The Top 10 Freelance Websites For Employers

freelance websites

Source: iamwire

If you’re looking to hire talented freelancers, there are many options out there. With major freelancing platforms emerging in recent years, you can have someone working on your new project within a day. And often at the same or lower cost than hiring someone full-time or even part-time.

But this approach comes with its limitations. The person you hire could be difficult to communicate with because of language barriers and time zone differences. And if you’re in a rush to hire, you might end up with someone who is not as skilled as you’d wished for.

To tackle these problems, some freelancing platforms specialize in one field. From location-based platforms to skill-specific ones, you can now hire top-quality experts for your projects quickly – if you know the right place to go to.

Here we’ll explore the best freelancing platforms out there. We’ll highlight their strong points so you know which one is right for your next project. After reading this post, you’ll know exactly where to find the perfect freelancer for any use case.

1. Workana


Workana specializes in matching freelancers with employers in Latin America. If you need someone who speaks native Spanish or Portuguese, this is the right place to go to. It’s especially useful if you’re in the same time zone so communication is quick and easy. Chances are, you will attract much more relevant applications than if you posted on a generalist platform.

2. Upwork


Upwork is the result of a merger between oDesk and Elance – two of the pioneering freelancing platforms. As such, it’s probably the largest site out there and boasts a great reputation. The majority of its user base comes from North America and South East Asia. So if you’re based in one of these regions, it’s going to be a breeze to find someone talented and easy to collaborate with.

3. Fiverr


Fiverr is also one of the first platforms to gain traction in the world of freelance work, but it’s different than most of its competitors. It allows for services to be packaged and “productized” meaning you know in advance how much you’re going to pay, how long it’s going to take, and exactly what you will get for your buck.

In a sense, it works like a store where you walk in, say what you need to a super smart sales rep, and all the products that fit your requirements are presented – along with their price, quality reviews, time to deliver and so on. Great if you’re looking to get a quick job done on a budget.

4. PeoplePerHour


PeoplePerHour is a smaller site compared to giants like Upwork or Fiverr, but in a good way. While services on average cost a little extra, the site boasts a reputation for quality few can compete with. It’s hugely popular in the United Kingdom and you can find quality freelancers from there as well as more standard locations like the US and India. Definitely a good option if you’re looking for high-quality work done professionally, especially in the UK.


freelancer is another big player in the space. Although you can get any job done there, the site is ideal if you need a non-demanding task to be complete. As such, it often costs less to hire someone, especially if you need something mechanical done like scraping emails or data entry.

6. 99designs


As the name suggests, 99designs is a specialized platform for designers. Everything from banner ad designs to business cards and logos is available. As the site specializes in one skill, you can expect dozens of applications for your project with draft designs already made. Once you review the suggested designs, you can pick the one you like the most, pay a set fee, and start collaborating with the designer. This site offers different options depending on your budget, but you will generally pay a little extra to get the best quality design out there.

7. Toptal


Toptal is a young platform compared to some of the big players out there. However, it quickly solidified a position as one of the best places to go if you’re looking for top-notch work done.  This site only curates the top 3% of freelancers for your job in software, design or finance. Some of the big investment banks and tech giants use its services which speaks for itself. If you’re prepared to spend enough to get the highest quality, then Toptal is a good choice.

8. Moneo


Like Toptal, Moneo specializes in curating high-quality talent – they approve only 6% of freelancers who want to find work there. To use a student analogy, that’s like getting into Harvard. Also, Moneo is focused on Blockchain talent. If you’re in the world of digital currencies, this is one of the best places to find high-quality freelancers who speak “crypto”. The site accepts payments in Bitcoin which is quickly spreading as a payment medium across the internet and beyond.

9. Guru


Guru also specializes in curating the best freelancers, with a focus on consulting services. It’s great if you’re starting a new project and want a shortcut to the best strategy to do it. From finance and accounting services to business coaching, Guru is the place where you can get the advice and help you need at the right time.


remote is an interesting platform as it uses AI to match employers with remote job seekers and freelancers. While it’s a small site compared to others, it’s growing quickly and offers great technology. Because of their AI-powered matching algorithm, Remote is great if you’re looking for people to work with long-term. Many people from its talent base are looking for full-time or part-time remote positions instead of project-based work. Ideal if you’re building a remote team without an office.


