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Workflow Q&A & Apps Discussion

Lesson 23 from: Time Management 101

Mike Vardy

Workflow Q&A & Apps Discussion

Lesson 23 from: Time Management 101

Mike Vardy

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Lesson Info

23. Workflow Q&A & Apps Discussion

Lesson Info

Workflow Q&A & Apps Discussion

Going back to the thirty nine day experiment trial, is it important to only focus on one thing? You're changing to be successful with that? Or can you implement two or three different things in your work flow over that time? It depends on I think it would come so that one big one is fine, and then a couple of smaller ones like something like that that has some automation to it. So if you're going to be used like email, let's, let's, use email is example, so say you want to really focus on building your email workflow and making that a little bit better part of the overall work flow so you could do something like I'm going to focus on having I'm going to set up seven all the different email application, all the different email accounts I need, I'm going to buy something like text expander breathing so I can automate some of the speed, get more efficient, effective, do a bit of that set up, and then I'm going to also see what another email component is, and then I'm going, tio, ehlert sa...

y, ever know right say you've got every known start, I'm going to also get really good at forwarding stuff to ever know, like that's that's, fine, because those two of those air fairly, you know, incremental I just need to know that that's the email address that it goes to and up, I just need to do the front end work to set up the text expander snippets that I need get familiar with that. And then the big thing is, the big thing actually ends up being emails as a whole so you could do that. But again, it's gonna be for some people that's going to be too much, right? So again, that whole avenue of simplicity is subjective, and when you're using something like text expander bree v don't go. I mean, and they again come with defaults, right? They come with default snippets that air there. So the first thing I do when I get up like that as I get rid of the default all's, I'm like delete, delete, delete or I modify them to change. Like so signature signatures. One always comes with a tax cortex expanded, right? That signature. Come with it automatically. You got your own with a text, right? But but it was there a template. Therefore it like john smith, p o box xo xo, like some of them, do come with, like, just like a default one when you see those car, those bank card or credit card commercials worth got, like john card holder on enter or betty cardholder or whatever a lot of these come with, like templates that are already built and actually it x had some really good template for date and legged it was full date the estate was shark the time like next week three this week that make right so you really quit, but did you look at those or did you discover those like when you install that, do you going to go? This works for me? Oh, this doesn't know this works or do you just go? I'm installing app that will kind of just started they had of a deal on their site, which made it really is perfect. So so something along those lines, what you're going to want to do is if you install something like text expander, there was a whole bunch that I looked at it like, oh, like the signature when was easy? Because I just went in and replaced it with my information. So again, a bit of front end work, right? But don't have too many things again because then all of a sudden you've got like, the context idea when you add too much initially you're gonna have a big problem with it if it's all the time, yeah, it does, so you break that out, right? You're going to say something spoke off templates and it reminded me of some thing that maybe photograph er's online my piri relating to um template projects ha for example, whenever I have a clan it would be meeting with the clan before the shooting if it's awaiting for example then I have the steps of calling the photos and editing the photos on you making a slight show making another all these steps they're repetitive every different project yes so how they implement them into my work? Flo I can that's a great question I'm glad you asked so uh that's where digital can really help that's where digital task manage can really help. So a lot of task manners allow for repeating tasks which is great for things like uh garbage take out the garbage right garbage collection we happens a couple every two weeks where I'm from so basically every two weeks the night before it tells me hey, don't forget take out the garbage right so that's a repeating tasks you can have that set up in many different applications if the templates, though are interesting in that and I'll give you two examples so I'll use the sauna as the first example. So in a work space in the sauna you can create a project and what you khun dio is put all the steps inside that project and what I do is I actually color code that does you in color, the code, the project so all of the master templates are based on either I have used read for this just to make sure that I don't delete it, right? But I also use upper case and the reason colors just came into a sauna not too long ago, but what I'll uses all youse all uppercase love letters, and it'll be like, uh for example, as I'm a writer, right? So when I put up a block post, there are certain steps I'm going to do after I put up a block post, just like you said and go with terms too, you know, photography projects, so what I'll do? It was all put published posts share on twitter, share on facebook, share on google plus pin pictured a pinterest that that that I have, like eight steps, and that was what I've called it his master block post, whatever I want to call it blood post duties let's say, and you khun duplicate that project so you keep that master one completely empty, and the nice thing about a song is that actually allows you to move over any metadata says so you want to duplicate it? Do you want the same due date? You want same this like it gives you that idea you're like, wow! Really? Yes, absolutely. So