ClickUp Dashboards – Do You Need it?

ClickUp Dashboards – Do You Need it?

One of the challenges of the modern entrepreneur, project manager, or really anyone who’s trying to gain a better understanding of their company’s overall productivity is tracking, gathering, managing, and monitoring relevant data.

Besides being one of the most versatile productivity tools available, ClickUp is continually adding great new features, striving to be ever better as your hybrid Asana / Notion / Trello solution. And one of the latest exciting features is ClickUp Dashboards.

What are Dashboards in ClickUp? Let’s explore.

What are ClickUp Dashboards?

Data visualization

Emails, status updates, notifications… this is the domain of the modern worker. It’s nearly impossible to get away from the noise telling you things you already know about what’s going on with your department’s projects.

Let’s say it like it is – as useful as it might be to keep tabs on how the projects are progressing… unless you have the time and the means to gather, organize, and visualize the data in meaningful ways, you’re up a creek without a paddle.

ClickUp Dashboards work double duty as a task manager and a reporting tool, visualizing relevant data and supplying you with valuable takeaways you can apply to manage your projects and productivity.

Further, you can use the data to identify and address bottlenecks, edit tasks and workloads, add needed notes, and cover other essential functions.

Oh, and did I mention that Dashboards are customizable? Yes, you can set up Dashboards to match your exact needs.

That means even if you’re a solopreneur, a small team, a school, a financial professional, or another, there is a way to make ClickUp Dashboards work for you. It’s not just for big teams – it can be for individuals too.

What Types of Dashboards Can You Create?

This is probably one of the greatest things about ClickUp Dashboards – it’s highly customizable!

The following are just some of the many categories you can cover with Dashboards:

  • Customer service or customer support. Monitor support tickets, track response or resolution time, set goals, and more.
  • Software development. Set up team wikis and knowledgebases, keep tabs on relevant discussions, track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and more.
  • Event planning. Set up a calendar, track event tasks, set deadlines, and more.
  • Education and class management. Plan the semester, add a course syllabus, set weekly targets, and more.
  • Finance. Keep an eye on trends, measure revenue by department, embed Excel spreadsheets, and more.
  • Healthcare. Monitor patients admitted, maintain an up-to-date staff availability calendar, measure average waiting time, and more.
  • Marketing. Track clicks and impressions, measure email Return on Investment (ROI), set up a list of project tasks, and more.
  • Personal. Create a daily planner and personal Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution for yourself. Add to-dos, set personal goals, embed your calendar, and more.

You get the idea. ClickUp Dashboards are applicable across a wide range of uses – product development, Quality Assurance (QA), remote teams, sales department, and so on.

Ready to try ClickUp? There is no risk involved. You can try their Free Forever plan or check out their premium plans that will scale with your company. Simply click on the link to get started NOW.

What Types of Widgets Are There?

Progress tracking

Widgets are what you’ll be using to set up your custom ClickUp Dashboard. There are many widgets, and I can’t cover all of them here, but I will be looking at some of the more popular options.

Let’s look at five widget types that are sure to get a lot of use:

  • Time tracking widgets. The perfect tool for monitoring overall productivity. Explore which projects are taking up the most time. Or find out if your teams are overcapacity.
  • Status widgets. Use status widgets to track the number of tasks in progress, tasks completed, time spent across multiple tasks, and so on.
  • Custom widgets. Set up line charts, pie charts, portfolios, text blocks, chat, and more.
  • Goals widgets. Track the progress of specific projects in real-time.
  • Embed widgets. Add essential content from outside ClickUp – Google Docs, YouTube videos, tweets, and more.

How do I Ensure I Set Up My Dashboard Correctly?

Whether you’re new to ClickUp or have never used Dashboards before, it can sometimes be hard to know how to get started.

There aren’t too many things you need to be thinking about as you define your data story, but if you take advantage of the following tips, you should have an easier time getting it right.

Determine Who Your Dashboard is for

Is your Dashboard for you? For your partners? Your collaborators? Your team? Knowing your audience will help you determine how to make effective use of your Dashboard.

In addition to your audience, take some time to understand the problem and the story you need to tell using data.

Identify the KPIs that Matter to You or Your Organization

What do you want to track? Having gotten clear on who will be using the Dashboard, you should have a good idea of what KPIs matter. If not, spend some time determining this. When it comes to measurement, specific is always better.

When it comes to measurement, specific is always better. Share on X

Find the Right Widgets for the Job

There are different widgets suited to different purposes. Find the right ones for the job. For example, if you need to calculate the number of tasks in progress for a specific KPI, take advantage of the Calculation widget.

Customize the Dashboard Layout

The goal of any layout is to communicate key insights in a clear and efficient manner. You may not be able to figure this out on the first go around, but if you commit to iteration (also see next point), you should be able to nail down your formula.

