For a while now, I’ve been using a Gmail extension called Streak to manage my client projects. I’m going to share a bit about how I use Streak, but then I think it would be fun to consider how we could apply this application to book blogging! I think it could be a potential tool for tracking review requests and/or blog tour commitments.
Streak: CRM in your inbox
Create pipelines for your projects
Screenshot from Streak.com
In Streak, you can create different pipelines. These are kind of like categories. I have one for WordPress migrations and one for Web Design/Dev (big projects).
You can see what my migrations pipeline looks like below:
Statuses to determine your progress
I created five statuses:
- Awaiting Info: Waiting for login details or a date arrangement from the client.
- Transfer Pending: Waiting for a domain transfer to go through before we can complete the migration.
- Scheduled: I have all the details from the client and we’ve picked out a migration date. Now I’m waiting until that date to get started.
- In Progress: I’m in the middle of doing the migration.
- Completed: Everything is done and I have a happy client!
Each project (called a “box”) inside the pipeline is assigned one of these statuses.
Add email threads to boxes
Now, to add a project (box) to the pipeline, all I have to do is click on the box icon next to any email in my inbox. I can name the box and assign it to a pipeline (Migrations or Web Design/Dev). I can associate any number of emails with a specific box.
So let’s enter one of my Design/Dev projects to take a look at what’s inside:
First you can see all the emails that I’ve associated with this box. Below that, Streak starts to list all of the assets from the emails (attached images and zip files). You can even leave notes and comments about the project and create tasks.
A great, easy way to stay organized!
A lot of web designers and developers use other project management platforms for their work (like Basecamp). I personally don’t like using those much. It’s always easier for me if I can just do it all via email (which is weird, because usually designers say the opposite). Streak allows me to keep using Gmail, but organize all my projects into something so much better than just ‘folders’ (labels). I can group emails together, assign statuses, and easily track my progress.
How do you think Streak could be used in book blogging?
One application I can think of is tracking blog tour obligations. You could create statuses like:
- Signed Up: To signify that you’ve signed up for a tour, but you don’t know if you’ve been accepted yet (add the tour advert email to the box).
- Lost: When you realize that you were NOT chosen for a tour.
- Accepted – Book Pending: You were accepted for a book review, and now you have to read the book. Use this status to remind yourself you need to read it.
- Accepted – Review Pending: Now you’ve read the book but you have to write a review.
- Accepted – Interview Qs Pending: You were accepted for an interview and you need to write the interview questions.
- Accepted – Interview As Pending: You’ve submitted your interview questions and now you’re waiting for the answers.
- Completed: You were accepted for the tour and now the tour is over. All done!
Then, by visiting your pipeline page, you can easily see where you are with each blog tour.
A similar process could be applied to review requests. You could set statuses for Accepted – Awaiting Book, Accepted – Pending Review, Completed, etc.