Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Organizing Your Office Desk, Asana and Productivity News of the Week – Anything But Idle – January 11, 2021
Happy (Belated) Clean Off Your Desk Day! In honor of the “holiday,” we talked about the importance of a clean desk and some organizing tips for you. In addition to organizing your office desk, we cover Asana in the financial news, and all the productivity and technology news we could fit in today’s show!
(If you’re reading this in a podcast directory/app, please visit https://anythingbutidle.com for clickable links and the full show notes and transcript of this cast.)
Enjoy! Give us feedback! And, thanks for listening!
If you’d like to continue discussing any news from this episode, please click here to leave a comment down below (this jumps you to the bottom of the post).
In this Cast | Organizing Your Office Desk
Alexis Haselberger is a time management and productivity coach who helps people do more and stress less through coaching, workshops and online courses. Before starting her coaching practice she spent 15 years running business operations and HR in early stage start ups, where there was always more to do than people to do it and burnout was rampant. Her pragmatic, yet fun, approach helps people easily integrate practical, realistic strategies into their lives so that they can do more of what they want and less of what they don’t. Alexis has taught thousands of individuals to take control of their time and her clients include Google, Lyft, Workday, Capital One, Upwork and more.
Matt Plummer, CEO of Zarvana
Matt Plummer is a former operations manager and strategy & management consultant who got tired of sacrificing his personal life to work long hours without moving up in his career as quickly as he wanted. So he began a journey to greater productivity and ended up cutting his hours by over 30% and managing 3-4 projects in the time others managed two. This experience led him to start Zarvana, where he helps other ambitious professionals achieve the same results with workshops, coaching, and an online learning platform.
Headlines & Show Notes | Organizing Your Office Desk
Resources we mention, including links to them, will be provided here. Please listen to the episode for context.
Stories of the Week
- A new app allows teachers to use their iPhone or iPad as an overhead camera on Zoom
- YouTube surveyingpremium members
- Use Trello to Prioritize and Self Manage
- Google Messages Web gets Reactions!
- All the new Google Assistant and Google Home features launched in 2020 | Chrome Geek
- Zoom meeting fatigue: How to maintain productivity in the grind of WFH | Employee Benefit News
- Hobbies promote personal growth | National Life
- Productivity advice for calm and focused 2021
- Acer unveils AMD Ryzen-powered Chromebook Spin 514
- This is the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2
- How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details
- Microsoft Rolls Out New Navigation Tool for Mobile Office Apps
- Dell Launching Monitors With Integrated Microsoft Teams Button
- How to Enable Tab Groups in Microsoft Edge | Chrome Geek
New Tool 1 (Ray)
New Tool 2 (Augusto)
New Tool 3 (Alexis)
New Tool4 (Matt)
Featured Story of the Week
Saving the best for last, our featured story of the week is…
Asana: Strong Growth, Still Not Fully Priced
Disclaimer: We are not providing and you should not construe any information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.
- Apple Releases Safari Technology Preview 118 With Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements
- Your Todoist 2020 Year in Review is Here! – Ambition & Balance
- Press Release: Michael Hyatt & Company Announces New CEO – Michael and Megan
Extra Stories This Week
- David Allen Company: Video analysis and search partnership in business consultation | Repustate
- Google CEO Apologizes, Vows To Restore Trust After Black Scientist’s Ouster
- How to Enable End-to-End Encryption in Google Messages
- THREAD: 2020 review of the productivity app space📱 and a look into how that impacts 2021 🆕
- FivebalanceUSA prepares relaunch of their Crypto Self improvement mobile app | Pro News Report
- How to Start Journaling for Self- Development (6 Simple Ways)
- Get Rid of Your ‘Sentimental’ Junk
- Gazelle is Shutting Down Its Mail-In Trade In Business
Raw Text Transcript
Raw, unedited and machine-produced text transcript so there may be substantial errors, but you can search for specific points in the episode to jump to, or to reference back to at a later date and time, by keywords or key phrases. The time coding is mm:ss (e.g., 0:04 starts at 4 seconds into the cast’s audio).Read More
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:02
Hello personal productivity enthusiasts and community Welcome to anything but idle. The Productivity news podcast. Today’s show is brought to you by W three c web services. And I’m Ray Sidney-Smith.
Augusto Pinaud 0:13
And I’m a guest up not.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:14
And we’re your hosts for anything but idle. And this is Episode 38. We’re recording this on January 11 2021. Today we’ll be talking office desk organization. A little bit about Asana later in the show, and all of the stories about productivity and technology we could jam pack into the show. And of course each week, we cover and discuss the productivity and technology news headlines of the week. And to do that, we have two panels, which we invite onto the show each week. And today we have Alexis hassel Berger, as well as Matt Plummer from Nirvana. And so let’s get them onto the show. Alexis hassel Berger is a time management and productivity coach who helps people do more and stress less through coaching workshops and online courses. Welcome to anything but idle.
Alexis Haselberger 1:03
Thanks so much for having me on. Excited to be here. excited to have you.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:07
And now we have Matt Plummer. He’s a former operations manager and strategy and management consultant turned CEO of zivana, where he helps other ambitious professionals achieve the same results with workshops, coaching, and an online learning platform. Welcome to anything but idle, Matt.
Matt Plummer 1:24
Great to be here. Happy New Year, everybody.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:27
Happy New Year, happy new year. And so this week’s theme is all about office desk organization, because today actually happens to be office desk organization Day Happy organization happy the office, desk or organization day. And so I thought this would be a good prompt for us all to have a conversation about the importance of office desk organization. And really, what are some tips you might have as productivity organization experts, for folks who might have a little bit of a messy desk, not me. And so what why is why is office desk organization important? Why do we even focus on the concept of your workspace being organized? Who wants to tackle that first?
Alexis Haselberger 2:09
Yeah, I mean, I think the first thing that comes up for me, right is all those studies about how clutter increases our cortisol levels, right. And so if we’ve got physical clutter or digital clutter all over our desktops, we are automatically more distractible because our brains are thinking up, there’s tigers, and bears and all that stuff that isn’t really there. And so, you know, for me, that’s what I always think about it in terms of like the ability to focus the clean desk, versus the lack of ability to focus when you got posted notes all over your desk. And like for coffee mugs, etc.
Matt Plummer 2:42
Yeah, I just finished reading the book willpower every discovering humans greatest strength. And they have a section in there where they talk about how a clean environment and orderly environment actually enhances and allows us to, you know, operate on willpower and reduces, there’s a depletion effect that happens when we engage in tasks that are hard for us or complicated and, and having a clean environment actually reduces that. So that’s another byproduct of actually keeping things organized and clean there is that you actually reduce the energy consumption that you’re using throughout the day.
Augusto Pinaud 3:20
You know, for me, it’s a couple of things. It’s not only how organized it is, but how effective is that was something that took me more years on more money than what I want to admit or my wife went to remember to find that desk. I try for years to fix, how can I build this this guy, I have, you know, multiple decks of multiple computers, multiple tools at different times of the day for different tasks. And I tried the large table, the small table and many other things. And I finally found a company in Ohio called error desk and links will be in the show notes, who do something, some desk that you can do disorganized, you don’t have more space than the minimal space necessary, you can add modules are installed but it really doesn’t allow you to have stuff in the disk. And that has been the best thing I have invest on. So I have an arm that has a monitor for the monitor, you’re looking in the camera and I’m on ARM under that work. There is another computer and an arm on the left that there is no more space than that I have a little earlier space like this for a notepad and that’s it. And that has saved me to really be more productive on this desk. Everything is clear like it’s acrylic but you know, it’s acrylic and transparent. So when I pack it gets clean and it gives me a lot of peace. I understand all that. Science as the person who for years, try everything under Office catalogs to find that home office,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 5:03
it’s funny because what you’re talking about is kind of a corollary to Parkinson’s Law where, you know, we’re the stuff you have expands the space, you give it in a way. And by limiting your space With the air desk, you’re in essence only giving yourself so much space to put the things and therefore the things just don’t tend to pile up, which is really quite, quite intriguing. Well,
Alexis Haselberger 5:23
it also ties into like habit that signs of habit building too, right. Because if you think about convenience, or inconvenience, if it’s difficult for you, if you know it’s in your nature don’t want to have kind of the best and the clutter around it, that’s a hard thing for you putting friction there, but essentially making it much harder for yourself to pile stuff up is actually really helping you in terms of that science, you know, habit building?
Augusto Pinaud 5:46
Yeah, it helps a lot. And if, for example, you know, if I want to write and you know, hand write something, not, that doesn’t happen often, but if I ever want to handwrite, I need to basically take the computer in front of me, and do it. So. So that forced me to keep this desk organized, because there is no other space. And that is awesome. Yeah, this
Unknown Speaker 6:11
is Yeah, go ahead.
Matt Plummer 6:12
I was just gonna say I think that’s key, because it sounds like a gousto, what you’re doing is kind of similar to where I’m at, which is like, I don’t want paper around in general. And so as a result of them designing environment that is all about how do I optimize my devices in such a way that they are set up, so that I can use them at the right angles, and, you know, in conjunction with each other appropriately. And so, I really like having a standing desk, that I just actually was given one, that one of those ones where you can adjust it has presets, which is amazing, because you just press the button, it goes up to my standing height. And then I also have a something that sits on top of it that can adjust monitor heights and adjust to devices similar to your arms. And that is key because I like to be able to change my position over the course of the day several times, usually. And so being able to do that quickly. And to your point, Alexis, without friction is huge. And so my environments really designed around, how do I set up my devices appropriately? versus how do I have spaces for non electronic materials, which I try not to have, in general?
Raymond Sidney-Smith 7:23
Yeah, I’m going through this radical change in terms of my own office desk organization, because for the past, you know, 10 months, I’ve been in a new home, and that new home has now also been my office. And that was not in the plan, when we when we purchased this place. So there, there’s just been a huge kind of learning curve for me in terms of how to make this space both acoustically sound, because I’m training most of the time, you know, in my normal work with my clients, I am training and so therefore, when my little dog downstairs, in a loft starts barking, which you may hear this evening, it’s it’s utterly impossible to drown out that noise without creating another room. In essence, we actually actually talked about sealing off the whole loft, so that I could have walls, and, you know, it’s just like all of these things that come up because your your office space, you know, it’s it’s, it’s so important for you to be able to know what’s going on in your kind of deck, think of it as kind of a dashboard or a cockpit dashboard, you know, you want everything to be in view, when you need it in view, you know, you don’t want to not know the altitude that you’re flying at, when you look at the altitude, you know, meter. You know, like, those are the kinds of things that I think about when I’m sitting at my desk and all of those pieces are so important and I’m all of these, you know, you’re talking about the the raising and lowering desk, you know, adjustable high desk, I’m thinking about, you know, what that would look like and having multiple desks so that I’m able to switch gears between training and teaching to when I just want to sit and write. Because those two different modalities are very different for me, and I want my desk organized differently for those things. And so, you know, just like building out the office desk is is has been a much bigger project than I actually thought it would be. And, and before the pandemic and probably after the pandemic, I traveled quite a bit. So you know, my time on the road was, you know, learning how to be mobile, where I truly enjoyed being fixed in my office than being in a mobile environment. And switching back and forth was great. Now I really need to get this, you know, set up in such a way that I like what, what it can do for me in terms of space. There are two things that come to mind here. And then and then I have a question. One is anyone who has not seen David Allen’s video and I’ll put a link to this in the show notes, where he shows himself doing the clarifying organizing process in the GTD methodology. It’s a really interesting video that’s in my video just freeze. See this? Yeah, that’s right. That’s really strange. Okay, anyway. I’m not quite sure what’s going on on my system, but I will just keep talking and hopefully it will. It will come back into into play. And so so so that video is really actually quite interesting. The second is, there’s a book called work clean by Dan charnas. And, and that book is actually really, really fascinating, because he talks about this concept known as museum plus. And if you don’t know, museum plus, museum plus is mostly related to the organizational systems that chefs use in the process of, sorry, I’m, I’m trying to deal with whatever this technology glitches happening, hopefully, you can still hear me just let me know if you if I stop being heard. So anyway, the the the idea is, is that museum plus is the way in which a chef or cook organizes their space to be most productive. And it’s so fascinating to me that Dan charnas goes through that process of outlining for people if they want to create a productivity system, how to actually do that. And work clean is a fantastic and phenomenal book, if you really want to understand those components. So so check that book out, if you haven’t. My question to you all is if someone is feels the spirit is moved today, to do something in the office desk organization space, what’s one thing that they can do to kind of like get organized today? And before we answer that question, I note that art is asking, What if we really like paper? And And the answer to that a gousto put is that you need to plan for space for paper. And the challenge is always to set the space for the needs and changing needs. So okay, so thank you for that answer for art. And so how do we help folks with just like some actionable thing they can do today, to be more organized with regard to their office desk space?
