5 Upwave Templates to Increase Your Productivity

Our pre-made Upwave templates makes it easier for you to get things done. Choose a template that fits your workflow or customize it to your needs.

General template for daily task management

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This is a basic kanban board consisting of a three-step workflow; “To do”, “In progress” and “Completed”. Use it to keep track on all your personal tasks, tasks within a team or a project. Simply add your tasks in the “To do”-column, move them to “In progress” when you’ve started them and to “Completed” when they’re finished. Use the colors to categorize your tasks based on e.g. priority.

Template for weekly meeting

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Meetings are much more productive if you have an agenda and stick to it. Especially if all notes and information from a meeting is available in real-time for everyone in the meeting. In this template the columns are “Agenda”, “Action items” and “Completed”, and each row represents a week. Add the agenda for the meeting in the first by using the check-list, so you can easily check of items in the meeting. You can also put notes from the meeting in the same card as the agenda, to make it easy for everyone to look at what was discussed in the meeting. Put action items that needs to be done after the meeting in the next column, and assign it to the person responsible. When an action item is done, move it to the “Completed” column. Use the colors to categorize the action items based on departement, team members or priority. In this example, we have categorized based on departement.

Template for prioritizing tasks

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Great time management means being effective as well as efficient. In the modern, fast paced workplace it can be hard to distinguish between what’s important and urgent. We often fall in the trap of believing all urgent tasks are also important, even if that’s seldom the case. The Eisenhower Matrix gives you a visual overview of how to prioritize your tasks based on urgency and importance.

1. Urgent and Important: DO
If a task is both urgent and important, do it right away.

2. Not Urgent, but Important: DECIDE
If a task is important, but not urgent, set a due date and do it later.

3. Urgent, but not Important: DELEGATE
If a task is urgent, but not important, the best thing is to delegate it to someone else.

4. Not Urgent and Not Important: DELETE
If a task is neither important nor urgent, it should not be prioritized. Drop it or do it when you have some extra time.

Template for hiring processes

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A picture says more than a thousand words. In this template we have used cover images instead of colorcoding. The columns are “Applicants”, “Interview” and “Offer”. In applicants you create a card for each person who has applied for the job. You can also attach their resume or other files. If they get an interview, you move the card over to the next column. You can also add comments you have after the interview. Lastly, when you have decided who gets the job, you move the card over to “Offer”.

Template for sales processes

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This template is perfect for visualizing your sales pipeline. The columns are “Leads”, “Contacted”, “Meeting scheduled”, “Proposal sent”, “Won” and “Lost”, but you can customize them to fit your own process. Start by creating a card for each lead, where you  fill in information on the company. Move the cards around based on where they are in the sales pipeline. You can use colors to categorize your leads based on their readiness to buy.

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The Upwave app is now available for both Android and iOS!

We have been working hard for several months to get the app ready – and now it’s finally here. We are so excited! It is free for all users, independent of your subscription plan. Download the app from Google Play or Apple App Store.

Main features

The first version of our new app is designed with easy overview and personal tasks in mind. Lists of tasks, notifications and boards are readily available.

Keep up to date on your projects

  • Get an instant overview of your tasks and deadlines
  • Navigate visual boards for your workflow and projects
  • Receive notifications
  • Filter boards and cards

Organize your workflows and collaborate

  • Delegate tasks to yourself or team members
  • Set deadlines
  • Create subtasks
  • Write comments and descriptions

Hassle-free administration

  • Single Sign-on with G-Suite
  • Switch between Workspaces

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Introducing Workspace – an easier way to collaborate within organizations

Our users wanted the possibility of having multiple teams under the same organization, so we created Upwave Workspace. Instead of creating a team when you signup, you will now create a workspace. Inside this workspace, you can create several teams, e.g. for different departments, project groups, external suppliers etc.

From Single-Team to Multi-Team

Before workspace, you created a team-url when signing up and added all the members in your organization to that team. If you wanted to divide your organization into different teams or departments, you could do this by creating groups for your boards. You could, however, not add members to groups – only to the boards inside a group. With the introduction of workspace, you can now create multiple teams inside your organization.

Upwave - Workspace explanation

While a major change in itself, the launch of Workspace also signals a direction for the platform. We will emphasize collaboration, teams and breaking down silos even more in the future.

Why Is This Awesome News?

What will this launch mean for you and your organization?

