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Thursday, January 22

✔ My way of project management and planning

Some time ago I wrote about how I deal with my "Inboxes" and offered a set of extra tips and tricks from my "10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity Video Course". Today, to keep you going, I would like to focus on the other part of the productivity jigsaw: the projects.

Note: The following article appeared fist in the March issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

Projects

OK, but what are we calling "projects"?

According to a definition that comes from "Getting Things Done" book by David Allen, project is "any commitment that takes more than one step to complete." This is a great description, however it could be more flexible. Let's see an example: writing this blog post might be a task ("write a blog about projects") as well as a project with several tasks ("prepare the post structure", "write the post", "choose a photo", etc.)

I find myself needing to find a different solution, where sometimes I group a couple of really easy tasks into one big task consisting of several small steps... and in different circumstances I prefer to create a separate project with a number of tasks. I think it all comes down to complexity of what you're set out to accomplish...

Here's how I approach projects:

Friday, January 16

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 6: Help [part 2]

Note: This is the 19th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

It's all about passion - 19

Passion to Help, part 2

Helping in trying times - Earthquake in Japan

In this chapter I'd like to share with you my personal story of how my passion to help got ignited by some really passionate people in very trying times... and how my software was helping a lot more than any amount of money would.

In Japan just in time for the biggest Earthquake

As my application became popular in Japan I decided to visit the country to get to know my users. It was March 2011 when I came to Tokyo and spent a few fantastic days getting to know people and the country. I felt three quite strong earthquakes while being in the town, but Japanese people assured me that it was "normal"...

Our plan involved doing a road-show tour by visiting two more cities: Osaka and Fukuoka. On Friday, March 12, we began our journey with the bullet train (Shinkansen) to Osaka. The train stopped 30 minutes from Osaka and they announced a big earthquake.

It was THE earthquake. The biggest in Japanese history, but we didn't know it then. I remember thinking: "What's the fuss all about? After all they have earthquakes here all of the time, right?". Boy was I wrong.

Friday, January 9

✔ How I'm setting my goals for 2015 to get them all done

Now that year 2014 is behind us, it's time to focus on 2015 and set some goals for it. I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions but in setting real goals as projects and in this post I'm going to show you how I've done my goals for this year:

How I'm setting my goals for 2015 to get them done

If you're a Nozbe user, you might have seen this post by Michael Hyatt about setting goals as projects. If not, I strongly encourage you to check it out. And if you haven't checked out Michael's course: [5 Days to Your Best Year Ever][mc] - the registration closes tonight, so make sure to check it out. I won't earn a dime if you do, I'm linking to his course because it's great and because it works. Anyway, I've followed Michael's advice written in his post for Nozbe and this is what I did:

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

✔ 2014 for me: total body and business makeover

Wow. What a year it was! I lost close to 10kg, did my first triathlon (and two more afterwards!), wrote my first solo book, launched Nozbe 2.0, radically changed our business model, created a new project (to be launched in 2015) and started growing my team the right way... and I still feel like I've yet so many things to accomplish! If you're curious what I learned from all this, read on:

2014 for me: total body and business makeover

I was going to run more, lose some weight and develop my business...

In January of this year I wrote: "2013 was great and for 2014 I intend to keep running in biz & life - well, I must say I delivered more than promised. It started when I came back from my family Christmas vacation with additional 2 kg... I decided to finally do something more radical about my weight and just went with the slow carb diet all the way for 2 months straight... this triggered all the changes in my life this year:

  1. I "changed" my body...
  2. I wrote my first solo book..
  3. And I re-set my business goals

Here goes:

Saturday, December 20, 2014

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 6: Help [part 1]

Note: This is the 18th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

It's all about passion - 18

Passion to Help

"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." - Mark Twain

Your mission is to help others

As we discussed in the previous chapters, businesses are being created to solve problems. To help others do something more efficiently and easily. That's especially what the Startup businesses are all about. I created Nozbe to solve my own time-management problems.

By solving my own problem I found out there are other "Michaels" out there and many more folks have the same problem. Now, every day I know there are thousands upon thousands of people and companies that rely on my software to manage their lives. I literally make their lives better by providing this service. This feeling is incredible. And when I receive emails from the people saying how thankful they are for my solution, I'm the happiest person alive.

Friday, December 19, 2014

✔ Productive! Magazine is growing with the first issue of a Dutch version!

When in 2008 I launched the Productive! Magazine as a free PDF I had one thing in mind: I'm already offering a great productivity tool... but what is a tool without a constant flood of inspiration?

Fast forward today and not only do we have Productive! Magazine as a monthly magazine in the form of an app for the iPhone, iPad and Android platforms... but the "productivity platofrm" I initiated has now local versions in Polish, Spanish, Japanese and now... (drumrolls!) in Dutch!

