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Friday, February 5

✔ Have you set up your New Year's goals yet? It's still not too late!

Note: This post is a transcript of my "Passionate Productivity" newsletter which I send to people who read my book "It's all about Passion!" - if you want to be receiving weekly emails from me in the future, get the book by signing up - thank you!

Time flies! We're already in February of this New Year of 2016 and I've just celebrated 9 years of running Nozbe. And when people ask me what's next for me, I tell them: I'm just getting started.

Me celebrating 9 years of Nozbe

How was 2015 for you?

This is how it went for me - in a nutshell, pretty stable but with some things that definitely need improvement.

One of the things I decided to focus on is the "No Office" theme on my blog. After all, in my company there is no office - we all work remotely and I believe many people and companies can learn from us and everything we've tested running an all-remote team.

For this reason I started a publication on Medium, called "No Office". Let me know what you think!

What are your goals for 2016?

Hope you'll find advice there on planning your goals for this year. We have still 11 months left in 2016 so it's still not too late to get your goals in order and start achieving them!

More advice for you in my podcast:

If you prefer listening to reading, I do recommend you check out the latest episodes of "The Podcast" where we talked about our goals for this year, diets, fitness habits and shared some behind-the-scenes info about our Nozbe 3.0 launch

Review your goals this weekend

Hope this newsletter was useful for you. Please take your time to review your goals for 2016 this weekend and if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment under and of the posts mentioned in this newsletter and let me know!

Thursday, February 4

✔ How a company without an office makes a great team… better?

Exactly 9 years ago today, I launched my productivity startup: Nozbe. I wrote this web application to help me get things done and decided to show it to the world. Back then, I was a one-man-shop. I did all the coding in Javascript+PHP+MySQL, I wrote the website copy, I designed most of the graphics… and I was the one responding to emails in case someone actually tried it and had a question. When I launched premium plans, I was the one to write the payment system and automate accepting money. And for the rest of 2007, I was doing all of that. Part time!

NoOffice Team

I originally posted this on Medium where I post about remote working as a part of NoOffice publication. I'd appreciate if you followed me there and recommended my posts, thanks!

From a part-time one-man-shop to a team of 30+ people...

That’s right, for the first year Nozbe wasn’t my full-time project! I still had my day job as an “Internet Marketing Consultant” for my past customers. I’d start working on Nozbe after my “day work” — between 4 pm and 9 pm. I decided to go full time with Nozbe a year after the launch — in Spring of 2008, and then I hired my first developer. Today he’s still with me and he’s the CTO. A year later, I hired a support person, then another one… and as Nozbe grew, I kept hiring.

Today we’re 20+ core team and 10+ contractors working on Nozbe. And we have an amazing team, here’s why:

Wednesday, February 3

▷ The Podcast #32 - How To Get Fat

New episode of your favorite weekly podcast about "technology, productivity tips, business, publishing, and whatever else comes to mind..." is out! This time we talk about diets and about what really makes us fat. Ok, Radek talks and I listen:

The latest episode of The Podcast

Radek is very impressed by the book How we get fat which I reviewed earlier on this blog. After all this book changed the way I eat. Hope you'll also be as impressed after listening to this show.

Jump to listen to the episode »

or

Subscribe through iTunes

And please let me know what you think about my new podcast with Radek - post your comments over here or on our podcast site. Thank you!

P.S. And if you really like what we're doing, don't forget to rate us on iTunes, we'd really appreciate it! :-)

Tuesday, February 2

★ Almost a decade getting stuff done - how I celebrated 9 years of Nozbe?

My company Nozbe just celebrated 9 years today. Wow, it was a crazy week, an interesting year and an amazing stint so far. Not everything went as planned but I think it's safe to say we're on the right track. And I still can't believe how the time flies. Just read my posts after 7 years or 8 years to compare. And this year I'm even more bullish on Nozbe than ever. Here's why:

Nozbe 9 years

We doubled our core team to 20+ people

Just as I wrote on my 2015 review blog post, we practically doubled our team at Nozbe in a year. And now we're all in to capitalize on that and really find our spectacular growth. The longer I'm running Nozbe the more I realize how much more can be done. How many more people can be reached. How many you still have to convice to stop using email for collaboration. How many teams should just communicate through tasks...

This year with my bigger team we have bigger goals than ever before.

We launched Nozbe Business

It's a big deal. And we've had our first customers today already sign up for Nozbe Business. It's a whole new world for us but we're ready. New challenges, new features, better support and most of all - helping companies implement Nozbe to literally multiply their productivity and "internal happiness" of having people get lots of stuff done in sync with each other.

I particularly love the new "shared projects" with three roles: admin, user and guest. And I can't wait how our customers implement this in their organizations.

New logo, new design... and the best Nozbe ever

I can't highlight enough how much I love new Nozbe 3.0 and what my team has done to make it an amazing release. I pushed them and they pushed me... and together we made miracles happen to make it the Nozbe 3.0 release for our 9th anniversary - and I say it was worth it. This year will be all about 3.X Nozbe branch, with lots enhancements, polish and great collaboration features.

9 years in... and there's still so much to do. And it all comes down to the same 5 loves (laws) of my work. Thank you everyone who made my February 1st my own personal #NozbeDay.

As they say, the journey is the ultimate destination and I'm priviledged to have you join me. Thank you.

Question: How did you like our Nozbe 3.0 release all the goodies that came with it?

Thursday, January 28

✔ My #NozbeOffice - what's my desk like? What helps me get things done?

On our Nozbe blog we started an action showing our offices. We also asked our users on Twitter with hashtag #NozbeOffice and it's amazing to see how and where people get their things done. So in the spirit of sharing my home office space I decided to write this blog post explaining why my home office in 2016 looks like this - because everything is here for a reason:

Michael's Nozbe Office

My 2016 home office setup in a nutshell:

Ikea height-adjustable desk, iMac 5K with Microsoft Sculpt keyboard and Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad, iPad Pro with Logitech Ultrathin keyboard and Apple Pencil... and lastly my iPhone 6S Plus (taking the picture). And a mug with my hometown (Gdynia) name on it.

Now, why I use these devices? Here goes:

Wednesday, January 27

▷ The Podcast #31 - Topic Selection Problem (and upcoming Nozbe 3.0)

New episode of your favorite weekly podcast about "technology, productivity tips, business, publishing, and whatever else comes to mind..." is out! This time we talk a lot about upcoming Nozbe 3.0 and our 9th anniversary (time flies!) and the new Nozbe Business accounts. Lots of behind-the-scenes info. Especially how our new logo came to be:

The latest episode of The Podcast

I can't believe it's been already 31 episodes of this podcast... But I'm most impressed with running Nozbe so many years now! I started as a one man shop back in 2007 and now...

Jump to listen to the episode »

or

Subscribe through iTunes

And please let me know what you think about my new podcast with Radek - post your comments over here or on our podcast site. Thank you!

P.S. And if you really like what we're doing, don't forget to rate us on iTunes, we'd really appreciate it! :-)

Monday, January 25

✔ Wow, you're so successful! What's next for you?

In just a week I'll be celebrating 9 years of running Nozbe - a productivity project I launched on February 1, 2007. Nine years. Almost a decade. Started with a team of one. And now we're 24 core team and 10 contractors. I can't believe how fast the time flies and that I've been doing the same thing for almost a decade. So the obvious question is: now what?

Next?

What's next for me now? What's next for you?

When I get interviewed or chat with people about Nozbe's success thus far, about our apps for all platforms, more than 300,000 happy users and our team, I get asked this question a lot: Michael, what's next for you?

Now that I'm approaching 9th birthday of my "baby" I've been giving this question particular attention so let me share the way I see it:

Wednesday, January 20

▷ The Podcast #30 - More Research Required

New episode of your favorite weekly podcast about "technology, productivity tips, business, publishing, and whatever else comes to mind..." is out! This time we talk about SpaceX (again) and we follow up on goal setting and habits... like journaling... and we share first tips about upcoming Nozbe 3.0:

The latest episode of The Podcast

As to journaling I do live demo to Radek how to journal on the Apple Watch - something I described in my yesterday's post about the Apple Watch.

Jump to listen to the episode »

or

Subscribe through iTunes

And please let me know what you think about my new podcast with Radek - post your comments over here or on our podcast site. Thank you!

P.S. And if you really like what we're doing, don't forget to rate us on iTunes, we'd really appreciate it! :-)

Tuesday, January 19

★ My Tech Gadget of 2015: The Apple Watch

Last year brought lots of things from my favorite fruit company (Apple) into my life: iMac 5K, iPad Pro, iPhone 6s Plus, new Apple TV and an Apple Watch. And without a doubt the gadget of the year for me was the small computer on my wrist:

AppleWatch

In 2014 I was blown away by my gigantic iPhone+ but in 2015 I was surprised at how much I fell in love with wearing my Apple Watch.

Yes, it's still pretty slow, the apps are not there yet, the battery life is rubbish... but I still love it for communication, fitness and being a dashboard:

  • our Nozbe complication rocks - especially when it's zeroed out at the end of the day (see photo above) and staying on top of things with my iPhone in my pocket or even left in my home office just rocks
  • fitness circles still motivate me. My the podcast co-host even signed up for gym because of them
  • talking to the wrist when calling to people is not only cool but also very practical

At the end of the day, this gadget changed my habits and improved my life. I bought it initially out of curiosity but I've grown to love this device and I'm so used to wearing it on my wrist every day that I feel naked without it.

And I can even speak to it to add entries to my journal. (If you want to do the same, here's my workflow). How cool is that?

Question: What's your gadget of 2015?

Sent from my iPhone+

Monday, January 18

✔ Productive Plan for 2016 - how to achieve goals month after month!

2016 has started - new opportunities, new plans, new goals... Thatʼs why today Iʼd like to discuss my recipe for ultimate productivity and help you achieve your objectives for this year... I hope that weʼll all succeed in making our New Yearʼs Resolutions happen. Letʼs get started!

2016-plan

Note: The following article appeared first in the December'15 issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

January - summary and planning

Once you've read this blog entry, move on to a serious review of the past year.

