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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Friday, March 22

🎧🎬 The Podcast #179 - Punished by rewards

Last week on The Podcast we discussed the book by Alfie Kohn, “Punished by Rewards” and the consequences of both punishment and praise... I encourage you to check the discussion out - this book is literally one of the most impactful books I’ve read in a while.

Check out the short teaser:

The Podcast - 179 - Punished by rewards

Listen to the entire episode (~ 45 min):

Subscribe to The Podcast in Apple Podcasts | Get RSS | YouTube

If you liked it, please rate us on Apple Podcasts, thanks!

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 20

📖 10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity book now available in Traditional Chinese!

After I’ve initially published my video course, 10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity, I decided to self-publish a book inspired by the course. I went ahead and did that in Polish my mother tongue first, then in English for the entire world to read and now in Traditinal Chinese on Taiwan. Yes, Chinese version of my book, officially published by a major publisher on Taiwan - here’s how it happened and why I’m so psyched about it:

10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity book now available in Traditional Chinese!

10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity book now available in Traditional Chinese!

Here’s some back story about all this. A few years back as we were expanding Nozbe on different markets, we decided to try to promote our app in China, as we have seen Evernote’s successful expansion there. We hired Emilia, our Chinese expert and first of all we translated Nozbe to Chinese (both traditional and simplified versions).

From self-publishing to... being published!

We decided to self-publish “10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity” in Polish and it worked very well for us. Later we did the same in English... and as we were exploring other potential markets to translate the book to... we stumbled upon an interested publisher in Taiwan. Actually it was Emilia who did all the heavy-lifting - she contacted many publishers and finally nailed the deal with the one who decided to take a chance on us.

After many months of negotiations and back and forth, we inked the deal and started getting ready to publish the book and now it’s there!

I’m curious how this book will perform on the Chinese market... and I’m hoping to be going to Taiwan soon to help promote it.

Why going with traditional publisher this time?

Easy. While we have many customers and lots of recognition on both the Polish and American market... we have practically no presence in Taiwan... so by going with the traditional publisher we want to see if we can create demand for personal productivity and tools like Nozbe in there... and Taiwan is a pretty big market - 23M people who are very modern, mobile and high-tech.

This is just the beginning. I’ll keep you posted on our progress there, but as of today, I’m not only a published author, but a Chinese one at that!

10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity in Traditional Chinese

Here’s direct link to the book in Taiwan

Monday, March 18

🎧🎬 The Podcast #178 - Complaining

Two weeks ago on The Podcast we discussed the issue of “complaining” and how to deal with “complainers”... and how we both understand this subject. That complaining can be productive and efficient... doesn’t always have to be toxic or bad. Listen up!

Check out the short teaser:

The Podcast - 178 - Complaining

Listen to the entire episode (~ 32 min):

Subscribe to The Podcast in Apple Podcasts | Get RSS | YouTube

If you liked it, please rate us on Apple Podcasts, thanks!

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 5

🎧🎬 The Podcast #177 - Planning Together

Last week on The Podcast we discussed how last month I went away for the weekend with my wife to plan our year together. Yes, a romantic/planning weekend with my wife away from the kids and distractions. To plan our year. You should do that, too - if you’re in a committed relationship, here’s why:

Check out the teaser:

The Podcast - 177 - Planning Together

Listen to the entire episode (~ 39 min):

Subscribe to The Podcast in Apple Podcasts | Get RSS | YouTube

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.

Friday, March 1

💡 Digital Minimalism part 1 - fighting the compulsive iPhone checking - iMagazine column 19/03

For many years now I’ve been writing a monthly column for the leading Polish lifestyle magazine - iMagazine and in the month of March I decided to start a short series on “digital minimalism”, inspired by the book with the same title by Cal Newport (Amazon|Audible) and the discussion I’ve had with my The Podcast co-host Radek in episodes 168 “Get bored” and 175 “100% Buzz-free”.

To read my column (in Polish), get the latest issue of iMagazine (it’s free).

If you don’t know Polish, apart from mentioning the book and the two podcast episodes, I also talked about other resources that help me stay sane and not give in to the compulsive behavior of checking my phone:

In the article I also mentioned a few tips and tricks which we discussed with Radek on The Podcast so please make sure to subscribe :-)

Thursday, February 21

🎧🎬 The Podcast #176 - Salary Formula

This week on The Podcast we discuss a very sensitive topic - Salary Formula - how we calculate salaries for people working at Nozbe in a fair way - we dive deep how and why we started with that and also how it went down... and if we can still improve it.

