Notion Synced Blocks, How the Outdoors Impacts Your Productivity

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In this Cast | Notion Synced Blocks, How the Outdoors Impacts Your Productivity

Ray Sidney-Smith

Augusto Pinaud

Headlines & Show Notes | Notion Synced Blocks, How the Outdoors Impacts Your Productivity

Resources we mention, including links to them, will be provided here. Please listen to the episode for context.

Facetime on the Browser

  1. iOS 15: Here’s everything new in FaceTime 

New for Pixel: Starry night clips, Pride wallpapers and more 

Chrome will soon let you perform a Privacy review similar to its Safety check

Chromebook notifications to be reworked with intelligent grouping and new UI

Google Duplex expands its usefulness by letting you book restaurants on your Nest Hub

Google Meets video backgrounds begin rolling out to web and mobile

Disconnect between workers and leaders about returning to the office

🏝 🌎 Why Nozbe has no office and how we work (on Nozbe blog) 

Hybrid work model: The psychology behind leaders resisting it | Fortune

Jeff Bezos reveals he has a very surprising morning routine

  1. The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon 

Less distraction more focus: Introducing new features designed to help you align attention with intention

872 Ways to Improve Productivity – Business 2 Community

Taking to Task with Francis Wade

Francis Wade is the author of Perfect Time-Based Productivity and the host of the upcoming Task Management and Time Blocking Virtual Summit in March 2020. He has lived in Kingston, Jamaica since 2005 and is an avid content creator, newspaper columnist and cyclist.

New Tools of the Week

Vivaldi Browser

Vivaldi Browser on The Verge

Craft – Create Amazing Documents

Featured Story of the Week

Notions New Synced Blocks Feature is a Gamechanger


Microsoft to unveil redesigned Windows 10 later this month – The software giant today announced that it would be taking the wraps off this Windows 10 redesign at a virtual event on June 24.

Apple releases iOS 12.5.4 for older iPhones with ‘important security updates’

CrossPlatform Podcast with Augusto Pinaud & Art Gelwicks. Live on YouTube every Thursday at 4:00pm EST.Extra things and more on PersonalProductivity.Club and your favorite podcast platform.

Other News

Raw Text Transcript | Notion Synced Blocks, How the Outdoors Impacts Your Productivity

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Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:01

Hello personal productivity enthusiasts and community Welcome to Anything But Idle. The Productivity news podcast. Today’s show is brought to you by co working space by personal productivity club. I’m Ray Sidney-Smith.

Augusto Pinaud 0:13

I’m Augusto Pinaud.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:14

And we’re your hosts for Anything But Idle. This is Episode 65 notion synced blocks, how the outdoor impacts your productivity. And we’re recording this on June 14 2021. Each week, of course, we review and discuss the productivity and technology news headlines of the week. And we kick the show off with a little bit of discussion around a theme and it is National Great Outdoors day, month, I’m sorry, month. And so I thought we would start off the conversation with just a little bit of a dialogue around what that really means in terms of the great outdoors impact on personal productivity. And so my proposal of a question to you at Augusto is, how does the outdoors impact your productivity?

Augusto Pinaud 1:04

I’m having issues with my microphone, and I don’t know if I will be able to answer that question.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:10

Well, with that in mind, I will I will answer from my perspective, which is that I’ve been a longtime runner. And because of that I really enjoy running outdoors, I have spent many a year running on treadmills indoors as well. But I primarily try to run outdoors. And that gives me quite a good appreciation of both my surroundings, it helps me get to know my my, you know, neighborhood, my region, that kind of thing. I’m a long distance runner, so I’m covering quite a number of miles when I am, you know, training for a particular half marathon or marathon?

Unknown 1:49


Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:51

Sometimes on an 18 mile run, you know, it’s a, it’s a good, it’s a good day to go for a very long run and see where you’re going to and getting back to coming from and that kind of thing when when you are following a particular route to get the number of miles in. And so, you know, if you if I’m if I’m training for, say, a half marathon, you know, at some point, I’m running between 18 and 20 miles in preparation, just for different things. And you will, you will find that you learn all kinds of new places around where you live just by virtue of selecting a particular route. And what I find to be useful just from a productivity perspective is that the outdoors has greenery and we know that there are lots of good research out there that shows that seeing green and foliage is really good for your mental health. And I also find that just fresh air, you know, getting some fresh air and going out for a walk can be incredibly refreshing, like just kind of, you know recharging in a way, because it de stresses it gives you a chance to do some mind wandering and just thinking through things. And so I think there’s a lot of benefit actually, to the great outdoors to productivity.

