Productivity Academy Live Q&A – Episode 68

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You can watch the video for the past episode recorded on January 31st, 2019 above, or you can review the transcript below.

In this episode we talked about:

  • How to make meeting templates automatically and notify your team
  • Finding the right people on UpWork with keywords

To find recommended tools and other great resources, check out the Productivity Academy Resource Toolkit:

Alright, we are going live. All right, I am happy to be live. I’ve got a little bit of technical fun going on here as I’m trying to get better about sharing screens. But anyways, if you’re watching, welcome to the productivity Academy live show for this week today is the 31st of January. And I’m going crazy because I’m seeing a bunch of different video at different delays pop up. So I’m going to get that over with and we’re going to focus in on a few things today stuff I’m really happy to share.

And the reason I’m setting this up is to show you a little bit about how to make meetings better just mostly from the sense though, of how you can auto create meeting notes from a template so that you don’t have to do that all the time. So this has a lot of benefits one You don’t have to be like, Oh, I need to, you know, keep track of where I’m keeping my notes for meetings. I know it’s important but I was forget is it in my notebook? Or is it over here, stop doing that you can create a template that works for you works for your business works for your team, and then have it done automatically.

So that that’s created for you and your team knows and you know where to always go to put notes for a meeting, like if you have a weekly stand up meeting, right. And then also had a questions. One part of building your team is, you know, how do you go about finding the right people, there’s a lot of online places to go, I’m going to just show how you can do that on up work and how you can get in there and quickly narrow it down from like, you know, huge selections down to what’s going to work for you.

And so you can do this quickly and then move on to the important parts of the process which is disqualifying people in person to the end up with the best person for you. So real quick if you’re joining life. Thank you. Feel free to ask questions. I’ll pop over and check for additional questions as we go and try to answer those as time allows. If you’re watching the replay on YouTube, you can always come join us live you can find that

link to the group in the description. It’s free group, but you just got to answer a few questions. I want to make sure that you’re actually interested in productivity processes, automation, all that good stuff. And if you want to stay up to date with these weekly shows, as well as other like app reviews, and other information about productivity and processes, you can hit the subscribe button and stay up to date. All right, so I’m going to check and see if there’s any questions and then we are going to get to it.

All right, let me bring this up. The first thing we’re going to talk about is using Zapier and Google Drive or docs to set up this automation for meetings and this overcomes one of the hurdles with meetings right there important we need to most people don’t live in isolation and this becomes even more important I think if you’re the one running the show you know you’re responsible for getting this done. You could have an assistant set this up and all I just mean is your response.

For the communication within your team, all right, and you can help facilitate this by setting up some of these animations and having a centralized place where you can all put your questions, put your comments for upcoming meetings, all that sort of stuff. So basically, you’re helping yourself and you’re helping your team and this takes out that tedious part of like, oh, where do I keep all my meeting notes? You know, somebody duplicating a document are we rewriting or do we just have one huge document that has everything but it isn’t, you know, as a real pain in the butt to use, get rid of all of that this is a real simple way to do it. So I’m going to switch screens here and we will get into it.

Okay, so I’m logged in to my Zapier account, and this is the first step so all the only three steps you need. I am going to assume, however, that you have already created a file and what I mean by that is, let me show you an example this would be in a Google Doc I would create a folder for this just called something like you know, weekly meeting folder whatever you want to call it, but you’re going to then create a meeting template doc and just put it in there with something like this is my example i’d wrote for this I have one that’s a little bit more complex but this is the just you know anything you want to see up here every week maybe a quick intro line reminder could be something about the company you know what your core value remind yourself about your customers or what your you know, your main meeting goals are things like that.

And then this is important put your outline let everybody know this is you know, this is the structure we follow. Obviously there’s a lot of flexibility in this but if you don’t have one this is a good one to start with. Start with some good news. You know, literally just what’s working well what’s been going on, maybe you’ve got a lot of stuff to go over maybe some of its tough some of its good whatever started off on the right foot, you know, something went right in the last week.

So share that and ask other people to get in that habit of doing it as well. Also reviewing any metrics or your KPIs are keeping performance indicators and then discussion time, which is the, you know, whatever you want to call it down here if you’re following traction, that’s your ideas topics, but it’s basically your main talking points. And then at the end, make sure you close up with a summary or action items.

Just make sure everyone’s got their action items as they go through here. You know, we might have like, create automated meeting system and that is going to be assigned to Adam which is me, right? Just make sure that you get some action items out of the meeting, don’t let it go by and then go and then people say I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do leave that up to you how you decide to do that. Alright, so let’s get back into here. So the very first thing that we’re going to want to do with this is you want to have a trigger.

Okay, and the trigger in Zapier that I would use for this is that every week at the same time you want to create a new file basically. So let’s do that. We’re going to do the timer so it is schedule and you could also find this down below but will use schedule by Zapier. I’m just going to choose first on every week, right and then we choose day of the week, this is obviously up to you, I would do this ahead of time of the meeting because Zapier doesn’t run to the minute also, you probably want people to have time to put their notes on here, right?

So generally actually have this setup so that it’s done, done very soon after your meeting. So I’m going to make up a time let’s say your meeting is at Tuesday at noon. All right, for whatever reason, then probably, let’s say it’s an hour meeting, maybe two hours after that I would have this created because the second step of this is going to be notifying the team that it’s ready and there’s a link available.

So what we would do is let’s say again, our meetings at noon then we’re going to say Tuesday at 2pm. Two hours after the meeting starts that we’re going to start this, okay?

And if you want to see that you can just have it check and see what it’s actually putting in there. And it needs an action step, okay. But we still need a little bit, little bit more information. And the reason we’re going to add this, I found that this is a really powerful way to do it.

Because what we could do is add a step and just say, Okay, go ahead and copy the file. But then it gets really complicated when you’re meeting template, your file from over here doesn’t have a date or any organization because if it just copies it, it’s going to just be called the copy right like when you copy and in Google Docs. So what we want to do is add the upcoming date of the meeting to the folder or sorry, to the file itself. So when people go in there, it’s really obvious like Well, okay, this date is the meeting date, so of course that’s the right one to use.

Alright, so let’s add another step in here. So we are going to add a step and we’re going to go with date time. Alright, so that is a form matter. And then date time is what you’re going to select. And this is where we start having fun. We’re going to the Transform. You don’t need to dive into this, but we’re going to add and subtract time and then we want to go into step one and we are going to take the pretty date okay and then we’re going to add seven days just like that. And then we want to format it to be for month to day and then for for the year.

Okay, well, we don’t need the time so let me do that. Okay. And then from format, we’re not going to worry about it because Zapier will be able to figure this out.

Okay, great finish. Whoops, we need to add a step. And that step is now going to be the actual copying of the file. Okay, so let’s go in here. And we are going to use Google Drive for this. And we want to go with less common, and copy a file. Okay, click on Save, and continue.

Got my personal account in here. All right, this is where the fun starts to happen. Now the file we want to we could either add a cert step, or we can just tell it which one it is. Okay, these are up to you. However, you want to do this. In my case, I’m just going to use the custom value and then we’re going to use the file ID. All right. If you’re not sure how to do it. You can use more here and then this is where you just want to get the custom ID of the folder itself, I’m not going to go into that you can read this document right here, which just yeah, yeah, that’s going to go into a little bit more detail than we need. But you can read in there and grab it. I want to keep this pretty short.

Okay. Convert to document. Yes. File name. This is now why we use this date time converter up here because we want to take that and there you go. That is going to give us the actual date of the meeting and use that as the title okay, because now this is where that seven days came in. We’re, we’re creating this on the day of the meeting, but it’s for the next meeting. And you could do this again, if this was monthly, you would just use 30 days instead or monthly. You could obviously 30 days would throw it out of whack depending on how many days in the month but there’s a lot of flexibility of this, but this is great for weekly Dr. You don’t need to specify this. And then folder, you where to put this, you can again, you do the same thing, use custom value, and then the custom ID for the folder, you just get this from the folder itself.