Here’s a short video teaser of the episode:

The Podcast - 176 - Salary Formula

Listen to the full episode below (~ 53 minutes):

Subscribe to The Podcast in Apple Podcasts | Get RSS | YouTube

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.

Sunday, February 10

🎧🎬 The Podcast #175 - 100% Buzz-Free

This week on The Podcast we discuss improvements to helping us work better, with fewer distractions... and less social media... and more focus, check out the teaser and listen to the show:

The Podcast - 175 - 100% Buzz-Free

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in Apple Podcasts | Get RSS | YouTube

Time: ~ 38 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.

Tuesday, February 5

✔️ How intermittent journaling and some smart Siri shortcuts help me enjoy more intentional and productive days

I love journaling. I’ve blogged about it in the past and the same rules basically apply today. I’ve also been more conscious about planning my days and I’ve also blogged about my workflows for it in the past. Today I’ll be joining both concepts together, with my up-to-date workflows (Siri shortcuts) and a new concept I’ve been trying lately - intermittent journaling. Here goes:

How intermittent journaling and some smart Siri shortcuts help me enjoy more intentional and productive days

Using Siri Shortcuts and Bear app

Because I’m using iOS devices to get my stuff done - I’m iPadOnly with the new 11” iPad Pro and I use an iPhoneXS - I do all of my planning an journaling on either of these devices using Siri Shortcuts and the Bear note-taking app. I don’t use Bear for anything else - just for planning my days and for journaling.

You’ll find below my Siri shortcuts for both planning the days and journaling:

Monday, February 4

✔️ How I learned JavaScript by studying source code of Basecamp... and how I keep learning programming by studying code written by others...

Recently DHH of Basecamp wrote on their blog about the importance of being able to view the source code and learn from it. I totally agree with that... and in the spirit of 12 years of Nozbe and the last episode of The Podcast I’d like to share here a story how I actually learned JavaScript by studying their source code years ago. Here goes:

How I learned JavaScript by studying source code of Basecamp... and how I keep learning programming by studying code written by others...

I built the first version of Nozbe in 2005... with no JavaScript

I built Nozbe because I needed to get organized. So after reading Getting Things Done by David Allen (Amazon|Audible) I built a quick tool to get organized over a weekend. It was a very simple web application, but the problem was, when I marked a task as done, I’d have to “save” the page and reload it. Yes, that’s how basic it was... but luckily I was the only user...

Enter Backpack, a tool by 37signals (now Basecamp)

A few months later I came across Backpack, a tool that the crew behind Basecamp built. I signed up for it and I fell in love with its simplicity and most of all, I was amazed that the pages there didn’t reload. I marked a task as “done” and it instantly became “done”. I loved it. They were using this new technology which in 2005 was called “AJAX”.

While I loved the Backpack I still preferred my own tool because it was structured a little differently and more focused on “getting things done”... so I started viewing the source code of Backpack and learning from it. This is how I learned the basics of AJAX, JavaScript (with Prototype.js) and much more.

Friday, February 1

🎧🎬 The Podcast #174 - 12 years of Nozbe

Today on The Podcast we celebrate 12 years of Nozbe - the productivity tool I launched exactly on February 1, 2007. In this episode I shared quite a few personal stories you might not know about about... so tune it, check out the sneak peek and listen to the entire episode below:

Watch this episode on video:

The Podcast - 174 - 12 years of Nozbe

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in Apple Podcasts | Get RSS | YouTube

Time: ~ 52 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.

Thursday, January 24

🎧🎬 The Podcast #173 - The Year of Purple

This week on The Podcast we discuss our plans for this year. It’s a very personal episode with a sneak peek of what’s going to happen in Nozbe as well. If you’re curious, this one’s for you. Check out the teaser first :-)

The Podcast - 173 - The Year of Purple

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in Apple Podcasts | Get RSS | YouTube

Time: ~ 35 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.

Wednesday, January 23

😎 Why suck at three sports, if I can suck at four? Or how I’m loving my tennis game and why you should start practicing a new sport this year, too!

As you know I’ve been competing in triathlon races for the last 4 years. I’ve done 2 sprint-distance races and 10 olympic-distance ones. And this year I’ve signed up for a half-Ironman. I’m all about swimming, biking and running... but last year I started practicing a fourth sport - tennis. Here’s how I got to it and why:

Why suck at three sports, if I can suck at four? Or how I’m loving my tennis game and why you should start practicing a new sport this year, too!

I’ve always wanted to learn to play tennis, but I never did.