Augusto Pinaud 3:09

I’m going to say or the disclaimer, if you guys any of you guys see me running outside on the outdoor run, because if you don’t get ahead of me, somebody is following us and he’s not ready. So that’s that’s my first disclaimer to this. Now I am not a big outdoor guy, I have really never been a big outdoor guy. I like the green. And I’m really lucky that my office has three windows and for each one of those three windows, all that you see is green. So but that obviously has not been always the case. But even with that for me the outside is you go outside your grill and you come back into the comfort of the civilization. I have never been I because of the exception to that maybe the see understand. Many years ago, before we move to God before even I moved to come when I was living in Venezuela, I was a big fan of going to the beach and staying the day on the beach when we moved to Colorado obviously that was not an option anymore. So now that we’re back in or that we’re in New Jersey, and back to a place where that is an option, it’s something that after pandemic and stuff I may start doing again of going and just spend time just there that that the ocean and the sand diet is smooth and relaxed me the idea of get to the forest and the hiking and all that. Not that much.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 4:53

Yeah, I will. I will also say that the ocean is actually really good for gaining perspective. There is something about looking at the vastness of the ocean and And it kind of just checking all the things that you think are so important. And and the ocean has a way of doing that. And I actually miss I live in Pittsburgh now. And you know, being that far from the ocean, I don’t have that opportunity to go to the, to the beach as much as I did when I lived in New York or DC. And I do miss the ability to just see the the ocean and just kind of bathe in the vastness of the ocean in that way. And so I do look forward to getting back on the road and traveling again, so that I can, I can see see the ocean. And so just a

Augusto Pinaud 5:34

place to get out to get a place from them. close enough to the ocean. I want to be that close. I mean, I don’t care what it is. But I need to be that close.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 5:45

Yeah, well, I just just under a month, and I will see the ocean for the first time in 18 months. So more than 18 months, I suppose because I’ll be visiting family in New Jersey. So it’ll be it’ll be really nice to see the ocean and yes, incredibly distress. This de stressing not distressing but de stressing in that regard. So I just recommend everybody, including you gousto to go out there and enjoy the great outdoors. It is it’s incredibly good for everybody. There was a whole Japanese concept around I think we mentioned this some other week of force feeding. This is the idea of just not not hiking, like you know with physical fitness in mind, but just going out there and being in amongst nature, and the idea of just taking in the fresh air and the experience of being in an amongst the greenery. And it’s just incredibly positive for for folks. So with that, under our belt, let’s discuss what we’re going to talk about this week, which is we’re going to go through our stories of the week, we’ll have an ad break midpoint, and then we will do our new segments. insertion. So we have taken to task with Francis Wade will be will be after we do headlines and stories of the week. We will then do new tools of the week. And then we’ll do our featured story of the week. And then we’ll close out with our announcements. So with that, Augusto, what is our first story this week.

Augusto Pinaud 7:11

Our first story of the week is about FaceTime and FaceTime. Now in iOS 15 on the fall when it was when it’s officially out, we’ll work on our web browser and I have been playing with the betta I have been playing, I think I would do and I did did one on on a PC I have done on Chromebooks. I have learned even in Macs and iPads on the web browser, and it works incredibly, incredibly well. I think what is coming with that, it is fantastic. The fact that you will be able to do that and the talks and the the modules the modules as they call them. The links, they share the screen that that shirt screen is not working yet, but it’s going to be really cool that you’re going to be able to share the screen watch the movie and talk at the same time. And can you do it in other platforms? Yes, but one of the things that most cases Apple do really well, is that it makes it almost foolproof. You know, it’s it’s one thing that when when sometimes I asked why when you understand so much technology you prefer Apple versus Windows or Linux or other platforms is that because that machine now it’s invisible. For me, it does three things. But the three things he does, he does really well. And I don’t need to think or think is going to work this time. We’re not going to work this time now. It’s going to work every time. So I am ridiculously excited about coming FaceTime coming to the web and really been, that’s going to be my main choice of starting pretty soon.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 9:03

it good. All right, next up.

Augusto Pinaud 9:05

Our next story is new for the pixel this story of Starry Night clips and pride wallpapers for more You can go now and look and the new wallpapers of the pixel. Look at them. What is coming new, more privacy is getting smarter and, and many other things. So Google is talking about what is coming, what they’re doing with their pixel and how they’re making it even much even better.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 9:37

