How to manage a small team using Trello

This is part 2 of my productivity and time management framework. Read part 1 here.

We have a small, 4-person, part-time, distributed team at Chou Force. Because we never meet in the same physical location, it’s incredibly difficult to stay aligned about company objectives.

I have therefore created a simple, light-weight process that utilizes Trello to set company objectives, align team members, and only requires 1-hour of online meeting time per week.

This is how we do it.

Continue reading How to manage a small team using Trello

I’m removing Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram from my mobile. Will you join me?

Over the past 10 years, I have secretly obsessed over time management and productivity. When it comes to work output, I’m usually the team member that can produce the most amount of work with the least amount of time invested — perhaps Stephen Johnson was the only person to ever beat me in productive output.

I’m now in the process of consolidating all of my learnings into a framework that can work for anyone. I’d love to try my framework on you. Will you join me?

Continue reading I’m removing Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram from my mobile. Will you join me?

On setting priorities

“The podcast is key for our success. We absolutely need to differentiate our content so that professionals begin to see us as experts in online marketing.” Grant argued.

“I just don’t see it. Sure, podcasts are an interesting medium, but the vast majority of successful podcasts are created by entertainment and media publications such as NPR.” I retorted. “The podcast won’t be a big customer acquisition channel for us.”

“It can and it will. Trust me.” Grant was persistent.

Priorities. Everyone has them; few people actively and consciously set them.

There are two challenges we face with setting and accomplishing priorities:

  1. Scheduling distraction-free time to complete priorities
  2. Prioritizing priorities (see what I did there)

To settle our debate about creating a podcast in Q2, Grant and I conducted a priority session. In this article, we’ll examine how we set priorities on the Growth Team for Bunny Inc.

Continue reading On setting priorities

How I use OmniFocus to reach a ZERO inbox every day

32 unread email. 7 unread Trello notifications. 12 unread Yammer threads. 8 to-do’s on Evernote. And a partridge in a pear tree.

Welcome to the life of an entrepreneur, where the inbox is never empty, and the calendar is always full.

For a long time, like most of you, life was always about playing catch up: there were never enough hours in the day, and I’d use the weekends to get some serious, uninterrupted work done.

My attention was scattered and my priorities for the day were not immediately clear. The Tim Ferriss only-the-three-most-important-tasks-for-the-day-on-a-notecard model worked for a while, but as a bootstrapped, 50-person technology company, it was impossible to focus my day on only 3 important tasks.

The situation seemed hopeless. Then I found Omnifocus.

Read the full post below.

Continue reading How I use OmniFocus to reach a ZERO inbox every day

7 Ways to Increase Communication with Your Remote Team

message-in-a-bottle

Working remote can be extremely difficult.

In those moments when communication is less than ideal and the situation seems dismal, joining the ranks of a team in a physical office space can sound like a good idea.

Everyone has these moments.

When this happens, it’s important to stay calm and not make any decisions you may come to regret. I can assure you, there are several ways to connect your remote team and streamline your communication.

I can recall, in great detail, specific instances where I felt like pulling my own hair out or just sleeping the day away. Time zones were the enemy and a constant darkness loomed over my head like a perpetual loneliness that only working alone can bring.

This could’ve been solved if I only knew what I know now. Communication in any organization, especially remote teams, should become the most vital centerpiece of the team culture.

I’d like to share some tips that have helped us communicate better and ultimately destroy the cloud that haunted our productivity and group collaboration.

Continue reading 7 Ways to Increase Communication with Your Remote Team

Life is a Role Playing Game

Sombody Far away
Photo by dkraps

Personal branding is WoW and Final Fantasy; you just don’t know it yet.

What is your goal when you’re playing a role playing game? Your goal is to level up your character, unlock every secret, find every hidden weapon, beat every boss, and ultimately, beat the game with a 100% completion rating. Your goal requires you to put in hours upon hours of invested time and effort into a make believe character in a fantasy land. Let’s say you do beat the game on hard or reach level 70, what then? Do you start another game only to waste another 200 hours leveling up a fantasy character? Where does this fit in with your life goals and ambitions?

Life parallels a video game in many ways. Much like a role playing, we are able to level ourselves up in real life by expanding our network, undertaking an internship, writing a new blog post, learning a new skill, or listening to an audio book. Each of these activities can provide you with a skill or asset that will help you accomplish your life and career goals.

[showmyads]

Life is a game, and this is how you can become a strong player:

Continue reading Life is a Role Playing Game

Picking up a girl is easier than talking to Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan

(Chris as promised, I have some tips for you at the end of this post.  Hope that they’re valuable to you!)

THE Chris Brogan had just finished speaking at a panel with Ben Huh and Micah Baldwin that was moderated by Sean Percival.  I tried to catch him after the panel, but was unfortunately beat to the punch by at least 5 other people who got to Chris first.  It was like when you see a hot girl at a lounge or bar, she’s never standing by herself because she’s always surrounded by guys trying to get her digits.  That’s how this felt right now, except these people wanted the business card in Chris’ pocket.

[showmyads]

In the Game, you never want to stand with the group of guys waiting for your chance to talk to the girl.  This demonstrates lower value and makes the person unconsciously think less of you from the very beginning.  I decided to step back and talk to some other people while keeping my peripheral on Chris.

Being the “hot girl” at the conference, Chris was constantly engaged in a conversation for the next hour or so.  I decided to suck it up and try to engage Chris and all of the people that he was speaking with:

Lets see, what should my opening be… “Hey guys, I had a question about blogging that I hope you can help me with…”

No, that sounds lame.  How about, “Hey did you guys hear about the guy who traded a red paper clip for a house…” Jeez, how old is that news.  Be more relevant…

I decided to forget the opening line and just politely ask to be able to listen in on the conversation because I’m eager to learn from them – you know, Tim Ferriss style.  To my dismay, not only was Chris talking to another gentlemen, but he was also actively engaged with AV Flox.  So now I’m all flustered because Chris Brogan is HOT in the social media world and AV Flox is HOT as a human being.  I had been building all of this up in my head so much that I just gave up and sunk my head down back at my seat…

Continue reading Picking up a girl is easier than talking to Chris Brogan

How Two Mistakes Taught Me Two Valuable Lesson Online


Photo by Lucia Holme

It’s Monday, April 13th and I’m ready to tackle the world!  I just published a video on Awesome Revolution with Neil as our guest and I’m very proud of it because it’s going to help young entrepreneurs get one step closer to success.  Time to go hit up the gym, get ripped, and be the envy of all men… I kid.

[As I walk to my car, I check my Twitter feed]

Oh, what’s this?
Continue reading How Two Mistakes Taught Me Two Valuable Lesson Online