Hey, what’s up? This is Pat and welcome to
episode three of SPI TV. In this video, I’m going to give you my five favorite productivity
tools that are going to help you get more work done faster, better and stronger. Here
we go. Okay, so this first tool I want to share with
you is called “by word” and this is distraction-free writing. This is essentially a word process.
This is on a Mac computer. Now, there is a Windows version of this called Ommwriter.
There’s a lot of different distraction-free word processors out there. The purpose is
really just to get rid of all the other things that might stop you from doing what you should
be doing when you’re writing which is focusing on your words and taking that stuff in your
brain and putting in here into text for your blog post, for your book writing, whatever.
For blog post specifically actually for anybody on any word processor even if you use WordPress
as a place to edit your blog post which I wouldn’t recommend because sometimes it crashes.
Could be finicky. That’s why I would recommend using a third party program specially something
like this which is distraction-free. Again, this is called “by-word”. I don’t want to
give you a tip which is related to episode one of SPI TV which was about how to write
a super fast first draft for your book. In that, I shared a strategy using post it notes
to brainstorm and mind map your next book. You could do the same thing. You could use
post it notes to take all that information in your brain. Put it down on your desk or
on your table and start to organize them. Pull out those post it notes and put them
into sections, in groups which then become … In a book, there would be your chapters
and sub chapters and case studies and all those things. In a blog post, essentially
the same thing. Different sections and talking points and conclusions and calls to actions
and ideas for a titles and things like that. After you use your mind map and brainstorm
using the post it note method like shown in episode one, you can do the following which
is my workflow for getting through a blog post super fast. Now, it’s not because I type
faster but it’s because I take a different approach using the transformation method.
What I mean by that is you’re essentially thinking about how you can transform your
audience with this particular topic that you want to write about.
The first thing that you want to do is literally write down transformation. Then, write down
how you want your audience to transform after reading this particular piece that you’re
writing. The reason I love thinking about it this way because when you really think
about that, I mean, it’s just a summary. You’re just writing the summary of the post, the
purpose. When I think about the transformation that people have after reading it, that’s
much better. Because you’re thinking about this in terms of how it’s going to help your
audience. It’s always at from your audience’s perspective, what your audience’s best interest
in mind. Not yours but your audience’s which is who you’re writing for, right?
Think about the transformation that you want your audience to have after reading this post.
This is going to guide you in terms of what you’re going to write. What your support points
are going to be. What your case studies are going to be. What your conclusion and your
call to action. Also, your title. Think about that. That’s the first exercise you should
always do before you write a blog post or even do a podcast episode. What’s the transformation
you want your audience to go through? That’s tip number one.
After that, you actually want to write down your support points. Support point number
one. Support point number two and support point number three. There might be more but
it’s always good to have three. Now, when you have these different support points. Again,
thinking about the transformation in mind. These are points that you need to make in
order to convince somebody about this transformation. They might be case studies or experiments
or examples or stories or anything. Support points.
Now, within … If you have three, perfect. If you have more, that’s fine. Here’s the
basic structure for the strength of each of the support points. There’s a specific order
that will give you the most bang for your buck here. The first support point would be
the second best support point. The second support point should be the third best or
the last. Then the third one is going to be of course, your first best or the best.
The reason for this is you want your worst example, your worst case study, story whatever
to be sandwiched in the middle, between the two best ones. You always want to end on a
high note. You want to end with the best thing so that’s the last thing people remember or
the last thing they read before they get to that call to action. That’s going to best
support your idea. The second best one is there. That’s just keep them going. I want
to that point, they’re going to get to the end. Again, the intro and the title are very
important. We’ll talk about that in a second. Those are your support points.
After that, then you can write the conclusion which will all relate. All of this, it’s hard
to type in, saying stuff at the same time. Conclusion and also call to action. That’s
what you write out then. Yes. First, your transformation which is the summary about
again with your audience in mind. Then your support points in that particular order. You
would know that order based off of your brainstorming. Then your conclusion and your call to action.
Then, you can write the introduction. Again, this is important to put nearly last because
it is one of the most important parts of your article.