So they’re doing some form of Astro photography where you can put your phone a pixel device, so pixel four newer, so pixel four, four, a five and the five. What is that the 5g version, whichever the the the next level up from that is? Was there a five day I don’t think there was a five was there? Yeah, there was a pixel for it. 5g, there’s the pixel four, and then there’s the five. So those versions of the pixel phones, you can now do Astro photography, and in essence, take these little five minute snapshots of the night sky. And it will go ahead and, you know, computationally create that for you. So good on them for for putting that out there. They’re doing some wallpapers, and ring tones for Pride Month. And they’ve got some new themed notifications as well from LGBTQ plus artists and some YouTube creators. And so they put a notice out about that. And they also have been really pushing this concept of more privacy, really trying to push at least a press focused, you know, privacy push there to combat with Apple, and all of Apple’s notifications around privacy. And so now they have these locked folders in Google Photos. And so now you’re able to have this specialized folder in your Google Photos. Again, this is on pixel devices, and you will then be able to say, everything I put in here, only I can access this and only when I punch in a code, will I then be able to reopen that up. And so you can put you know, all kinds of photographs that you don’t want anyone to see unless you unlock them. You know, like if you took pictures of past codes, or your children or those kinds of things, you can now put those into a lock folder and keep them secure in that space. So good on them for for being able to add some new features for this month. Next up,

Augusto Pinaud 11:28

next up, we are going to Chromebook and Chromebook will soon perform a privacy review before they let you in. So you will be able to click and get some of the checkup or the privacy on on your Chromebook, you will check you know where the things are going if they are, you know safe. And it is interesting. And I’m really glad of this because I have seen some monstrosities with regard to security and certain devices that come to my hand. So I’m glad that at least we’re raising the bar on this privacy and the security and that way less people is going to be badly explode by this scammers.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 12:20

Yeah, so this is very similar to in your Google account where it does the safety check and runs through all of the various connections that your account has to third party app apps and other kinds of places that you’ve logged in with your account. Chrome is basically doing a very similar check for you. And I think that’s great, it’s it’s good to have that additional layer of security people won’t be secure, they will always lean into convenience over security. And so being prompted to do this privacy review is I think is a positive. All right, moving along to some more Chrome,

Augusto Pinaud 12:56

new Chromebook news, the Chromebook notifications is going to be reworking so they can get grouped and they can get a new UI. You know, I’m an apple user, and I live on iPads. And I have a Chromebook for two purposes, record podcasting, because I wanted to have a Microsoft connected via USB C. And as the launch of the new iPad, that was not possible with iOS 14. So I, I choose to get a Chromebook. That said, their notifications in comparison to what I’m used to. And that is the big caveat in here. It’s not that it’s better or worse. It’s just I’m used to a certain way of the notification. my Chromebook of choice was an overdue. So novelty word when the my mouse is connected, it turns into a Chromebook when the mouse is disconnected. It turns into an Android interface. And so that gives you allows you the cool things allows you to experience a lot more than just a Chromebook. But their notifications, the grouping, the way it shows, sometimes are incredibly annoying and frustrating. So I’m glad again, it may be my the way I’m used to on on the iPad, but I’m glad at least they are aware and trying to change it and make it better.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 14:32

Yeah, I think Chrome OS is is probably moving a little bit closer toward what Android 12 is going to try and do in terms of the intelligent grouping of particular notifications. I’m hoping that the the interfaces look more similar to each other than than not just because as Android 12 rolls out in the next few months, I want to be able to have that those notifications certainly connected to the device pairing where you can pull up your your notifications on your phone, as well as on the Chrome interaction interface, so that they are, you know, just close to each other. So I’m hoping this all cleans itself up. I do not like when I open up my Chromebook or any of my Chromebooks that the, you know, there’s just a litany of new notifications that kind of pile up and those kinds of things. So hopefully they can figure that piece out and not really stopped me from being able to get into what I’m trying to do, because all of these notifications are kind of rolling through and up. Alright, onward to some news about Google duplex,

Augusto Pinaud 15:28

Google duplex is saying that is expanding and is going to let you book in restaurants using your nest hub. I don’t think I have ever made I call in Google duplex. I’m aware of the technology but Google meet I have used Google phone, I have use Google duplex duo, or duplex. I don’t think I have free to use. So I read it. But there’s no much I can share.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 15:57

Yeah, so so for folks who are not aware Google duplex is an automated calling feature within the Google Assistant. And so mostly, for folks who have had pixel phones are very early on, you’re able to say from Google Maps, you would be able to ask the assistant to make a restaurant restaurant or restaurant reservation. So you could say, hey, Google, you know, call us I’m sorry, for anybody who just got that. But you know, basically the call world call word and then big G, you would be able to execute the assistant and then ask it to make a reservation, say make a hair appointment. And there were particular verticals, because from Google Maps, you can have a business listing within the Google My Business Listing Service. And those businesses that also had a reserve with Google partnered application, that means a series of applications that allowed for automated scheduling, automated booking, appointment booking and that kind of thing. Those reserved with Google partners, were basically pulled into the Google duplex world. So you could then voice to them, Hey, can you do this, but it also was a layer on top of that, which allows you to go ahead and say that, hey, I want to go make this restaurant reservation, it would actually call and this is a computer on the phone, speaking to the individual, a human on the other side, and facilitating the conversation to make that reservation or that appointment booking. So that was Google duplex all together. And now they’re expanding it to be able to do this on the nest hub. So these displays that you have in the home, you can now do them from that point. So this is just continuing the Forward march of greater automation through the assistant and allowing you to be able to do these things. So if someone doesn’t have an automated booking functionality on their, on their website, or on their Google My Business listing, now Google duplex can step above that, and go make the phone call and actually talk to a human and facilitate that for you. And then that puts it into your calendar, which is really nice. So All right, next up.

