TLCL Podcasts - The Low Carb Leader | Time Management and Productivity Books and Apps, Reviewed.

In our last episode, we discussed 10 different ways you can add an extra two hours to your day and improve your productivity at work. Today, we are following that up with 3 book reviews and 4 productivity app reviews that we have discovered and use throughout our day to help us become more productive and focus on tasks that need to be completed.
Productivity is one of the most challenging aspects of leading a team – especially for new leaders. We hope these books and apps will help you learn what’s out there and create a system for yourself, your family, or your team and help you improve your time management and productivity skills.

“Productivity Tip: Switch your phone to airplane mode if you want to do something productive.” – Dan Perryman

This week on The Aspiring New Leader Podcast:

  • We read and reviewed the book “The No BS Time Management for Entrepreneurs” by Dan Kennedy and discovered 11 essential tips to improve our time management skills.
  • We reviewed the book, “15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management” by Kevin Cruz and learned ways to cure procrastination, ways to maximize every minute of every day, and how to leave the office at 5 p.m. every day – without regret.
  • We reviewed “Getting things Done” by David Allen and discuss his 5 steps to mastering daily workflows.
  • We share 5 productivity apps that we use on a regular basis that have helped improve our time management and productivity skills, how they work, and how they can be used to improve collaboration with your team.

The Aspiring New Leader’s Productivity App Reviews:

  1. Dropbox – A cloud storage and file sharing app available for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Android users; allows easy file sharing and collaboration between multiple devices and teams.
  2. Evernote – A searchable information database and storage software that allows you to synchronize across multiple devices and search for information you have stored such as business cards, web articles, audio notes, and images with text overlays.
  3. IFTTT (If This, Then That) – Allows you to set up ‘applets’ to automate and sync with multiple cloud-based apps.
  4. AnyDo – A to-do list app with location based reminders and collaboration function similar to Apple’s “Reminders” app. It also includes a powerful function that allows you to set recurring reminders and syncs with several cloud-based apps such as Dropbox.

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Thank you for joining us on this week’s episode of The Aspiring New Leader Podcast! We’re happy you joined us and hope the information, interviews, tools, and tips we share have helped you learn new, creative ways to improve your leadership skills.

If you found the content in this episode inspirational or helpful, please help us reach even more aspiring new leaders by subscribing to the show on iTunes or Stitcher, leaving your honest feedback, and sharing it with your friends. Be sure to check out our website at NewToLeadership.com to download your free downloadable PDF on ways to help you improve your sleep habits, as well as other helpful guides to help you lead a better life, business, and career.

Read Podcast Transcript

006 – Time Management and Productivity Books and Apps, Reviewed

Introduction

DAN: Welcome to the aspiring new leader podcast. I’m your host, Dan Perryman, and you have joined us for episode 6. Today we’re going to be reviewing three books on time management and productivity and reviewing several apps that can help you with your time management as well. As always, Jacob is joining us.

JACOB: Happy to be here.

DAN: So I’m excited Jacob. We’re in the process of re-doing the website. Also in the process of transcribing the podcast. So on the website, the entire podcast we’ll be transcribed and will be available, and then we’re also doing a summary with show notes, which is kind of cool.

JACOB: There’s going to be a lot of information out there.

DAN: It is it’s going to be a great website. I recently developed my first blog, and that will be on the website as well. And then weekly blogs will be coming out. So those will be available on the website as well. We’re also in the process of increasing our presence out on social media so Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Very exciting, I think.

JACOB: I think it’s exciting too.

DAN: Hopefully the listeners are as excited as we are. And you’ll be available to find all of this at www.thelowcarbleader.com. Also want to give a shout out to some of our listeners. We now have listeners in Turkey, United Kingdom, Sweden, French Polynesia, Ireland, Spain, and Tanzania, as well as (Counted up the States) 30% of the states we have a listener in.

JACOB: That’s interesting.