Once people click to read it, the introduction is the first thing they read and it has to
be great. Again, it’s got to be convincing. It’s got to keep them going down the page
and that’s all going to be based on the support points and your call to action. Again, keeping
in mind, what it is you want your audience to do after they read this? The introduction
goes there. Finally, after all that, your title. The title
is the most important thing of your post because that’s what people see when they go to your
website. That’s what people see when they’re on social media. Before they read any single
words that you write on your post, they read the title. It’s important for the title to
be great and this gives you an opportunity to write a whole bunch of things. Think about
this post and really craft it before you come up with that perfect title and doing this
all before the title’s going to help you out. That’s how you can just go really quickly,
much quicker than if you were to start at the top through your blog post and hopefully
that will help some of you. This is how I approach my blog post and if you don’t do
this, perhaps, it might be a great experiment for you to try. Or you might have your own
method or workflow for going through a blog post. Over the years, over six years, this
is what’s worked best for me and this is how I always approach my blog post. Type that
out. The next tool I want to share with you is
called “Calendly”. This will help you literally take control of your time. I don’t know if
you’ve ever tried to schedule an interview or a meeting and just step back and forth
those emails. Are you free then? No, I’m not free then. Are you free here? No. Actually,
I’m not free there. Well, what about next week? Blah, blah, blah, blah. You go through
all these emails as back and forth and then you either finally, after hours and wasted
transition time. Find the meeting time that works for both of you or you just don’t do
the meeting at all or that interview. It’s just really frustrating.
After using Calendly for the last couple of months, it has really changed my life and
it has changed the life of my assistant, too. Because she knows when certain things happen.
The way to approach building your calendar out specially on the tool like Calendly and
there are a lot of other tools just like it. I like the interface for both the user and
the person you’re sharing your calendar link with, on Calendly the best. I did a bunch
of research on all the different kinds and I like this one the best.
The really cool think. The way you own one approaches is you have specific days and times
where specific things happens. Specific events happen at certain times on certain days. You’re
here on my dashboard and so you’re seeing on Tuesday, this Tuesday I have a bunch of
things lined up. That’s because Tuesdays are my interview days. When I send people a link
to schedule an interview, Calendly knows to only show them Tuesday is available whenever
there is time available on Tuesdays. What’s really cool is I can sync this up to
my Google calendar. It knows to not schedule me over something that I already have scheduled.
Or when I schedule something here myself, it puts it in my Google calendar for me which
is really cool. I’m going to actually show you what it’s like
to create a new event and how you should approach this. I’m going to go my even type settings
and you’ll see different types of events here. You’ll see interviews for food trucker, for
smart passive income, a 60-minute meeting, a 30-minute meeting and a 15-minute meeting.
Again, each one of these event types has a specific link that you can share. If you’re
going to schedule a 15-minute meeting, you just give them the link for the 15-minute
meeting. They’ll see a whole list of openings and they could choose the one that works for
them. That’s based off of when you are open. Again, this is taking time under your control
and not giving anybody else a chance to tell you when you’re supposed to do something.
You’re taking control and that’s so important. I’m going to walk through how to create an
event type really quick with you. I’m going to create a new podcast actually. Let’s do
Pat’s new podcast interview. We’ll make this one hour long. Pat’s new podcast. Event link,
I’ll just put a calendly.com/patflynn/pat’s … Or let’s just do new podcast. I’m going
to make the event color green. That just doesn’t matter but if you have a bunch, it might help
you. Availability. Now, this is work, it’s really
cool. Now, I only want to conduct interviews for this brand new podcast of mine. I don’t
even know what it is. Again, this is just hypothetical. Not on the weekends but let’s
say Monday is on. I want to edit this specific time. Let’s do Monday from, have it start
every 30 minutes. I’m not starting it in the middle of an hour expect for at the half hour
of course. Let’s start it at 1PM. Let’s end at 5PM. Let’s
apply this to actually Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday only. Done. Now, Tuesday and Wednesday
has been updated. You can see between 1 and 5PM for both of those days. Then, I’m going
to Thursday off and Friday off. I’m only conducting interviews for the new podcast I have between
Monday and Wednesday from 1PM to 5PM. When I get people this link, this special link
that I created or my assistant does it for me. Again, calendly.com/patflynn/newpodcast.
They’ll only see what’s available in my schedule on those days, in those times.
I’m going to go here and say how far in the future can schedules be, can events be scheduled.
It gives you 60 days. Custom questions. This is really cool. Phone number. No, I don’t
want people’s phone numbers. Custom question. Skype contact or Skype user name is probably
the best way to say it. Skype user name required. Single line, yes. Add a custom question. Any
special requirements. We’ll just make that multi line but also optional. Add. Custom
links, no. Email notifications, you can change the way it gets. You can set reminders and
things like that or advanced settings. I don’t want this to be public. I just want one invitee
so I’m going to keep that. Let’s see. Buffer time before or after, no.
Display button to schedule another event, no. I’m going to save changes. All right.