Augusto Pinaud 18:07

Last news is Google meat, video by ground begin rolling for web and mobile, they have the brewery for a little bit. But now you will be able to do statics and other things and, and maybe getting more to pair to what soom has been able to do for a while I have complained about this, because I do a significant amount of calls meet and the disparity of features. What are these? So I’m excited to see this coming. I seen more and more. The use of the blurry or the use of the background image. People his people is finally getting comfortable with this for some time felt that this was the geeky feature. And now it’s coming to turn into a feature that a lot of people is using. So I hope now meet introducing these more people get to be to make this part of their day to day use.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 19:14

Yeah, well, with Google’s announcement today that basically everybody is getting access to some version of Google workspace. Google meet needs to step up to the plate. As more and more people get access to chat, Google Chat that is and it’s the new guess the new competitor to slack, which is Google spaces, the whole ecosystem of products are going to need to have not just parity, but the as good or better than all of the other video tools on the market. You know, think about Facebook Messenger and Facebook Messenger rooms. Right now those actually have better experience for most consumers, then Google Chat and Google meet. That’s not a good thing. So I’m hoping that Google really steps up there. Up to the play here, and makes the experience as good or better for the consumer market. So good, good to see them doing that. All right, we’ve gotten through our first half of our news articles, we’re going to come back after the break and continue the news. And so with that word from our sponsor this week, co working space by personal productivity club we’ll see after the break,

Sponsor Voice Over 20:20

well, working in person may be normal for you. It’s unlikely your co workers are as interested in being productive as you are, or working remotely or from home can be isolating, and there’s something powerful about being with productive people, even virtually, that helps you be more engaged. If a flavor of these sounds familiar, co working space by personal productivity club is for you. co working space is a virtual work community designed to help members be more effective and efficient in their work and personal lives. At its core, we provide goal tracking and host focused action sessions throughout the week for accountability and camaraderie, visit Anything But Idle comm forward slash co working to learn more CO working space lives inside personal productivity club, a digital community for personal productivity enthusiasts. So you can find people who use methods and tools you do to, again, head over to Anything But Idle comm forward slash co working to see how co working space can help you be more productive. And now back to our show.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 21:31

Welcome back, everybody to Anything But Idle. I’m Ray Sidney-Smith here with acoustic burnout. And we’re gonna hop into our continued headlines for this week. Okay, so what’s our next story this week,

Augusto Pinaud 21:43

the article from Fast Company why workers are calling bs on leaders about returning to the alphas. And yeah, this is getting heated vaccinations and relaxed health guidelines are starting to make companies and managers saying, Okay, how about we come back? And well, it’s not coming as some organizations plan. We know that Apple said, we are going to do it. And we also know Google said, we’re going to do it and then change your mind and said, Okay, we’re going to let people work home. And like that, there are many examples, the article talks about a CEO in DC, who told that they’re suggested in a magazine that employees may call lose their benefits and people stop writing. Then he went and apologize. And you know, one of the issues and we come in, we mentioned this, you know, over a year ago, is, though all those people who were told before, no, our business doesn’t work remotely, and now they have been working successfully remote are like, No, we need to find a better way. And there’s people who relocate out of really expensive cities to other places, and they’re good, Joe, they’re good at the job. They love the job, but they don’t want to come. And the last thing is,

Unknown 23:17


Augusto Pinaud 23:20

broken promises are always a problem in organizations, because broken promises are all about breaking trust, when it’s Oh, no, no, we are not in a hurry. And now you’re gonna hurry. People look at that. And, well, I think a change is coming, your organization like to work remote or not. But I think more importantly, people is pushing to this change. And if organizations don’t check their update, and update, whether they have a potential risks to really lose some important assets in their organizations.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 24:04