DAN: Yea very cool. Excited about that. If any of our non US listeners would like to send in an audio clip and maybe tell us how you found out about the podcast and what you like about the podcast, we’d love to play that on the air as well as any US listeners. You can email those audio clips, or feedback, at dan@thelowcarbleader.com and we look forward to your feedback.

Ok, today’s show we’re going to be reviewing three time management books. We tried to pick three books that had a related topic but they all take different approaches towards time management or productivity. So our hope is that you can kind of pick and choose what tools you want to use from these books. Certainly don’t try to implement everything because there’s a lot.

No BS Time Management For Entrepreneurs

DAN: Alright the first book is called No BS Time Management for Entrepreneurs. And I find this book pretty interesting. It’s written By Dan Kennedy and he’s the author of 7 popular No BS books and he has a total of 13 business books in publications. And he’s a copy right person and speaker and he really focuses on entrepreneurs. I don’t know a lot about him, but I did read this book on time management and there are a lot of good points in it, so I want to share that.

  1. One of the top learning’s from this book is he talks a lot about stopping the interruptions. He refers to them as “time vampires”, and we talked about that in the previous podcast about “hey you got a minute?’. I found this article from the Washington Post, it’s titled “Work Interruptions Can Cost you Six Hours a Day” and efficiency expert explains how to avoid them. It opens up with a quote from Winston Churchill who says “don’t interrupt me while I’m interrupting”. I love that quote. It talks about researchers from the University of California Irvine did observations. They found that 1 interruption takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get you back to where you were. They referred to them as “time bandits” because they can just eat away your day. The article goes on to tell you how you can manage these interruptions by talking to the person or doing creative scheduling, so it’s worth a read. So how are you managing interruptions, Jacob?

JACOB: When I get interruptions, I just tacitly or nicely say “I’m working on a project right now, I’m available at say 2 this afternoon, and will that work for you?

DAN: Yea I kind of do the same thing.

  1. Get Lost: I like this, get lost. Which makes a lot of sense because, we’ll have a lot of people at work say I’m so productive when I’m at home, doing work. It’s because no one is bothering you, he just says get lost so turn your phone off, take some time to be productive.

JACOB: I’m actually the opposite, i think I’m more productive at work then i am at home.

DAN: Because you’re kids are at home

JACOB: Yea the kids are home.

DAN:

  1. Don’t answer the phone, email, or text. And then I like this concept and this has a lot of truth to it. He says be busy and be obvious about it. When somebody walks into your office, and you look really busy, typically they’ll say “I’ll come back later because you look really busy”. Kind of a cool concept.

JACOB: Take all the papers you have and spread them across your desk so you look more busy than you really are.

DAN: Yea it’s worth a shot.

  1. Minimize meetings. He recommends not to meet at restaurants, and remember this is kind of focused on entrepreneurs, but it makes a lot of sense with corporate people as well because the research shows that people are typically late to lunch meetings. And so when you’re sitting there waiting for somebody to show up, assuming you’re not the one that’s late, you can’t really work on anything. So he recommends working in your office, and so if somebody’s late, you can work on things until they show up.

JACOB: And do you really even accomplish anything at lunch or dinner meetings? I mean you’re sitting in a restaurant, so you’re highly distracted there; there are lots of people around. Also you’re eating, so how much are you actually talking about what need to be accomplished.

DAN: Sure. Yea i think it’s more a social thing to do besides work.

JACOB: And it always takes longer than it really needs to because you are eating.

DAN: Right and then you’re waiting for the check so…yea productivity tip is meet in a non-eating setting. We actually started doing that where people couldn’t bring food in, because you get distracted. He talks a lot about punctuality.

  1. He says that being on time shows a person’s integrity. He equals punctuality with integrity and his point is that if somebody gives you a commitment to show up to a meeting on time and they’re not on time, then they’re not fulfilling that commitment to you. I think there’s validity to that.

JACOB: Yea i think so too, because if they don’t find it important enough to be to your meeting on time, they probably don’t find it important enough to complete what you’re asking them to do.