Dedicate a whole day for it. Take time off from your usual work and focus on making a summary of your successes and failures and draw conclusions. Next, plan new goals for 2016. Start off ambitiously. Step out of your comfort zone. Donʼt give up. Ask yourself: "What do I need to achieve to make 2016 my best year ever?"

February - revision of plans

Check whether youʼve done anything towards achieving your goals. You may notice that you haven't made any progress on some of them. Maybe itʼs time to abandon these objectives? Right now you may be realizing that youʼve set too many of them...

Maybe itʼs time to revise your goals and focus only on those which are directly related to your passions and aspirations? Maybe itʼs time to stop dreaming and start real planning? Here's my tip:

Wednesday, January 13

▷ The Podcast #29 - Bound To Happen

New episode of your favorite weekly podcast about "technology, productivity tips, business, publishing, and whatever else comes to mind..." is out! This time we talk about New Year's Resolutions for 2016 - how we do them and what we've learned in 2015:

The latest episode of The Podcast

I also forget to press "record" for the first time so we had to repeat recording the first 30 minutes of the show. We need a pre-flight checklist. I've also commented on my 2015 review. As always, we had a blast and left you a few tips in there. Enjoy!

Jump to listen to the episode »

or

Subscribe through iTunes

And please let me know what you think about my new podcast with Radek - post your comments over here or on our podcast site. Thank you!

P.S. And if you really like what we're doing, don't forget to rate us on iTunes, we'd really appreciate it! :-)

Monday, January 11

✔ There is no office…

I’m a big fan of the movie Martix. It has quite a few memorable scenes. One of the best is when a boy is “bending” the spoon. In this article I’d like to explain how this scene has everything to do with how we get things done every single day:

There is no spoon

I originally posted this on Medium where I post about remote working as a part of NoOffice publication. I'd appreciate if you followed me there and recommended my posts, thanks!

Try to realize the truth: there is no spoon.

In this scene the boy is telling Neo, the main character, that bending a spoon is impossible… but as they are in the Matrix, the truth is that there is no spoon, and the only thing they can bend is themselves… not the spoon.

There is no office… there is only work that needs to get done!

It’s so funny to me that the modern pre-requisite of getting job done is the office. It’s like there is an equation between the two: work = office!

Maybe, but if you think about, why would you need an office? Here are a few reasons:

Thursday, January 7

✔ 2015 for me: pretty stable overall...

This time it took me a while to do some thinking and reviewing. We're 7 days in 2016 and I'm still processing all the lessons I've learned from 2015. Overall it's been a pretty stable year for me, but some things didn't go as planned or were more challenging that I anticipated. Here goes:

image

My 2015 in a nutshell would be like this:

I'm still a fit triathlete, but didn't reach my fitness goals, although had lots of fun riding my bike, running and swimming. I gained a few pounds of weight which I need to lose this month to prepare properly for what's to come in 2016. In business I doubled my team count while maintaining the business revenue at the same level as last year. This means in 2016 I need to do less hiring and more marketing, to make up for all of it.

This is the gist of it. If you want to know more, keep reading:

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

▷ The Podcast #28 - Empty intellectual calories

New episode of your favorite weekly podcast about "technology, productivity tips, business, publishing, and whatever else comes to mind..." is out! This time we talk about Christmas gift ideas:

The latest episode of The Podcast

Christmas is a fantastic time to talk about gifts, the art of giving things and experiences... and when in doubt, LEGO always works. Even for adults.

Jump to listen to the episode »

or

Subscribe through iTunes

And please let me know what you think about my new podcast with Radek - post your comments over here or on our podcast site. Thank you!

P.S. And if you really like what we're doing, don't forget to rate us on iTunes, we'd really appreciate it! :-)

Monday, December 21, 2015

★ Christmas gift ideas: give experiences instead of things

Three days to Christmas and we're all thinking about the preparations, gifts and everything around it. I just came back to my home town to spend this special day with my parents. And while I was completing my checklist of gifts for my family and friends I remembered my last year's gift I got from my wife:

michael driving Ferrari

Nope. My wife didn't buy me a Ferrari. But what she did do, is recognize I'm a big car guy and Formula 1 fan... So she got me a voucher to drive a Ferrari on an actual F1 track in Barcelona!

Suffice to say I loved my gift! And what we did is make a weekend out of it! We flew to Barcelona for a romantic weekend, thanks to a friend got a really nice hotel for ourselves and made a weekend out of it! So not only did I get to drive a Ferrari but I also got to spend a great weekend with my lovely wife! Now that's a gift I'll keep in my memories for a long long time!

And it's not really about anything that fancy as driving a Ferrari. When my mom celebrated her birthday we got her a lunch in a very historic place... So basically we organized a whole-day trip with my parents to celebrate her birthday! She loved it!

And I'm not saying all things are bad! Most are great! Just I think we give too many "stuff" as gifts. Let's think we can give experiences and we can give someone really amazing memories!

Question: What experiences have you given as gifts lately?

P.S. If you're curious this is how I enjoyed my last year's gift:

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Sent from my iPhone 6 Plus