The desktop version of Trello is finally here! No more editing your boards within a web browser. Now you can use Trello on your Mac or Windows computer as a standalone application.
Download for Mac | Download for Windows
Question: What do you think of the new desktop version? Leave your answer in the comments below.
The Simpletivity YouTube channel has seen a lot of activity this year. In fact, subscribers have quadrupled in just the past 6 months! So let’s take a look at which videos have been watched the most.
Here are the most viewed videos from this year, so far:
1. Organize Google Keep without Folders
Unlike Evernote, Google Keep does not have notebooks or a folder structure. So how do you organize all your great ideas? Here are the 2 main methods of managing your notes in Keep.
2. Should You Switch to Asana? (Trello comparison)
Asana and Trello are both excellent tools for managing tasks and projects. But project boards are no longer just for Trello users. Watch as I give you a detailed overview of Asana and highlight the pros and cons of this application.
3. How to View Trello on Your Calendar
Wouldn't it be great if you could see your upcoming Trello cards on your calendar? Well, you can do that and it's not as hard as you think. This video shows you how to sync your Trello board with any online calendar.
4. How to Clean Up the Google Keep Home Page
Google Keep makes it easy to view all your notes on the main page. But sometimes you'd like to organize your home page in a more meaningful way. Let me show you 2 simple techniques to clean up your notes so you can work at your productive best.
5. Notifications and Reminders in Google Calendar
Your calendar is essential for managing all of the events in your life. So it’s important to setup your notifications so you can be reminded at the right time. Here is all you need to know about editing notification settings in Google Calendar - including the ability to email a daily agenda.
Question: What was your favorite video? Leave your answer in the comments below.
Like many of you, I take time to review and analyze the past – and that includes looking at the stats of my blog.
Every once in a while, people ask me why I do what I do. The simple answer is that I love to help people be more productive and efficient. That’s what I mean when I say I help people get more done and enjoy less stress.
It’s only one measurement, but website traffic can be a good indicator of how well I’m succeeding in my goal. So here are my top 5 blog posts from this year, so far.
1. 5 Powerful Apps to Simplify Your Life
There are so many applications that promise to make your work and personal life easier. But in reality, only a few can actually fulfill this tall order. In my most read post of the past six months, I highlight five tools to make your day so much easier.
2. How to Create Quiet Space in a Noisy Office
Today’s workplace is more noisy and distracting than ever before. If you want to get ahead and produce great outcomes, you need to create some quiet time. But that’s often harder than it sounds. Here are 4 ways to make that happen.
3. 3 Keys to Picking the Best Note App for You
In order for you to stay focused, you need a reliable note app to capture all your thoughts and ideas. But with so many different apps available, how do you go about choosing the right one? Here are three criteria you should keep in mind when selecting the best note app for you.
4. The Best Productivity Books (That Are Worth Reading Twice)
I’ve read an awful lot of books on the subject of productivity and time management. I believe that reading is powerful and one of the best ways to develop these habits. Read the best books and you plant the seed for some amazing changes in your life. Here are 4 of my all-time favorites.
5. 3 Reasons Why I Don't Use a To-Do List App
You're probably surprised by the title of this blog post. For someone who talks a lot about to-do lists and how to manage them, it must seem absurd that I don't use a dedicated app for my own tasks. This post explains the reason why.
I want to ensure my blog does the best possible job of answering your needs and interests. And that means I need to know more about you. To do that, I’ve created my 2017 Reader Survey.
Would you please take a few minutes to fill out the survey? By doing so, you will ultimately be helping yourself. Why? Because you will be helping me create content even more interesting and relevant to you.
Your input is important to me. The survey is easy to fill out, and the results are completely anonymous (I can’t tell who said what). And you can finish in two minutes.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Google Drive is fantastic for managing all of your files and folders. But you don’t have to be bland and organize Drive by name only. Get creative and start adding colors to help you identify key folders. And don’t stop there. Add emoji’s and icons to differentiate your folders within Google Drive.
Question: How do you organize folders in Google Drive? Leave your answer in the comments below.
Do you feel like you’re forgetting something? Maybe you’re a little worried about what’s coming up next? You can take the fear out of the future with this one simple meeting.
We all want to feel confident that we’re working on the right things. But we live in a noisy world with distractions that interfere on a regular basis. That’s why it’s so important to schedule a weekly review.
A weekly review is time set aside just for you and nobody else. It’s a real meeting to review all your projects and make sure you’re focusing on your most important tasks.
How long should I spend?
I recommend blocking off a full hour for your weekly review. Fridays tend to be a great day to schedule this type of meeting. It allows you to put the past few days in perspective and help you get set for the coming week.
Of course, one of the biggest challenges is keeping this meeting on your calendar. It can be tempting to move it around or cancel it all together. Especially since you’re the only one invited.
But don’t give into ignoring this special time just for you. This is your opportunity to put everything else on pause and make sure your working towards your important goals.
