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Building a Trustworthy Workflow

Lesson 11 from: Time Management 101

Mike Vardy

Building a Trustworthy Workflow

Lesson 11 from: Time Management 101

Mike Vardy

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Lesson Info

11. Building a Trustworthy Workflow

Lesson Info

Building a Trustworthy Workflow

I've been talking lava paper so far, guys, I mean, we've got paper notebooks out here so on and so forth I'm a big fan of paper and when we talk about going paperless uh I'm not necessarily the most most expert in that room I know a lot about it, but I've got somebody here who definitely knows a lot more about it and we're going to have him here skyping in in just a second name is brooks duncan and he runs a site called document snap dot com he's actually got one of the bonus is that that comes with this course it's guide to going paperless which the irony of it as we printed it's very it's it's a lot of paper so that's not lost on me but we have brooks uh here on the line and I just wantto welcome you teo and thanks for helping me up works I really appreciate it now where is thanks for inviting me? You look comfortable yeah, I'm in my office down in the basement that we call it the dungeon and things are good. So brooks you're based in vancouver, right? That's how we know each other f...

rom going to several other events and the thing I like about brooks is that when you talk when we talk about paperless nous um you know, you're paying attention yes, you're watching yesterday uh and he's not your not against paper right? I don't know I've been getting angrier and angrier every time it's been raging but so what do we talk about? Maybe what with the realtor paperless nous that we want to get to here do you want to maybe touch on that a little bit? Yeah sure I mean paperless is kind of a rough term because you know just the word itself it implies an absolute lack of paper but really the way I think about paper is you know, if you wantto if you want to write things down in a notebook if you want teo you know, print things out and write down when you're reviewing some sort of material to be paperless isn't about getting rid of every single piece of paper in your life it's more about kind of being mindful about the paper that you use and being mindful about the paper that you teach er I've been kind of in and out of the chat room and alaia williams said it really well and doctors rumi said well today too you know you when you were talking about post it notes and it's not about the use of post it notes you know if you wantto if it helps you teo, you know, write things down on post its arrange some best awesome but then what do you do with this paper once you're done working with it so that's how I think about paperless so let's maybe talk about the the paper that you keep uh maybe the paper that you don't keep so how do you how do you mitigate that like how do you figure that because there's lots of tools and resources out there but how do you how do you suggest people do that yeah when I think about going paperless I basically think about it from four main perspectives the first is what paper can you eliminate you know still work the way that you want to work but what paper can you get rid of the second is how do we capture that paper that we have and make it elektronik and then the third is how do we organize those electronic documents and then finally and to me most important how do we protect the paper and how to protect the elektronik information that we have so what do we talk a little bit about some of the equipment or the means of getting that paper into a paperless format that you that you would look at her or recommend that people look into yeah absolutely so first like I said it's it's eliminating the paper that you're not using so look at all those sources of paper that you have coming in is it coming in with the mail is it coming in with the kids backpacks for me there's a mountain of paper every day coming about I hear you source right now you know if you're in an office environment you know you've probably seen the stack of paper beside the printer that everybody prints out but nobody actually takes their print outs you know, maybe a stuff you write down so what those can you eliminate what those can you make elektronik if it works for you and you'll be able to cut down quite a bit of the inputs right away because the less inputs that you have the less cluttered you're going tohave and the less mental stress you're gonna have we talked about that a bit yesterday with the digital stuff to write the last the less portals you have things coming in like you know when you actually decide where they're going to go then it gives you a better chance of actually looking in and figuring out you know hey how do I deal with this yeah so then once you've kind of gotten rid of a big chunk of your paper hopefully then it's about taking it elektronik and that's when we get into capturing and the way that most people think about capturing paper and taking electronic of course is a stander and there's lots of different types of scanners out there for me a scanner that I tend to like is called a scan snapped by fujitsu they have a few models there's a desktop model the x five hundred there's a portable model the as thirteen hundred I and there's a really small mile that you can throw in your bag called the s eleven hundred those were really good. They just came out with this new one that I've been playing with, like crazy called the six hundred, which will let you scan books and scan you know, those kind of papers that you wouldn't normally be ableto put through a document theater and also stand objects, but there's other ones out there there's a new one that I know you're a big fan of. I haven't had a chance to try, as called the meat connect and that's by a company called meat, and they make a really great scanner as well. It can scan two different online services without being needed toe plug into a computer, which is really cool. Yeah, I'm gonna talk. I'm going to talk a bit about the neat stuff after we're done here, but what about what about some of the apse that air at that? Because I mean, one of things are going to talk a little bit later, I'm on the road right now, I've got a lot of receipts, I've got a lot of things that are coming my way, so I'm gonna talk about what I use, but what what other absolute or