And we’ve had, you know, 20 year highs in the number of people quitting jobs in the month of April. And so we’re just going to keep seeing the jobs reports coming out, and more and more people are going to be quitting. And so I’m looking to see how many quit in May, you know, when, when that report comes out in the next couple of weeks, and we’re gonna see more people basically having confidence in the job market, having felt like this whole concept of, you know, culture, corporate culture being kind of protected by virtue of pushing people back into the office is, you know, it is it is it’s nonsensical, you create the corporate culture, and that can be determined and be equitable, by virtue of having people work remotely and, and a lot of people have already made decisions to move to relocate to other places. So this is, you know, I mean, this is one of the reasons why I’ve been bringing it up on the show. Time and time again, for people to be having these conversations, because it’s unproductive to get to this point where we’re getting into at least the United States, kind of post pandemic, you know, return to work environment, and not having had that conversation with employers and managers to figure it out. And so this is, this is the time to, if you haven’t already open up the dialogues and start figuring things out, because otherwise, it’s just gonna cause more conflict. And it’s unnecessary, because the all of these things can be worked out with technology, or at least with figuring out whether you’re going to be in a hybrid environment, which takes us on to our next story, which is actually an article written by Michael solinsky, CEO of nosb, about wine knows he has no office and how they work.

Augusto Pinaud 25:44

Um, you know, Michael, he has been, you know, joking about the non office and he said, you know, at some point, I consider opening one and three of my key employees, if you make me go to the office, I quit. And it was in the early days. So that will have been catastrophic. And then he begin looking for examples. And WordPress, who feed power, make work must priority of the websites on the world

Raymond Sidney-Smith 26:15

don’t have 41.7%.

Augusto Pinaud 26:17

The numbers the numbers do I didn’t have the number, but I knew was a pretty significant number.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 26:21

And it’s 47 of the web

Augusto Pinaud 26:23

and automatic do not have that they don’t care for that they have no they haven’t they have been remote and distributed workforce. So don’t think on the size. One of the things is we think in really old times where Yes, that was a challenge. But as I tell people, they even they II, they out, remember, look at this, we are recording this show in, in the video, you’re watching it for free, regardless where you are. One person is in Pittsburgh, one person is in New Jersey, and really doesn’t matter. I can drop my tablet and go outside. That’s not going to happen. But but but technically I can. Okay, the Wi Fi will even allow me to do so. Do you need to look at what it is? And where is is this really a valid reason or this is insecurities from from the management? And look at the back 18 months? If your people have perform, then why?

Raymond Sidney-Smith 27:31

Yeah, I don’t think I have anything else to offer here other than to say that this is a fantastic, you know, kind of survey of a company kind of a case study of a company that is walking the talk and being successful at doing so. And they built the company’s culture around being a distributed workforce. And they really have outlined how to make this work well in their circumstance. And any company that is in a similar situation, can then take these things to heart and do them as well. So good on them, and and we’ll continue on in our stories. What’s next?

Augusto Pinaud 28:12

Our next article is from fortune and is the psychology behind why some leaders are resistant? The hybrid model No, I don’t think right now we are going to go full remote. But the hybrid is probably where things need to be and and the article, quote, you know, commit cognitive basis mental blind spots, poor strategic and financial decision making? Well, are these things true? Yeah, but they’re not less false than when you are in the office. So we’re just trying to blame the people is not in the office as why these things are happening. And I will argue that we’re having to save way before people were in the office, we are now trying to change the label to the problem. So we justify bringing people in and

Raymond Sidney-Smith 29:08

it’s just percolating to the top all of the problems that were available in the company. I always say that, you know, economic recessions are really interesting lenses through which to see whether or not good companies are good companies that the weather companies are good companies and economic recessions are really great times to see into how companies actually operate because that is the time when employees leave, whether by being let go because of poor financial or just otherwise operational management and or poor corporate culture and they decide to leave. And on the on the other side of of any economic downturn is the economic recovery. And as the job market sees confidence, then people leave also. And so we see we see this happen on both sides, both in the front end side of economic downturn and the back end side of recovery. And so companies just see a lot of churn in those environments. But bad companies bad culture, feel that feel the pain more, and many times will either go out of business or will rise to the occasion and get better. So all of these companies that are struggling right now, it’s because there’s some symptom of a greater concern, and this is the time to deal with it. So I just feel like it’s the good. I mean, like, you know, it’s a good time to deal with these problems, I just find it to be, you know, everybody trying to point the finger at somebody else for why this or that is, you know, right or wrong is not really the point. The point is, is that if you are feeling struggle in your organization, and productivity is not doing well, it doesn’t matter if you’re in the office or not, you need to figure out what is the underlying cause of that is because it’s not butts in chairs, sitting in the walls of your building, it is absolutely fundamentally something else. And we need to we need to do a little bit more diagnostics to figure out what that is. So onward to Jeff Bezos,