It has been successfully saved. Now, if I go to calendly.com/patflynn/newpodcast,
you’ll see what my calendar looks like if
you get to select. You’ll see what it’s like if you’re going to schedule this particular
interview with me. I have no openings until February 25th because those times are already
booked in my calendar which is cool. Someone can go here but maybe they’re not good for
Wednesday. Maybe they want Monday or something. Here’s the first Monday available. Monday,
March 9th. I’m going to click that. There are two start times available. Let’s do 4PM,
confirm. Then it’s going to ask me what those questions were. Okay, Skype user name. PatFlynn3.
Special requirements, nope and schedule event. What’s cool is the people who sign up on the
other end, they’re going to see this information and they’ll be able to quickly add it to their
iCalendar or Google or Outlook. Then, you’re good.
Man, this is super easy. What’s really cool is this automatically put to my schedule as
well. If I go to my Google calendar. Again, this is March 9th, 4PM. I’m going to go to
my Google calendar. I’m going to go to the correct calendar. I’m going to hover to March
and click March 9th. Here we go. Very quick. This event, you’ll see. Pat’s new podcast
interview. 4-5PM. It is done with Pat and it’s for smartpassive.com. The user name is
PatFlynn3. Any special requirements, nope. All in there already.
That, when I go into a podcast interview, it’s here in the calendar. I click the calendar
event. There it is with the Skype user name so I don’t have to go and dig it out. It’s
there already. Boom. It’s been a life changer for me and it could be for you, too. That’s
Calendly.com. The next tool I want to introduce you to is
called “Trello”. This is a project management tool and it’s how both myself and my team
members are able to understand what projects we’re working on. Within those projects, who’s
doing what and when things should be done. This is really cool because it takes the place
of a physical folder system that it had. Literally, physical, manila folders with pieces of papers
sharing every single task of what needed to be done in order for the project to be completed.
This takes that place and it’s better because I can have my team members there. I can assign
certain team members to different tasks. They can all converse with each other and there’s
due dates and check list can be added on to different tasks as well to make things get
done. A lot of you wonder how we’re able to do so
many things at the same time and Trello is definitely it. I’m going to give you a quick
tour of how I use it. Now, there’s a lot in here and I don’t want you to be overwhelmed.
There are also a lot of other great project management tools out there that I’ve only
used actually Basecamp is one that comes to mind and Asana. I know a lot of you use those,
too. As long as you’re using something like this to manage your projects so you can understand
what has to be done next. Who’s doing that thing next and when, then you’re set.
Trello maybe for you, maybe not. It is working for me and my team definitely. I’ll give you
a quick tour and show you how you might be able to use this right away for what you’re
doing right now. On the dashboard here, you’ll see these boards and all these boards consists
of different lists and tasks. Within those things, you can have different assignments.
It’s really easy once you get into it. I’m going to show you an example in just a sec.
There’s so many things in here. I’ll give you and get started to look really quick at.
The inner workings of the smart podcast player. Now, don’t be overwhelmed by what you see
here. All this is internal stuff but I’m just going to give you an idea. From left to right
here. The left here is the backlog. Which means, these are just all the ideas that us
as a team and also the users of the smart podcast player. You can find that at smartpodcastplayer.com
actually. All the ideas that anyone has ever had for
adding additional features to this podcast player are put here in this backlog. Then,
my team and I go in once a week and take all of these suggestions and prioritize them.
We can easily just add new cards here for new suggestions and we can prioritize one
over the other for example. Then, what happens is the developers come in and they pick the
top one. Whenever it’s time to work on a new feature. Then drag and drop it over here and
they say, “Okay. We’re going to work on that.” That’s how everybody on the team knows that
that’s what we’re working on right now. Again, it just keeps the developers focus
on that one thing. You can see, they’re working on a couple other thing right now which is
really cool. We’re actually working on a free trial version right now which is a [inaudible
16:33] pretty challenging but we’re really excited about that.
Here, UI/UX, that’s the design stuff. If anything needs any design work done first. It goes
over here and then Dustin my UX guy takes care of it. Then, things that are ready to
go are put over here. Done and ready for launch here. Then there’s some checklists here for
any testing that needs to be done. This is a higher level version of a board
here used in my team. Let me show you one that might be a little bit easier to use for
you. I’m going to create it from scratch actually. This is blog post. We all write blog post
or I know a lot of us do. Or maybe it’s podcast episodes. Here’s how you can use this to your
advantage. I’m going to add a list here and this could be blog post ideas. Then under
here, you can add different cards. For example, five ways to use Trello for super fast productivity.
Add. I’m going to add another one. The worst night of my life. Insert joke here.
