Wednesday, July 22, 2020

✔️ Moving to Michael.Team

After many many years... actually April 2012... I’m moving my blog to a new domain, new server, new technology and new design. Just check it out - go to:

Moving to Michael.Team

Above you can see the design of the page - it's simple, supports dark mode, loads freakin' fast and much more... to read more about the change: Why? How? When? And much more, just check out my new blog post which explains everything

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

✔️ My new journaling routine for 2020 using Shortcuts on iPad or iPhone

I've been keeping a semi-regular journal for the past few years and every now and then I'm tweaking the way I approach it. In 2016 I posted why it's important for me to journal regularly and who inspired me to do that. In 2018 I posted my updated workflows for journaling and planning the day with additional apps I was using - Ulysses, Bear, etc. Later I introduced the concept of intermittent journaling with updated workflows. For 2020 and iOS13 I decided to review and simplify all of this and now I write both my journal and daily planning in Bear app using only three Shortcuts in iOS - here are the details:

My new journaling routine for 2020 using Shortcuts on iPad or iPhone

Sunday, January 5, 2020

✔️ 2019 review - a transition year...

Hello in 2020! So... instead of saying that "hindsight is 20/20" we can say that the future is twenty-twenty! Does it mean, I have a "perfect vision" for this upcoming year - well, maybe... but now let's focus on reviewing 2019 as it was a very transitional year for me:

2019 review - a transition year...

Friday, January 3, 2020

✔️ I challenge you to simplify your life in 2020

In the January isssue of iMagazine - the leading Polish lifestyle magazine I wrote a column challenging people to simplify their stuff (and the way they're doing things) in 2020 - to make this year a year of simplifications and reducing the barriers of entry to things they want to be doing more of... to basically simplify in order to create good, meaningful habits.

Get iMagazine 01/2020 and read my column (in Polish)

I challenge you to simplify your life in 2020

If you can't read it in Polish, here's the abbreviated version with the links to the places I mentioned in my column:

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

😎 Effortless photography. Why taking pictures with a modern smartphone feels like cheating.

Tomorrow I’m finally going to unbox a new iPhone 11 Pro (non-Max - it’s too big for me), Midnight Green (the new "hot" color), 256GB (who needs more space?) but before I do, I’d like to share with you some thoughts on smartphone photography with my now-retiring iPhone XS. In short - shooting photos with this thing should be considered cheating - I keep being stunned how good the photos are without any effort at all.

Effortless photography. Why taking pictures with a modern smartphone feels like cheating.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

✔️ Pre-deciding is the key to success.

Decision fatigue is real. It means that the quality of our decisions deteriorates as the days go by. We make better decisions in the morning when we're rested... but by the end of the day we make worse decisions. So the key is to make most important decisions in the morning... and to reduce the number of decisions we make every day - and that's where the concept of "pre-deciding" comes into play:

Pre-deciding is the key to success.

Monday, September 30, 2019

🤩 Productivity technology and more at the Productivity Summit 2019

I’m very excited to be participating at the end of this week live at the “Productivity Summit 2019” virtual conference - and unlike Business Systems Summit, this one is not pre-recorded but it will be done live via Zoom, so make sure to sign up:

Productivity technology and more at the Productivity Summit 2019

Sign up free for the Productivity Summit 2019

I’ll be participating in two sessions on this conference this coming Friday:

Many thanks to Augusto Pinaud and Ray Sidney-Smith for inviting me to participate in this great event! See you there!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

📖 Why reading the same book again (or several times in life) is OK

I just maxed out my limit of audiobooks for this year’s Audible subscription and I still haven’t read all of the ones I purchased, but recently I decided to re-read some of the old books I already read before. Why would I do that?

Why reading the same book again (or several times in life) is OK

Turns out I'm not so smart...

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

✔️ My new smartphone - iPhone SE - why I’m voluntarily switching to the slowest smartphone possible.

I’ve owned every iPhone in the history of mankind... or more like in the history of smartphones... and for many years I’ve been upgrading to the latest and the greatest every year... and now that iOS13 is about to ship and the new iPhone 11 is about to be launched... I’m gradually switching to the smallest and slowest iPhone there is - the iPhone SE - here’s why:

My new smartphone - iPhone SE - why I’m voluntarily switching to the slowest smartphone possible.

