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:

Wednesday, December 6

🎧 The Podcast #123 - So Good They Can’t Ignore You

This week on The Podcast we discuss an earlier book by Cal Newport - So Good They Can’t Ignore You (Amazon|Audible) and its premise of not listening to a common piece of advice to “follow your passion”... and we compare it to the contents of my free book: “It’s All About Passion!” - enjoy!

The Podcast - 123 - So Good They Can’t Ignore You

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in iTunes | Subscribe on YouTube | 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.

Monday, December 4

📢 Nozbe Reunion - why, where and how to organize a company retreat?

All-company meetings in a "No Office" team - a step-by-step guide to a successful meet-up

In my „No Office” company we don’t see each other all that much in person. Yes, we have video meetings, but apart from that, everyone works from the comfort of their home office. That’s why a few years ago we started these annual, and later semi-annual all-company meetings, called “reunions”. We wanted to spend some quality time with each other in person, recharge batteries, get to know the people hidden behind their avatars... and basically connect on a different level. Now, that we did a few of these, and we’ve just had our fall “Nozbe Reunion Wrocław”, I’d like to share a few tips and tricks on how to prepare and run a successful “company reunion/retreat”. Why do we organize it? What do we do? How do we make it a success? Here’s our recipe with all the details:

Nozbe Reunion - why, where and how to organize a company retreat?

I originally posted this on Medium where I write about remote working as a part of NoOffice publication. You should follow me there (and recommend my posts :-), thanks!

Why a “Nozbe Reunion”?

Just as I explained above - we don’t have a central office and we’re 25 people in the Nozbe core team. The “why” is pretty obvious - we need to connect on a personal level every now and then... and when you’re working “alone” from home so many months, you are really looking forward to meeting your co-workers!

How often do we organize this?

Twice a year - we always have a spring and a fall reunion. First, we held our meet-ups on an annual basis but later decided it wasn’t enough. Now, that we switched to a semi-annual model, we believe it’s just the right balance of time in the home office vs time with your team.

The choice of spring and fall is deliberate. In summer people want to take vacation time with their families and in winter it’s cold... and usually the fall and spring is a slow time for tourism, so hotels are empty and quiet and can offer us not only great rates but also comfortable stay... and with 25 people coming we’re the major group in the hotel and we feel like the place is “just for us”.

How long does a “Nozbe Reunion” last?

We typically arrive on Monday for a late lunch and leave on Saturday after breakfast. This way we dedicate the entire workweek for a reunion and leave the weekend to relax after an intensive week with the whole team. I’ll dive deeper into our schedule for the reunion a little bit later, so read on.

Friday, December 1

🎧 The Podcast #122 - Deep Pre-Decision

This week on The Podcast we discuss productivity and dive again into the topic of DEEP work - how to do more of it, how to find focus, how to set your day for success on that front. Lots of helpful tips and tricks and podcast references, enjoy:

The Podcast - 122 - Deep Pre-Decision

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in iTunes | Subscribe on YouTube | Get RSS

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.

Friday, November 24

🎧 The Podcast #121 - Scanning & Planning

This week on The Podcast we discussed going paperless as I keep using Evernote and Radziu discovers and app called Scanbot... and we also dive deeper into planning our days and other productivity ideas:

The Podcast - 121 - Scanning & Planning

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in iTunes | Subscribe on YouTube | Get RSS

Time: ~ 52 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, November 22

🎧 The Podcast #120 - Spanglish

Last week on The Podcast we continued our discussion on languages and we dive deeper with some cool tips and tricks - how I leaned Spanish fast and now how Radek is doing it even faster with Duolingo app. Enjoy!

The Podcast - 120 - Spanglish

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in iTunes | Subscribe on YouTube | Get RSS

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, November 20

✔ How wireless headphones improve my productivity... and take me into the future!

This article was inspired by questions from readers and my discussion with Radek in the 95th episode of “ThePodcast.fm.” In that episode, we were chatting about our new wireless headphones and discussing how they make us feel like we’re living in the future. On top of that, I also believe wireless headphones significantly improve productivity. So, if you’re still using wired headphones, then, to quote Steve Jobs: “you’re doing it wrong.” Read on to find out why.

Wireless headphones

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

Don’t be afraid of change. It’s an inevitable part of business and life...

We live in a world of technology, which is developing at a tremendous rate. Ten years ago, there weren’t any iPhones, and now the current iPhone 8, as tests show, it’s also faster than this year’s MacBook Pro. The world is changing so quickly that it's hard to keep up.

Change is also a vital part of my work. When I started Nozbe over 10 years ago, Steve Jobs had just unveiled the iPhone, and I believed I was building a web app for managing projects that would only work in a browser window on the desktop. It’s been only 10 years, but today we have apps for all major platforms, including the Apple Watch. And we’ve just released a version that works with Siri, so now you can add tasks using voice control – without even launching Nozbe. Everything is evolving at a rapid pace, but that’s precisely one of my favorite aspects of the IT industry. Change is inevitable. That’s why we have to constantly observe trends and buy the latest gadgets to understand how they can help our clients. I remember when, in September 2007, I was one of the first iPhone users in Poland. In May 2010, I had to get an iPad, and by May 2015, I needed to get my hands on an Apple Watch.

I’m not writing this to brag, rather to add some context to what I’m about to say about wireless headphones, because I remember when Apple did something, what many people considered “terrible”:

Tuesday, November 14

🎧 The Podcast #119 - The Polyglots

Last week on The Podcast we discussed learning languages. We’ve received questions from listeners about our English learning process... so we dive deep and Radek explains how he one day decided to learn English seriously, how I learned both English and German (spoiler: lots of movies and songs involved) - so here you go - enjoy:

The Podcast - 119 - The Polyglots

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in iTunes | Subscribe on YouTube | 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.

Monday, November 13

✔️ The new 2 hour rule - stop procrastinating and get your scariest tasks done!

I’m half way editing my new 10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity book and reviewing it brings back memories of learning the basic productivity principles... like the famous “2 minute rule” introduced by David Allen in his “Getting Things Done” book (Amazon|Audible). The rule says that if you have a small task that can realistically be done in less than 2 minutes, do it now. Don’t put it on your task list, just do it. Well, today I want to introduce you to a new rule regarding the BIG tasks - a 2 hour rule - meaning, if you’ve got a scary task which you’re afraid to do because it requires lots of thinking and you’re afraid it’s going to take you a day or two... just turn off all distractions and block off 2 hours of your time - and you’ll be amazed at the results! By the end of these 2 hours you’ll have the task usually completed! Here’s my “scientific” proof:

The new 2 hour rule - stop procrastinating and get your scariest tasks done!

How I procrastinated on a few tasks recently

Before I get to my point, a personal story. As the CEO of Nozbe, I wear many “hats”, meaning I get to be a product visionary, which I love... a marketing manager, which I like... and a manager of my company, which I don’t like as much... but I still have to do it. Recently I had quite a few big tasks regarding the company management - some legal issues, some employee-related issues... and other tasks which I’d consider necessary but boooooring. That’s why I was doing everything to avoid doing these tasks. I was old-school procrastinating on them. But these tasks had to be done. And I had to do them... and they kept creeping up on me during each weekly review... and I kept postponing them...

Friday, November 10

💡 Templates I use to review my day, week and quarter

Today is Friday (and we’re doing Fridays differently at Nozbe) and it’s time for my weekly review so before I start just that, I decided to post this short reference to my best NozbeHOW templates which I regularly use to perform my reviews - you can use these templates even if you don’t have a Nozbe acccount:

Templates I use to review my day, week and quarter

How I go about my day

This past week has been very productive for me because I stuck to my Unschedule calendar and Pomodoro Technique and especially I’ve used the "daily template" I wrote about on the Nozbe blog.

What I do: Every morning after I journal I open Nozbe and go to my templates and open my "Today" template to create a new project with today’s date as the name, like "10 Nov 2017" and I go about my day completing each 30min interval as another "pomodoro". At the end of the day I review this project and complete it.