DAN: Right the next point he has is…

  1. Have specific lists to accomplish for that day and setting your priorities for the day, and then trying to accomplish them whenever you’re most productive, which is typically in the morning. He goes on to say fight to link everything to your goals. He shares a definition of productivity, it’s “productivity is a deliberate, strategic investment of your time, talent, intelligence, energy, resource, and opportunities in a manner calculated to move you measurably closer to meaningful goals.” so his definition of productivity say that if you’re not working on a strategic goal or a priority, you’re not being productive.

JACOB: I can see that too. You know, if you just have individual tasks that you’re working on during the day, most likely you’re just checking email and doing the easiest functions as opposed to sitting down and accomplishing a goal.

DAN: Well have you ever gone home after a hard day at work and said, “I have accomplished so much because I checked email all day today”

JACOB: No usually you just complain that you check email all day and that you didn’t get anything done.

DAN: Yea really the only time you have a sense of accomplishment is when you accomplish something big or work toward some strategic goal. And in the business world, you’re evaluated on your outcomes. I’d never have a boss say “Thank you did really well today getting through 200 emails. Nice job”.

JACOB: You beat your personal best of sending 50 emails in an hour.

DAN: So I think that’s very important to link everything to your priorities.

  1. The next one is block your time or chunking your time where you’re devoted to accomplishing one thing. I think that’s really important. I find this one important to because I’m a culprit of this, minimize unplanned activity. Have you ever sat down where you’re really going to work on something and you’re looking for any reason to be distracted?

JACOB: Yea I have, you basically search any website on your phone that you could possibly think of on the time to kill whatever it is you’re doing.

DAN: Right and it’s time to “I better check my credit report” or “better check my phone, good time to call somebody that I haven’t talked to in years”. And I think that’s just how we’re wired. It’s really hard, in this day and age, to stay focused on something. Even for a short period of time. So set the stage where your distractions are eliminated, and that way you can focus on this. I really like this one too; this is how you cram extra productivity into your already busy time. It’s called Odd Lot Time. Odd Lot Time. The minutes in between meetings, the few minutes where you’re waiting for someone to show up or you’re waiting for your next meeting, maybe the five minutes in between. His idea is to take advantage of time, pop in an audio book, start reading a book, you know don’t lose this time. I think it was president Bush that said that he reads, even as president, he read 95 books a year.

JACOB: He had a bet with another individual on how many books he could read, didn’t he?

DAN: So if the president can read 95 books a year, then we can probably read a few and use our free time to do that. And the more you learn, I read that the average corporate CEO reads 25 business books a year. And that goes to if you’re not fueling your mind with information than it’s going to be very hard to come up with creative ideas.

  1. He goes on to talk about living off peak time. And these are like the little things, if you live in a big city, you’re very much aware of this but don’t travel during rush hours, or go to businesses during lunch, banks if people still go to banks. Try to avoid this peak time because for those that travel in big cities, I used to live in San Diego and I would avoid the rush hours. You can save a lot of time. If you’re stuck in traffic, certainly after you listen to this podcast, I recommend listening to other audiobooks and podcasts.

And then lastly, make sure your technology makes you more productive. What do you think about that, Jacob?

JACOB: I think it’s necessary because technology can be a huge time waster. The social media apps and all those will definitely waste a whole bunch of your time if you get on them and start scrolling through and creeping on people almost. Also in the sense that you have to find apps that maximize what you do and we’re going to cover some of those alter.

DAN: And then a couple of final, general concepts from the book, he says you have to know what your time is worth. So if you value your time at $100 an hour, than you don’t want to be doing tasks that are less than that. Then he goes on to say that you can increase your productivity by hiring experts to do some of your jobs. And I’ve learned this with the podcast, I definitely don’t have the knowledge that I need, but there’s a lot of people out there that have the knowledge, the website people, social media people. Even though you have to pay them, it’s well worth it at the end because you can focus on things you’re good at.

JACOB: The amount of time that you’d spend trying figuring out how to do those things can easily be accomplished by someone who knows how to do it.