Augusto Pinaud 31:00

we are going to make a shake in the system. And really the reason we picked this article, it’s the article came on lather and say what Jeff Bezos has value the most. And he talks a little bit about his morning routine, he talks about he try, or he doesn’t. The article says he doesn’t start his workday until 10am. I’m sure that’s I try. But because that’s real life. But it’s still it is important to you know, there is a new book, from bestsellers called invent and wonder. And it’s a collection of of writings. It was released in November, by the Harvard Business Review press. And it’s on my list of things to read. But But the reason I pick it up is he said, You know, I get up early, I go to bed early, I then read the newspaper, have coffee and spend time with the kids before they go to school. So you use the word puttering. So my puttering time is very important to me. And that is why I said my first meeting at 10 o’clock. And basically, what he’s saying is I think, you know, I gave my time, myself time to think and he claimed that he gets eight hours of sleep. So in other words, that routine and we have discussed this multiple times understanding what your body needs, are you that early hours, are you need that time later? Are you taking enough? good care of your health good care of you’re asleep? What are those routines? Did you Are you aware of what are the routines that you need to really be successful? And this is just an example of their routine for somebody that or somebody used to be successful?

Raymond Sidney-Smith 32:51

Yeah, and I couldn’t, I couldn’t talk about this without also recommending Steve Anderson’s book, the basis letters, 14 principles to grow your business like Amazon. And Steve Anderson, basically took together all of Bezos, his annual letters to shareholders, and provided commentary and built out these 14 principles based on those letters. And it looks like Walter Isaacson and basis kind of has done a similar thing here with these particular writings of Bezos. So highly recommend both books. I’m looking forward to reading this book, but I highly recommend to Anderson’s book Steve’s Steve Anderson’s book and and, and definitely check it out in terms of seeing how basis things because that can’t, that can’t be a bad thing. Even if you don’t follow his, his, you know, thinking it’s good to know how one of the, you know, great business minds of our time thinks in that sense. So

Augusto Pinaud 33:50

for good or for ill. Next one, it’s a it’s an article from the Asana blog, talking about distraction, more focus, but basically introducing a new feature designed to help you align attention and intention. And I struggle with this article, we tried to keep the first set of articles to features but somehow I thought this was more a productivity article, not because of the feature, the feature is a feature. But why it means behind so now assign a will allows you to collaborate smarter and faster with video messaging, and how many times in the organization that you are, you are called for this meeting for this company wide or for do soom company wide, okay, that you’re going to go and everybody has stopped the whole company to listen, somebody share a piece of news and there are pieces of news that that’s the right appropriate way to do but how many times you have been on that same meeting. And at the end of this meeting, the only thing you can think is okay, another 20 mins units that could have been solved via email. So yes, the video sometimes is the best medium to share that message. That doesn’t mean it needs to be live. That video can be shared in a synchronous way. So people can watch, provide an email, some people ask questions, get feedback, and more, but don’t need to be all live. And the fact that Asana is working with Vimeo and trying to tag this, I think is brilliant, you know, being able to assign a project to somebody, or assign a task to somebody that require a little bit more explanation. And I have done this many times, pop up the video record and push it through my my task. But seeing that Asana is bringing that to everybody was really, really exciting for me.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 36:00

Yeah, I think all of the pieces that Asana really is talking about including their integration with clockwise that allows you to be able to identify tasks, see how much time it’s going to take, and then an automatically schedule that in your, your calendar, I think those kinds of integrations can be really helpful for people who need that additional, just boost to be able to identify focus time to be able to get this kind of work done. And I think I think there’s just so many great things that Asana is doing, that is gonna really help people who use Asana, who are, you know, they’re integrated into their, you know, their systems into their work systems. And with the saunas, new desktop application as well. That’s really exciting to see them adding all of these pieces here. So the Asana, desktop application, by the way, is available on Mac and Windows. So if anybody is looking, I’ve downloaded it last week, and I’ve been using it since. And, and I’ve really liked the you know, just having it popped out of the browser and in its own its own window, and just kind of utilizing it there. So

Augusto Pinaud 37:00

Oh, and our last article for this section is 172 ways to improve productivity. Okay, well, as the article said, a little bit more mill, maybe 529 tips. Fine, we will settle for three as the article D. Okay. Number one and your day? Well. And I have said this multiple times, at the end of the day, regardless, if you’re in a hiring alone, do a gratitude exercise. Because many times that gratitude exercise, what worked today, change your impression of the day, and instead of thinking this day was awful, this government of the last half an hour was awful, or that meaning was offered that event was awful. But the rest of the day, when Well, the second thing is manage your energy, not your time and a lot of people fail trying to manage time time and manage your energy. What is you know, we talked about vessels? He pottering again before 10am? Great, that’s managing his energy. So what did you need to implement to that? And finally, write it down? And I will say there is nothing wrong with over collect, it’s better to over collect and process two times the same thing, then not do it, and then miss a deadline?

