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Curious if people are using a spread sheet, Evernote, just their brain or a more specialized tool for capturing and managing ideas for growth hacking or even just landing page experiments.

  • DM

    Daniel Marlin

    over 3 years ago #

    I use google docs to work through the details and then create a project in asana which allows me to break the idea into bite sized todo items.

    I've tried a lot of different ways, and this has been the one that has worked the best for me.

  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    over 3 years ago #

    I have the same workflow whether it's capturing/implementing any experiments - and that is to use Trello + Google Docs

    I have a "knowledge-base' board with examples,articles etc
    Individual cards on another board which captures stuff I'm doing - and relevant cards link to Google docs that have detail.
    The kanban layout of Trello also allows for (I think) better visualization of progress through various stages of any experiment/process.

  • MS

    Maxime Salomon

    over 3 years ago #

    Hey Sean, this is a difficult problem!

    Had a hard time figuring that out and be very effective week after week. So I'm currently building a tool to help growth people do exactly that more smartly and productively.

    I'm still very early in the process but it is the tool I dreamed about when I was running growth.

  • LS

    Logan Stoneman

    over 3 years ago #

    Evernote for ideas, Google Docs for organization + reference links, Asana for execution.

    • AH

      Aaron Hanson

      over 3 years ago #

      How are you using Evernote to capture ideas? I've never been able to figure out a way to organize/capture ideas effectively with Evernote.

      • LS

        Logan Stoneman

        over 3 years ago #

        I split up my NoteBooks into different categories (growth, marketing, product design, social media, development, etc.) and within the notebooks I have each idea as a separate note. Each note is detailed with the idea. This separation allows for an easy search or specific drill down approach. And i can share individual notebooks with the different teams that have their hands in that aspect of our startup.

  • ET

    Everette Taylor

    over 3 years ago #

    Google Docs, notebook, notes app on my iPhone, writing on random pieces of old mail or whatever is lying around at the time.

    The tough part is to organize all your inspiration and ideas easily into one place wherever you are.

  • KB

    Kurt Braget

    over 3 years ago #

    I have created a system for solving this exact problem. It's called PILLARS. Platform, Idea, Labor, Link, Audience, Result, Spend.

    You can see my Growth Hackers post here: http://growthhackers.com/pillars-a-system-im-using-to-track-my-growth-hacks/

    And the original article that lays out the formula, and why every experiment should be tracked this way: https://medium.com/@kurtybot/5ee0f9280f78

    What you'll find is that companies from large to startup are tracking growth experiments across disparate systems, sorta like how the health care tracks patient data; in a way that isn't helpful, reusable, or shareable. Sure, your analytics for google might tell you some stuff, but what about twitter, fb, instagram? What about how you sell your product on the street or share via business card at conventions? Does google analytics track that? The reality is, there is no system that can track your marketing efforts across all channels and platforms. This is why a formula should be defined for the experiments, and a single place should record all of the experiments.

    Don't post them on Asana: they'll get lost and add to useless tasks you probably already posted there.

    Don't use a todo program: nobody else will see them. When they are done they, they disappear, that's the point of task management.

    I should be able to quickly see all of the growth hacks my team did, all of the growth hacks my friends did, and easily be able to share them with others in a standard format. PILLARS is exactly that. I am not selling anything, I seriously just want to improve the system and get better results for my own products. So far it's working for me.

    I am currently using google docs (shared with my team) to track each experiment. This is the best way to do it for now. I see a ton more possibilities with an experiment tracker like this, so stay tuned, may build it into a web product.

  • SD

    Sean Doggendorf

    over 3 years ago #

    I use a gigantic Google Spreadsheets master doc for everything. It has every article I find worthy, examples of awesome sites, links to tools, and a tab for ideas (among other things).

    The ideas tab isn't as fleshed out as the other sections yet, but it's helped to keep them more organized and all in one place.

    Each idea is given a strict category out of 6-7 total (e.g. conversions, growth, etc.) and another tag to explain it so I can quickly remember why I wrote it down.

  • AH

    Alex Harris

    over 3 years ago #

    Evernote. I also have a keynote swipe file will a collection of ideas.

  • SH

    Skyler Hair

    over 3 years ago #

    I use germ.io EVERYDAY. This has been an amazing resource for me personally. I use it to outline entire marketing plans, websites, etc.
    I don't work for them or anything, I just love their product and have come to be good friends with the founder Vikram.
    I highly recommend checking it out.