DAN: Yea and accomplished in a good way. Unlike how I’ve done it.

(laughter)

(cont.)DAN: And then he talks about the reasons why a year past and there’s no meaningful process, because people major in minor matters, they just don’t focus on their priorities. He talks about the assessment of where you will be next year; this is how he can tell if somebody is going to be successful this coming year. He asks them, “what is a list of book you read and audio programs you’ve listened to in the last month?” “Second, tell me the five people that you hang out with the most”. I think it was Tim Ferris who has a podcast that says you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with and I think that has a lot of validity. Then lastly an analysis of how you spend your time during an average week, and that goes back to the weekly review we discussed.

So that’s really the summary of that book, I think it’s actually kind of an entertaining book to read but he does have a lot of good points. He’s focused on entrepreneurs who really have to manage their day because it’s their money, but i think this should apply to those in the corporate world that, we’re being paid to do a good job and be productive. The more productive we can become the better for the corporation we work for.

The 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management

(cont.) DAN: Jacob, you’re going to talk about the book by Kevin Cruise? The 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management

JACOB: That’s correct. Kevin cruise is a New York Times selling best seller and entrepreneur who went from crazy busy and broke to ultra-productive and prosperous. Eventually building several multimillion dollar businesses. And you can learn more about Kevin at www.masteryourminutes.com. Like Dan said, this book is The 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management and the subheading underneath that is the “productivity habits of 7 billionaires, 13 Olympic athletes, 29 straight A students, 239 entrepreneurs. Which is interesting. It’s a very easy read, the fonts a good size, it doesn’t take too long to get through the chapters, it looks like there’s a lot of chapters in the book but they’re not. So you won’t have any problems getting through this book. I want to touch on five things in The 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management. The first concept we want to talk about is….

  1. The Power of 14/40: That is 1,440 minutes in a day. Those are all the minutes there are to accomplish something. Everybody has the same amount of minutes in a day, so that’s what separates those that are highly successful and productive from the rest of us, is how we maximize those 1,440 minutes. One of the next tips Kevin Talks about is
  2. Identify Your Most Important Task: Not only daily, but also in life. So your most important task daily, maybe your strategic plan you’re working on. If it’s a weekend, maybe it’s a household chore that you need to get done, whatever that is. In life, what is your next step? What is your ultimate goal? And how do each one of those daily tasks intertwine and meet up with that overall life goal?

DAN: And the whole idea about a morning routine, you‘re choosing to either sleep through that 60 minutes or be productive during those 60 minutes. I really like this concept because people will complain that they don’t have the time, but we all have the same amount of time, it’s just how we chose to prioritize and use it.

JACOB:

  1. A Cure for Procrastination: When he talks about a cure for procrastination, he talks about pain and pleasure. With procrastination, you’re putting off something that is difficult to accomplish or that you don’t want to accomplish. You need to change your mindset. You need to look at it and find out, what is pleasurable of this pain? What am I going to get out of it that is going to make me successfully in the future? Say it’s a termination of an employee, that’s painful, if you procrastinate you don’t want to do it, it’s writing them up…You just need to focus on what you’re going to get out of it. Each time you have one of those difficult conversations, you’re making yourself better to perform that conversation later, so it’ll come easier to you. You want to make your most painful task your first task of the day. The longer you wait during the day to take care of something that you don’t want to do, the harder it is and the more difficult it is to do it, and the easier you’ll find yourself being able to push it on to the next day.

DAN: I agree, if you have something that’s really hard to do, if you have to talk to somebody about something, negative behavior or disciplinary or even worse, if you have to terminate somebody. Dong it first thing in the morning, getting these really difficult things out of the way it kind of frees up your day after that. Otherwise, you’re just dreading it.

