I’m fast, but not that fast:
— “Dad, how many days until Christmas?”
— “About 6 months sweetheart.”
— “But how many days?”
— “About 180 da… wait… Siri, how many days until Christmas?”
— [Sexy monotone voice] “It’s one hundred seventy-eight days until then.”
… so I put the tools at my disposal to work for me: I could work things out in my head, but there’s an easier way. An easier workflow.
In a similar fashion, I could frantically hammer away at my keyboard only to repeat the same customer service information that’s been asked many times before (and which will certainly be asked many times over in the days to come)… or I could get a game plan together and have the previous answer(s) at my fingertips, ready to go – cut with the very same cookie cutter.
It feels really good to work smarter and save time. This brief post is about setting up a simple system (in WorkFlowy) to capture the insightful solutions and information that we already have in our head – so that we don’t have to type them out all over again, from scratch.
Over the last 7 days, I answered 63 questions as an “Evernote Expert” on the “Directly” customer service platform. Suffice to say, I did it all for you, WorkFlowy peeps (The things I do for love, acceptance… and money).
Look, mum – no hands!
Let me brag about a couple of my testimonials:
The thing I wanted to draw attention to was the part where it says, “Insanely fast response…” Really and truly – many of my responses are faster than is humanly possible. I have a “quick and dirty” little secret that helps me to get the job done.
Recycle and reuse
(1) Copy-paste is the name of the game: I copy both the question and my answer from the customer service platform and paste them into WorkFlowy:
(2) In addition, I include a tag in the list title’s note – something to indicate the nature of the issue at hand. In the above case, #language.
(3) I also tag my lists with a time tag (5 minutes above), so I can use rawbytz’s WorkFlowy Count bookmarklet to give a sum total of how much precious time I’ve spent answering CS questions on any given day.
The mother ship
I’ve created a tag index just under my list title. I like to keep things alphabetized – which is not that difficult when you’re adding new tags one at a time.
Hit and run
Whenever I see a question I know I’ve answered before,
- I hop, skip and jump along to WorkFlowy
- Click on the appropriate tag in the above tag index (which filters for any lists tagged with the same tag)
- Copy the relevant information I need
- Paste the information into the new question I’m answering
- Give myself a pat on the back
Tinker with the real thing
Here’s the actual list I’ve been using. You can click on any tag in the tag index if you’re curious to see all the moving parts of this dead-easy, no-brainer setup.
For each new question entered into WorkFlowy I duplicate a simple Q&A template which I keep at the top of the outline: Alt+Drag your bullet to a new location:
- Add your most recent answers to the top of your list, right under a tag index (if you have one).
- Make use of rawbytz’s WorkFlowy Count bookmarklet to keep track of time spent.
- If you don’t have a tag for everything, simply use WorkFlowy’s search box. It will help you find what you’re looking for lightning fast.
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Frank, I am doing something similar for a product I use at work. I track pretty much everything everyone has ever asked me with the answer. However I didn’t add dates or the time worked (which are both great additions to the list). I will apply these new suggestions and see how things turn out!
Hey Richard, maybe you could share a mini, edited version of your list with us as a demo?
I would love to!
Everyone can go here to see a small helping: https://workflowy.com/s/AgNkxMJ1uj