you and you, khun uncheck her check if you want. So that's a trick and that's one of the ones that again it's a human thing. And asano actually has a video about this that they talk about. But I assume as I saw him oh, I could duplicate a project then I'm going. I'm going to create a master one. And how do I know it's a master one I know I'm gonna call it master and I'm gonna put all in upper case because I'd like to use proper, you know, like upper case, lower case, whenever I'm doing something so in created all in uppercase. So now every time we do a block post, especially for team based stuff, I could go block post about master done. Done. I'm going to duplicate it. Dun dun, dun, dun dun. Just keep using the same master over and over again. That does that help you another way? You could do this. You never know. What I've had people do is they have checked boxes in a note in every note. So what you can dio is at the top of your notebook right there in your notebook somewhere you go regular tasks or regular. Items for each project, and what I've done is again for block posts, because I do a lot of ideation from my block post inside ever now, because I don't really consider writing, I don't put the right block post on creative life, I'll put that in to ever know, right? Because that's an idea more than a task I know I'm going to write for me, I don't need to task that out, so then I'll put in there check boxes for share on facebook, sharon twitter that they'll be different check boxes, and I'll have that as a master seon cretin opal called master templates, and then in there you could put the different the different things that you need to dio, and so if you have a check box and then go check, check, check, check, check and they just used to just keep making using that master template and put them into the different notebooks that you want to use that makes sense she and putting all these titles on on the row section saying no, this task, this desk and then he said, oh, just marking, I also put the date you know, that I put the date I know it's it's like a check, and also I keep track of how long it takes me to the the great thing about ever notice if the way you can do that with ever now instead of instead of like copying the note is you can just copy the text inside the note so like all the check boxes create a new note inside that project and because it's going to have a creation date I'll tell you the date it was created right? And you could have the deeper it was modified to so if you check off the boxes what you're getting is not just the creation date but once you modify it guess what you have done if I completion date if you check off all the boxes you could say, hey, I'm done I finished it on november second, right? That gives you a point of view do you do it? Because I know jennifer you're going to using eric? Does that make sense? Is that something that you think he could use? Yes, it's so when you're using that so basically as much as you know, I don't really recommend using every note is a task manager you can use elements of that within it, right? So you could say that hey you no check box checkbox done right it's good for that master kind of stuff for day to day, but in this instance it would be a great one to use to have anything in the chat room we're just a lot of discussion if there is a lot of discussion about this I mean everybody's just discussing the aps and what you know their system works brand wei had one of the things I want to make sure the very clear about is that you're going to hear a lot of different systems and avoid the allure of you know like this app is going to be great for this and this app is going to be great for that so on and so forth you want to kind of stick with a workflow that works for you right? And those aps could be a great great way to kind of plea from that one of the other things I wanna quickly discuss is how you bring the calendar into that workflow okay? So sticking with the system calendars again is part of that putting your workflow first we talked about how you should really not put a lot of tasks on your calendar right tasks that are essentially the weekly review is one or anything you're having trouble sticking with at thirty nine days that's a great way to do it right you could hook it up to your counter for the next thirty nine days I'm definitely going to be working on this habit this is what I'm going to do it that kind of thing so you can add that element to it as well but the other kicker is that with calendars and a lot of situations, you can create different calendars for different areas, right? So that's, another element of workflow that's, another element of your system, so I would recommend that when you're putting together a system, get familiar with the calendar application. So if it's google calendar or I've talked about fantastic al for the mac or just plain old calendar for the mac or outlook there's that use of color, right there's that use of different whenever you sign up for a different e mail address for google, you're going to get a different one, right? So that's, where you can start to really use that as part of your workflow, but you need to get familiar with the calendar application that you're going to use, so don't go. I'm going to use outlook for this and google for this and this for this bring everything that's where you want to bring everything into one you use, you have to use that look, I know you said that, right, max calendars that works great because it pulls your google calendars, outlook calendars, the mac I clouds calendars. I like max calendars alike because pulls all calendars, gives you options to color, it automatically colors that, in fact, if you say this account this color it doesn't automatically and actually what it does to it actually brings in the propensity of that breaking as opposed to something like every night where there's so much metadata flap flipping around and all that stuff that's a nice cs there's a commonality of those files like plain text or whatnot that come into calendars so you want if you're using to use google calendar, then right so then bring everything into one good counter, right? Like bring that all intothe one right and