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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Tuesday, November 20

✔️ How HomePod turned me into a Siri enthusiast - I finally use voice to get stuff done!

Back in February when I was visiting the UK I bought the latest and greatest Apple speaker, called the “HomePod”. I bought it out of curiosity as I wanted to find out what these “intelligent speakers” are all about and as I’m all in the Apple’s ecosystem I decided not to invest in the Amazon’s or Google’s ones. What happened was that this speaker not only improved the way we spend our time in the kitchen, but also taught me a new way of using my iPhone! Here goes:

How HomePod turned me into a Siri enthusiast - I finally use voice to get stuff done!

HomePod changed the way I interact with my iPhone right now!

The HomePod is in our kitchen and because with it we also subscribed to Apple Music, we now ask it to play whatever we want. Recently I was into some classics, so I just asked it to “play the best hits by R.E.M.” or “best hits by Madonna” and boom, the speaker played them for me.

After months of just playing music, I use HomePod and Siri a lot more!

It took us time, but after a few months we started asking Siri through HomePod for more things - like setting up timers (and now finally we can set up more than one of those!), like asking about the weather, like asking about things (definitions, geography: “how many people live in Moscow?”. and much more..).

Recently as I was setting up home automation with Apple’s HomeKit, I’ve started creating scenes and now when my daughter wants to do her homework she sits down at the kitchen table and shouts to the HomePod: “Hey Siri, turn on Kitchen Table” and the light turns on!

Based on that... I started talking to my phone much more!

This is where I realized that I can start talking to my iPhone much more - and I even started recording more iOS12 Siri Shortcuts to enable that. I began asking Siri to open some of my apps, to perform some shortcuts for me, to call people I have in my address book... and it usually works!

Siri is not there yet... and she’s still pretty dumb... but she works!

Yes, Apple still has a long way to go, but I still remember when I got my iPhone 4S to be able to talk to Siri and was disappointed... and with every subsequent iPhone the disappointment turned into frustration... but now with HomePod I’ve re-learned to appreciate the voice commands and to try them so much more... and to enjoy them finally!

Give Siri a try yourself... and if you can get the HomePod, I totally recommend it :-)

Monday, November 19

✔️ Why we need deadlines

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” - Douglas Adams

The problem with running a software company which creates a product for many users, like more than half a million at the moment... is that we don’t have any fixed deadlines set by people who use Nozbe.

We need to create deadlines ourselves. Self-imposed deadlines.

And the problem with such deadlines is the fact that they seem fake. Artificial. Made up. Unnecessary.

Right? Wrong!

Why just not work without deadlines?

Because we're humans.

When there's no deadline we get lazy. We get perfectionist. We take all the time in the world to making our creation perfect. Or even better than perfect. We even might try to explore all of the alternatives before we decide on something.

When there are no deadlines we cannot hold each other accountable. Not to anyone, not even to ourselves.

When there are no deadlines we’re less likely to ship what we've created. And when we don't ship what we've created we're more likely to get demotivated...

We, the humans, need deadlines

Deadlines motivate us to get something out. To finally show it to the world. To get the feedback. The good, the bad and the ugly. And to iterate and ship again!

Just like Seth Godin asked:

“How do you make sure you ship on time and on budget? Well, when you run out of time, you ship. When you run out of budget, you ship.”

To be able to run out of time we need a deadline.

So we set one.

I'll share it with you soon. Meanwhile I'll let the deadline sink in. I'll let myself and my team digest it. And get excited. Because with this deadline we're committing ourselves to shipping something great for you.

And I really can't wait to share it with you... and to do that we have to now really meet this deadline!

Let's do this.

P.S. Special thanks to Michael Hyatt for his last episode about deadlines, which reminded me how important deadlines are to what we do.

Saturday, November 17

🎬 Which mobile apps we use to run our Nozbe company? - video of my presentation at Mobiconf 2018

Last month I was kindly invited to one of the biggest mobile conferences in Europe - Mobiconf 2018 and I had a chance to do a follow up to my Infoshare 2018 presentation on the way we work. Today it's Saturday so if you want to get inspired how to work better next week, make sure to check it out:

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My presentation at Mobiconf was about the apps we use to do our #NoOffice work and the way we communicate- specifically our pyramid of communication

Here's the link to all the resources mentioned in this presentation.

Enjoy, and if you'd like to also get my book on “NoOffice apps” make sure to sign up to my newsletter below this post.

It was also nice that some people who were at my presentation rally liked it. So much so that I won an award for the best presentation on the “everything mobile” track, neat! If you liked it, too, make sure to let me know!

Which mobile apps we use to run our Nozbe company? - video of my presentation at Mobiconf 2018

Friday, November 16

🎧 The Podcast #165 - Let’s fix it!

This week on The Podcast we discuss public involvement and how you, yes - you, can get involved to help your local community or city. And why it’s not necessarily that much work and still can make a difference:

The Podcast - 165 - Let’s fix it!

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 15

🎬 Video review - why I’m calling the 11” iPad Pro a “retro iPad”?

This week is all about the new iPad Pro and on IGTV I recorded this video when I’m comparing it to...

Video review - why I’m calling the 11” iPad Pro “retro design”?

Let’s take a look at the difference between the new 11” iPad Pro and the old 10.5” one and the “ancient” original iPad from 2010

The new iPad Pro is stunning and it’s so similar to the original iPad. Especially the silver version is stunning. The sharp edges are so cool. Check it out!

Wednesday, November 14

📱 How my younger self convinced me to go with the smaller 11” iPad Pro

Last week when the new iPad Pro launched I went for a trip to find my perfect future computer. I couldn’t decide, but an unexpected blast from the past finally managed to sway me one way and not the other. Here’s how it went down:

How my younger self convinced me to go with the smaller 11” iPad Pro

Why the smaller iPad Pro 11” is the best for me?

Last week on Wednesday when the new iPad Pro models launched I went to my local Apple Store to check them out. I wanted to really feel both models, the 11” and the 12.9” before placing a final order.

I set them all up on the desk and was working for like 3 hours on all 3 of them (yes, the Apple employees didn’t kick me out!) and couldn’t decide. I thought, I’m sure the big iPad will never fit in my bag, right? - but I was wrong, it barely fit in my iPad bag but it did fit... so what to do? Which iPad to choose?

Tuesday, November 13

📱 Quirks and issues when migrating to a new iOS device (case of iPad Pro 11” & iPhone XS)

Yesterday Christmas came early to me and I was setting up new iPad Pro 11” and a pair of new iPhones for me and my wife. I love the new devices but setting them up takes time... and has some issues. Here’s how I came about it and what I think can be improved in this process:

Quirks and issues when migrating to a new iOS device (case of iPad Pro 11” & iPhone XS)

New iOS setup is still a pain...

If you’re upgrading to a newer iOS device the process is still very cumbersome. Apple is trying to make it “look easy” but it still has room for improvement. You have basically two options:

Monday, November 12

🎧 The Podcast #164 - Why we do what we do

Last week on The Podcast we discussed the reasons behind our actions - why we work on Nozbe, why we record this podcast, why I wrote10 steps to ultimate productivity book... What are our motivations? It’s all in here:

The Podcast - 164 - Why we do what we do

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.

Sunday, November 11

💯 100 Years of Polish Independence 🇵🇱

Today is Polish Independence Day and this one is very special! In this short post I’m going to explain why I’m proud to be Polish, European and why I’m hopeful for the future.

100 Years of Polish Independence

100 years of Poland

Today is a special day. It’s been 100 years as Poland is a free country. I’m happy to be celebrating this day as a proud Polish person. Here’s why:

Saturday, November 10

🎬 Why “No Office”? Why I’m running an all-remote company? - my presentation at Infoshare 2018

In this presentation that I did in front of an audience of 500+ people at InfoShare 2018 I’m talking about the “why” of #NoOffice - why we’re running a company without an office. What are the advantages and disadvantages and why I believe it’s the future of work.

