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 to help modern knowledge workers like you get more done and have a more organized (and passionate) life.

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Learn more about #NoOffice: Subscribe to my newsletter and get you my latest book for FREE as a thank-you: "No Office Apps: How the Nozbe team uses modern technologies to communicate better and get more done.".

Frequently Asked Questions:

Which books do you read and recommend?

Thanks to switching from paper books to audiobooks back in 2010 I started absorbing around 30 books per year. Here's the complete and up-to date list of the books I've read. Want my recommendations? Check out my reviews of these books on this blog or better yet, subscribe my weekly podcast where I discuss them with my buddy Radek.

Which apps do you use every day?

I use Nozbe (duh!). But that's not all. As my main computers are iPad, iPhone (Plus size) and an iMac, there are lots of apps I use. If you want to know which ones we with my team to get our work done, check out my latest book: "No Office Apps".

What do you do after work? Sports? Family? Hobbies?

I love what I do so it doesn't feel like work. But apart from that I try to remain fit, especially as I lost weight thanks to "slow carb diet" and started running triathlons (I do 3-4 olympic distance a year: 1500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run). And my family keeps me busy: I have three daughters and a wife - lots of women in the house :-)

Do you do interviews?

Oh yes. I love interviews, here's a list of my recent appearances on podcasts and other sites. I've also interviewed some really cool people for the Productive! Magazine. I sometimes speak on conferences. Here's how to contact me.

What are you doing now?

Just check my Twitter: @MSliwinski or my up-to-date NOW page. To be in touch with me subscribe to my mailing list. Thanks!

My recent blog posts:

Friday, March 24

📖 Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson - (audio) book of the week

One of the key ways we can improve our health and the overall state of our body is by sleeping more and better. Yes, not less. Not depriving ourselves from sleep, but rather by designing our life in such a way that sleep is a strategic part of it. That's why this week I want to recommend a book that made me feel really uneasy and helped me realize why sleeping is so important. This book forced me to change the way I approach sleep. Here's why:

Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson - (audio) book of the week

Get this book on: (Amazon|Audible)

Book review: Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson - 21 Essential Strategies to Sleep Your Way to a Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success

(Note: I also discussed this book on the 87th episode of The Podcast with my co-host Radek, if you prefer the audio version with more comments)

Very few times when reading a book, the book would make me feel bad about myself while still encouraging me to keep reading. The last book like this was Essentialism. Now this book about sleeping made me realize I should not approach sleep like a "necessary evil" but as a strategic part of my day. And that there are so many things I need to fix to make sure I get a good night's sleep, here are a few that really stood out:

Thursday, March 23

🎧 The Podcast #89 - Shutdown ritual

This week on The Podcast we discuss how we finish our day's work. How to close the day and get ready for the new one. How to set boundries between work and life, especially when you work from home - #NoOffice all the way! - it's a short one full of cool productivity tips, check it out:

The Podcast - 89 - Shutdown ritual

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in iTunes

Time: ~ 35 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, March 16

✔️ №34 with Greg McKeown - the last (essential) issue of the Productive! Magazine

From the editor of the Productive! Magazine №34 with Greg McKeown: Do you know that this is the last time we meet here? This issue of Productive! Magazine marks the end of our series. All the archive editions will be certainly kept online so that you can always come back to your favorite articles and recommend them to the people who might need some inspiration or advice. In this post I'll explain why and how we're finishing off our magazine:

The last issue of the Productive! Magazine

That uncomfortable feeling - closing down the magazine after 8+ years...

You might be wondering why I decided to close down the publication. In brief: I want to focus on only the crucial projects of mine, meaning - those directly related to Nozbe. I’ve determined that I can't get distracted by doing the tasks that won't take me any closer to my main goals. I’ve always felt badly working on tasks like that. Whenever I got really involved with them, I felt guilty about not using my energy to accomplish the most important, company-related goals. And when I wasn't truly engaged, I was angry with myself for not doing my best. If you happen to know this feeling, try to follow my steps and become really selective about the stuff you decide to work on. If you don't have problems like that - congratulations! But I encourage you to analyze your projects in terms of your yearly goals anyway :-)

It's all about being honest...

Wednesday, March 15

🎧 The Podcast #88 - Solitude

This week on The Podcast we discuss technology and we start off with our new noise-cancelling headphones from Bose - QC35 - and why Radek calls them "solitude" and I call mine "serenity". And my previous experiences with Bose QC20 and my wife's love for Beats Solo 3 Wireless. We also talk about my iPad setup, iPhone rumors and Radek's MacBook Pro updates. If you're a technology geek, this episode is for you!

The Podcast - 88 - Solitude

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in iTunes

Time: ~ 51 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.

Tuesday, March 14

► Interview with Greg McKeown on Essentialism - Productive! Magazine's last interview (issue #34)

I've been a long-time fan of the book: Essentialism - the disciplined pursuit of less. I read the book twice and I wanted to have its author, Greg McKeown, as a cover interview for the Productive! Magazine - and just we've decided to shut down our magazine, we managed to get him on - which gives us the best farewell ever - we're focusing on what's essential for us (Nozbe) and appreciate what we had and experienced with the magazine, and closing the magazine down with a double-message of essentialism:

Greg McKeown

This interview is pretty long, but it's really worth watching it - we've covered lots of topics and really nailed down the Essentialism part

You can read more about the last issue of the Productive! Magazine on the Nozbe blog.

Thanks for being a part of the Productive! Magazine - I've been running it more than 8 years now but it was the time to finish it up with a blast and focus on other ways we can do to help people get more done.

Thanks!

Your editor-in-chief of the Productive! Magazine

  • Michael Sliwinski

P.S. After you've watched this video, make sure to check out my podcasts and the entire Productive! Show archive. I've done a few great interviews for this blog, check them out (Seth Godin, Michael Hyatt, Leo Babauta, Brian Tracy...)

Friday, March 10

💡 3 reasons why I'm enjoying my jet black iPhone 7 Plus so much?

I've been writing on this blog for a while about my iPhones and my special love for the "Plus size" iPhone but now that I've had the latest iPhone 7 Plus Jet Black, my love grew even stronger for this particular device and I'm enjoying it even more. Here's why:

Why I'm enjoying my jet black iPhone 7 Plus so much?

Plus size is almost perfect!

Yes, I still love the big screen - the more display real estate just helps me get more things done every day. Can't express it enough, it just works. When I look at the smaller size phones I'm like: "how can you use this tiny thing?" - and that's my point of view even though I'm a relatively short guy with relatively tiny hands.

It's "almost perfect" because I'd love the screen to be big but the phone to be a little smaller... and there are rumors about the upcoming 10-year anniversary iPhone that will be just perfect for me... let's see!

Jet Black finish is gorgeous!

The new Jet Black finish just rocks. I love it. It's the first iPhone since I don't know when that I'm not using a case for. I'm just using it "bare naked" all the time and I'm enjoying every moment I hold it in my hands. The Jet Black finish is not as slippery as the other ones so it just works great without the case.

Yes, it scratches a lot. I have lot of "micro-abrasions" on this thing but I don't care. It's still beautiful.

Double-camera action is amazing!

Usually there would be no difference between the standard iPhone and the Plus size apart from the size... but now with 7 series the Plus version has two cameras and it's amazing. Especially if you're taking pictures of kids, having the 2X optical zoom or the "portrait mode" help take amazing pictures of your loved ones. Now that I have three kids I appreciate it even more.

Question: Which iPhone or smartphone do you use and why? Have you tried the big Plus iPhone?

Sent from my iPhone 7 Plus

Thursday, March 9

🎧 The Podcast #87 - Sleep Smarter

This week on The Podcast we discuss the importance of sleeping. It's not just about getting 7-8 hours of sleep, it's about the quality of sleep! We share tips we've learned from the book, Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson (Amazon|Audible). This book made me feel guilty of doing so many things wrong over the years that contributed to my lack of good night's sleep. So if you want to get better sleep, listen up:

The Podcast - 87 - Sleep Smarter

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in iTunes

Time: ~ 39 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.

Wednesday, March 8

✔️ A complete list of iPad apps that let me be #iPadOnly

This post will be really geeky, but you'll love it - an updated list of my productivity iPad Apps! Here's the backstory: a few years back I co-wrote a book iPadOnly - How to use only your iPad to work, play and everything in between where I recommended a set of apps that help me get everything done on the iPad. In the meantime I got my iPad Pro and I kept updating this blog with my impressions of iPad Pros and iPadOnly work and I've also posted a list of apps I use on my iPhone but as lots of people keep asking me about this, here's a list of the iPad apps I use now to get things done and make it my main productivity workhorse.

A complete list of iPad apps that let me be #iPadOnly

Bonus: experiment with app layout

Before we move on to the list of apps, as you can see on the screenshot of my iPad above, I've decided to experiment a little with my app layout recently. I just hated it that I had apps on different screens and was very often tempted to get distracted when I wanted to write something but opened the Twitter app as it was just "on the way" to my writing app... so I started using folders as my "focused environments" and group my apps together. These groups give me a few benefits, like:

  • groups are focused on "jobs to be done" so I can concentrate on what I need to do, like writing, reading, etc.
  • groups create order so I don't install too many apps on my iPad and don't bloat it
  • groups fit on one screen, so at a glance I basically see all the apps I've got
  • groups leave some empty space so I can use a nice inspiring background - a photo of San Sebastián I took when I was on vacation with my family :-)

OK, here's the list of all of my apps from these groups:

Monday, March 6

✔️ The 5 "cannots" that are blocking you from achieving the success you deserve

Just last month we celebrated 10 years of Nozbe and today, I'd like write about a few learnings from this experience. I’d like to share my experiences and advice on how not to let anyone convince you that you “cannot” do something and pursue your own goals to achieve success. You deserve to be successful and when somebody tells you that something "cannot" be done, you should pay attention and instead of giving in, find the ways you can make this work. Here are the 5 "cannots" people have been repeating to me over:

The cannots

Note: The following article appeared first in the February '17 issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there. That issue of iMagazine was really special for me as we celebrated Nozbe's 10th anniversary at the time. On that occasion apart from my regular column February edition featured a special Nozbe cover and the following article.

