This is the first article in the remote work series focusing on the brain, how it functions, how these functions affect productivity and what strategies can be used to improve productivity.

Series Motto: Being busy is not the same as being productive

The topic of productivity has become popular in recent years. Many different methodologies have emerged, and tons of blog posts and articles have been written on the subject. This is especially true as the world continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Workplaces have implemented new, flexible strategies to comply with health codes and guidelines, which has changed how we identify “productivity”. Learning to connect and collaborate with each other efficiently through novel or optimized technologies has become a critical skill to succeed in our new reality.

This article is the first in a new series that seeks to explain basic concepts of how our brain functions. We will also explore how these functions affect our daily productivity and learn simple strategies to become more productive. The next articles in the series will explore some productivity-related methodologies and approaches that can be used in day-to-day life. Before we dive deep into these concepts though, it’s important to understand the main hero behind productivity: our brain.

 What does it mean to be productive?

Productivity, in very simple words, is the ability to do more (in terms of impact) in a given timeframe. This sounds simple but is extremely hard to tackle on a daily basis because of how our brains work. The art of productivity can be translated into a different task – how to organize our work to function around our brain’s limitations.

Our brain has a couple of interesting features that heavily influence productivity. In fact, these features indicate that our relatively modern concept of productivity is antithetical to the brain’s functional patterns and requirements:

  1. As a part of the body, it must be maintained.
  2. It wants to consume as little energy as possible.
  3. It is not designed for multi-tasking.
  4. It is easily distracted.
  5. It tends to store extraneous info.
  6. It craves rewards as frequently as possible.

Next, we’ll examine each of these points to improve our understanding of brain mechanics and how these mechanics influence our rates of productivity. Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate the functional limitations to improve our productivity.

Maintaining the brain

This might sound trivial at first, but the brain is affected by the body’s overall health as much as any other organs (maybe moreso). If we’re tired or frustrated, hungry or upset, these feelings affect the brain’s capabilities, including concentration, problem solving and memorization. This effect is especially intensified by lack of sleep or poor quality of sleep (often due to unhealthy sleeping habits).

A varied and nutrient-rich diet, physical activity, periods of rest, and healthy sleeping behaviors play an enormous role in productivity. We’ve all experienced difficulty focusing after a truncated night of sleep; With the boundary between work and play continuing to erode, and the perpetual connections offered by computers and smartphones, it becomes increasingly difficult to prioritize rest. In the long run, this pattern of behavior can destroy our productivity, and, more importantly, our health.

When discussing productivity, the brain-body connection is often skipped. It is also one of the hardest to address, since it requires self-discipline across different aspects of life and is heavily influenced by factors outside our control. In general, taking care of yourself is the best way to take care of your brain. Eating well, regularly exercising, and getting enough sleep are universal solutions to elevate how your body – and brain – perform. A healthy brain can stay focused, which is critical when talking about productivity.

Additionally, healthy brains can be trained. Stretching our brain through creative tasks, learning new skills, working through logic puzzles, and similar mental activities keep our brain in good shape. Ideally, those exercises shouldn’t be too connected to your daily work, so your brain can rest and train other areas.

Energy consumption

This tendency is a natural consequence of how living beings function. Keeping energy consumption at a minimum is a basic survival strategy implemented by plants and animal all over the world. Food provisioning might be hard at times, so it’s always better to save energy whenever possible. Our brain is one of the biggest energy consumers in our body. For the sake of efficiency, it can’t (and won’t) operate on maximum output all the time.

When a brain is engaged by a task that requires focus, it will stay switched on. If that focus is overextended or if the task fails to engage the brain, it will power down to conserve energy. This element of productivity is challenging to address because it requires an optimal balance between environment, internal engagement, and time.  

How can these factors be balanced to support productivity at work? Training and exercise, like the examples listed above, are one strategy. As with muscles, a well-trained brain will be able to work more efficiently and for longer periods of time. Other methods include reducing context switching and multi-tasking, which can help preserve energy levels.

Multitasking at a loss

This might not be clear at first but from a productivity perspective, our brain is not designed for real multitasking. It is amazing in terms of parallel input/signal processing (i.e. real-time image recognition, ability to manage all organs and limbs imperceptibly, etc.), but have you ever tried to recite the alphabet aloud and mentally count to ten at the same time? Even though both tasks are learned by small children, it is almost impossible to do both at the same time. Trying to force the brain to multi-task often leads to poor productivity outcomes.

Since our brain is not great at multi-tasking, we must engage in context switching. Context switching is the process of switching gears between tasks, tools, and projects. The costs of context switching include elevated risk of distraction and time wasted warming up to each new activity.

The solution is simple – reduce context switching as much as possible by focusing on one task at a time. Yet this simple solution is much more difficult to practice. In a modern work environment, many decisions must be made constantly, to both organize and execute tasks. This is a massive multi-tasking challenge for our brain; the solutions involve training the brain and structuring work processes and include time blocking, task grouping, and good planning. These strategies will be covered in the next articles in the series; for now, let’s say that we should limit multi-tasking and context switching as much as possible.

Primed for distraction

Here is a common scenario: you are “in the zone”, working on the next paragraph, speeding through lines of code, or unraveling a complex data set. Suddenly, something as simple as a notification or a call for a meeting destroys that flow completely.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to remain fully focused for long periods of time. This is especially true when the task is challenging or boring.

Thanks to other biomechanics in play, such as energy consumption, our brain is easily distracted by external triggers. In comparison, finding the same focused state or flow after being interrupted takes a lot more time and effort. This tendency toward distraction poses significant problems in the workplace, particularly when working on a major project that requires intense focus to complete.

In theory, removing distractions as much as possible will immediately boost productivity. Easier said than done. The problem lies in how to limit those distractions. This solution, again, requires self-discipline, a mental shift, and upfront investment in both environmental and functional processes. First, we need to have a comfortable, non-disruptive workspace. Second, we should try to limit external triggers as much as possible. If a quiet work environment is not possible, we can use headphones to remove external noise distractions.

The biggest distractor of them all is the stream of constant notifications from our devices. It’s a useful practice to disable notifications from email clients, mobile apps, chats, etc., at least during the time set aside for deep work. Doing so helps protect the engaged state of mind.

Dumping extraneous info

Our brain is an interesting beast. It is capable of processing and storing significant quantities of data. However, not all of that data is useful. In fact, information storage in the brain is comparatively inefficient, because the selected data can be quite random. We’ve all experienced the moment when a completely unrelated memory or piece of knowledge bubbles up to the surface. On the other hand, the brain can blank out entirely, so we have the uncomfortable feeling that we’re forgetting something important…

This is completely natural and revolves around how the brain actually stores ‘data’. However, these random, intrusive thoughts can be their own source of distraction, and struggling to recall information taxes the brain’s resources. This struggle becomes a mental pain point we nurse like a toothache, fracturing our focus and cutting into our productivity.

Our brain tends to remember everything (it is called a short memory) but only if it must. This, in fact, is one of the easiest problems to address by removing the burden of remembering from our brain. We can accomplish this feat by creating notes (manual or digitalized), using task boards like AirSend, or converting incoming requests into actionable items. Using these support systems immediately frees up your brain’s resources and alleviates that on-edge feeling from struggling to recall information.

What the brain craves

The brain craves frequent prizes and rewards, much like a young toddler. This can be a physical prize (sugar, salt, or oil-based foods) or a mental one (binge-watching a favorite Netflix series). However, these cravings can become their own highly-effective, internal distractions; when paired with external distractions,  cravings have a major, detrimental impact on productivity.

Since the brain wants the easy reward, it’ll reach for low-hanging fruit. This often takes the form of replying to emails or messages. This action results in immediate, positive feedback from having completed a task.

However, this is a huge trap for long-term productivity. The work has been done, but there’s a good chance it wasn’t the most important task. What’s more, our brain constantly tempts us to shift to easy-win tasks, which again leads to context switching and distractions.

Our brains need to be rewarded to stay motivated and attached to bigger targets and goals. The problem comes from the brain’s desire for yet another “success” hit, leading to the formation of unproductive patterns. When we routinely opt to complete low-priority tasks, we waste time and energy that we could have spent making real progress on a meaningful project.

In terms of productivity, the important element is to keep these low-priority tasks from affecting deep work sessions. Another strategy is to divide huge tasks that are hard to grasp into smaller, action items. These smaller-scale tasks can be addressed in a shorter period of time, giving us that needed mental reward while working toward a larger goal.


Through this article, we have reviewed some of the brain’s functions and limitations, how those limitations impact our work and focus, and some general approaches to improve our productivity. Some of the approaches mentioned above are simple to apply; some are extremely hard, requiring self-discipline, consistency, and specific training goals. All in all, these strategies are worth the effort to achieve the payout of productivity: the ability to do more in the same amount of time. This definition leads to a rather interesting conclusion – you can stop being busy by becoming productive.

Article written by Tomasz Formański

Welcome back to our podcasts series! It’s been a while since we last made one of these, and with all the hubbub going around, we felt that it might be time to make another post on the latest podcast. Today’s theme is going to be productivity. Without further ado, let’s dive into the best three productivity podcasts of 2020.

Gary Vaynerchuck– GaryVee Audio Experience

With a rise in companies moving to remote work, it is only natural that we would feel unproductive. When we are at home, we don’t usually want to do things related to work. BUT, with Gary Vaynerchuck, vlogger, investor, and CEO, we are bound to feel some sort of inspiration to be productive.

The GaryVee Audio Experience is a podcast about getting work done through inspiration,  keynote speeches on marketing and business, interviews, fireside chats, and thoughts from Gary Vaynerchuck himself. The majority of his episodes are over an hour-long, but it is worth the listen to when working or even relaxing. In this blog post, we are going to focus on one of our favorite episodes to give you a feel of what the podcast is like. 

You Need to Focus on The Process

In essence, this 16-minute episode talks about how we need to block out the outside noise and focus on the process. Do not judge yourself. Make decisions, correlate it to your calendar, do not overthink, and make the right call at that moment, and just move.

Though the majority of his episodes are business and marketing-driven, his episodes can apply to anyone. Anyone looking to move forward, to be inspired, to make a change, and essentially to hustle. 

On to the next podcast.

Focus on This

At the title indicates, this podcast is designed to help you get focused and stay focus. Focus on This is the perfect podcast designed to help you stay productive. Hosts, Courtney Baker and Blake Stratton provide weekly 30-minute productivity tips, guidance, and more.

The episode we will be focusing on is episode 30: 5 tips for staying focused while working from home. 

Episode 30: 5 Tips for Staying Focused While Working from Home

In this episode, the hosts discuss why daily rituals are important, which components of your rituals can stay the same, ideas for how to replace workouts and family activities when your schedule is thrown off, the one practice everyone needs to maintain to help avoid distractions, and suggestions for finding the “focus spot” in your home. 

Some key advice that they mention is to one, double-down on rituals. Your morning and evening rituals can stay the same, however, learn how to shift from workday rituals to work-at-home ritual. In other words, figure out your workday startup, and transition it to working from home.

Secondly, lean on your big three. Your top three tasks that you will take on for the day. To be an overachiever, you should also list your weekly big three. The daily big three and weekly big three are the backbones of focus.

Finally, find your focus spot in the house. Where in your house can you get into the zone and work without distraction? We mention some ways on how to create the perfect focus spot, here.

Beyond the To-Do List

Beyond the To-Do List is a podcast series dedicated to providing tips and strategies for maximizing productivity in all areas of your life. Host Erik Fisher interviews people who are implementing productivity techniques in their own careers and personal lives. This podcast is a great listen to because not only does it feature successes, but it also features failures and the lessons learned from them. The episode we will be focusing on is Daniel Clark on Using Music for Better Focus, Relaxation, Sleep, and Meditation

Daniel Clark on Using Music for Better Focus, Relaxation, Sleep, and Meditation

In summation, Daniel Clark, CEO of, encourages focus, productivity, relaxing, etc, through an AI-driven music program.  The whole goal is to get you to feel focus, relaxed, etc. through music. The result is bringing out the best version of yourself.


There are plenty of podcasts out there that are great for productivity, and while we did not mention them this time, we do plan on making more productivity podcasts posts. We know we have barely scratched the surface of productivity podcasts. Stay tuned for another post on the next best three podcasts of 2020.

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.

The ideal digital workspace should offer a combination of capabilities, such as communicating, sharing and task management, that enable you to get work done from any device and any location. Team chats and document sharing tools are an important part of a digital workspace. While workspaces are typically used in a group or team context, a personal workspace is a little bit different. It is a space of your own to organize your personal files, notes, and tasks.

Does such a place even exist? Yes! Check out our video below in which we show you how to build the ideal personal workspace using AirSend

How to Build Your Personal WorkSpace Using AirSend

The Works

In the video above we give the example of making a personal workspace for school. When it comes to school, one usually needs to know their schedule, assignments, future due dates, exams, and key points that their professor has said five times over the course of 50 minutes. AirSend gives you the capabilities to manage all that you need for classes in one place.

Another example can be having a creative workspace or even a work workspace. When meeting with your department, and your boss gives you some tasks to work on, AirSend can be your solution. You can now create action items on the spot, while also inputting notes to yourself as a reminder.

Further, if you are a fan of recording meetings, but do not like having to go through different applications to get the audio, you can now instantly upload your recording to AirSend. Instantly uploading your recording means that you now have one place to refer to your recording. In your own personal workspace.

How to Email Files to Your AirSend Channels

Share Images, Links, Videos, and Notes Across your Devices

Think of AirSend as a multitool. Multitools are the tools that do it all. AirSend gives you all that you need to make your personal workspace convenient, efficient, and effective.

With having a built-in actions list, you now have the ability to keep track of all your to-do’s. Having your own customizable notebook (wiki), also allows you to make mental notes to yourself, so you do not forget it.

Best of all, you can access AirSend across various platforms, such as desktop/mobile apps, browsers, and email. Similar to Opera Flow, AirSend allows you to share and keep links, images, videos, and notes across your computers and mobile phones. Think of it as a seamless connection between your phone and your personal computer. With seamless sharing, AirSend allows you to take your workspace-on-the-go.

Today, technology continuously evolves. The way we work, communicate, and interact will also continue to evolve. With this in mind, there should be an emphasis on workflow productivity. The questions we must ask ourselves is how or what can we do to further integrate technology into the way we work, communicate, and interact?

The answer: a digital workspace. AirSend, offers the ideal workspace that helps with personal or team organization.

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.

In our previous weekly roundup, we discussed the latest trends in maintaining productivity. In summation to our last weekly round up, having breaks, eliminating wastes or unusable items, and maximizing soft skills are a few ways to keep the productivity train rolling.

In this blog post, we are going to list three more latest trends to productivity. In doing so, your productivity train will have another addition to its line. Let’s begin. 

Finding your Sweet Spot

Balance with two balls

Finding a sweet spot in your productivity is what will help you find a balance in all the tasks you have to do. In other words, a sweet spot equals balance.