JACOB: Another tip that I wanted to take from The 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management that Kevin talks about is…

  1. Master your email inbox with 3,2,1,0: and he goes over 7 steps to master your email
  2. Unsubscribe from email newsletters: since we are getting into the holiday season, I think everybody will be able to see now that your email inbox is just flooded and blasted with all these advertisements. So unsubscribe to those things, it’s just one last step you have to do to go through and delete. You may say, “I may miss a sale” or “I missed an important email” but how many times do you open up an email that you subscribed to and actually read the content that’s involved?
  3. Turn off all email notifications: we talked about this in the last podcast. They’re distracting, they’ll waste time, you’re being productive about something on another task and it’s going to draw you into your email.
  4. Only Process Email 3 times a day using the 3,2,1,0 System: I’ve got it narrowed down to two times a day, so I’ve got Kevin beat here. but he talks about schedule 3 times a day to process your email. Set the timer on phone to 21 minutes and then try to get your email inbox down to 0. So what he’s doing here is making a game out of it. You can further challenge yourself by seeing what personal time you beat to get your email time down to 0.
  5. Four D’s which are DO IT, DELEGATE IT, DEFER IT, or DELETE IT: Either you take care of the email, you send it off to someone else to do, you defer it by knowing that it’s going to take longer than the time you have set aside for email to complete, so you schedule it into your calendar, or you just delete it all together. And then in addition to that, he talks about an F for FILE IT. I’m not a big fan of creating file folders unless it’s like an FYI email that I think I’m going to need to bring up later, then I’ll put it into a file, and I don’t use the files in my email, I use actual files on a drive that I have on my computer.
  6. CCing: This one, to me, is huge. How many times during the day do you get an email that is just a carbon copy on for informational or you forward it onto somebody just as an FYI? They probably don’t need that email. That’s something you can tell them later on and as you do this and work through this, you’ll be more cognizant of what junk you’re sending to other people.

DAN: And i think on that, the CCing in a group, what even makes it worse is that you have to scroll down 20 pages to even find out what the email is about because you’ll get copied. And if you’re not following and people are responding very quickly, you lose track of the conversation, so it actually does take a lot of time.

JACOB: Yea that’s a great point. It’s 8 emails in by the time you get to it and you’re having to go all the way down to the bottom to catch back up.

  1. Use the subject line to indicate the action required: Is this an FYI? Do you have to complete something? By What Date? And those are just keys to other people as they open up the email to realize that “hey, I need to pay attention to this” or “no, this is not something that is that important”. And then keep emails short, he says really short. You don’t need to go into long, lengthy emails. What’s the point, get to it, and then move on .We all use email of communication, there’s a lot on there about email etiquette. If you can’t get passed email etiquette by now, you’re probably need to look inside.

DAN: So all caps are still bad?

(laughter)

JACOB: All caps are still bad.

DAN: That’s the only email etiquette I know.

JACOB: That also goes with texting. But I actually have a funny story about that. When my dad first started texting, he texted everything in caps. And I said “Dad, you know that’s yelling?” and he said, “oh, I didn’t know that it’s just easier for me to read”. (laughter) The last thing I want to talk about in Kevin’s book is how to leave the office at 5 every day without guilt. You can’t do that unless you use some of the tool box that we have talked about in the last podcast, episode 5. And that’s really about how you prioritize your day, looking at your day the evening before, going through your email, you really can’t do it. The biggest thing to take away with how to leave the office at 5 without any guilt is you have to master the mindset that the work is going to be there at the end of the day, so when it gets to 5 o’clock, finfish what you’re doing, go home, and shut off your home for work for that day.

DAN: I found that book pretty valuable, I actually like the way he wrote it, that it’s really easy to read and then at the end of every chapter he breaks it down to apply to different types of people

JACOB: Yea that was a really good point to bring up, that he breaks it down for an entrepreneurial, a homemaker…

DAN: An executive, a freelancer, and a student….

JACOB: …and a student. And then he also gives the secret at the end of each chapter, which basically the secret is, a one sentence that summarizes each chapter. You can get in trouble by reading this book if…my wife stays at home and you highlight those things that would help her be more productive (laughter). I wouldn’t recommend that.

DAN: And it can save some time by just reading the one line secrets

(laughter)

JACOB: You could.

