🎤Why does this Founder’s entire life live on Google Calendar?

Why does this Founder’s entire life live on Google Calendar? podcast with chirag pugalia, founder of matar media

Welcome back to another episode of Down & Dirty with Dr. T. Today, we're diving into the exciting world of content creation and entrepreneurship with none other than Chirag Pugalia, the life and brains behind Matar Media.

Chirag dropped out of college to build Matar. Since then, he and his team have dedicated thousands of hours to creating content for renowned brands such as Masters Union, RazorpayX, Ola Electric, and Maersk, as well as notable figures like Ashneer Grover, Nikhil and Nithin Kamath, Raj Shamani, Arjun Vaidya, and more. 

Being a founder ain't all sunshine and rainbows. Chirag spills the beans on the real deal: playing multiple roles, being responsible for everything, and feeling like you're doing ten jobs at once. 

The tool that helps him organize when his attention is pulled in a dozen different directions is Google Calendar.

Highlights from the episode:

  • Life of the Founder: Ever wondered what a day in the life of a founder looks like? For Chirag, it's a mix of early mornings, organized chaos, and a whole lot of hustle. His day kicks off anywhere between 6-8 am, and from there, it's all about staying on track. He reveals how, with Google Calendar as his trusty sidekick, he juggles sales calls, puts out fires for his teams, and brainstorms ideas.
  • Google Calendar features and insights: Through a screen share, Chirag takes us through all things Google Calendar and how he has incorporated it into every aspect of his life. He talks about all the features he uses, including calendar insights which allow him to know how much time he has spent with people. He uses the data to ensure enough facetime with coworkers and identify relationships needing more attention.
  • Customized booking links: Chirag showcases how he uses custom booking links for different purposes to connect with people. These links optimize his scheduling process by providing dedicated time slots for various interactions, from brief calls to in-depth discussions. This streamlined approach eliminates the need for back-and-forth coordination, ensuring efficient use of everyone's time. What’s fun to note is that he even uses these links to schedule meetups with his friends!

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Read the transcript

00:00 Taapsi:

Hello and welcome everyone to another episode of Down and Dirty. And today I have with me, Chirag Pugalia , he's the founder of Matar Media. Loved the name Chirag, first of all. And if I'm getting this right Matar Media is it's an aggregator of creators and it's a place where you can discover and hire creative talent in order to, you know, fulfill your content needs, photography needs personal branding needs, marketing needs anything that involves a creator. And I see that the business is growing. Congratulations as a founder. That's all you want is the team size to grow as a metric of how the business is doing. So, really, really happy to have you here. Is there anything that you want to add about Matar Media that I have not or yourself? That I'm have not briefly alluded to you?

1:05 Chirag: 

I think you, you covered that pretty well. We are like a managed marketplace for content to happen for brands. So we do work with a lot of creators but we own the quality. And that's I think that is what we feel like is the model that sort of solves for the content and industry at large. So we're trying to just build that prima facie an agency for clients. So our marketing agencies work, it's like a black box, briefs come in projects get executed but, but on the back end, things work very differently. So it's, it's like the live space or the urban company but for content sort of simplifies the what we do.

1:51 Taapsi:

You’re in the right space. I mean, you're in, you're in it, it doesn't get hotter than content right now, either content or, you know, big data like a I, you know, ML so you're in the absolute right space.

2:07 Chirag:

So by the way, because that’s also a buzzword. So we call ourselves aesthetically intelligent.

2:11 Taapsi:

Of course, you're also pun master, right? So I'm not, I'm not surprised that he just threw that at me right now.

2:17 Chirag:

Yeah, we, we jump on it.

2:22 Taapsi: 

Yeah. It says the content guy. Yes.here jump on the buzzword.So, so what is your you started Matar media when, how many years is it?

2:34 Chirag: 

2019? We were pursuing our undergrad. Both , we started taking a freelance we realize, oh people pay so much for content. And then, and then we sort of started it as an agency. We both dropped out of college in our final semester and started building this. We went to find a CA but ended up, you know, making them a client. And then, things just like went, you know, we just went with the flow was that two years later, we, we, it really stuck to us. Hey, what are we doing? We're just doing the same, same thing that everybody else is doing and it's not working. And that's when we shift to like, you know, where do you want this industry to be? And that's when the idea of managed marketplace sort of came about. So that's when we two weeks later, we shifted gears, like start building that.

3:21 Taapsi: 

Very Cool. And here you are in 2023. So what is a day in your life look like as someone who is, you know, leading charge of a growing very hot business line? what is a a normal day in your life? 

3:35 Chirag: 

Chaos, chaos. OK.

3:37 Taapsi: 

Now let's unpack that chaos. Let's find the method in the madness. Like literally, like if I had, if you had to walk me through from the time you wake up, what's happening, just take me through your day till you hit the sack.

3:48 Chirag: 

So, I used to, I used to be a little harsh on myself. I used to be like, oh, I have to wake up at five and then, you know, I have to follow this routine and put things up on my calendar with a minute to minute plan. But I think now I've started going a little loose. I wake up whenever my body wants to wake up and then I start, that typically happens around anywhere between 6 to 8, not post eight, but not, not early than six. It happened somewhere between that time. So that's like a good range to play with. And then I start my day with like, if I woken up around 8, I would probably, you know, just chill for a while, just get the house ready. I'm an organization freak. So I need, I need like things organized in a way. I would just like, make sure that I get like my first win of the day in the 1st 2, 3 hours. The most important I would just try to like get it done like the moment I wake up and then I start my day and then I would probably, you know, so I feel like, you know, I've achieved something in the beginning and that sort of set good tone for the day and then, and then I would probably, you know, hit it to get ready for office. We reach by around 10,10:30. We lend the days pretty much like minute to minute is I think plan in advance. I think my calendar sort of, I use, I use, like, I put everything on a calendar earlier. I used to put, I used to like, create to do lists and then eventually I realized that, you know, unless you put, put like a time block for something, things don't get done. So, so I started planning my weeks, like days, week in advance and then, you know, just like my calendar would probably tell me what to do and, and I would just like, follow that. So, that's how, you know, the rest of the day goes, mostly dinners are, I'm probably meeting someone or the other from the industry, a friend or dinners. I probably, you know, try to like, catch up or meet someone outside of work. So, yeah, that's, that's pretty much like, and then nine tenish, I'd be back home and I'll probably just get, get to sleep.

5:50 Taapsi: 

So, in that, in that chunk of time between 10:30 & 7 because then you're out after that, what is, what is your work day look like as in? Are you, does it usually start with meetings? And what you said you use your calendar to kind of organize or your day should like, look like a week in advance. But do you have your calendar organized in, in the context of? OK, only meetings till 12 and after that is brainstorming till two or whatever? Like is that you're structuring your day.

6:21 Chirag: 

I used to do that but then I started like keeping things a little more flexible. So the, the work day is pretty much, essentially it gets filled up with things that had to be done. We do, I think one constant, piece every day we do huddles across the org. So morning, first thing, 10:30 to 11, on alternate days, I'll do a huddle with my co founder Divyam. We just sync up on our priorities and you know what directions our teams are in and then we'd probably do a huddle with, with our exact subordinate. So our, our leadership team, you know, my side of the team, I would do the huddle with them, Divyam would do the hurdle with his team. And that's how like the entire organization like syncs up. At the beginning of the day, once you have a priority set, you know, what's a P zero P one P two P three. We have like task set up and we have a priority set up. We just like then hit the day with like, however it has to flow. So we go with the flow a little bit because agency sort of comes with its own, you know, the client would call last minute and they'll be like, oh, where's my

7:27: Taapsi:

Everything else for the client, Agency model?...

7:28 Chirag:

And you have to like jump, you have to keep jumping in you, you have to keep your, you know, schedule very flexible, you know. So then, we tried, like, probably, you know, blocking very strict times for things, but then we soon realized that's not how we can work. And so we've left it flexible, but most of the day would go up in, I look at the business side of things. So I, I get in sales so major hours would go in probably, you know, calls with clients trying to close projects. Those are like one hour, 40 minutes, 30 minutes out of different calls. And then the rest of the time would go in like, you know, burning fires, you know, putting off fires for the team, writing filling gaps for finance, filling apps for tech, filling, apps for product, you know, solving, you know, team issues and culture issues, you know, someone said something to someone and they felt bad about it and now we need to jump into like solve for that. So those issues, those fires will keep happening. We should try to solve that.

8:30 Taapsi: 

How big is your team?

8:32 Chirag: 

Our team is roughly around 35 people.

8:35 Taapsi: 

That's a lot of fires to put out. So 35 people to, to, to stoke egos is, could be a full time job for someone. I mean, that's why you have hr as well. Ok. All right, you guys, so would you say in your day that most of your time or it seems as though your time is split between actually working with the team and meetings and doing outward facing work because of your responsibilities, which are more sales oriented. So, is that roughly how it is or do you find yourself spending more time with, you know, in meetings, I can, how does like interacting with your team.

9:18 Chirag: 

Mostly meetings because externally or internally, we really have to like just sit with the teams and give them direction. So internally mostly meetings externally also meetings. There's probably 20% of the day that would go up like that. I would have the luxury to like finish my own tasks otherwise like helping others with their tasks. So it's mostly talking and which is why I like, you know, when I come back home, I don't call mom because I'm too tired talking through the like, 

9:44 Taapsi:

And she doesn't get it. She's like, why wouldn't you like? I mean, all you have to do is leave me one text message, right?

9:48 Chirag: 

OK. And be like mom, I don't have the time even for that, but you don't probably you still would have the time but you don't have the energy to talk anymore.

9:57 Taapsi: 

Fair enough, fair enough. So what is, what is the most? I just like she, she sounds like my mom. So what, what is the most challenging part of doing your job as a founder as someone a co-founder running Matar media. What is, what is the hardest thing?

