Tuesday, June 17, 2014

✔ Born To Run by Christopher McDougall - (audio) book of the week

As you've been following my Twitter and Instagram posts recently, you know I just ran my first triathlon and I keep running 2 times per week (~10km in ~50 minutes), riding my new street-bike every week and additionally thanks to changing my eating habits, now, 35 years young, I'm in the best shape of my life. And it all started with the book that I'm going to review today: "Born to Run - A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen" by Christopher McDougall:

Born To Run by Christopher McDougall - (audio) book of the week

Get this book on: Audible Amazon

Last year I ran a half-marathon and got injured

Before we start with the book, a short back-story. Last year I got tricked by my friend Simon to go on a run with him. I was tricked, because, my longest distance till then was 12km, he wanted to do 15km... and in the end he convinced me to push it a little more... and we did 22km! I felt great and proud... but my left knee was hurting me and after a month of the pain coming and going I decided to see a doctor. He's supposedly the best expert in sport injuries in the city where I reside, he came highly recommended... and after a series of tests he concluded that I needed 20 sessions of rehabilitation... and that I was not supposed to be running anymore. I'm not "born to run". My knee "is not constructed for running". He told me to get a bike instead.

Well, I was totally disillusioned. And then I got the book "Born to run"... and when I started listening to it I felt a deja vu:

Thursday, May 22, 2014

✔ People who contributed to my free book: "It's all about Passion" - some really inspiring quotes

Yesterday was a big day. 35th birthday and release of my free book for you all to enjoy. I hope you've accepted my birthday gift and downloaded the book. Today I updated the book's web site and added the "Table of Contents" to the site with the most memorable and tweetable quotes. While doing that I added quotes from all of the contributors to my book.

You see, last Thursday I emailed a bunch of my online friends, people I admire. I sent them an invitation to contribute to my book. It was really last minute... but so many of them did reply and sent fantastic quotes my way. Here are the best ones, and feel free to share them on Twitter if you like (just click on the birdie icon below the quote you like). Most quotes are longer than 140 characters so get the book to read them in full:

My friends who contributed to my book directly - Tweetable quotes:

David Allen: "Passion is a symptom of your engagement with anything into which you are fully immersed."

Michael Hyatt: "You'll find your calling at intersection of: Passion, Proficiency & Profitability."

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

✔ Today I turn 35. I've got a gift for you. My new book: "It's all about Passion"

Today is my 35th birthday and following the path of one of my favorite bloggers, Leo Babauta I decided to give you gift - a free book: "It's all about Passion! How 7 types of passion helped me achieve success with my productivity startup". I hope you'll love reading it and it'll inspire you to find passions in your life.

It's all about Passion

There are 7 types of passion that helped me achieve success:

  • Passion for the Money
  • Passion for the Solution
  • Passion for the Product
  • Passion for the Industry
  • Passion for Growth
  • Passion to Help
  • Passion for Synergies

As you undoubtedly noticed, these types of passion are related to each other and actually grow from one to another... but they are all there. All of them are different and unique in their own way and make your life richer and more fulfilling. There are no shortcuts, it takes time to go through all of these phases and after you've uncovered them all, your journey gets even more interesting. And as they say, "the journey is the ultimate destination".

Click to get the book in MOBI, ePub or PDF

Additional bonus - a video interview with me

Today also I'm airing for the first time an interview with me about my story, my path, my passions, it's only 20 minutes and it relates perfectly to the book:

The book starts with my story from way back in 2000

The fall of 2000 in Germany was chilly, but it wasn’t unbearable. I showed up a few weeks before the new college year started to get to know my new school, new dorm and new city. There I was, a day-long drive away from my home town in Poland, excited to be able to continue my management studies abroad. Just that summer, right before the big move, I finally earned enough money to buy my first laptop computer - a 266 MHz Pentium II Compaq Armada. With my new PC, a German dictionary and lots of hopes and dreams, I was ready to start my new adventure and learn new things at this foreign university...