Gather Feedback

What does your audience think of your Dashboard? Is it working for them?

Ask for feedback ongoingly and iterate as necessary. If you keep reading up on best practices and listen to feedback, you will nail a winning formula in short order.

Setting Up a Dashboard

The great news about setting up a new Dashboard inside ClickUp is the fact that there are several templates to choose from. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel if you don’t want to!

There are only three types of Dashboard templates by default, but we imagine ClickUp plans to add more. They are as follows:

  • Simple Dashboard
  • Reporting Dashboard
  • Time Tracking Dashboard

ClickUp Dashboards templates

I set up a Simple Dashboard and ClickUp populated the following:

  • A welcome message
  • Chat widget
  • Docs, Files & Links
  • Task List

While this is not the exact setup I would use for personal productivity or event management (two things that are very close to home), I found that the Dashboard was very easy to customize.

New cards are also easy to add and configure, and there are plenty to choose from.

Add card

The Verdict

I’m a big fan of any tool that makes life easier, and sometimes an easily customizable and configurable dashboard is exactly that. I sense a lot of potential in ClickUp Dashboards, and for me, it would mostly be a matter of gathering the right information and having a good sense of how it would complement my workflow to boost efficiency.

For any individual or company thinking about using ClickUp Dashboards, I think the same thing would apply.

Is ClickUp already a part of your ecosystem? If so, is adoption strong? And if adoption is solid, do you have specific KPIs to track? If you have KPIs to track, would they benefit from visualization? And if so, would a Dashboard solution work? And would you and your team check in on the dashboard regularly?

All these questions would be pertinent for anyone thinking about taking advantage of this decidedly cool functionality.

While I cannot say that Dashboards is at a “must-have” level for me yet, that could certainly change as I continue to experiment and explore the possibilities, which are admittedly many.

Have you given ClickUp a try yet? If not, and you’re interested in improving your productivity, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain! ClickUp offers a convenient Free Forever plan for those who want to try it out, and they also have Unlimited, Business, and Enterprise plans for those who know what they need. Get started now.

303 – Podcast Update for October 2023

303 – Podcast Update for October 2023

It’s been too long! How’ve you been?

It’s about time for an update, isn’t it?

Well, you’ll be glad to know, that in this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, David finally catches us up with the events of the last month as well as what has been happening with the podcast.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:17 – It’s time for a state of affairs update
  • 00:36 – The end?
  • 03:09 – The insanity that has been the last few weeks
  • 12:49 – Having grace for yourself
  • 14:54 – Finishing things
  • 16:48 – Switching things up
  • 18:09 – Things change
  • 19:27 – What changes are coming with Music Entrepreneur HQ?
  • 21:15 – Learning from your mistakes
  • 24:18 – Identity and perception
  • 25:24 – Moving forward

Sponsors:

  • Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook: The first of its kind – David’s new premium book covering productivity for artists, featuring content from Music Entrepreneur HQ, his personal blog, his many books, and even Start Your Year the Right Way, which is included in its entirety. Be fully unleashed in accomplishing your musical dreams and desires!

Episode Summary:

David begins this episode by acknowledging that he has been absent from podcasting since August and briefly shares his intention to wind down his involvement with the podcast as well as Music Entrepreneur HQ.

His world was turned upside down

Everything in David’s world was quite hunky-dory until about four weeks ago.

On September 14, he began the long journey back to Calgary to play a gig with Adrenalize. Things were fine until the day of the gig on September 16, when David noticed eye floaters that weren’t there before (not to worry, though, the eye floaters have been improving).

He suspects this may have been due to altitude sensitivity – Calgary is about 1,000 meters higher than Vancouver, although it could have also had something to do with bumping his head at the Airbnb he was staying at.

Shortly after returning from Calgary, David was given a two-week notice by his landlord. He knew that he would eventually need to leave either way, but this news, he says, could have been delivered a little more tactfully. That weekend, he also suffered a migraine (he’s unsure whether it’s related).

David’s plans to organize an event for January were also moving along quite smoothly until the preceding began unfolding. One of his team leaders temporarily went AWOL, the featured artists he wanted to book didn’t want any part of it, and a $5,000 cheque nearly got lost in the mail.

David assures us, however, that things are starting to get back on track.

Seeing the bigger picture

Another reason there hasn’t been a lot of movement with the podcast is that David is starting to see the bigger picture of what projects are worth putting his time into, as well as the importance of managing his personal well-being.

This, first and foremost, has meant prioritizing projects. David has found a lot of value in focusing on no more than one or two major to-do items per day. And he asks the question:

If I can spend an hour working on my next book, or I can spend an hour working on the next podcast episode, why wouldn’t I prioritize the Big Domino, which in this case, would be the book?