I’ll add one more. Fishing with my dad is awesome. Again, this isn’t for real. Like
that would be weird if I had all those things on the blog. Oh, maybe not. Anyway, the next
list you can add would maybe be working. Or maybe doing research. Research on the certain
things. I’m going to add another list. That might be currently writing, ready for editing
and done and ready to publish. You can see where I’m going here and publish.
Let’s say for example, I have this idea for a blog post. Five ways to use Trello for super
fast productivity. I can actually click on this card and open it up and then I can write
comments on it. I can add certain people or attachments to it. Maybe I want to add some
screenshots. I’ll give you a quick tip in just a second in my next tool to show you
how to make, just take a really quick easy screenshots.
Anyway, I can edit the description in case this is something, somebody else needs to
read. I can label it. I can add members to it. I can add due dates. I can add checklists.
For example, as to the five items. I can do item one. Item two, item three, item four
again. Because this is five ways and item five. Once I find these things, I can check
them off and it gives me 20% done, 40% done, 60% done. I’m going to close this. You can
see here, three out of five done. I know that this isn’t ready yet for example.
Or maybe what I can do, is if I have somebody on my team that’s doing the research, I can
move this card over here. Then, I in the whole team understands that this is the card that’s
being researched right now. If you have one person on the team, maybe you can just set
the rule out. Okay, there’s only one that you should be researching on before it goes
into currently writing. Or maybe it’s just you and that’s the one you’re researching.
Then after you’re done with that, you can edit to currently writing. Maybe somebody
else in your team is researching the worst [man 19:50] of your life.
Then from there, after you’re done writing, you can edit over to editing and then you
can maybe assign it at that point to somebody on your team. Let’s go to Matt. This is a
private port so I don’t have any other team members in here. But, you can assign it to
your editor who can then edit and then you can put a due date to that at which point
this person would take it and put it in the done and ready to publish. That’s where you
can go and you would have this bank of articles that you can then publish and boom, done.
Then overtime, this list will grow and you just get super motivated because you can see
everything that you have accomplished. You can always go back into these to see what
research you did if any or who was assigned to something. It just makes it super easy
to go through this workflow. Then you or anybody in your team can just add another idea. Then,
just keep going down this line. Then man, it just becomes so productive in terms of
the workflow here. It’s just crazy. That’s how you could use Trello right now. There
are a lot of other ways you can use it but I can’t spend an hour talking about it. I
just wanted to introduce the tool to you and give you a quick tip on how you might be able
to benefit from it right now. One of the most helpful tools I’ve ever used
in my business and I still use almost everyday now is called Dropbox. A lot of you probably
already have Dropbox. Now, I’m going to share a quick tip for you that even if you have
Dropbox, you might not know yet that it’s been really helpful for me. However, if you
don’t have Dropbox, you have to get it. It’s just the most helpful tool you can use specially
if you have team members because you can easily swap files, images, documents, using the cloud
storage that Dropbox gives you and you can sign up for free too which is really cool.
Now, if you sign up for free through my link if you go to smartpassiveincome.com/dropbox,
you’ll get some extra space I believe and I also get some extra space as well for going
through that link. That’s how they grow so fast. That’s really smart business move. You
don’t have to go through that. You can just go to Dropbox.com too if you just like. Totally
up to you. After you get signed up with that, what you
can do is you easily are able to swap files and upload stuff to the cloud and be able
to access that from anywhere, from any device. It’s just so easy to use from videos, to images,
to documents. I have … Most of my most important files are on my own Dropbox account. You should
too because if your computer crashes, at least, you have those there. If you ever wanted to
share files with you, I mean, I share movie files and I share MP3 files from my podcast
with my assistant almost every single day. That’s how they get access to them. They can
then take them, edit them and then put them into my podcast.
Dropbox is just really incredibly helpful for that. Now, the tip I wanted to share with
you is involving screenshots. Now, I take a lot of screenshots and you might too. It’s
a great thing to potentially add an image on to social media. If you ever wanted to
share an image with one of your colleagues really quick. Maybe you’re talking to them
on Skype and you just really wanted to show there, something on your screen with them
really quick. You can take a screenshot and show that with them.
Now, if you hook up Dropbox to capture your screenshots. Those screenshots immediately
get copied to your clipboard and then link to that Dropbox folder where your screenshots
get dumped. In other words, when you take a screenshot, if you connect it to Dropbox,
and I’ll show you how to do that in just a minute. It puts all those screenshots into
a Dropbox folder that’s special just for the screenshots. Then when you do that, you have
a link already copied through your clipboard that you can paste into your instant message,
into your Twitter, or wherever you want to share that image. It’s just super cool.
To set this up. What you want to do, is you want to go to your top menu here. Or wherever
the desktop icon is. Click on Dropbox. Then, you want to go to this little cog icon. The
settings icon and go to preferences. Then, what you want to do is go to import. Then
at the bottom here, make sure this is clicked on. Share screenshots using Dropbox. Now,
if you take a screenshot and you have Dropbox, you might have seen a prompt like this come
up for the first time. Maybe you have it enabled already but if not, this is really helpful.
Make sure that’s on. It’s on for me already and I’m going to give you an example.
Let’s say, I just take a screenshot of the front of Dropbox. I’m just going to take a
screenshot. I’m doing this by holding command shift and 4. Now, I’m able to move this around.
If I wanted to even move the corner of this box which you can’t move right now, that’s
the pivot point where I started. I can hold shift. If I hold shift down all at the same
time, still holding all four of those buttons. I can move this around and maybe I can just
take screenshot of this image here. That’s just really cool.
Again, on a Mac, it’s command shift 4. I believe Dropbox gives you instructions if you’re on
a PC. How to take a screenshot like this just on the fly. Again, this is how you would do
it. Then, hold space bar down. In addition to that, if you ever want to move that box
around, then, I’m just going to let go. In my ears, I heard a camera sound. I saw a little
pop up that said, “Sharing screenshot.” I have a link available. Now, if I actually
go to this link, again, that was automatically just put in to my clipboard and hit enter.
There’s the screenshot. Super cool. Let me take a bigger screenshot of my whole desktop
and then put it in here. Now, it’s still uploading. It has to upload
to the server really quick. Then, it’s little bigger so it’s going to take some time. There
it is. That’s super cool. That’s how you can take quick, easy screenshots. Have them saved
so you don’t ever lose them and they don’t just become junk on your desktop. You’ll be
able to easily share them to those who need it.
All right. The last tool I want to share with you is called “SelfControl”. Now, I know a
lot of you like myself get super distracted by certain websites that you might visit.
They’re dangerous because you can go down that rabbit hole and be in there for hours
and come out of it like, “What just happened? I just wasted all of that time.” You probably
have an idea of what those sites are. Using this tool SelfControl. There’s also … This
is a Mac application. You can download it from SelfControlapp.com.
There’s also a Windows version available which is a different company but you can go to stopprocrastinatingapp.com.
Anyway, I have SelfControl install and I deleted all my websites because I wanted to show you
how to add them in. What it is, is after you install it, you get this little app that shows
up. You can put domains into your domain blacklist. I’m going to hit plus, I’m going to put Facebook,
it’s the big one. Facebook.com. I’m going to out Twitter.com. I’m going to put BuzzFeed.
That’s a huge one that a lot of people waste time on. Then you could even import this list
and give it to other people. Or you might be able to find one from somebody else actually
if they use this. This is a fairly popular tool. You might use
it already. If you do, I’d love to see how it’s been for you because I’ve just recently
started using it. It’s totally changed because that’s just … It’s just totally changed
my productivity because you know, I actually caught myself going to sites without me even
knowing it. It’s just a habit. This has been really good.
Then to start this self-controlled time sequence, what you do is you hit start. You can adjust
the minutes here to see how much time you want to not be able to access these sites.
If I were to go 15 minutes and hit start, I would not be able to access Facebook, Twitter
or BuzzFeed. What’s really cool is even if I turn off my computer and delete the application,
it would still go to when you hit the time setting. I wouldn’t be able to access any
of these sites for 15 minutes. I might do that right now. Start. Password.
Okay. Loading and now, those sites are blacklisted. Let’s see what happens when I go to Facebook.com.
Nothing. Nothing’s happening. Let’s just make sure … Oh, yeah. Webpage not available.
Now, let’s just double check to make sure that the internet still is working. Cool.
Twitter.com. Nope, not available. Buzzfeed, please. Because I just need to go there because
the next article about the 26 things that remind me of my childhood is so important.
No. Okay. Yeah. Again, those apps are SelfControl app. Then also, Stop Procrastinating app.
I hope those tools will be helpful for you as much as they have been for me. Now, if
you have any tools you’d like to share with the SPI community, feel free to leave a comment.
If you’re watching this on Youtube, leave a comment below. I’m going to read every single
one of them because I’m always looking for better tools to help me become more productive.
If you are watching this on iTunes, head on over to watch SPI.TV and you’ll find this
episode there. Again, this is episode number three and you can leave a comment there on
the blog. Or if you’re watching this on the blog, leave
a comment. Right there below. I look forward to looking at your tools and the things that
you have to share with the community. Thank you so much. Make sure to subscribe. I’ll
see you in the next episode of SPI TV.