Workspace_mockup

 

For Big Organizations

If you’re a big organization with a lot of employees, you don’t want your shared workspace to be cluttered with all the projects everyone is working on – but at the same time, you want to have all your employees inside the same workspace. With the introduction of multi-teams, you can now create different departments or project groups inside your organization. The employees will then only see workspace visible (public) teams and teams they are invited to. This way, your employees can focus on the tasks and projects that are relevant to them.

For Collaborating With External Clients/Suppliers

If you are working with clients or suppliers that you don’t want to see everything inside your organization, you can easily create a team for your collaboration. This way you don’t have to worry about them getting access to confidential information, because they will only be able to see boards inside that specific team. When a project is over, it’s easy to revoke their access to the team or delete it.

For Small Organizations

Even if you are a small organization, you will still get advantages of multi-teams. You can look at it as a way to organize your boards, which makes it easier to structure different areas of your business. Before this release, you could see all non-private boards, even if you weren’t a part of them. Let’s say you only work with marketing, you can now create a team for marketing, where only the marketing team are members. When you log in to the workspace, the marketing team is all you will see. Where as before, you would also see all the tech, admin, and sales boards – even if you weren’t a part of them.

Key Benefits:

  • Users can collaborate in multiple, separate teams, within the same organization workspace
  • Improved access rights and security control – allowing easy involvement of outside parties on demand (customers, contractors and partners)
  • Teams can be assembled and dissolved with a few clicks – useful for short term projects
  • Workspace administrator(s) can manage the entire account, and have full overview of all teams and workspace activity
  • Individual teams assign their own administrators, with full control of details

How To Increase Your Productivity By Using the Eisenhower Principle

Great time management means being effective as well as efficient. In the modern, fast paced workplace it can be hard to distinguish between what’s important and urgent. We often fall in the trap of believing all urgent tasks are also important, even if that’s seldom the case. In fact, most stuff trying to get our brain’s attention are usually trivial, non-important tasks, with a high sense of urgency.

The Eisenhower Principle 

The Eisenhower Principle originates from a quote attributed to the former U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower:

“I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” 

The principle is pretty simple. You evaluate your task in terms of urgency and importance, and then place them in different quadrants of the Eisenhower Matrix, which gives you a visual overview of how to prioritize your tasks.

Urgent vs Important

Let’s start by defining what constitutes an important task and an urgent task.

URGENT
A task defined as urgent requires immediate action or attention.  Examples:

  • Crises
  • Pressing problems
  • Projects with deadlines
  • Interruptions (calls, meetings, emails)
IMPORTANT
A task defined as important often relates to long-term goals. Examples:

  • Planning, research, design, testing
  • Capability improvements
  • Relationship building
  • Developing change, direction and strategy

The Eisenhower Matrix 

The Eisenhower Matrix consists of four different quadrants, based on urgency and importance. The quadrants are as follows:

Eisenhower

1. Urgent and Important: DO

If a task is both urgent and important, do it right away.

2. Not Urgent, but Important: DECIDE

If a task is important, but not urgent, set a due date and do it later.

3. Urgent, but not Important: DELEGATE

If a task is urgent, but not important, the best thing is to delegate it to someone else.

4. Not Urgent and Not Important: DELETE

If a task is neither important nor urgent, it should not be prioritized. Drop it or do it when you have some extra time.

Obviously, what you need to tackle first are tasks that are BOTH urgent and important. It’s also easy to see that tasks that neither urgent nor important should be the last priority. However, it can be difficult to decide what to focus on when it comes to tasks that are “not urgent and important” or “urgent and not important”. This is where it’s important to remember that if you focus all your time on urgent tasks, the important tasks will never get done. Urgent does not equal important.

By using the Eisenhower Matrix you get a better picture of how to prioritize your tasks. Start by doing what’s important, ranked by urgency. If you have capacity do to some of the non-important tasks, do them after you finished all important tasks – or delegate/drop them depending on urgency.

Create Your Own Eisenhower Matrix in Upwave

Upwave supports both columns, rows and colorcoding of cards, which makes it a perfect tool to create your Eisenhower Matrix. Start by creating two columns, “Urgent” and “Not urgent”. Then turn on rows, and create a row for “Important” and “Not important”. Now, you have the structure.

