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.

Monday, February 6

✔️ 7 proven rules that will help you lose weight... for good!

After spending Christmas over three years ago (2013) in my hometown, I came back home and stepped on the scale. I’d gained 2 kg (4.5 lbs) during the holidays. Although it may not seem like much, I was terrified. After all, I’d spent nearly the entire fall dropping those 2 kilos... I was disappointed that I destroyed a couple months of weight loss efforts in just 2 weeks. I decided that it was time to put this to a stop... for good. I managed to do it and now three years later I'm still slim and healthier than ever before. Here's how you can do it, too:

Losing weight makes you feel great!

Note: The following article appeared first in the January '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.

12% of body weight in 3 months

I started working out in January 2014 and in 3 months I’d managed to lose 12% of my body weight. I had to get rid of most of my clothes and buy new ones – 1-2 sizes smaller. Good for me, I managed to lose weight. But the best thing is that today, after three years, my weight’s still at the same level! I’ve been able to avoid the yo-yo effect. My weight tends to vary by 1-2 kilograms, but I have everything under control. I feel lighter and younger. In fact, I’m in the best shape ever.

Before I begin, I’d like to clarify that I’m not a professional dietitian or a doctor. Everything I know about the subject comes from two books: “Why we get fat” by Gary Taubes and “4-hour body” by Tim Ferriss, numerous articles on the web, my friends’ weight loss stories and talking to my GP. Here are my 7 rules:

Wednesday, February 1

🖇 My company, Nozbe celebrates 10 years! [on: Nozbe Blog]

On the Nozbe Blog Today is a big milestone for me personally and professionally. My company, Nozbe just turned 10. To celebrate it with our customers, we've got a special promo which is great for both new customers and celebrates people who stuck with us the most. We even got 102 people who've been using Nozbe all these 10 years! We've come a long way since 2007... Check out these few quotes or get the entire thing:

My company, Nozbe celebrates 10 years!

A few gems NOT mentioned on Nozbe blog, but available for my readers here:

"Personally, I coded Nozbe entirely myself in PHP+MySQL+Prototype.JS out of a rented 1-bedroom apartment in Warsaw where I lived with my wife. 10 years in we have a team of developers working on apps for all the major platforms but I still work from home - this time it's my own house with the same wife and three daughters :-)"

"I wrote the first version of Nozbe in pure PHP+MySQL as a weekend project back in 2005 inspired by the book by David Allen: "Getting Things Done". In 2006 I kept rewriting the code with JavaScript, Web2.0 style, because it was a fun technology playground. In 2007 I decided to launch Nozbe as a small beta and announced it in the GTD-aficionados circles. Thanks to the word of mouth and press (ZdNet, Lifehacker) I got 5000 users in first three months. Today we're at 400,000 users."

"The name Nozbe was invented by me and my buddy Wiktor when we were in college in 1999 and we wanted to launch a web-based reminder service. We were playing with the phrase: To Be Naturally Organized and after trial and error found Be-oz, N-oz-be, so in the end Nozbe which we thought was cool - 5 letter word with a Z in the middle, doesn't mean anything and the .com domain was available. Eventually we launched the service and shut it down after 2 years. But I kept paying for the domain so when I was launching my project/task management web app, the word Nozbe and the theme of being organized fit perfectly so I used it again. 10 years in and people still ask me where the name came from :-)"

Jump to to the source and read more and celebrate 10 years with me and Nozbe »

Tuesday, January 31

🎧 The Podcast #82 - Planning 2017

This week on The Podcast we discuss yearly goals - how we closed 2016 and planned 2017. What works, what doesn't, how we approach goals and how we focus more on habits and skills thanks to the books we've read last year. You'll love it:

The Podcast - 82 - Planning 2017

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in iTunes

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.

Monday, January 30

✔ 2016 review: not bad at all!

It's almost the end of January so I'm pretty late with my 2016 review but... I really needed to write it all down if not for you, then at least for myself. I'be done reviews of 2015, 2014 and 2013 and these served me well so now it's time to take a look at last year, the 2016, here goes:

2016 of Michael Sliwinski

2016 in a nutshell

Overall 2016 wasn't that bad for me. It's been actually pretty good. Personally my third daughter was born and she's been amazing, I'm still a fit amateur triathlete and business wise we've had some growth and significant product developments. I can't complain.

On the other hand, geo-politically it wasn't that good, the government in my home country is destroying the stable democracy we used to have, UK wants to do a Brexit and the USA decided to choose a self-indulgent liar as a president. Some people call 2016 the "Windows Vista" of all years. It wasn't that bad for me so if you're curious to know more, read on - hope this inspires you: