Products you didn’t know you needed, until now

Products from a Product Manager’s Product Stack

Let me admit it- I obsess over being productive. You see, I am a Computer Science engineer at heart. Naturally, there’s a causal effect.

Let me explain.

An operating system(OS) is an interface between the user and the hardware. The OS is that someone who always gets things done. It is running your 999 tabs on the browser, your spotify playlist, a zoom call, besides its own background processes- all at the same time. The technical term here is context switching. This piece of software is to be blamed for my obsession.

The feature similarity index of context switching and product management is high. Like the OS, I am constantly switching context- hosting meetings, strategic planning, aligning the product vision, gathering customer feedback, tracking metrics- no two days are the same. So I do what the OS does. Before switching context, I save the context of the current process, move the process to the relevant queue and update the process control block.

Simple? Not quite. At the end of the day, I have memory constraints.

So what’s the solution?

A SYSTEM WITH LESSER UNCERTAINTIES.

To create a system with lesser uncertainties, I created my stack- all the tech I needed to function with maximum efficiency. Here are the top four off of my stack.

  1. Boomerang
    I let boomerang, ‘boomerang’ me those emails that are- important but not yet AND I would forget about, as I switch context. I also use it to tag emails that require a follow-up (again, a holy grail of a feature for PMs). I am eliminating the uncertainty of me forgetting an important email and not tracking follow-ups.
  2. Fireflies.ai
    As a PM, I can’t run away from meetings. Infact, I am the one responsible for hosting the majority of them. I have had uncountable scenarios where I would go totally blank while recalling important issues discussed in a meeting. With Fireflies.ai, I get the audio recording and its transcript that I can easily skim through, post the meeting. In meetings of strategic planning, this has helped me keep a tab of the stakeholder's piece of mind thereby eliminating the uncertainty of misinterpretation.
  3. Whereby
    I was honestly tired of having to perform multiple steps to attend a meeting. Starting from creating a link if you’re hosting, to finding the right link to join one. If there’s one communication channel I would suggest for internal use, this is it. With no app or installs required, and the same meeting link every time, Whereby gives you the freedom to work from anywhere, thereby eliminating the uncertainty of unnecessary meeting links. Just go with simple.
  4. Shift
    True to its tagline, Shift builds your workstation, your way. It eliminates my single most dreaded nightmare- the cycle of logging in, *automatic logout* and then logging in again. Another star feature is its unified search across ALL your mails, calendar, social media, drive, docs and everything in between. Ofcourse, these are just two of the gazillion ways it has made my life simpler. This application has eliminated the uncertainty of ~everything that can go wrong!

I write to think. Computer Science Engineer turned Product Manager. Currently a Graduate student at Cornell University.

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