The iPhone SE is the slowest and smallest iPhone that will get the iOS13 upgrade this year so it's an up-to-date device!

Monday, August 26, 2019

✔️ Emailing like texting - how to get back to inbox zero and make every email a GTD “2-minute rule”

In the last years I had some serious problems replying to emails from people. Internally we don’t use email at Nozbe, but people from the outside had serious problems emailing me - either because I was throwing my assistant at them, or because I really took lots of time (weeks or even months!) to reply. This all changed last month by introducing a new way of dealing with email - “emailing like texting” which I introduced inspired by Katie's article from Buzzfeed. Now my email inbox is at zero most of the days and I don’t need an assistant as much as I used to. Here’s how it works:

Emailing like texting - how to get back to inbox zero and make every email a GTD “2-minute rule”

Emailing like texting - 3 basic rules:

Thursday, August 15, 2019

✔️ Focusing on the WHEN and not the HOW...

Today I’m at a catholic families retreat with fellow friends and we’ve been discussing (among other things) our problems with regular prayer. Or “meeting with God”, or better yet: “meeting with dad” (like someone would call Him). And one of my friends said something that struck me - that his biggest obstacle to praying well is focusing too much on HOW (which prayer, which bible excerpt...) instead of just setting aside the time to do it - the WHEN... and I found it fascinating as it clearly applies not only to prayer, but to most aspects of our lives.

Focusing on the WHEN and not the HOW...

The "HOW" creates a barrier of entry and welcomes procrastinating...

When we don't know how to solve a problem, we just agonize over this and we put off the moment of dealing with it. We don't know HOW to solve it so we postpone it. We leave it for later. The HOW stops us from acting on it.

We need to create space... create the WHEN...

Sometimes all we need is just set aside some time. I've found out that sometimes only 2 hours help me figure out a problem and really move the thing forward.

The same with my prayer... I should just dedicate some time for God and let myself figure out the mechanics of the prayer then.

In this busy world it's increasingly more about the WHEN than the HOW... once you've got the WHEN, you'll have the mental energy to figure out the HOW.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

✔️ No Ironman - how I blew my dream because I was... late

Yesterday evening at 9:30pm I was rushing in my car loaded with an amazing triathlon bike and all the gear ready to put everything in the transition area before my first ever Ironman race... It was my dream come true - I was about to become an Ironman in my home town of Gdynia, right when I turned 40. It was going to be great!... I was driving fast as they’d close the area at 10 pm. “I’ll make it! I always do!” I thought. Yet again I was doing stuff at the last minute, but as a person who always gets away with this, I was fine. There was still time, right? Wrong. When I got there I realized I was too late. Yes, they were closing the transition area at 10pm and I arrived just before that... but I failed to pick up my starting number and this had to be done before 8pm. And there was nothing to be done. Without a starting number I couldn’t participate in the race. I couldn’t leave my bike in the transition area...

This time I didn’t make it. This time I was really late. This time I really blew it.

I was standing there with the bike and the gear, completely ashamed and disappointed... and was replaying the events of this day over and over in my head trying to realize what just happened. I couldn’t understand how I got to this point where the race will take place and I won’t be in it. And it all looked so promising...

No Ironman - how I blew my dream because I was... late

Today is Sunday, August 11 and it’s exactly 8 am. The race is about to start and instead of being at the starting line I’m in front of my iPad trying to figure out what I just did. And what I could have done to prevent it. Hope you’ll also learn a thing or two from my very stupid mistake.

It’s all my fault!

Just to be clear - the fact that the race is taking place without me is completely my fault. The fact that I was about to make my dream come true and blew it at the last minute - is on me. This post is not to search for someone or something to blame. The search is simple - it’s me.

Thanks for all your support!

Friends, colleagues and people who know me, listen to my podcast or read what I write were supporting me in this quest to become an Ironman and I’d like to thank you all for your encouragement. I am feeling so ashamed right now that I screwed this one up (and I will continue to feel this way for quite a long while!).

I thank you and I’m so sorry.

And yes, you can laugh. I’m laughing at myself right now for blowing it so bad... in between the moments when I feel so ashamed I wanna disappear.

