A Q&A with Alex Wolfe, program manager at Airtable, on must-have productivity tools, habits, and workflows

Each week we talk to people we admire to learn about how they work: their processes, the tools they use, and what drives them. It's an opportunity to get a sneak peek into how other builders and makers do their jobs. So you might get inspired and learn something new, or, at the very least, get a song recommendation.

This week we talked to Alex Wolfe, associate program manager at Airtable, a visual platform that connects people, data and workflows across the organization to have a single source of truth.

p.s. – Alex's current song on repeat is Do It Better by Felix Jaehn, so feel free to listen while you read to put you in the mindset 🙃.

What do you do?
Support Operations. Usually, this means driving program-level initiatives for our Support team plus tackling the day-to-day needs of the business. Prior to this role, I was in a customer-facing support role. While I was working in support, I was always thinking about how we could make the support process easier, and how we could improve the customer support experience for the customers and the agents. Now I get to work on this every day.

How do I go about gaps and opportunities for improving processes?
This has changed a lot in the last few years. When I started, we were taking ideas from anyone and everyone. It was an Airtable form that people could fill out and submit new ideas. Doing this helped us spot common themes across the feedback from our support organization. A lot of the things that I am currently working on came out of that process. We also look at how new processes are working within the org in terms of efficiency and adoption.

What is one tool you can't imagine your life without?
Airtable. Sounds cliche, given I work there, but I joined for the product and live for it - couldn't do anything I do as well without it. Before joining Airtable, I was not doing anything related to tech or software. I come from the environmental consulting world. I was just an Airtable fan and used the product at my previous job managing projects and inventory. I loved it so much that I started using it in my personal life for anything and everything. So, when Airtable was hiring for some of their remote jobs it was a no-brainer for me to apply. It was combining my love for the product by helping other people have the same moments that I had with Airtable.

What other tools do you use?
Workflowy, Miro. Those solve most needs of mine but I've always been on the hunt for better ways of doing things.

Capture also seems really interesting, which I learned about from prior posts like this so I'm looking forward to checking that out.

Which tool have you discovered recently?
Jam! Again, this sounds cliche but super interested in improving the efficiency of our team by utilizing tools that work for us vs. us working against our tools.

What book are you reading right now?
Hard turn from the theme of this post: "Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents." I've always been into psychology and this book is no exception, "Attached" is another book I'm partway through that I'd recommend.

One thing that you learned recently about how to be more productive and happy at work?
Saying "no" more to do a few things well. Boundaries are important.

A favorite feature of your desk setup?

One USB/all-purpose hub that I can plug both my work MacBook and personal windows laptop into - such a game changer!

Where can people follow your work?
They can't really haha, it's mostly internal to Airtable. At least if I'm doing my job right 😅

That's it! Hope you discovered a new tool or workflow you love. Follow Alex's work at @alxwlfe on Twitter, and at @alexdwolfe on LinkedIn.

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