Alexis Haselberger 11:48
Yeah, I mean, I have something that I tell this is maybe an out of left field, piece of advice. But something that I often tell people in my productivity coaching business is that. So people are often feeling like, oh, in order to get organized, they have to organize it. All right, they got to set aside a lot of time to really get it right, and make sure that they have space for everything, etc, I often will just tell people, like if you just want to get focused and get organized, just swipe everything that is on the surface of your desk into a box and get focused right now. So that you have a very clean service, maybe you have a beverage and a pencil and a piece of paper or pad of paper or whatever in your computer, and then put it on your task list for later that you’re going to go through that stuff, decide what you actually need, which usually is like 10% of the stuff that’s on your desk, and then put away the other things because I think there’s often this barrier. This shows a brand like pseudo organization and things like this as well, where it’s like, I have to do it all at once. And I don’t think you have to, I think you can just start with a clean slate and then go back into it.
Augusto Pinaud 12:54
And I think you make a great point in order to two things with that, depending on the amount of time stuff, or junk, okay, that you have, because a lot of people have both is taken away and only bring what you want or what you need, and set a time. And be, it’s okay to say you know what, for the next 30 days, I’m going to bring whatever it is, and after that, take the box off and put it to the goodwill, attic or trash is fine. And you most likely are not going to need anything else then other than that, and, but there are two things that are important to, to that, before you go into buy, you know more stuff and I’m not saying don’t buy or any one of the things we tend to think is Oh, let me solve, you know, this problem is I always tell my clients is start for what is working, make a list of what is working in your office. Because whatever you add, change, modify or buy cannot disturb whatever is working. And we tend to think Oh, you know what, we need a new lamp and now you get the new lamp and discover that okay, but I know how to plugs only. So I need to unplug something else and I cannot afford to unplug. So now you have a beautiful lamp that you cannot use, always the star for what is working, what is working well and then go into making sure that whatever change addition furniture or anything that you’re going to bring, it’s not going to disturb that.
Matt Plummer 14:38
Yeah, I’m gonna jump off of what art is. Artists commenting about paper here and I think there’s an important distinction to make is when you’re thinking about paper, it’s Do you like creating on paper? Or do you at, you know, as one distinct question and then secondarily, do you end up using that paper on an ongoing basis or is it just for the process of creation, and then it’s, you’re done with it, and you kind of just want to store that. And it sounds like that’s what art was saying is that he creates on paper and then stores it digitally, ultimately. And I think, if that’s the problem, you know, I would guess that that would be more the case than people who want to use the paper kind of after they’ve created on it. And as a result, I would say, I would start by focusing on getting a system and process for moving things from paper to digital, whether that’s, you know, a traditional scanner or using, you know, one of those scanner apps that you can have on your, your smartphone. And then having, you know, obviously a type of digital organization system where you’re going to be filing and putting those things. But that way, you have a seamless process for going from paper to digital so that you don’t like throw that somewhere random. And then like, I don’t know where that is. So I think focusing on that process, and obviously, if you need a scanner or something, and you don’t want to use your smartphone, then having that nearby, so it’s easy to use, and you can just move it very seamlessly into that.
Alexis Haselberger 16:05
I could not agree more with that, Matt. I mean, I think you know, I also I’m holding up a notebook right now I am a person that writes on paper, but then I need to get a digital and I just have that as part of my like end of day wrapping up process, that everything gets digital such that if this book were burned up at the end of the day, nothing would it wouldn’t matter, right? I’ve discovered a new tool recently that I know this is another part of the show yet. And I actually have a different tool for that. But this is really on point here. Google Keith allows you to take a photo of your handwritten notes, and then click grab text and it creates a text file from your handwritten notes. So like that changed my world and change this process from like, I don’t know, 15 minutes a day to two minutes a day. And I have terrific handwriting. So it works really well. Even if you don’t have great handwriting.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 16:55
I always love when people talk great things of Google products, so. So that’s always a good thing that my
Augusto Pinaud 17:02
handwriting seems to be like my language, you know, I cannot get Siri or the big a or the Google things to understand me. And my handwriting works exactly the same way.
Alexis Haselberger 17:14
I don’t know give Google Cuba try because like my handwriting is chicken scratch, and it pulls at least 70%.
Augusto Pinaud 17:22
Yeah, I will try.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 17:24
I will note a couple of things here. One is having a filing method is so important to the overall effectiveness of a desk. And so whether or not you are doing that in a physical perspective, or in a digital way, there’s always going to be some level of paper that comes into your world, and you need to figure out what you’re going to do with it. So I ascribe to unfortunately, a now deceased experts thought on the matter. And what he always said was, it needs to be paper less. And the idea was was that everything that was in paper should go digital, but not vice versa. For example, I’m not going to email you and then print out my email and file that in paper, I’m not going to print off everything that I own in digital. But what I’m going to this kind of paperless environment means is that I can digitize everything, and therefore have a single central source of truth for search. So it doesn’t have to be the real thing that I can still file everything paper wise, and it doesn’t matter if I keep the paper in an organization system in the physical world, the digital part is how I find things. And so I’ve really held to that concept since really the the late 90s. And it’s worked well for me, in the sense that now today, everything that comes into my world, I’m going to use, in my case, Evernote to be able to just open up the camera and capture a picture of it. And that can be a birth certificate, it can be a, you know, a, an invitation to a wedding to just a letter from a friend, everything holiday cards, you know, because I can never remember everybody’s, you know, updated addresses and so on, so forth. So when they send me the the envelope, I immediately capture a picture of it that goes into my inbox. And now I’m capable of managing the data around what needs to happen, while still keeping the physical, I might want to keep that that holiday card to put up on the wall. But I now know how to track that I need to send that person a card because that card came in and they’re not they weren’t on my original, you know, list of folks to send. I’m not naming names, but but no. So So it’s one thing. There’s a couple of really great systems out there. The freedom filer system is both a physical system management system, but you can also replicate that in digital. There’s the new Gucci method. The new Gucci filing method is really powerful for being able to turn your files into kind of instead of trying to organize by by context, you’re actually organizing by time using using the new Gucci method. But there are many, many other filing systems and methods out there. And of course David Allen promotes the ABC you know 123 method. There’s all kinds of ways in which you can file but pick a filing method. And then you need to slowly but surely migrate everything to that system, both digital and in paper or analog, so that you’re able to have a seamless understanding of what’s happening. And then your desk paper stuff becomes that much more organized. And then I just would close out by saying, absolutely read work clean by Dan tarnis. Because the whole concept of museum plus having all of your tools within hands reach, just like, as you watch a chef, you know, cooking, he has all of his tools, or she has all of her tools in front of her and is able to seamlessly have the resources, the vegetables and fruits and whatever else available to them enhance reach, as well as the tools and implements to be able to make that both like it’s kind of an artistic movement, along with the actual production of something. And if you can, if you can see yourself, visualize yourself performing in that same way, then you’re going to be that much more productive, I don’t ever want to have to reach for something and not actually have it within hands reach. And that’s very, very powerful when you can actually set up your system so that you know what I need my microphone and my, my mixer, you know, down here, so that I can adjust levels and be able to access it in an enhanced reach. I do not need my scissors on my desk. So that’s put away, right and it’s always though enhance reach. The The point is, is that I’m using the the mixer, the the input, you know, device on my desk all day long, I’m not using the scissors all day long. So what are the things that need to be inview and enhance reach and which things need to be out of you and out of hands reach and start to make those kinds of calls. And then you start to have a more organized space? Because it’s work, it’s functioning for you. It’s not about aesthetics. For me, it’s about, you know, those there’s a reason for, for beauty, and for aesthetics. But for me, it’s really about functional form. How is everything on my desk, purposeful, everything’s purposeful, then that’s an organized estimate. Any final thoughts as we make our way to the end of our conversation about office desk organization day?
Raymond Sidney-Smith 22:05
Linda’s noting here, that as a writer, she must edit on paper. And and so it’s super hard to interact with it on the screen. And absolutely, you have to understand your working modalities. And so if you need to have an analog system, I’m absolutely 100% behind you having a paper organization system so that you can you can do that. All right, wonderful. We have had our conversation about office desk organization, which then takes us on to our headlines in our segment stories of the week. Let’s get started with our stories of the week. gousto. What’s our first story this week? You are muted, first time for the show.
Augusto Pinaud 22:46
Yes. And I keep the title of the first one who did this consistently.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 22:51
So they will do this several times during the show like
Augusto Pinaud 22:56
the first story is a story is a cute story. It’s a programmer whose wife is a teacher. And notice that the wife was struggling to show to their students, you know, the materials and the books and all this. So he created an application that can allow the teacher to connect their phone, the iPhone or the iPad, to the camera. So that way can be used as an overhead camera for soon. So it is a really cool thing actually, we share it with the school my kids go on, we send a device that allows to put the phone on the tub for the teacher so that way now she is reading to the little ones, at least on the little ones. The little ones can see the book and the poor teacher is not trying to figure it out how to do the kids on the camera and all that. So it’s it’s been a great, it’s a great thing I think is a good story and something that it is interesting that 10 months of reading of the struggles of the schools and assume I know this, no one has thought about this before it is
Raymond Sidney-Smith 24:02
so forgive me I’m I’m trying to figure this out. So if you just share your screen in a zoom call, you’re then able to turn on your camera and get the same
Augusto Pinaud 24:12
saying yes tried to imagine being the teacher who has 12 or 14 kids on zoom trying to tell them not to turn off the screen while you’re putting the book like this. And you tried to read the same book at the same time.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 24:25
So this is just like for ease of getting to that point right now. I totally love it.