DAN: The last book we’re going to review and we’re going to review it very quickly, is from…

Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress Free Productivity by David Allen.

(cont.) DAN: David Allen is a widely recognized author; he’s kind of an expert on productivity. If you read his book you’re going to realize I am doing a very, very quick summary. This is probably the most comprehensive productivity book I’ve ever seen. Almost too much, for me I actually tried to listen to this on audiobook and there’s so much detail about productivity and setting up systems, that it was impossible to follow an audiobook so I actually got the book so. So this is really a book for somebody who wants a comprehensive system. The only part of the book I’m going to highlight is the five steps to master workflow. So he breaks it down into capture, clarify, organize, reflect on and engaged.

  1. Capture: there’s a quote “a task left undone remains undone in two places; at the actual location of the task and inside your head. Incomplete tasks in your head consume the energy of your attention as they gnaw at your conscious”. And the quotes from Brahma Kumaris. This is so true, I think this is one of the most valuable points in his book is that you have to get everything out of you head. You go through the day and you know that you have all these things to do and they kind of haunt you in a way, you know you’re not getting things done that you’re supposed to get done. One of the first things he says you should do is get a piece of paper and write down everything that’s in your life that’s not complete, either business or personal. I actually did this and you do get a really nice feeling about…this is all out of your head. So he calls it purging your brain and you should do this occasionally. Jacob, have you ever tried this

JACOB: I have tried this, I Have the notes in my phone are kind of setup that way. That’s the way I do it and it’s there, it’s on paper, but it’s out of my head.

DAN: I did this, I really like this, and I think everybody should do this.

  1. Clarify: so you go through what you wrote down and you create a system of do it, delegate it, or defer it.
  2. Organize: He breaks it down into time specific actions, day specific actions, and day specific information. This point really helped me because the easy ones are the time specific actions. If you have an appointment, you put it on your calendar, it’s pretty clear you need to go to that appointment. I really like the day specific actions where, for example, if I’m supposed to call Jacob sometime tomorrow the problem of putting down a specific time is if I don’t get to it, then I may say “oh I already missed the phone call so I’ll call him tomorrow” so it’s kind of a way that you might procrastinate. So what he recommends is that you just put it on your calendar as a day specific action, as “sometime today I need to call Jacob”. So then if it’s five o’clock you look at it and say “oh, ok I need to call Jacob”. And then day specific information, this is a good tip too. You actually put it in reminders so two weeks from now and it will pop up on your calendar, so it’s kind of a reminder. So he breaks it down into those three and those are for specific actionable items. And then he has a category for non-actionable items and this is more where there’s not something speck you need to do right now and he calls it an incubation folder for someday. So maybe I’ll get a boat someday, learn a language someday, or start this project some day and so you have these two different actionable and unactionable areas where you keep track.
  3. Reflect on: This goes back to the weekly review where at the end of the week, you look back and see what you accomplished. Jeff Sanders on The Five AM Miracle, he does daily reviews and that’s where you have an evening routine preparing for the morning routine.
  4. Engage: How do you actually execute what you’re trying to do. He outlines several models, but the one I like is pretty simple. You base it on time available, energy available, and priority. So you look at those three things and that’s how you map out what you’re trying to accomplish.

I realize that this was a very, very short summary. We will probably come back to his book. It’s so comprehensive, there are so many good things in it and I think learning it kind of a nugget at a time is the best way. So those are the three books, they are again; No BS: Time Management for Entrepreneurs by Dan Kennedy, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management by Kevin Cruise, and  Getting Things Done:  The Art of Stress Free Productivity by David Allen.

App Reviews

DAN: In the remainder of our podcast, we’re going to review several apps. Starting with Dropbox.