He references the Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook, his eighth book, which is well underway, though not ready to be delivered in full (you can still pre-order a physical copy of the book).

Either way, Gary Keller’s The One Thing has been changing the way he looks at projects, and David has been noticing how easy it is to get drawn into the busyness of activity without finishing the things that are bound to make the greatest difference.

Speaking of finishing things, that has also become one of David’s greater focuses.

David recently took some time to identify the subscriptions he no longer needed and culled unnecessary expenses. This, he said, freed up a lot of psychic energy.

If you want to take a deeper dive into this, also see one of David’s latest articles on productivity:

How to Declutter Your Mind and Cultivate Super Focus

As a result, he’s been reflecting on how loose ends tend to rob us of joy in the moment. Instead of starting new things, David is now vowing to refer to his “to be done” list so he can be present for everything he’s promised that has yet to be completed.

Additionally, David has been experimenting with his weekly schedule, opting to rest on Fridays because his Monday through Thursday has been positively jacked up.

He says there is tremendous value in experimenting with different schedules to find the sweet spot. Further, he suggests that it’s critical to adapt as things change in your life.

If you aren’t already planning your weeks, however, you must start there. There is nothing to experiment with if you’re flying by the seat of your pants!

Moving forward

David says there has been incredible value in reflecting on both his failures and successes. Writing off Music Entrepreneur HQ as a “failed content business” has felt very freeing to him. He only wishes he could have realized this sooner.

This likely isn’t the end of podcasting for David, who has already hinted at the launch of a new show. In fact, he has already recorded dozens of audios on the fly.

David is also still passionate about music, music education, and musician coaching, something he intends to continue, primarily at Content Marketing Musician.

(And rumor has it this isn’t really the end of Music Entrepreneur HQ, either. David has been quietly developing a plan to raise it from the ashes. Thank God.)

Nevertheless, we do recommend checking Content Marketing Musician for the latest courses and programs designed to help you create the life you love through music.

Leave a rating and review for the show on Apple Music. It’s how we get the podcast out there!

There’s exclusive, premium audio content waiting for you inside Members Only Audios.

How to Declutter Your Mind and Cultivate Super Focus

How to Declutter Your Mind and Cultivate Super Focus

Do you ever feel like you have too much going on?

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of action items on your to-do list?

Are appointments, meetings, or due dates slipping through the cracks?

We all drop the ball from time to time. But in my experience, a cluttered mind is largely self-inflicted, and it often stems from laziness, shiny object syndrome, or even hyper-ambition.

So, how can you declutter your mind and cultivate super focus once more?

Here are the main categories to explore.

Physical

Time-tested wisdom says if your desk is a mess, your mind is a mess too. This is true to the extent that unfinished things will eat away at psychic energy that could be better allocated and utilized.

Whenever I notice garbage, bottles, and cans piling up in my car, I know that my mind is starting to become more encumbered too. It alerts me to the fact that I’m not making my car (and organization) a priority.

Here are several other areas that should be addressed when considering your physical world:

  • Is your house a mess? Are dishes piling up? Do you have boxes of stuff sitting in your garage you haven’t touched in years? Spend a weekend cleaning up, deciding what to keep, sell, give away, or throw away.
  • Is your car a mess? Spend a few hours this weekend cleaning, sorting, and organizing it.
  • Do you have clothes you don’t like or don’t wear? Sell or donate excess clothing. Only keep in your closet what you wear and reduce decision fatigue. Make it a habit to invest in fewer items of high-quality clothing.
  • Begin to eliminate from your life, home, and environment what isn’t 100% essential to you and your work.
  • Exercise, eat well, supplement, cleanse, meditate, sleep. Improve your health and well-being. I’m not a health practitioner. Seek professional advice whenever and wherever applicable.

Emotional

Most people’s emotional life resembles that of a Six Flags rollercoaster ride rather than that of the flat, dry, windy prairies of Southern Alberta, Canada.

The ideal is to be happy as much of the time as you possibly can. People can go through great hardships and still be happy, so it’s not impossible. It’s a matter of conditioning yourself to remain calm in every circumstance.

As you do all the things mentioned in this guide, you will become considerably happier too.

Here are some other areas to poke and prod in the domain of emotional well-being:

  • Do you frequently find yourself thinking about the past? Process unhelpful memories and change them if necessary (the process for transforming memories is documented in Frederick E. Dodson’s Parallel Universes of Self). We don’t remember most things the way they happened, so it can’t hurt to make up something new.
  • See a counselor or psychologist. Talk to a friend. Unload emotional baggage and air skeletons in the closet.
  • Limit your exposure to people who always complain, gossip, or talk negatively. You don’t need to cut them out. But give them less time than you have been and try to bring the conversations around to something positive when you do talk to them.
  • Read positive books that lift your spirits, like Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist or Wayne Dyer’s The Power of Intention.
  • In extreme situations, a change of environment may be necessary (toxic roommates, bad landlords, horrible bosses, sewage leaks in your bedroom, etc.). Don’t rule out moving or traveling for a while.