When I was young my parents wanted me to learn tennis but because they themselves didn’t play, they didn’t push me enough to get lessons. When I was in collage one year I created a tennis group with a fellow friend and we would play every other week... but we both were amateurs and we were just basically passing ball from one side of the net to the other... and I still enjoyed it... but never properly learned it.

Fast forward 18 years... and even though I was doing triathlons I started learning tennis!

Completely by accident. Together with a neighbor I organized a tennis class for one of my daughters and after a few classes she lost interest... and I asked the coach to teach me... and I got hooked! Here’s how it went down:

Monday, January 21

😎 Nobody’s perfect from the beginning

As mentioned on our last episode of The Podcast, recently in Nozbe team we introduced “salary formula” - a way to calculate salaries for all of our team members. In one of the future episodes we’ll discuss the formula in more depth, but today I want to focus on one aspect of it - level of growth - and why this ingredient of the salary is supposed to stimulate our team members to keep growing and developing themselves - just like the BMW 5 series... and unlike Lada:

Nobody’s perfect from the beginning

Nobody is perfect from the beginning - we all need to keep growing

When you’re leading a team of people, it’s important to let everyone know that you don’t want “Ladas” on your team - meaning people who think are perfect and they don’t need to grow.

The above meme is really cool as you can see how BMW 5 series kept evolving over the years, kept iterating, kept improving... while still remaining a mid-size sedan that it’s always been.

Now, how this translates to personal growth? Glad you asked:

Wednesday, January 16

🎧🎬 The Podcast #172 - It doesn’t have to be crazy at work

This week on The Podcast we discuss a book by David and Jason of Basecamp - It doesn’t have to be crazy at work (Amazon|Audible) - we love the book and agree with many of the ideas from there, but on the show we discuss mainly things we don’t agree with - here’s a teaser and below the full episode in audio:

The Podcast - 172 - It doesn’t have to be crazy at work

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in Apple Podcasts | Get RSS | YouTube

Time: ~ 44 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.

Tuesday, January 15

😢 How tolerance of hate and extremism leads to the lowest point in the modern history of Poland

Today was one of the saddest day in the history of my country of Poland - the president of Gdansk - Paweł Adamowicz - was stabbed to death by someone for political reasons. Turns out that the divide that ruling government of Poland is creating among my countrymen has its first spectacular victim. This is the low point of Polish democracy. Will we go lower? Yes, we will if we don’t stop the to tolerate the hate speech:

How tolerance of hate and extremism leads to the lowest point in the modern history of Poland

Hate speech are not just meaningless words - they can turn into actions!

I try to avoid very controversial subjects like politics on my personal blog, but sometimes I write about things that I can no longer be quiet about - just like I did with guns - now let’s talk about the tolerance of hate speech and what it leads to.

Words can really hurt people. Literally.

That’s why the words we use are so important. And when the same words are repeated many times over, they begin to be the “new norm”. And when they come from “above” like a government official, they become the “new policy”.

So when a politician is saying “this person should be dead”, they can pretend all they want that they didn’t literally mean “dead” but what they are really doing is promoting violence and showing their supporters and followers that it’s OK to say things like that. It’s OK to wish someone dead...

And when this happens, a crazy person who takes these kinds of calls in a literal way can always be found in a nation of close to 40 Million people...

Even if it’s “just a figure of speech”, well, it shouldn't be!

One recent example was very scary. In Poland the current government led by the Law and Justice party for the last three years was supporting nationalistic movements, neo-nazi and far-right groups and letting them issue death certificates to politicians of opposition parties...

Yes. Death certificates. And when these were brought to the courts, public prosecutors discarded these death certificates as ”a way to express lack of approval of these politicians”.

Well, there are different ways to express your approval or lack thereof.

Here’s what the late Paweł Adamowicz had to say about these certificates just a few days before his assassination (in Polish):

How tolerance of hate and extremism leads to the lowest point in the modern history of Poland

Same goes to gestures, like burning a the EU flag, a doll symbolizing a Jew, and many other hate gestures that the current government just lets happen in Poland and the authorities do nothing about them.

This kind of rhetoric shouldn’t be tolerated because it leads to violence and ...intolerance.

We conclude with the Paradox of Tolerance...

Now, what about the freedom of speech and being tolerant to everyone?

Well, apparently the problem with that is that there’s such a thing as the Paradox of Tolerance, which basically means:

Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.

Yes, it turns out that you can be “too kind” to someone who doesn’t want to be kind to you... and it’ll be turned against you. So no, freedom of speech is great and all, but not if you let hate take over.

It’s OK to tolerate a different opinion but it’s not OK to tolerate all the ways how people express it.