Growth PM 9-5. Founder, of gSweets 5-9.
It's no surprise that we're big fans of Chrome extensions here at gSweets. Chrome extensions have the ability to turn existing webpages into the best versions of themselves. With more and more of our work happening in the browser, these widgets can be as powerful as entire web or mobile apps. They can save you time accomplishing tasks or giving you new ways to do the same old things.
In this post, we'll review some of the Jobs to be done PMs and PMMs have along with the extensions that can help you do them a wee bit better.
Let's face it, working in your browser can get messy. Projects no longer exist in one software tool – you have to keep up with work spread across JIRA, Google Docs, Slides, Figma and a hundred other tools. There's two types of product managers, the 1-5 tabbers and the 20-∞ tabbers.
Our pick: Command E
New apps are making it way easier to quickly stay on top of your work. Our pick for the best solution for quickly finding and opening documents across the web is Command-E. They make is wicked fast to search all your SaaS apps for that one file you're looking for. You don't have to remember the name, just type a word or phrase in the body of the document and Command-E will find it instantly. It takes a bit of time to get used to the new keyboard shortcut but once you do, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.
A similar tool is Eesel. In addition to the Cmd-E search, they add a nice new tab page that displays your recent history, organized by application. The downside of Eesel is that it's browser-only so if you're working in Desktop apps beyond the browser, they won't capture any of that history.
As a Product Manager, it's common for your calendar to be nearly fully booked with meetings. It can be hard to schedule new meetings with customers or teammates and it can be hard to find the focus time you need to actually get the meaningful work done. No one can deliver well-thought out work in a serious of asynchronous 30-minute blocks.
Our recommendation: Clockwise + Calendly
If you're struggling to schedule long blocks of deep work, you should absolutely check Clockwise. The extension connects directly to your Google Calendar and automatically schedules Focus Time for you. Best of all, you can enable specific events to work with Clockwise to automatically be rescheduled to make the most focus time for you and other meeting attendees.
Now that your Google Calendar has been reorganized for productivity, with actual Focus Time events on blocked off, you can use Calendly to schedule meetings knowing that your focus time is preserved and invitees will book slots in the "unfocused" time.
The Calendly chrome extension will surface your meeting links on any website your on so you know longer have to go to calendly.com, login, click on a meeting and copy the sharing URL. It cuts that workflow down from like 8 clicks to 2. Especially a lifesaver when drafting emails.
As a product manager, you have more stakeholders than most individual contributors on a team. It's your responsibility to keep everyone up to date and on the same page.
Communicate through writing
The best organizations tend to document all important decisions, learnings and specs. At gSweets, we use Google Docs as our primary writing tool. The most common documents we'll create are feature specifications, interview notes, meeting notes and team updates.
Grammarly is an absolute must-have for all writers. Our favourite feature is the sentiment analysis that tells you how your writing comes across to readers; whether it's confident, joyful or some other emotion.
It's a helpful gut-check to ensure you're communicating the way you intend with your audience.
Unsurprisingly, we use gSweets along with Grammarly to spin up documents faster – after all gSweets is our baby. We use it to quickly build out tables of contents via headings, and add Emojis to make our communication a little friendlier and more expressive 😄. gSweets is free to use.
Communicate through video
Sometimes it's inefficient to only describe things with words. If you're diagnosing a bug or want to present some UX designs, it can be a lot more effective to record a quick video that allows you to walkthrough visual designs or behaviour on a screen to point out what you're seeing. I mostly use video for showing bugs to the team and creating visual demos to send to prospects, customers or investors. Nowadays tools like Loom or Vidyard even give you analytics about who or how many people watched your video and allow viewers to comment on it.
Loom is our winner for best product in the space because of their delightful "reactions" feature that let's viewers react to specific moments in the video. As a video producer this provides you with feedback as to witch parts of the video resonated most with watchers. They also have a companion desktop app that makes recording outside of the browser, just as much of a breeze as within the browser. If you plan on making lots of videos be warned that Loom will pretty quickly require you to upgrade to make more than 25 videos. If you're on a tighter budget, check out Vidyard.
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