The internet has quickly become the best place to match employers and job seekers. We can now see specialized freelancer platforms that frequently guarantee successful project delivery at a speed and cost well below what you expected. With new technologies like AI and advances in collaboration tools, it’s easier than ever to get high-quality work done online.

Whichever platform you choose, you’ll need a powerful way to collaborate in real time. If you’re looking for an easy way to work with your team, clients, and suppliers in one place, try out Sendtask for free now.

5 Reasons Why Great Teams Work Remotely

great teams

Advances in enterprise software from recent years triggered an explosion in remote work adoption rates. According to this report, the number of remote workers in the US has increased by 115% since 2005. And while small companies and startups are key factors in this increase, many large organizations from different industries also contribute significantly to this trend.

But why is that? By the end of this article, you’ll have five solid reasons why great teams work remotely. You’ll also find out why remote work is seen as a necessity by many young companies around the world – not just an employee perk. So without further ado, here are 5 reasons why great companies hire remotely:

1) Lower business costs

The most widely cited reason for going remote is the reduction in business costs. While remote work can bring other types of expenses, they are nowhere near what you would pay for a physical office and all associated expenses with it. Rent, utilities and office amenities can form substantial business costs, especially when you take into account the often long lease agreements. This leads to a lot of risk and potential headaches if the company enters a period of financial trouble. Not having an office can help mitigate such risks.  

2) Access to a bigger talent pool

Another important benefit of working remotely is the access to a huge talent pool. Doing business from a physical office requires you to look for employees in on or around your area which makes it harder to find suitable candidates. When you allow remote work, you can choose from a global talent pool of experts in practically any area. This is especially useful for companies based in competitive labor markets, such Silicon Valley for example. It makes a lot of sense to hire remotely instead of competing with the lucrative packages Google or Facebook can provide.  

3) Remote workers are equally or more productive than on-site employees

According to this report, there isn’t a negative effect on productivity when working remotely. In fact, some employees produce a higher output due to fewer time-wasting meetings. Other factors include a better sense of career satisfaction and the ability to work during the most productive times for the particular person. While some people are early risers, others are night owls who are more active and alert during the typical out-of-office times. Why waste all that potential?

4) Faster hiring process

Fully distributed companies take 33% less time to hire a new employee. As one of the prime concerns for any business, hiring frequently takes a lot of time and resources. However, new technology platforms and the access to a bigger talent pool can make things much more efficient. With on-demand freelancing services and the ability to quickly write job descriptions the hiring process is greatly improved.

5) Lower employee turnover

Companies that support remote work have 25% lower employee turnover than companies that don’t. Remote workers say that avoiding the daily commute and the flexibility to work when they’re most productive are key factors for deriving more job satisfaction. Therefore, it’s not surprising to find that on average people stay longer at distributed companies.


There are clear benefits to allowing remote work at your company. From reduced business costs to a greatly enhanced hiring potential, there is clear evidence that remote work is here to stay. And with more and more people preferring their home or a coworking space to the office, remote work can often turn into a business necessity rather than a choice.


If you’d like to learn about ways to collaborate online efficiently, download our free e-book “Online Collaboration: a practical guide for modern teams” and transform your organization today.

How We Give Each Other Feedback At Sendtask

feedback sendtask

Source: Impact

I’m proud of the team we’ve assembled at Sendtask. I truly believe that each and everyone of us is an expert in their domain. But when we hire, our first priority is not skillset, it is attitude. Attitude is both more important for a team’s success and much harder to acquire than skills.

And although most of us have complementary skills and roles, we can all learn from each other when it comes to attitude and in general how to approach and solve problems.

When I was in the Swiss Air Force, we gave each other very open, direct and honest feedback after every mission. Did it sometimes hurt? Yes. Did it help? Every time.

