Work the Way You Want, be Productive Anywhere and Design Your #NoOffice Lifestyle

Hello, I'm Michael Sliwinski I run a productivity company, record a weekly podcast, write on this blog and publish books on #Productivity, #NoOffice and #iPadOnly to help modern knowledge workers like you achieve success in business and life.

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Thursday, December 13

📖 BOOK LAUNCH - 10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity

Yes, it’s today that my new book, “10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity” starts pre-sale on Amazon and is being available for order. Shipping will start on January 2. It’s based on my video course by the same name but the book is a completely-rewritten content, much enhanced and written in such a way, that anyone can grab it and start creating their own productivity system in minutes... and hopefully have an amazing 2019. Here’s how to get the book:

BOOK LAUNCH - 10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity

Get it from our web site: ProductivityCourse.com

The best way to get the book is to go directly to its dedicated web site - you’ll learn all about the 10 steps (as in - 10 chapters) from the book and why you should definitely get it :-)

Wednesday, December 12

🏝 Why in any company you should be using version control for anything - how we use Github not only for code, but also for writing!

At Nozbe among all the apps we use to run our company, we also take advantage of Github’s implementation of Git - the version control system - because when many people work on code, things can quickly fall through the cracks if you’re not using a version control system.

Why in any company you should be using version control for anything - how we use Github not only for code, but also for writing!

I originally posted this on my NoOffice blog

Git in a software company is nothing new, but recently we started using Git for more things - especially for writing content... and now everyone on our team knows how to do it! And thanks to the Working Copy app I can work like this on my iPad Pro, too. Here’s the setup and the inspiration:

Tuesday, December 11

🏭 Stock market doesn’t make any sense to me as Microsoft is more valuable than Apple...

This has been an interesting year. Apple was the first company to break the 1 trillion dollar valuation at one point... but now as they’ve plateaued with iPhone unit sales and announced that they will no longer be publishing the quantity of headsets sold... their stock literally plummeted from above $220 to $169 today and the best part is that now Microsoft is worth more than Apple. Why? Well... I honestly don’t get it...

Stock market doesn’t make any sense to me as Microsoft is more valuable than Apple...

I’ll never understand the stock market...

Let’s start with a disclaimer: I own quite a few units of Apple stock and I use Apple devices daily, so I’m obviously emotionally involved here.

Here’t the proof: I just bought the new iPhone XS, the new iPad Pro 11” and the new Apple Watch series 4... so their products obviously don’t suck...

Yet there’s a question of growth... Apple, apparently is doomed as they’re not going to sell as many iPhones as they should be, right?

Microsoft more valuable than Apple? Are you kidding me?

When I heard about it (and this situation stands today as you can see from the screenshot above), I tweeted this:

… and with that we’ve decided to drop all iOS and Mac related projects at @Nozbe and focus entirely on the world’s dominant mobile platform: Windows Phone! …. oh wait… 🤔

Exactly! Microsoft is losing on so many fronts - it lost the mobile war (there is no Windows Phone anymore), they’re struggling with tablets (with Surface products) and they’re dependent on Intel - who’s struggling making processors these days. They’re just milking the cow thanks to Microsoft Office 365 platform... which I honestly don’t use anymore...

Whereas Apple’s iPhone is one of the two dominant mobile platforms, they’re kicking Intel’s ass with ARM-based A-series chips and soon they’ll be releasing Macs with these processors, they’ve got the dominant tablet with the iPad and the dominant fitness tracker with the Apple Watch... and their recurring services revenue is soaring.

Where’s the logic here? What gives?

Luckily Nozbe is not on a stock exchange and won’t be!

I really don’t get the stock market. I won’t be buying any more stock, I’ll just keep the Apple Stock I have and that’s it.

I don’t think I’d ever want to run a public company.

Even if Nozbe is 100 times more successful than now I’ll keep Nozbe private because answering to the investors who apparently are driven by some strange kind of sentiment doesn’t sound like lots of fun. And doesn’t bring value to the actual users!

Anyway. There’s no conclusion here. I’m just really confused about all this.

“You have to understand, that the financial markets are driven by sentiment”...

It’s like in this sketch about the financial crisis - which still holds up pretty well:

Monday, December 10

⌚️ 5 things I love about the Apple Watch series 4 after just a day of using it!