Unknown Speaker 24:29
No, it is awesome. Feel good stories. Yeah.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 24:35
especially ones that make us feel normal and feel better but also make people more productive. I mean, that’s a really great piece and I’m thinking about it for myself only because I’m now having to show physical you know setups with clients and so that’s actually really interesting thing to be able to set it up my bigger issue is the getting the camera here you know, like getting the camera above so that it can look down required. Some kind of clamp or arm or something like that
Augusto Pinaud 25:02
there is a clamp, but we send the teacher, the teacher for my kid a clamp, so that she has the clamp towards the left. So she can see a straight on the camera having the book in her side, given she has a massive desk space that she can do those things in my setup set in here will not work but but it but I thought it was a really cool thing. Because, again, it’s a scene I have seen the struggle not for the oldest kid, but for the youngest where the teacher is still read a booking class where they still share materials. And you know, for me being digital, I just add their iPad to the medium and handwrite on the iPad and, and show things on the iPad with a pencil. But I understand if you are using paper materials and stuff like that, it’s a struggle. How do you show it while you’re showing the camera? So
Alexis Haselberger 25:53
basically the, you know, overheads and the transparencies for when we were kids just to do a digital world, right? I was searching for that word transparency.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 26:04
Yeah, I was the king of transparencies, I would bring them to school. And yeah, I was I was a bit of a geek, no, no, no question about that artist saying use a lamp boom arm, like for a microphone and attach a camera holder to it that that is probably what I’ll do art, I think that’s the that’s probably going to work I’m actually looking at a a new kind of monitor mount mount for the new desk. And that will allow me to clamp multiple arms to it. So I’ll be able to clamp you know, six or seven items to the one arm and that way everything will be actually off the desk. And that way when I raise the desk or lower it, it will just all raise and lower with me. And that’s really the the ultimate goal for me is to not be limited in the the standing or seated modality. I don’t like sitting all day. And so it’s nice to be able to stand up and do that. And I know that several colleagues of mine over the years have had like, you know, treadmills installed under their desks and my mother has one of those seated, you know, bicycle things under her desk and I just can’t i can’t ride a bike and talk at the same time. I can I can do all kinds of things like chewing gum and driving but but bicycling while while talking it just No, it’s too much. So I would just like to be able to stand that’s the best I’ve got so. Okay, so
Augusto Pinaud 27:27
well story. Our next story is in in December, YouTube was surveying their premium members about their favorite subscription feature. So hopefully, that’s going to bring a change one of the I’m not a premium member, but I hope that they stop asking me if I want to subscribe after a certain number of knows, okay, I tell people when I do sales coaching, that is one of the best consistency, you know, sales tactics is. And he’s like, you know, and they change the words they know. So you need to read the window, and you need to cancel. So I hope that one of the things that the premium member said is Yeah, after 1000 notes, please stop asking. That’s all that I want to do, as
Raymond Sidney-Smith 28:12
well. So folks, I know that this story is actually useful from a productivity perspective, because because the reason why I subscribe to youtube premium is because it removes the ads on YouTube. So that’s one thing that has saved me countless hours of dealing with YouTube ads. And I’m not against ads, I actually think they’re great. But also, I think that being able to pay the the creators on YouTube, they do get paid when you use YouTube premium. So there’s no loss there. But they’re getting remunerated, I am saving time and everybody wins. Second is YouTube premium allows you to be able to download videos on mobile devices. So when I go on vacation, I will again. So help me, I will be going on vacation this year at some point. And you know, I will get those two vaccines in my arm and I will be going on vacation. And in that process, though, I like to be able to have everything that I want entertainment wise available to me on my mobile devices. Because if we’re traveling overseas, or if we’re on a cruise or something like that, we don’t have access to the internet the same way we do when we’re home. And it just really gives us that capability. And so I can go ahead and just download countless, you know, YouTube videos that I have on my watch later list and go on vacation and either sit on the beach or sit on the deck of the cruise ship or you know, sit on the plane, and I’ve got entertainment for days. And that by itself is so worth the cost of YouTube premium. I love it. There was a family option which does bring that price lower. If you pay for that I think the fine folks then you get the option for being in it. But I’ve just I found it to be so so great so that I don’t get interrupted while I’m watching the video and I have to kind of reach and re change my gears because I’ve just watched an ad and I thought it was interesting. So I clicked on it and I’ve gone off to look at that ad And then I come back and I’m like, what was I watching? Right? All these things happen. And so it’s been really, really useful for those things. Not that this is an ad for YouTube premium, but you know, I really do like it for the productivity benefits. Alright. Okay, so next up.
Augusto Pinaud 30:14
The next step is an article from Trello. And these six ways to use Trello for effective self management and self management. What I said,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 30:25
No, you said I’m just clarifying for everybody because of your accent itself. Management.
Augusto Pinaud 30:30
Yeah. I have said for many years that after 3pm, my English to Spanish ratio start going down and it’s worse English every time. So I apologize. That’s why I’m here. And if you ask Francis wait an art Gil weeks and Ray for the ProductivityCast that not necessarily back up at seven in the morning Ray was counting. So two days, they talk about what if self management, what techniques you can use, you know, they talk about the GTD, they talk about the Eisenhower matrix that we have talked recently I said, our matrix many times in here, but
Raymond Sidney-Smith 31:09
also our l covey matrix. It’s the Merrill covey matrix.
Augusto Pinaud 31:13
I will call it the Eisenhower matrix. Yes, because I know it gets on your nerves.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 31:17
But it doesn’t it doesn’t actually the the little Corgi that is our mascot for some productivity club. His name is Eisenhower. I love President Eisenhower, Eisenhower. It’s just that we should give due credit to the researchers behind it. And Rebecca Merrill, Roger Merrill and Stephen Covey deserve the credit for the Merrill covey matrix. Just read off my soapbox.
Augusto Pinaud 31:38
So. So they showed they show people you know how you can create labels and use the labels to prioritize stuff, how you can create more advanced checklist and how to use Butler That is, if you don’t know Butler on Trello. Butler is incredible. And you can use it to create buttons, rules, modifications, repeat texts, and everything else and how to create custom fields that said, and as much as I love Trello and use Trello every day. I don’t see Trello as my self management tool. But that said the article, it’s pretty good. So but let me ask the question. When do you think we have three experts in productivity? We have art and art there. Linda, in the pub in the chat? What is your self management? And what tool? When do you think on effective self management? do you prefer?
Alexis Haselberger 32:49
Yeah, I mean, self management is such a large. And, you know, thing here, I think it’s really hard to say, oh, there’s one tool that I use for self management, right? I mean, when I look at that article, right, I’m thinking about how do we how do we get things done? How do we create the processes and the systems that underlie the things that we do so that we don’t have to rely on willpower as much, etc. And so I think like, whatever tasks system you’re using, you can leverage to be a self management tool, whether it’s Trello, or something else, you know. And I’m sure there are other like habit trackers that people can use to help themselves with self management, right? Like setting up your office and your desk in the way like in the museum class sort of way that we’re talking about that is a self management tool. So I would just say, I don’t think there’s like one silver bullet here.
Matt Plummer 33:38
I wish there was though I have. And I keep trying to move towards that. Right now, what I’ve been using I know, we’ve talked about this on past shows is clickup. And the one thing that I’ve recently been doing there is so click up is no has your traditional too lit To Do List functionality. But what I like about it is that it also has goals with targets under it, and you can add tasks, you know, automatically to your goals. And so you can, but you can also set goals that aren’t related to your tasks. So like, you know, health related thing. And also in your you can create documents that link tasks to, you know, that add tasks in the context of the document, and it all shows up on your task list. And so I do like the idea that of kind of you from a task management system, you can approach it from many different angles and still view it from different ways. And I would say that the thing that it’s missing for me is the idea of, you know, especially from a self management perspective of pulling an automated data, I like pulling in a lot of health data that’s automated, you know, from Apple watch from my phone. And right now, that’s, as far as I know, is completely disconnected and I’m not sure there’s a way to do that. So that would be the piece that I would want to see is like where you could actually pull in data from a lot of other places and have it connected to your task management. system as well.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 35:01
We’re gonna have an episode on that. And then you and I are gonna have to have a conversation because Whoa, that’s that’s like down a rabbit hole. No, I
Alexis Haselberger 35:10
agree with you, Matt there because like, I don’t use click up, I’ve tried it, I probably tried 60 different task management system, I use podio for the exact same reasons that you mentioned, because it’s basically a set of relational databases. So I’ve built so my task list connects to the goals connects to the CRM connects to a billing, you know, thing in there as well. And so, like, I agree with you, I’m trying to make it all one, all my notes are in there, too. But you run into these little little like side cases, edge cases, right? where like, it just can’t all be one yet. But yeah, I hear you there.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 35:45
So art is asking the question, do card based systems really work well, for individuals? And, uh, since we were talking about Trello? I’ll just say, from my perspective, yes, I absolutely believe that there are people who have implemented getting things done have implemented many different systems. Even the Eisenhower method, which there’s actually a, a powerup, inside of Trello, that actually does that kind of creates the interface so that you have this metal covey matrix, you know, influenced view inside of the inside of Trello. So I think absolutely, and Linda is noting here, that Trello is what she’s mostly using for visual organization. So that’s, that’s really great. I will, I will note here that self management is a Peter Drucker concept, you know, that that idea that knowledge workers are given a kind of a blank slate in which to operate, and we need to create structure in order to be more productive. And while maybe some of you who are a little bit more creative, creatively inspired, might might want to reject that notion of structure, just remember, you have gravity, gravity is not going anywhere, you can’t see it, that is structure. So we all experience structure in our worlds, the amount of structure you need is dependent upon the motivational factors, the friction that you need to create, in order to be able to move forward, right, we need certain amounts of friction, for wheels to grip the ground on Earth, for it to be able to move, if you had no friction, you would float off into space and die. So so let’s remember that we need structure. But how much structure is different between individuals, I might need a little bit more structure, maybe a lot more structure, and others might need much less. So we need to figure out what the right amount is for us. And then self management becomes something quite easy. The problem is, is people tend to think about this from a discipline perspective, I was actually talking to a client today about that. The reality is, is that this is not about discipline, discipline, implies you are faulty discipline implies that you have something wrong with you to begin with. And you don’t, the problem is that you have a systems problem, there is a system involved. And you need to figure out what the right approach to managing that system is, there’s probably some widget along the way, some gear that needs to be fixed, so that you can have the proper functioning of your overall systems because you have many different systems that run in your life. So think about it from a systems problem, or a systems design problem. And that challenge can be overcome. Don’t think about this from a discipline program perspective, because ultimately, what you do is you say, I’m wrong, I’m bad, I don’t know what I’m doing. And that’s self defeating. And we don’t want that we want you to be able to stay on the productive side, and the positive side of what fulfills you. And if you can understand it from a systems perspective, then this all becomes a really easy self management exercise. So let’s go ahead and go ahead, Matt.