Click to get the book in MOBI, ePub or PDF

Many folks contributed to this book

In the book I included quotes by David Allen, Guy Kawasaki, MG Siegler, Fred Wilson, David Sparks, Michael Bungay Stanier, Ryan Carson, David Heinemeier Hansson, Jason Fried, Al Pittampali, Alexis Ohanian, Tim Ferriss, Steve Pavlina, Neil Patel, Leo Babauta, Stever Robbins, Michael Hyatt, Seth Godin, Gretchen Rubin, Graham Allcott, Brian Tracy, Scott Belsky, Chris Brogan, Mike McDerment, Matt Mullenweg, Jason Womack, Michal Szafranski, Grzegorz Marczak, Maciek Budzich, Augusto Pinaud, Victor Mazur, Simon Grabowski and others. Special thanks to all these folks who sent me their quotes and stories right away despite of a very short notice. Thanks everyone for all that you do!

David Allen, my GTD guru sent me this quote:

“Passion is not something you go after as an end in itself. It's rather a symptom of your engagement with anything into which you are fully immersed. It's also not something you usually know you have. Others notice your full involvement with something and they call it ‘passion’. I just call it doing what I feel like doing.” - David Allen, the originator of Getting Things Done

Question: How did you like my book?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

✔ My first triathlon - excitement, self-doubt, drama and joy - how I won my fight with the resistance

Yesterday I finished my first ever triathlon. I'm so, so happy. Especially that I was very close not to finishing it. Twice. Yes, my first triathlon is a story of excitement... followed by self-doubt and later drama that for a few minutes put me out of the race... and joy of fighting the odds and finishing it in the end. Here goes:

2014 is a fitness year for me

I started strong with lots of regular running and a thanks to a new style of eating /I managed to lose 15+lbs. Suffice to say, I'm in the best shape of my life. That's why when my daughter's teacher asked me if I wanted to run a triathlon with him I decided to give it a try. He told me about the "sprint" distance (750m sea swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run) and I thought it was tough enough to get me out of my comfort zone and reasonable enough that I had a fighting chance of finishing it. And it was only a little more than a week away, so I knew I didn't have lots of time to prepare. I was excited to give my first triathlon a try. Well, it wasn't that easy...

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

✔ Why my Macbook Pro is the last PC I'll ever buy or need

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

I got myself a great gift last Christmas - a brand new Macbook Pro 13" with Retina display. It replaced my Mac Mini as the main home & office PC now. I use it whenever something needs to be done on "a real computer". As it is turned on all the time, I can always connect my iPad to it with LogMeIn. This Macbook is perhaps the last computer I'll ever buy. Here's why:

Why my Macbook Pro is the last PC I'll ever buy or need

Yearly upgrade cycles of my iOS devices

I upgrade my iPad and iPhone every year. I don't upgrade my PCs so often though. My Mac Mini was 2.5 years old when I swapped it with the new MacBook. And I didn't do that because it was too slow or too old or anything like that (i5 processor, 8GB RAM, fusion hard drive etc.). I simply realized I needed a laptop as my home & office PC because sometimes I have to work in another room and I couldn't move my Mac Mini back and forth easily.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

✔ Yes, I'm a Christian (Roman-Catholic) and I believe Jesus Christ to be my Savior

Happy Easter everyone! Hope you like my special post for this Easter weekend. Well, last year I launched our 10-Steps to Ultimate Productivity Course where in the 8th lesson about the "Weekly Review" I admit to being a Christian. I also state it clearly at the end of my "about" page. I didn't think it was really such a big deal... until I started receiving very nice emails from my Nozbe users and my blog readers. In this blog post I'd like say why I believe it's important to openly share your belief system with people you're connected to.

Yes, I'm a Christian (Roman-Catholic) and I believe Jesus Christ to be my Savior

I was really blown away when I started getting messages like these:

"I wanted to send you a quick note today to let you know I appreciate the you boldly sharing your faith, and I want to encourage you on the journey!" (Dave)

or

"What really captured my attention was in your course video on weekly review where you stated that you are Catholic and that you begin your weekly review with prayer. (...) It seems that our values are aligned in wanting to help individuals and organizations thrive and be as productive and healthy as possible." (Brad)

And I got many more emails like these. And from people of different nationalities. What really captured my attention was the fact that folks were surprised I was so open about my belief system. I think everyone should be doing this, here's why (and how):

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

✔ Why We Get Fat? by Gary Taubes - (audio) book of the week

It's been a while since I posted about a book of the week and not because I wasn't reading anything. Far from it. I've been listening to quite a few books lately so I'll try to post more about it and today I want to start with a book that completely changed my life in the last 3 months... and it's about eating, dieting and health... and its contents are contrary to the popular knowledge. The author really explains why we get fat:

Why We Get Fat? by Gary Taubes - audiobook of the week

Get this book on: Audible Amazon

When I summarized 2013 I noticed I wanted to lose weight. About 10 lbs (4-5kg) this year to achieve my "perfect bodyweight". You see, three years ago I got chubby. I gained about 10kg (22lbs) to a really alarming weight of 80kg (176 lbs) which at my height (1.68 cm / 5'4) is starting to look pretty bad. I didn't feel great. So I got to work. Over the last three years I started getting in shape: I'm running regularly now, I do fitness training, I eat healthier... and I started to feel I was in the best shape of my life... but I only managed to go down to 74kg (163lbs) and not much below that. Of course, with fitness training and running my muscles got heavier, but still, I could tell I had still too much fat in my body. Then I read this book "Why We Get Fat?" by Gary Taubes... changed my habits and in 2.5 months of 2014 I managed to achieve my perfect weight of 67kg (147lbs), which is about 13kg (30lbs) less than where I was 3 years ago. And I keep maintaining this weight. Here's why this book changed my eating habits so much:

Friday, March 28, 2014

✔ The phone is just an app I sometimes use on my iPhone

When the iPhone got introduced for the first time 7 years ago, what Apple really showed was an "app phone", a pocket computer with a bunch of apps. One of the apps was "phone app" that enabled us to call someone. That's the theoretical story, but the real one is different. Because the iPhone had the "phone" in the name, the cellular component and was introduced as a mobile phone, we still treated it as a phone. And so was I. Only recently I realized the future is there, my iPhone is my first portable computer (second being the iPad) to such an extent, that I removed the phone app from the dock on my trip to Japan:

The phone is just an app I sometimes use on my iPhone

Removing phone from the iPhone's dock

As you know from my Twitter feed or Instagram, I'm traveling with my wife in Japan now. Because of high roaming charges and pretty available wifi (hotel, Starbucks, Apple stores), I don't call anyone. We communicate through messaging and other apps. I also have a bunch of offline apps (metro, map, etc) on my iPhone that help me move around. Now, as I use these apps more than my phone now, I removed the phone app from the dock (the place it has always been) and replaced it with my "Japan" folder with my Japanese apps. This is when it struck me that the "phone" was just an app. Even at home I don't use it as much:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

✔ Back in Japan! Why it's Nozbe's second home.

Back in 2010 a person known as ZonoStyle in the Japanese Internet wrote a book about creative lifestyle and productivity with iPhone and iPad... and in the first chapter wrote about Nozbe. This is how my love affair with Japan began... and now I'm back here (on vacation with my wife), admiring the views and the first cherry-blossoms:

Here's my Japanese story in a nutshell: Zono's book resulted in many Japanese users signing up for Nozbe, me contacting him, him eventually writing the first ever book about Nozbe (in Japanese), me coming to Japan in 2011 exactly for the biggest earthquake ever and falling in love with Japan anyway. I came back again in June 2011 and this year, after three years I'm back here again - and apart from spending time with my wife and showing her around, I will be meeting Nozbe users in the coolest place ever - Apple Store Ginza. Yes, I still love Japan. Here's why:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

✔ Apple's next big thing? iCar. Why Apple buying Tesla actually makes sense.

As Apple has lots of cash in the bank (both national and abroad) and their main source of revenue is the iPhone. Now, everyone is looking at their massive pile of cash and suggesting what they should do or buy to find another massively profitable business like the iPhone. As Elon Musk, the founder of the electric car manufacturer Tesla, was meeting with Apple's head of acquisitions, people have speculated Apple was going to buy Tesla and build an iCar. While this might sound ridiculous at first, let's entertain this thought for a second... as I believe such a transaction makes sense on many levels. Here's my take on it.

Apple's next big thing? iCar. Why Apple buying Tesla actually makes sense.