DropBox

JACOB: With Dropbox, you can either get it on your PC, your IPad, your iPhone, or there is an android app for it as well. Dropbox is a cloud storage and file syncing service. You’re able to store pictures and files across multiple devices and platforms. It’s a good solution for file sharing and collaboration. With dropbox, one of the things that you can do with it is you have a word document that you’re working on with other individuals and we used this a lot in my master’s program. So when we would have papers or projects that we would work on together, we would upload the word document, which is the paper, and you’re able to track changes. Each individual is able to get into the document and make edits, and then it saves those edits so if you want to go back in time to get to an edit and redo something, you’re able to do that. Another way I use it is for documents at work. It’s easier to use dropbox for me at work then it is to be away from my office or my desk and then remote into the PC that I have at work. We have shared drives that hold a lot of our files so I’ll take something from the shared drive and I’ll drop it in the Dropbox, that way I can take my surface or my iPad or my Mac and I can get it anyway I need it. One of the last hacks on this app for work is the disaster call list we have for work. If I need that in an emergency, I have that on Dropbox so I know exactly where to get to it.

DAN: Yea it’s a pretty cool app. I, with the podcast, I have sent files and people have wanted them, they said just put it in Dropbox. And they can access them, kind of a cool app. This is really not an app, this is just a tip. When I work on something, I put my phone on airplane mode. That just stops me from being distracted, checking email. It sounds simple, but it has actually really help me. I just tried it one time and now every single time I work on a project I put it on airplane mode. So that’s just more of a tip. The app I’m going to talk about, I’m going to talk about 2 apps, Evernote and IFTTT. And first I’ll start with Evernote and Jacob, I showed you this app, this is really more of a program and an app but it’s pretty awesome.

EverNote

(cont.) DAN: What Evernote is…it’s a database of information. How it works is you put information into Evernote and then it’s searchable. On any platform I have, there’s a little icon and it’s called the “web clipper”. Say you find a page on the internet that you want to save, it’s an article. You click on this little icon, “web clipper”, and it gives you like five different choices. Do you want the article summarized without pictures? With pictures? Do you want just the title? It’s actually pretty cool. You click on it and it automatically saves into your Evernote. Then Evernote’s sync across all your platforms, so it’s all available. If you see a picture, you can save it as well and that goes in. What’s amazing with Evernote is that if you save a picture and it has text on the picture, Evernote has optical recognition where that text is now searchable, so everything is searchable in there, even the pictures. And what you do is you go into the program and you select “tags”, so the tags might be “time management”, “productivity”, “strategic goals”. And you really don’t use folders so much in Evernote, but then if I want to look up something with time management, I just go in and I search time management and it brings up everything with that tag on. It’s actually pretty amazing.

And I think the storage space is unlimited. Another feature is audio notes. I’ll be driving down the road and I’ll think of something, I just open up Evernote right after I pull over to the side of the road because I don’t do that while I’m driving. I’ll make an audio note and it sends it to Evernote so then my audio notes are I there. One other feature it has is it actually as an email address, so if there’s an email or there’s something I want to save, I just type in the Evernote address which is saved in my contacts, send the email, and then it goes into Evernote. It’s a pretty amazing program. I showed you Jacob, where you just point your iPhone at the business card. It not only copies the business card immediately, it reaches out to LinkedIn and pulls in information on your LinkedIn page so that all that will be available on the business card as well. Non business ways that I think you can use this is you can take a photo of your license plate, so you have that available, if someone asks your license plate number. Air filters, printer cartridges, stuff that you can’t remember when you get to the store. This is widely used by entrepreneurs and corporate people who want to become more productive, it’s pretty amazing. And you’ve experienced a little bit with it, haven’t you?

JACOB: I have, I use it a lot for business cards because you’re not typing into your contacts, you’re not typing into outlook contacts, but you’re just taking a picture of it and then you’re able to search and you’re also able to toss a whole bunch of business cards that are floating around in a drawer.

DAN: Its really cool, it’s called Evernote; I think there is a free version of it that you can save so much data. I bought the premium version. I think it’s like 79 dollars a year, so it’s not bad but this has become one of my favorite apps. And then another App is Called….