  • VB

    vincent barr

    over 3 years ago #

    When on Desktop: Evernote
    When on Mobile: Simplenote
    When it's a *must-do* idea to prioritized for execution: Omnifocus

    • SC

      Shana Carp

      over 3 years ago #

      what's simplenote and why do you like it?

      I'm also an evernote fan. now I am wondering about onmifocus and simplenote

      • VB

        vincent barr

        over 3 years ago #

        Omnifocus is a bloated todo app; don't fall into the trap.

        Simple is a really quick, lightweight, plain notetaking app that syncs across devices. Why this over Stickies or some other such thing? Because it has search and tags.

  • HA

    Haris Aghadi

    over 3 years ago #

    I'm using the bullseye framework spreadsheet from the traction book.

  • BH

    Brad Hess

    over 3 years ago #

    For capturing ideas, I use Google Keep (Google's Evernote alternative). It syncs with Google Drive nicely.

    I use a plethora of Google Spreadsheets for ad and landing page experiments, organized with links from a single Google Doc.

    I'd definitely prefer to have a powerful worksheet that houses everything in one environment, with statistical significance of pending tests and historical tests together. Anyone wanna make that for me? ;)

  • SE

    Sean Ellis

    over 3 years ago #

    "So. many. google spreadsheets. (i'm not good at directions)".... This was an answer I received on Twitter from Brad Hess https://twitter.com/fresholdidea

  • GF

    Gareth Fuller

    over 3 years ago #

    I used to use a shared google spreadsheet and create a project on Basecamp to discuss and organise the idea.

    I found it a bit clunky every time I had an idea so I built a small web app to do the same things in one place. I wanted something where I could record ideas, and within that record experiments and early interactions. Is this the sort of thing you were asking for?

    If you're interested I recently made it public here:

  • SE

    Sean Ellis

    over 3 years ago #

    For landing page testing I tend to do it with marked up screenshots in a power point deck. I often have a pretty good back log of tests that way.

  • SL

    Sapph Li

    over 3 years ago #

    Tasks in Gmail. This way, I always see it when I email. I tried speadsheets but having your ideas in multiple places just means you're less likely to remember and do anything.

  • BA

    Benjamin Adamson

    over 3 years ago #

    News Articles - added to notebook labeled "Articles" in Evernote via Clearly plugin on Chrome. This way I've highlighted the key points and everything is searchable in Evernote in case I forget what it's called.

    Ideas - Added to a specific notebook under the relevant project notebook, I can access evernote on my laptop and iphone so this is great for spur of the moment.

    Brainstorming - I have a small physical notebook I draw and sketch doodles and ideas. Writing things on paper changes my mind-state and I get more creative, so this is where the best ideas come from.

    Research / Apps to use - I use pocket to add websites that have tools or lists of tools I should use later or now. They're all tagged under "tools" or "later".

    All ideas are tagged in Evernote as "growthhacking" and placed either in my articles

  • BB

    Benjamin Burns

    over 3 years ago #

    Combo of evernote, smartsheet and Google docs.

  • CT

    Christopher Travers

    over 3 years ago #

    Trello is an amazing tool. It's not only beneficial and useful on a personal level, but it also does great for teamwork and efficiency.

  • WL

    Wayne Liew

    over 3 years ago #

    I use Evernote to capture ideas on both desktop and mobile. As for execution, Trello to manage, Google Spreadsheets to track and log hypothesis / results / insights etc.

  • NR

    Nitin Rathi

    over 3 years ago #

    Spreadsheet to list out ideas and then use screen filters to stack rank..both expected/planned outcome and then analyze for post mortem

  • JM

    Jack Meredith

    over 3 years ago #

    I've had a lot of success with hackpad when collaborating on specs and ideas. Works great when brainstorming and each "hackpad" is always accessible/editable so any team member can take a look and provide feedback.

  • PK

    Pallav Kaushish

    over 3 years ago #

    I have created an organized bookmark where I keep adding all the awesome ideas/articles and anything else that that would help me at some point of time.

    While I'm going through analytics I try to prioritize what is essential and write it in Asana. Depending on the area I'm focusing on I go back to my bookmarks and find out which ideas would be helpful in my current activity and then try to use it.