What should I include in my Weekly Review?
It’s vital that you make the most out of this time. So be sure to have a game plan and stick to it. Here is my formula for an effective weekly review:
1. Review Your Past
Start by opening up your calendar and taking a look at the past seven days. Take a moment to review every single meeting or event you attended in the last week. As you review each past commitment, look for things you may have missed such as a follow-up call or sending out agenda minutes.
As I go through this process each week, there is always at least one meeting where I discover an extra task. It’s usually not something major, but it’s an extra activity that brings real value to my relationships and the projects I’m working on.
2. Be in the Present
This is your opportunity to review all your projects, goals, and other commitments. Whether you use Trello, Asana, or just a whiteboard, this is your chance to take a closer look at your deliverables.
Ask yourself some key questions such as: What is my number 1 priority right now? Which project have I been ignoring? Are there any deadlines I need to renegotiate?
This is your chance to take a step back and view your projects from a higher vantage point. Be honest with yourself so you can perform at your very best in the coming week.
3. Look Forward to the Future
With the past and present behind us, it’s time to look towards the future. Once again, it’s time to take out your calendar and review what’s coming up next.
Just like we did when we reviewed the past, I recommend looking at every single commitment for the next 2 weeks. The last thing you want is to be caught off guard or be surprised when you get into the office Monday morning.
Take this opportunity to make sure you’re not double-booked for a meeting. Ensure that you’ve allocated enough time to prepare for that important presentation. Or make a note to send your team an extra reminder about the client meeting next Thursday.
Question: What will you include in your Weekly Review? Leave your answer in the comments below.
Sending effective email starts with being specific. And before you even get to the subject line, you should pick your recipients carefully. In this video, I show you why you should limit your emails to just 3 people. I also share the dangers of sending long subject lines.
You can waste an awful lot of time asking the same question via email. Day after day you send a lot of messages with the hope that you’ll get a response. So how can you increase your chances of getting a reply?
There are a few simple things you can do to improve your odds. For one, make sure your subject line is short and specific. Research shows that you should aim for 6 words or less. Keeping your subject short makes it easier on the reader. It also ensures that the recipient can read the entire line on a mobile device.
It’s also a good guideline to keep your messages short (but not too short). Emails with less than 50 words may not communicate the question well or just not seem important to the reader. But requests that go beyond 250 words will often get skimmed or ignored all together.
There is Power in Your Sign-Off
Most of us end our emails with a regular closing phrase. It only takes a couple of words, but the very last things you write might just have a powerful affect.
Earlier this year, Boomerang analyzed over 350,000 emails to see which sign-off had the very best response rate. And the results may surprise you. In fact, you might never look at your email sign-off the same way again.
Here are the top 2 email closers for getting a response and 1 you should stop using right away:
The Worst: “Best”
First, let’s start with the sign-off which had the worst response rate. Many common sign-offs were analyzed including “Cheers” and “Regards”. But among the group, “Best” actually performed the worst.
It could be that this closing comes across as insincere or perhaps unrelated to the message. Regardless of the reason, if you want a response to your email, you should avoid “Best” as your closer.
It looks like gratitude can be a powerful force when asking something of others. Hopefully this doesn’t come as a surprise. “Thanks” performed very well with a response rate of 63% (compared to “Best” at 51%).
In fact, sign-offs with any expression of gratitude showed much higher response rates than others. It seems that being thankful (no matter what you are asking) will improve your chances of getting an email reply.
The Winner: “Thanks in advance”
We’ve just seen the power of the word “Thanks” when closing an email request. But don’t stop there! If appropriate, be sure to add “in advance” to your sign-off.
“Thanks in advance” performed better than any other closing looked at in the study. With a response rate of 66%, you should consider using this sign-off as your standard.
It makes sense why this closing has such positive results. Within it, you are giving advance thanks for a reply which has yet to be written. This certainly has a powerful effect on readers as many feel obliged to respond after reading these last words.
So don’t take your sign-off lightly. When making an email request, show gratitude to increase your odds of getting a response the first time around.
Question: What email sign-off works the best for you? Leave your answer in the comments below.
Asana is a fantastic productivity app for managing your tasks, projects, and even teams. In this video, I show you my top 5 tips for working with Asana. From moving groups of tasks around to syncing with your calendar, get ready to get more done.
Question: What is your favorite Asana tip? Leave your answer in the comments below.
Once in a while it can feel as if we have no limitations. With easy access to technology and so many communication tools, it’s as if there are no limits to what we can do. But I think certain limitations can actually help us to be more productive.
To better explain this concept, it was my pleasure to provide a guest post for Carl Pullein’s YouTube channel. Carl has recently started a new series called Working With Productivity. And in this week’s episode, I talk about how self-imposed limitations can help us to be more effective.
Question: What limitations are helping you? Leave your answer in the comments below.