Raymond Sidney-Smith 38:26

Yep. And, yeah, I think there there are parts to argue about regarding whether or not you should be managing time, effectively or not. I think Time management is an effective mechanism for productivity. But most people, what they don’t do is that they don’t manage their energy along with their time along with their projects, along with their tasks. It’s actually comprehensive management across many different paradigms in your life, that are not on autopilot for you, I think those are the things that you need to manage. And so I’m not into one or the other, it’s Yes. And, you know, you need to manage the things that you need to manage. And then the things you don’t need to manage you don’t need to manage there are people out there who are like, you know, Energizer bunnies, and they’re always working and they’re always having productivity. And so then it ends up being just an allocation of priority, getting their, their, their things in the right timeframes. So, you know, I felt like the article was kind of funny because they started off with this, you know, 872 ways to be productive, kind of clickbait, but they they focused on those three. Alright, with that, we have covered the headlines this week. We are now going to hop on over to one of our new segments in the show. We’re rotating through different contributors for the show. And this week, we have Francis Wade, of two time labs, and he has a new segment called taking to task and so with that, take it away, Francis.

Francis Wade 39:53

What if you’re a productivity enthusiast, and all of a sudden you start to notice feelings of overwhelm Miss deadlines, maybe your life has become imbalanced. Maybe you’re not spending time with family the way you want. He thought you’d gotten rid of symptoms like these, because you already read the books you been through training on the webinars, you’ve already mastered the basics. But here the symptoms are all over again. So some people try to return to the original materials, and it doesn’t really help them, they need a different approach. So here’s a different one that you might try. You start by doing actually an assessment. And here’s what the results of your assessment could look like. For the ones that we do here at my time, design cover 13 practices, and you may recognize some of these. But once you’ve done the assessment, the question is, where do you start to make improvements? So if you’re, for example, just starting out in three disciplines that I have here interrupting, switching warning, do you start there? Or do you start at the front beginning of your task management system with capturing? Or do you start with the two most difficult disciplines emptying and scheduling? Or do you start with one that everyone uses everyday flowing? Which is the ability to get into the flow state or to do deep work? Not an easy question. But I have an article that might help. Why should an ambitious person care about becoming a better diagnostician in task management? I just posted this article on medium. And it gives you a way to think about making improvements. If you’re someone who is just not a beginner, you already are doing the basics. And you need to become a better diagnostician. So you can target those improvements. This is Francis Wade from my time design, and that’s listening in. Take care.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 42:02

Thank you, Francis. And so with that we’re going to get into our new tools of the week. And so each week, Augusto and I come across many personal productivity tools and services as we scour the web for productivity and technology news to bring to you and so of course, in new tools of the week, we each bring you a tool we think you might like and so this week, we are going to be doing tools, and the first one is going to be basically an update to an existing tool, and it is Vivaldi and I’m trying to get it up on screen here. So bear with me one minute, but while we do that, I’ll talk about it. So in essence, Vivaldi is a browser. It’s an open source browser. It is. You know, it’s been out there like many other browsers over time and Vivaldi has recently added the functions of mail calendar and an RSS feed reader to their browser. So opera used to have this which was great. But they recently got rid of their mail client, I think opera had mail built in but you know, they got rid of it. And so now Vivaldi has this built in and I’m really excited about this I unfortunately I won’t be able to really use it because of my setup, but Vivaldi does have mail calendar and an RSS feed reader built into it. Now I’m very excited about it. So if you are looking for kind of on the app, something that will be able to do web browsing, mail, calendar, and RSS, Vivaldi can do that. And it will do it all in one application, which is kind of nice. I like the idea of it centralizing And so yeah, check out Vivaldi. 4.0. And see if you like to get a booster. What’s your app this week?

Augusto Pinaud 43:51

My app this week is called craft. It’s an app to create amazing documents or that’s how they crafted but it’s really an app to work. Collaborative, make better documents or prettier documents. It works on the Mac, it works on the iPad, it works on the web. And I don’t know it was it was a it is interesting, you can really customize what you see you can really easily collaborate. And again for me one of my favorite materials. He’s admitted we work in well on every platform. And a lot of times it worked well on one or the other. But it doesn’t work well on every platform. So seeing every platform coming in live here. It’s exciting. And I’m looking forward to it.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 44:50

So it looks like iPhone, iPad, Mac and web.