That’s why we are giving feedback within the Sendtask team more frequently than I’ve experienced it in other companies. Some of those companies only had a formalized feedback process for annual feedback. Some large companies like Google do it twice a year.

We give each other feedback every six weeks. Six weeks is the length of our sprints and therefore a good opportunity to look at our own performance and give each other tips on how we can get better. We first think and write about our own performance and then give each other feedback.

We collect our own and everyone else’s opinion via Google Forms. Here’s what they contain:

#1 Reflection

The first form is called ‘Reflection’ and allows us to determine how we see our own work and attitude. The questions covered are:

  • What expectations did you have for the past 6-week sprint? Name your 2-week milestones and comment on why you had chosen them.
  • How happy are you with your work in the past six weeks? (1-5 stars)
  • How do you feel about your work in the past six weeks?
  • What is one or multiple achievements you are proud of?
  • What is one or several things you’d like to improve?
  • What is the #1 learning you are taking away from this sprint?

#2 Outside perspective

The second form is called ‘outside perspective’ and is there to make us aware of how others have perceived our work. It first links to the goals that someone had for the start of the 6-week sprint and then covers the following questions:

  • Overall, how happy are you with this person’s work? (1-5 stars)
  • START: What is something this person should start doing (and isn’t doing yet)?
  • STOP: What is something this person should stop doing? (e.g. a bad habit, a systematic error, a facet of their attitude, …)
  • CONTINUE: What is something this person should do more (and is already doing)?
  • Additional comments?

Distributing Feedback

The feedback is then merged and consolidated. Then, during a feedback call, the feedback is shared and discussed. If it’s misaligned, measurable goals are agreed upon and tracked until the end of the next feedback cycle.

What do you think of our feedback process? How do you give each other feedback in your company?

The Tools We Use At Sendtask


At Sendtask, we are a fully distributed team, meaning there’s no office and no two people in the same place. To keep everyone in sync, we use a variety of tools. These are the five tools we use the most often:

#1: Sendtask

We use our own tool for sprint planning, roadmap, prioritization, call agendas, bug reports, feature requests, etc. We believe that dogfooding is crucial to building a good user experience and thus use Sendtask whenever and wherever we see fit. In general, everything that can be organized in a list goes into Sendtask.

#2: Google App Suite

We use all Google tools – from Gmail to Drive – to organize and share information and communication. With our email integration, we create tasks in Sendtask projects directly from Gmail. One Google Document is particularly helpful: While the team is still small, we use a Google Doc titled «Sendtask Bootcamp» as our wiki. We store all information needed for new team members to join the team in that one document.

#3: Slack

We’re all on Slack at least twice a day. We use a set of integrations to get real time updates about our system. And, of course, for 1-to-1 and group chat. We used to discuss bugs and features in Sendtask but then realized that sometimes these messages were forgotten because no one had put them on Sendtask as tasks. That’s why we built our Slack integration. With a very simple command (e.g. /sendtask @joe please prepare the report until Monday #sendtask) we are now able to create tasks directly from Slack.


We hold one video call every week when the whole team gets together to update each other and discuss next steps. We use for these calls as it provides a very simple setup (no accounts, just like Sendtask) and great quality so far. Of course, there are plenty of alternatives when you talk to users and want to avoid hefty international call fees.

#5: Intercom

We use Intercom to talk to our users. Via the blue button in the bottom right corner, they have a very quick and easy way to talk to us and vice-versa – either while they use the app or via email when they’re not online.


I did not cover the tools we use for analytics and will cover those in another post. The five apps mentioned are in use almost every day, if not every hour and have been crucial in how we are able to build a distributed company.

What tools does your company use that might be helpful for us?

This Is Why Your Agency Should Use Sendtask



I started my first business when I was 14 years old. It was – and still is – an agency business. We started mediasign by building websites, designing logos and printing business cards for our clients.

I think everyone’s first business should be a service business. It allows you to make mistakes without ruining the whole company. Sure, you might lose an important client or two but a mistake won’t kill your business like it could kill a product business.