tools that people can use to kind of capture capture this stuff yeah, absolutely like I said, we always think about scanners when we think about capturing our documents, but now it is the alps and the cameras and our smartphones are getting so good that you can actually use your phone as a you know, really viable documents tanner so for me this comes in handy, especially when I'm traveling when I'm on the go there's a lot of standing out, so they're genius stan is a good one turbot stan is another good one and you can actually especially for capturing receipts you cannot use aps like expensive fi to capture receipts and or shoebox and they will automatically extract that you know the vendor and the amount out and allow you to create expense reports while you're travelling meet has if you're using the need scanners, which it sounds like you're gonna be talking about, they have a really good mobile app so you can scan it with your phone it'll digitize it and upload it to their system and that works really well as well. But you know beyond just the receipts you could actually capture documents and stuff like that and I will send them to yourself or save them to ever know dropbox however you want they worked really, really well you want to talk a bit about backups as well because a lot of this stuff yes, we've got the paper digitally captured but now what about making sure that it doesn't go anywhere when we talk about visual clutter is so visible right? Like you people that's why we love it but did you know once it's out there it's gone so what about what about that yeah you know there's a lot of kind of fear wrapped up around going going digital with with any type of files because at least when you have a paper you know you can see it you can touch it and when you have a a problem with paper clutter you can at least see that you have a problem but when we're talking about digital files then you know it's kind of out there you know, it's there somewhere but you can't see it and feel it combined with that there's there's this old saying you know, there's two types of hard drives there's those that have crashed and those that will crash so you know when you're going paperless you know, we all here we need to back up our computers like that's like you need to eat your vegetables right? But when you're going paperless it's absolutely not optional you have tohave an effective backup because you basically have to work off the assumption that something is going to fail along the while so for me when I talk about protecting our electronic documents I think of it I want to back up at least two places you know the more the merrier for sure but you want to have at least one local backup which is usually, you know, plugging your plugging an external hard drive into your computer and backing up that way and then at least one offsite backup so you can use online backup services like I personally use one called crash plan but there's lots of others or you can have stuff copy to an external hard drive and, you know, have it off site somewhere and rotated on a weekly basis or something. The key is you wanna have your data and as many places as you can now before before we let you go brooks your your guide is included with a cz part of the bonus material. So some of the stuff obviously we only have a little bit of time with you, but I want to touch on something really quickly is just the speeding up of the process the efficiency and effectiveness of like what you could do with file conventions and stuff like that I know you you do cover that in your in your guide, right? Yeah, absolutely. It's the biggest question that I get from people is howto I organize my documents and so what that guy does is it kind of takes you through here's the things you want to think about when you're organizing your electronic information so for me, a big thing is having a consistent and descriptive naming convention because when you're looking for this stuff later, if you know how it's going to be named, it'll make it much easier to find on then you want to have some sort of elektronik filing structure that works for you whether that's by categories by date, you know that god kind of takes takes it through the ways I think about that and then, you know, you want your documents to be not just searchable, but you want your documents to be findable. So how do you make your documents so that you can find the information that you need, right when you need it on that it kind of talks about learning how to use the search in that way? Awesome. Awesome. So, brooks, I'm gonna let you go now because it looks like you got a bunch of books behind you that you need to start scanning with that new scanner. Exactly. I don't have to cut them up anymore. Thanks for joining us on creative live today. Brooks. Thanks a lot. Well, we'll have to have another. Another weaves the field notes beer thing. We'll have a beer when I get back up there, okay, sounds good, alright, thanks, brooks, brooks, duncan, everybody so he's the, uh he knows a lot I know, I know some and we're going to go over some of this marrying the analog and digital tools now so first off, before we jump into that I wanna get I'll jump to the chat room in a minute to get some questions that may be out there or maybe some clarifications that are needed but what about you guys? You guys, you kind of get a sense of of what you may need to be looking at in terms of going paperless let's start with you because you have are you using anything to get to go paperless at this point or are you just gonna all into the paper and that's it? I'm actually avoiding paper as well also because ofthe environment for the reasons toe use less paper and ever known is very co and with my phone company's bank everything I tried to receive everything by email rather than regular mail, right? And one thing though is hand knows howto put those electric I know ever not has a handwriting recognition, but I don't know well yeah there's this great now I this is my eminent moleskin and you could see it's got the nice every night logo on this one what actually could do which I really like? Is it khun take your hand writing and because of the technology if you're writing is ledge a ble um and I tend to write like a teacher, I think so. I got eyes, it can actually convert its attacks. S o s oh, this is where and I mentioned this in that block post I put up today on productivity is I captured a lot of my outlining in this notebook and the paper in here because it's it's geared towards ever now, when you take a picture of the paper with your smartphone app, and I'm pretty sure it works for both iphone and android. But I know it definitely works for iphone is that I can actually convert this and put it into every note, and they also comes with with these little and this is actually kind of I don't really use these all that much, but it comes with smart stickers that air inside. So if you use these smart stickers, it actually kind of has a sense of where it should go. So there's an automation to it as well, which I kind find it find kind of interesting. So that's one way another thing you mentioned bills and stuff in, right? So, uh, what do you do with those phone bills and stuff? They come in the email today? Do you just file them or have, for example, in accounts folder and under that for forty which fits the mobile company if it's mobile company named folder and all the past receipts are in there, even if I need to go back, I know where to go now is that never notice that's outside of that, this is on the side. So this is my problem. I ever know what I want to make it a central organization thing, but I'm most organizing in different places sometimes I don't know what is where high, but now we're gonna do that. We're gonna bring it in so they would never know. And as I mentioned yesterday, ever know has when you, when you haven't evernote account just like other task, manager's as well or actual task. Manager's as opposed to what I don't think everyone does as well. Everyone has an e mail address that's associate it. So what you could do is forward those e mails like use that email to ford the document to inside evernote, and then you can create the notebooks inside there so it could all be in that one spot, right? So it'll go to your inbox first, obviously, because that's where you're gonna forward it, too, because it's not a web clipping thing actually gonna send it there, and then you process that everyone in box you could say, oh, this belongs in the mobile phone category and one of the things I found when I was working on my course outline is that it came in as a document, but when I put it into ever note, I could actually click on the document it would open on external application in this case pages, because that's what it was formatted for it was a document file, and as I updated it there once I closed it, it updated it within evernote, so it allows me to kind of use ever notice like that again, that portal, that one a place where all that stuff can go and because every note's got the ocr optical character recognition technology you can actually use not just tagging in there, but you could say, I wonder what my I want to look up all the bills from me, my let's say, uh, uh, what is it? Verizon, right? I know I don't have we don't have verizon, we wish we had variety can we don't have horizon so verizon so you could type in verizon. The circuit would find not just the typed out verizon but your bills, because it can recognize that. So that might be a way to go that said, remember, we talked about privacy yesterday, some people don't want to keep that stuff sink. So you could make it a local notebook if you want, which means it won't sink to evernote server so then you don't necessarily have to worry about that component of it, right? Which may be a concern for you. Um, or you can again do local, like, move the move the files into a local folder like you are right now are using a mac er windows mac. So, is this great tool for the mac? Uh, which I no brooks has mention before called hazel h a zed? Yeah, I knew I'd have to say that letter at some point. So so basically, what it does it's made by a company called noodle soft it's fantastic. What it does is it basically acts as a filter like it's a filtration service. So for example, when I read a block post, I put the the, uh I put a an acronym in front of pvc productivity's dot com. And then what'll happen is, is if I've got a rule that when hazel ceos sees this in any part of my documents folder that it puts it into a document folder called productivity ist so it moves it automatically so it's scans your folders and this is only local local on your mac, and this is a mac only application there's no where's, no windows equivalent yet but I know brooks has seen that there's a gentleman that's been working on one but he it doesn't work as effectively there's been some hiccups with it during the break jamie we can I can find out what the name of that is for you and then we could maybe and also bring it back to the chat room as well but it allows you to go this naming conventions that brooks was talking about it allows you use those naming conventions but you you you you you pre set them right you do that front end work right? So you're saying okay if if something starts with pvc or something starts with verizon and the date that it arrived is november first, two thousand thirteen I want this to go into the phone bill folder oh ah and I wanted to go into or the bills folder if you want to go even mohr you know vague bills folder and if there is no november folder yet create a november folder and put it inside a november folder and it will do all that for you. I think what you just mentioned is quite important the naming conventions it has to be consistent and one one place that I struggle is this with the tags and then a right if it's something that I haven't used for a while I've just forget how I used to attack it and that's why hazel so great because hazel, if you do those setting up the naming conventions within hazel and you have that set up like if you say this is what will happen if I need it this way and make them simple make them a little simple triggers so again pvc for me I know what that means uh and now that on mac os for anybody who's using that they're now having tagging involved like there's tags that are included that's another convention that you can use and that's why I wrote a post about this and I've actually talked about this a few times like a soon as tags went into an operating system I'm like their mainstream now while the productivity nerds that have been using tags and context or so long can finally like say yes see see how good these are not only did they help you search for things but they help us brooke said find things so that that's away that's an element of your workflow by using something like hazel that is almost invisible remember we I showed yesterday for those either were here yesterday the sample productivity's path that I use where everything that's an idea goes into every note and everything that's a task was in tommy focus and you could of course use whichever tool you want to use but email all that stuff goes in there well along the way it's something like hazel so it ends up going to where I really needed to go in terms of safe file so that's where they need me conventions come into play do we have anything from the chat room? Yeah. Jennifer there's a question here from tammy and she says if you use a neat scanner is the data portable if you decide not to use need anymore I guess taking a step back if there is proprietary software with these things is there a best practice for how you should save the pds? J pegs any advice? Their pdf sare always best because again, whenever I save anything, whether it's a if I can use the most common file format possible, I will for example, I rarely say things as document files because what word reads is one thing pages might read is another and there are some differences I mean, I don't know if for those you have a mac if you open pages and you've got a word file that's come your way it says the following items need to be reviewed and you're like, oh there's a little bit of a difference here, right? So I try to use plain tax files for that for any kind of print outs or anything like that pdf ce because again they're there there's a universality there that allows you teo to use those but in terms of neat, I know that I'm going to dive into some of the hardware there, but if you use the neat connect service, it just means that you're sinking that stuff to the cloud, but you can also save it locally. So it's not like the only the only thing about running it through the night service is that you get the technology built into the standard that way. So if it's going through the cloud and all that stuff, then you're going to be able to use the optical character recognition, which is something that a lot of people like to have. But have you got naming convention set up and you've got filters or tags, then you may not need that at all, right? You know, um, I know ah few people when they're doing, when they're using evernote, they have a thing called household inventory, they actually have a notebook called household inventory, the notebook stack, and then they'll put inside they're all the different rooms of their houses and then for fire purposes for insurance purposes, right? So they'll have in there each of the elector warranty information or a picture of what the thing is or, you know, they'll go really detail. But when you do something like that, the naming conventions are important and then if something was to happen you've got every note in your pocket you've got ever know, you know, on your computer you can turn around or actually anywhere really because it's a service that sinks across teo you know if you're anywhere really if you want you can then go to your insurance come say look here's all the stuff that was lost here's when I bought it here's what? You know it gives you that ability and yeah, there's probably a lot of service is that they're good men mike don't say that because I sell a half that does that one thing well, but that's one of the things I'm going to discuss more on day three is if you can find one app that scales like that, then why wouldn't you use it like you're saying, you know, like I want to try to get everything you never know good because then you're very familiar with every note as opposed to saying I want to use every note for ideas and I want to use um let's say I want to use google keep for other ideas if you have one area of knowledge that you're building out ofthe right like you would with a business right then that that's gonna be helpful to you? So is there anything else in the chap you wanna make a note that brooks is in the chat room and he is answering some of people's questions? They're so anything that we don't address here, we will ask to you, but apparently that's camera can automate so he can sit there way can't answer the questions from you guys, so if you guys have any task right here, brooks can help you in the chat room. So so wait, we're married. Yeah, I guess that's why we're marrying the tools, but yes. So naming conventions or huge hazel is a great application for that. The other tool that I use in terms of naming conventions that help and brooks, we'll talk about this as well in the chat room as well as in his guide is text expander is so huge for that I'm getting some nods from from after you use use text expander next it's pretty amazing, yeah! It's ah there a texas the alternate writes that zit you don't you're not using text expander using another, I used a text genetics does everything so it's the same thing that's, a text expansion tool there's text expander, which is made by smile software or smiled, then there's a text there's a few others, but what that does is it allows you to enter just a couple of keystrokes and it expands out what you want so if you can't remember your naming convention but you're like what away uh I don't know what the short form of, um shoot appointment is I'm booking shoot or whatever so you just type in, you know b o or b k like that's all you have to remember that did you it expands it out and so you text expansions really key because it can save you time it could make it more effective efficient and it can save you from spelling errors because you do it once and then when you start to use the the text expansion tool you're not going to worry about did I spell that right? And then one of the great things about it is I use it a lot for there's areas where you could have blanks so you can fill in the blanks afterwards so for emails I'll have like deer blank and they will come up is like a fill in the blank template. So what? Dear jennifer and this is for email I'm thanks so much for the opportunity reviewer software enforcement I've got a lot of projects on the go right now so I won't be able to give you the the proper attention that it deserves please keep me in mind for any future updates sincerely mike vardi and boom gone does this text expander like if you have several template starting with dear doesn't show them alternative this weekend which one can you? I'd only keep my text expander window open, but you could actually have a text expander snippet that opens all of your short coast for text expanders so if you like, I can't remember which one is which you can actually have a coat like a short key keystroke that shows everyone that you've created I've got I've got over a hundred snippets easily easily and and I created most of them when I was working for life hack and the reason I did is because well, I had a lot of people saying can you test my app? Can I write for you? Can I do this? And if I tried to respond to all those e mails personally or without having some kind of template in mind, guess what I would be spending all day email so this kind of it can help with the e mail I can help with a whole bunch of things naming conventions all that stuff so you can actually text expander in combination with hazel to say okay what's this naming convention you know you type in a quick text expander it creates the naming convention and then he's a will tell you where, depending what rules you've sat up and again a nap that scales david sparks max marquis dot com he has talked extensively about the different the different hazel tools he's done podcasts on hazel where he actually will tell you hey, this is how I use hazelnuts how I make it really effective and he's gets really deep. But he's he's such a smart guy is that he's done it in a way that scales like here if you only want to use it this way, do this if you want to use it this way, do this when you get this way, do this. So he's a great resource for that. So hazel is a fantastic tool and for text expansion on the window side of things, I'm sure people are gonna wanna know about that breathe. He is the one. And brooks was the one to share that with me. B r e v why? And the nice thing about that is that with snippets in text expander I think a text has ah, they have a library is, well, right. So it's so you can put that library in a tool like dropbox, right? And with bree v if you're working on a windows machine at work and a mac at home let's say, uh, and you wantto make sure you have the same snippets on your windows machine that you do on the mac, you just tell bree v to point to that that file in dropbox and you're gonna have access to it so there there they are compatible with one another so instead of having to completely shift when you're on your windows machine versus your mac if that's what you're doing then you could say oh good I don't have to remember the different naming that the different conventions I've used this is makes sense that you guys getting it okay cool and this is one of those tools that again this is time may I mean this's a time management thing because if you can speed this stuff up and I know after you you're trying to set up but I want to got it set up and even with eight extra sinks and drop box if you have multiple max were pointed to the same place and take picks it up in ios as well it works on ios at least texas man I don't think there's an ios app there are some limitations with the iowa version of text expander just because of the conventions of the operating system but by and large I mean you're going to get some really great tools and dispatch remember that male tool I talked about yesterday? It has snippets and it can sink back to text expander so if you enable text expander on your iphone and you decide that you hey I'm going to use dispatches my mean email client which is what I use because remember what it does it allows me to put it where stuff where I needed to go now I've got the snippets in there so I can literally excuse me literally sit and go all right yep snippet snippet aiken and some of my snippets air really simple and zero no why three s yes and you want to make those those those snippets something that wouldn't make a realtor word because you don't want to be using the application all the sudden you type in yes and also in this big sniff it shows up so make sure you put something like a semi colon in between or do what I've done which is maybe put a number between the two letters so and no you probably guess what that snippet is no is the one I just you know recited to you yes is like I love this app lets make it happen you know that kind of thing and just really allows me to process that allows me to process things a lot quicker but it also works in terms of the marrying of the digital stuff as well because you can create those naming conventions very easily and quickly um I want to talk a bit about that that neat connect and that nude software a little bit because it's the one I used onder reason I use it is because uh I like I'm not in an office environment they need connect what I liked about it was it doesn't connect to a computer so you don't you can actually have it and what we had it we haven't set up by our front door of this little shelf that juts out and so when we come in, I can actually put my mail or my receipts and and scan them and the nice thing about the need connect is you can connect to a number of services, so for those people who don't want to use the neat cloud that's fine, you can sink it to ever note you can sink it to drop box, you can sink it to sky drive or you can sink it within your own network to us. But if you want to connect it to a specific folder on your on your local machine and again with these conventions again, if you're thinking it too drop toe evernote ifyou've don't we did yesterday? Where do you think the scanner is going to go in box? It'll go to your in box and every note, right? If you and the neat cloud has the same thing where you've got in boxes and then you can process it as well again, if you skip any cloud than are the need that component, then you're not necessarily gonna get the ocr, but you can work around that that's not something you necessarily need um but I do use any cloud, and I also use the neat mobile app, which is the one on my iphone, and I found it to come in handy during this travel period because what I'll do and this is about getting capturing as you go, like brooks was talking about, I'm in a restaurant, I get a receipt while I'm while I'm, uh, either if I've ordered and they get the receipt beforehand, I'll take a picture of it, you need mobile, I'll take the picture and you could do that with expensive find a bunch of them, too, but I will do process that at the time, while I have the time, so either do there or they'll be one other instance where I'll capture all of these receipts and that