Today template on Nozbe.how

How I go about my Weekly Review

I’ve described the process in detail here but I basically create a new project from my template and give it a name like "45th weekly review" (where 45 is the number of the week in the year) and I go through the project:

Weekly Review template on Nozbe.how

How I go about my Quarterly Off-site

According to advice from Greg McKeown, the author of Essentialism, a book I recommend and have read 3 times already, every 3 months I do a "quarterly off-site", meaning for a day I step back and analyze my last quarter and plan my next one. I discussed this concept with The Podcast my co-host on the 73rd episode of our show. Again I use a template for that - I create a project from this one:

Quarterly Off-site template on Nozbe.how

Bonus - two additional templates for TGIF and Journaling

As I journal every day, once in the morning and once in the evening, I ask myself these questions:

Journaling template on Nozbe.how

Again, today is Friday, or Thank Goodness It’s Friday here in my company, so here’s a rough schedule of today for everyone on my Nozbe team:

Thank Goodness It’s Friday template on Nozbe.how

Hope you’ll find these templates helpful! Enjoy and share your ways of doing reviews and... Fridays!

Question: How do you preform your daily, weekly or quarterly review?

Thursday, November 9

🎧 The Podcast #118 - More Than Good Enough

Last week on The Podcast we discussed how my co-host became surprised that the iPad Pro could be such a capable computer... here are his take-aways after spending a few months with the iPad:

The Podcast - 118 - More Than Good Enough

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in iTunes | Subscribe on YouTube | Get RSS

Time: ~ 47 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, November 7

🎧 The Podcast #117 - Notch of the Future

Two weeks ago on The Podcast we discussed the iPhone X and why we want it badly. I pre-ordered our iPhones on Oct 27 but I only got the 2-3 weeks ship date, so we’re still waiting for our iPhones... but in this episode we discuss the new shape of the phone, the notch, the wireless charging... and why we’re so excited to get it:

The Podcast - 117 - Notch of the Future

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in iTunes | Subscribe on YouTube | Get RSS

Time: ~ 46 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, October 23

💡 The Podcast - live video from Wrocław

Just a week ago I came back from our fall "Nozbe Reunion" from the beautiful city of Wrocław in Poland where I met my entire Nozbe team. We spent a great week there, having fun, working, brainstorming and just enjoying each other’s company. If you want to learn all about it, make sure to check our live video recording of the 116th episode of the Podcast. It’s great to be able to do this recording live, we had lots of fun:

Hope you enjoyed watching this video as much as we did recording it, and if you like The Podcast make sure to check out past episodes, or:

Subscribe to The Podcast in iTunes | [Subscribe on YouTube][y] | [Get RSS][rss]

Thanks! The next video podcast will probably be recorded in half a year... let’s see if we keep up learning Spanish and French...

Sent from my iPhone 7 Plus

Friday, October 20

🎧 The Podcast #116 - App of the Reunion

This week we’re publishing a special episode of The Podcast as we recorded a live episode in the same physical space - on our Nozbe reunion in the city of Wroclaw. We discuss the concept of #NozbeReunion and the key takeaways from this meeting. The conversation starts slow but picks up the pace half way through with a great ending!

The Podcast - 116 - App of the Reunion

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in iTunes | Subscribe on YouTube | 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.

Wednesday, October 18

🎧 The Podcast #115 - Triathlons 🏊‍♂️🚴🏻‍♂️🏃‍♂️💨

Last week on The Podcast we discussed triathlons and why I’m doing them and why I think more people should try them (my co-host included!). After celebrating a successful 10th triathlon I have a few thoughts on all this:

The Podcast - 115 - Triathlons 🏊‍♂️🚴🏻‍♂️🏃‍♂️💨

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in iTunes | Subscribe on YouTube | Get RSS

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.

Thursday, October 5

🎧 The Podcast #114 - Panamá

This week on The Podcast we discuss Radek’s trip to Panama and minimalist packing for a week or more (which is useful for my upcoming Nozbe Reunion trip). Check it out, we’re back stronger than ever :-)

The Podcast - 114 - Panamá

Listen to this week's episode:

Subscribe to The Podcast in iTunes | Subscribe on YouTube | Get RSS

Time: ~ 54 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.