1. You “cannot” develop a business “after hours”

As I wrote in the article about Nozbe’s 10th anniversary and my interview, my app was created as a side project. It was just a hobby: I wanted to test GTD principles (the “Getting Things Done” (Amazon|Audible) time management methodology developed by David Allen) and Web 2.0 technology in real life. Even after launching the project in February 2007, I still developed it after hours, working on Nozbe in the afternoons. Even though I acquired my first 100 customers in May of the same year, I still wasn’t sure about the future of the project. I continued to develop it, hoping that it would succeed but it wasn’t until 2008 that I decided to make Nozbe my main source of income and quit my job.

Many wise people argue that in order to achieve success you must drop everything and focus solely on your new venture. I disagree with this and my story proves that if the new project really has potential, you have to give it some time, work “two jobs” for a while and develop the project to such an extent that you are really able to devote 100% of your resources to it.

I’m not the only one who thinks this way. My friend Michał Szafrański, author of the blog “How to save money” did the same and he’s achieving even bigger successes.

OK - so obviously you CAN develop a business "after hours". But there are 4 more "cannots" to go:

Friday, March 3

🎧 The Podcast #86 - Perfect Week

This week on The Podcast we follow up the discussion from our episode about Magic Spreadsheet and dive into my idea of "a perfect week" and how it helps me decide on priorities for each day and how to get it all done. I borrowed the idea from my mentor and friend Michael Hyatt, here goes:

The Podcast - 86 - Perfect Week

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in iTunes

Time: ~ 36 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, March 2

📖 Peak by Anders Ericsson - (audio) book of the week

As I rediscovered reading books 7 years ago through audiobooks and dramatically increased the number of books I've been reading these past years, every now and then I stumble upon a book that's worth recommending to others through this blog - and Peak by Anders Ericsson totally changed the way I approach learning now. Here's why:

Peak by Anders Ericsson - (audio) book of the week

Get this book on: Audible | Amazon

Book review: Peak by Anders Ericsson - Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

The premise of the book is very simple. Talent is overrated. It hardly exists. You are not born with the skills, you acquire and develop them through practice. And not just any kind of practice - through "deliberate practice" which leverages the adptability of our brain.

This reminds me of the famous scene from the movie "Taken":

I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.

Yes, you acquire skills - and it takes more than a long career to get them - it takes a special kind of practice:

Monday, February 27

🎧 The Podcast #85 - Magic Spreadsheet

Last week on The Podcast we discussed Radek's "Magic Spreadsheet" - his idea on measuring almost everything daily in a spreadsheet. How we started it, why it keeps him motivated (and accountable)... and why I started doing the same thing inspired by his results and data. We share what we collect, how we write it down... and why you should also give a magic spreadsheet a try!

The Podcast - 85 - Magic Spreadsheet

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in iTunes

Time: ~ 37 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.

Wednesday, February 15

🎧 The Podcast #84 - From reading to doing

This week on The Podcast we share how we apply what we've learned from the books we read. How they really impact us and change our attitudes, mindsets and habits. Totally worth a listen, packed with lots of actionable advice and just a little over half an hour:

The Podcast - 84 - From reading to doing

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in iTunes

Time: ~ 39 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.

Monday, February 13

✔️ Ten years feels like one day – Nozbe’s 10th birthday

This month we’re celebrating Nozbe’s 10th birthday!. It’s the perfect time for a short summary of the past decade – in the context of business and technology developments. It's really interesting to see how Nozbe started as a Web2.0 product and later embraced the smartphone, desktop and the watch...

10 years of Nozbe

Note: The following article appeared first in the February '17 issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

2005 - why a Nozbe web app?

I read David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done” (Amazon|Audible) and realized I needed to get organized. As a freelancer involved in internet marketing I was taking on more and more clients and I wasn’t able to manage all of my obligations. I searched for various tools to implement the GTD methodology in my life but I couldn’t find anything that I liked.

Thanks to PHP and MySQL magic I wrote a prototype of Nozbe in a single weekend!

I decided to use web technologies because I wanted to have access to the app from anywhere on Earth. Over the next few months I improved the project, rewrote it about twice, and finally in 2006 I decided to start getting ready to show it to the world. If I enjoyed using it, maybe others would like it to. Here's how it went down:

Tuesday, February 7

🎧 The Podcast #83 - 10 years of Nozbe special

This week on The Podcast we discuss the last decade of productivity - how it all started, how we met with my co-host Radek and how Nozbe evolved over the years and why we still feel we're still just getting started! Care to join me on this great trip down memory lane?

The Podcast - 83 - 10 years of Nozbe special

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in iTunes

Time: ~ 55 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.