10:23 Chirag:

I think? I think it's you are constantly playing too many roles. You are essentially filling gaps. So you, so the, the thing about like being a founder is you can't complain or you can't blame the end of the month. Salaries have to be processed. Clients have to be serviced, vendors, you have to give enough work to creators and vendors. So, we are responsible and answerable to everybody but things have to be, things have to get done. So we can't complain that here we are understaffed and I don't have someone to do these 10 tasks and I've been jumping, I have to do those things with my myself. So for a, for a very long time, we, I, I want still probably to an extent, I, I probably take up like 10 different roles in the team, you know. So, yeah, tomorrow at, at a point, I'd be probably clearing payments and, you know, checking invoices and like processing payments because my finance guy is on leave and then I probably be, you know, closing clients. And then if, if there's a, if there's a fire on a project, then I'm a project manager now. I'm so I'm really like multitasking between roles and because as a business, you have to like make sure that all directions you were doing fine if not great, but that is what requires you to be in so many shoes where it becomes a mess. By the end of the day it's like it's all over the place you've done. You've, you've been busy all day, but at the end of the day you don't, you don't know what work you've done really.

11:56 Taapsi: 

And you maintain the status quo, your, your head is above water is what you've done.

12:04 Chirag: 

It happens.But I think eventually you get, you get used to that chaos and you realize that, you know, this is how life is gonna be. Yeah. Been a lot of times I wanted to just, you know, just sit down and focus on one role because I know that you know, I want to feel great about like, oh I brought this output or I contributed significantly to a project in an entirety. But that never worked out because you always like when you, when you start doing that, you become an employee and then you're not, there's no founder in the team. All of a sudden, you needs, your team needs more than probably what you need to do. Take the compromise. I think, I think it's difficult to feel fulfillment in one complete piece, you know, getting rolled out. So, so that's.

12:56 Taapsi: 

yeah, by design, a founder role is it's gonna be hard to, to, to get that because you're, you're split between doing so many things. So let me ask you on the flip side, what would you say, either, you know, something that you would actually attribute to externally or something that's a personality trait. What enables you to be a better founder or to be a good founder? What are those, you know, what, what are the enablers in your life right now? If you had to like, be grateful or, or call out something, someone. what is that?

13:11 Chirag: 

This is something that we ask our teams. You know, we were setting up KRAs for all of them and we asked them, you know, set a KRA for like us as well. How, how can we be better founders? I think team expects a lot of guidance, a lot of, you know, us being just present there. So they need a lot of our time and for us to be able to make enough time for everybody, I think that is something that enables us to like be present, be along with them to like run the show, not just like delegate and leave things on to them, but they sort of want to build along with us, not build for us. So that is something that I feel if we're able to do that, that make enough time for the team be present in all. Everybody is like, hear everybody out and like, guide everybody and like probably learn from them as well. But just, just be with them while we're building things. I think that's super important. And at the same time, I think there's a few other things like, you know, personal branding, you know, f you know, just, just like, I think, pieces that we probably, you know, it just started picking up but those are more tangible pieces. 

14:30 Taapsi:

I think, I'm, I want ask you about you personally, like, I wanna know for Chirag, like, what is it about your personality, your traits, you know, your, your OCD, your reason to like have everything organized or maybe an influencer, a mentor, a guide, whatever, who is there personally, who or what personally is your strength, like what is giving you strength to, you know, or, or giving you superpowers to, to do what you do, there must be, you know, if you had to do a little bit of introspection, you know, what are your strengths?

15:01 Chirag:

 That's a tough question. I Probably wouldn't have thought about it. But I think I think we just, I think we just add it. We just like, if I have to talk about myself, I think I care, I care a little too much. I, I guess about, about doing the right thing. All these things. So I think, I think me being the perfectionist personality and caring too much about, you know, the things that we've set our foot on to. So, for, I think that's something that, probably, and I'm, I could be irrational at times when, when trying to do that. But I think, I think that is something that until, unless I feel that strong wire and strong purpose towards something it's difficult for me to like, put myself to it. And at the same time, like, put our teams to, like, motivate them to like work in.

16:07 Taapsi:

So, and that rubs off on them, they probably see that it matters to you and, you know, that gets them together is what you're saying, right? Like, they're kind of seeing what is meaningful to you and what you're taking personally.

16:13 Chirag:

And they want to share of that vision. They, they, they don't, even, I don't want, they don't want me to like, be at it alone because I know it's something that nobody can do alone what we, what we have set out to achieve. So, they, they want to participate in that. I think that's what sort of makes me happy as well and I think it sort of gives them some sort of fulfillment as well.

16:35 Taapsi:

I think there's anything is caring too much. They're scary and, you know, and that's, that's what, that's what you have. That's what you're saying that you care about the stuff that matters to you. So, OK, so we have, so, OK, so we've talked about leadership you've talked about your team, talked about your day. If I had to peer over your shoulder and see your computer on any day, what are some like default, you know, like apps or products or solutions that are always up and open and running on your computer on any given day? Like, what would I see open? Can you name a few things that I would see open on your computer?