When the new Apple Watch series 4 was announced I knew it was time for me to upgrade. I’ve been using the Apple Watch since its official launch, and over the last 2 years I’ve had a Nike+ series 2 watch and I was pretty happy with it. I haven’t switched to series 3 because I was hoping that in Europe finally we’ll have an option to enjoy the watch with cellular connection.

5 things I love about the Apple Watch series 4 after just a day of using it!

Finally it’s there... and it took me a while but finally yesterday when on a family trip we passed by a local Apple Store - I took the plunge and got the new watch. Now, after a little over a day with it, I can honestly say that I’m loving it... and especially these 5 things about it: it’s fast, nice, huge, independent and connected. Here are the details:

Friday, December 7

🎧 The Podcast #168 - Get bored

This week on The Podcast we discuss social media and distractions... and yet again try to figure out a way out of the compulsive behavior of checking Instagram or Twitter feeds... discovering alternative ways of getting news and info - listen up:

The Podcast - 168 - Get bored

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in Apple Podcasts | Get RSS

Time: ~ 45 minutes

If you rate us on iTunes, we might give you a shout-out on air! Thanks! :-)

And if you're new here:

The Podcast is a weekly podcast chat with Radek (VP Apple Technologies at Nozbe) and yours truly (CEO at Nozbe) about productivity, business, books, and whatever else comes to mind... - if you liked this episode, make sure to check out past episodes.

Thursday, December 6

✔️ Introduction to my new book - 10 steps to Ultimate Productivity

We’re about to start pre-launch of my new book - 10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity which is based on my video course. It’s getting real! I’m very excited about this. Here’s the link to my new Amazon author page and to give you a glimpse of what the book is all about, today I’m posting here an excerpt from the “introduction” to the book:

Introduction to my new book - 10 steps to Ultimate Productivity

Introduction to 10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity

In this book, you will learn the principles needed to build your very own system for organizing and taking charge of your time. In 10 easy-to-follow steps, I will share how you can quickly and easily realize your goals. Thanks to these rules, I am both happier and more productive.

It wasn’t always this way...

By nature, I am an incurable optimist and a generally disorganized person. That is exactly why I decided to look into the literature on self-management. I knew that I could no longer neglect my deadlines, postpone my meetings, and lose my way in the flood of information and projects that I was responsible for. I needed to finally get organized!

My old way of using a physical planner was quickly becoming outdated and couldn’t keep up with the new, fast-paced environment the internet had created.

Things could not continue like this for me. I was drowning in the sheer volume of things I needed to do. That’s when I decided to study the techniques of self-management. Seeking inspiration from books by authors like Stephen Covey and David Allen, I hoped even a disorganized individual like myself could tidy up their life. I never imagined I would find my life’s passion through this endeavor.

Wednesday, December 5

😎 So in the end I want to become an Ironman...

I really like doing sports. 4 years ago I started doing triathlons to stay in shape. After 10 Olympic-distance triathlons I decided to get out of my comfort zone and celebrate being fit by doing an Ironman 70.3 next year. Here’s why:

So in the end I want to become an Ironman...

Forty and fabulous - I’m going to turn 40 next year so I want to celebrate it big time! By being in ultimate shape at this milestone age :-)

Yes, I’m going to turn 40 next year. Time flies so fast. But the cool thing is that in the last 4 years I managed to get into the best shape of my life and I want to keep it that way... and celebrate my supposedly upcoming “mid-life crisis” with a bang!

I want to become an Ironman by completing an Ironman 70.3 race in my home town of Gdynia.

Yes, the venue is critical here - I will be swimming in my favorite Baltic Sea in Gdanska Bay. I will be riding the bike in Kaszuby which I know so well and love so much... and I will finish it up in the center of my city, running a half-marathon on Swietojanska street and on the seashore boulevard.

Now it’s all about getting in an even better shape!

The swimming part shouldn’t be that hard. I’m not a fast swimmer, but I’ve been steadily improving and in the Olympic-distance triathlon I get to swim 1500 meters and here it’s just 400 meters more... so not really a big deal.

Biking will be harder. It’s 90km after all and it’s pretty flat with occasional hills... in total 750m elevation gain... and while training I’m doing a lot more - today I just did a 55km bike ride with 850m elevation gain, so I should be able to make it pretty OK.... but unlike in the Olympic distance triathlon, here there’s no “drafting” - so I won’t be able to just join a group and follow them along - you have to bike on your own and maintain distance from the person in front of you - or overtake them. I’m hoping to do it in around 3 hours...