Upwave - Eisenhower matrix - mountainCreate the colors you want to use for the 4 different categories; Do, Decide, Delegate, Delete. We have used red (Do), green (Decide), yellow (Delegate) and blue (Delete), but there are no rules – use the colors you prefer! When you’re all set up, start adding your tasks in each quadrant.

1. Do right away
Important:urgent 2
2. Decide when to do it
Important:not urgent 2
 3. Delegate to someone else
Urgent:not important
4. Delete/Drop
not urgent:not important
In this case, the red tasks would be done right away. For the green tasks, you would set a deadline for each (which is very easy in Upwave!) and then get started on them after the red tasks. The yellow tasks should be delegated to someone else (if possible), while the blue tasks should be dropped.

Key takeaways

  • Urgent does not equal important: What is important is seldom urgent and vice verca
  • The Eisenhower Matrix: Helps your categorize your tasks, so you can get your priorities straight!
  • If a task is important and urgent: Get it done right away – no procrastination.
  • If a task is important, but not urgent: Set a deadline and get it done by then. Make sure you do it!
  • If a task is urgent, but not important: Then it’s just a distraction, so delegate it to someone else.
  • If a task is neither urgent nor important: Well, then you don’t prioritize it at all. Drop it!

Sources

Baer, Drake. (2014). “Dwight Eisenhower Nailed A Major Insight About Productivity”. Business Insider

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1954). “Address at the Second Assembly of the World Council of Churches, Evanston, Illinois”. The American Presidency Project

McKay; Brett; Kate (2013). “The Eisenhower Decision Matrix: How to Distinguish Between Urgent and Important Tasks and Make Real Progress in Your Life”. The Art of Manliness.

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How Upwave Helped LZK Increase Efficiency, Improve Communication and Reduce Workload Stress

LZK Computer Graphics had tried lots of different tools to manage their complex processes and improve internal communication, but never found anything that their employees actually wanted to use – until they tried Upwave.

Visual Communication is Key

LZK Computação Gráfica is located in Porto Alegre, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The company specializes in computer graphics services for architects, designers, marketing companies, construction companies, and contractors. Their work ethos is based on the ongoing commitment to the team, reinforced by the services offered to their customers.

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Developing an Effective Process for Everyone was Challenging

“Employees need to have access to the context and requirements of all projects with just one click. We have to be dynamic, move on from the last delivery and prepare ourselves for the next one. “ – Nereu Bavaresco Feizke, CEO, LZK Computação Gráfica

The challenges that LZK faced as a company ultimately came down to issues with communication. The company could not find a suitable solution, despite several attempts by employees to adapt processes.

As company processes are complex, a lot of planning was required for each stage to be adequately implemented. Every project that LZK takes on entails a lengthy process that requires a huge deal of organization. Therefore, a clear and transparent communication method was paramount.

In order to meet deadlines, it was essential that the entire team remained focused throughout all of the stages of the process. The team needed to ensure that they avoided duplicate tasks so that they could work efficiently and deliver quality on time .

Upwave Became the Solution

Being at the forefront of technology is the best way to grow for LZK. That’s why the company is always looking for solutions that fit their needs while offering a clear and adequate layout for the user. Internally, the project managers usually work with online applications to monitor what is being done and ensure that the deadline is on target.

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Nereu Bavaresco Feizke, CEO of LZK, believes that a management system should provide users with a fast and objective view of the ongoing project. Upwave is always available and constantly updated on all screens and keeps teams informed in real time, either by email or push notifications.

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“Upwave is easy to use, intuitive, and clear. It connects employees and teams with their projects in a simple way.”, Feizke says.

Being able to oversee work in real time and using the communication offered by the tool allow each department to better focus on their daily activities. It’s extremely important that each stage is monitored. When a project comes to an end, it needs to be archived so that employees can perform a review analysis of the process, identifying what went well and what positive aspects they could apply to future projects.

Boosted Productivity and Improved Work Environment

With the deployment of Upwave, changes and results were spotted right away. The work produced by the team was aligned, connected, and followed clear instructions.

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“We’ve achieved several impressive goals. Client projects with tight schedules and a high demand on our products were resolved with Upwave. We managed to dramatically reduce delays in the delivery process, hurdles that caused stress, and we increased the quality of the product and the overall business environment.” – Nereu Bavaresco Feizke, CEO

Now, daily activities and demands are more visible. Every player on the team can follow and identify in real time the tasks performed by everybody else, which creates a commitment to increase production and generates more excitement.