have the different colors or whatever you use that as your main application, right? So for calendar ring, you could also again have the on the iphone have fantastic help but it's sinking back to google counters that's we're sinking can work that's where that workflow helps and for me, the reason I use that app fantastic out for me is because I like the natural language entry I like to build you just go meet with jennifer tomorrow at three p m and then I can choose which calendar it goes in so I can then have the right mindset when I go in there. But all I'm doing there is focusing on one element of my work flow and then the parts that informed that work floor, the things I'm more focusing on, so what kind of minds that do I need to be in o jennifer is going to ask me questions about everything okay? So it's a professional line setting. Okay, boom that's what it is it's a professional appointment. Okay, that makes sense. Do you? Can you incorporate max calendar with android devices? I do not believe that I cloud stuff is and someone can correct me wrong. Um but I would be more apt. Wow, that was weird to say, but to use google with you could bring google counters into the mat count. So I have this system that's what I would do so on your android device, so just use google calendar and then use android like you use that on your android. Obviously that google counters have the different ones and then just sink those calendars to counter on the mac. You're going to see it, and the reason I like his native applications for calendar is because then again, you're not seeing all of that. You're not on the internet. I mean, you are, but you're not really looking at things on the air and you don't get distracted by the web it's like there's, my native application. This is where my calendar's live boom that's, where I'm going to spend my time with this calendar stuff and nothing really mean I don't like going online for email in terms of an actual into the web browser but I definitely don't like going online in terms of countering as well unless I have to do some kind of invite and that's the rare rare occasion I also want to talk touch on device specific stuff because I know that's something we want to get to but is there is we have any questions or anything in the chat room right now or you just want to hear some of the dis and some of the acts that they're using? Well, I could kind of give my recommendations or whatnot if they like a lot of talk about workflow and carla kanno wants to know with the average number of programs are apt to using a workflow I know we've talked a lot about abs and everybody has their own unique set up, but is there a point when you get teo? Oh my god look at I've got five or six different acts in this work flow when is too much? I'm big on like that idea of three or four critical so calendar the calendar component which against thinks anything that connects in some way so calendar connects to my task manager every note for that note cape information and then of course email so those air really the four critical components and all the other stuff is just little interstitial is along the way right like lift would be an interstitial like kind of off the beach and path one that if I dropped it from my work flow maybe it won't matter maybe it will I'll know pretty quickly um we'll know within that thirty nine days well I stopped working out because I stopped using lift right so that's a little thing and then what you would do excuse me if you were in aa using lift which I have is I would actually have that element of my task manager update lift you know or update my running routine and lift is the context because as I said, I used abscess contexts in some occasion which helps me have maurin my work flow so if I'm using something like my minutes to track my time right like my deliberate practice I can say play guitar for ten minutes today or that would be the and I just put my minutes as the context maybe right? Or I put calculate time spent practicing guitar you know goes in my minutes so that's another way that's another little hackey khun dio so make a context in tow like make using apple's a contacts yes, I wonder if you know any visual apse for complicated steps for example I also liketo drove a diagram of my work floor okay and this is happening when I need to work with all these hard drives external hard drives that I have some have photos from these projects I'm have videos this has the backup off this this is the back of the upper back up off the computer this's for me to remember if I haven't done this for a while when I come back to it in the oh this is where it's supposed to go so I like to draw diagrams it colored codes and I see that it also helps if you're working with other people you might have an assistant and you can just give the background to them and they will be easily seeing what files they have toe copy where and what kind of backup so to me that's a mind that za mind mapping app in a lot of cases a lot of people use something like mind mind chatter ex mind is one that's free free mind is another uh which free it's right in the title um there's one called scaffold it's not free but there's a free trial for it it's actually for those who were doing nano raimo that air in the chat room or those who have no what nat manorama wiz which is national novel writing month sk apple is made by the same people who make scrivener which is a great writing happened how a lot of e books have been generated over the last little while mind yet which I talked about on day one which is a great team task management application also has mind mapping involved but mind jet yes, it's it's pricey, though, just to be just to be you get a free trial, but it can't be pressed but very effective, and it's also got that gauge of how far you've made progress on certain things. So it's got the mind jette tasks, inc in some cases, that's what a lot of people just used to go. I'm going to go into mind yet mind, map it, and then go ahead and go forward with the tasks and it's all in one ecosystem. And since the paid ego system it's a little bit more stable than some that are more, you know, not paid, which are the free or freemium ones, but that that those would