Work

Incompletes clutter up the mind. That’s why one of the biggest focuses in my life for the next year is going to be finishing projects.

I have numerous books, sales funnels, musical projects, blog posts, podcast episodes, and videos waiting to be completed, and this is where I will be putting most of my attention.

Whenever I find myself dreaming up a new project idea, my new habit is going to be turning to my “to finish” list and picking something from there to work on.

How else can you optimize your work? Try the following:

  • Finish projects, either by doing the work necessary to complete them or by declaring them complete and moving on. If it helps to tear up a manuscript, burn a book, or delete from your hard drive a website design you no longer plan to work on, do it.
  • Plan how you will be spending your time each week (timebox your calendar), and don’t worry when things don’t go perfectly. Planning is essential, but plans are worthless.
  • If you feel like you’ve got a lot of things to do, write everything down on a whiteboard so you can physically see what there is to do and how you might go about prioritizing it.
  • Always deliver on time. And if you can’t, or you’re not going to, communicate with your superiors, clients, or collaborators the moment you know you’re not going to be doing what you said you were going to be doing.
  • Be prompt in your response. Triage quickly whether you plan to respond to calls, texts, voicemails, and emails. Open every email knowing you will delete or archive it after it has been processed.
  • Declutter your computer’s desktop, Downloads folder, recycle bin, etc. Remove programs you don’t use, create backups, scan your machine for viruses and malware, defragment your hard drive, etc. If your machine is especially slow, do a factory reset, bring it to a technician, or both.

Financial

Don’t you find that “subscription bloat” can easily get out of hand?

Whenever I feel like reallocating my spending, I will make a list of expenses and identify the subscriptions that I can safely eliminate now (if I need it later, I can always resubscribe).

Consider streaming services, magazines, storage lockers, social media automation tools, membership dues, and so forth. There’s no sense in holding onto something you aren’t using now, and cutting expenses will free up a lot of energy.

Sure, there are probably some subscriptions you want to keep. But if you want to declutter your mind, less is more.

You can use these prompts to help simplify your financial life:

  • Are your mortgage payments costing you an arm and a leg? Consider downgrading your lifestyle. Don’t worry – it will be temporary.
  • Are your car payments costing a pretty penny? Sell your car and get a 10-year-old beater instead.
  • Are you paying yourself first by locking away 10% of your income (somewhere you can’t easily touch) each month? Automate contributions to an investment account of your choice and never think about it again (I’m not a financial advisor but I think lifecycle funds are the ideal low-maintenance solution for most).
  • Automate as much of your banking as you possibly can, including bill payments.
  • Make more money. It gives you more freedom and more options. It also makes it possible for you to help more people.

Self-Education

I’m a big believer in self-education but being addicted to personal development can have its costs. For example, you could go into debt buying every book, course, seminar, and pump-up session delivered halfway across the world.

And there is almost certainly a mental cost to investing in so many programs without ever finishing any of them. Remember what I said about incompletes? They clutter up the mind.

Here are some things you should be thinking about as you look to optimize your self-education:

  • How many books are you reading right now? If your answer isn’t “one,” your mind space is being taken up by the books you haven’t finished reading yet. Read one book at a time and don’t rush through it. Instead, believe that whatever you need to learn is in the sentence or book you’re reading right now (the answer you need is in the book you read).
  • How many courses have you purchased that you haven’t completed or haven’t even touched? Decide now whether to finish them or leave them to simmer as shelfware. It’s okay to have a “later/someday” file.
  • Choose an area to focus on. Trying to learn everything will make you a Jack or Jill of all trades. Learning specific things will make you a specialist, and specialists are highly valued.
  • Learn from one coach at a time.
  • Listen to Gary Keller’s The One Thing on repeat in your car for the next year and apply what you learn.
  • Place less emphasis on acquiring knowledge and more emphasis on application. If you just came from an amazing industry conference, spend the next few weeks actioning what you learned and set aside anything that could distract you from applying the new tactics, techniques, and technologies you discovered.

Declutter Your Mind, Final Thoughts

Are there other categories to explore in decluttering your mind? Depending on your goals, profession, specific life circumstances, and so on, there almost certainly will be.

But if you keep in mind that incompletes are responsible for sapping your mental power and energy, and effort to tie up loose ends, you’ll be well on your way to decluttering your mind and cultivating super focus.

Also, know that decluttering your mind probably won’t be a “one-and-done” process, so be prepared to free up your energies again, from time to time.