Working in a service business definitely has its perks – you get to know various companies, industries, and partners. We worked with more than 20 clients on average per year.

It’s in the nature of a service business that you get paid for your time. That’s why you want to work as efficiently as possible. Every hour you spend on a project but don’t get paid for is your loss and in fact lost revenue. Working on mediasign inspired us to build Sendtask. Because while there are many tools out there to work efficiently with your team, we couldn’t find a tool that allowed us to work efficiently with the three largest groups an agency is in contact with: your team, your clients, and your service providers.

Your team

Sendtask allows you to see who in your team is working on what and finishing when.
While there are many tools out there for team collaboration – Asana, Trello, Podio, Teamwork, to name a few – there are very few that allow you to work not only with your team but also the other two groups of partners you interact with.

Your clients

Sendtask does not require accounts. Your team can collaborate efficiently with your clients without having them register. This would have been huge for us – our consultants and project leads spent a good amount of their time chasing clients and reminding them of deliverables. With Sendtask, you can not only track who’s falling behind on a deadline but they will also get automatic reminders every day after the due date.

Your service providers

Especially when working with service providers, it’s crucial to be mindful not only of your own time but also theirs – because you’re paying them by the minute or hour. Sendtask allows you to set them up with an efficient workflow without having to spend time onboarding them first.

I wish we would have had a tool like Sendtask when we started mediasign. It would have saved us many tedious hours of reaching out to clients, reminding people on our team or coordination with service providers. That’s why we’ve decided to build it.

How To Get Your Team Onto Sendtask

team onto sendtask

Some of our users have asked us for tips on how to onboard the rest of their team. Here’s a best practice guide for how to onboard your team onto Sendtask:

#1. Motivation

Start with why you want your team to use Sendtask and move away from Email (or other non-task means of communication). 

Why will we use Sendtask for tasks instead of email going forward?
Some of the reasons that we frequently hear from our users are:

  • Tasks in emails can easily get lost within a conversation.
  • Tasks in emails aren’t trackable and there’s no way to see which tasks you’ve assigned to someone else.
  • It takes a lot of time and effort to update your collaborators if your schedule changes. You have to manually email them when the due date shifts. In Sendtask, this is taken care of as soon as you update the due date on a task.

Also, keep in mind that your teammates can still use email to create tasks on Sendtask through our email integration.

What are the alternatives to email?
Sendtask definitely isn’t the only alternative. But we think it’s the best mix of functionality, flexibility, and simplicity.

You could do with Post-Its but that becomes messy very fast and doesn’t allow you any kind of overview or automated communication.

You could also use very sophisticated project management tools like JIRA but there’s a very steep learning curve and everyone needs to have an account first.

We believe that Sendtask is the right mix of both worlds. It combines the simplicity of Post-Its with many of the features of more complex collaboration software.

#2. Functionality

Then, it’s best to give your teammates a tour of Sendtask’s features. If you’re ready to convince your team to use Sendtask, you probably know most of these. However, we’ve linked all of them to their page in our tour if you would like some additional reference.

The Layout

-The list view and task detail view
Filters and Sort options

Task Functionality

Sending and receiving tasks

The view for a received task for signed-in users and users without an account

Functionality and fields in the task detail view: Assignee, Due date, Comments, Attachments, Followers


Recurring due dates


Creating a project

Project Followers

Project Settings

We’ve seen that it is helpful to create a project together with your teammates during this session to give them a very clear idea of how projects work.


-Mobile App

Email integration

Slack integration

#3. Rules And Workflow

Now that your team knows why you are going to switch to Sendtask and how Sendtask works, there are two more important questions:

  1. What to use Sendtask for?
  2. How to use Sendtask?

What to use Sendtask for?

A lot of our users replace all email communication that calls for an action with Sendtask. They only allow communication via email that doesn’t expect a feedback. An example of this is “Please note that the elevator is being repainted today”. Everything else that expects an answer (“Can you please send that report?”, “Please let me know the dates you’ll be on holiday”, …) goes into Sendtask.