be examples of where you would want to do something like that. There's also omni graph fel, like the army group, has several omni graph will omni plan things like that army graph? It would be better for that kind of thing because you can color code and say this what this represents, because based on what you're building is, is a flow chart really that's what you're building on a lot of people work like that. The other thing you could do is what you're using right there, do it on paper, take a picture, put in, never note. Becomes a it's, a picture you can drag him to ever know. And every new it's got that ocr technology. And I saw your writing it's not too bad so it could probably read it that's another and that, like is very rewrite is absolutely difficult to modify. So if you want it, if you want to use it consistently and you want to be able to update it, then that would be what I would do is I would do something like like one of those mind mapping aps. Okay, yes, I do ever nude sketch that's great for like taking asher's, marking it up. So if you have hard drives and you want to show people where they are and you could just go sketch to write on it and there's penultimate to penultimate is another like that's. More of a diagramming app, the sync up with every note. Yes, kitch, right that's what you're talking about scared there's a lot ever notes has so many at arms and if you go to ever notes website there's the evernote trunk, which allows you at a whole bunch of stuff. And if you decide you want to things like allow youto take better meeting meeting notes, skype calls you khun transcribe skype calls or what have you, um there's meeting integration aps there's one that I use it isn't sinking to ever know yet, but I would imagine that is probably I know that would be ideal one called les meeting and that's. What? I used meetings there's lots of little tools that you can use, um, it's figuring what works for you. And then if you're working with a team, you got to figure out okay, how much time I'm going to spend on this? If the rest of the team isn't going, teo, like less meeting is tough for me to use in that if I was with the team, if they don't want to use last meeting because then it's like, okay, well, they just want to share it via google docks, then that's kind of what you're in, right? So I would use less meaning for my own stuff, and I know more haps, um, throwing more stuff out there, but again, these are all elements that I've added in and less meaning would be one that would be like a little bit of an ad. Jones right? You may want to keep your notes and every note that's your note information, but if it's a specific meeting and there's some it fulfills a need it's obvious hey it's called les meeting that's where I put my meeting stuff and why am I using it while I wanna have more why I want to more effective meetings okay I'm going to use less meeting right and then you just have to figure out hey do I have to remember it's going to be thirty nine days no I'm working on this for thirty nine days but I'll put it into my task manager as something that I'm going to revisit later on you know it's going to take high energy it's an app that we look at later and yeah, some people actually use the context of just the term aps so that might be a way for people to kind of figure out hey, I've got this new app I want to check out I'm gonna add it to my task manager first and let it sit there for a while a week at least maybe before I jump right in because that's the whole propensities for people go oh download boop it's on your phone yep great let's go into it and then you spend your sucked into it oh this is awesome this is not some mean words with friends letter press like all these games that's what happens rather you get right into it but when it comes to it's no different for any kind of productivity app for time management right you have anything else in there? There was a question from philip belgium on regarding why to use multiple calendar aps and he said, why link fantastical to aikau and what the reasoning is for that the reason that I would and I know counter now has natural language entry on the mac, but before it didn't right so fantastic out was the one that I could use to just say I'm having lunch with with, you know, evelyn tomorrow at three, which is a really ate lunch, but not the last time we were having it on dh I could just enter it like that it goes in and that helped people adopt it they're like what you mean I don't have to go in and go to every field and type all this stuff that was that was a big reason why also it's on iowa's as well so you can use it there that's why on dh once have adopted that calendar app and I'm used to it um why would I switch back? I mean, why would I go back? I mean, I'm helping a third party developer essentially flex it it's uh, we've seen other aps coming like dropbox is a great example of an app that a lot of people service a lot of people use, but there's also icloud, which came along later um I like using nightclub for certain things, but there's also some things I don't like to use it for and so I'm still using dropbox, right? So and I mean, anyone who's using these kind of tools they'll have the allegiance to the one that they're using or the one that they're used to and that's great because that's one less thing you have to worry about I'm not going to go looking for another calendar app and I've looked at a lot of um there's one today I was using called mind m y n d I remember we're talking about another app earlier on uh neo I think it was um I like find a lot, but I had so much information on it had the weather and it said here's how far you are to your next appointment and here who's well, sir meaning a day and here's a look whoa, I don't need all that information I thought I did I wanted to see how it would look and how you would display it so I don't really need it. And yet maybe someone will write anything else from in their way just have more and more people sharing their software that they like I got a personal recommendation from myself with the mind mapping I like mine my store a lot and he also had some people in the chat room liking that also here's a solution from valerie for the visual