Productive! Magazine Dutch

I'm really proud of our Productive! Magazine Dutch team:

  • Fokke Koistra of Think Productive Benelux - editor in chief
  • Callista Vink - assistant editor
  • Magda Blaszczyk - executive editor of Productive! Magazine and coordinator of all the issues together with Radziu and Radek of our Nozbe team.

What's in the first issue of the Dutch magazine?

Interview with yours truly as well as articles by leading Dutch-speaking productivity experts like: Gonny van der Zwaag, Bart Timmers, Grace Marshall, Frank Meeuwsen, Marcel van der Berg, Martijn Aslander... as well as Graham Allcott and Juan Antonio Dominion.

As always - the idea is that our localized magazines are really local - written by local experts and for the local community... and in 2015 the Dutch version will be a quarterly magazine... and if it gains traction Fokke promised to prepare new issues more frequently, so make sure to check it out, if you speak Dutch!

Fun fact: When I launched Nozbe back in 2007 I posted about it on Frank Meeuwsen's blog "What's the Next Action?" and that post catapulted Nozbe's popularity. Now Frank is a good friend and one of the contributors to our magazine. World is indeed a small place... and a great (and productive!) one at that!

Question: Have you checked our local versions of Productive! Magazine? Which ones? Do you read regularly our main magazine?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

✔ How I fell in love with my iPhone 6 Plus... and I wasn't supposed to enjoy it at all!

Back in September before Apple's presentation I wrote a blog post about a possibility of switching from #iPadOnly to #iPhone6plusOnly - meaning that the new big iPhone was going to be so huge that you could do everything there. I was trying to ridicule the concept. I couldn't imagine getting such a big iPhone and working solely on it. Later I wrote how I'm going to "sacrifice myself" and get the new iPhone although I wouldn't be able to use it one-handed. Then the day came I unpacked my new iPhone...

iPhone 6 plus iwallet

I got the iPhone 6 Plus a month ago when I was on our company's retreat. Along with it I unpacked my new iPad Air 2 and I wanted to make the iPad my main computing device for the whole week-long retreat. Well, it turned out I was using my iPhone 6 Plus all of the time and my iPad was collecting dust. Hm... I was surprised. Why was that?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 5: Growth [part 3]

Note: This is the 17th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

It's all about passion - 17

Passion for Growth, part 3

Be passionate about growing as a leader

You are not born a leader. You become one. To grow your passionate startup you simply need to grow to become a great leader. You need to learn to lead people as it's the only way for them to do a great job and help you grow your startup business. You can't make people do great things. They have to achieve all this by following their leader. It's your job to do that.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

✔ Interview with Andrea Feinberg for the Productive! Magazine

Andrea Feinberg, a coach working mostly with small business owners, explains why some of us feel like slaves there at our desks and reveals her personal productivity tips and tricks.

More details in Productive! Magazine #25

Question: What is your method to keep a work-life balance?

Please post your comments below, thanks!

Check it out:

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Friday, December 5, 2014

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 5: Growth [part 2]

Note: This is the 16th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

It's all about passion - 16

Passion for Growth, part 2

“Remind your Team about your Mission and why it matters. Say it over email. Say it in meetings. Say it all the time. Say it with meaning and passion. Your team needs to be reminded that what they’re doing matters and that you’re insanely passionate about it. They’re not as invested in it as you are and you need to lead by example. If you’re not insanely passionate about your mission, maybe it’s time to kill your startup.” - Ryan Carson, co-founder of Treehouse

Growing by embracing the challenges

Running a startup business is not a walk in the park. Things don't always go the way you planned... and what's worse, sometimes the technology evolves in totally different directions from the ones you assumed. You may invest lots of time, energy and money in developing a Flash-based tool for mobile devices and then all of the sudden Mr Steve Jobs of Apple Inc. decides this technology is "old-school" and none of their i-Devices (iPhones, iPads, iPods) will support it. You're out of luck and you need to pivot and change your strategy... or die.

Pivoting is hard and painful... and great for you

Big companies usually fear change and do everything in their power to maintain the status quo. They see change as the enemy and employ all of their resources to bring back the "old way of doing things". Don't take this route. Never.

Nozbe was initially built as a web application and with developments of HTML5 and projects like Chrome OS from Google I was confident we should be just improving our web site and not focus on installable apps.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

✔ Make friends with time - intro to Productive! Magazine #25

I'd say the time is the main character of the newest issue of our magazine. It might make some of you think funny as many people find the time their enemy. Perhaps I'm one of them... at times :) Time as an enemy is a source of guilt, stress, misery and hurry (thus - mistakes). We are sure we have to beat the time or at least fight with it constantly.

Productive! Magazine #25

Is there a way to make the time a friend? I am sure there is. Read the interview with Andrea Feinberg and then the articles by Grace Marshall and Sara Caputo and look for the ways which may work for you.

Some people fight with time because they want to slow it down and squeeze more things into a 24-hour period. Some of us don't like time as it is at all and keep waiting for tomorrow to be better and more suitable to introduce the changes. Anyways, maybe it's a good idea to see time as a friend, as a tool, as bag full of opportunities...

Time as a friend

Time can be your ally, really! All you need to do is start treating it like that. You can play with it, try new things, like it. Note, though, that your friendship could be even better if you think realistically and get to know "your" time well. Your time is your time - 24 hours a day, 365 days in a year and your possibilities are limited. Like in every friendship, you need to accept some of the weak sides and constraints of the other person and not try to force them to take too much on them.

Time as a tool

Time can be a nice tool to work with and to experiment with. Last week I prepared a document for my employees. It was our company's strategy for the year 2015. It worked really well and motivated the Nozbe team because I wrote it in a form of a note from my diary written on 31 December 2015. I presented my vision as actual facts. As one of the guys said, "It didn't sound like a plan but a sheer autosuggestion - it all has already happened... although in a year from now ;)"

Time as a source of opportunities

Think life is too short to do stuff? What if you think the other way round? Life is too long not to... :) Anyway, time offers you multiple opportunities. Some resolutions will require minutes or hours, and some - weeks or months. But time is there for us. For you. Why don't we take what we need. It's worth to partner with time to achieve what you want and what you need. Reasonably. With no stress, guilt or anxiety.

Let me summarize with a quote from a TEDx speech by Nigel Marsh:

"...the small things matter. Being more balanced doesn't mean dramatic upheaval in your life. With the smallest investment in the right places, you can radically transform the quality of your relationships and the quality of your life."

If you decide to make friends with time read more articles about life-work balance, focus and magical 15 minutes in the issue 25 of the Productive! Magazine

Question: Are you fighting with your time? Would you be willing to change it?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 5: Growth [part 1]

Note: This is the 15th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

It's all about passion - 15

Passion for Growth

"It's never too late to be what you might have been." - George Eliot

Growing for the sake of growing

Many startups which become funded by the VCs have too much money in their bank account and feel the urge to spend it quickly... so they start growing for the sake of growing. They just feel they need to grow their team and company really quickly although they have no clue how to do it. They are passionate about spending money on growth, not on the growth itself.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

✔ Do-It-Yourself iPhone 6 Plus Wallet - Productive! Show #85

Separate wallet and an iPhone is such an old concept. Now with Apple Pay even more so. That's why after I got an iPhone 6 Plus I decided to create my own wallet for it. I wanted to fit at least 4 cards and some cash. Before this I used to have an iPhone 5S with Quirky Crossover cover... but now that they're not going to produce any of these, I decided to go DIY way - so there you go, here's how you can create a DO IT YOURSELF iPhone 6 Wallet out of a simple iLUV sillicone case with nail scissors.

Question: Do you carry a separate wallet? Would you want to build one of these?

Please post your comments below, thanks!

Check it out:

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Watch and comment on YouTube

Video: Download VIDEO of this episode

Audio: Download AUDIO of this episode

If you have enjoyed this episode of the Productive! Show, please subscribe:

Subscribe to VIDEO podcast | Get VIDEO from iTunes

Subscribe to AUDIO podcast | Get AUDIO from iTunes

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

✔ Why peer support is critical to your success - intro to Productive! Magazine #24

The October 2014 issue of Productive! Magazine has made me think of the support that everyone needs in their lives. Sometimes it is professional mentoring, and sometimes it is peer mentoring. It can also simply be the way we bring up our kids or look up to one of our professors at university.

Productive! Magazine #24

As the poet John Donne wrote, "No man is an island." We live in a connected world and interact with other people; we can choose to make these people a part of our success. Every "productivity guru" will tell you that one of the most effective ways to change a habit is to ask for peer support. Having done that for a while now, I'd say that having a network of peers in the most important aspects of your life is critical to your success.

Friday, November 14, 2014

✔ How I deal with incoming stuff - my 5 Inboxes: Email, Nozbe, Desk, Evernote & Articles

As a "productivity guy" I've always been trying to write about what can be possibly optimized, enhanced or streamlined... Also in the field of Apple's Gadgets. My latest experiences, though, made me realize that I need to go back to the initial point and focus a little bit on basic time management rules and the role of the devices we use daily.

Note: The following article appeared fist in the March issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

inboxes

10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity Video Course

In 2013 I recorded a video course - a set of ten 5-minute-long clips where I share my knowledge with the audience. I try to show exactly "how things work for me" - which time management tricks prove effective in my case and which don't. You are more than welcome to watch the course online.

Step 1 - Inbox - Clear your head

In the Step 1 of my course I speak of the basic rules which I follow to manage all the incoming stuff. I show how I cope and sort everything out. In this post I would like to go a little deeper so I encourage you to watch the Step 1 of my video course first and then complete reading this article. I am going to share my top tips and tricks with you.