Why an all-remote team can be successful and work better!?

Infoshare

Apart from the big “why” I also talk about the practical aspects of running an all-remote company and why it might not make sense to rent an office space for your company/startup and why by working all-remote you can have a better team:

  • how you can make your team feel more connected... even though they don’t share the same physical space
  • how to run meetings, how to run projects, how to get stuff done together in a “no office” team
  • when meeting in person matters and when it really doesn’t - how to build a company based on trust and not just control
  • why when you’re together you’re wasting time and having only an illusion of control - how to structure communication in your team
  • why a physical office can be an additional tool for your team/company but is not a requirement - why you can hire from anywhere and how it benefits you
  • why you can save money on rent and save time and stress on daily commute

Plus lots of practical tips of running an all remote team from me - a person, who’s been doing this for the last 11 years + more tips from other companies who’re doing it as well (Automattic, Buffer, MySQL, etc.). Enjoy!

P.S. And if you want to find out how I worked on this presentation, you’ll get the whole back-stage listening or watching the episode 145 of The Podcast

Friday, November 9

🎧 The Podcast #163 - Joy of less

Last week on The Podcast we discussed minimalism again - it was a nice follow-up to our majestic episode 162 where we showed what we had in our backpacks 🎒 for our Nozbe Reunion trip. Here’s more on minimalism for your listening pleasure:

The Podcast - 163 - Joy of less

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in Apple Podcasts | Get RSS

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, November 8

✔️ New habits before the year ends

This year a few things got out of hand for me - or let’s say they’re not where I want them to be. So I decided to do something about it now and instill/strengthen new habits until the end of this year.

New habits before the year ends

Taking on new habits is hard. Make them stick is even harder. That’s why Leo Babauta argues you should only try to introduce one habit at a time.

Well, I’m too inpatient for that.

Starting from November I’ve taken on 3 habits at a time. My excuse is that they’re all semi-related, so I’m hoping they’ll reinforce each other... but only time will tell.

I’m very much tempted to share these habits with the world right now... but according to Derek Sivers I should keep them to myself.

So I’ll be vague and I'll let you know a little... and report after 2 months how I’m doing.

  • Habit 1 has to do with eating and drinking
  • Habit 2 has to do with routines (see? related!)
  • Habit 3 has to do with writing (partially related...)

I’ve already started and I’ve seen some good progress. But November has only started so I’ve got a long way to go.

Wanna challenge me?

How about you challenging me? Let me know via Twitter which habit(s) you’re going to start introducing this month until the end of the year.

According to research it takes about 60 days to get the habits going... so we’ve got exactly the time need to make them stick.

What are you going to do?

Here’s to ending this year and starting 2019 with a slew of great new habits acquired!

Wednesday, November 7

🎧🎬 The Podcast #162 - Backpack Only

On our October Nozbe reunion we recorded our most geeky and longest episode in the history of The Podcast where we showed all the contents of our backpacks 🎒- how we travel #BackpackOnly - what we take, what we don’t take... the whole thing - make sure to watch this one on video:

Watch this episode on video:

The Podcast - 162 - Backpack Only

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in Apple Podcasts | Get RSS

Time: ~ 74 minutes

If you rate us on Apple Podcasts, 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, November 5

🎧 The Podcast #161 - Talk to them!

Last month I attended Mobiconf conference and on The Podcast we discussed my experience there and some useful tips and tricks of choosing conferences you’re attending.

The Podcast - 161 - Talk to them!

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in Apple Podcasts | Get RSS

Time: ~ 49 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 2

🎧 The Podcast #160 - Building with hammers

Last month after our home-automation episode on The Podcast we discussed renovating my home office and other geeky stuff like tinkering with Raspberry Pi by Radek.

The Podcast - 160 - Building with hammers

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.