17:14 Chirag:

So that would be notion that will be Google calendar. Google calendar is literally like my Bible.I think if it's not on my calendar,I created booking links for my friends to like book, hang out flos with me and I got a beating right after that. But II, I felt it was only like fair to like do that. But Google calendars and Google tasks, like side by side that, that be sort of really helps me put all of my clutter out there, forget and then probably be 100% present in what I'm doing. And when that slot is over, then I would just look, glance at my Google, what do I do next? And then it would just tell me do this and I would just do that. So it just, it would be free and lets me be 100% present. I think Slack would be another one, Slack whatsapp.

18:13 Taapsi: 

Notion and Google Calendar would be some regulars on your computer, right? OK. All right. So, fine. So we have these three apps that we will see on your computer or at any point of time. And which one are we gonna talk about today? Like, what's your favorite? What’s the list?

18:25 Chirag:

I think, I think, something that I just can't live without is Google Calendar. I won't, I can run my day without opening slack in motion at times. But, Google Calendar is just like, it just like home for me, goes to my heart because I, my, my brain is, you know, become like, you know, when, when machine and man sort of, you know, that's, that's something that has happened with Google calendar. I, my body wouldn't do something if it's not on my calendar.

18:57 Taapsi:

And, and before we even get into your calendar to actually see your calendar, when did this, when did the adoption happen? When did the, the love affair start?

19:14 Chirag:

Started Google Calendar in my college itself? 2017. For college, I went, I had the, I was, I, I had to do something with the free time that I had. So my entire attendance, it used to come on the app. I just put all the lectures on a Google calendar, shared it with the entire class. I was like, you know, just like, get reminded about your lectures as with a notification on your phone, which, which the university I wouldn't do. And, you know, if if any lecture would get rescheduled or move ahead or before I would just change that event on Google and the entire class is new. So,

19:53 Taapsi:

So you were the announcement board like this was your workaround for like the limitations of the college app where you basically created a Google? Is that what I'm hearing that you created entire Google calendar interface for your, your classmates?

19:59 Chirag:

Yeah. Yeah, I just did that simple. It was like, it wasn't any rocket science. I would just show, show it off and like, you know, just manage, this is important like easily for me and then it just helped my classmates.

20:23 Taapsi: 

So you know, there are a lot of calendar like calen calendaring now, especially post COVID is a beast unto itself, right? Because we've moved online in a very, very significant way, managing schedules, repeat meetings, you know, like things that are, you know, structured, but also other things that are unstructured appointments, you know, group polls, you know, you name it, they're all permutations and combinations and you're telling me from everything that's available in the marketplace. It's still Google calendar for you.

20:45 Chirag:

It is just simple when it does the job.

20:48 Taapsi:

OK.So you don't need any. Are you using any other calendar tool along with Google calendar for any other use case? Like for any other need?

20: 49 Chirag:

I've tried multiple but I, I don't think like I can move out of Google's ecosystem of tools. I think, I think I'm a Google fan boy. So I, if, if two players are doing something and Google is doing that and I would always prefer Google regardless of how better the other product is. So I might have that bias towards things that come from Google. just probably because of the ecosystem around it. So, you know, how, how things just connect seamlessly and, and the, the speed at which they are like, you know, changing the tools and, you know, bringing more functionalities and do it.I always know that if I have a problem today, Google will solve it eventually, you know, in the next three months or six months. So, and they've done it time and again, for me, for my love to just like grow for them. So, it is Google calendar, I've used multiple, but like never felt like as good as Google calendar would make me feel.

21:54 Taapsi:

Okay and tell me so, if you had to walk me through, you know, we did your day, right? So can you give me a sense of how Google calendar fits into that? Like, what are you doing is that the first thing you do when you log in is first check your day? Like what, what happens? And maybe if a screen share is a better way to do this, I'm happy to jump right into that. But I'm just curious about, you know, even before the tool and the hacks itself, I wanna know where does it fit in your day to, to what extent?

22:20 Chirag:

Yeah. So this is, this is, this is interesting because I think, in early inertia towards using calendar properly, was that, you need to, like, someone told me, you need to block time to block time. So you need to like block, block your time for like for you to be able to block them. But I think, I think how, how my trigger for anything to go on Google calendar is, is that any meeting that needs to be scheduled, any previous task that requires my Google calendar is my go to call to action for any other thing that I've been doing. So let's say I'm talking to a client and they're like, ok, let's, you know, we have clarity on, let's see what we want to do, but let's just let's schedule another, we'll have to discuss commercials. My preferred action point from there is ok, let's set a meeting for or let's say focus time for like preparing the commercials on Tuesday 2 p.m. Let's schedule a meeting for discussing the commercials with the client, Wednesday 3 p.m. And you know, so Google calendar is my go to default action item, either Google calendar or Google tasks.If let's say I discussed the team has a doubt with and they need like 15 minutes from my time to like, solve it. I'd rather put it on Google calendar. Schedule it then move. So, or there's, there's something that needs my attention. I still put it on Google calendars. So it's my default like action item, schedule time, in advance. So that's like the trigger. So, and mostly there's so much to do, there's so much chaos. I mean, my calendar gets filled like a week in advance. I still try to like keep a few meeting slots open so that more impromptu work can find space. But then I've created like meeting booking links for different types of use cases as well, which I just share with people that I work with or, or clients or who are so for different purposes, there's like booking links, which people could just block time on my calendar for