“Upwave’s interface and ease of use drove our production and boosted our productivity.”, Feizke says. Having a good way to communicate was an important factor in improving results. With Upwave, identifying pending tasks and the responsibilities of each project is much easier, and everything is instantly updated.

Employees no longer waste time asking questions like “what do I have to do today?” because all new projects are uploaded to Upwave and once the customer’s approval is received, work can begin. Knowing how to assign responsibilities within the teams that are going to work in the project is done! Everyone is already connected and ready to work.

 

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Ready to accelerate and take on the US market!

Upwave has been selected for the Norwegian New York Accelerator (NNYA) this summer and we’re so excited!

RIP

But what exactly is an accelerator?

It’s basically an intense education program where you compress years’ worth of learning-by-doing into just a few months . Why? To really kickstart growth in early stage companies. How? By providing groups of startups with education, mentorship, network, partners and investors.

And what is the Norway New York Accelerator (NNYA)?

The Norway New York Accelerator is an elite “market-entry” program for Norwegian startups ready to break into the East Coast US market. It’s a three-month accelerator program for Norwegian companies led by one of USA’s best-performing accelerators, ERA (Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator), in collaboration with Innovation Norway. The program features intense one-on-one mentoring sessions by industry-leading mentors as well as workshops, speakers sessions and office hours by ERA partners and sponsors such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, IBM, etc.

We’re looking forward to spending our summer learning, tweaking, pitching, networking and ACCELERATING in the big city! Are you in New York? Do you want to meet the team behind Upwave, give us some feedback, get a demo or just have a coffee? Hit us up! :)

 

We’ve just launched our new website and team calendar!

After spending most of our time working on the product itself, we have finally had time to do a serious overhaul of our brand. In a step towards enhancing the Upwave experience, we have given our website a fresh new design – and stepped up our content.

From vampire red to hot pink

Because let’s face it – pink makes everything look pretty.  Combined with a nice, dark blue to maintain some masculinity – we think it’s the perfect match for Upwave. New fun tag lines and an elegant, minimalistic logo keeps our brand up to date in this modern world.

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Upwave_old web

New content – to make it easier for you to understand what Upwave actually does

You know when you’ve worked so long on something that you’re not really able to see things clearly anymore? Yeah, that’s where we been at. With the rebranding, our core team needed to have a serious discussion around how to best communicate what our product actually does.

This is what we came up with.

 We’ve even made some cool GIFs, so we’re getting there!

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Get the big picture with our brand new team calendar

We care about our users and love to collaborate with you when adding new features. You wanted a team calendar, so we jumped around and made one! Our team calendar shows you exactly what everyone is working on, what’s coming up next, and who’s responsible. Get rid of bottlenecks and optimize everyone’s capacity.

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UpWave inngår samarbeid med Gründerklubben

Vi i UpWave er veldig opptatt av å støtte entreprenørskap og har derfor inngått et samarbeid med Gründerklubben –  en medlemsgruppe for norske gründere med over 12 000 medlemmer. Vårt hovedformål med dette samarbeid er å videreutvikle oss med basis på tilbakemelding fra det gryende startupmiljøet i Norge, og samtidig bidra med rabatterte priser og ekstra god service til medlemmene.

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I en oppstartsfase er det mye usikkerhet å forholde seg til, men to ting som er sikkert er at tid og penger er en mangelvare. Derfor er det ekstremt viktig for startups å bruke tiden effektivt innad i teamet. UpWave hjelper startups med å få oversikt over alle oppgaver som må gjøres, følge progresjon og få ting gjort. Dermed blir det mer tid til de viktige tingene, som produktutvikling, skaffe kunder og få investorer. For å hjelpe gründere med å få struktur i oppstartskaoset, så gir vi alle medlemmer i Gründerklubben 25 % rabatt i 6 måneder, i tillegg til 30 dagers gratis prøveperiode. Rabattkoden finner du her.

 

Ane Cecilie Ekern appointed as new Chief Marketing Officer

We are excited to announce our newest member of the UpWave family, Ane Cecilie Ekern, joining as our new Chief Marketing Officer. Her expertise within digital marketing and communication will be a huge asset when UpWave now seeks to scale globally.

AC_ONS

Ane Cecilie holds a MSc in Business and Administration from Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), with a major in Business Analysis and Performance Management and a minor in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Warsaw School of Economics (SGH). She is very passionate about digital marketing and startups, and has a background from both marketing, sales, market analysis and running accelerator programs.