will be on the plane ride home when I really can't it won't sink necessarily to the cloud, but it's captured right, and then I'm marrying the analog in the digital tool, and I'm also making best use of my time at that point in time saying, hey, look, I can't I can't connect unless I want to pay for internet on the flight so I can just capture it it's there, and then I'm calibrating automatically, right? We talked about calibration yesterday it's thing going to the place I needed to go to right and the other thing I like about the neat cloud is that you could actually send specific files and folders to say a bookkeeper so you can share that stuff they're sharing components so needs a really interesting when there's an elegant look to it as well like very very pretty looks a lot like a mack I mean I'd say this is a nice little example of what maybe it would look like I don't mind having it as a peace as an appliance in the middle of our house the fujitsu scan snap as awesome as it is and ever note actually has their own scanner now that fujitsu is as done up for them I wouldn't necessarily want that sitting in the middle of my my living room as you walk in the door it's a bit of a beast do we have anybody that wants to ask or his brooks taking care of everything and taking care of a lot of thought good job rocks so so you're you're using a text are you using anything like our using hazel it all or any of the other kind of try it out okay awesome awesome so so when it comes to this kind of stuff the other thing that when I talk about marrying the analog and digital tools in terms of building a work flow up you guys are writing all this stuff down way talked a little bit about this yesterday one of the things I want to discuss really quickly is is how, what? What are some of the best ways you can get that stuff from there into a task manager as opposed to something like ever notre a supposed to like a receipt or something like that? So I'm going to talk about this again tomorrow a little bit more detail, but you need to come you have to have some kind of conventional system that allows you to figure out hey, what what what what still is on paper, what is now in the digital world? And then as brooks had said, then you need to get rid of the paper because the paper becomes that clutter, so if if it's not something that you need to keep, then it shouldn't know if there's no sense sentimental value's fine, I keep a lot of things for sentimental value, those nice journals that we talked about it earlier on where it's like, you know, hey, I want to pass this on that's great, but my field notes going, I pitched them, I don't get married to them, yeah, I used them and then they process them, so I've seen three three paper paper things going on here, which is grey and knows a brooks said that paper listeners wasn't it all about getting rid of all paper so when you're looking at your list right now, I want to go through each of you that are writing things down um and I'm not condemning you for not writing anything down there, so it was like, no, I'm processing I want you to look at that what you've got written down and when you're looking at it either now or later maybe during lunch kind of figure out what what's worth keeping what's worth what's worth passing into the digital realm and what's worth like holding on to right? Um, there are certain elements of remember talked about sketch noting in the last segment I keep those because there's some kind of art behind those and those air notes that are going to resonate with me a bit more or I'll take them and put them into every note right and there's so many more things you could do with stuff like that nowadays that allows you to get things into those into the spices. So where out of the paper stuff you've written down have you have you figured out there's a place where you know where you figure you can put it? I mean, they actually and I'm trying to do a you know, like after the absolute gave me I'm going to use it the next week to come because this week I'm tired, but I'm trying to say that what you say about remember the graph, you know, the productive with the path you say I did that indirectly with my emails have, like, professional once and also normal friends right now, so and inside this actually folders, right? So I used that as a tool because I don't have the actually he's a good too, right? I used that stuff, you know, like different folder names, you know, for different things that that different projects I have on right? So that way I can actually like, you know, like, segregate my task at the same time, I understand we show this is a shoot high on with what I need to do, what it's like in a way is related to me, I understand where they're coming from, right with basing on your you said the legend, you know, like you're saying that, like, the arrow is not written is actually for reference, yeah, readies for reference and then the greenest or action and then for us, you know, so I have that in a way, I have segregation, so I can actually know that this one I need to do immediately, right? So when it comes to finally putting in the kalinda, you won't be all class a is only a few very distinctly I can tell right, but when I need further verifications, ofcourse I go back to my generally and how to, you know, make the week maybe how I can tweak it to see what it's not complete. How can I do further from there? Right? So your newspaper basically is that gateway that we thought it's now I'm learning to be able to go further, but and I want to know ideas so I can actually see oh, this is maybe hayes is workable for me. Maybe this is gonna go one keep I don't know yet I'm still exploring any anything you can use to make the processes frictionless is possible is what you want. You're already using a text so you can see the benefit of saying, hey, here's here's, how I can expand text and make things happen a lot quicker paper if you're using a simple system like the strike through system, we're going to talk about more detail tomorrow when we actually focus a bit more on paper in terms of, like, how to really process that nowhere. Well, I'll make sure they don't worry, I'm not gonna leave you too cool for that, but those kind of things are really elements that we can explore a little bit deeper, but, I mean you mean again I know you're taking notes absolute but but you don't have the paper in front of you so I'm wondering like