Our users tell us that it took them between two and three weeks to get everyone to switch to Sendtask but once they got used to it, everyone became more productive.

How to use Sendtask?

Sendtask is a tool and is flexible to adapt to your workflow. This framework is one example of how to use Sendtask. It’s in use successfully by many of our users:

  • Each task needs to have a due date and assignee set. If not, the task might get lost because it will not show up in anyone’s ‘Assigned To Me’ view.
  • At the end of the day, there should be no tasks left with overdue due dates. Everyone must change the due date of incomplete tasks to a realistic due date. This is important to give everyone an accurate idea of when they can expect feedback for their tasks.
  • If a task creator is likely to do something with the results of the task (e.g. they will further process a report they have asked for), then the task should not be completed by the assignee but it should be re-assigned to the task creator.

These three basic rules have helped many of our users to get very good visibility on their team’s progress.

#4. Q&A And Next Steps

We recommend that before you finish the meeting, you get everyone onboarded on Sendtask and exchange some tasks. Ask everyone to copy over their tasks from wherever they tracked them previously – could be from their inbox, a written note or other.

Clarify who the right contact to ask is for questions. Typically, questions about the workflow and how to use Sendtask will be answered by someone in your team. If questions about Sendtask in general arise or something doesn’t work the way it’s expected, use the blue Intercom button on our site or our Help pages to find answers.

We wish you good luck and a very productive meeting with your team! Let us know if you have amendments for this guide!

How To Put Yourself In The Shoes Of A New User Over And Over Again

new user

The user experience (UX) of Sendtask is what makes or breaks us. If we succeed in building a good product, we create an experience that is fun, friendly and self-explanatory. Most important are the first few steps a new user takes in our app. In today’s day and age, people don’t spend minutes on trying new apps and products – they spend seconds. This is why the new user experience is extremely important.

It is easy to get distanced from this experience once you are a frequent user – or even a developer or designer on our team. Everything becomes familiar and it is difficult to see what’s self-explanatory and what’s not. Once we realized this, we built a system that helps us put ourselves into the shoes of a new user over and over again to remind us of these critical first few steps.

We do this in two exercises: onboarding feedback during our weekly call and group user feedback call during our retreats.

Onboarding feedback during our weekly call

Part of our weekly call is one person speaking about the best three things and the worst three things in a new user’s experience. Prior to the call, they ask a friend or other new user to go through the sign-up and onboarding process of Sendtask and then learn about their experience.

On one side, this is important because it forces this team member to dive deep with a new user and their experience with the product. On the other side, our team member might work on something that has little or no influence on the experience a new user goes through and we think that it is important that everyone knows about this crucial topic and learns about how well we’re currently doing first hand.

Group User Feedback Call

We schedule a call with one of our users (or groups of users in the case of companies) during the retreat and the whole team participates in the call. This is typically a longer call of about 45 minutes and covers more than just the onboarding experience.

We use this call to understand:

  • How the user found Sendtask
  • What they use it for
  • What works well for them
  • Which features they are missing
  • What was confusing
  • What was clear and straightforward

It’s been best for us to ask open-ended questions and let the users talk. Their feedback is worth gold and often answers very clearly what to focus on and how to prioritize our feature pipeline.

We also use the call to show them some hidden features. «Hidden» not because these features are actually hidden, but because our documentation is way behind and we know we can do a much better job at explaining the complete feature set of Sendtask.


These are two elements we use to put us in the shoes of new users and to become conscious of the things we’re doing well and the things we’re not doing so well yet.

What processes do you use to make sure you get an unfiltered view of your user experience?

What Drives A Distributed Company – The Vision And Mission Statement

vision and mission

Communication is key in any business. But in a remote setup, it becomes even more crucial to have everyone on the same page. At Sendtask, we spend the first day of every retreat on the Vision and Mission of the company. On one hand, we want to make sure our strategy and actions are aligned. On the other hand, it is a good opportunity to get new team members up to speed.

Our combined vision and mission statement is quite long currently – and so by design. Given how young we are and how often our product changes, we found it helpful to have a very detailed Vision and Mission statement to guide us when we decide on what to build next and how to build it.

