Ask Me Anything - MeisterTask Senior Product Manager

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Andrew Lapidus
Andrew Lapidus Admin, MeisterLobster, EN Business Posts: 1,012 Community Admin
edited September 2023 in Announcements & Updates

Hi everyone!

We're thrilled to announce our very first Meister Community AMA (Ask Me Anything!) — your chance to probe the minds of Meister's product, development, and design teams.

Keep reading to learn more about our first guest: Liis Monson, Senior Project Manager for MeisterTask. And don't forget to submit your questions before February 26th!

**EDIT** : Liis provided her answers on March 1st - If you'd like to see her answers, scroll down to the comments or click here!

Best,

Andrew


🙋‍♂️ How to Participate:

  • Submit any questions you'd like to ask Liis in the comments below.
  • Please limit yourself to a maximum of three questions to allow Liis to answer questions from as many users as possible.
  • Please post your questions by the end of the day on February 26th.
  • Check back on March 2nd to see Liis' answers!

👋 About Liis:

Liis took up the reins as MeisterTask’s Senior Product Manager in April 2021. Since joining the team, she has transformed MeisterTask into one of the world’s most intuitive task management systems and distinguished herself as an integral member of the MT "Product Trinity" (Product Manager, Product Designer and Software Engineers).

Liis describes creating products at Meister as her “true calling.”


Feel free to ask Liis about, well, anything! Topics might include:

  • Her vision for the future of MeisterTask
  • The Meister design philosophy
  • How MeisterTask fits into the wide world of task management tools
  • What it's like working at Meister
  • Her favorite MeisterTask Feature
  • Anything else which might interest you!

Best Answers

  • Liis Monson
    Liis Monson MeisterLobster, EN Business Posts: 15 MeisterTask Senior Product Manager
    Answer ✓
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    This might be a somewhat surprising answer, but I believe that what sets MeisterTask apart from the competition is not any one single feature, but rather its "lack" of certain features.

    We always aim to provide users with beautiful, elegant and smart defaults that satisfy 80% of their workflows, rather than build every feature possible in order to cover the remaining 20%. How to strike that balance and still keep the product evolving and users happy? That's the tricky part. 😊

    The feature that I'm most proud of is the free trials framework that we shipped last year. Unfortunately, it's not really visible for our existing customers, but it has made a big difference to the way we run the business side of the product, and I am immensely proud of the incredible technical work that went into this more or less "invisible" feature.

  • Liis Monson
    Liis Monson MeisterLobster, EN Business Posts: 15 MeisterTask Senior Product Manager
    edited March 2023 Answer ✓
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    What an excellent question! As I said above - not everything customers request can actually be built. If we did, we'd simply end up with a "Frankenstein Product" that would be nearly unusable for everyone!

    As for how I say "no" — I'm a firm believer that when people understand each other, all kinds of messages can be conveyed. This means giving concrete explanations about why a request cannot be fulfilled and being transparent about our current priorities and constraints.

    In all cases, however, we try our hardest to work with customers to find a workaround. We don't want anyone to be "left alone" with their problem - despite the Product Manager being mean and saying "no". 😊

  • Liis Monson
    Liis Monson MeisterLobster, EN Business Posts: 15 MeisterTask Senior Product Manager
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    A great question from an international user in Australia! :)

    While MeisterTask is best known in the German-speaking world, we are already a global company with strong markets on several continents, from DACH & North America to Brazil & Japan. In my opinion, expanding our reach is a matter of lazer-focused company & marketing strategy.

    But whatever we do and wherever we expand, I strongly believe that we have to stay true to our key differentiators: design, simplicity, excellent companion apps, and a focus on the data protection & security measures which are so essential for many of our EU customers.

  • Liis Monson
    Liis Monson MeisterLobster, EN Business Posts: 15 MeisterTask Senior Product Manager
    Answer ✓
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    Could you describe, from your perspective as a project manager, the desired effect of beautiful design and visual appearance on the affection of users, and their situational and long-term motivation to use MT? How do you feel about it as a user yourself?