members out there I use a desktop app called folders factory which allows me to turn mac file folders into gorgeous relevant icons or photos I am I running diary folder has a photo of my running shoes as the graphic so I love folders factory that's a great one I've never heard of that one I've learned no, I mean it there are lots of gin triggers and for some people the app itself is the trigger uh for some people it's what the app can do that's the trigger you know it's the need it fulfills another triggers how obvious it is that you know run keeper I wonder what that oh it does and it must do it really well day one oh it's a journaling up it doesn't really well it feels the need why am I using it? Because journaling is important to me why am I not using every note for that? Because I want to keep your feelings separate and I want to talk about the one thing well ideology have we heard a lot of this which is the the this one at like journaling day one does journaling really really, really well that's what it does that's what sets out to do um let's see there's, another app I've been using called begin which I like ah, but it's got limitations it allows you to have what you want to do today and tomorrow that's it which is great for some people like it's you know I write down what I wanted you today write down what I wanted to tomorrow and that's it it's called begin it's it's it's it's a really good app for people who want to still use something like paper as their main system and then just transfer stuff to digital so it does that really well there's another one I'm testing that allows you to only add six things to your task list and then you have to do them and it won't let you at it locks you out and won't let you add any more until you've done to your research a certain time period, right? So there's that, um there is there's a lot of those I'm fine with one thing well aps if they feel that need if they're obvious if it's if that's what they but those are the ones that augments those aren't the ones that you use solely dispatch the reason I used dispatches because it does one thing well and it's an essential part of my work flow it's one of the rare exceptions which is why I'm so excited about it because it does email and allows me to get things to where I need them to go that's all it dispatches it's in the name that's why I like it right evernote is one of those big ones that scales right so devices are another thing that do certain things really well they do everything really well a lot of them phones, ipads, computers but one way that you can actually really hone in on your work flow make sure that you're using the right aps and the right things at the right time is what if you went device specific what if I've done this? What if you said my phone is a communication device no games, no reading aps no writing aps none of that my phone is for email, social media and obviously capturing of some sort that's what it's there for because it's with me all the time so it's replacing the notebook and it's still my phone because remember phones that weren't smart they still had some kind of many notebook that took forever to add something teo so maybe all the smartness you need is the build ability for to capture in one way or the other then maybe you're not going to get distracted by oh, a notification from words from friends chris just played zoot I didn't know you could play that okay, now what am I going on? And all of a sudden it brings me in right? You're mitigating distraction, right? You're using it for the intent you've decided what purpose it serves and I guess the big thing is is that you're going to hear for a lot of people when I say this is like but my phone could do everything why would I not want to let it do everything? Because sometimes you don't sometimes you wanted to do what you really need it to dio over the long term right? My ipad I actually a buried email the mail app which you can't un install any of the max I buried it it's like on the fit like, you know you can have as many pages as you want like a lot of pages I put it away at the back and I've got this this on my iphone and it says, uh, not used or don't use like I've got this trigger that says does not with his four and that's what that's what that only that one's in there? Because I don't have any social media app installed on my ipad I don't have any games on it either because I got I got a gaming machine at home. That's what that's for that's what I use that for, but I have my writing and reading haps on my ipad, so the ipad is a consumption device, yes, but it's also creation device for me I've talked about patrick ruin a few times pastor grown wrote his book on his ipad in plain text plain text translates to a whole bunch of different applications I write a lot of my vlog posts and by word on the ipad I don't get interrupted by email the ipad that all these devices are they can multi task but you only get one screen so it allows me to focus on that stuff I've gone device specific yes byword for for writing byword bi I ly y w o r d um it is not free but it's one of those minimal writing apse that just gets everything out of the way I really like it um that's what I use it for my ipad is like a typewriter for me or a newspaper for me or a book for me that's what it is right and actually to be fair I don't even use the ibook sap all that much anymore because when you're out in the sun the glare of the ipad I can't read so I got my got my got my cobo for that took too long for the kindle to come to canada so can we go over that but that's what that's for you know so you can go device specific just like I've told like you have notebooks right jennifer you said more notebooks for ideas when notebooks for capture now you know what therefore it eliminates that you made a choice now that tells your future dome you like my friend brett said what that thing is for later, so that the later person doesn't go. What do I do now? You remember what I told you? That's, what this is for.

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
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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!

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