Q&A with Christian Müller: Digital Content Creation with MeisterNote and MeisterTask
Hello, and welcome to the September edition of our Use Case Q&A series!
In this series, we'll share real-life examples of how people use Meister products in a variety of industries - You'll find inspiration, tips and creative new ways to use our tools.
Today, we’re speaking with consultant and digital communication guru @Christian Müller about how and why his team uses MeisterNote and MeisterTask. Read on to learn how you, too, can develop a seamless workflow with our documentation and task management tools.
Hey Christian, thanks so much for being here! Please could you tell us a little about your background and how you came to work in consulting?
Thanks for having me and my team ☺️.
I started out as a social worker (Sozialpädagoge) in the educational sector. During these first years, I also interned for a very popular German career site, Karriere Bibel. I ended up freelancing as an author and editor there for four years. It was during this time that I discovered my passion for social media and digital communication. Two years later, I took a chance and jumped into social media consulting and freelance work full-time.
Let's fast forward to 2018, when my first colleague, Kira, came on board. Three years later, Alex joined us. We've been working as a small, flexible and (I like to think) competent team since.
Our focus is digital communication and digital work for welfare, social and educational organisations as well as non-profits. We develop communication strategies, implement content marketing initiatives, train and consult on digital tools like Meister's, and host workshops and keynotes.
Our motto: The digital world should empower us to do our jobs better without adding unnecessary complexity.
Thanks for explaining! Let's move on to the tools that help you work better without extra complexity...How did you first come across Meister?
I first came across MeisterTask a few years ago when I was responsible for the social innovation lab at Caritasverband für das Bistum Essen e.V. Our task and project management software wasn't working for us, and since we were a welfare organisation, privacy and security were vital in our search for a new tool. We knew MeisterTask valued security, and our IT department had a few MeisterTask licenses available. The next step was clear - My colleagues and I implemented MeisterTask in our workflow and never looked back.
More recently, my team and I recognised that the tools we were using were more complicated than they really needed to be. We researched alternatives for organisation and knowledge management and decided to trial MeisterTask and MeisterNote ☺️.
I'm pleased your IT department had some licenses available 😄! Can you summarise why your team at SOZIAL-PR chose Meister over other digital documentation tools?
Of course! It comes down to three factors:
- Ease of use - Our old tools were complicated and often got in our way. Meister products are intuitive and support focused work. Plus, since they're web-based, it doesn't matter which system or device we're on; we can work from anywhere!
- Reliable and stable - Although we had a few sync problems with MeisterTask at the beginning, after those first hiccups, all tools performed reliably and stably.
- Speed and simplicity - The biggest factor for us: MeisterNote is snappy and usable, even when our internet connection is weak. This is really important because we do all of our knowledge management, planning, and client work in MeisterNote. We can open a tab and start writing without friction - No idea gets forgotten.
In summary, Meister tools empower us to focus on our work instead of interfering with our processes.
You touched on how you use MeisterNote for knowledge management, planning, and client work - Could you expand on this?
Absolutely, MeisterNote is our knowledge and information hub. We document all of our processes, calls, meetings, strategies, ideas and more in it.
Since we are a remote team, our primary mode of communication is asynchronous. We write a lot, making MeisterNote our most-used tool, closely followed by MeisterTask. With all the information stored in MeisterNote, it's quickly becoming my second brain 😆.
Do you have a MeisterNote template you can show us?
We mostly use the templates provided by Meister - These allow us to dive right into the more important parts of the process. Alternatively, we structure our notes depending on the needs of the text or project. Sometimes, we also use SuperNote E-Ink-Tablets, so we include a PNG of the original protocol in MeisterNote (see below).
It's great to hear you're making good use of the ready-made templates! Do you have any other favourite MeisterNote features?
That's a tough question! We use and love most of the features 😄. If I had to narrow it down, I'd choose the following three:
- Comments and the ability to mention colleagues in threads: This allows us to discuss everything within the relevant context.
- The relatively new table of contents block: With this, we can create long and complex notes that are easily navigable.