Matt Plummer 38:39
Yeah, I just want Come on, I would say, for at least how I approach it a little bit of a different perspective on the discipline, which I think if we think about it as discipline as like a character of, you know, virtue that you either have, or you don’t have, that it does exactly what you’re talking about, right. And you feel like anytime there’s a lapse in your ability to fulfill what you said you were going to do, you feel bad and feel like you’re lacking in character in some way. But if you treat it more as a energy force, that can be depleted and replenished, and you have to design your systems in such a way that account for, you know, energy depletion and energy refueling, then I think that can be a complimentary, you know, way, a perspective that actually adds to your systems design, versus kind of saying, Let’s not account for that in any way. And I’m not saying that’s what you’re saying, but just, I think we want to bring that perspective in and say, okay, we need to design our systems in a way that account for the fact that our energy and internal resources change and deplete over the course of the day a week, etc.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 39:44
Yeah, and I would just call that willpower, I suppose I’m not quite sure I would call it discipline. You know, discipline is a set of rules that we follow. And when we don’t follow those rules, we are punished by by not following the rules. And there is a little bit slight to what you’re talking about, which is most people think of discipline being that which is moralistic, there’s a, you know, kind of like, almost like how people apply moralism to to income levels or those kinds of things, their their, their values associated with something that I don’t particularly need to have associated with them. And so I try to kind of parcels, but I definitely hear what you’re saying, I think in a system, you need to be mindful of energy performance, energy and performance management within that system. And those are definitely important. Alexis, did you have something you want to say?
Alexis Haselberger 40:29
Well, I just kind of just going right back to the do cards based systems work for people, right? I think like, you’re right, yes, they can, but they don’t work for everybody. I think that, you know, we’re coming back to like, we need to find the system that works for who we are for our brains. That’s why I love you know, like Asana, podio, right, they all have the ability to view your tasks through either a table or a card basis to Kanban systems. Like I love that more and more, I mean, tick tick does the same. that more and more task apps are recognizing the fact that like, No, we don’t all think in cards, we don’t all think in the same way. And so having multiple modalities to be able to view that and looking at whatever task app you’re using, and say, okay, which of these methods of viewing are going to work best with my brain,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 41:15
and hat tip to amazing Marvin, because they were really, when they started that whole strategies perspective, Christina willner, and her team over there really kind of led the charge with being able to have these different kind of skins on top of the same data. And now we see a lot more task management applications doing that, and project management applications doing that. And that’s absolutely the way to go.
Augusto Pinaud 41:35
Yeah, Eric mentioned to do list and notions do carts as well as list and it’s been really nice to jump back and forward. And I agree, I don’t I’m not a card guy, even though I use Trello heavily for certain things. But there are certain things that the cards works incredibly well. And to do is to allows you to look that same thing for a list or card. So you can go cards, sorted, move it when you need to move it and then go back to lists. That is a view that worked for my brain. So that is fantastic.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 42:08
I will say that the idea of what you’re talking about both of you are talking about it was really quite interesting to me because I like to see certain projects as cards in a board based perspective. And I like to see certain tasks and projects. In a list based perspective, my typical view preference is lists. That’s why I’ve been using remember the milk for 12 going on, you know more than that, I just liked that concept of not having the frills, distract me from the fact that I’ve one thing to do. And when I click on that task, it brings that singular task into view, and everything else disappears in remember the milk. And I like that ability to say I’m working on this right now. And until I’m stopped working on this, I shouldn’t see anything else. That’s very, very powerful to me. But there are certain projects where I’m going to be working on a whole bunch of things that I need those not necessarily disparate pieces, they’re collected pieces together in view, for me to be able to make forward progress on it. And that’s really important to understand, again, going back to your point, Alexis, we are all unique. You know, we are, you know, we’re interesting, you know, projects, in the sense that we have to find the right pieces of the puzzle to really make the landscape come into view. And if we can understand how to do those pieces, maybe you don’t need visuals at all, and you can just go with a piece of paper and a pen and make a list and make it happen each day. For those for the rest of us. We need to kind of test and experiment. Really, that’s the the productivity scientist and us we need to do that experimentation to be able to figure out what’s the right working modality for the right types of projects that we’re doing in this point in our life, and it will change I was in a completely different industry. You know, 12 years ago, I was a completely different industry decade before that, right? You know, the the the notion that you’re going to be working in the same type of work, your entire life is now changed, you know, I thought I would sit in the at that time the law firm that I worked for, I thought I would die in that chair. It’s actually the chair I am sitting in right now I bought this chair. And I was like this is the most money I’m ever going to spend on a on a chair in my life, because I’m going to die in it. And I’m gonna die doing this work. And, you know, I was completely wrong. I it turns out that, you know, life was just much more interesting. And, and it threw all these curveballs, all positive. And that means we need to be flexible and dynamic about the systems we’re setting into place. So they’re both not fragile, but also, you know, really resilient in the face of all of the changes that we’re making in life and work. So next story, what’s our next story this week.
Augusto Pinaud 44:44
So our next story next week is on Google messages and they are getting reactions. You know, they when I message good reactions, it is really fun. I mean, if you have an iPhone, it is really fun. You get the message. You can react to that. Then finally Google on the web, it’s getting the same kind of reactions. I’m not familiar, if I don’t have an Android device I’m not familiar is before you could do it. Or you can do it in regular text message among Android users, you can do it between iMessage people. And it, it’s really cool. So now the web for Google messages will have this reactions to
Raymond Sidney-Smith 45:24
Yes. So you’ve had that in the in the application inside the mobile applications for some time, they’re bringing that to the web interfaces. Unlike Apple, where you have I messages, I messages gives you an application on your desktop, there’s no application on your desktop. Currently, it’s a pw A. So it is an application, but it’s really just a progressive web application. But I have Google messages, web open as an app on my desktop, I’m capable of using it, it must be tied to my phone, though. So my phone has to be on the network and connected. So you do have that capability, if you didn’t know, to use Google messages from your Android devices on your desktop. The flip side to that though, is now you’re able to do those reactions, right now on only on mobile, you’re able to long press on a on a message, and then thumbs up, cry, whatever it is that they, whatever it is that the kids are doing on their messages, but it’s a nice way to just give people a reaction. I don’t know what that’s going to look like on the apple side. I mean, currently today, when a an apple user, you know, like you and I, if you were to send me a text message, you would I would see, liked or loved or laughed at, you know, as in quotations of the whole entire message back to me, I’m not quite sure what’s going to happen on the on the inverse side of that when an Android user does that to someone who is in the apple ecosystem. So that’s to be determined. I haven’t quite figured that out yet.
Augusto Pinaud 46:50
Yes, are you saying we can all use telegram and that will not be an issue but it’s not true telegram chat doesn’t have the investor reactions.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 46:59
And I would say even things
Matt Plummer 47:02
well, even more than being cool Agusta with having that, you know, the reactions is I see it as a an efficiency thing. Because rather than having to type in like, okay, yes, whatever, you know, now I can just click on that do thumbs up, and it’s much faster. So I think it actually helps our productivity as well.
Alexis Haselberger 47:21
Also, just chime in with not having any messaging apps on your desktop really helps with productivity also.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 47:30
Yeah, actually, so. So like, on that point, I’ve actually created a new desktop, a virtual desktop, I’m into the virtual desktops, art knows that he like changed my world the other day, because he, I’m a huge fan of obviously, a keyboard centric productivity environment, I just operate almost exclusively off of my keyboard throughout my day. And so if it doesn’t have a keyboard shortcut, it hurts like it like, it hurts my core, like, and so. So he had, he had found out and you’re, and I’m using a different keyboard. So if you could post in the in the chat, the actual keyboard functions you’re using on your standard Windows keyboard. But in essence, if you hold down Control windows and tap, left or right arrow keys, you can switch between the various virtual desktops on the Microsoft environment. And so now you can have four or five of those virtual desktops, and just it just like pans across to the other desktops. So I created a messaging desktop. And, and so I just put all of the messaging apps in that messaging desktop along with my email application and everything else. So it’s all now there under messages. I have a planning desktop, I’ve just, I’ve just been having such a great time. Because now before it was like, Oh, I have to go and you know, go up, Windows control left and right arrow keys. So hold down windows control, and then left or right arrow do not do not hold down, I think what was I doing before I was holding on shift or and Alt, and that actually rotates your screen, which is very disturbing. So windows control left or right arrow keys, and it just pans beautifully beautifully from one virtual desktop to another. And so you can now have these really these contexts in which you’re working. And so when you do your all your bookkeeping, you put all of your bookkeeping, bookkeeping and invoicing stuff on one desktop, you put all of your messaging stuff on, and you can have a personal desktop where you have your personal I’ve done this, I have a personal browser, thanks to a gousto like 20 years ago. But he told me to have a personal browser. And so Firefox is my personal browser. I put that there. I use Chrome for everything else. And now it’s sitting in my personal desktop and when I want to go check my personal email and do all those types of things, I just switch gears and it’s so seamless. It’s so wonderful. Anyway, I’m just loving it and thank you art. Alright, next story.
Augusto Pinaud 49:52
The next story is all in you because I don’t use google assistant or Google Home. But there is about bunch of new features that come with both that we’re launching in 2020, Adana, 2020 and 95 coverage, but I’m going to let you cover more of the details of those because, again, I am an iOS house in here.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 50:14
Well, no, I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna spend the next hour describing all of the various Google Assistant features that came in 2020. But I will say that we have had a huge, huge host of new features that have come to the system, including the hand washing song for kids. And the apple also had one of those as well on the apple, Big S platform world. And so we’ve had a lot of really great home based features that have been prompted by the pandemic. But we also have a lot more connected to the smart home devices. And so when you want to use big a, with regard to it, we also have more and more features being baked into the mobile interface, you’re actually capable of using the assistant now, directly within the mobile application environment. So you can trigger big a, and have it do certain things that it couldn’t do before. So if you have not been playing around with the Google Assistant, I highly recommend that you actually go into your settings and look at the assistant and see what your device is, it’s really device dependent on what your device can do today, if using one of the latest Google Pixel line phones, you’re able to have it call and make appointments for you. with various businesses, you’re able to do all kinds of really fun and unique things. But it really depends upon the model that you have. And of course, we have greater and greater features being added within Google workspace tied to the Google Assistant now as well. So they’re getting kind of parity, the paid platform for for really businesses is now being given a lot of those functionalities as well. So it’s great across the board. And with that next story.
Augusto Pinaud 51:53
Our next story,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 51:56
almost said it, I almost said it.
Augusto Pinaud 51:58
Our next story is from the abuse from Sue, and then talking about Sue fatigue. And I’m going to, you know, on what is a issue with assume and what is the issue with this fatigue and, and what is people experiencing? I am lucky, I don’t feel that soon fatigue, I’ve been watching this screen for longer than what I want to have made on. And as we were discussing earlier in the show, I I’m fine continuing my screen for the time to be and forever and ever. So I don’t have that feeling of fatigue. That said, there is a lot of people who are soft toward experiencing that. So but instead of me saying what I think about it for not knowing I want to get mad or Alexis, I know mad had an article in Savannah about that point specifically. So I’m going to pass the the answer to or to come into the article to two men.