Our vision

“We strive to empower makers to realize bold ideas…”

You might ask: Where’s the connection between a collaborative task management application and enabling people to realize bold ideas?

No goal is too big if it can be broken down into smaller steps. By themselves, these steps are not as intimidating as the larger goal. A tool that allows you to break down big projects into small ones helps you do more and bigger things than you would have imagined.

Another term that we talked about a lot is who ‘makers’ are. The term is a bit pre-occupied by the tinkerers. But we understand it in a bigger sense – anyone who creates things, who makes the leap from nothing to something, anyone who moves people and projects. It includes project managers in corporations, leaders in local clubs as well as entrepreneurs.

Our mission

“… with a collaborative tool that allows them to work with anyone, prioritize and focus and assists them in a smart and friendly way, when and where they get work done.”

This is a long one but describes accurately what we’re building. “With anyone” is at the core of Sendtask. We are building Sendtask because none of the existing tools allowed us to share tasks and collaborate with anyone. People needed onboarding, they needed accounts and very often they needed training. In Sendtask none of this is required. As long as you know someone’s email address, you can collaborate with them in an efficient way.

Sendtask allows you to ‘prioritize and focus’. Both are extremely important in order to be efficient. Sendtask allows you to collect all your tasks in one list and to prioritize from there. Ideally, you’ll never have more than five items due on a single day and you can focus on them one by one.

We use natural language processing (NLP) to allow you to create tasks without clicking into ten different fields. Just type “Hey @Joe, please send me the report until Monday #reporting”, and Sendtask will do the rest. Set the assignee, the title, the due date and it will also add the #reporting project. Pretty smart! 🙂

Sendtask makes work more enjoyable. With a fun and friendly user experience, we make it enjoyable to check tasks off. Fun quotes here and there and beautiful animations, along with gamification, make work a lot more fun on Sendtask.

The ‘when and where they get work done’ relates to the virtual world. We don’t want to be yet another app that you need to keep open and that takes your focus away when you have to switch to it to create a task. Instead, we’re integrating with the apps you already use like Slack and Email. Using our integrations, you can create tasks seamlessly wherever you get things done.


Coming back to our vision and checking if we’re on the right track or if we need to make any adjustments, is hard work. The discussion can become emotional and long quickly. However, it’s a time and energy investment that is always worth it. Only when everyone on our team understands what we are building and why we’re building it, will they be able to contribute in their full capacity.

How do you continuously work on your vision and mission statement?

Six Tips For Your Startup Board Meeting

board meetings

I’ve sat in board meetings on both sides of the table – both as a founder and as an investor. It feels like there are countless articles, books and whole blogs dedicated to various parts of the startup life. Yet, in my experience, there’s very little written about startup board meetings, which are crucial for a very important relationship – the one between founders and investors.

Here are some of my learnings from the past few years on both sides of the table.

#1: Preparation is everything

If you are smart, you have attracted smart people to join your board. If they’re smart and successful, chances are they have days just as full as yours.

So do yourself and your investors a favor by allowing them to be prepared so that you can focus on discussions when you meet. There’s no bigger waste of time than reading something to someone that they could have read in advance.

Send over the board meeting agenda with all attachments until no later than two days before the meeting. Track and answer questions directly via comments in a Google Drive document or track them separately on a shared list (you could use or for this). Get as many detail questions answered as possible so that you can focus on the things that really matter during the meeting. Strategic decisions, hiring, vision and the likes.

#2 Keep the reporting separate from the board meetings

This one is related to #1. Don’t mix reporting with board meetings. Meetings are there to discuss things. Reporting is one-way communication. It’s data supply and it should always be done in written form and ahead of time. Whether you do it via Google Sheets, Slack or any other form of communication, give your investors access to the right amount of data. They don’t need to know every little detail – that’s your job. They need to understand how the business is doing and most probably they will need less than ten KPIs to do that.

