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Hackernoon logoStreamline your workflow, like a boss by@siftery

Streamline your workflow, like a boss

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Shift is all about streamlining your workflow, like a boss. Switch between all of your Mail, Calendar & Drive accounts, with just one click! You can access Boomerang, Grammarly, Google Services and all of your favorite apps. It also allows Unified Search which means you can search for anything, across all of your Mail, Calendar and Drive accounts with a single query in the search box.

Kevin William David interviewed Nadia Tatlow, Marketing Manager at Shift to know more.

Hi Nadia, So tell us about Shift?

Shift is a desktop email client that streamlines the process of managing multiple Mail, Calendar, and Drive accounts. We launched Shift about a year ago, and received a very enthusiastic response; managing multiple accounts is a huge pain point for many people. We are very excited to have launched 2.0, with cross-account unified search, Chrome Extensions, Google Services, and support for the most popular apps, all within Shift.

Tell me more about why you are building this?

Redbrick, Shift’s parent company, is a product development company based in Victoria, Canada. As the second fastest-growing software company in Canada, our team had a common pain point, managing email multiple accounts, and constantly switching between them. From email to Invision, Asana, Jira, Google apps, and extensions, the list goes on, and our dependence on them is only growing.

We took a step back, looked at our workflow, and realized that we needed to find a better way, so we built it.

At the core, we realized that email was our major issue, so we started there, and Shift has grown and matured from there.

How is Shift different from what already exists in the market?

Shift is well known for it’s intuitive design, and beautiful interface. We’ve differentiated ourselves by really focusing in on email as the core part of a user’s day. Everything else falls into place around it.

Our cross-account Unified Search feature also sets Shift apart. Around the office, it is known as the official ‘receipt finder.’

Shift 2.0 is only the second major commercial application to successfully integrate Chrome Extensions using the Brave Muon framework, making it a true software engineering feat.

Who uses Shift? What types of roles do your customers have at their companies?

Shift has very wide appeal, with support for Windows, Mac and Linux, across Gmail, Outlook and Office 365 accounts, our customer base really ranges!

That said, we’ve seen wide adoption from consultants and freelancers juggling any numbers of accounts, product enthusiasts, designers and marketers. We also offer Shift for Teams to help streamline account management at the enterprise level.

How are your customers using Shift? Could you share a few different use cases?

We are delighted by the enthusiastic response Shift has received since we first launched, and especially with the release of 2.0.

The common theme among all of our users is the desire to tackle email productivity, once and for all. They are tired of dealing with multiple browsers, or tabs. They’re also tired of managing so many different apps, daily.

We’re in the age of information, and it can be difficult to prioritize our work. Ironically, there are so many productivity apps out there now, even managing those has become a challenge.

Shift helps bring back that focus.

“For a Google-lover, Shift is an exceptional solution. The design is clean, the functions are intuitive, and most importantly for me, it is an improvement from the glitchy and clunky Apple Mail.” — Brian Benton, The American Genius
“If you’re strictly a Gmail user, you know that juggling multiple accounts is a colossal pain. Newcomer Shift (available for Windows, Mac and Linux) takes away that pain, letting you shift (aha!) between accounts with ease.” — Rick Broida, CNet
“Adopting Shift has honestly been really easy for me because it feels very similar to the way I use Slack; I can belong to multiple teams in Slack and seamlessly dip in and out of those teams as I need to throughout my day. No logging in over and over. No typing in a URL or finding a bookmark or tab in the browser. It’s all just there for me in once place.” Sarah Doody, The UX Notebook

Have there been unique use cases for Shift that you hadn’t thought of or expected?

We started offering Shift for Teams just after launch, because we received quite a few requests for an enterprise offering. Streamlining your personal workflow is one thing, but adding consistency across team members brings a huge amount of value at an organizational level.

Were there any early ‘growth hacks’ or tactics that have contributed to your current success?

We are a very performance-driven company, and we are also firm believers in trying and testing all crazy ideas. We have an amazingly talented team of go-getters, so we’ve tried all sorts of campaigns from traditional PR and content marketing to paid Facebook campaigns, cross-promotion with some of our other products, and a referral program that has really added to the scalability of Shift.

What were some of the biggest challenges while building the product early on and how did you solve them?

Technically speaking, building support for Chrome Extensions was a major challenge. Shift was originally built on a framework called Electron. In order to add support for extensions, we made the to switch to the more flexible Muon framework, an open-source project that powers the Brave browser. To quote our CEO, Tobyn Sowden, “It’s like swapping out the foundation of a building and having to go in and rewire every floor,”

Needless to say, we did it, and 2.0 supports both Boomerang and Grammarly beautifully, and we’re adding more extension support as we speak!

What have been some of the most interesting integrations you’ve added? Are there any that have been particularly impactful for you?

Since day one extension support has been the single most requested features among our users. Integration with two of the hottest productivity extensions, Grammarly and Boomerang, has been a true game changer for us.

Before we end, What are the top products that you depend on to run the company & how do you use them?

Slack: Our first choice for internal communication.

Asana: Used by our design, marketing, and business development teams for all things project management.

InVision: Allows our design and marketing team to collaborate on mockups and prototypes.

Atlassian Jira: Used company-wide for all task management on the product and technical side.

Stripe: Used to process all incoming payments and customer invoicing.

GSuite: Used across the entire company for all our email communication. We were such big fans, we created Shift to help manage it all;)

SendGrid: An awesome tool for email distribution, and keeping our customers up to date on everything.

HappyFox HelpDesk : All of our support and help centre related inquiries are managed through HappyFox. It allows our team to deliver great customer support!

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