Most people often feel drained at the midpoint of their day because they put the majority of their energy to the tasks at the beginning. Because of this, most people’s output is drastically decreased. Having balance initiates equal input and output of energy to tasks throughout the day.

So, how do you find balance? Well, everybody is different. Some people like to take on their frog at the beginning of the day, and others like to start small then big. It is up to you to find your sweet spot in life. Balance your tasks the way you need to in order to result in greater productivity.

Positivity is your Friend! 

Having a positive outlook keeps your mind at bay from the stressful territories that wish to encapsulate your thoughts. It takes energy to be negative. Rather than putting that energy to negativity, utilize it towards your tasks.

Optimism comes naturally. The more work we get done, the more accomplished we feel, and thus feeling great. Remind yourself that you can get the job done, or treat yourself to your favorite coffee. Keep your positive wheels turning by having or doing the things that make you happy. 

Wake up 1 Hour Early Everyday

Girl waking up in room and stretching

I know, I know. No one wants to wake up earlier than they have to, but believe us when we say this method works. Waking up one hour earlier gives you time to do things for yourself.

During this hour do the things that you want to get done for yourself. Read a book, make some coffee and watch The Golden Girls, or whatever show you like, lay in bed for an hour, or organize your to-do list.

Basically, this hour is for you. Do something that will make you feel awake, ready to take on the world. Even walking or tending to your garden, if you have one, is a great way to start. Waking up an hour early gives your brain time to start turning its wheels, feeling motivated, and essentially feeling happy. 


There are plenty of hacks, tricks, methods, and tactics to become more productive. Of course, that’s our job to tell you what the latest trends are, so stick around for next time to see the latest trends. To briefly cover this week’s productivity motto: Implement balance, be positive, and wake up an hour early to start your day off right. 

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.

Introducing AirSend’s new weekly theme…drum roll please…productivity trends!! Every Friday, we will be releasing a new post on the latest productivity trends that are happening in the world. We figured, instead of us giving you great advice, let everyone else give them to you. For more productivity advice, check out our podcast recommendation. Without further ado, let’s begin with the first current trend. 

Break Time! 

According to a recent study done by AtmanCo, quantity is no longer equivalent to quality. In other words, the more time you work (quantity), the less quality you produce. “Less can be sometimes more,” (Roy, 2019). Based on their study, it is concluded that taking short breaks to move around, stretch, socialize, or even contemplating a screensaver, “can increase concentration and performance at work,” (Roy, 2019).

Zero Waste

Two people recycling

What is Zero Waste you might ask? You didn’t? Well, we asked for you anyway. In the past year, Zero Waste has increased in popularity. Not only does it benefit the environment, but it has also been proven to make those who implement the strategy more productive. According to Mandy Gilbert, founder, and chief executive of Creative Niche, Zero Waste involves, “eradicating your workplace operations so that not one ounce of garbage goes into the landfill,” (2019). By taking on the challenge of Zero Waste, goals and challenges are created that can help bring your team together, i.e. bonding. Gilbert further mentions that setting goals and benchmarks is a great way to keep everyone involved, and therefore more motivated and connected to the cause. 

Maximizing Soft Skills!

Due to the ever-present influence of our new and upcoming generation, soft skills have become one of the top leading productivity trends. “Soft skills are the personal attributes, personality traits, inherent social cues, and communication abilities needed for success on the job,” (Doyle 2020). Essentially soft skills are similar to emotions, the ability to create and innovate, and characterize a persons’ interaction with others. The way soft skills implement further productivity is by allowing expressive creativity, communication, and leadership skills. After all, creativity leads to innovation. For more information on understanding soft and hard skills, check out this article, here.  


There are plenty of hacks, tricks, methods, and tactics to become more productive. Of course, that’s our job to tell you what the latest trends are, so stick around for next week to see the latest, latest trends. To briefly cover this week’s productivity motto: take breaks, get rid of unconventional work items, and embrace your creativity/soft skills. 

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.

The top three 2020 health trends that can make it easier for you to achieve your goals.
The top three 2020 health trends that can make it easier for you to achieve your goals.

How are you doing? The end of January is a great time to check-in with yourself on the goals you set at the beginning of the year. Hopefully, we’re all still working hard at our new year resolutions. If not, no worries. This blog post is here to give you that extra push you need to keep going.

Whether your resolutions are to be healthier, increase work performance, improve financial well-being, or a combination of those, these top three 2020 health trends can make it easier for you to achieve your goals. Here are the top current health trends to increase wellness and boost productivity.

Trend #1: Meditation

Source: unDraw

Meditation has been mainstream a while now, and it remains a crowd favorite for everything from stress-relief to anti-aging. Other health benefits of meditation include:

As you can see, many of the benefits you can get from meditation have a clear connection to productivity.

So how do you start?

If you’re tech-savvy, there are meditation and mindfulness apps that can help. Two top-rated ones are Calm and Headspace. There are also many videos and articles with simple step-by-step instructions. Here’s a good one to start with: Go to Video >>>

No matter how you choose to start, the important thing is to do it consistently, even if it’s just three minutes a day.

