.
The master account in charge (more on this later) can in turn create multiple teams for specialized data squads to handle specific points necessary for reports. Another function of the team feature is purely archival. You keep all the sources and data points in one place available for quick reference as needed during the final stages of writing a report. Team leaders have all the information at all times and over a long period of time, so then work done months ago can be accessed and assessed to ensure continuity with the next report and give pointers, which publications have the type of data necessary.
Inoreader has been on the forefront of workflow automation for years now and Inoreader teams is a pinnacle of these efforts in terms of collaboration. Much of what we offer in terms of tools have a direct application in how we consume information.
It’s just that sometimes the scope of a research project necessitates the participation of others in the office, because no matter how well you curate your own personal feeds – an ambitious research project is still not a one-person task. Users can now work together to build their own database of important articles by dividing the amount of subscriptions and additional searches performed within Inoreader itself and on social media.
Through teams, individual users can take over specific media platforms – a person exclusively on Twitter, another on Facebook, a third on newsletters, a fourth on news sites. Though that’s just an example. There’s no right or wrong way to structure your work or how many people can be part of a team.
The scale is adjustable, which makes Inoreader teams suitable whether you have a small team tackling a large text due to be written in a few days or a large team tasked with sourcing a lot of data points on a broad subject for a report. There are no frills, no distractions to this work process. What makes research done this way so effortless is that users can still benefit from all the rules, filters and integration with other apps that smooths out any obstacles to communication.
Inoreader has been working towards incorporating collaborative features for years. Before the new teams, users could easily share their findings in their personal social media feeds thanks to the in-app social media share buttons.
Then there’s the support for OneNote, Evernote, Pocket, Google Drive and DropBox, which gives users the opportunity to further cherry pick the articles and news items most relevant to their work and save them to either personal accounts or company accounts so their colleagues can have access as well.
Depending on the work environment and office culture, another option would be to use Inoreader to create custom email digests, which can be shared internally to the office. However, this feature doesn’t quite support high-paced, goal-oriented teamwork. If you’re working on a tight deadline as a group to compile reports and research for a bigger project, you need better sharing tools.
Inoreader manages this task through private sharing to each team. Each person in a team can send in any articles from their own personal feeds to the team directly and even add a little commentary as to why that article is useful and important. A team can create a curated project-specific feed that enables the team leader to steer the work effectively.
The partial messaging feature gives the much needed context while on the job and nothing more. As such Inoreader tools teams optimize the workflow by cutting out all distractions from team members going off into tangents burying important information in inconsequential chat. That’s what office messaging channels are for!
The essence of effective teamwork lies within competent management and it’s something that the development team at Inoreader has anticipated. Workflow applications and services that position teamwork at their core – say Slack or Discord – often have a free-flowing user experience and all people on a team can see the general activity happening in other channels. Inoreader keeps teams separate and hands over the control to a single master account.
The master account manages every single team created under it. You’re able to assign people to teams and remove them from teams. It’s important to note that the person with the master account can see all activity throughout all teams, whereas team members have access only to their specific teams. We want to clarify that a single user can be a part of more than one team. The decision lies in the hands of the person in charge of the master account.
What does this mean for the work process? Macro management at this level – the only person being fully in charge – solves any bottlenecks that might arise later on pertaining to time management. There simply won’t be so many people to make decisions on what’s happening on a team, thus derailing the work. This wonderfully ties in with the core functionality of Inoreader as an RSS feed reader – it’s all about the work being shared. The messaging capabilities of the team feature are reduced to a minimum to reduce white noise and leave only important content in the team’s feed.
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