24:28 Taapsi:

Interesting! that would be similar to what someone would do with calendly. But what you're doing is currently on Google calendar on Google calendar. That's, that's basically what I'm interpreting this to be is you, you basically done? Ok. Super interesting. What happens if, has your calendar ever broken? Like what, what, what would that mean? Like as in have things ever gone haywire? And do you remember an incident when you couldn't control it?It seems like your calendar has a mind of its own.

24:56 Chirag:

I I'm not really sure if that's ever happened, but mostly when I'm traveling it gets difficult because I might have missed blocking my time for travel. And then, you know, some people would have block like calls and things on the day. But then my default like survival piece and that is I just like reschedule, I asked them to reschedule and very politely. I have to ask you, can we reschedule this to some other time? But that's the only pain that I've probably faced sometimes. But otherwise like calendar is never like, I've never it's never disappointed me.

25:29 Taapsi:

It's never disappointed you. Ok. So you know what, on that note, let's see, this beauty and let's see what it looks like in your life.

25:38 Chirag: [Screensharing]

Jumping straight and let me know if you could see my yes.

25:43 Taapsi:

Yes, can see and I have to say I love the fact that Google has introduced tasks right there along with creating an event that was a killer move. I thought when we did that.

25:52 Chirag:

Yeah, this is that is, I think that is something that makes getting things done super easy. So making a to do won't work. I think there's something that everybody tries just making a to do list won't work because your list will keep going longer. But I think the mark and II I didn't mark a few things on my calendar on purpose so that I could probably do that right now. And sort of take you through my thought process of doing this as well. But like, as you, as you see, these are like a few weeks earlier, what I was doing and then, so I I did this thing of like blocking, like even, you know, sleep times and, you know, wake up times and cycling time and everything on my calendar. So my teams really like my teams make a lot of fun for, for this time, like whenever a new persons on boarded, they show my calendar.You know, this is how much you can exploit calendars to go all out. But like, and I had to like, I couldn't keep it boring. So, like I bathing time is this and then this commute time to office and all of that We have like a B two B sync up, which is like a bit to buy sync up, which is like between me. So that is, we used to do this like regular recurring event every sort of every day, like 10 to 1030. So Google calendar has this amazing piece where you could, you know, you could create like recurring events. I'm not sure if I can edit that from you.

27:41 Taapsi:

Are you, I have a couple of questions here already, which is, you know, you have your personal life and then you have your work life. Is this calendar only synced up to your work life? Is that, is this your work calendar.

27:48 Chirag:

This is like work, everything is here. Other calendar which was, which is sometimes used for some other booking links. Like I have, I do talk mate sessions where I help people out with like stuff and these are like paid bookings that that would come in. So there's like a few more calendars that are integrated here, but primarily like it just becomes easy if there's just one calendar that you, that has everything. So it becomes more like, you know, my mind could just like follow the calendar and I don't have to keep switching. So it just becomes easier that way. So my personal is like this, right? I sleep, I wake up I cycle. I would you. 

28:43 Taapsi: 

Do you OK, honestly, honestly, like really, honestly where to be honest to yourself and to me, do you keep, you know, your personal stuff, like the work stuff, you can't help, it's a meeting scheduled and you'll show up. But are you, do you keep it like, do you, do you find yourself actually keeping to that half ass lot of whatever, you know, feed myself or, you know, cycle or whatever is that.

28:55 Chirag:

It doesn't happen. So anything that's like out of office, these, these things are marked as out of office events by the way, these features, you would probably only get on the G Suit Google calendar, probably not on the free version. But these events. I'm, I'm a little chill with. So the days that I would wake up really wake up at six, I would go cycle, the days that I don't wake up at six, I skip cycle. But like my day would start from here from eight and then when I was there, I would do that. So, this is like a simple toggle in my head. And then, but like we make, we make it a point that we reach office by like 10, 10:30 because then we, you know, these whatever happens from 10 to 7 or 10 to 8, that has to happen, in fact, any set that has to happen regardless. So, and I've color coded things differently to sort of mark what is super important, what is, what is what basically. So I have certain labels and I could probably show you. So yeah, these are, these are like the color coded labels for things that I would do. Anything in yellow is like my code or like So my personal stuff focus work is purple. Thing that I just have to sit with these Google calendar has this feature called like setting up focus time. So this would automatically decline any meetings that would come up in that zone. So people don't mark or take away my focus time, it's protected and then there's like, you know, it mutes everything it's like it gives me like do do not disturb and automatically rejects any bookings that come in that time slot. So those are marked, it automatically puts this cute headphone I can hear as well.