Now that we’ve got this all out of the way, let’s see what happened:

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

✔️ How to get rid of Zoom server from your Mac and why we need a non-SV video conferencing alternative

Update July 15, 20019: Apparently scrutiny and social media outcry and posts like these worked. Much later the same day, Zoom finally acknowledged that they shouldn’t compromise user security and use creepy tactics like installing web servers on their users’ computers. Even though initially they said it was fine. A few days later even Apple reacted and posted a silent update to all Macs that removes the web server even if you haven’t yet updated the Zoom app to the latest version. Which you totally should!

The drama is over. I’m happy that Zoom reacted quickly and I’m a little surprised that even Apple jumped in to really make sure this thing was over. That’s all good and I’m happy that the system worked, but as a cautionary tale I decided to leave the original blog post - you can skip the part about removing the server and read the rest of my thoughts on why we need high standards of ethics in the technology companies of today.

Original blog post from July 9, 2019:

Yesterday news broke that Zoom - a video conferencing tool that my Nozbe team is using - is doing creepy things to Mac users - Jonathan Leitschuh wrote a long blog post about how they are secretly running a web server on your Mac and potentially allow any website to enable your camera without your permission... and the sad story is that the Zoom company with more than 40 Million users (myself included) is standing by its creepy and ethically questionable “solution” for the sake of a “better user experience”. Luckily there’s a way to stop this web server from working and in this post I want to give you step by step instructions of how to get rid of the Zoom server from your Mac and later I want to explain myself why I was endorsing Zoom as a video conferencing solution for remote teams where we go from here... let’s do this:

How to get rid of Zoom server from your Mac and why we need a non-SV video conferencing alternative

How to get rid of the creepy Zoom server from your Mac

Make sure you’re logged in to your Mac, quit Zoom ( and fire up the terminal and follow the instructions in my Gist:

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

✔️ After 10 years, GTD Summit is back!

It’s been 10 years since the “father of GTD”, David Allen - the author of the best-selling book “Getting Things Gone - the art of stress-free productivity” (Amazon|Audible), organized a conference dedicated to being productive - the GTD Summit. I was there last time (in 2009 in San Francisco, USA) and I’m here this time (Amsterdam, The Netherlands in Europe) and I can’t wait to meet my fellow over-achievers here.

After 10 years, GTD Summit is back!

Joined by Polish GTD ninja and a GTD coach!

Just like 10 years ago, I’m at this conference with the black belt of Polish GTD folks - my long-time friend: Krzysztof “TesTeq” Wysocki, the author of a very popular Polish blog on business productivity: “Biznes bez stresu”. (Pictured above with me just before the start of the conference). This time I’m also joined with the official Polish GTD coach - a good friend Jakub Ujejski. I’m in a really great company here!

I’m still a GTD fan to the core :-)

My original inspiration for designing Nozbe was the Backpack app by 37signals mixed with 3 basic concepts from Getting Things Done: projects, next actions and contexts... and even though over the years my app evolved into its own system - and now it’s becoming a “to-do app for teams”, I’m still a big fan of David’s work and my book “10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity” is an compilation of my own habits mixed with several productivity systems, including GTD.

That’s why I’m so happy to be here for the next two days and spend time with fellow GTD enthusiasts and learn more from them how to be a better leader, better person and a better productivity guy!

P.S. Is Amsterdam a city of Hamsters?

Before I came here I told my 7-year old Emilia that “daddy is going to Amsterdam for a conference” and she responded with ”say hi 👋 to all the hamsters 🐹 from me!” and when I made a strange faced she quickly explained: ”you just said you were going to Hamster-dam, right?”....

Now I cannot un-hear it. Hamsterdam it is and I’m happy to be here for this decade-in-the-making meeting of GTD aficionados.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

😎 Challenge: social media sabbatical for a month

Yesterday with Radek we recorded the 184th episode of “The Podcast” where we’ll be discussing Cal Newport’s new book - Digital Minimalism (Amazon|Audible) - and the episode will air next week... but while recording Radek challenged me to do a fully-blown social media sabbatical (Twitter/Instagram/Facebook) for the next 30 days. No Twitter. No Instagram. No Facebook. No Social Media. And I accepted it! Here are the rules:

Challenge: social media sabbatical for a month

Social Media Sabbatical Rules:

OK. Time to set up some ground rules. Here’s what I’ve done: