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September 18, 2019

The Best Productivity Tools of 2019

Here at WebMerge by Formstack, we’re dedicated to helping our customers increase productivity and develop more efficient ways to get work done. To help our teams provide the best products to our customers, we employ an array of tools. It took us a while to find which tools were the best fit for our individualized teams and how to best use them. There are so many options! 

After a lot of trial and error, we’ve cultivated knowledge about what works and what doesn’t. We’ve distilled that knowledge into a short list of the top productivity apps. Here’s a breakdown of our favorite productivity tools and how we use them. 
Software name: Jira
What we use it for: Project planning

One of the most important tools the WebMerge by Formstack teams uses is Jira. From engineering to marketing, a large portion of our staff manages their work using Jira. This Atlassian tool markets itself as the “#1 software development tool used by agile teams.” At Formstack, we work by a set of culture values. One of these values is “be agile and iterate.” Jira supports our agile project management approach by organizing projects into small, consumable increments. 

Jira is totally customizable, so our engineering team’s Jira boards look completely different from the boards used by our marketing teams. An added bonus for Jira is that as a part of the Atlassian family, it integrates seamlessly with other important tools in our workflow, like Confluence and Trello. 
Software name: Zapier
What we use it for: Tool integration

Zapier is another tool we couldn’t live without at Formstack. Zapier makes it easy to build basic connections between tools. In fact, we use Zapier to create a simple connection between Formstack and Jira. When a staff member needs a task completed by the marketing team, they complete the “Marketing Service Request Form.” 

Once the user hits submit, the form data is sent to Jira where a new project is created. We’ve even set it up so that the new Jira project data is sent to a community Slack channel so everyone can stay on top of requests as they come through. 

The Formstack > Zapier connection is especially great for customer or internal support teams. It provides a great way for your staff to stay on top of issues and prioritize them as they come in. 

Other popular Zaps for our team include: 
Across our teams, staff members have very individualized uses for Zapier. Zapier is an incredibly flexible and easy-to-use tool. However, if you’re looking for a more advanced way to connect your favorite tools, check out Formstack Sync. Formstack Sync uses a bi-directional sync to provide your team with advanced features like data deduplication. 

Learn more: What is Formstack Sync?
Software name: Trello
What we use it for: Event planning

The team at Formstack attends a lot of events throughout the year. We love connecting with our customers! But staying on top of schedules, shipping, and planning can get pretty complicated. So, we turn to Trello. 

Trello gives users an easy way to see information at a glance and collaborate on projects. For our events, we need to share booth locations, packing lists with hand outs, swag, charge cords, and dongles, and conference event schedules. Trello is a really straightforward tool that lets us embed lists and to-dos inside of projects and assign staff where needed. Not everyone at Formstack uses Trello, but for those who do, its basic user interface and simple structure make it an amazing asset. 

Related: Attending a lot of events? Here’s how to make event lead management easy.
Software name: Slack
What we use it for: Remote communication and information sharing

You’re probably aware that Formstack is a remote-first company. With 60% of our staff working away from our Indianapolis and Colorado Springs offices, we work hard to connect with our colleagues. For Formstack, Slack is an invaluable asset. For example, since we can’t gather around a physical watercooler, we created a channel called #Watercooler where staff can drop by for a chat, share memes, and provide general updates. We’ve even created a bot for our workspace to share jokes, Gifs, and monitor channel activity. 

Now, you may be wondering where the productivity comes into play. We use Slack for a lot of play, which helps our staff decompress and take breaks throughout the day. But that’s not all we use Slack for. Even more than email, Formstack uses Slack to share documents, provide project updates, and ask questions. Slack lets users star documents in channels so they’re easy to find in the future. Plus, with a few clicks, we can easily use Zapier to enhance our Slack experience to receive updates from the tools we’re already using, like Formstack and Jira. 

At Formstack, we’re dedicated to workplace productivity. If you’re interested in productivity improvement, consider adding Formstack to your toolkit. With our comprehensive set of tools, you can transform how you gather data, create documents, sync tools, collect signatures, and more! Revolutionize everything from your engineering department to your sales team with Formstack and our 150+ integrations. Get started today with a 14-day free trial.

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