Running will be the hardest. After both swimming and biking I’ll be pretty tired and I’m about to run a half-marathon. I’m not used to running so much. I’ve been running 10km races and training sessions, but very rarely more than that. This will be a new thing for me - and I have to be able to run it well, because it’s only then where I’ll see my family and friends supporting me. They’ll all be there and I will have to run with grace :-)

So I’ll run relatively slowly and hopefully do it in around 2 hours...

Which gives us a total of around 6 hours for this adventure. Now that’s what I call a true birthday celebration!

The race will take place on August 11, 2019

So until then I have to train... and also I’ve got two races lined up before - a half-marathon in January and another olympic-distance triathlon in May... and then I’ll do the Ironman in August. Sounds like a plan, right?

Yes, it’s exciting... but definitely out of my comfort zone. Right where it should be.

Tuesday, December 4

🎬 Blast from the past - the “10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity” Video Course back from 2013 ahead of my book launch!

I’m about to self-publish a book inspired by my “10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity” video course which I recorded back in 2013. Basically what I did with the book was to enhance the script of the video course, adapt it to the year 2018 and publish it as a physical book which you can hold in your hand.

The book is launching soon so I wanted to publish this blog post with all the links to the video course in case you wanted to enjoy it before the book ships. Here’s the video introduction to the course:

Each lesson is short and to the point, so if you want to watch lesson 1 and the following lessons, just go to:

Alternatively you can just listen to the audio version:

I recorded the course in 5 languages!

Yep, I love learning different languages and communicating in them, so I recorded the video course not only in English, but also in:

Import the course to your Nozbe as a project:

There’s an easy way to go through the course and get each lesson done by using a Nozbe.how template and import it to your account as a project:

With subtitles:

Enjoy the course!

The course lessons might have been recorded over 5 years ago, but the course is timeless, it’s free and very soon you’ll see what a great productivity) book I managed to write based on it :-)

Get notified when the book launches

Monday, December 3

😎 How I’m keeping my coffee ☕️ warm using the Ember mug

I normally don’t write reviews of products on this blog, but every now and then there comes a product that truly delights me and makes my life just a tiny bit more enjoyable - so I felt like writing a short review of a mug, that keeps my coffee and tea warm...

How I’m keeping my coffee ☕️ warm using the Ember mug

Solving “first world problems” with Ember mug

When I was getting a coffee in Starbucks in the USA this summer, I noticed a new type of mug in their offering. A “smart mug” that has an app... and what it does is this - it keeps your coffee warm.

That’s it. $80 bucks for a mug that keeps your coffee warm for about half an hour. As a gadget guy, I got curious, I watched a review on YouTube and realized this mug was for real... so I decided to get it to really give it a try.

When you work from home and your home office is on the top floor of your house, your drink gets cold quickly...

Yes, I have to go down to the kitchen, brew my coffee and take it up... and by the time I’m back, the coffee is already in a perfect temperature to drink... but when I start working, it gets cold pretty quickly.

Yes, I know that a “cold coffee” is a first world problem...

That’s correct, but these are the tiny details that make your life just a little better. So yes, the $80 dollar mug makes my life nicer because now I get to enjoy my coffee for about 30 minutes or even more... and each sip is perfect.

Each sip is exactly as warm as the first one...

Really enjoying my “smart mug”... and now my wife wants one, too!

My wife was looking at me strangely when I bought it... but after 3 months of having it at home, she’s very often literally stealing it from me to enjoy her coffee more.

If you can afford this gadget and really appreciate a warm cup of coffee or tea, I really recommend the Ember mug.

No, I wasn’t paid to write this. I make my living helping teams get stuff done with Nozbe and not reviewing products but if you get this mug from Amazon, I’ll get a small commission that I will use to buy more audiobooks from Audible :-)

Saturday, December 1

🎧 The Podcast #167 - The clunky future

It’s Saturday, so I encourage you to catch up on your listening and check out the latest episode of The Podcast where we discussed the iPad and the future of computing. It’s a pretty fascinating future, and I’m so happy to be in this industry now!