Matt Plummer 53:00
Yeah, I think you know, it’s interesting, I would put myself in a similar bucket to you there still, and then I’ve been doing it for a while. And it doesn’t seem to have a significant effect on me. But what’s interesting, as you think about the difference between a zoom call and an in person meeting, is what you know, and I think it was some researchers from Stanford that talked about this is what they call constant eye gaze, which is, when you’re in a zoom meeting, you’re constantly looking at other people’s heads, and they’re making eye contact versus if I’m in a meeting, I can only look and it’s a round or oval or square, you know, rectangular table, I can’t be looking at everyone at the same time. And so the idea that you’re kind of constantly making eye contact, and also being able to see and be seen by everyone at the same time. They suggest that that can have a exhausting effect on people. And, you know, I think what’s interesting is the default has been to move to do everything over video technology. And, you know, the assumption is that, oh, that will be much more effective. Because you’re you know, a lot of communication is nonverbal. And as a result, you would think that you’d be able to understand things better if you’re interacting in a video context, where actually, you know, there’s some interesting research. I talked about this in a recent science of productivity segment that shows that actually, the opposite is true that audio only people are actually able to pick up on emotions more accurately. And you know, part of that is because actually more information like we’ve been talking about with clutter and back to desk organization. More information actually makes it harder to focus on the most salient and important pieces of a conversation. So just an encouragement to people that even you know, if you’re feeling that, that you don’t have to feel like oh, I’m sacrificing effectiveness and by turning off my video and jumping on an audio call or Going on doing a phone call and walking around. So, yeah.
Alexis Haselberger 55:06
Yeah, I mean, I agree with. Well, I think I agree with everything you said, I think I do agree with everything you said, although that’s it’s new to me about how audio is you’re actually able to pick up on those emotions better. But I think, you know, when it comes to zoom, zoom fatigue, one of the things that I think we’re not talking about that we should be is that I don’t think it’s just about being on video, I think it’s, I think it’s overscheduled fatigue, because what we know from what’s happened during this period of COVID, is people are just having more meetings, whereas we used to stop by somebody’s desk and grab them for five minutes. Now we schedule a half an hour meeting, and then Parkinson’s Law comes into place, and then we talk for half an hour. And so there was at NYU and Harvard study that came out a couple of months ago, that was showing that we actually are in like 13% more meetings now or something like that, during this period of time, maybe I have those numbers wrong. But I think that one of the things that we can do to get out of zoom fatigue is just to pick up the phone more often. And to like, not feel like the phone is a scary thing that we have to be afraid of, because nobody uses it for voice calls anymore. And just kind of renormalize How do we have spontaneous conversations in a remote environment? I think that’s one of the biggest factors going on here.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 56:22
And I think that younger people are gonna, culturally see this differently. You know, I’ve constantly had this argument with people who say, Oh, well, our attention spans are shrinking, and therefore somehow we’re going to, you know, devolve into creatures that are just, you know, blobs, always looking at in different directions, because we don’t know how to focus. No, the brain just trains to the things that it is naturally experiencing. And so the reality is that children ultimately need to be taught focusing skills, they need to be taught to be mindful, they also need to taught don’t need to be taught how to socialize in a hybrid digital world, that is, when you are in an environment with humans. Your phone in your face is both rude, but it’s also it also diminishes the experience. And and so we need to really teach young people this reality, because then ultimately, you have children who are young people who then grow up into into full adulthood, who then don’t necessarily experience the same rich, one to one and group based experiences that we know because, well, at least I’m old enough to remember when there weren’t smartphones. And, and in those times, I had a great social life. Now I have a great social life, too, just happens to be a little bit more digital, we’ll go back to the normal world, and it will still be the same. Do digital devices not facilitate that experience? Of course, but there’s no question that I know how to make eye contact with both the camera and you. And I know how to use the technology for the right reasons, right, picking up the phone and making a phone call, as Alexis was noting is important and imperative for certain types of communications. And having a video meeting is also really important and powerful for certain types of communications. You need to know how to mediate those. And and we need to teach children how to do that. And I think it’s so so important that we not just think about how we are adapting to all of this, but really how we’re training the next generation to grow up with this technology. Because this is all nascent. We’re all new to the internet, you know, we think, Oh, well the internet’s 20 something years old. And, please, in the in the span of 10,000 years of hunter gatherer today, it’s a blip in time, comparative to the length of the universe’s existence. And so we’ve had the internet for like, oh, that much of time. And we don’t yet know its capabilities. But we do need to remember that there’s a human on the other other side of all of our communications digitally, if you understand this, a heart and mind on the other side, then you’re much better off being able to understand how to interact and engage in the real world, as well as here in a digital experience. I know you’re watching, I know you’re on the other end, and I know you’re a human being. And I’m not speaking to Google or the bots or anything else like that I’m speaking to another human being. And that allows me to be able to just be me in a normal capacity. And if we if we train young people, honestly trained adults too, because some people need some social skills, but train young people specifically that’s what I care most about is the next generation to be able to utilize the digital experience and that much more the way in which we really hope a fruitful, productive society is going to be
Augusto Pinaud 59:26
you know, not only that also, it is important to get the positiveness or label of this you know we we have said my in laws live far away far enough though, to to work meeting with them. It’s really complicated. But now we are getting this consistent dinners on Saturdays that has been honestly incredibly incredible for the kids and for, um, for my wife to see with parents and all this. But not only that, I mean, we have our best friends. We’re still playing more games, we move from Indiana to New Jersey, in beginning of February and well that break that possibility to play in the same room. But we have been playing over to all over this. And we may not meet every day or every week, but we play and play the games and do the same font. So also, don’t look at the all the negative of the zoom and all the thing things, it is important to look at both sides of this. And they I used to say, you know, when I, like many people who may kind of understand technology, you are the first call in your family, okay, we’ll get the call, how can I, my machine do this? Again, you need to remember the specs of those machines, multiply for a minute, each member of your family on a different device, they have that used to be a nightmare. Now you can tell them, including my in laws on my parents go to zoom, and I will see your Dexter and it is a breeze to do support anymore. Because when your father told you, my Windows machine do not have started, you can tell them left corner. I’m reading it on the screen. And it’s awesome.
Unknown Speaker 1:01:13
Matt Plummer 1:01:14
think I think obviously, there’s, you know, tons of benefits here. The one thing that seems problematic is where we make, we’ve, I think this is true that a lot of us have developed this compulsion, where we feel like we have to do video now. And so even I think of a few nights ago, I was texting my mom back and forth, and we’re like, let’s just do a quick call. And rather than just calling her which would you know, is like 10 o’clock at night or something? And doing you know, doing that as like, well Should we do FaceTime and like, there’s like back and forth over like whether we should use video or not. And I think giving people permission to say you don’t have to do a video call if it you know, if you don’t want to if it doesn’t make sense if you’re just got back from Iran, or whatever the reason is like, and I think if people have permission to that, that they would make better decisions about it. But now I think there’s a culture has been created, where we’re like, oh, just do video calls. And that’s not always necessary. I mean, I
Alexis Haselberger 1:02:10
think with everything, right, we want to examine the defaults. And I think that’s exactly like, it’s like there’s been a new default in the last 10 months. And I think what you’re saying is, we need to say like, does that make sense or not? Just like, we need to say that, you know, with our technologies funny where you’re talking about, like, we need to teach kids this and that. And, you know, there are some things I agree with you to a certain extent about that. Like my children do not actually know how to use it. But I realized recently when I was holding a phone up to my ear like this, and my kids said, Why is it next to your ear that they did not understand how you actually use a phone. So there’s that but also I think that there’s you know, we as let’s just say middle aged people may not like we are not the digital natives. And so I actually think that we have a lot to learn from kids and how they are you know, doing things instead of just kind of assuming that they need to be brought into our world and the way that we think that technology should be I actually really think that you know, for kids we see real world we have to be in the real world versus the digital world. There is no difference for them. Like it’s just the world and we really kind of alienate ourselves from them when we talk about these things because they don’t understand what we’re talking about. They’re like they’ve never known a world without this stuff. So like the real the cut this concept of the real world doesn’t make sense. They still need to learn how to interact with humans. But it may be in a different way I think and I think that we probably you know, I don’t know maybe we can be a little bit more I at least I can be a little bit more humble I know I’m totally guilty of being like get out into the real world and go outside and play but it’s not it’s not always the most fruitful thing.
Augusto Pinaud 1:03:44
But also you know, we think of this fatigue and I have read a lot about the kids and their fatigue and we have give we have done specially during all this COVID thing give access to to my to both tickets but to both of our kids access to the Google meet so my son have a playdate okay. And they play Roblox and they play among us and whatever they play, okay, but they also have the other device with the camera and they play and they laugh and they joke so as much as I agree with you that we think there are two difference for them. There is no difference we see each other in the camera and we play and they fight like they work together you know they come and you see what you know you get the notifications and suddenly you know your son blog his best friend and you’re like why do you blog you refer I’m mad at him. And you’re like, but you have not seen each other and yes, for them. There is no difference at all.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:04:44
So I’ll I’ll say this, which is that I don’t I fully agree with you, Alexis. I think that we need to learn from children as much as we need to teach them but and I’m I’m by no means disrespecting children. I think that what we do As adults as we tend to restrict their capabilities, you know, as Dr. Stephen Covey always said, you know, we’re all born geniuses, and slowly but surely society and adults, D genius eyes, our children. And and so you know, seeing children innovate with technology is absolutely important and imperative and that’s why I continue to ride that soapbox, of saying that we are in our infancy we are also children with technology. And we need to be humble and open to the use of that technology in that space. And so I really appreciate that that thought because, you know, you’re absolutely right, we need to be, we need to be mindful of our of our own limitations with technology. And there’s so much more to learn about how to use this. It’s, you know, miraculous, not because we don’t understand it, but it’s miraculous, because we haven’t quite understood its potential yet. And, and I think that’s really the part where science has, and technology has brought us to this far. And now when you need to use our creative and artistic capabilities, ones that go beyond mine. We need, we need a greater capacity than I have in that regard. And we can really do so much more with technology and really, truly have the foundations of greater global culture. By doing so. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 1:06:10
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:06:11
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. All right, we’ve got our last story this week before we hit our midpoint. And so Okay, so what’s our, our, our next story of the week, before we hit the break? You are muted, gotcha.
Augusto Pinaud 1:06:29
Our next story promotes how, or talks about how hobbies promote personal growth and how they enrich our life. And when this article came to our hands, I read the title and, you know, kind of brush it off. But as I look to the agenda for this episode, and get back to it, I, I thought a little bit more deep on water, those hobbies and how those hobbies has changed, you know, from what we used to use do maybe 1015 years ago to what we’re doing even what, what are the hobbies that some of us have been able to, to have during this pandemic month, and what I enjoy the most about it was looking into thinking not only how they grow, but how they help you to develop that thinking, and to pass some of the things to to the kids, you know, and so, it was a really interesting read, I advise, I recommend everybody who could get to know the notes in the shows to, to read it and think about, what are those hobbies that they have? Or they stop having? Because Are you stop having hobbies? For whatever reason? And if you did, why,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:07:49
yeah, one thing that I always try to explain to people is that when you are trying to you’re interested in personal development, if you are watching and listening to the show, so it’s not like you don’t know that you’re aware of your desire to grow in some capacity. And, and to stay sharp, in your game of life. And the The reality is, is that many times the best ideas I have come from either interdisciplinary or multi field, you know, views of the world, right, it’s that I can pull things from, in turns out that, you know, all of my hobbies in life are geeky, from, you know, modding out my Raspberry Pi to, you know, doing all kinds of things in the space of personal productivity and so forth. That happens to be both my passion and also my work. And so I love doing all of those things, but you’d be surprised that I will get from the world of fitness, something that will intrigue me and say, Oh, you know what, this can actually work in my work work world. And, or, you know, what, I just had this really interesting conversation about Seneca and stoicism with a friend of mine. And that’s something that he and I dialogue with he’s a he’s a third order Dominican priest. And, and so I get to have that kind of, of dialogue with him and talking to him about where and how his religious beliefs and his spiritual views impact his life and overlap with this, you know, philosophy of stoicism. And that will pick something in my mind and say, Oh, you know what, I should use this over there in this world. So there’s so many ways in which you can actually kind of peel away the onion layers of of life and be inspired to do those things. It could be as simple as you know, what I saw, you know, I was organizing my pantry and I could organize my pantry the same way I can organize my files on my desk, you know, it can be as simple as that and you can be more productive by doing so. But having these kinds of called call them hobbies, I consider them extracurriculars. You know, whatever those extracurricular curriculars are, they really helped to kind of enlighten you to different worldviews and the more we see how other cultures and how their people and other you know, other activities, blend in To our lives, the more likely we are to have unique novel thoughts and ideas about how to make our lives better. And so I really love everything this article kind of, at least represents. Any other thoughts. What’s the scope for?
Alexis Haselberger 1:10:15
Yeah, I mean, I just I feel the same way. Like, I have my best blog post ideas when I’m running. Right? Wait. I like speaking to my phone on my arm to like, make sure that I don’t forget it. But I think the one thing is I think when we’re engaged in the hobby, that is when we can air for most people when we can get into flow state the quickest, right? And so we’re in that. And I think that a lot of times when you’re kind of in a flow state, especially when you’re doing some, like a lot of hobbies are manual, right? Like we’re doing something with our hands, or we’re cooking, we’re knitting, we’re, you know, like fixing a bike or whatever it is, that allows our minds to kind of be doing the problem thinking in the background, right. And so I think that that’s nice, at least that’s where I think some of those kind of cross functional ideas come from, right, is that we are or doing something else. And we’re just kind of ruminating in the background, even though we don’t know it around things that are really helping us there. And you know, and the thing is, you it’s like, anytime I’m reading a book, I end up with a list of notes about things that can affect, you know, all these other things, even when it was just like a novel that I was reading, right?
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:11:17
Absolutely. Absolutely. Yep, absolutely. This has been wonderful. We are going to come back after the break and talk about the rest of our stories. This week, we have even more fun stories to discuss On the flip side, and we’re gonna be talking about our new tools of the week, we are going to have Matt plumbers, signs of productivity segment. And then we are going to close out the discussion with our story of the week and we’re gonna be talking about Asana. So with that, hang tight, and we’ll be right back with you after the break. Did you know half of small businesses don’t have websites and half don’t make it past one year in business? Are these stats correlated? We’re not sure. But we think you should have a website w three see Web Services provides affordable manage WordPress website hosting, along with VPS domain name registration, and other small business focused services. For listeners of this podcast, you can book a free 30 minute Digital Marketing Strategy Session when you purchase a new hosting plan $150 value. Once you purchase your new hosting, plan forward the receipt to support at W three c inc.com. With the podcast title in the subject line of the email message. And we’ll get you scheduled for your digital marketing strategy session, head over to anything but idle.com slash web hosting, and get started with your small business website today. And now back to your show. Welcome back everybody to anything but idle Episode 38. And before the break, we were discussing all kinds of fun things about hobbies and other interesting pieces of the productivity news this week. We have more news to cover, though. And so Okay, so what is our next story this week?
Augusto Pinaud 1:13:03
So our next article comes from Fast Company, and it’s called six unconventional productivity tips to come and be focused on 2021. And the first step is developing in different attitude to things that you cannot change that it always made me think maybe because my upbringing that, you know, give me serenity for the things I cannot change alcohol for the ones that I can’t, or the other way around, I don’t know. But, but again, in a serious note to that, it is important to understand what you can change what can influence Where is your circle of influence, and really, what is worth to be worried or not worried. You know, the second is depressurize tasks that are going to bring a stress without any return. How many times have all of us or maybe me only, okay is stressed about something that after it’s done, it’s like I wasn’t stressing why. So I think that’s really, really important, fine, how to rebuild your passion and curiosity after burning out. And before the break, we were talking about that certain burnout, well, how you are going to include in all this rejuvenation into your day to day and your stuff final The next one is take advantage of the flexibility that some of us has and match your internal clock with your work day. And as we come down to the next stage of that change, that may be challenging, but again, what do you need? You need more silence then maybe you need to wake up a little bit earlier. What did you need better? Use the scientific method to find your ideal working and you can read a lot of that following mad from survey dynamics that’s a big thing or what they do and this number six is create hard boundaries on Excessive email all day, some calls on late network and, you know, do use a Windows machine or a Mac a create your deck stuff, you know, as Ray was describing early, create maybe one where you put old communication, email messages fine. That is something we have repeat over and over in this show today, find what works well for you. If you want to get a lot more of that common, a lot more of that focus and productivity really, you need to think what works for you and your style.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:15:35
Yeah, I thought the article provided a bunch of really good tips and tricks and it’s well worth looking at. And when we put the show notes together to watch and read that article, because, you know, there, there are a lot of areas in which we feel that stress of being locked down in this environment, we’re not all introverts. So we do need a little bit of of going to work when we are extroverted, and I happen to be an ambivert. So I can go to very extreme extraversion, or to very, you know, extreme introversion. And so I can see how some of these things can be really useful for extroverts, when they are feeling that sense of of being closed in and burned out from, from the search situation.
Matt Plummer 1:16:21
Yeah, I was just gonna make a comment around the first one, which is around, you know, not stressing over things you can’t control. And I think one of the things I talk a lot about with people is the, how we define success on a daily basis. And I think, you know, perhaps early in your career, you can define success as getting everything done on your list your to do list, especially if you’re, you know, doing a daily list on a piece of paper, right. But what happens is people move into a mode where there’s just, you know, and I’m sure this is true for me, I’m sure it’s true for probably everyone on the call is that there’s always so much you could do that you could never, you’ll never get done with your list. And yet, we still define success as getting everything done, that we, you know, that is on our list. And so what happens is when the day ends, we end up thinking about those things because they feel incomplete. And we, you know, stay connected to our workplace. But if we define success on a daily basis, instead by saying, what is it that I’m setting out to accomplish today? And did I accomplish what I set out to accomplish that can redefine it in a way that’s actually achievable, and can allow you to not carry that sense of anxiety or open endedness? past the work day? So that was, you know, a specific example of how you might think about applying that first point.
Alexis Haselberger 1:17:39
Yeah, I mean, I think that brings up to the heart boundaries piece, right, which,
Augusto Pinaud 1:17:42
you know, I
Alexis Haselberger 1:17:42
think that when, you know, one thing that I do, and that I have, that most of my clients doing is like an end of day planning process, where you’re taking stock of what happened, and you’re actually putting different dates on those things. So that tomorrow so that nothing’s in the overdue status, right? Because you’re right, we’re never going to finish everything that’s on our to do list. And I like that Ray already used dying as an example, because I tend to use that too. And then I feel a little bit bad about it. But I always say like, Look, we’re gonna die with a big long list of all the stuff we didn’t do. And that’s okay. And the way I think about it, which is like maybe a tweak on what you just said, but I think we’re saying the same thing, Matt, is that like, you just want to know that what you did today was more important than the things you didn’t do. Because if we can say that, it’s like, I feel like that’s success, right? Like, if I can say, I’m confident the things I did today are more important than the things I didn’t do. I feel like that’s similar to your intention setting. And I did I accomplish that or not?
Matt Plummer 1:18:39
Yeah, that’s good. I like that.
Augusto Pinaud 1:18:42
And, you know, at the beginning of the call, we’re talking about putting everything in a box, and get it out of your home office. And I tell a lot of my clients when they feel that insight, and that insight to understand it come and go. But if you find yourself into that anxiety, go for an index card. Okay, you can only write in here, what you’re going to do, and what fields and if you have a big handwriting like I do, you can only write two or three because it’s not enough, but it needs to be a three by five. Because there is even if you have a small handwriting you can only write so much. And especially when you get that insight that you feel the risk to merge, when one index card or the time.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:19:27
Yeah, Linda’s noting here that she sets a focus each morning. And if she gets that done, she’s proud of herself. And we’re proud of you too. And so what’s our next story
Augusto Pinaud 1:19:39
and now we are going to the gear section. So Acer on wheels and AMD racing power Chromebook, the speed 514 and Acer release a bunch of interesting Chromebooks. They’re really doing a lot with that and there is actually an discounts for this machine. But he’s really, really fast really, really powerful. So if you are looking for a new Chromebook, this may be a good option, or our next one is the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook to that for a person who love the college orange has been a really temptation, I do not need it. I do not anything but he’s an orange computer. And it’s been taking every ounce of the maturity that I have, that he’s not much not to buy it right now, just so that
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:20:33
there’s some some interesting comparisons between the two of them, that Chrome unboxed really on surface kind of surface here, which is that so the the AMD, the Acer Chromebook 514, that spin is actually a 14 inch display. It’s a touch panel, so you’ve got a two and one where you can flip the display around and test it and make it into a tablet type device. But it is running Wi Fi five, so it’s a version behind. And the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook is actually a lesser powered device, 13 inch screen, but a lesser powered device than its predecessor, the Chromebook, the galaxy Chromebook that Samsung put out. So I’m a little curious here How will actually operate because Samsung here is making a play at maybe optimizing the device well enough. And noting that Chrome OS has evolved or matured enough that the first edition at a higher price point, they bring down the price point. And they are making it a little less feature a little less spec rich than the prior one. And and they also put Wi Fi six on it. So so the Acer AMD ryzen based chip one, the Chromebook spin 514 that’s running Wi Fi five, the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook two is running Wi Fi six, and has a longer battery life. And so you’re getting some mixed kind of out the gate, you know, options here in the new year, coming out of ces 2021. And I’m really I mean, you know, we talked about this at the end of last year, which is that this is the year where we’re going to see a whole host of new Chromebooks, we’re gonna see so many of them go out onto the market. And we’re gonna have such great options. By by probably June, July, you know that we’re really gonna see all of these various varieties of new Chromebooks. I’m just utterly excited and I’m, I am scared for my pocketbook. I know that I’m going to want at least a few of these devices, which I will fully admit I do not need at the moment. So but you know, we have we have a lot of options. And these articles just note for us that we are seeing a reduction in the price. Actually, art is noting that right now, he says the cost is significantly lower. And it’s an excellent introduction machine with the S Pen, and we’re talking about is the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook two is that S Pen compatible, which is really, really brilliant. So it’s no arts continuing to note that it’s a replacement from the Chromebook pro and Chromebook plus. And I have the I have the Chromebook plus. And, and as well as the I think I have the flip C, three something but you know, both have been great devices from Samsung. And so yes, these the predecessor, the successors to those and and we’ll see what what Samsung looks out later this year, because you know, they’re going to be putting out more Chromebooks later this year. Okay, so on to our next story,
Augusto Pinaud 1:23:23
on our next story come from life hack. And it is a long article talking about how to train yourself when you lack attention to detail. And it is a really interesting, he comes with a bunch of tips. And I think these are 11 or 12 of them 12 of them of what you can do to help if you lack that attention of detail. And it is important not only for the work to push out, but especially when you deal with people who are really prone to detail oriented things, you know, there’s people who don’t mind much, let’s fix it quick. There is people who don’t so if you work with those holochain then this give a couple of good, give me a couple of good ideas so you can work better with with them and you can then make it better for both.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:24:24
Fantastic and so for time purposes, we’re gonna move on what’s our next story? Microsoft,
Augusto Pinaud 1:24:29
Microsoft rolls out a new navigation tool for mobile. So Microsoft is really trying to get work the Windows apps stronger into the iOS they are finally seems like they’re going to level up the game between the desktop and the mobile they for many years demo.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:24:51
You muted yourself somehow
Augusto Pinaud 1:24:53
it’s like behind and now she is a skill that I told you. Okay? Seems seems like Microsoft now has decided to keep mobile as well as text up in a one level. And that’s going to be incredibly good for everybody.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:25:11
Yeah, so the new design experience is bringing that this heading functionality into the mobile experience. So now you can actually navigate the document by heading and jump to these portions to bringing this first to Microsoft Word in the mobile applications. And then we’ll see this probably scale out into other pieces. You can see some of this in kind of the the flavor of Google Sheets right now, when you look at a workbook in Google Sheets, there’s a three bars icon in the bottom left hand corner of your screen. And when you click on that icon, it shows you all of the sheets. If you have hundreds of sheets in Google Sheets workbook, you can now jump to that it’s kind of that same concept where you’ll now have that in the mobile experience based on the headers in the Microsoft Word document. And so that’s great to add a Google Agusta what’s our next
Augusto Pinaud 1:25:57
so including continue hurting your pocketbook? Dale is launching monitors with Microsoft Teams button so you can get faster to those Microsoft team meetings if you are into into that environment.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:26:15
That’s not gonna that’s not now last week and the end the E ink monitor that could take my money like that more money but but the but the monitor with a baked in Microsoft Teams button. I mean, that just seems like you know, begging for a market. I you know, that doesn’t seem like to me anything useful to people, especially since you’re not going to have enough features to be able to really manage the team up? No, no, I don’t see it. That’s gonna be a Doa dead on arrival. We’re in the we’re in the morbid, you know, discussion tonight. But go ahead. What’s our next step.
