iDoneThis is an email-based productivity log. Users reply to a daily email asking them to list what they’ve done. Results are displayed in digest form in an email that goes to all team members the following day. Additional features include word clouds, visual graphs, and the ability to export data into text files and spreadsheets.
Pricing for businesses starts at $5 per month per team member. A free personal version is also available.
Stacy-Marie Ishmael, VP of Communities at the Financial Times, has been using iDoneThis this for at least four years.
How do you use it?
You set iDoneThis to give you a reminder email asking what you’ve done today. My team is in London and New York and we get this email at 6pm in our respective time zones.
You can customize the email subject line. Ours is "How did we build community for the FT today."
At any point during the day, you can send an email to iDoneThis that captures what you’ve done. I often fire off an email about what just happened in a meeting.
I most often use iDoneThis on my phone. I don’t go to the website and log on very often because email is so convenient.
If there’s a problem with the system, I email my contact at iDoneThis. Sometimes I tweet them. They’ve always been incredibly responsive.
How does it serve your business needs?
Our team is totally new at FT. I was hired in September 2013 and the rest of my team joined in January. I started using iDoneThis with my team because I personally had been using for a long time.
I believe in as much transparency as possible around process, especially when you’re dealing with a remote team. We have a ton of stuff to do, and because we’re a new team, we’re still defining our role. The less we have to spend time explaining what we’ve been doing rather than showing what we’ve been doing, the better.
I’m in New York and with iDoneThis, I can see what my team in London has done rather than having to ask them. It’s great because we can spend our time together on getting the core work done rather than on administration.
It also helps us stay motivated. I think a lot about how teams and individuals work. iDoneThis is built around the principle of celebrating small wins. That’s really important. Having a living document of how we’re moving forward and what we’re doing to get there is tremendously motivating.
When you work in community engagement, a lot of what you’re doing is big and fuzzy, so it can be difficult to say what you’ve done in a day. Looking at how we build communities on daily or weekly basis shows us if what we’re doing is moving us toward creating meaningful relationships or not. It provides a really good gauge of whether you’re going to hit your goals or not.
It also keeps us disciplined about doing reviews on a daily or weekly basis, so when quarterly review time comes around we know where we’re going to end up.
What are the main benefits?
It makes on-boarding a team and keeping them feeling like a team much more seamless.
My team always knows what I’m up to, and I always know what they’re up to.
You can leave feedback on what team members are doing, which keeps everyone in the loop. It’s good value, helps with focus, prioritization, and efficiency, and is easy to use.
What are the main drawbacks?
It takes a while for the system to make sense for your team, and it works best if everyone is using it. Unless you have widespread adoption, you’re not going to get the benefits around transparency, prioritization, organization, and focus.
What would you like to see improved/added?
Any good feature request I’ve made has been integrated into the product.
Right now, I’d like a more visual way of seeing trends. There’s a word cloud you can use, and tags were also recently implemented, which was a feature I wanted.
One of our tags is "hearts and minds." I can click on that tag and see how many times we’ve executed on winning hearts and minds. It’s really cool, but it’s fairly limited because I can’t see trends and streaks around it.
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