The Podcast - 167 - The clunky future

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in Apple Podcasts | Get RSS

Time: ~ 50 minutes

If you rate us on iTunes, we might give you a shout-out on air! Thanks! :-)

And if you're new here:

The Podcast is a weekly podcast chat with Radek (VP Apple Technologies at Nozbe) and yours truly (CEO at Nozbe) about productivity, business, books, and whatever else comes to mind... - if you liked this episode, make sure to check out past episodes.

Friday, November 30

✔️ [TV appearance!] Nozbe’s TGIF - Thank Goodness It’s Friday on Polish national television - how to work smarter?

As I’ve written here, and on the NoOffice blog and on Nozbe blog, today is Friday and in our company we treat this day differently - we don’t do the usual work - we focus on getting the weekly review done and later each member of our team can design this day the way they want: do something for personal development, catch up on reading, conference watching, learning new skills... or simply run errands - it’s all up to them... and last month our system got the attention of the Polish national breakfast television and I had a privilege of being there:

Nozbe’s TGIF - Thank Goodness It’s Friday on Polish national television - how to work smarter?

Watch the program with yours truly on television (in Polish)

How do you do Fridays?

Please read how we do them at Nozbe and if you have any questions, let me know!

And if you want to know the back story how I got to TV, here it is:

Thursday, November 29

🏭 Why I find joy in programming even though I don’t get to code much these days

With the passing years in business (and it’s been almost 12 years since I started Nozbe!) I realize that one of the keys to a long term success is to keep finding these small moments of joy in your work... and recently I found it back in programming... back in tinkering with code... here’s why:

Why I find joy in programming even though I don’t get to code much these days

I miss coding... just like I miss building lego blocks...

I’m a self-taught programmer. I’m a geek. I managed to learn programming enough to be able to code the very first version of Nozbe which launched back in 2007.

Now I don’t code anymore, I hired programmers who are much better than me... so they won’t let me contribute to Nozbe code base... which makes sense - as the CEO of Nozbe I should be focused on leading the team, and not writing code.

But I still like coding... and I miss coding from time to time. To me, coding is like playing with Lego blocks - you put a few things together and suddenly they become a new thing. A new invention.

Just like I built a dice web app on my iPhone few years back

Recently I got to code again!

Yes, over the last few weeks for some internal purposes I had a chance of putting my skills into building some small HTML sites as well as JS and PHP scripts. It was so much fun! I got to play with all the technologies I used to be so familiar with.

And the best part, I got to do it all on both the iPhone and the new iPad Pro:

  • using Textastic to code - this app is amazing!
  • using Working Copy to push stuff to GitHub
  • using Stack Overflow to find answers for questions - this is an amazing resource - I don’t know how I managed to build Nozbe back in the day without it... now life is so much easier.
  • using Siri Shortcuts to build some additional scripts that help me get stuff done faster

What I really liked about these challenges is that they helped me think both as the CEO (thinking of processes we need to put into place) and as the programmer who’s tinkering with code... and when I didn’t know something, I could always ask my talented team for help.

Now I’m trying to teach my daughter to code :-)

On the weekends I spend coding in Swift Playgrounds with my 9-year old daughter. She loves the challenges and I love passing on to her my passion for building stuff using code.

Tuesday, November 27

✔️ Would you pay 20 cents per day for increased productivity?

Today I had a fascinating conversation with one of our Nozbe business customers about pricing and how before buying Nozbe they analyzed the price/value ratio of it:

Would you pay 20 cents per day for increased productivity?

Pricing for business users vs consumers - how we developed our pricing model...

In the past few years we’ve been gradually pivoting Nozbe from a consumer-focused GTD app to a productivity tool for teams and businesses.

Pricing a product like Nozbe is tricky. Actually pricing anything is tricky.

When Nozbe launched back in 2007, there was just a price for one user with several tiers based on how many projects one can have active. Later we’d give unlimited projects and create tiers based on how many users our customers could add.

When we launched Nozbe 3 we went down to two tiers - Pro and Business with different cost of additional users per account. It was a little messy.

A year ago we introduced our current pricing where we have tiers back, based on how many users people have on their team: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 15, 20, 30, 50, 100 or unlimited...

Pricing based on value or features? How much is your productivity worth?

Now the question is:

if you’re running a team of say, 19 people and you want your team to get more organized, effective and productive - how much are you willing to spend on that?