Trend #2: Healthy Snacks

Source: unDraw

What is your go-to snack in the middle of the afternoon when you just want something to nibble? If your answer is a bag of chips or a candy bar, this next health trend is for you.

It’s easy to overlook what our snacking habits do to our health and work performance, but what you snack on can have a big impact. For example, most chips and candy bars are 150 – 200 calories per serving and high in carbohydrates. Eat a few per day and say goodbye to your fitness goals and hello to carb hangovers — both barriers to a healthy, focused, and productive you.

So what should you have instead?

Here are some alternatives that will satisfy your hunger and keep you healthy and productive:

Like most things in life, the key to healthy snacking is finding a good balance. Don’t be afraid to explore and keep switching it up until you find what works for you.

Trend #3: Fitness Challenges

Source: unDraw

Studies show a positive correlation between physical movement and workplace well-being and productivity. This isn’t surprising considering the benefits of exercise. Exercise improves sleep, mental health, and mood. It also tells your body to release chemicals that enhance brain structure and function.

We all know that we need to work out. The problem is getting ourselves off the couch. If working out feels like a chore or you’ve been having trouble getting started, a fitness challenge might help.

Fitness challenges appeal to our competitiveness. Many also come with the additional benefit of community support and accountability. Here are a few popular ones to consider:

Ready, get set, go!

Being healthy and more successful are the most common new year resolutions, and they go hand-in-hand. Taking steps to improve your mental and physical health will always positively impact productivity.

Wishing you a healthy, productive, and successful 2020!

The AirSend Team

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace for professionals to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you as your business grows here.

We’ve all been there before. We experience the high of being productive, and then one day we just stop. We aren’t experiencing a crisis or anything (at least most of us aren’t), but we just experience the feeling of unproductivity. Telling ourselves to be productive isn’t doing anything, therefore we don’t. Well, that all ends now. Here at AirSend, we have come up with a list of disciplines that is guaranteed to keep the productivity train in motion. 

Stop Multitasking.

While the idea of multitasking sounds amazing, it actually slows down the productivity train. Having multiple tabs opens actually increases stress, and reminds us that we have unfinished assignments. Pace yourself! Take your time and create a schedule of what you will accomplish. In essence, learn how to manage your time. It’s not easy, but once you get the hang of time management, productivity becomes much easier.

Take Breaks.

While it may seem like taking scheduled breaks periodically is counterintuitive, it actually improves concentration. If you have a set of tasks ahead of you or a long task, scheduled breaks maintain performance levels. Give your mind a refresher. Taking 15-minute breaks three-five times a day is suggested. Lie down, color, eat, watch your favorite youtube video, knit, exercise, read, do whatever you need to do to relax and refresh yourself. Additionally, having scheduled breaks gives you something to look forward to. 

Add Aesthetics to Your Life.

Research shows that adding pleasing elements to your workspace can increase productivity by up to 15 percent. Add things that will make you smile such as, candles, knick-knacks, pen collection, motivational signs, whatever makes you happy. By having aesthetic, you will feel more inclined to be productive; simply because you have things around you that make you smile. 

Eat a Live Frog!

Mark Twain once said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” It’s a metaphor, calm down. Don’t actually go hunting for a live frog. The ‘eat the live frog’ technique is actually an immense asset to productivity. Brian Tracy explains this technique. Summed up, your frog is the most crucial task on your to-do list. It is usually the task we tend to save for last or even procrastinate.

Well, according to Tracy, the key to reaching high levels of performance and productivity, is to actually conquer your frog first thing in the morning. “If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first,” (Tracy). In essence, if you have multiple crucial tasks, take on the hardest, or in this case the ugliest, one. “Discipline yourself to begin immediately and then to persist until the task is complete before you go on to something else,” Tracy.

Get Organized and Limit Distractions.

This is a two-in-one double-decker sandwich. Research says people who have messy workspaces tend to be less efficient and more frustrated. Note that being organized is different from having an aesthetic workspace. Aesthetics= happiness; similarly, clutter=sadness. To improve your mental help and work efficiency, retire all things unnecessary from your workspace; and this includes distractions such as cell-phones, iPods (if those still exist), books, lotion, chapstick, chargers, unnecessary tabs open, etc. If it helps, mute your notifications, so you don’t have a waterfall of notifications pouring down your screen. 

Follow these disciplines, and I guarantee your productivity train will be full-speed ahead. 

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. With AirSend, we apply the aesthetics, multitasking, and organization. See how AirSend can help you.

How the AirSend brand came to be.
How the AirSend brand came to be.

Running a business has been described as “insomniatic,” “constant,” and “challenging.” It’s not for everyone, but for those who choose entrepreneurship, the process and result of creating a new brand and launching a product or service can be highly rewarding. The excitement and sense of accomplishment that come from solving a problem and sharing your solution with the world far outweigh the stress of never-ending coffee breaks and sleepless nights.

AirSend began as a desire to make something new that would help take us to the next level of success as a company with prior experience in file storage and sharing.

As with many bootstrapped start-up product launches, the story of AirSend is one of camaraderie, vision, and leadership. We went from product concept to MVP launch in four months and created a digital workspace for professionals and creatives that has already begun to garner high praise from users.