IFTTT

(cont.) DAN: It’s called “If This Then That”. And what you do is you set up these applet” and I am not technologically competent, so if I can do this anybody can do this. The “app-lets” I’ve set up, if I take a screenshot of my IPhone, it automatically goes into evernote because of this program. If I take a photo and I put it into dropbox, or anything else I put in a dropbox, it automatically goes to Evernote. If I see an email from the internet that has a url link, Evernote and IFTTT will pull out the tagline and stick it in EverNote. Those are just three….they have thousands. You can connect your Facebook. Your Twitter, you can save tweets automatically, you can get the weather, it’s actually pretty amazing and I think the app was free, I don’t even think I paid for it. It’s just this rule based app that automates your life. And then make it really easy, they recommend certain applets, have you tried that at all?

JACOB: No I haven’t and it’s one I might have to look at, it looks pretty cool.

DAN: It’s pretty cool, yea. Ok the last app we’re going to discuss is….

Any.DO

JACOB: It’s called Any.Do and it is a to do list app with location based reminders and collaboration function. You have to have the paid version to unlock all the features of it.

Is this connected in any way to your honey do app?

(laughter)

JACOB: Actually if you use the collaboration functions, it could be a honey do app.

DAN: Just give it to your wife and let her fill out the to-do list.

JACOB: I was thinking of the David Holland book and you were talking about him using what you’re going to do in a day, my wife and I kind of do that for the weekend. I know what I need to accomplish and she has what she needs to accomplish and Friday we kind of duke it out to see who gets to do what when. Back to the Any.Do App, it is a souped up version of a reminders app or a to-do list app. The first thing I want to talk about is the collaboration function. So the to-do apps don’t necessarily have collaboration functions, but this one does. What happens is I create a task and I share it. Say I create a task with Dan and share it to him and he receives an email that says that he has a task that needs to be done. Then it links him into Any.Do, so he has to create an account. Then He can go in, see that task, and any subtask with it, and he can mark it as complete or add tasks for me to complete on top of those. So we talk about executive assistants and we need to get something for the executive assistants. I can put a task in there that you need to go pick up flowers, and then you can put in  task in there that I need to go pick up the cards and I’ll know when you complete yours and you’ll know when I complete mine.

DAN: Oh that’s cool.

JACOB: Yea. The big powerhouse function of the Any.Do app is the Any.Do moment. It’s a recurring type of reminder. When the app rings it walks you through that task that needs to be done for that day and then you can either choose to do it that day, later then it’s done, or you delete it. You choose today the app will ask you to then commit to a time that you want to do it and then if you don’t get it done during that time; it will remind you again later. SO what it does is it helps you build habits. So if you want to do “work out at a certain time of the day” and you just put “on Friday I’m going to work out” it’s going to ask you to commit to a time that you want to do it. If you don’t get it done at that time, it’ll ask you to commit again.

DAN: Oh that’s cool.

JACOB: The thing Any.Do is working on right now is the personal assistant function. It’s not out yet but its artificial intelligence interface that’ll complete tasks for you. So if you need to get flowers for Mother’s Day and you put that task in, it’ll recognize that it can help with that task. It’ll ask if you want it to complete that task for you, it’ll ask what type of flowers are your mother’s favorite and then it’ll go out and find out how much you want to spend and order those flowers and get them delivered for you.

DAN: Oh that’s crazy.

JACOB: Yea it’s pretty cool. So Any.Do integrates with Dropbox and then also Amazon Alexa, which is the little Siri thing by Amazon that you can speak to. It’s 2.99 a month or 26.88 annually with a subscription.

DAN: That’s not bad at all.

JACOB: No.

DAN: So the apps that we covered today are Evernote, IFTTT, Dropbox and Any.Do. And then the tip was turn your phone on airplane mode when you actually want to do something productive. Ok that wraps up our podcast, thank you for joining us today Jacob.

JACOB: Thank you, Dan.

DAN: So if you’ve enjoyed this podcast please share it with somebody and please subscribe. We appreciate you listening, and as always, until next week, take care and keep learning.

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