    Being simple, elegant and beautiful is one of our key USPs (unique selling points) which I believe we should never lose. This philosophy has so far served us well, and goes beyond simply looking pretty. It has a clear business benefit for our customers, most concretely measured in the low onboarding costs of new departments and teams and the "user delight" that ensures a smooth adoption.

    Personally, I find balancing simplicity with feature requests and workflows definitely one of the core challenges of my job as MeisterTask Product Manager, but I enjoy it immensely while using the product. Especially after I have spent some time playing around with our competitors - it is always a pleasure to return to MT!

  • Liis Monson
    Liis Monson MeisterLobster, EN Business Posts: 15 MeisterTask Senior Product Manager
    edited March 2023 Answer ✓
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    @Rooster McNugget : Since you must have a lot of meetings and appointments I would be very interested in how you manage your daily life in the office and what tools you use, except the MeisterSuite of course! 😉

    At Meister we're fortunate enough to have hybrid workplace, and I work from home at least 2 days a week. Wednesdays at Meister are meeting-free for everyone, and I've had a long battle to also clear my Fridays from meetings as well. I feel that I'm most productive in a flow of deep work, so I get a lot done in these two days, and the other days are dedicated to the sort of collaboration that allows our team to combine our different intelligences, talents, and expertises to ultimately produce our best work. I believe that combining these practices in a hybrid workplace is definitely one of the best ways to achieve good productivity!

    When it comes to tools outside of the Meister Suite, I use the MeisterTask <-> Slack integration a ton in order to combine synchronized work with async work.

    I also really like a good old physical notebook I can write in! As the Product Manager of an online collaboration tool this might seem shocking, but I still believe there's magic in having to slow down my brain and use a pen. 😀

    I also make use of quarterly and weekly planning schemes, as well as a daily "wrap-up" — I like to have a clear overview of where I've been and where I'm going. I feel it also helps me to put my workplace thoughts and anxieties behind me when I leave work.

    In order to fulfill my PM duties, I also use Product Board, Figma, the entire Google Suite, and analytics tools like Amplitude and Metabase on a daily basis.

  • Liis Monson
    Liis Monson MeisterLobster, EN Business Posts: 15 MeisterTask Senior Product Manager
    edited March 2023 Answer ✓
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    Being a socially responsible and ethical company is one of Meister's core values. I think this question would be best answered by @Marlene Lechner, who has spearheaded a lot of our CSR efforts, so I'll tag her here.

    BUT I would also like to answer this question by describing some of my personal efforts: My husband and I have made several decisions based purely on our environmental footprint. Here are some examples which anyone who reads this could try:

    - we decided to move from a house to a flat, as it's more economical

    - we try to only consume food that is grown within a reasonable distance from Vienna: mostly local and seasonal products (get those bananas outta here! 😊)

    - we only consume meat one day a week.

    - we've sold our car and now exclusively use public transport or car sharing

    - we always try to consume organic (bio), local, small production and environmentally friendly products: this applies to food, clothing, cleaning products, furniture etc.

    - at least half of the contents of our home is second-hand, e.g. furniture and furnishings, appliances, etc.

    - We've had "fixed-size" wardrobes for over 10 years. We don't add an item unless we get rid of something else. As we try to only buy sustainable clothes we really like, this essentially means that we mostly only shop when the old things fall apart

    However, I have to admit that we have one weakness: traveling. We are avid travelers, so while we'd like to think we are rather sustainable, it is probably not enough to offset the flight footprint sadly 😕

  • Liis Monson
    Liis Monson MeisterLobster, EN Business Posts: 15 MeisterTask Senior Product Manager
    Answer ✓
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    @JanaIngendahl Did you already received requests for sustainability information from customers/ investors? Especially in software selection some of my customers are including sustainability factors in the evaluation process and look closely on resource use of the tools they purchase.

    To be honest, the (sad) answer is "no". As I wrote above, one of our primary values is to be socially and environmentally responsible, but this value hasn't yet been identified as a significant factor in most customers' selection criteria. In spite of this, it remains a significant company goal! I'll refer this again to @Marlene Lechner!