Augusto Pinaud 44:54

Yeah. Where’s the web they can cover? Mostly everything else.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 44:57

Yeah, absolutely. Wonderful. Cool. All right. So those are our new tools of the week. And with that, then that brings us along to our story of the week. And what’s our story, the week,

Augusto Pinaud 45:11

story of the week is notions new sync blocks. And how really they come to, to change, you know, notion has been really trying to come bring concepts that we seen in other places, but apply them in an innovative way in their platform so that this blog makeup function is one of those examples. And they will be able to sync and hopefully, it’s going to bring more powerful or more power to notion.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 45:50

Yeah, so sync blocks are basically what they sound like, they are objects that you can place inside of different pages within notion, and then that content synchronizes back and forth. The great part is that wherever that sync block is, you can actually update it anywhere, and it will just synchronize it across wherever it was from, you can identify the original synced block the original block, but it really doesn’t matter. Because wherever you edit it, it will appear synchronized wherever you are looking. So that’s kind of a nice feature of sync blocks. And it’s great that that notion has finally brought it there, there are a lot of different ways in which you can see application here both for say internal updates to the company, you can put put a notification box in notion instances, I can see different places where you might want to have the same data displayed, say like a mission statement or, you know, other kinds of things. And now it’s centralized by virtue of changing in one place and having available everywhere you want it displayed in the system. So see a lot of great uses there for notion users, and good on notion for bringing that to the system and the platform. Any other thoughts? Good, good. So

Augusto Pinaud 47:00

Nope, that’s that it is, um, I this is the segment I wanted to invite art. We didn’t. So he’s not that he didn’t came here. We did not invite him. But I’m sure Art Gelwicks is a big, big user of notion will be really excited to share more about this.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 47:18

Yes, absolutely. Okay, moving right along to our announcements to close out. And so with that, what are our announcements this week?

Augusto Pinaud 47:29

Well, we have three announcements. The first one is Microsoft, we mentioned last week is to unveil what now it’s been called Windows 11. On June 24th, and it’s getting the new sort of starting to show up and is getting dressed in. The second is Apple released today, June 1412, point 5.4. For all iPhones and iPads with really important security updates, we try to mention when they happen, they’re critical. So if you have an old Apple device, please update. And the last announcement we have is Art Gelwicks and myself are launching a new podcast called cross platform. And art has been a long time heavy user of Android and Chromebooks as well as PC. And I have leave on my beautiful Mac ecosystem for a really long time. But what we’re looking for, is to bring that cross platform it’s not about if a platform is better than the other one. I think one of the things that Art Gelwicks and I had playing so many years in ProductivityCast is that we have come to learn that it’s not a better or worse platforms are different. And that’s what we want to bring into this. So it’s going to be it’s going to happen on Wednesdays at 4pm. Eastern life. And you will be able to see it on the channel in YouTube. You will be able to have access on personal productivity club, there is a channel for cross platform where things will be there and extra things will be there. And also in your favorite podcast platform. Apple, Google and everything else.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 49:23

Wonderful. Alright, so cross platform. guy. He said Wednesdays at 4pm. Eastern. Yes. Fantastic. All righty gousto. We’ve made it through another episode of Anything But Idle. Thanks so much.

Augusto Pinaud 49:35

It’s my pleasure. It’s always fun.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 49:37

Wonderful. All right with that. If you are interested in reviewing the links to the stories head over to Anything But you’ll find in the show notes the links to all the stories we covered. any extra stories we didn’t cover will be listed under the extra stories section. We also actually have the new tools of the week link there and the announcements and we also include a tech transcripts. So it’s a machine generated transcript, and it’s available for you to read, just click on that Read More link, it’ll expand it and you can read while you’re listening or watching along. And then you can also click the download link. And that will download a PDF for you to be able to take offline and put into your favorite annotation app or note taking app and mark it up as you make your way through. If you have if you then read through the stories, and we missed something, feel free to head over to our contact page at Anything But they’re on Anything But you can go to the contact page, you can also leave a question or a comment directly on the episode page as well. So this is Episode 65. So if you go to Anything But forward slash 065 that will take you to the episode page. You can also tweet or DMS on Twitter at Anything But Idle So follow us on Anything But Idle on Twitter. And if this is your first time watching the live stream, feel free to click the thumbs up icon. You can also subscribe to the channel and get notified when we go live weekly. If you’re listening to the podcast after the fact, please consider following us you know adding us to your podcast and subscribing to get notification when new episodes come out. And you can also leave a rating a review on Apple podcasts and Stitcher and that does help us expand our personal productivity listening community. And so thank you for doing that. As I said we do have a channel inside of personal productivity clubs. So if you go to www.hp personal productivity club, you can join and you can find the channel inside of personal productivity club for Anything But Idle. With that we will see you all next time on Anything But Idle Here’s your productive life.


Download a PDF of raw, text transcript of the interview here.

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