Tesla is not a car - it's a giant laptop on 4 wheels

When I went to the ICE LIVE conference in Finland, in the expo area there stood a Tesla Model S car... and I had a chance to check it out, talk to the dealer... and came out really impressed. There is no real engine there (just a small electric one), the whole bottom of the car consists of batteries, it has a giant 17' display inside with additional displays all over the dashboard... and yet the "performance" version of the car beats BMW M5 in a drag race... so while I don't think Apple would be interested in building cars... but in building computers on wheels, "smartcars"... it is an entirely different story:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

✔ Productive! Magazine going regular, global and local

Back in 2007 I launched Nozbe because I wanted to "scratch my own itch" and build a productivity tool that I'd want to use every day. Turns our I wasn't the only one. I felt it wasn't enough. I gave people a fantastic tool to get things done, but we all needed more than that. We needed inspiration and useful tips and tricks... and this is how the Productive! Magazine was born... and last week we've taken it to the next level:

Productive! Magazine Global

Productive! Magazine is now a "monthly"... and is going places

When last year we relaunched the magazine we decided to make it a regular, monthly mag. I explained that in one of my shows. Well, we missed January, mostly because of me being too busy and not making the interviews on time... but we've learned our lesson and now we're back with issue #17 with Brian Tracy for February and issue #18 with Scott Belsky for March... and we have a whole lineup of interviewees for the future issues...

But that's not everything - we're converting Productive! Magazine into a global franchise with magazines in different languages! Now, that's really exciting:

Friday, February 7, 2014

✔ Productive! Magazine #17 with Brian Tracy is out! Enjoy!

Yes, I know, we're a little late with the January issue of our Productive! Magazine but I assure you it was worth the wait. I decided to do a live interview with Brian Tracy as I was very impressed when I met him at a conference I was attending. Here's the issue 17:

productive magazine 17 with Brian Tracy

You can read the Productive! Magazine in three ways:

Anyway, won't bore you with more details, suffice to say in this issue you'll find not only an inspiring interview with Brian but also some amazing articles by the best productivity bloggers on the Internet - enjoy!

As always, your favorite productivity magazine is sponsored by Nozbe - your favorite time and project management suite of apps that helps you get things done every single day :-)

Question: What did you like about this new issue?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

✔ 7 years running Nozbe... and just getting started!

Wow, time really flies. It's been now 7 years since I started Nozbe and I really feel I'm just getting started. Last year I published a la-la-la-la-long interview with me to give you a whole back-story explaining why and how I started Nozbe in the first place. If you haven't read it, you should. In this short blog post I want to look at the future of my company and give you an idea of where we're going.

7 years running nozbe

Last year was important

I had very ambitious plans for last year for Nozbe but they changed right in the middle of the year when we decided to disrupt ourselves and start building new, shiny Nozbe 2.0 which we internally call "One Nozbe". It's the next step for our tool which effectively will make it truly "mobile first". It's a fully responsive app that works beautifully (and crazy fast) on all the platforms we support.

I'm freaking out about it a little (in terms of both anxiousness and excitement)... and I think in the end you'll be blown away. It ships this Spring. In hindsight I think it was a great investment to decide to postpone other side projects and focus on it. We needed it... and most of all - you, our customers needed it even more. You'll see. But there's more:

Friday, January 31, 2014

✔ Me and Mac. A "love in the air" story

Last week Apple celebrated its 30 year anniversary of the Mac and along with it, many people have been posting their stories of Macs... I particularly liked the MG Siegler's story so I decided to share my own with you today. Unlike most of these guys, up until late 2008 I was a Windows computer and a Nokia Communicator mobile phone user. But it doesn't mean I wasn't fascinated by the Mac...

me and mac

I guess it all started with the first iMacs and iBooks - these colorful ones that Steve Jobs helped conceive when he got back to Apple, but to be honest I started really following Apple when they switched their processors to Intel. My friend Michael Hyatt switched to the Mac and I started following Apple more carefully. I was amused by the "Get A Mac" campaign and kept looking at these new Macbook Pros but to me they were beautiful, but too big. And they had no touch. Back then, in 2006-2008 I was a TabletPC user, first with Toshiba M200 and later with IBM Thinkpad X60T. But then came the envelope:

Monday, January 27, 2014

✔ 5 things I love about my work and why it gets me excited every day

It's really hard for me to talk about work these days. We're in the middle of crisis, people get downsized, they're struggling to find jobs... and yet when they talk to me about my work they find me excited, passionate and pumped up. When they say "my day gets so long", I say "my day is too short"... and they can't believe that I really love my work. It's even more than that:

5 things I love about my work and why it gets me excited every day

Steve Jobs in his commencement address at Stanford explained how it was important to find "what you love doing" and if you didn't find it, he urged people listening to him not to give up, not to settle, but keep looking. When I finished my business degree I knew I love computers and the Internet but I still wasn't sure what I'd be doing with my life... so I kept searching, started my company and finally built Nozbe and now not only do I love my work, there are 5 things I love about it: