December 04, 2016

This is my second post for the 6 week Support Driven writing challenge. For this post, the topic is “What tools do you use to manage your tasks and time?”

The tools that we use can become a black hole of conversation for me. I love to talk about what gadgets, apps, and services people are using to get things done.

With that said, I find that tools aren’t one size fits all. Just because Basecamp works for me, it doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. Because of that I’m going to focus on non-traditional tools that I use to get things done.

Being a detective

Being a detective is a mindset. Others might classify it as simply “curious”. It’s the thinking that the answer to any question isn’t going to be staring you in the face and you need to dig for it.

With a Customer Support hat on, it’s taking a reply with no information given to you and finding the answer. For example, with a message of:

Hi, I can’t log in. Can you help me?

Assuming you have an admin panel to look up customers you can turn that into a response that thoroughly answers any questions the customer might have to log into their account. And add in customer account specific data like their account URL (since you’re a detective, you looked that up).

With a Customer Success hat on, being a detective is realizing that you’re going to ask hard questions about how your customers use your service. Take the time to shut off distractions, pull up a spreadsheet, and take a fine comb over the app-data that you have.

I created a tool to make searching the web easier. It’s a keyboard shortcut to pull up an AppleScript that searches Google for a particular keyword that I enter (to a predetermined domain).

I created this because I support two products. Along with that comes searching blogs/guides/help docs if I’m not sure on an answer. This helps me be a detective more efficiently.

While creating a tool yourself might be too difficult, simply using Google’s “site:” search operator allows you to search a website with ease. Here’s how my site search tool works in action:



On a weekly basis, I meet with others in a mastermind group. An official definition of mastermind groups would look something like:

Meetings where people who help each other to succeed through their advice and assistance.

It’s peer mentorship, where each member is on the same level–There isn’t the idea of a more knowledgeable person helping someone less knowledgeable, we’re all helping each other.

It’s a good way to learn how others are solving a similar problem. You can seek opinions on a hard problem you’re working through. Peer accountability to do something as simple as writing this blog post can also be created by a mastermind. Privacy is also important to create a place where you and others can discuss your challenges in a safe place.

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