Clickety is building what looks initially like an address book. But it’s not. Address books are static, meant to store information, not help you solve problems or get work done. They don’t help with the people work you’re spending your days and weeks on.

At Clickety, we’d describe much of that work as “moving people through a workflow.”

Huh?

Here’s an example:

I am starting to talk to investors about a round at Clickety, and step one was asking people for advice. How many people? In this case, it was about twenty five.

If I gave you the challenge of getting advice from three people, I think you would find it irritating, but essentially straightforward: Email each of them, offer some calendar times, and follow up if they didn’t reply.

But twenty five? You can’t just email them all at once. You’d immediately get overwhelmed. It’s also not as effective. You can’t iterate your story fast enough based on early conversations.

I usually prefer to email batches of five, a week or so apart.

This process spreads over weeks. You can’t rely on memory. (Well. I can’t. Some of you weirdos would have no problem with that. That’s ok. You’re our kind of weirdo.) So you need to write it down somewhere.

It’s tempting to put this in a project management tool, like Things or Asana. These aren’t a good fit, though. Talking to each person involves multiple steps:

  • Email
  • Schedule call
  • Have call
  • Send follow up

Most of your time involves waiting for them to schedule the call, so the actual task is something like “follow up until they have scheduled a call”.

This is a workflow. And it’s a task management app’s worst nightmare. Do I really want to record 100 actions, four for each person? I won’t even spend five seconds thinking about it before I scale my project down, or just give up.

This is where something like Trello and its kanban-like interface works well. You can define a left to right workflow. Each column becomes a stage in the process.

But it falls down quickly, too. It knows nothing of the people you know, or whether you’ve talked to them, so it’s on you to add everything that matters. You can put people’s email addresses in, or last contact date, but it’s a lot of effort for not much value.

This is where Clickety shines.

Designing this workflow is easy:

board with stacks for Candidates, Invited, Call Scheduled, Met, Follow Up, and Declined

Adding twenty five people isn’t free, but it’s 10x faster in Clickety because you already know most of them. They’re just a search away.

Next you start reaching out. I recommend you sort the first column manually, so you can put key people first.

For my project, I built email templates, which I stored in the excellent Drafts app. Then I just click Contact on each person in turn, paste in the template, maybe do a little light editing, then hit send.

Scheduling is pretty easy, because I use Calendly. My template includes a link for people to schedule a time, and usually, that’s exactly what they do.

I can check back on the project regularly to see replies, or, of course, track them in my inbox. At any given time, this project shows where someone is in the workflow, when we last contacted, and who I should contact next for what.

This is what we mean by “moving people through a workflow”.

This is a simple example: Have one conversation with each person.

But without Clickety, I probably would have scaled back to only five or ten people, and even then would have found it annoying. As it was, I barely noticed the process, and was able to focus on the conversations I was having.

If you’re reading this blog, I bet there are workflows like this in your life, places where you do a small set of simple tasks with a large set of people. Hopefully this has helped you see some of those workflows, and how you might make them easier. If this tickles your brain, but this specific problem doesn’t resonate, check out some of the other example workflows we’re good at helping with.