And they tell you how to do all that in there. Okay, so that is the short version of how to do that. So you can follow through with that. And all you need the need to do is put those custom values for the drive and the folder in there. Or sorry, the file and what that’s going to do is start creating that that copy and the title is now going to be the correct date, because we added that plus seven days in there. This is super helpful.

So now you no longer ever have to copy that template and you have a fresh Google Doc for every single meeting. Now that’s neat. It’s copied into the folder so it may be like ooh, big deal. But the follow on to this is what you can do with it afterwards. Right? Because what you could do is add a for example a zap or any sort of notification, you want to use that when there’s a new document in that in that folder, just so like when we copy that folder, or sorry, the file, it’s going to be a new, it’s going to be considered a new document you could create as app, for example, that sends out a slack notification to your team. It says, Hey, team, the next files been created. Here’s the direct link.

And here’s the link to the folder in case you need to go back and look at other stuff, you know, you know, all the actions you can use for this are huge, you could send an email to your team. Again, we talked about Slack, you know, there’s so many ways to tie that in. And so it’s up to you whatever you want. I personally use slack with my teams. And so this is super handy just to send that out and as notification like hey, this is where you can always go and they also tell them to bookmark the folder so they can just quickly go in there and add their own notes. So hopefully that’s helpful for you.

I think if you’ve never set it up before you could do this in probably 30 minutes, maybe 45 and this would save you at least five to 10, maybe 15 minutes a week. All right. So within less than a month, you’re already getting your time back. And then over weeks, months and years, I mean, this saves a ton of time makes it really nice. Not only that, that’s like the direct time savings. But then the back end is, you know, you’re really getting into that process. If you’re following the same process for the meetings. You everyone’s on board with, hey, here’s what we’re doing. And everyone has that easy to, you know, dump information into during the week so that they’re not wondering, you know, I wrote something down on my notepad now they’ve got a place to put it and everyone can see it. So hopefully that’s helpful for you.

If you have any questions about how to implement that, please just leave a comment or let me know. So before we go on, I’m going to check and see if we’ve got any questions and then move into Okay, the second question which is finding the right people on upward so I think that this is really helpful if you’re looking at starting to build a team it could just be you know, you’re starting out you want to make a part time hire you’ve identified your pain point, you’ve got real tasks for someone.

And you can find out more about that. If you go to the productivity Academy and search for pre hire checklist or building a team, and you’ll come up with the kind of best practices as far as things you should do before you make that hire like, don’t just run out and hire someone, because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do. Literally, it can take just 30 minutes to an hour to really identify what it is you should be doing beforehand, so that when they come in, it’s a really smooth transition.

And they’re really helping you save a lot of time, they’re helping bring you bring in more revenue, instead of being kind of that anchor weight on you, and where you’re freaking out, like, you know, I hired someone in it, and it all turned out worse. So avoid that by reading that article and spending maybe an hour and then as you’re going through the process, let’s say you’re using upward they use this for a lot of places. I’ve also used other kind of online marketplaces for finding people. So by all means, you know, use what you’re most comfortable with.

But one of the best ways to do this let’s just use an example. Let’s say you’re creating content for a website. And you want to find somebody to help you edit. Because as we all know, a lot of times like you can get your words out, maybe you can record a video like this and get it transcribed. But then to get that into something ready to go on to the website, it may take a lot of time. And that either is time you don’t have or your time is better spent doing something else.

Maybe it’s creating more content, someone else can do the editing and enjoys doing that. And then that can be put up on the website and save you a ton of time I say this from experience. So a lot of times you come in here and a lot of this is just using that pre hire kind of checklist that I have and identifying what are like the keywords of what you want to do.

And by that I just mean like let’s say we were talking about the content editor idea, then literally those would be keywords but then you might think of a few more like what are they what are the editing content about is it a blog? Right? Is it a business website? And so let’s just put a few in here and see. So if we said like Content Editor and blog, okay, we come out with, obviously a lot right now have it set to us only this is obviously, depending on how you want to want to do it. I don’t have any suggestions on that other than, you know, use your common sense on what do you think would work out?