This is exactly what I talked about with one of my customers earlier today. They are an IT company and they bought Nozbe business plan for up to 20 people for a full year and they explained to me how they finally came to that decision. It was fascinating and eye-opening.

They said they tried out Nozbe for a few weeks, decided they loved the interface, loved how it helped them get organized and wanted to get all in. Then they looked at the price tag:

  • Nozbe Business for up to 20 people: $1536 US dollars for a year

Holy smokes! One and a half grand for an app?! Isn’t that too much?... But then they checked:

  • It comes down to only $128 per month

OK, not that bad... A little over hundred bucks per month... but they kept going:

  • When you divide it, it’s less than $7 per employee per month

That’s right, it’s like 2 cups of coffee... and usually people don’t drink this in a month, they drink this in a day... so it’s actually pretty reasonable... so speaking of days:

  • Daily, it’s actually a little over 20 cents per employee per day

Now they stopped:

Seriously? Are we even debating this? We know this software works for our people so their productivity gains and thus the overall increased efficiency of our team is worth much more than 20 cents per day, right? I mean 20 cents is virtually nothing. It doesn’t compare to anything our employees spend daily on coffee or office supplies... It’s a no-brainer.

And they took the plunge, bought the Nozbe plan for a full year and today over a short video call basically told me how happy they were about their decision. Such conversations are why I love my job.

That’s right, only 20 cents per day.

And how much is your productivity worth to you? And your team members’ productivity? Let me know :-)

Saturday, November 24

🎧 The Podcast #166 - Talk about size

This week on The Podcast we discuss how my new iPad Pro is more powerful than Radek’s MacBook Pro... and why questioning the iPads merits as a “real computer” is BS. Here goes:

The Podcast - 166 - Talk about size

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in Apple Podcasts | Get RSS

Time: ~ 41 minutes

If you rate us on iTunes, we might give you a shout-out on air! Thanks! :-)

And if you're new here:

The Podcast is a weekly podcast chat with Radek (VP Apple Technologies at Nozbe) and yours truly (CEO at Nozbe) about productivity, business, books, and whatever else comes to mind... - if you liked this episode, make sure to check out past episodes.

Thursday, November 22

🎬 I’m thankful for Robert Kubica being back as racing driver for Formula 1

Wow, I’ve been waiting for this news for the last two years! This is a fairytale and a story of passion, perseverance and drive... Robert Kubica is back as a regular driver for Williams Racing in the next Formula 1 season! Here’s why it’s amazing (and here’s a short video of his career to date):

I’m thankful for Robert Kubica being back as racing driver for Formula 1

Robert Kubica is back as a driver in Formula 1

Today is “Thanksgiving” in America - something we don’t celebrate in Europe, although today is a day Formula 1 fans and people of Poland should be very thankful for - our one-and-only Formula 1 racing driver is back on the F1 grid - Robert Kubica is back and confirmed by the Williams Racing Team as a regular driver for them in the 2019 and 2020 seasons!

It’s been a long time coming. After his almost-fatal accident in 2011 where he’s almost lost an arm, nobody thought he’d be able to race again... let alone be back in the fastest racing cars on the planet. And today he’s back and I’m so really thankful for this! And so happy!

He wasn’t supposed to drive again...

This story reminds me of a story of Hermann “Herminator” Maier who also had a near-fatal accident and almost lost his leg... and wasn’t supposed to walk again, let alone ski... and he not only managed to cure his leg... he went back to skiing and won a World Cup and World Championship back!

Robert is similar - he almost lost his arm... and he wasn’t supposed to drive again... and he went back to driving and racing in Rally Championships and became a WRC2 European Champion... and last year he was already testing F1 cars at Renault and Williams... but didn’t get the place... and now he’s back!

Now here’s me hoping he’ll not only start racing again, he’ll win races again... and maybe even become a World Champion? Who knows, this guy can apparently accomplish anything!

Robert Kubica videos by his team, Williams Racing

Here’s team chief, Claire Williams announcing Robert Kubica:

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And here’s another video, where Robert Kubica himself tells his amazing fairytale-like story:

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P.S. Back to Thanksgiving...

And just as a side note to this post I’d like to highlight that even though we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Europe, I do practice being thankful every morning when I do my jourinaling.

And if you want to learn more about why being thankful and grateful is truly powerful, make sure to listen to the podcasts episodes by Michael Hyatt and Shawn Stephenson.