- The sharing functionality: Sharing notes is absolutely crucial to our workflow (although we would love to be able to share on a per-page basis).
Oh, and here's a bonus feature because I couldn't stick to three 🤩. We love the ability to embed interactive media and documents!
On your website, you've written about how MeisterTask can solve organisational chaos. Can you share a template you use for this?
Here is a screenshot of our communications project:
It works in a simple Kanban board fashion - We move tasks from left to right depending on the stage they're in. In the first section, we simply collect topics and ideas. When we're ready to create a new piece of content (e.g. blog post, video, podcast), we move it across to the Offen (Open) section and give it a working title. Once we're actively working on the task, we move it to the In Arbeit (In Progress) section. The section Geplant (Scheduled) is for pieces that are not yet complete but have a quasi-final title and a publication date. Finally, Veröffentlicht (Published) contains published content - This section also gives us an overview of what social media content must be created. We are currently looking into automations that could be used to automate this part of the workflow.
Please check out the article linked in the question for more information about how we use MeisterTask.
We've covered MeisterNote and MeisterTask, so let's follow up with how you use them in coordination.
Yes, we often combine MeisterTask and MeisterNote in two ways:
- We create a task in MeisterTask, but (like most of our tasks) it is based on content creation, so we need MeisterNote. For example, if we are asked to develop a communications strategy, we normally have a lot of reference material, and the text we write is lengthy. To accommodate this, we create a corresponding note in MeisterNote with our ideas and link to it in the task.
- We create a note in MeisterNote, but we realise that the process is complex, so we need to make tasks in MeisterTask. For example, we write a draft for our blog or an idea for new content and notice mid-process that we must do many other things before we can publish it. How do we deal with this? We create tasks directly from our notes and delegate them to the team.
Approximately 40% of all our notes have a corresponding task at some point in time.
You talk about sustainable productivity on your blog. What is this principle, and how do MeisterNote and MeisterTask help you practice it?
Sustainable productivity is all about trust, focus and efficiency. MeisterTask, MeisterNote, and to a certain degree, MindMeister (which we use for project overview, content structure, strategic thinking, etc.) are essential to our sustainable productivity. Let me explain the connection between these values (trust, focus, efficiency), the principle (sustainable productivity) and the tools (Meister):
- Trust: Sustainable productivity means choosing tools that keep our information safe and compatible in the long run. Since Meister values privacy and security, we trust that we are safe.
- Focus and efficiency: We also care about using as few tools as possible when doing our work - Too many tools slow down workflows, exhausting time and mental resources. This was one of our great pain points pre-Meister. Since our switch to Meister, our internal structure has been simple and streamlined, enabling us to really focus on our work.
Finally, do you have any other resources you'd like to share with the Community?
Normally, I would highly recommend joining the Meister Community, but since we are already here, our readers know its value 🤩. Other than that, I can recommend a few tools and books.
- If you are like me and love writing by hand, I suggest taking a look at the SuperNote E-Ink Tablets. They are really great tools and can be, with a little work, integrated into a Meister workflow.
- For fans of analogue productivity methods, I recommend looking at the RoterFaden Taschenbegleiter or the FokusPlanner from X47, which I use for my day-to-day organisation.
- Deep Work by Cal Newport (A classic.)
- The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll (I do not use Bullet Journaling in its purest form, but I find a lot of its principles to be very beneficial.)
- For our German speakers, I recommend a lesser-known book called EN.DE - Entscheidungsorientiert denken by Matthias Büttner, one of the founders of X47. The title roughly translates to "decision-oriented thinking". The method itself is not very sophisticated or complex, but this is its strength - It's a simple and straightforward framework for managing decisions and complex situations!
Thank you for your time, Christian - How can users reach out to you for more information?
Thanks for having us and for your valuable work here. We really appreciate it.
My team and I are online at www.sozial-pr.net (in German). You can also find me on Mastodon, LinkedIn and, of course, the Meister Community. If you want to reach out directly, please feel free to use the Community DMs or my email address [email protected].
We are looking forward to comments, input, feedback and networking with the Community, and we are excited to see what Meister has in store for us in the future.