30:46 Taapsi:

So how do you plan your week in advance? I mean, if I look at this, for example, I'm assuming this means you have some fixed focus time that you are allotting to yourself a week in advance, right? Because if you're planning one week in advance, there are obviously your daily hurdles or your weekly hurdles that, you know, there's a fixed cadence there. But for other stuff, you are, you're, you're thinking about it and saying, OK, I want focus time, you know, every Wednesday or on Monday afternoon or whatever it is, right? That's how you're planning ahead. How do you plan ahead apart from like a team sync ups?

31:20 Chirag:

There's no recurring event that I've and like my morning routine, there's no recording event that I've set up. So focus time. Ha. There's this one which is like scheduled LinkedIn posts, but I've seen whenever you make things recurring, it just doesn't work. You you start like skipping, you skip once and then you start skipping every day. So what I've kept is at least for like this 10 to 7. It's purely on, on a trigger only if there's a trigger, something will get scheduled on the calendar. Otherwise it won't So, and I've tried to, like, reduce recording events as much as possible because it's, no matter how good it is from a functionality POV to like, have that option. But, once you, once you schedule something like three months ago and it's just running throughout it, it starts making, feel monotonous and you, your mind would automatically, like, stop following the discipline to, like, actually do that. Like, I'm supposed to like, take out like an art to write a schedule, a link post every day. I haven't been doing this for the past three weeks.

32:24 Taapsi:

So basically, keep things fresh, not having something in the calendar as a recurring event, keeps it fresh and keeps you motivated to do tasks. So I'm assuming if it's not on your calendar, then it perhaps shows up in your task list in some form. But, you know, it has to be done. You haven't put it into a slot yet, but it's something that has to be accomplished. Is that ami right there?

32:45 Chirag: 

Yes. And I think scheduling things too much in advance is also wrong. Probably you lose the intent till you hit that, hit that point. So you, you lose the motivation, internal motivation to like, get to it. So, I try to like schedule things. I try to pack up all my days as much as much closer to like when that trigger has happened. That just helps us, helps me do this. So in fact, like I've been, I've been meaning to like delete this from my calendar for a while. I just probably do that. So only recurring piece that I want to keep on my calendar is these hard rules which also I think instead of day doing it daily, what we start doing is we start doing it alternately and then the leads hurdle that we do with our team, that's also an alternate days. So that way we are able to like even cut down the time because now our teams are pretty much like we've gotten in sync to a level where we know, you know, probably we'll shift to like once a week as well or twice a week going forward. But yeah, this is this is it and like with regards to personal events, even like if I'm shifting my houses, like that's also like put here, I just market is out of office. Internal meetings are green. So I know these are like with my internal teams, external meetings are red. So these are, you know, I can't miss this. The, these at all. And then, you know, even commute time is blocked on the calendar so that I plan in advance because I live in a city called Bangalore.So you really get stuck in traffic multiple times and you just need to like plan for that paid forward is when I am meeting someone to help them with something and then that is not really business interest, but I'm just, meeting people to help them out that is paid forward pieces. And then relationships is where, you know, I try to like, wherever I've, I've known professional person, I've tried to, like, keep that relationship alive by constantly meeting them. So those are certain things that I do. What Google does is at least like the paid feature does is it just gives me like my time insights into, you know, how much time every week and you know, scheduling for everything. So at the end of the week, I would just, you know, make give this a glance, understand where I'm spending how much time at the same time, like with who I'm spending, how much time.So people I met in this particular week, 40 who I spent a lot more time and then it gives me prompts to like schedule next meetings for people who, you know, who I probably should schedule more time where I haven't really. So, and why do you find this kind of granularity or how do you find this kind of granularity helpful? This. So there are certain like how, how I mentioned, right? For me, super important piece to my KRA as a founder is to make sure that people who I work with or people who are reporting to me, they're getting enough time with me. So when, when I haven't spent a lot of time with certain folks, that is, that is something like, you know, this particular week I spend only like 2.7 hours with like my co founders that should be like, roughly around 10 hours. So, I, I really get to know from your, that he probably, I need to like, spend a lot more, there's a lot more old lab is required there to like sync up on things. And I know that, you know, whenever there's like less hours here, there's like a little bit of passive aggression there that started creeping in and you need to like solve that. So, so that's super important. Then all the team leads, you know, these three guys at Calvin Kesar, they report to the film. So they have like very less time with me.But then I realized he, you know, that I still need to like spend time with them and then they are, they are different folks who have like more time here and there. And then it will also show me how much time I'm spending in meetings, week, weekly wise and then one day meetings.

36:55 Taapsi:

Look this up once a week is what you're saying, you kind of do a, do a calendar check once a week.