Augusto Pinaud 1:26:49
And then since we’re talking about about, you know, do a second mortgage, let’s talk about Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft Edge. And now, how to enable tab groups into into the browser. You know, as some people know, Microsoft Edge basically got a chromium version out of that. So now they’re being able to get some of those features into the Microsoft patch. And finally, they got tab groups into that.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:27:22
Yep, absolutely. And so, this is an extension of the chromium project. And so we’re gonna see all of those pieces come together. artisan, noting. That’s a team’s big speed button. Oh, poor Bixby. Poor Bixby. Anyway, and there’s a reference there to Bixby to the Star Trek world. For those of you who are Trekkies, there’s a nod to the real Bixby not not that Samsung thing. But anyway, we have reached the end of our stories of the week. And that brings us to the science of productivity segment with Matt Plummer from Nirvana. And so Matt, we’re gonna give you the floor. Take it away.
Matt Plummer 1:28:04
Thanks, right. Welcome to the science of productivity segment. In this segment, what I try to do is just bring some new research and or, you know, new to me new to you, on how to accomplish your goals faster. So you we’ve cited some research along the way. But this actually comes from a friend at the University of Miami in Ohio, who’s been doing some research around creativity. And when you think about creativity, oftentimes we think that those who are, you know, most interested in taking risk and most open to taking risks would be those who would be more creative. Well, what Scott dust and his colleague did at the University of Miami is they tested different groupings of a supervisor and direct report, and they had them vary there in terms of how open they were to risk. And you might think that if both were high and being open to rest, that that would be the most creative pairing. But actually, that didn’t turn out to be the case. what turned out to be the case is that the wherein the pair’s had differences in their openness to risk. That was where there was the most creativity. So if the supervisor was, you know, high and openness to risk, and direct report was low, or vice versa, that’s where there was greater creativity. And when they began to unpack this, what they found is that the characteristic of intellectual stimulation is what drove the increase in creativity. And by intellectual stimulation, basically, the idea that people are pushing back on the ideas, that there was Debate or discussion and disagreement there actually led to creativity. And so when we think about creativity, it’s both being novel and valuable. So the bringing those two together to actually be able to be valuable, is where that creates creativity. And that’s why you need both of those pieces of the puzzle you need. Those who are really open to risk and those who are not. So as you think about your teams, as you think about an entrepreneurial venture Or an entrepreneurial venture, be sure to include those who are not so open to risk. Otherwise, you’ll actually diminish your creativity. Alright, thanks for listening to the science of productivity segment.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:30:13
Thank you, Matt. And so with that, I have to reorganize everybody on screen now, so I know who to look at when that was the science of productivity segment with Matt Plummer from Silvana. And so thank you, Matt. Next up is our segment. That is, are we doing featured story first gousto are we doing new tools, and then we’re doing new tools, and then feature stories, what we normally do new tools it is. So let’s kick into our new tools of the week segment. In essence, Augusta and I come across many personal productivity tools and services each week. And in that search, we come across many that we actually like some, we just think are novel and interesting to you. And so we try to bring those to you. In this segment, which is the new tools of the week, I was noting before we started recording that it maybe needs to lose the new part. But we’ll we’ll figure that out later. Either way, we’ve also invited our panelists to also offer some items up, I’m going to bring them up on screen as we talk about them. And so that we can, you know, kind of view them together. And so let’s get started. I actually changed mine last minute because I with it being office desk organization day, I thought why not put something that was a little bit more connected to that. And it happens to be something that I have been looking at in in line with all of that. And so my first, the first new tool of the week, I’m gonna bring it up on screen here very quickly. And it is the very desk 48. And so hopefully you can see this now. And so very desk provides a whole set of different sit stand desks, their primary product was the very desk executive, which you basically put on top of your desk. And it allows you to put your monitor keyboard, mouse and other peripherals on a platform and then you could raise and lower that. So you could have basically a normal desk and then raise it to a standing position. This latest iteration is a desk itself have the full desk. And so this desk allows you to be able to have your desk space, the whole desk raise and lower a little kin to what Matt was talking about earlier, with having a desk that you can kind of set this the height to this one gives you the capabilities of raising and lowering it, you know with a little electric pad, so you can you can press the button and it can raise and lower to really any level you want in its height. So up to that 48 inch height. And it’s just a really nice desk. And you can you can do a lot with it. It’s sturdy. And And so yeah, so I just I’ve been looking at various desks like this, I think having only one axis to work on, which is you know, this one in front of you access is probably not enough for me. So I have been looking at getting either two of these, which doesn’t make as much sense or getting a desk like this that is L shaped because I really want to be able to turn and have a different kind of setup. And you know, one that’s kind of recording and teaching and one that is me working in the kind of deep work, what I would call focus action work space. And so I’m just looking at those different ones. And so this is something that you can look at and I really I like this one a lot so far. All right. With that, Augusto, what is your new tool this week.
Augusto Pinaud 1:33:34
My new tool is an application called Scrivener. If you work with long text you like you know one of the things in the beginning of the year is I have here a lot of people say no I will this is the year I’m going to write that book. Well if you’re looking to this is the year you want to write this book. This will be the tool that I will recommend you Scrivener it works on the Mac it works on the PC it works on Windows and Windows and Mac mostly but and obviously on the on the iPad. But what is going to allows you to do is to organize all that manuscript sorry, you cannot write a book in Word. It’s impossible. You can organize that you will end up with a bazillion of files. This will allows you to organize most things, make comments and all that and make your life a lot more easy and fun. So it is a tool I’ve been using and I really love I’ve been using it for a really long time. So if you work with those kind of things, or you don’t do technical writing, or you do those kind of things, where they multiple files are part of the requirement. Look into this. It is a really beautiful app and has been a fantastic thing in my toolbox.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:34:56
Fantastic. Thank you gousto and next up Alexis
Alexis Haselberger 1:35:01
Alright, so mine actually speaks a little bit to your virtual desktop idea. But this is a Chrome extension called cluster. And it’s a tab manager. And what I really liked about this is that it allows you to say, you know, you have certain types of work that you’re doing throughout the week or throughout the month. So you know, in my case, like I’m writing blog, like I’m writing a blog post once a week, right, it allows me to save all the different tabs that I need open when I’m writing a blog post. So it’s my email, because I’ve got to send something to someone. And you know Squarespace, because that’s where I’m actually writing it. And YouTube, because I’m making a video about it. And all of those different things, it allows you to save these tabs so that you can just go in and click blog posts, and it opens a window with all the tabs you need, or for monthly accounting, same thing, you know, I need, I need to have my bank open, and I need to have my accounting software open, and I need to have X, Y, and Z, you have all of those. So then you don’t have to feel like you need to have the 50 tabs open all the time so that you can automatically get the things, you just have a little extension that allows you to go specifically to the things you need, and then close it out when you’re done with that task or project.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:36:08
Fantastic. Thank you, Alexis. And last but not least, Matt, what is your new tool this week?
Matt Plummer 1:36:15
Yeah, so I just started using this sleep app for Apple Watch. And so I guess this probably rolled out back in the fall, I wasn’t aware of it at that point. And it appears that so the way it works is basically you need to activate it, turn it on in your settings on your watch. And then you know, it will automatically track your sleep. And that’s what I’ve, you know, I was using sleep cycle before, which you may have heard of which, you know, you basically you have to kind of turn it on when you’re going to sleep and then turn it off on your when you are done for you know, wake up in the morning. And then I found problematic just to remember to have to go through that process of turning it on and off. And so what I like about this is you just wear your Apple Watch to then, and it tracks when you’re in bed. And when you’re asleep. It was interesting. The other night I one of our daughters woke up and I had to get up in the middle of the night, go see what was going on there. And it actually you can see in my sleep that like I was it, which is kind of interesting, but it technically classified me as being in bed, but not asleep during that time. So if you have an Apple Watch, this is a nice way that you can activate that without having to pay more for some of the other sleep apps on the market. They’re
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:37:30
fantastic. Thank you, Matt. And for those of you who don’t know, these features are available both on iOS and Android. So you have the equivalent if you’re using where iOS with your Android device. And then of course, if you’re using the Apple Watch, and your iOS devices, you can pair those two together. And you can get so much data about yourself in both Apple healthkit connected to two integrated applications. And also with Google Fit, integrated with those other applications. And if, for example, you sleep droid and sleep cycle, I’m a little bit of a data hoarder. In that sense, I like to see the comparison, I also like to see if there’s a statistically significant difference between one set of data and the others. So I like to see whether or not they’re they’re calculating in the same way and many times they are not. And so what would be quality sleep for me in one application would be not quality sleep in the other. And so it’s really useful to me to be able to just stay stay skeptical as it relates to the data that I’m getting. And that helps me actually mediate My, my, what would be a knee jerk reaction, oh, gosh, I didn’t get enough sleep. When I see the two data sets together. I can say Okay, you know what? Well, it was kind of a balance between those two. And that helps me understand my own needs for change a little bit more, you know, kind of middle of the ground along the way. Wonderful, great new tools of the week. And that brings us now to the the the pinnacle of our conversation, which is our story of the week. Maybe I’m hyping it too much. But we are going to be talking about Asana and Seeking Alpha put out an article about Asana has revenue growth, and that its its growth and its revenue. That is to say that it has had, you know, really high revenue growth, but that it’s still not currently priced at the top of the market where it should be. And I’m I’m really curious about everybody’s perspectives on Asana because Asana seems to have risen from you know, it kind of like slowly but surely has been rising in popularity across the the ecosystem. And now it commands a fairly strong group of certified consultants, the Asana pros, it has a very stable user base that is using a sauna in the many different flavors that it’s capable of being you know, you can go from free all the way up to these, you know, high level business class upgrades, and it seems like a lot of people use And I love Asana. And so I’m curious where you think Asana is going in line with this article. And, you know, just kind of general thoughts there. Who wants to who wants to kick us off with Asana and whether or not you think Asana is going to grow, or contract in 2021? Well,
Alexis Haselberger 1:40:20
I don’t know whether they’re gonna grow, or I learned from 2020. We don’t make predictions, right?
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:40:27
Yeah, we I don’t we’re not we’re not investment, world making predictions, right.
Alexis Haselberger 1:40:32
But I think you know, what I’ve noticed about Asana too, is it so I don’t, Asana is not the platform that I use. But it is the platform that I recommend most frequently to my clients who have teams that they want to work with. And so whether that’s, you know, like, I’m not going to recommend something different if it’s just them by themselves. But from a price point, and from a capabilities like the ability to do things in, you know, cards, etc, that it has built in chat that has a lot of these things. And it’s still quite easy to use, I actually think that they built a really good product where there might be some similar, similar platforms, I like better like, like, but it’s much like three times as expensive for the, you know, first tier plan, right. And so I think that they really kind of built a sweet spot for themselves. And everyone likes their name to be nice and easy to say. But I do, I do think that they’re probably going to continue to grow.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:41:25
Right. And so, so that everybody knows they, they pronounce their name as Asana as opposed as opposed to the yoga, you know, flow, which is Asana. And so they are, they are mispronouncing on purpose. And it is Asana, so we’re all on the same page there. But it is easy to say, right, and, and so the article really cover some, some really interesting highlights, just so that we’re all on the same page here. One, it notes that the company’s goal really internally is to grow in the enterprise space. And so this team organization and, and workflow development is really, you know, kind of in their laser focus right now. And that means they are attempting to really build out features that are going to be useful to those organizations, they’ve built out goals, and this ability for you to be able to manage against those goals and share them in a team environment. And so they’re working really hard also on automation, and getting those Automation features really built out. And I’ve actually been really impressed with both their integration capabilities, you know, even with, say, zoom, now being able to integrate with zoom, being able to automate some of these things, so that you’re able to tag something and then have Asana go ahead and trigger those actions associated with it. So lots of really fine grained pieces. One kind of friction point I have found is that I can never really tell which feature I have or don’t have, at any given moment. Because as you switch between work workspaces and accounts, you’ll find that you know, one is limited and one is not, and then you feel this, this kind of push and pull, I find that same problem in Trello. Right now, right? Since they since they started this whole process, you know, these are business class boards, and teams. And these are not and it’s just a, it’s very confusing to me how to consistently use the tool across the various spaces, when different accounts have different, not different accounts, but different, you know, internal spaces have different licensing structures associated with it. It’s a natural pain point. And I hope that both Atlassian with Trello. But also Asana themselves, figures, those pain points out so that we can have a better, you know, more productive use of the tool, because across the board, it just feels normative. It feels like it flows. So that’s one thing. The article also notes that they are seeing really high revenue growth rates. And so that’s, that’s as good for the product. I think that means that more people are who have gone online, in the kind of, you know, intra COVID, 19 times, likely post COVID will continue to use that product, because they’ve invested in that infrastructure. And so I just feel like it was time for a lot of businesses to embrace a digital both both coordination, project management and project collaboration space. And they have done that now. And it’s very unlikely that they’re going to scale back. You know, at that point, most businesses are going to stay in that space. Cousteau thoughts?
Augusto Pinaud 1:44:24
Yeah, it was a it was an important thing, even that even though the numbers may not be what the analyst wants, and that we see, regardless of product or the platform, one of the reasons that I was important for me is I’ve been playing on productivity for for a really long time. And if you will have told me 20 years ago that an application, not from a big house, like a Microsoft or something like that on productivity was going to make it you know that way in the stock market work. He’s paying attention. You know, I will have laugh. And it is interesting to see how the world of productivity has come to a certain extent, a lot more mainstream, where people now is looking for these apps and like Alexa’s. If you have a team, this is one of the three apps, I tend to talk, you know, depending what your team is, I tend to talk about a center to do is or not B teams, those are the three apps that I recommend to clients, depending what they want, and what is the style that they use, but
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:45:38
fantastic. So, of course, Seeking Alpha is trying to give advice in terms of like investment purposes. And so we’re not at all telling you to invest in a sauna. Certainly not financially, maybe in your business, and even in your productivity world. Yeah, maybe, but not as a financial vehicle for you know, whatever. That being the case, you know, I think that it’s important for us to recognize that the business models associated with this is why I I always urge Augusto and I and everyone else to add these kinds of stories into the mix is that many times we forget that personal productivity is a market. And when we think about the the just the planner market alone, you know, multi billion dollar, you know, paper industry, we have all of these disparate pieces in the productivity, home and office organization and technology worlds, and they blend together and they impact us whether or not a sauna does well will impact whether or not some other, you know, little startup out of Silicon Valley or Silicon Alley, that is New York City, you know, or Houston or Austin or any of other areas around the country where we have tech hubs, you know, whether they get funded, they get seed funding to be able to make, you know, their their stab at being able to bring a productivity product to the market. And so it’s important for us all to be aware of really the the the different voices that are impacting how something like a SAS Enterprise tool, like Asana is going to be, you know, going to flourish in the stock market or not. And so I think it’s just always good for us to have a reminder that money, unfortunately, is a great lever in our overall discussion related to productivity and technology, and organization. And so with that, we have a couple of announcements before we close out Augusto, I’ll hand it over to you for the apple Safari announcement. Because I admit I have no idea what that preview is asking or telling about. And then we have just two more items after that.
Augusto Pinaud 1:47:32
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:48:04
Fantastic. Okay, so to do list, and as well as remember the Milken a couple of other applications have their reviews now that that review capability now available. So if you go to do to do list.com, forward slash review, forward slash 2020, it will redirect you to log into your to do list account, and then it will show you your productivity trends and everything you accomplished over the last 12 months. And so it’s really nice. Remember, the milk gives you the same thing, it gives you a little trophy icon, you can click on the trophy and see how many tasks you’ve completed. So a lot of these apps have those in there. And I find them to actually be very useful just as a reflection tool, as well as a motivator to see whether or not you can beat your existing score in in the current year. I know 2020 was tough for a lot of us. And so certainly set your standards. You know, realistically, in terms of that, you know, you don’t want to you don’t want to overshoot your standards so that you can go ahead and feel great about the end of 2021 when we get there. So, but I still do like data. And I think that it’s important for us to be at least mindful of the fact that there is all of this data out there about us and it can be motivating. Our last note is a press release out of the Michael Hyatt and company. They have announced a new CEO. And it’s wonderful to see Michael Hyatt, the founder of Michael Hyatt and company, the the author and productivity expert. He is stepping down as CEO of the company and elevating his daughter, Megan Hyatt Miller, Megan has been, you know, acting as the acting she has been the chief operating officer of the company. since the very beginning. She has been a part of the company, but now she’s assuming that role and Michael is assuming the role of founder and chairman of the board. So just really wonderful and hat tip to Megan, really congratulations for your new position. And we look forward to seeing more of what Michael heighten company has to offer over the next years. Most of you know the the programs the coloring books that have come out of Michael Hyatt and company. There’s so many great You know, the podcasts, all of the things that they do, and we appreciate them, and look forward to seeing what they have in store under new leadership. So and it’s wonderful to see a woman elevate to CEO of a productivity company of that size, and to see what she has in store for it, as well. So I look forward to hearing. If you are listening, Megan are watching. We want to know what you’re up to what are you planning for Michael Hyatt and company we want to hear? We’re very excited about that. All right, we have reached the top of our time together. And so I wanted to give our panelists an opportunity to tell us how to keep in touch with them after the fact. So with that, Alexis, you were first on the stage. I’m gonna take you off first and Suffolk folks, keep up to date with what you’ve got going on in the world. Yeah, thank
Alexis Haselberger 1:50:47
you for having me on. And people can find me at Alexis hassel berger.com, which I know is a real mouthful. So thank you for putting it up there. And in the show notes, I have some freebies you can download there about how to really make yourself a bit more productive in just a few minutes. And you can also find me at on Facebook at do more stress less and on Instagram at do dot more stress that less. So I’d love to hear from you.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:51:17
Fantastic. Thank you so much for being here on anything but idle Alexis.
Unknown Speaker 1:51:20
Yeah. Thank you.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:51:21
And with that, Matt Plummer from Nirvana, how can folks keep in touch with you?
Matt Plummer 1:51:28
Yeah, thanks, Ray. Great to be on the show. Again, I’m so you can reach me at Nirvana calm. That z Ey, RVA na. And if you’re interested in the science of productivity segments, in particular, you can go to the YouTube channel for Nirvana. And you can see the all the past ones there as well. So thanks for having me.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:51:47
Thank you, as always, for being here, Matt, and for the science of productivity segments. Already gousto. And then there were two. So I want to just
Augusto Pinaud 1:51:57
as a big reader of Agatha Christie, that sentence always freaked me out because he’s me who is going out?
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:52:04
I am not. I’m not often you. Even though this this episode is has had a lot of depth talk in it. We want you alive and well. But thank you so much for joining me this and every week on anything but idle. Thank you. With that, if there’s a story we missed, if there’s something you wanted to comment on, feel free to head over to anything but idle.com. And you can go ahead and comment on the episode page for any episode just go to anything but idle.com forward slash and the three digit episode number. And so this is Episode 38. So it’d be 038. And that’ll take you right there to the episode page, you can go ahead and comment there. And if we missed a story or something you wanted to comment on, that’s the place to do it. You can also tweet at us. You can also DMS or direct messages are open at anything but idle on Twitter while you’re at anything but idle. And you can find out the show notes. You can see the show notes there that has links to all the stories including some extras that we can’t cover in this timeframe. tools of the week, the the text transcripts both to read on the page, but also as a PDF download. So you can access that there as well. If this is your first time watching, feel free to click the subscribe button that’ll notify you in future live streams like this. And feel free to click the thumbs up icon that helps us to bring new personal productivity friends into the fold. And so thank you for doing that. If you’re listening to the podcast asynchronously with us, feel free to subscribe to the podcast by going to anything but idle.com click on subscribe and you’ll get instructions on how to do that and I get the podcast download downloaded free every week. That way. Thank you so much, everyone for joining us live during the show for listening after the fact. And we will see you all next time on anything but idle here’s to your productive life.
Download a PDF of raw, text transcript of the interview here.