We wanted to share our story because we think it could be helpful to other entrepreneurs.

These are the lessons we learned through the process of creating the AirSend brand story to launch our MVP.

Lesson #1: Every good solution begins with a worthy problem.

The best products and services make your customers’ lives easier, and the way to do that is to solve a problem.

So how do you find a worthy problem?

We used three criteria to find our problem space.

  1. The problem needed to be personal — something the team could relate to with ease.
  2. The problem needed to be an issue faced by large numbers of people on a daily basis (thus generating the possibility of millions to billions of future customers).
  3. The problem needed to have a solution that we could provide which would have a transformative impact on customers’ lives by saving them time and money or improving their quality of life.

After extensive team brainstorming using our criteria as a framework, the problem we zeroed in on is context switching at work.

What is context switching?

Source: unDraw

Context switching refers to the act of jumping, or switching, between different tasks and apps. It requires significant mental energy and has been called a killer of productivity.

As a team, we experienced the negative impact of context switching on a daily basis when we created our first product — FileCloud, an enterprise file sharing platform that is currently used by millions of users in 3000+ organizations across 90+ countries. Working as a bootstrapped start-up meant that everyone was constantly juggling multiple tasks and apps to get work done. We also saw the negative impact of context switching on FileCloud customers since the product gave us an inside view on how people do work and share files.

Context switching was a problem that we could deeply relate to; it is a problem that is faced by almost everyone; and because of its large negative impact on productivity, creating a solution to this problem — which we did with AirSend — would have a transformative impact on customers’ lives.

Lesson #2: Have a clear vision so you know where you are going.

Once we had our problem, we needed to form a clear picture of our destination. We needed to give voice to our vision.

Vision is all about the future. It’s the North Star that guides you over mountains, across rivers and oceans, through seemingly insurmountable challenges.

When forming your vision, make sure it, like the North Star, is lofty and inspiring. A vision is what keeps the team going through those sleepless nights. It is fuel for passion and a guiding light that ensures everyone continues to work towards the same goal.

Our vision for AirSend is: Connecting People to Get Work Done.

We want to help people increase productivity — get work done better and faster. And we want to do that by making it easier to connect and collaborate by addressing the issue of context switching.

Research says context switching can cost up to 40% of your time (one to three hours of an eight-hour work day).

Imagine if AirSend helped reclaim just 15 minutes of productivity per day for 10 million people (just 0.14% of the world’s population). That would be 625 million productive hours per year, or $10.6 billion of additional productivity based on a median hourly wage of $17.00 per hour.

Even a small improvement to productivity can bring transformative benefits to society. If we can accomplish the above, then we will have achieved our vision.

Lesson #3: Choose the path you’re taking to get to where you want to go.

Source: unDraw

After homing in on our North Star, we needed to clearly define the road we were going to take to get there. This is where mission comes in.

While vision is all about the future, mission is about what you are doing right now and who you are serving to reach your vision. Mission is the strategy, the actions that you need to take on a consistent basis, to accomplish your vision.

While context switching affects all professionals, it is worst for freelancers, creatives, lawyers, accountants, and other professionals who work with clients. These professionals not only need to handle work context, they also deal with client context on a daily basis.

We decided to make AirSend about solving the problem of context switching for these professionals, so our mission became to build a people-centric digital workspace that is easy to use, fast, and functional so that professionals and their clients can get work done.

Lesson #4: Decide on your mode of transportation.

Once we had a clearly defined path, it was time to decide how we were going to travel that path — we needed to develop our guiding principles.

Guiding principles are an extension of your mission statement. They tell you how to execute your mission and give your team a solid vehicle to get where you want to go.

We believe that for a digital product to become beloved and iconic, it has to be blazing fast, immensely appealing, and of high value to its users. With these factors in mind, we decided on the following guiding principles to fulfill AirSend’s vision and mission:

Source: unDraw
  • Easy, Fast and Functional — Our product needs to be easy to use, fast, and functional at all times.
  • Exceptional Utility and Value Pricing — We will offer exceptional utility at a compelling price point to make our product accessible to as many people as possible.
  • Perfection with Purpose — We will work with purpose towards perfection in everything we do, from design to development and beyond. Perfection may be impossible, but we will never give up. That is perfection with purpose.

Lesson #5: Know who you are.

Source: unDraw

At the end of the day, who are you? In other words, what are your core values? Knowing the answer to that question has a huge impact on everything that you and your team accomplish.

Clearly defining your core values is essential. It is the final piece of the picture. Your problem is your reason to start the journey, your vision is your North Star, your mission is your path, your guiding principles are your vehicle, and your core values are you.

Without Odysseus there would be no Odyssey. Similarly, a team without core values isn’t a team.

Our values are that we are customer-centric and authentic. That means we strive to solve the difficult real-world problems that matter most to our customers, and we stay true to ourselves by adhering to that purpose.


Here is a summary of what we came up with after going through the above brand creation process.

Our Vision

Connecting People to Get Work Done.

We envision a world where professionals and clients connect and collaborate quickly and easily to get work done.

Our Mission

Our mission is to transform the way professionals work with clients by providing a people-centric digital workspace that is easy to use, fast, and functional.