  • Liis Monson
    Liis Monson MeisterLobster, EN Business Posts: 15 MeisterTask Senior Product Manager
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    Okay! As evening deepens in Vienna, I'm going to call it a night. Thank you all so much for the questions, and sorry if I didn't manage to get to yours during this time! It's been a real pleasure read your responses and see this community grow. Hope to see more of you soon in these forums!

    Best wishes,

    Liis

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Answers

  • Andrew Lapidus
    Andrew Lapidus Admin, MeisterLobster, EN Business Posts: 1,012 Community Admin
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    @Olaf Roeb @Cathy Fanning @Andres D'Andrea: thanks so much for the positive feedback, and the excellent questions so far! 😁 Really looking forward to this — Liis is an absolute legend!

  • JoiedeVivre
    JoiedeVivre EN Basic Posts: 65 Star Contributor
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    Hi Liis - thanks for taking the time to answer these questions! Not totally sure if this makes sense or if you'd even be allowed to answer:

    Do you see MeisterTask as being the flagship product of Meister and will MindMeister and MeisterNote be developed to compliment MT instead of the other way around?

  • Miša Hennin
    Miša Hennin Admin, MeisterLobster, EN Business, DE Advocate Posts: 1,506 Community Admin
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    Very exciting to see the first Q&A directly between user + product manager! Thanks for sharing your questions everybody!

  • Oliver Reh
    Oliver Reh EN Basic, MT Tester Posts: 2 Beginner
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    Hallo,

    Ich möchte das die einzelnen Karten in einem Board Automatisch die Kürzel von dem Namen des Bord bekommen um die Suche für mich zu vereinfachen z.B. E.mails schneller einer Karte zu zuordnen ... ist die Frage hier an dieser Stelle überhaupt richtig ? :-)

    Danke Gruß Oliver

  • Joerg Koper
    Joerg Koper DACH Partner, MT Tester, DE Business, EN Advocate Posts: 1,438 Community Leader
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    Moin @Oliver Reh 👋😉

    Die Frage ist hier leider nicht ganz so richtig platziert. Hier geht es quasi gerade um so etwas wie eine "Fragerunde" mit  Liis Monson. Wenn Du eine Funktionsanfrage einreichen möchtest, kannst Du das aber grundsätzlich gerne tun 🙂

    Schöne Grüße, Jörg

    Als Experten-Partner von Meister führe ich in meiner Agentur u. a. Workshops für die Integration der Meister Software durch. Hier in der Community freue ich mich auf den Austausch mit Euch und helfe bei Fragen zu MeisterTask, MeisterNote und MindMeister gerne weiter.

    Weitere Informationen findest Du auf agenturkoper.de und LinkedIn.

  • Miša Hennin
    Miša Hennin Admin, MeisterLobster, EN Business, DE Advocate Posts: 1,506 Community Admin
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    @JanaIngendahl I LOVE your questions! Very important topic 😀.

  • Lina
    Lina EN Basic, MT Tester Posts: 22 Active Contributor
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    I wanted to ask this as well, so I'll just upvote here! I

    'd also like to ask which feature or update to MeisterTask has been the one you see as the biggest game changer or separator from the competition, and which feature you are most proud of!

  • Sebastian Kraft
    Sebastian Kraft MT Tester, DE Business Posts: 3 Beginner
    edited February 2023
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    As I am using Meister as a kind of power-user as well for project- and multiproject steering, and as I am living in two technical worlds (apple and microsoft) I want to know:

    • when will it be possible to assign whole groups of guests to a whole lane (automation)
    • wenn will it be possible to use note by pencil
  • Rooster McNugget
    Rooster McNugget MT Tester, DE Business Posts: 649 Community Leader
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    @kraefti, LOVE the question about the MeisterNote pencil function! Would love to have that too!

    The impossible does not exist! The solution has just not been found yet!

  • Tajon
    Tajon EN Basic Posts: 3 New Here
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    Why is there no option for a fixed date in automations?