you're already fairly digitally entrenched with paper is a bit of a gateway for you as it stands right? Yeah, I mean, I would like to see if there's a way where you could convert like lots of notes into something that goes on dropbox air or ever know directly a friend at work told me a lot about this gansta five hundred and frankly you need a computer to make it go to the cloud and maybe meet does not so I should look into that I'm not a big fan of, you know, doing two steps, putting it on the computer and then putting it on the cloud I want something which can take my notebook and directly put it on every note or drop box the need the need connect system you'd have to scan uh I mean the neat connects system if using need connected have to scan each individual page but that's fine if you're getting rid of the notebook are you getting rid of a notebook? I want yeah is a notebook going away so then you could rip a page out scan it rip I don't want to do each time, but maybe stunt snuff is better because you can do the whole I think that at least at least that's my brooks is getting whole books can holy smokes that see again, I learned stuff from him to write because I didn't know that kind of surprised me of that one. I want to test that one, and I'll give him a chance to test a neat connected but yeah, I mean, I think with those thing again, another element you can use is maybe start exploring some of the mobile aps that can sink that stuff up, right? Like, if you're using, uh, if you're using a notebook that you know and you want to take snapshots of that, maybe the mole I mean, if you're if you're already invested in notebooks, I mean, that's why I like the mole of skin I like the evident moleskin we're even the smaller ones there now offering you could take a picture of it. It goes into every note boom, you're done right? You're marrying those tools when we talked about the post its yesterday, right? The post it notes that ever notice now partnered up with and I mean, it doesn't have to be ever know ever know it's making a lot easier for people to make every note their choice let's face it, but I mean those air elements again, it takes, um a bit of digging bit of front and work you like you said with setting up text expansion tools that wasn't something that happened overnight none of this stuff is something that happens overnight net jennifer, you're you're happier with your evernote set up now a little bit right? So you think that maybe that's that's where you want to start putting all this stuff that you're working on? Yeah it's useful to know that there are ways to transfer this kind of content into every note easily instead of I have like five different notebooks just notes from different meetings and then it's a pain tio go back to my computer aft meaning wreath hash everything that happened try to, you know, organize it. So knowing that there's a way to transfer route makes it much easier. One big takeaway from the skype call was about the receipts I think that's a big one that I had not yet figured out. So I have like a file folder for receipts but then when I get a receipt I just like put it on my desk and let them pile up for one or two months and then while them all and it's a pain every time so knowing that there are ways to just scan them quick and then get them out there and then throw away the receipt is really I was with you on that I mean for me uh uh if I don't do it on that flight on the way home, I'm done like it won't, it'll be, I'll be, you know, no. Now I have to pay a bookkeeper to do it later, like I won't do it because I hate doing it. I hate it, even with all the tools that we have, I hate it because it's not fun, I mean, and I have a great cool app, and I've got a great scanner and it but it's, not something that so I want to get through it as quickly as possible, and so I'll do it in a place that allows me to do it as quickly as possible, or use a tool that allows me to do it as quickly as possible. And I mean, I'm not really terribly precious with my notebooks as much as I used to be. I mean, if I was precious with this notebook, uh, and I have certain things, I will definitely use this notebook for over others, then it's not going to be as useful to me because I want to be able to get this stuff out of here and every now and then I want to be able to get rid of it right, and people come here to throw away a twenty five dollars. You know, most likely, yeah, but, you know, there's a lot. I mean, we throw lots of things away when we're not when we're done with, um I mean, I'm not saying that we should or me it's recyclable I mean, it's not like I'm pitching it in the garbage or anything like that, I'm actually like I'm not being unconscious about it, but what I am doing is I'm saying this is this is the the gateway doesn't matter how, you know, I could have ivory gates or I could have just a a plank gate, it doesn't matter it's still, I'm trying to get past the gate and that's what this this kind of thing does and I mean, even even this this yellow sheet of paper that is my notes on it I mean, it's quick referral uh, what I did with the same sheet yesterday as I took a picture of it said, this is how I broke it down this is it was like again, and they still recall, and I've got it captured for future for future reference, so I could say, hey, here's, what I cover cause you know, I may want that someday, and then I'd get rid of the paper right on guy could take this home and scan it if I really wanted to, or I could have taken a picture of it with me and then used ocr, it doesn't matter. The idea is to get, I don't need to keep this sheet of paper. But I do need to keep the information that's on this sheet of paper. And I think that's where and would technology, when we start to use, in a bit of a more mindful way, like the receipts thing, right? I mean, that's, something it can do for you, the delegate. Remember, we talked about the four d's that's, what some of this technology can do for you. Get the stuff out of paper into digital, you know that kind of thing.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Productivityist Progress Planner.pdf
Productivityist Workbook Printable Exercises.pdf
Productivityist Workbook v1.2.pdf
The Productivityist Workbook v1.2 - Mike Vardy.epub
The Productivityist Workbook v1.2 - Mike
The Way of The Productivityist Manifesto Poster - 16x20.jpg
The Way of The Productivityist Manifesto Poster - 8x11.jpg