Well, I hire both in the United States and out and both have turned out well, and just depends what you’re looking for. Okay, so this is good. And one of the most important things of course, is can you afford it? Does this make sense? And this is a more complex discussion in the sense that, okay, that’s your task a, you know, one hour thing that you expect someone to be done, you know, this is all stuff you would think of beforehand, but coming in here, let’s say, you know, wow, I really don’t have the money to pay someone, you know, 40 to $80 or $90 an hour so, that constraint I have, you know, is there any, and I want to make sure they’re fluent, right and English.

And I want to make sure that they’ve actually done this before that they’ve earned some money on this platform. So what you can do is come in here and check out the filters. Let’s do that real quick. I’m going to say they need to be fluent because their content editing they need to have just made some amount of money. And I want people who have had at least an 80% rating, all right, hourly rate, I would say yeah, $10 and blow I’m not sure I want someone editing my work.

And there’s very few, I think that you would probably not get great results from that looks like the bulk is here in the middle between $10 and 60. So you could select 30 to 60 and I would expect a good editor at that very good editor at that point, and then tend to 30 and you might have to do a little bit more work about finding someone who can follow and edit very well and can follow your directions you might be expecting at that price point, especially on the lower end to provide them have more stricter template but that’s again up to you.

So let’s say 10 to 30 and hours build I would say they want to have any hour that’s fine and I’m going to leave this like that right so it automatically applies your filters and you can come in here and start looking at them and this is where maybe you could get more specific if you’re a really niche like trying to make up a niche on the fly, jewelry for spiritual healers or something maybe like just say that because that’s the one I’m seeing right there. And they realized I haven’t been sharing my monitor. So let’s go back through that then.

So once you come over here, and I’m just going to run through this real quick since I didn’t share this very well when you come over here we’ve cleared all the filters and if you come over and want to see this what you can do is add your keywords here that I was talking about so content editor or a blog, hit Enter, and again you’ll see the results and then we want to go to the filters and adjust these want them to be fluent.

There we go. Okay so let’s close that up and we could go back and start adding some more words right so like I was talking about maybe spiritual now it really narrow it down to people who probably have some some work in that area. And we can go through here and this is now we’re now we’re down to a manageable list. We’ve got three pages, I would do some reading, see if people make sense and decide on maybe save a few or you can also invite people to a job so let’s take a look.

We could post a job and then invite people to it or even try to hire now however, I always recommend, especially with the new project is test a few people have them do a short maybe version of what you want to do in this case with a country an editor, you could have them check over a quick article or two, or maybe you know, just something short. And that they can show that they can follow your instructions. And they’re able to do what they claim to do and hire a couple of them. It’s money well spent.

And then you can hire the best. And if you have a lot of great candidates, you know, you can be in touch with the rest of them, say, Hey, you know, I decided to go a different direction with someone else, but I’ll be in touch and you know, it’s great way to keep a roster of some really good people on him.

All right, so sorry about the slip up with the camera there. But hopefully that that’ll work out for you. Those are really good ways of getting some some high quality people quickly and quickly finding what you’re working for. Because there’s a lot of people on these platforms and it’s really important that you do your work on the front end or you have an assistant do it to really dive in there and make sure that you’re you’re narrowing your search to really the people who are going to be the best fit and that’s just a big time saver and will help you get the best results as well.

So, going to check page and don’t see any additional questions. So that’s going to do it for this week. Hopefully that’s helpful. If you have any questions again about the Zapier setup, or with using upward to really narrow this down as part of the part of building your team, just leave a comment or come in the group. If you’re watching the replay. Of course, you can find that group link in the description and subscribe if you’d like to stay up to date if you’re watching this on YouTube. Otherwise, we will see you next week. Thanks for watching.

About the author

Adam Moody

I'm Adam Moody with the Productivity Academy. Get your productivity, time management, automation, and organization questions answered here. Be sure to check out the Productivity Academy YouTube Channel.

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By Adam Moody

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