#3 Provide a brief look back

There’s a lot of dynamic in your company – and that’s ok. Marketing channels that you thought would work well might not perform as expected. People you hired and bet big on might not deliver what they promised. Sales deals that were 99% safe might not go through. That’s ok and you should not focus on what has happened in the past.

But provide your investors with a summary of what went well and what didn’t go too well since you last met to bring everyone onto the same page. To do that, a system that has worked well for me in the past is to ask yourself: What were the three biggest highlights and the three biggest lowlights since we last met? Write them down as one sentence each. Start the meeting by giving a brief commentary – less than five minutes should be enough to set the context for everyone.

#4 Focus on the challenges ahead

You’ve found smart people to invest in your company. Now use them and pick their brains on the things where you need help. Ideally, you will have less than three topics to discuss. This allows you to dive deep and get real value from your investors.

If you’ve followed #1, you’ve already supplied your investors with the necessary background info and you can dive right in. Ask your investors not for advice, but experiences that relate to the topics at hand (a trick I’ve learned from Entrepreneur’s Organization).

Have they been in a similar situation? How did they react? What went well? What didn’t go well? Were they able to deduct some general rules from that situation? If so, do they apply to your business? From past experience, did everyone come to the same conclusions? If not, in what are they different? In what way are they similar?

#5 Vision and mission

The length of this block will depend on how many things you discussed in #4 and to which extent. But your learnings since the last meeting – what went well, what didn’t, who you hired, who you fired – almost certainly had an impact on your strategy and may call for a slight or drastic shift. And that may influence your company’s vision and mission. When investors invest, they almost always do so because they buy into your vision and mission. So make sure to keep them up to date. If they invest in startups, they will understand that the vision and mission are very dynamic in the early days of a company. Just don’t leave them in the dark.

Ask yourself – how do your learnings influence how you’ll do business? Let your investors know and make sure they’re in the same boat as you. They bring a backpack full of different experiences with them. Profit from this diverse set of experiences and use it to avoid making mistakes someone else made before.

#6 Take-Aways & meeting minutes

Keep track of the decisions you make and the to-dos that come up. Intros that you want your investor to make, additional material you want to send them or interviews where you want them to vet some of your key people. Make sure to track these to-dos in a place where they are actionable and can’t be easily forgotten. I’ve sat in countless meetings where we realized at the beginning of the meeting that almost none of the to-dos from the last meeting were done. We kept them in a Google Doc at the end of the meeting notes – and they didn’t go anywhere from there.

Use software like Sendtask, Asana or similar to hold everyone accountable.

Also, keep minutes in a useful format. No one will ever go through a five-page minute document quoting every single thing that was said in that meeting. Boil the minutes down to a summary that captures the essence of what was discussed and decided. Notes longer than two pages have almost zero chance of ever being read.


Be respectful of time – yours and that of your investors. For a valuable board meeting, provide all information in advance in written form. Keep reporting separate from board meetings. Give a brief summary of what has happened since the last meeting and point out three highlights and three lowlights. Then, deep-dive on a maximum of three topics. Make sure to hear what experiences your investors have to share and how they can apply to your business. Finally, make sure your meetings produce actionable takeaways. Keep summarized meeting minutes and actionable to-do items. Use tools like Sendtask or Asana to hold people accountable.

What is your experience with board meetings? What tip should I add to this list?

How We Came Up With The Idea For Sendtask


The idea for Sendtask developed over time. Here’s how it shifted into its current form.

The four (unconnected) dimensions of productivity apps

About two years ago I started thinking about my frustration with how unconnected my productivity apps are. I think most productivity tools can be attributed to one of four core categories: Communication, Scheduling, Tasks and Data storage. In each category, I use at least one tool. My productivity suite on my desktop looks like this:

Communication: Apple Mail, Whatsapp Web, Slack, Facebook Messenger
Scheduling: Google Calendar, Fantastical, Apple Calendar
Tasks: Asana, Trello, Text notes
Data Storage: Evernote, Google Drive, Dropbox

What frustrated me was how many manual interactions were needed between these apps. For example, when I received a task via email, I had to manually switch to Asana and create that task manually. Once that task was completed, I also had to manually go back and let people know that this was done. When I got an event invitation or agreed on a meeting time on Slack or Whatsapp, I had to manually go to my calendar, ask the other participants for their calendar emails to invite them and then send the invite. During the meeting, I had to manually create a Google Drive Document or Evernote and keep track of meeting notes. Then, I had to send out those minutes after the meeting.