bonus material with enrollment

Paperless Organization Guide.pdf
The Way Of The Productivityist - A Manifesto.pdf

Ratings and Reviews


Mike's class was chock full of useful information on streamlining a to do list, digitally and by hand. His process seems pretty robust, and extremely well thought out, to provide maximum efficiency and success with the least amount of effort. Granted there is a learning curve, and one must practice to become proficient and use it effectively, but if you are willing to put in the effort there is a major positive impact on productivity. He goes through his favorite apps (he apparently consults with app developers) and why, which was exactly what I needed at the time. Some of his 2nd choice apps may now surpass the others, but he explains clears how to pick the best app for you. I'm a small business owner and I found the class to be quite helpful. Thanks Mike.

Pavel Voronenko

Very interesting class! I would recommend recording it as it based on apps' solutions and since 2013/2014 there are a lot of changes. Al least maybe some wrap-up session. Well done, Mike Vardy and Creative Live team! Jan. 04, 2021


Just finished Mike's course and it was exactly what I wanted and hoped it would be. Nuts and bolts, real life ideas and hands on ways to implement what he shared. If I dedicated the time spent on researching an organizational system on just USING the system, I would be a shining beacon of efficiency. Mike's class and materials helped me let go of the need aka obsession with looking for the Holy Grail of systems and just pick a combo and do it. Thanks, Mike, I'll let you know when I AM that shining beacon of effortless organization...or at least when I quit writing notes on my hand! Great course!

Student Work