36:57 Chirag:

Not, not necessarily, but I just happened to look at it, essentially look at it and it just keeps, it is great to see these on sites. It's not something that I regularly would check, but it is great to see these insights. And probably, you know, whenever I feel like, how can I probably, if I could use my time a lot better or it just, it just gives, helps me give like a macro picture of that. Otherwise I would, I would personally know that OK, I've spent less time with them but like this telling me would make, would make me like, really do something about that.

37:30 Taapsi:

Of course, of course, now it's backed by data. Are you using, I'm curious, are you using Google Meet because it's integrated with the calendar invitation or do you use Zoom or 3

37:41 Chirag:

Use Google Meet Google Google Fanboy.

37:44 Taapsi: 

So yeah, yeah, I know. I that is why I was asking if you know if OK, so the whole universe is Google understood. OK. Now are not as well.

37:55 Chirag: 

So because there's so many notion that Google can't do which we do on notion. So our entire er P or CRM everything is built from scratch on notion. So any custom but like time and task management, I think day to day piece pieces run mostly on Google. Even our, even our communication, we're moving from Slack to Google Spaces that's happening this month itself. So, you know, Google task the entire team shifting to Google tasks and what not though Slack is a far better tool. But I think just the, just how it all integrates and how, you know, we could create tasks from there which could come here and then, you know, you could drag it onto your calendar. That's just something that I think we like.The like the, you know, the simplicity of this.

38:43 Taapsi: 

Yeah. OK. OK. Is there anything else about the calendar features or hacks anything that you wanna highlight at this point while we're on the screen?

38:55 Chirag:

So I think one piece is like the booking links like you see these I have certain booking links on my calendar. Let me move to like a few weeks in advance, like get it blank. Yeah. So for example, let's say there's these booking links that I've created for different purposes, there's like 60 minute appointment schedules and for which I do on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, there's like discovery call sort of slots that I've created. So what it does is exactly like how calendar would I think my screens paused? What it does is it just like opens it up like it, it's a calendar interface but for, for, for Google calendar and it would just you know, give people like opportunity to book a slot with me. I don't think it's letting me the other the screen probably I'll have to stop share and then show you the booking page. But let me just do that. So my booking page would look something like this. So these are like Wednesdays Fridays. These are like booking slots for you know, discovery calls and I've created like bit bit, bitly sort of shortcuts from those. So in a day there's a good 5-10 calls that I wouldn't be able to pick up because I'd probably be in some meeting.So there's like an automated whatsapp message as well as like these that would go to them, that these are the booking links, whatever your purpose is for this, for this purpose, there's your link for this purpose is your link. And then they would just.

40:44 Taapsi: 

What is that can you show that to me like, what does that look like that? What does that work flow look like?

40:45 Chirag: 

So, i it's, it's a simple whatsapp auto reply, you know, when you're not able to, sorry, not whatsapp your normal message replies that you would say a call or something correct, you could send it. But that has like all these links. So let's say my you know, if, if someone wants to do like, you know, quick 15 minute discussion with me to like just resolve something it's called that would open up this, these 15 minute blocks for, you know, which is like on Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday on even days.Then if someone wants to like discuss something fresh or it's like a discovery call. I'm talking to them for the first time. That's that will lead to my.

41:31 Taapsi:

So how many types of booking links do you have?

41:34 Chirag:

I think five or six If I'm not wrong then I made one for my friend. So the one that I was telling you about that's called.

41:43 Taapsi: 

The one that they're not happy with. Yeah. Yes. Let's clarify that they're not very happy with to book Chirag’s time.

41:52 Chirag: 

Yeah, these are for dinners and like Catchups. It's called so there's like a there as well.

But these are like two hours slots on my calendar. And then, you know, these are like Sundays, I do this and Thursday 8 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. These people and then I specify like where they can 

42:17 Taapsi:

Oh my God! I can see why they're not really happy with that. You're basically controlling their lives by giving your booking link.

42:22 Chirag:

Yeah, the the pseudo concept of choice that they have. But yeah, but like that's exactly the point. Yeah. So different purposes, different, different links, calls for like something that we've already started discussion on. But then we need to discuss it again. So the link, by the way, please if you could hide or beep those URL S because then people start booking those my calendar really malfunction then if, if that happens.

43:00 Taapsi:

Oh OK, I'll, I'll see what we can do about that. Ok. So, so you know what, let's stop the screen share for a second and in the interest of time, I wanna, I wanna ask you, you had actually already mentioned this, that the, the stuff that Google is not able to do for you right now, that's why you are relying on notion to kind of fill in the gap. So like to manage your CRM, for example, is happening from there. And by the rest of it, Google is taken care of and now it's also probably gonna subsume what slack does for you into its ecosystem. Is there anything else that comes to mind? Where right now, Google? I mean, Google generally is not sufficing, but actually, I'm more interested particularly in the calendar. Is there a place where it's not as good as what you would like it to be or a feature that it's missing that you would want it to have?