Our Guiding Principles

  • Easy, Fast, and Functional — We ensure that AirSend is easy to use, fast, and functional.
  • Exceptional Utility and Value Pricing — We strive to offer exceptional utility at a compelling price point to make our product accessible to as many people as possible.
  • Perfection with Purpose — We work with purpose towards perfection in everything we do, from design to development and beyond. Perfection may be impossible, but we will never give up. That is perfection with purpose.

To see the complete AirSend branding guide, click here.

The journey continues.

Based on our vision, mission, guiding principles, and core values, we built a contextual workspace that brings all your conversations, files, and to-do lists into one place so that you can get work done better and faster. This workspace will save millions of hours for professionals who work with clients, improve their focus and quality of life, and help them get work done faster and more easily. But the AirSend journey is far from over. In fact, it has just begun.

One of the key pillars that has helped us create and launch a product successfully has been the work we put in to defining who we are and what we want to do as a team. Everything else — the meticulous work that goes into design, development, marketing — is driven and guided by the factors discussed in the lessons we’ve learned so far.

We hope that sharing our story helps you on your own journey of entrepreneurship.

Bon voyage! — The AirSend Team

Simplify your PBC lists with the right tools.
Simplify your PBC lists with the right tools.

What is a PBC list?

PBC (Prepared/Provided By Client) is a request from external auditors to clients for the things needed to complete an audit. Usually, this begins as a preliminary list to start the audit process. As the audit progresses, the list dynamically increases.

What does a PBC list include?

A PBC list includes the financial documents of a business like its balance sheets and cash flow statements. It also includes any calculations or documentation needed to verify revenue, expenses, loans, and other contractual obligations. Basically, any and all items that impact the business’ finances.

Auditors request the PBC list to ensure that all necessary documents required to complete the audit are in place. This allows the audit to happen smoothly. It also drastically decreases the time the auditor spends conducting the audit.

Source: unDraw

How is a PBC list formatted?

Usually, auditors prepare dynamic PBC lists in an Excel sheet, Word document, or Google sheet. The people responsible for putting the materials together then complete it by circulating it amongst themselves. Each entry is given a specific identification code and description which includes the auditor and custodian name and the date by which it is required. The codes and descriptions help everyone keep track of what is happening.

The actual PBC list materials are shared with auditors through email or a file-sharing platform which the auditors are given access to. The status of materials is then tracked by audit teams. Additional ad hoc requests that auditors make are communicated to businesses through various mediums like email or text. Ad hoc requests form the “dynamic” part of dynamic PBC lists.

Source: unDraw

What are some PBC list challenges?

Challenge #1: Decentralization

Process decentralization is one of the biggest challenges which businesses and auditors face. Decentralization leads to disorganization and confusion, especially when there are many ad hoc requests. Issues like duplicate requests, unavailability of custodians, misplaced documents, and difficulty recovering past audit documentation or references are common. Also, updating the list by matching available items to their respective identification codes and tracking every ad hoc request is a challenge.

Challenge #2: Security

Security can be another issue when documents are shared through a public file sharing service. It goes without saying that financial documents are some of the most sensitive ones for a business. Therefore, sharing them over insecure or unreliable channels can put the business at risk of security breaches.

Source: unDraw

Obviously, there is a great need for auditors and businesses to streamline and centralize the dynamic PBC list process and mitigate security risks through technology.

How can technology address these challenges?

Feature #1: Process Automation

A good way that technology can help handle dynamic PBC lists is to have automated emails and alerts sent when a document is needed and received. Automatic updates to entries in the dynamic PBC list can also help alleviate inconsistencies. These features would mean that the entire audit team has access to all necessary information at all times. Thus, no one has to waste time and energy with repeated follow-ups.

Feature #2: Centralized Dashboard

Another helpful feature to have is a clear dashboard showing the status of multiple PBC lists. That way auditors can easily see what is coming in and what is still in progress all in one place. That will lessen confusion and improve the efficiency of their audits.

Source: unDraw

If a platform can provide the features mentioned above, it will be able to help auditors and businesses achieve the goal of easy, fast, and cost-effective audits.

What is a way to easily manage PBC lists?

AirSend is a digital workspace that allows for clear and easy collaboration. With AirSend, businesses can share files, send messages, complete tasks, and get work done in one space. The ability to create actions with automatic reminders and see alerts in one place make it an ideal option to manage dynamic PBC lists.

Send Messages

Auditors and businesses can have seamless conversations in secure, private channels.

Organize Files

They can complete PBC lists by sharing and organizing files using AirSend’s powerful file management system.

Track Open Items

They can also easily assign actions to track and complete the lists quickly in one place.

Find Everything Fast

No more endless searching for documents or requests. Auditors and businesses can files and open items in seconds.

Source: unDraw

As tax season comes around, its good to know a little about how audits work. As you can see, the right technology can make audits easier for everyone. So what’s your experience with PBC lists? We’d love to hear about it, so comment below.

You can also find out more about AirSend here.