What frustrated me was that a) it seemed so simple to detect events and tasks in any of those channels; and b) that there’s no interface to create links and link objects. For example, if I could link the calendar event of a meeting with the corresponding meeting notes and the corresponding task list, I could avoid a lot of duplication. This way, if I were to go back to that meeting, it would be easy to find all connected parts. When I’m working on a task that came out of this meeting, I’d like to have a quick link to jump to the meeting notes. This way I don’t need to copy all the necessary info into the task. Once that task is completed, I’d like to have a quick way to inform the rest of the participants.

Out of this frustration grew an idea with project name «blacksteak». I’ve started to work on it myself and soon hired a developer to progress quicker. To show these links between all the apps, you have to integrate with all of them or re-create the UI. We opted for the 2nd route. 

Prototype and UI

project-blacksteakA screenshot of the Blacksteak UI

The prototype had a UI for an email client, its own calendar, online storage and a task list. The UI had a difference to all the clients that existed – it offered a ‘context sidebar’ on the right side. This sidebar served three purposes:

– It offered the user to create a new linked object. E.g. when you were looking at an email, it offered to create a related task. That task was automatically shared with all the people in the email with a link in both directions.
– It offered one-click creation of new items based on the content it recognized. If an email contained information about an event, the sidebar offered a way to create it with one click. Similarly, you could also invite the people who are in the email.
– It showed links to previously linked items. If you created the task and the event mentioned in the examples above, you had a one-click link to them.

The prototype was already useful to me but it lacked a lot of the functionality that a user expects. We could have added some of it but often it was not available via some the products’ API. Also, going the Interface route meant that we had to champion in at least four productivity interfaces where large corporations (think Apple, Google and Facebook) have impressive teams working on getting just one of them right.

Undoubtedly there was also a benefit of having all four dimensions in the same UI – the same shortcuts, the same button placement and other standardization meant that a user only had to learn one interface instead of four or more separate ones.

Testing with users

We started to show our prototype to test users and got very mixed feedback. Some of them saw the long term benefits and would have given the app a try once we added more functionality s.t. it could replace 80% of their existing app’s feature set. Others didn’t see big enough of a pain point with their current setup. Yes, they were doing all these manual steps, but they had always done it this way and got used to it. It didn’t seem like a big problem to them.

However, one thing was common for all their feedback: They all liked our task manager and the idea that they could share tasks instead of emails with anyone. We had built a very simplistic version because we realized that Trello, Asana, Podio, and the likes didn’t offer a way to share a task with anyone via email. Users always needed to create an account first before they were able to receive tasks. That didn’t work for us of course because we wanted people to be able to create and share tasks via a one-click action from the sidebar. If you first had to convince your collaborators to create an account with one of the aforementioned products and then to go through some training to know how to use these tools, we knew it wouldn’t work.

Sendtask was born

This is where the core idea for Sendtask came from. I have been an early user of Asana, Trello and others. Tool like these made our internal workflows at mediasign much more efficient. But I couldn’t use these tools with our clients or some 3rd party providers like lawyers, accountants, etc. – I would always revert to my ‘old habits’ (read: email) when working with people outside our own team.

We spent a good amount of time researching the market because we were sure that someone must have built a tool that does this. The solution seemed obvious to us: Build a tool with a more simple interface that doesn’t need any explanation. Also, allow users without an account to authenticate via a link that they receive in the email that notifies them about the task.

We couldn’t find a tool that did this in a clean and simple way and decided to go ahead and build it ourselves. Most of our test users liked the idea and we realized that this was a larger pain point for them. This is how we decided to focus on just one feature of project «blacksteak» and how Sendtask was born.