43:51 Chirag:

I think, I think one piece that I would really use if there was, if this was in Google calendar was like for, especially for sales. The option of booking the calendar of whoever is available within a time slot. I think, I think that's something that I would want calendar to have because most of the times if someone wants to reach out to discuss a project.It goes on this, it should go on the same link and then probably if there are three or four people available on that particular schedule, it should allow to like book any of their times rather than. So team bookings is something that probably if it wasn't Google, that would be amazing. If, if I could. 

44:37 Taapsi: 

Just clarify this for me, team bookings, meaning if you could take a client call some other one, someone else's slot is also visible for someone to book from. Is that it?

44:47 Chirag:

Yeah, so something like that. But essentially, or even if a slot gets booked from one end from the clients and to who it is going to get assigned, that could be essentially internally managed or based on like automatically managed, based on who was available at that time. Because my calendar primarily, I think the difficulty that I face with putting everything on my calendar is that most of the times these booking links, you wouldn't find like a time slot to like 10 days later or 15 days later because even even like a micro task is put on the calendar and that sort of that. 

45:23 Taapsi:

That's right. I see what you mean. 

45:25 Chirag: A lot of times my slots won't show up to clients and then clients would be like, well, there's no slot to like 15 days later and then I, and then I would probably have to go back to them and, like, manually schedule that call. Ok. Ok. I can probably, because they don't have a view of what are the things that are marked on my calendar that I could actually move around. So they think it, it's like rigid and, but it's not that rigid. Like, I try to, like, move around things if something important has come in. But I just don't like seeing my calendar empty because then I would feel like, oh, there's not much to do and I'd start pros. So I, I that, that's something that I faced as a challenge that it still lets people book of them on someone else's calendar who's available. And then if I feel it's important enough that I need to jump to, I could reschedule something and I could, you know, also take that in so I could manage assignment of bookings on Google calendar. If that's, if that's like a feature, it would be, it would be pretty dope. But apart from that, I think, I think it's pretty sorted. I think my work flow is sort of really sorted right now. Plus I think Google Spaces also allows you to create everything, you know, from your chats to tasks and then tasks would come on calendar. And then there's you know, so that work flow is like working pretty smooth for us. At this point, Google is also trying to do a lot of things that notion is doing right? With apps sheets and with your more come up, I mean, what you're requesting, I can, I can see because notion did the same thing, right?

46:55 Taapsi:

They said, OK, now we can create a workflow for you like from this, tell us what you want to do and Slack is already doing that as well. So I'm, I'm not gonna be surprised if Google calendar allows you to do assignments, you know, and assign meetings to the next person if a slot is booked. But that's a, that's a really interesting and relevant challenge that I can see. You know, I, I can see this really solving a use case, right? Like a quite a, quite a significant one which is I don't want to lose a client or a client potential call because something is blocked out, but it's actually low priority. And could I flag that as low priority if something of higher priority comes in and wants to take its place? So I hear you. So. Ok. I have only one thing left right now and that is rapid fire. Are you ready?

47:43 Chirag:

Let's go.

47:44 Taapsi: 

All right. First question, name, one thing on your bucket list.

47:48 Chirag: 

scuba diving.

47:50 Taapsi:

OK. Which social media platform are you personally most active on?

47:55 Chirag:


47:57 Taapsi:

OK. What comes to mind when I say happy?

48:03 Chirag: 

Good sleep.

48:08 Taapsi:

Good Sleep, even though you have it in your calendar. OK. All Right. Last question. Do you own a vehicle?

48:11 Chirag:


48: 13 Taapsi:

What vehicle?

48:14 Chirag: 

It's a car, Maruti From nexa. I just bought it, I think five months ago.

48:21 Taapsi: 

Hey, congratulations. OK. That was it, see, super, super easy and super simple and yet another window into Chirag and Chirag. So, so Chra, thank you so much. This was, this was amazing. I use calendar a lot but not like you. So you are what I would call a power user Google calendar. And I'm sure you've heard that before.

48:46 Chirag: 

I wish Google is listening. I hope so too because I really think they should take your future request in mind.

48:53 Taapsi:

I think that let me also, it will help a lot of people. So I hope they listen to this, but I really appreciate it. Especially on a Saturday and yeah, I mean, have a good weekend.

49:03 Chirag:

Same to you. I'm glad I got to do this. I think I, I'm glad I got to show off my Google calendar to people. There's a lot of things that probably if, if possible it would blur out.

49:14 Taapsi: 

I mean, I, I'm gonna, I'm not gonna promise anything but I'm gonna try. Yes, we don't have a post production facility over here but, but it was, it was lovely to get a window into someone else's calendar. I will say that. So I'd be like, wow, that's how someone else organizes their life. That is really cool to see. So yeah, we could do that.

49:33 Chirag: 

And if you're stuck, if you need help with post production, you also know who to reach out to.

49:38 Taapsi:

Yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, I see. I see. I just, I completely walked into that job. I completely walked into that. Yeah. All right. Ok. Thanks so much. This was great. Bye bye bye.