  • AA

    Andrew Allsop

    over 3 years ago #

    Trello set-up as a Kanban board works well. The done column acts as an archive where you can go to find details of previous experiments.

  • TH

    Thom Holliday

    over 3 years ago #

    This is something I spend way too much time fretting about. (Probably to my detriment.)

    I've tried it all: Evernote, Simplenote, Google Docs, DropBox, Pinboard. At the end of the day, I've found this system works for me:

    Capturing ideas: Evernote

    Bookmarking: Pinboard (it feels cumbersome to bookmark separetly to Evernote, but I find the clipper is pretty janky)

    Task management: Todoist (I love this app. It's so simple and it helps me action everything. I feel like a GTD-warrior. It also syncs with Office 2007, and I can pin emails straight from my old-ass work laptop.)

    Drafting: DraftIn (I LOVE this. It handles multiple drafts better than anything else, works with MarkDown, and exports to Word.)

    I'm interested in Google Keep. How does it sync with Google Drive? What're the benefits over Evernote?

  • SB

    Shannon Byrne

    over 3 years ago #

    We usually use Trello to keep track of these tests and projects, but have also started creating Google docs of monthly marketing projects to make sure the big stuff is on track.

  • VG

    Vlad Gidea

    over 3 years ago #

    I'm using Trello as well to keep track of experiments from both a Lean perspective and also some little hacks. I formed my own structure so all the experiments have more or less the same details (Info, time, date,method, key tracking, baseline to improve, reporting in GDocs).

    It's decent enough to notify me when I have to check something and I can discuss it with my team in the comments for each card.

  • AP

    Athena Purnell

    over 3 years ago #

    We create a report after doing tests for our customers and as a record of the ideas this has generated for testing, we list all the ideas for tests at the bottom of the report and then I add them as a task on our custom task management/CRM system and start passing passing these to the departments that need to work on them (normally design). I do tend to order the tests by what I think will be the most important first, but this is generally kept in my head as opposed to logging it.

    As we can view tasks by user and client in our task/CRM software (we call it portal), and because I file everything away on our network drives I can quickly and easily see what has/hasn't been tested and what research was done to come up with these specific ideas. Although I will admit as I'm getting more customers and we're getting through tests quicker I am struggling to keep everything in order of what to do first in my head, we'll also be taking on a new staff member in my department soon whom I'll be training so I'm very interested in how everyone else manages their testing priorities.

  • PG

    Pushkar Gaikwad

    over 3 years ago #

    Google Drive + Cherry Tree (ubuntu)

    I think anything more than 2 apps/tools is overkill.

  • SJ

    Sean Johnson

    over 3 years ago #

    - Google Spreadsheet, listing all hypotheses broken down by phase of the funnel, with estimates for LOE and potential upside and a place for notes. The ones we're actively working on are up top, with icebox below, and past experiments are on a separate tab.
    - Hypotheses that are simple in nature (tweaking headlines, CTAs, onboarding email copy, etc.) we just implement. For hypotheses that are projects in their own right, we manage through Asana.
    - We have a growth notebook in Evernote for keeping articles we like, tagged by phase of the funnel, channel, etc. We tried moving this to Slack since we live in there, but didn't take.

  • JF

    Jay from sumHR

    over 3 years ago #

    I use a combination of apps for all kinds of work but on the idea-to-development-to-shipment side, we use

    * trello – for collecting ideas, organizing discussions, tracking their life until shipment
    * github issues – for development issue tracking
    * google docs – for data exchange, lists, doc collaboration, etc
    * todoist – on a personal level for myself
    * keep – for notes, and quick lists, at work or at home.

    I’d probably add a special applause for Trello – beautiful app, and that too free! :)

  • SA

    Sudhanshu Aggarwal

    over 3 years ago #

    Evernote - To save articles and guides
    Trello - To discuss ideas and implement them
    Slack - To chat about more ideas internally

  • DI

    dimitar inchev

    over 3 years ago #

    Very interesting! I am currently doing a research on managing ideas in organizations: http://howmanyideas.co/survey

    From Trello boards to yearly surveys, it is surprising to see such a diversity in the knowledge management but not one cohesive solution out there.

    If you want to help our, please spare two minutes to go over the survey, thanks in advance!

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