As previously mentioned before, Airsend is introducing our very own book corner. Here, we read, research, analyze, and write about book suggestions that are beneficial to all industries. From marketing to real estate, to plain business, we offer various types of books that are fascinating reads, and no, we assure you these are not textbooks.

This week we are covering a Stanley Bing novel, “Sun Tzu Was a Sissy: Conquer Your Enemies, Promote Your Friends, and Wage the Real Art of War.”

One of the most exciting novels to read, Bing provides a whole new perspective to the philosophy of a once-renowned Chinese General. However, this book is not a philosophy book. This book applies the everyday workforce philosophy with a  thrill of satire, dry humor, motivation, aspiration, inspiration, and ancient philosophy. It is like military tactics meeting the workforce.

Throughout the novel, Bing proposes a new perspective: apply Tzu’s core philosophy and essence of military tactics to the workforce. Wild, huh? But it works! Though the book feels like a how-to guide to becoming a great leader, there is plenty of useful and inspiring information for followers as well.

There are nine parts in the novel, however, I will only provide a brief summary to two parts that we believe are the first step in succeeding: leadership. This blog will focus on, “Part One: Preparing Your Bad Self,” and “Part Four: Quashing the Sissy Spirit.”

Part One: Preparing Your Bad Self

“Fate is both Yin and Yang. It is ice. It is fire. It is winter and spring, summer and fall, and then winter again. Go with it. Go against it. That is victory,” Sun Tzu.

Bing, Stanley. Sun Tzu Was a Sissy (p. 5). HarperCollins e-books. Kindle Edition.


Through each chapter in each part of the book, Bing provides a guided tour of self-improvement and conquering. Within these two categories, we felt that Part One was a calling. In the first chapter under part one, Beyond Yin and Yang: The Secret of Yinyang, Bing provides two real-person examples, Martha Stewart, who represents too much Yang, and Jerry Levin, who represent too much Yin.

In his analogical examples, Bing simplifies the concept. “Yang never drops its sword until death has made its decision who to take. Yin hopes that the other guy will die of a heart attack while he’s stabbing you,” ( p.6). However, if you combine the Yin and Yang together, you obviously get YinYang, which in its essence is winning, “It is Oneness, Sureness, Obnoxiousness. It is your warrior attitude. Beyond Yin. Beyond Yang. That’s so Old School. It’s YinYang. Get some,” (p.8).

After elaborating on Yin and Yang, Bing carries you into the next topic with a question that is also the chapter title, Are you Worth Dying For? (I’m Guessing Not). In summation, you must remember, you are your own army. You are not part of anybody else’s army, You create followers/supporters, not join them.

The last three parts of the chapter are dedicated to understanding the concept of “self-love,” and having people love you. The People’s Fate Star: You! Essentially, companies are usually deemed successful based on the quality of leadership. With leadership comes with having supporters- i.e. a company’s CEO who has loyal workers who are determined to achieve overall success. Why? Simply because they have respect for their leader.

Part One is a great starting point for readers as it is the focal point of the novel, and sets the overall tone of how this book turns out. Bing first tells you indirectly that you are not worth dying for, along with the secret of success, and then transitions to qualities of a leader through admiration of yourself, and then finally concludes that with becoming a leader, general, or CEO, you determine the outcome of your life and work. 

Part Four: Quashing the Sissy Spirit

“If it is not to your advantage, do nothing,” Sun Tzu. 

Bing, Stanley. Sun Tzu Was a Sissy (p. 86). HarperCollins e-books. Kindle Edition.


The first chapter to part four is titled, Angry You, Invincible You. With a reference to the Three Stooges, Bing highly emphasizes that “other than patience and a hollow leg, anger is the single most important personal attribute that a warrior can possess. On a business terrain, the player who fights without anger is at a distinct disadvantage, because the real guns out there are furious all the time,” (p. 89-90). Anger, of course, is done best in moderation, which leads to Bing’s next topic, Finding your Button.

Through the process of finding your button comes the five-step progress of producing a sustained amount of anger.  A particular statement I found interesting and believe to apply to everyone is that “anger,” which in the professional terrain is transposed into competitiveness and determination, is sustained through the idea of having a competitor. The idea that company adversaries have the possibility to become more successful than the other, is, put simply, outraging. However, this concept of anger and competition has been around for a long time. We have just failed to use it to our ability.

The remainder of the chapter deals with relishing in competitors’ weaknesses, and what it takes to bust a move so to speak. “Great warriors may also lurk before they leap—but they have the capability, the need, to bust a move and make something happen,” (p.101).


As reiterated before, much of this book is dedicated to creating an excellent leader. However, there is also plenty of information on how to become a successful person in a company for those who do not aspire to be leaders by giving them the qualities of a leader. In other words, confidence. Bing’s analogies, references, and philosophy could be applied to entrepreneurs, aspiring leaders working under someone else, or the one-man-band type who carries their own clients.

We believe the purpose of this novel is to provide qualities of leadership to every aspect of society.

“Sun Tzu Was a Sissy,” is a comical, enlightening, and intrinsically knowledgeable book that enriches and inspires each reader to become their own leaders one day. What do you think society would like if all we had were leaders?? 

AirSend helps entrepreneurs create a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.