Her previous experience includes helping to build Stavanger’s first accelerator program, X2 Labs, where she was responsible for building the brand and managing the programs. Her hands-on experience will be very useful in helping UpWave drive further growth globally.

Interested in finding out more about Ane Cecilie? Then visit her linkedin page – here.

 

Welcome to the team, Ane Cecilie!

How the Nordic lifestyle can make you happier and more productive

Hygge (pronounced “hue-gah”) comes from a Scandinavian word meaning “well-being” and has been adopted by generations of Nordic people as a way to not only ward off the winter blues, but to actually embrace and celebrate the gifts offered by the colder, darker season. Hygge is loosely translated as “coziness” in English, but it’s actually much more than that.

Hygge is an attitude, a way of being, that can be applied to all aspects of your life, including the way you work together with your team.

“Hygge was never meant to be translated — it was meant to be felt”
– Tove Maren Stakkestad

We all know the Scandinavians endure short days and long nights. The hours of daylight are full of frenetic activity, but the nights are an invitation to rest, to allow ourselves the space and time for quiet contemplation. This gives us the opportunity to connect more deeply with our loved ones, with our own selves and, for some, our spiritual beliefs.

How to implement “Hygge” in your team

Not everyone has the same changing seasons as the Scandinavians, but we all have ups and downs in our own lives, and your business is no exception. Learning the lessons of how they thrive in challenging conditions can help us overcome the obstacles we encounter in everyday life.

Even in the tough “Winter” periods, with the right attitude you and your team can overcome any obstacle. The hygge philosophy can help transform your team and make you happier, more fulfilled and most importantly, more productive.

1. Less clutter

Scandinavia is famed for its minimalistic approach to life. Simplicity brings peace and tranquility to the mind. Less clutter means less distraction and allows better focus. The calming influence of hygge should be brought into the workplace and promoted through company culture.

Hygge is all about enjoying the environment and the people around you, to allow you to transform your personal space.

2. Connecting with the world around you

Spend more time connecting with your team. Express your gratitude for the work they do. Go for a walk during your work hours. Fresh air and nature bring balance to your life, soothe your worries help recharge your batteries and studies show it can even improve your memory.

“I think the essence of hygge is the pursuit of everyday happiness. Trying to build a little pleasure and gratitude into your daily routine.”
– Make Wiking, CEO of Copenhagen’s Happiness Research Institute.

3. Do more with less

In today’s world we are constantly bombarded with information. Many people feel like they are constantly drowning in new gadgets that claim to make you more productive.

As Paul Simon says “Want to be a writer but don’t know how or when? Find a quiet place, use a simple pen.”

4. Keep it simple

Most systems work best when they are kept simple rather than made complicated. Simplicity should be a key goal for any team and unnecessary complexity should be avoided at all costs. Simpler solutions are both easier to implement and easier to maintain.

Leonardo da Vinci himself famously said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” and who are we to argue with him?

5. Clarify your priorities

When your team sees the big picture they are more invested in getting to a “win”. The “OKR” system is how Google, LinkedIn and Intel do it and so do we here at Upwave.io.

Abraham Lincoln said “If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I would spend the first 6 sharpening my axe” and he knew a thing or two about getting things done.

Understand and accept your limits. Don’t say “yes” to everything. Learning to say “No” is powerful. Limiting your “work-in-progress” leads to quicker “wins” and more positive momentum for everyone.

6. Understand your role in the team

Studies show employees are more engaged when they understand their roles and responsibilities within their position. It leads to higher levels of performance and commitment.

Be open and listen to your teammates, regardless of their role! Yes, you can’t always get what you want, but listening, true active listening, builds empathy.

Remember the “Golden Rule” of all religions — “treat others as you would want to be treated yourself”. Doing just a little bit to show you care can go a long, long way…

7. Know what you want out of life

Remember that the enjoyable things in life don’t have to be restricted to outside the office. Spontaneity is the spice of life but there’s nothing wrong with organizing your fun!

Try organizing a sweepstake, take an hour out to play a team board game or quiz (We highly recommend our Norwegian friends at Kahoot!). Why not try meditation sessions at lunchtime?

You could even organise a tasty food rota, with people taking it in turns to bring in homemade cakes or soup for the office.

Whatever you decide, it’s worth taking the plunge; after all, there is nothing more hyggelig than making time for each other.